By Tim Booth | AP Sports Writer
RENTON — Phillip Dorsett has never set foot in Seattle or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Not as a player in either of his previous NFL stops. Not in college. Not even for a random trip.
Needless to say, he hasn’t personally seen the place where he will eventually practice after signing with the Seattle Seahawks.
“I wouldn’t call it strange, but it is what it is. It’s going to be different,” Dorsett said during a video conference this week. “I’ll definitely have to adjust to the time change. Just hearing 10 a.m. and knowing that it’s 1 p.m. for me has been different. But I think I’ll get used to it.”
One area where the Seahawks did only minor tinkering during the offseason was with its wide receiver group. They have established starters in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf to go along with backups David Moore, Malik Turner and John Urusa. Seattle also drafted Florida’s Freddie Swain.
The one move Seattle made in free agency was signing Dorsett to a one-year contract in the hopes he can be a viable third option. But with the coronavirus pandemic upending the NFL offseason, Dorsett hasn’t been able to actually travel to Seattle to begin settling in.
Dorsett’s move to Seattle nearly happened last year, he said. He considered signing with the Seahawks following the 2018 season and a Super Bowl title with New England. He decided to stay with the Patriots for one more year.
“I chose to stay in New England but I didn’t want to make that mistake again,” Dorsett said.
Part of Seattle’s appeal was Dorsett’s time working previously with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer when they were both in Indianapolis. Then there was the idea of playing with Russell Wilson and transitioning from one great quarterback in Tom Brady in New England to another in Seattle.
“I was familiar with a lot of the guys on the staff and honestly I felt like this was the right offense for me,” Dorsett said. “Russell, he’s a great quarterback and the way he plays quarterback and the way this offense is fits my skill set.”
Dorsett, 27, was a first-round pick by Indianapolis in 2015. But he lasted just two seasons with the Colts before being traded to the Patriots as part of the deal that sent quarterback Jacoby Brissett to Indianapolis.
He spent the past three seasons in New England, where his playing time and production increased each season. Dorsett had 32 catches and three touchdowns in 2018. Last season, Dorsett caught 29 passes, but averaged 13.7 yards per catch and scored five touchdowns.
Another reason Seattle seemed to be interested in Dorsett from the start of free agency was his experience and ability to play all three wide receiver positions in its offense. That kind of versatility could free Metcalf and Lockett to be used in different ways.
While there is some learning that can be done now with the virtual offseason program, figuring out how to best use Dorsett will likely have to wait until the Seahawks are able to get back on the field.
“They have a lot of guys that can play, that can do a lot of different things and I can be an added piece,” Dorsett said. “A guy that can run the short route, run the deep route, run after the catch, blocking. I don’t have a limit to what I feel like I can do. I can help in any way, whatever they want me to do.”