RENTON, Wash. – New Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is giving a couple of former first-round draft picks another chance to restart their careers.
Mike Williams is the former No. 10 overall draft choice of the Detroit Lions, who ballooned to 270 pounds and has been out of the NFL for two years.
Reggie Williams is the former ninth overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars from the University of Washington who is serving two years of probation stemming from a cocaine possession charge. He's been out of the league for a year.
They are two of 17 free agents that tried out this week for the Seahawks, who have gone 9-23 the past two seasons.
Both could sign contracts with Seattle. The wide receivers impressed Carroll during a three-day, free-agent tryout that ended with Thursday's final minicamp practice.
"We're seriously considering that," Carroll said of the signings, adding they could come Friday. "They both were physically ready for this opportunity. They could compete out here ... and they both showed the savvy that they could pick things up quickly.
"They've only been here for three days, too — but they didn't look like that. So that's a bonus."
So far, so good for both of them.
"To me it really is a blessing, these three days," Mike Williams said, a bright sun glistening off his sweaty head after practice.
Williams thought his career may have been over barely after it began.
"There was concern, concern that maybe the ship has sailed," he said.
Now the 26-year-old looks lean, an enticing, 6-foot-5 target.
Folks in Detroit may disagree over Williams saying he weighs 235. He's probably even less than that following three of Carroll's loud fast-paced practices that began a new energized era for the Seahawks.
Seattle's previous regimes under Mike Holmgren and the one-year run of Jim Mora last season preferred smaller receivers such as Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram and Deion Branch.
Carroll? He loves size at wide receiver.
"If you look back at our past we love big guys and have had a lot of success with them," Carroll said of his teams at USC — a couple of which featured Mike Williams through 2003. "We haven't changed our attitude on that at all."
Mike Williams was drafted ahead of DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman and Aaron Rodgers early in 2005. But the fed-up Lions dumped him after just 37 catches and 1 1/2 seasons. The Raiders got rid of him after just seven games in 2007. The Titans did the same thing later that season after he played just two games for them.
What happened from Tennessee releasing him early in 2008 until October, when Williams visited USC to get a pep talk from Carroll?
"Nothing I can remember. Nothing important," Williams said. "Not doing football, know what I'm sayin'?
"I mean, I've really embraced every aspect of this — from even just having my name on the back of a jersey," Williams said. "This is definitely a great opportunity. I appreciate the Seahawks, obviously."
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Reggie Williams is also 26. He is happy to be back home, up the freeway from where he grew up in Tacoma and back in the same city where he went to college.
When he landed Monday upon arriving from his training home of Houston, he had the driver roll down the car window on the way to Seahawks' headquarters and told him "just let me smell home."
"It's kind of serene," he said.
Considered a flop after Jacksonville didn't resign him beyond his rookie contract following the 2008 season, Williams missed all of '09 while in legal trouble.
Last May, he was sentenced to two years of probation for cocaine possession. In that case, an off-duty police officer in Houston used a Taser to subdue him after he allegedly refused to leave a bar.
He's since gotten engaged. He has a son nearly five months old, Rush.
"I became a better person, a better man, because of those mistakes," he said.
"I'm just glad to I have the opportunity to be out here and playing. It means everything for me and from my family. It's just a gift from God that I'm allowed the second opportunity to play the game that I love, especially in my hometown."