RENTON – As has been their routine the past few years, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and assistant coach Dave Canales huddled together before a recent practice and took a knee on the grass. Wilson then motioned to tight end Gerald Everett, standing nearby, to join them.
Together, the three of them bowed their heads and said a prayer.
Everett, indeed, has quickly been welcomed into Wilson’s inner circle with the Seahawks.
Even before stepping on the field as teammates, Wilson and Everett spent time together this offseason in San Diego getting to know each other and bonding over their shared Christian faith.
“We spent a lot of quality time together,” Wilson said.
Everett says his new QB has inspired him to try to be the best version of himself.
“Russ and I have definitely formed some kind of camaraderie, to a great degree,” Everett said. “Russ is molding me to become a better person, honestly. We share the same religious beliefs – we’re both high in faith and we both take that into account on and off the field.”
Soon enough, Everett expects that personal connection to turn into meaningful production on the field for the Seahawks.
“I mean, this is the first time in my career playing with a quarterback of his caliber,” said Everett, 27, who spent the first four years of his career with the Rams. “I really want to take advantage of this opportunity, whether I’m here for the short term or long term. Every day is a blessing … and working closely with a guy like Russell, I just want to (home) in and make sure I become the player I’ve always wanted to be.”
Everett, listed at 6-feet-3 and 240 pounds, fills a key role as the No. 1 tight end in new coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense. He’s already becoming a favorite target of Wilson, who found Everett in the end zone for a touchdown during a team period Wednesday. (Everett then immediately began trading barbs with safety Jamal Adams, who was watching the play from the near sideline.)
“Gerald’s super elusive – he keeps getting open,” Wilson said. “… He just finds a way to make plays. He’s been exceptional for us, and I’ve got great confidence in him.”
Quandre Diggs seeks extention
A week after star safety Jamal Adams received his new contract and returned to practice, the Seahawks’ other Pro Bowl safety is now “holding in” for a new deal.
Quandre Diggs, entering the final year of his contract, has not practiced over the past week as he seeks an extension from the Seahawks.
“He’s making a bit of a statement now … and he deserves to do that,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday.
Diggs has been with the team for the past month, attending meetings and participating some in early training camp practices. He has only watched from the sideline for the past four practices.
When they’re on the field together for the Seahawks, Adams and Diggs might form the best safety tandem in the NFL.
In his first full season with the Seahawks, Diggs, 28, earned his first Pro Bowl nod last season after leading the team with five interceptions.
Diggs signed a three-year, $18.6 million extension with the Detroit Lions in September 2018. The Seahawks acquired him in a trade midway through the 2019 season, and he’s scheduled to earn $5.95 million this season, according to OvertheCap.com.
The team does not appear inclined to offer Diggs an extension before the season – the same stance the team has taken with veteran left tackle Duane Brown.
Brown, entering the final year of his deal, also has been “holding in” while lobbying for an extension.
Carroll has indicated he expects both Diggs and Brown to return to practice soon and be available for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener at Indianapolis.
“I think this is an opportunity for players in all sports to communicate where they’re coming from, and this is a way to do it,” Carroll said. “Quandre has been great all through camp – he’s had a fantastic camp. He’s in great shape, and he’s ready to go.”
Dee Eskridge making an impression
One intriguing player who might get a chance to play Saturday night is rookie receiver Dee Eskridge.
Eskridge missed the first few weeks of camp with a toe injury, but Carroll has been encouraged by what the rookie has shown since returning to action.
“He came back out here, and he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do, very capably,” Carroll said. “He’s strong, he bursts, he’s in and out of breaks. He’s very comfortable on the deep ball, catching the ball way down the field. Russ (Wilson) hit him for a 60-yarder the other day, and it just looked like it was no big deal (for Eskridge).
“… There’s nothing that’s happened that doesn’t give us all the hope that he’s going to be a big contributor.”
Eventually, Carroll said Eskridge could factor into the mix as a punt/kick returner, too.
Kyle Fuller takes reins at center
Carroll all but made it official that Kyle Fuller has won the job as the Seahawks’ new starting center.
“He’s been able to do everything, and he’s really commanded the line of scrimmage too, and he and Russ get along great with the communications,” Carroll said. “He’s working well with the guards. He has given us no reason to just say that he can’t start. He’s done really well. Well done.”
Incumbent starter Ethan Pocic missed much of camp because of a hamstring injury.
“It’s been unfortunate because we had this big competition going on at center, but (Pocic) hasn’t had chance to show yet,” Carroll said. “Kyle’s done really well. Ethan has done nothing to hurt himself. He just hasn’t been able to take advantage of the opportunities.”
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