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Is Phillip Dorsett the fast receiver in the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll era?

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 20, 2020

Speed helped Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Phillip Dorsett get drafted during the first round in 2015.  (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
Speed helped Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Phillip Dorsett get drafted during the first round in 2015. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Could the 2020 Seahawks have the fastest receiving corps of the Pete Carroll era? At the least, they have the fastest receiver since Carroll became coach in 2010 in free-agent addition Phillip Dorsett.

No one has doubted Dorsett’s speed – he ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the 2015 combine, which helped him get drafted in the first round by the Colts.

Through the first week of practice, the Seahawks say Dorsett hasn’t lost a step.

“He’s the fastest guy we’ve ever had here,” Carroll said Thursday. “He runs in time realms we don’t even think really exist, 4.2s and stuff.”

Dorsett’s challenge has always been to figure out a way to use that speed to his best advantage on the field.

His best season was his second in Indianapolis in 2016, when he had 33 receptions for 528 yards. Last year with New England, he had just 29 receptions for 397 yards and saw his playing time dip drastically at the end of the season.

But that was in a short-passing game system tailored to Tom Brady’s talents, and Brady’s arm strength has been questionable the past few years.

The Seahawks think Dorsett will be a better fit in their system predicated on play-action and taking deep shots with Russell Wilson, one reason why they pursued Dorsett in free agency. They were able to get the 27-year-old on a one-year deal worth $1.047 million.

“In our system with Russ and the way Russ likes to bomb the football, he’s a big factor for us,” Carroll said of Dorsett.

They plan to find out just how much more of a factor Dorsett can be over the next few days. Carroll said Seattle will install some packages this week “that really accentuate those plays. Really anxious to see how he fits in.”

The Seahawks hope Dorsett can emerge as a complement to the established duo of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, each of whom can move swiftly down the field (Metcalf ran a 4.33-second 40 at the 2019 combine and Lockett a 4.40 in 2015. For those wondering, Percy Harvin, often considered as fast as any player Seattle has had in recent years, ran a 4.41).

“To have all of that speed on the field at the same time is pretty dynamic,” Carroll said.

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