Seattle Coach Pete Carroll is less than two years into his second stint in the NFL, but he’s plenty familiar with at least one Redskins player.
Playing his high school ball in Ohio, Fred Davis lined up everywhere: receiver, running back, safety and quarterback. Carroll recruited him to USC in 2004 and Davis was starting for the Trojans at tight end by his sophomore season. Carroll says Davis’s potential was always easy to recognize.
“When we were recruiting him, we thought he was going to be a No. 1 draft pick,” he said. “When we saw him and looked at his potential, that’s why we went after him. Really, when we recruited guys out-of-state, in those days that was our criteria. We want to anticipate a guy could be a No. 1 draft pick. If that was the kind of guy, then we’d go after him. Freddy was like that.”
Davis eventually was a second-round pick to Washington in 2008 and has since started 31 games. It’s probably not too surprising, considering what he did in college. He left USC as the school’s all-time leader in career receiving yards and career touchdowns by a tight end.
“He was one of the best tight ends in the country coming out,” Carroll said. “Big, strong, fast, tough, all of that stuff. I think it’s marvelous that he’s been able to transition into this kind of a player. I mean, he’s a focal point player on an NFL team. I think it’s awesome.”
Davis is the Redskins’ leading receiver this year with 636 yards on 49 catches. He’s the most consistent part of an injury-plagued offense and a player that opposing foes have to plan for each week.
“I’m laughing — we’re game planning for Freddy. ‘Where is he? He’s over here. He’s doing this. He’s doing that.’ They’re doing a fantastic job of utilizing him,” Carroll said. “It’s a credit to him. I don’t think that there was any expectation you couldn’t hold for him. He’s coming through in great fashion.”
Carroll is familiar with a couple of other Redskins, as well. Offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus played in 15 games and started seven last season in Seattle. Polumbus appeared in five games this year before Carroll released him on Oct. 25.
“He’s a really good, versatile football player. He can play four spots on the offensive line,” Carroll said. “He doesn’t play center but he can play both sides, guard and tackle. We liked him. He started games for us and we just got in a situation where we had to put him out there. We would have taken him back if we could have gotten him back. So I think they got a good football player in him and I understand he had his chance to play a lot this week.”
Carroll also briefly coached cornerback Josh Wilson. Wilson spent training camp with the Seahawks last summer before Carroll traded him to Baltimore.
“Josh is a really good football player. We liked him,” Carroll said. “He’s a terrific athlete. He’d shown that before we got here and after. We just had an opportunity trying to make headway with the upcoming draft, we had the chance to get a draft pick and just looking to the future.”
The Seahawks used the draft pick from Baltimore to draft Virginia Tech safety Kam Chancellor, who currently leads Seattle with three interceptions.
“We’re just trying to make moves. [Wilson is] just a good, effective player that makes a lot of things happen, and he’s obviously done that since he’s left us,” Carroll said.