Carroll offered thoughts on tight end Ed Dickson, guard DJ. Fluker, and more.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Pete Carroll’s one-hour media availability at the NFL league meetings Tuesday marked the first time the Seahawks coach has commented on some of the players the team has acquired in the offseason.
Specifically, Carroll gave an overview of each of the players the team has signed during free agency and how they may fit in with the team in 2018.
Here’s a look:
D.J. Fluker, a first-round pick in 2013 (11th by the Chargers) who signed a one-year contract last week.
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Here’s what Carroll said of Fluker: “I’m fired up about DJ you know. This was a guy we knew through the draft and have tracked him for a number of years because of his unique qualities, his physical nature and his style. The thing I like most about this transaction is that he worked with (new Seahawks offensive line coach) Mike Solari (with the Giants last season) so he’s got background and he’s got system and the mentality that Mike wants. But I think the best part about him is that physical nature. He’s 355 pounds you know and plays like it and I’m anxious to see if he won’t give us a different impact in what he can bring to the game.’’
And Carroll confirmed Fluker will start out at right guard. “Yes. We’ll start him on the right side. That’s where he’s played most consistently whether it was as a tackle or a guard so we will keep him there. He’s an extraordinary figure. He loves the game. He’s outspoken and outgoing and brings a real attitude about it.’’
That would pair Fluker on right side with Germain Ifedi, who Carroll reaffirmed will for now stay at right tackle. “Would be as big as you can get yeah (on the right side),’’ Carroll said. “Like it.’’
Another first-round pick in 2013 (sixth by the Browns) who played last year with the Colts and signed a two-year deal with Seattle. The team envisions Mingo playing strongside linebacker in the base defense, filling the role played mostly last year by Michael Wilhoite.
Asked what kind of role Mingo will have with the Seahawks, Carroll said: “A big role. This is a very versatile football player. Just start off with he’s got a tremendous motor and because of that he has been a big factor on special teams so right off the bat he is going to be a core special teams guy. We are going to start him at SAM (strongside) linebacker with the thought of using him there in base defenses and then also as a rush guy. He’s been able to be very versatile as a rusher. He’s been an edge rusher, he has great speed and a great motor to bring off the edge. He also has done a lot of things in terms of moving in and out and being able to move him around especially in aspects of the third down package, so I’m looking forward to that.’’
An eight-year NFL veteran, the former Oregon tight end signed a three-year deal worth up to $10.6 million after spending the last four years with the Carolina Panthers. Dickson was signed to help replace Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson, who each left via free agency.
Said Carroll: “Ed’s a real versatile football player. Kind of a situation where he’s played behind such a great player in Greg Olsen that we haven’t seen him maybe as much. But again going back to knowing Ed through the recruiting process and kind of watching him grow, always known about his athleticism. He’s an all around player can play the Y position as well as the X position where he moves around. Good athlete, good downfield catcher. A guy you can go to in regular situations and normal ball control situations and also down the field so he’s a really, really interesting addition. He was really fired up to come back to the Northwest. He’s got some roots here from being from his college days and his family and all of that so there’s a real good connection.’’
TOM JOHNSON AND SHAMAR STEPHEN
Seattle signed each of the former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles last week to help replace the departed Sheldon Richardson.
Said Carroll: “I think the two additions in losing Sheldon we picked up Minnesota’s two guys so we got kind of two for one in this trade. Both guys played a lot, showed a lot of diversity in the running game as well as in the rush game. Tom Johnson is more of a rusher than Shamar (Stephen). Shamar is a big dude, very similar to the guys we’ve had over the years. If you look at all the three techniques we have had through the years Shamar is a guy that really fits that role and we’ll give Naz Jones a chance to be in the rotation and all that. So I think that worked out beautifully for us. Of course there were cap issues there with Sheldon going at a big number. We were able to bring these guys in and you watch the Vikings play football these guys are all over their film. They are playing all the time and that’s a very good front and a very good defense so we just kind of shift them into our mode. They are going to fit beautifully and it’s ironic kind of that it worked out that way but we just kind of swapped guys.’’
A receiver for the Cardinals the last five years, Brown signed a two-year deal worth up to $5.5 million to help replaced the departed Paul Richardson.
Said Carroll: “Yeah I’m really excited about Jaron. We’ve seen him do a lot of great stuff in the division over the last few years. But his versatility, his style of play. The mentality that he brings. Got a big chip on his shoulder about proving it, the whole free agent mode is kind of classic for us. Again he’ll be an active special teams player, be a blocker, be a physical guy over the middle. He’s a really interesting guy for us to get and he’s big for us (listed at 6-2, 205) for our guys and he’s got terrific speed,too. So he has just been kind of in the midst of their program as he has emerged through the ranks but it has not gone unnoticed for us. Really excited about him coming to us.’’
A starter at strong safety for the Rams the first four games of last season before being released, Alexander signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks. Carroll confirmed that Alexander had shoulder surgery, an injury that apparently contributed to him playing just four games last season.
Said Carroll: “He’s a really good football player. Tough as hell. Running and hitting, savvy. He plays the deep end well, he plays close to the line of scrimmage well. He’s right in the vein of the kind of guys that we like. He’s a special teams accent as well, he’s going to help us there. We’ve got to get him healthy, he’s got to get the shoulder right, but that’s all on schedule and he’s doing great, so I’m really thrilled about him, and it’s because of his toughness. When you look at the guys who are coming to us—you go back to Barkevious, great motor, physical, running and hitting, special teams guy, Jaron Brown is one of those guys as well, versatile, plays all the spots, got the chip on his shoulder, free agent coming out of nowhere—I think that’s kind of what you’re seeing again and it’s part of the makeup of the style of player we’re looking for. I’m really fired up about that. Even in a different sense because he was a high draft pick and all, but D.J. has been a great passion guy, and he has been a great toughness and physical guy. Those are all elements adding to our game, and Mo is one of those guys too, so I think you’re going to see an influence by these guys on the guys already in the program. They’re going to be accepted readily, our guys are going to see that they’re the kinds of guys we like building our team around, and they’re going to be big factors.”