Finding a third quarterback to bring to training camp isn’t the most pressing issue for the Seahawks.
But it is an interesting one, and one at which an interesting name may be bubbling to the surface — one-time UW quarterbackTroy Williams.
Williams is one of three quarterbacks attending Seattle’s rookie minicamp this weekend and one of two who is doing so as a tryout player. The Seahawks signed Taryn Christion of South Dakota State as an undrafted free agent and then brought in Williams and Michael O’Connor of British Columbia as tryout players.
It’s the second straight year the 6-2, 205-pound Williams has attended Seattle’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.
And this time he may be making more of an impression as he appeared to be running first in the quarterback rotations throughout Saturday’s practice.
“Well, he’s really athletic,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday of Williams, who signed with UW in 2013 and played in five games with one start in 2014before transferringand ultimately finishing his career at Utah, where he started 16 games in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. “He seems real comfortable with the position. He’s a poised athlete, poised performer. You know, you can tell that he’s been around. He did a nice job today.’’
Christion became the third QB on Seattle’s 90-man roster behind Russell Wilson and Paxton Lynch when he signed after the draft. Lynch, a first-round pick of Denver in 2016,signed as a free agent in January and all indications are that he’s set to be the backup.
But the Seahawks are going to need a third QB on the roster for training camp and Carroll said Friday that spot remains wide open.
“Well, it’s really important, getting ready for camp,’’ Carroll said of finding a No. 3 QB. “We’ve got to figure that out. And these guys are going to get a chance to show us. We’ll take a look at where we come out of it on Sunday. You know, they’re swamped right now with what they learned and what they’re learning and trying to execute and everything. I mean, it’s so hard. So we’ll see in a couple of days, but yeah, these guys got a shot at it.’’
Williams had rookie minicamp tryouts last year with both the Seahawks and Chargers after going undrafted but was not signed.
The Seahawks a year ago had veteran Austin Davis as well as rookie seventh-round pick Alex McGough behind Wilson and then shortly before the season traded for Brett Hundley, who ended up as the backup.
Seattle’s long-range plan had been for McGough to stay as a potential backup QB, but after spending last season on the practice squad he decided not to re-sign with the Seahawks and instead signed with Jacksonville, which was closer to his home and also where he apparently thought he might have a better opportunity.
Interestingly, the QB depth chart in Jacksonville has gotten crowded with the Jaguars currently having five on their 90-man roster, including former WSU QB Gardner Minshew, taken in the sixth round of last week’s draft, while Seattle remains trying to fill the void that McGough left behind.
One more good day Sunday may allow Williams to step into it for now.
Here are a few more impressions from Saturday’s rookie minicamp.
— Receivers Gary Jennings and John Ursua were again sidelined with hamstring issues.
— With those two out, D.K. Metcalf has been the star of the camp so far. But a few others also had some moments on Saturday, notably UDFA signee Jazz Ferguson. The man with a music name had been, well, sort of quiet for most of the first two practices until the end of Saturday’s when he caught a TD pass from O’Connor on the final play, tumbling into the end zone in traffic as he did. Ferguson’s size — Carroll says he’s 6-4, 240 — makes him intriguing and likely worth a fairly long look by Seattle. UDFA signee Terry Wright of Purdue also has been active as a receiver playing in the slot.
— Another former Husky who ended his career elsewhere, cornerback Darren Garndenhire, also made his presence felt Saturday, including an interception on a pass by Christion thrown over the middle. Gardenhire was a starter at corner for UW in 2015before announcinghe was leaving the team in 2016 under somewhat mysterious circumstances that coach Chris Petersen said was a “difference in philosophy.’’ After sitting out the 2017 season he played last year at Delta State in Cleveland, Miss., where he started at corner and also handled kickoff and punt returns.
— The Seahawks said seventh-round pick Travis Homer would get lots of looks as the third-down back and that has proven true so far as Homer has been used quite a bit in receiving roles. He’s the only running back here who was drafted so maybe he should stand out some, but safe to say that his acceleration has been noticeable.