RENTON -- Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald played half of last season with a partially torn patella tendon in his right knee.
After leaving the injury to recover on its own for a while after the season ended, McDougald elected to have surgery prior to the start of OTAs to help him get back to 100 percent quicker.
"I kind of suggested it. What about the operation?," McDougald said. "The rehab time is quick. I feel my body recovers quickly. That's kind of the route we went. They came up with a plan, we executed it for a while. I just didn't feel like I was healing fast enough.
"Ever since then it's been a steady grind and a steady process to just get back as healthy as possible. I did miss OTAs and I'm missing this camp but right now I probably feel the healthiest I've felt in a while."
McDougald said the injury occurred in a late October meeting against the Detroit Lions last season. While it limited his chances to practice the rest of the season, McDougald appeared in every game last year for Seattle.
“Since the Lions game I was having trouble,” McDougald said. “I was playing through a lot of pain and a lot of grief. I feel like I’m in a much better situation now, much more comfortable. The knee feels good, my body feels good.”
McDougald is now the clear elder statesman of Seattle's secondary. He enters his third year with the team and seventh season in the NFL. With Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman all gone from the team, the Legion of Boom era of the Seahawks' secondary is officially over. There is still a standard of quality play to be met by the group that has taken over, but the original cast is long gone.
McDougald and cornerback Shaquill Griffin now take over the mantle as the leaders of the secondary as they look to lead the rebuilt unit.
"Same thing as it always is, running and hitting, and guys that are a part of our defense are saying we protect the seams and the post. So, that’s us," McDougald said. "It’s a bunch of young guys out there that are hungry and that’s the way we keep proving ourselves. Nothing solidified. Everybody’s grinding to be the best we can be and prove as many people wrong as we can."
Russell Wilson heaps praise on rookie receiver DK Metcalf:
While Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson frequently heaps praise upon his teammates, the comments he had regarding rookie receiver DK Metcalf on Wednesday felt a bit more glowing than his usual fodder.
Wilson was effusive in his comments regarding Seattle's second-round pick out of Ole Miss.
"It’s great seeing DK [Metcalf] make his plays. I think DK is looking really, really special. He can do anything and everything and he’s tremendous," Wilson said.
Metcalf's athleticism jumps off the page. At 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, Metcalf ran a 4.33 40-yard dash with a 40.5-inch vertical leap at the NFL Combine in February. However, Wilson made it clear Metcalf brings more to the table than just his physique.
"I think his knowledge of the game," Wilson said about what impressed him about Metcalf. "Everybody knows about his ability to run and everything else, jump and catch and all that. You guys have been talking about that for months and all that. I think more than anything else it's his brain. How he processes information, how quickly he understands it. He's really intelligent. He really understands the game really well. He takes coaching well. He gets extra work. He's a legit pro wide receiver. He's everything that everybody was talking about in terms of what he's capable of and more."
Wilson called Metcalf shortly after the NFL Draft and spoke to him for 15-20 minutes and said he could tell immediately the type of drive Metcalf had to succeed.
"You could sense it," he said. "When you're around it, you've played it, you've understood it and you've played it yourself, I think you can kind of tell the guys that are really hunting for something special and I think he is."
Offseason practices without pads are one thing. Metcalf will need to translate his skills to the field in games that count this fall. However, he has made a strong impression early. And getting on the right side of the guy throwing you passes isn't a bad idea either.
Photo Credit: GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30: Defensive back Bradley McDougald #30 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (not pictured) missed a field goal during the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)