Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Friday to talk about Seahawks camp, growing up with the same teammates, and welcoming his first child.
The Seahawks are finishing their first week of training camp. Seattle summers are typically beautiful and relatively mild, but the Seahawks have had a tough go of it this week at their Renton headquarters, where they have spent several days playing in 90-plus degree weather and thick air, hazy from B.C. wildfires.
“It feels a little harder to breathe,” Kearse said of the smoke. “But for the most part, it’s not too bad.”
Things are at least heating up on the field, as camp in the competitive atmosphere progresses. Thursday saw defensive tackle Rodney Coe throw center Will Pericak over a water cooler and defensive end Frank Clark punch offensive guard Germain Ifedi (both players sat out practice Friday).
For Kearse, training camp scuffles can be a product of competitive players battling it out – but he notes the team handled it in-house.
“The guys who were involved, they know the situation and they took care of it,” said Kearse. “We just kind of move on and try to move forward from there.”
Jermaine Kearse: ‘I guess we’re growing up now’
This season marks Kearse’s sixth in the league. Over that time, he has appeared in two Super Bowls and married his longtime girlfriend. The two have recently welcomed a daughter, now just seven weeks old.
“Enjoying every moment of it,” he said of fatherhood. “Just appreciating the blessings that have been coming my way.”
Formerly 22 year olds with chips on their shoulders and members of the second-youngest Super Bowl roster in NFL history, several Seattle veterans have welcomed new fiancés, partners or additions to their families.
“I guess we’re growing up now,” Kearse joked.
“When we first came in here we were just young and running around and now everyone’s making grown-life decisions … just maturing and really finding the purpose of life and that perspective.”
Athlete or not, any newly married person or new parent will tell you it’s harder to make time for old friends. But the teammates make it work.
“I think what we try to do is we all try to hang out with each other’s families,” said Kearse.
“You get to hang out with your friends, but you’re spending that time with your families. And all of our familes. the players’ wives and girlfriends, they all create relationships outside of football. It goes beyond the building, our relationships. I hang out with [Richard Sherman] and Kam [Chancellor] and them outside of the building. It leads to just allowing us to enjoy one another and our families, together.”
In addition to growing with each other in their new roles as fathers and husbands, the older versions of the Super Bowl XLVIII members have also grown as players. They’ve been through a Super Bowl loss, season-ending injuries, have seen teammates and friends released or signed with other teams. They’re not 22-year-old players anymore; but for Kearse, that’s a good thing, and he feels confident about where this version of the Seahawks are going.
“I think we’re regaining that competitive edge that fight in our team again, and I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”