The Seahawks drafted Marquise Blair in the second round of the NFL draft last April because they believe he can be a signature piece in their secondary at some point down the road.

They got an ahead-of-schedule glimpse of that future Sunday and, well, it was pretty good. That was Pete Carroll’s assessment, anyway, of Blair’s first start in the 30-16 loss Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens.

(GIF by Rich Boudet / The Seattle Times)

“I caught him (out of position) a few times, and I have to look at the film to really know, but for the most part he came through and he did fine,” Carroll said. “He had a couple of nice plays and was good playing the ball one-on-one. He seemed to hold up his edge. It was a pretty basic game for us in that regard, in what he had to do.

“I thought he did his part.”

Blair, a rookie out of Utah, started at strong safety in place of Bradley McDougald, who sat out for the first time in two years because of back spasms.

Carroll is optimistic McDougald will return next week.

“We’re very positive about the thought,” he said. “He wasn’t quite able today. But he still has to do it; he still has to get well. … maybe over the weekend he will make a comeback for us.”

Blair finished with six tackles and one pass breakup.

What was his mindset coming into his first start?

“Play my game,” he said. “I don’t think too much. I just go out and play my game. Whatever happens, happens.”

Carroll had mentioned specifically earlier this month that the Seahawks were using Blair only at free safety, but Blair said switching to strong safety wasn’t a challenge. That’s where he played in college, and the Seahawks train all their safeties at both positions anyway.

“I’ve been comfortable,” he said. “I’m confident in myself.”