Seahawks coach Pete Carroll loves to create chaos during meetings and at practice, something his players learned at rookie mini camp.

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RENTON — Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is a notorious prankster and practical joker.

A few years ago, when tight end Luke Willson was a rookie, Carroll called on two rookie kickers to go head-to-head in a basketball shootout and (jokingly) informed the room of anxious rookies of the stakes: The winner would stay; the loser would leave.

Third-round defensive tackle Nazir Jones reported Carroll didn’t pull any pranks this year, but the rookies did have basketball shootouts, a daily staple of the Seahawks during the season.

“Everything’s about competition and competing,” Jones said. “I think the defense won so that’s all the really matters.”

Carroll has a method to the madness. He wants to keep players on their toes and engaged. Games are full of chaos and variables: the clock, penalties, injuries, the weather, the crowd. He wants his players accustomed to that chaos, so he uses music at practice and basketball shootouts to at once engage and distract.

And, of course, to spread the gospel of Always Compete.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” Jones said. “We’re always going to compete in everything we do, even in the meeting room. I think it’s cool that we always have some kind of sports stuff in the morning during our meeting. It kind of keeps us in tune with the world and keeps us lively in the meetings.”

Rookie safety familiar with Earl Thomas

Tedric Thompson, a fourth-round draft pick, has not met Seahawks safety Earl Thomas yet, but he has seen plenty of him.

“It’s kind of crazy because growing up in high school I used to watch his film a lot when I started to get recruited and was trying to learn how to actually play football and learn about defenses,” Thompson said. “Just to see how he gets from one hash to another, just to see how he leads his teammates, just to see the passion he plays with on the field…You just see the excitement he brings to his teammates. I’ve been watching since I was probably a freshman in high school.”

Thompson is also a free safety and said he liked how hard Thomas plays all the time.

“He has extremely good effort,” Thompson said. “You never see him jogging on the field. You never see him lagging on the field. He’s always running to the ball, giving 100 percent effort.”

Defensive backs getting close

The Seahawks drafted four defensive backs this year: third-round cornerback Shaq Griffin, sixth-round cornerback Mike Tyson, fourth-round safety Tedric Thompson and third-round safety Delano Hill.

That young group could play an important role in the franchise’s future, and Hill, Griffin and Thompson all said the group is close.

“We talk every day, morning until night,” Hill said. “We’re with each other all the time so we have to be comfortable with each other.”