Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has never been shy dumping praise upon players under his command.
The latest player to draw Carroll’s platitudes is third-year linebacker Korey Toomer.
Toomer has yet to appear in a regular season game for Seattle in his first two years with the team and missed all of last season due to injury. However, Carroll has singled out Toomer’s performance as one of the highlights of their offseason program.
“He probably has been the brightest guy of the whole camp. Jumped up the most,” Carroll said. “His speed is obvious. He no longer is a rook; not understanding. He’s studied really hard, he’s worked hard. In the offseasons he’s watched so much, he practices just like the guys that are playing all the time. He looks like he can compete with all those guys. He’s in good shape to compete.”
Toomer was a fifth-round draft pick by the Seahawks in 2012 out of the University of Idaho. Toomer was a bit of a raw prospect for Seattle when they selected him and was ultimately released during final cuts and added to the team’s practice squad for his rookie season. He’s managed just five tackles in four preseason games in his first two years with the team.
Carroll had spoke highly of the progress Toomer had made at the end of mini-camp last summer. However, Toomer suffered a knee injury while working out on his own prior to the start of training camp and spent the entire season on the non-football injury list. With his health back in order, Toomer is once again making an impression for the Seahawks at strongside linebacker.
Toomer is also getting increased opportunities with starter Bruce Irvin (hip) and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith (ankle) sidelined with injuries.
“We’ve all been impressed with his knowledge of what’s going and the expectations of it,” Carroll said. “His effort and the way he’s flying around on the field, it shows that he’s been really involved (mentally) when he hasn’t been able to. He’s gained ground and he’s giving himself a tremendous chance to make the team.”
Carroll’s talent for finding and developing capable linebackers has been stellar with Seattle. Irvin, Smith, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner have all been drafted by Carroll over the last four years and all have developed into solid players. Toomer could be the next member of the group to take a step forward for the Seahawks.