Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle Tuesday that the team is confident newly-signed running back Eddie Lacy will be at the right weight when the season begins.
One of the things the Seahawks say they like about newly-signed running back Eddie Lacy is the size he’ll bring to the backfield.
“He’s a big back in classic fashion,’’ coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday in an interview on ESPN 710 Seattle shortly after the agreement with Lacy was announced. “He’s an exciting guy to add to the mix.’’
The question until the season begins, though, will be how big is too big for Lacy.
One of the main reasons Green Bay decided to let Lacy test free agency was concerns about his weight — listed at 234 he’s been thought to play 30 pounds or so above that in recent seasons.
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Carroll, though, said the Seahawks are confident Lacy will be able to maintain what they feel is a good weight for him to play — even it if may not be 234.
Carroll said that specific weight may not longer be reasonable to expect for Lacy but that “in his 40s (the 240s) he’s really dangerous. So we have a real target for him. We’ll be on it on a regular basis and we’ll keep him in great shape.’’
A Tweet from Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel stated that Lacy weighed in at 267 during one of the three visits he took over the past few days — Seattle, Minnesota and Green Bay.
Carroll didn’t exactly refute that Lacy is currently above where the team would like him to be, noting that Lacy is still recovering from an ankle surgery last season that ended his year after five games.
“This is a hard time for him because he’s working some rehab right now,’’ Carroll said.
But Carroll reiterated that the team is confident Lacy — who signed a one-year deal worth up to $5.5 million with $3 million guaranteed — will be in the shape the team wants him when the season rolls around.
“There will be a real concerted effort to make sure he’s at his best,’’ Carroll said.
And assuming Lacy gets there, Carroll also said he envisions a potentially nice pairing of Lacy and Thomas Rawls as a 1-2 punch in the backfield.
“I like that we’re bringing in a big, tough guy that’s going to send a message the way he plays the game,’’ Carroll said.
The interview also touched on a few other topics, such as:
— Carroll said the team likes that Lacy and offensive lineman Luke Joeckel coming in on one-year “prove-it’’ deals (Joeckel signed a one-year, $8 million deal) but that the goal is for each to play well enough to earn a long-term contract with the Seahawks:
Said Carroll: “I don’t think there is any question that sometimes it comes at the right time for a player — if they make sense of the opportunity and they go about seizing that opportunity then it can really work out great. That is really what we have done with Luke Joeckel and with Eddie. These guys, in some regards they are highly motivated guys and you would think maybe they are not going to benefit from it. But they are so competitive as I see it that this brings out even the very best and really presses these guys. It’s up front, everybody knows what is going on. With both guys we expect to do long-term deals — that’s how we go into it and we are going to think that way until there are reasons to think otherwise. And so our intentions are to get them to show where they stand, give themselves an opportunity to show what their value is on our club moving forward and really challenge them also. These guys are such good competitors that they are ready to take the challenge and I think we are gong to show we an make the most of it.’’
— Carroll said Joeckel could play either left guard, the position he played last season, or left tackle, where he played primarily during his first three years with Jacksonville and said for now the goal will be to bring Joeckel in and let him compete with the rest of the group to ultimately form the best starting five for the regular season.
Said Carroll: “He is perfectly-suited to be a left tackle — he played left guard last year. That’s what makes him really valuable to us. We think that this gives us an opportunity to work it out with the best of our other players as well. He can play both spots and well see how that works. He’s physical, he’s smart, he’s got great flexibility for a big man. He’s really determined He had two injures over the time that cost him some, but he’s played a lot of good football and we think he’s got a great upside And he’s young, too, (25). So we think we have a big future with hi on the left side.’’
Carroll further noted that Joeckel’s flexibility to play guard and tackle was a big factor in Seattle’s interest in signing him saying “he played very well inside, in our opinion, and that’s really the only opinion that matters.’’
— Joeckel is recovering from ACL and MCL injuries suffered last October. But Carroll said his recovery is going well and the team has no worries he won’t be ready for the start of the 2017 season.
Said Carroll: “He’s five months into rehab and he’s doing great. He’s way ahead of schedule. There are no signs — he hasn’t had one day of setback so he’s on a great track to make it back and be ready to go during this off-season, so he will be active and be able to be out on the field. He’s already on the ground running and all of that looks to be making a great recovery.’’
— Carroll said the team really thought it had a chance to sign free agent OL T.J. Lang but that the lure of home — both Lang and his wife are from the Detroit area — was too much to overcome. Lang eventually signed with the Lions.
Said Carroll: “Well ultimately it didn’t really matter because they chose to stay home and they had just purchased a home on a lake. His wife was from the same area. There was a big family connection right there. We thought we had him and he thought — he was thinking real serious about it. Had a great visit and fit in really well and all that. But when it came right down to it he had a chance to play at home and stay close to the family and that won out. I couldn’t do much about that other than keep trying to sell him on it and we got as far as we could.’’
— Carroll said the team has been specifically targeting offensive linemen and running backs early in free agency in an attempt to beef up the running game which he in turn said should help with pass protection by making teams have to respect the run more.
He said the signings of Joeckel and Lacy will “help us be a more balanced offense like we like and we really want to accentuate the emphasis of our pass protection. I think this all fits together really well.’’
— Carroll said the team isn’t done in free agency but also cautioned that the big-ticket starting-type offensive linemen went quickly.
“We’ll continue to work at that,’’ Carroll said of signing additional free agent offensive linemen. “We are not done with that, maybe. We’ll see what happens. … There aren’t very many players that are starting players that haven’t already been all swept through the first run of it. You saw (Riley) Reiff and (Ricky) Wagner and (Kevin) Zeitler and Lang — that was it. And very few guys in the draft also in that regard. So this was an important time to try to nail a player if you can get one and that’s what everybody is kind of battling like there are not a lot of players in the offensive line area.’’