Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with reporters Thursday at the NFL combine.
INDIANAPOLIS — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with reporters Thursday at the NFL combine. Here are some of the highlights:
— In evaluating the offensive line, Carroll said the Seahawks are focused more on how the season ended than how it began. Quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked 31 times in the first seven games but just 14 over the final nine. “Hopefully (we) have made some strides (and) we can start at a better level (in 2016),” he said.
— Carroll disagreed with a question that referenced the Seahawks opening up offense in the second half of the season. He said, “We just did better.”
— Carroll said running back Thomas Rawls, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury at Baltimore in December, is recovering well. Carroll said he saw Rawls this week and added that he should be ready to go for next season.
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— Like GM John Schneider on Wednesday, Carroll was vague on a timeline for the return of tight end Jimmy Graham, who suffered a season-ending knee injury vs. Pittsburgh in November. Carroll said, “We will not rush him.” Carroll said Graham could return by the end of training camp and added that he’s “ahead of schedule” with his recovery.
— Carroll said Lynch’s retirement announcement Feb. 7 during the Super Bowl had been expected for a while, so the Seahawks were not surprised.
— Carroll said the Seahawks have “some work to do” to keep receiver Jermaine Kearse, who is an unrestricted free agent.
— Carroll said he has met with defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who wants a new contract and has hired Marshawn Lynch’s agent. Carroll said the focus now is on the NFL draft and unrestricted free agents and not redoing current deals.
Carroll essentially gave the same answer about strong safety Kam Chancellor, who held out the first two games of last season.
And Carroll gave his usual answer when asked about his contract, which has one year remaining: “I’m doing great.”
— When asked about players who will become various unrestricted free agents March 9 when the NFL’s league year begins, such as Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin, Carroll said the Seahawks would love to keep everyone but know they can’t.