By BEN JOHNSON
Seattle — the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest — his plenty to offer first-time visitors.
Pike Place Market. Pioneer Square. The Space Needle. Puget Sound.
Michael Bowie, he’s taking in ... none of it. The former Northeastern State standout is keeping a low profile this summer while preparing for his first season as a professional football player.
“It’s basically all football,” Bowie said. “I usually stay in my room. I just keep working out and staying in shape. I’m just looking over my playbook and staying away from all the negativity.”
Bowie — who ended up in Tahlequah in 2012 after transferring from Oklahoma State — was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the NFL draft in April. Bowie was taken 242nd overall and with the Seahawks’ final pick.
He was then one of Seattle’s final draft picks to sign a contract.
“It was like a relief off my back,” said Bowie, who inked a deal on May 30. “I was worried why it took so long. Once it was signed, I could worry only about football.”
And that’s exactly what he’s done.
Bowie, however, is having to adjust to a new position after anchoring at left tackle in both high school and college. In Seattle, the Seahawks already have All-Pro left tackle Russell Okung — another former Oklahoma State standout. So Bowie has shifted to the right tackle spot.
“The first couple of days, it was different,” Bowie said in a recent interview with the Tahlequah Daily Press. “My feet were so used to playing left tackle. My kick slides were off balance, but as the days went on I started getting more comfortable at the right side.
“It’s becoming a lot more natural.”
Noticing Bowie’s progression was veteran tight end Zach Miller.
“He’s going to make some mistakes, and he made some mistakes out there,” Miller told the Seattle Times. “But he’s learning as fast as he can, and he’s improving every day.”
Based upon preseason projections, Bowie could wrangle a roster spot as a backup on the offensive line once the Seahawks prepare to begin the 2013 season. Then, if Breno Giacomini, Seattle’s starting right tackle last season, endures more leg issues, Bowie could be thrust into a major role in his rookie season.
But with training camp approaching in July, Bowie is just focused on securing a spot on the final roster.
“I just want to continue to get better and make that 53-man roster,” he said. “I’m just taking it day by day. I’ll find out during the preseason.”
Boding well for Bowie’s future are the high marks that he received from Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.
“Michael got a great chance to show, and it was cool to have him with the first group and stressed by that and he handled himself well,” Carroll said. “It was a good initial statement he made that he looks like he can fit in. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up here but very pleased with him.”