Seahawks gamble on wide receivers

Seattle Seahawks' Mike Williams reaches to catch during an NFL football minicamp workout Thursday in Renton, Wash.<br><i>AP?photo</i>

SEATTLE - Pete Carroll wasn't kidding when he promised to bring guys in from everywhere, with all kinds of backgrounds, to compete for jobs with the Seattle Seahawks.

Friday, the coach brought aboard wide receivers Mike Williams and Reggie Williams, both former first-round draft picks by other teams who then flopped out of the league. The big wide receivers signed free-agent contracts less than 24 hours after they finished three-day tryouts in Carroll's first Seahawks minicamp.

The 6-foot-5 Mike Williams is the former No. 10 overall draft choice of the Detroit Lions who ballooned to 270 pounds and has been out of the league for two years. He played for Carroll at Southern California through 2003.

He visited USC and his old coach for a pick-me-up in October, before he started working with a personal trainer to get ready for this chance.

"It's like riding a bike - except the bike is a little rusty right now," he said of playing for the first time since Tennessee released him in 2008.

Reggie Williams, at 6-4, is the former ninth overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars from nearby Tacoma and the University of Washington. He is serving two years of probation stemming from a cocaine possession charge. He has been out of the league for a year.

He says Carroll has already proven to be the same exciting, motivating guy who recruited him out of Lakes High School years ago.

"It's just a gift from God that I'm allowed the second opportunity to play the game that I love, especially in my hometown," he said.

It could become a gift to three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Seattle's previous regimes under Mike Holmgren and the one-year run of Jim Mora last season preferred smaller receivers such as Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram and Deion Branch.

Carroll? For his wide receivers, bigger is better.

"If you look back at our past we love big guys and have had a lot of success with them," Carroll said. "We haven't changed our attitude on that at all."

Both Williamses have plenty of work to do to compete in training camp for playing time. They just got Seattle's playbook on Monday.


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