RENTON -- The Seahawks didn't waste opportunities this summer to express how excited they were about what rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf could bring to their offense.
Through the first two games of the season, Metcalf has been everything Seattle could have hoped for.
Metcalf has caught seven passes for 150 yards and a touchdown through the first two games of the year against the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. His 28-yard touchdown catch in Pittsburgh ultimately served as the game-winning score in Seattle's 28-26 win over the Steelers on Sunday.
"What a great start he’s off to and we’re thrilled about it," Carroll said. "I think Russ went to him seven times today and we didn’t get them all, but there’s going to be a lot of hook ups here coming up."
Metcalf has been targeted by Wilson 13 times in two games. Tyler Lockett is the only player with more, 14, and he saw 12 targets on Sunday alone after getting just two balls thrown his way against the Bengals. Metcalf has clearly already become an option that Wilson trusts despite his inexperience with the professional game.
Metcalf's 150 yards in two games puts him on pace for a 1,200-yard season. A 1,200-yard season has only been accomplished four times in franchise history, three times by Steve Largent (1979, 1981, 1985) and Koren Robinson (2002). Joey Galloway is the only rookie receiver in franchise history to post a 1,000-yard season as he gained 1,039 yards with seven touchdowns in 1995. Doug Baldwin and his 788 yards are next on the list.
Metcalf already broke Largent's record for most receiving yards by a rookie wide receiver in his debut performance, catching four passes for 89 yards against the bengals in Week 1. While projecting out a 16-game total after just two games are in the books is a bit premature, it just illustrated how impressive his first two performances have been.
"I think all the work that we put in during the summer and all the rookies that came in with me. We wanted to learn the offense and we’re always looking to get better and looking for something new that we can add to our game. So, I believe it’s not just me, it’s all of the rookies, and our mindset of how we came in wanting to learn so much," Metcalf said on Wednesday.
However, Gary Jennings and John Ursua are not playing at this stage of their career. Metcalf is and is producing.
Metcalf caught four passes for 89 yards in the 21-20 victory over the Bengals to open the season. All four catches brought a little something different to the table. Two slants were caught - one with tight contested coverage and another allowing some run after the catch. A streak for 42 yards beat cornerback William Jackson and set up a touchdown, and an improvised scramble drill went for 25 yards to convert on third down late in the third quarter.
"I think most rookies don’t recognize things as fast as DK did in that first game," Wilson said last week. "I thought that he saw things, he saw me scrambling, reacted quickly. He’s got a great response there. That really showed up in practice though, I noticed it the first few days we practiced. I scrambled a couple times, and he came back to me, he ran down the field, he came across the field. He works hard. I think all those things in terms of scrambling, is really just instincts, and playing football and trying to run to the open spot."
Against the Steelers, Metcalf made a great adjustment to haul in a back-shoulder throw that came in more at ankle level from Wilson, caught a quick hot-read from Wilson for 17 yards when he was left wide open as a cornerback blitzed instead of covering him, and hauled in the 28-yard score over Terrell Edmunds after getting 1-on-1 coverage against the Steelers' safety.
"DK came up huge," Wilson said. "Third-down, he makes a huge play down the field for a touchdown – beautiful catch. That was awesome to seal the game."
Opponents will inevitably adjust their defensive game-plans to take the threat of Metcalf more seriously should he continue to produce at the rate he has through the first two weeks of the regular season. If he can continue to produce once that shift occurs the Seahawks could have a real gem on their hands.
-- Defensive tackle Poona Ford (calf strain): "Poona’s going to practice, we’ll see how he does. He’ll be on a little bit of a pitch count during the week and we’ll see how he does and handles it. We’ll look forward to him playing. If you talk to him, he thinks he’s playing so, his attitude is perfect so we’ll see if he can get that done.”
-- Right guard D.J. Fluker (ankle): "He went through walk through and he’s going to try to get some work today. He’s giving me a thumbs up like he’s ready to go. We’ll have to wait and see how the week goes."
-- Safety Tedric Thompson (hamstring): "It’s still touch and go to make it back for this week. He’s working really hard, he’s really determined. If not this week, it’ll be next week. He’s right around the corner. If not, we’ll see what happens by the end of the week."
-- Cornerback Neiko Thorpe (hamstring): "He’s kind of like Tedric in that we’re not sure if he can make it back or not. He’ll work through the week and we’ll see. We miss both those guys but they’re both kind of in the same situation right now.”
Wide receiver David Moore (fractured humerus): "Yeah, there’s a really good chance that David - he’s got to go day to day here - but he’s practicing to play. That’s a real boost for us.”
The Seahawks re-signed tackle Elijah Nkansah and added safety Adrian Colbert to their practice squad on Thursday. To clear room for the pair, the team released quarterback Cardale Jones and wide receiver Jazz Ferguson.
Carroll said the Seahawks have been interested in Colbert for a long time. He was a seventh-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.
"He’s just one of those guys to me that demonstrates the kind of energy that we really like when we play. He loves to run and hit now. He’s really fast, running four-threes. He’s 211 pounds yesterday. Big kid. Strong kid. He’s kind of spirit about him, too. He kind of fired me up," Carroll said.
The addition of Colbert meant the departure of Ferguson, who has strong moments in the preseason for Seattle.
"Jazz had a good run with us. He did well," Carroll said. "Hopefully we can get him back sometime. He’s a good play-maker now. There’s no question that he can make some stuff happen. He’s in position group that’s really doing well, and we drafted three guys at the spot too. It’s a hard spot to make the club."
Photo Credit: PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: D.K. Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a 28-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 15, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)