Seahawks LB Kevin Pierre-Louis pushing for playing time
RENTON, Wash. (AP) It doesn't take long for the speed of Kevin Pierre-Louis to catch your eye.
The second-year Seahawks linebacker has loads of it. It's a trait that Seattle covets in its linebackers and Pierre-Louis fits the bill.
Pierre-Louis showed flashes in limited action as a rookie before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his season. Now the 2014 fourth-round pick is making it difficult for Seattle's coaching staff to keep him off the field.
''He's exactly the type of guy you're looking for in terms of speed and movement and all of that,'' head coach Pete Carroll said. ''We've been recruiting and drafting for a long time to find a guy that runs 4.4 that can play linebacker. He's done a great job. He's really an exciting player for us.''
Pierre-Louis's speed showed up frequently in special teams duty a season ago. He would routinely match Ricardo Lockette, a former Division II 200-meter champion, in sprints to the end zone on kickoff coverage.
''That's just his gift,'' linebacker K.J. Wright said. ''He ran fast at the combine and that's why we brought him in here. Just come out here, run, and hit and he does that really good.''
But his speed isn't the only reason he's pushing for more playing time. When called upon due to injuries last season, Pierre-Louis left a strong impression. He played well in his first extended duty against Carolina, including a tackle of Cam Newton for a loss in relief of Malcolm Smith. He posted a career-high five tackles against the New York Giants in Week 10 before a labrum tear ended his season.
''I just need to make sure that when my number is called that I'm ready,'' Pierre-Louis said. ''I can't really try to count reps or wondering when I'm going to get in. I just need to make sure that when my number is called, I'm there, I'm showing up, and I'm doing whatever I can do for the defense.''
Pierre-Louis is somewhat undersized. He's listed at 6-foot, 236 pounds on the team's roster. However, he fits the mold of what the Seahawks want at their weakside linebacker spot, which Wright currently has locked down as the starter. Wright's ability to play all three linebacker spots at a high level gives Seattle the flexibility to use Pierre-Louis in specific situations. He could see time in the defensive rotation this season in obvious passing situations.
Pierre-Louis missed the team's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos due to a separate, unrelated shoulder issue.
Last week against the Kansas City Chiefs was his first chance to play since last November. In the second quarter, Pierre-Louis allowed tight end Travis Kelce to get behind him for a 23-yard gain. He rebounded on the next play by shooting through the offensive line to drop running back Knile Davis for a 3-yard loss.
''To be able to have a mishap in one play and bounce back the next play, it showed myself that I've grown a little bit, I have a little bit more maturity,'' Pierre-Louis said. ''I wasn't stuck on just one play and once again it was a learning opportunity.''
Pierre-Louis finished the game with five tackles, trailing only Wright for the team lead.
''When he gets the thinking part out of the game, he's going to be a beast,'' Wright said
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