RENTON, Wash. – Kevin Pierre-Louis has standards. Ones that he sets for himself and those that are bestowed by others.
During the NFL combine, Pierre-Louis made sure he wore a tie for every meeting with a prospective team. That was the standard of professionalism he wanted to demonstrate to whoever was going to draft the athletic linebacker out of Boston College.
“I just have to represent my family well, as well as Boston College,” Pierre-Louis said during Seattle’s rookie minicamp last weekend. “I was fortunate enough to get my degree there in marketing, and I just like to represent myself well, represent the people that support me as well as represent any organization that would pick me up.”
Then there are the standards placed upon him. Like the one from Seattle Seahawks scout Todd Brunner, who when making his report to general manager John Schneider about Pierre-Louis’ potential compared him to 49ers All-Pro linebacker NaVarro Bowman.
With a comparison like that, it’s no wonder Seattle jumped at the chance to draft Pierre-Louis in the fourth round earlier this month even though the Seahawks are deep at linebacker. After all, the MVP of the Super Bowl, Malcolm Smith, started only eight games last season.
But Pierre-Louis’ athleticism fits what Seattle wants at all positions. He has length. He has versatility. And he’s got speed – he posted the fastest time for any linebacker in the 40-yard dash at the combine.
“He looks very good,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said at the conclusion of the rookie minicamp. “He plays very fast, he’s really a big accelerator, he seems to be a really good learner, too, so he should fit into the competition really well.”
That competition for Pierre-Louis will come at weakside linebacker when the Seahawks begin their organized team activities next week, leading into the full-squad minicamp in June and eventually training camp a month later. But that’s only where he’ll start initially. He played both outside linebacker positions at Boston College and the Seahawks won’t be afraid to switch sides if it makes sense to do so.
For now, Pierre-Louis is just trying to soak in all the instruction he can get from linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr.
“I’m a guy who loves to run and has a lot of energy, but I was humbled real quick with coach Norton and his intensity,” Pierre-Louis said. “He had me in what we call the chute for quite some time, but I’m a rookie and it comes with the territory. He’s going to train me hard and I just have faith in him that I’m going to be a better football player at the end of this.”
Pierre-Louis also seems to understand his place in the Seahawks hierarchy. While he was getting starters’ reps during the rookie camp, he realizes that won’t be the case when the entire team is around and that special teams will likely be his first ticket to getting on the field.
“I’m focusing a tremendous amount on special teams to show my range there, showing my range on defense as well, and once again I’m still learning,” Pierre-Louis said. “I’ve come some ways, but I have a long ways to go.”