— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) July 23, 2014
Sidney Rice always had the potential to be an exceptional NFL receiver.
Size, speed, incredible leaping ability and safe hands. Everything you look for. Plus that little extra something that usually separates the good from the great — an agitated, pissed off with the world attitude.
I never had a problem with Sidney’s fairly frequent visible frustration. He knew how to get open — and one of Russell Wilson’s major areas for improvement is to capitalise on missed chunk plays. I’m sure we can all remember one of the several times Rice — hands clasped to his helmet — knew his QB had missed a chance.
One sticks in the mind — an impressive scramble in the playoff victory over Washington 18 months ago. At the time it looks great on the TV — until they played the replay. Rice destroyed the coverage. He was wide open. One look and throw from Wilson — it would’ve been a touchdown. And but for a timely fourth quarter comeback that play could’ve been costly.
For all the clutch plays and grit shown by Seattle’s receivers last year, nobody quite knew how to get open like Rice. Even when he was covered he usually found a way to make things happen — a late knee to the turf, an elbow grazing the grass just as he was about to go out of bounds.
Who can forget his touchdown in Arizona? Brilliance from Wilson to scramble and throw off balance — but also brilliance from Rice to adjust his route and find a soft spot in the end zone. Textbook. Pure class.
I’m not sure why this announcement was made today. ‘Concussions’ seem to be the slightly vague determining factor. Has he received some fresh medical advice? Was this latest comeback from a serious knee injury a step too far? Did he secretly know deep inside he wouldn’t make the cut?
As talented as he was, Rice just couldn’t stay healthy. He’s one of those guys who always seemed to be banged up one way or another.
It cost him a potential shot at greatness. The talent, the physical qualities, the attitude. It was all there.
Yet his role in Seattle shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about it a lot on here — but the 2010 Seahawks roster was a patchwork effort by Pete Carroll and John Schneider when they inherited a mess of a franchise. They needed to inject some proven quality in free agency to get it going.
When they signed Rice and Zach Miller during the 2011 off-season after a lengthy lockout, it continued the Beastquake momentum. It was the start of Seattle becoming a trendier destination for free agents. And as hoped, they made the team better. Good enough to contend and then eventually dominate.
He got a lot of cash for an injury hit spell with the Seahawks, but I highly doubt anyone in the front office will be second guessing the decision to sign Sidney Rice.
Seattle added Morrell Presley as a replacement — a TE/WR. Essentially, another big bodied target.