Here are six more takeaways from Pete Carroll's appearance on ESPN 710 Seattle Thursday morning.
Here are six more non-Richard Sherman takeaways from Pete Carroll’s appearance on ESPN 710 Seattle Thursday on the Brock and Salk Show (here’s what he said about Sherman).
These are listed in no particular order:
1, Carroll insists the Seahawks were not trying to prepare for life after the Legion of Boom by taking four defensive backs in the draft.
That Seattle used four of its first eight picks on defensive backs — and took a cornerback higher than the fourth round for the first time since Carroll and John Schneider took over in 2010 — has led to a prevailing thought that the team is preparing for the day when Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, all 28 or older, won’t be around.
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But Carroll resisted that idea, repeating what Schneider had said — that this was simply a deep defensive back draft and the team wanted to take advantage.
“This was a very strong draft in the defensive back section so it just kind of happened that we had opportunities to get guys,’’ he said. “We may put together one of the great backup groups you’ve ever seen and that may be what this is for the future. That would be a great thing that happens. We love the guys that we play with. But meanwhile we are going to allow these guys to compete to start and that pushes Earl and pushes Kam and pushes Sherman and that’s how it goes. They know that this whole program is built on competition.’’
2, The early returns on Cyril Grayson sound promising.
Grayson is one of the more intriguing players on the 90-man roster, a track star at LSU who has not played football since high school, signed by Seattle as a free agent last month.
So far, Carroll said he likes what he sees.
“Grayson is going to be somebody we are going to watch because he’s just so far, so exciting, so natural catching the ball,’’ Carroll said. “A fun guy to add to it.’’
3, Carroll gave a little more clarity to how the offensive line will come together.
While Seattle’s buzzword upfront remains “versatility’’ and it remains way too early to pencil most guys in to any one specific spot.
But Carroll did add some clarity to how the line may evolve.
He said the team is taking a specifically close look right now at free agent signee Luke Joeckel during Phase Two of the off-season program, when the offense can work as a whole unit but not against the defense (Phase Three, which encompasses the OTAs, is when the team can work 11-on-11).
Carroll said Joeckel is working at left tackle and left guard and that he will “be an improvement at both places for us.’’
Carroll said Mark Glowinski, who started at left guard last season, is going back to the right side for now to compete with free agent signee Oday Aboushi.
Carroll said second-round draft pick Ethan Pocic is also starting off on the right side “to see where that works out.’’
Rees Odhiambo is working primarily at left guard, where he will battle with Joeckel, though Joeckel is also working at left tackle, where he’ll compete with George Fant.
And he said again that Germain Ifedi is at right tackle.
It hardly needs stating, though, to not be surprised to see more movement as the Seahawks see how this all comes together.
4, Carroll said Malik McDowell will start out as a 5-technique end basically playing the same as Michael Bennett.
Carroll confirmed again that while McDowell played a lot of nose tackle in college, his role with the Seahawks is as a 5-technique end who will bump inside on passing downs, basically the same use as Bennett. That means both serving as a backup for Bennett but also that the Seahawks will find ways to get both McDowell and Bennett on the field at the same time in some sub packages.
Carroll repeated what he said at the draft, that being used as a nose tackle at MSU did not make the best use of his ability, implying Seattle’s plan will be a better fit for his talent.
Carroll also said the team plans to use Dion Jordan similarly but that it is “going to be a wile before he’s ready to go. Still getting back from a knee that bothered him.’’ Jordan missed last season after having knee surgery.
5, Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin will compete at the strongside linebacker spot.
This isn’t necessarily breaking news as the team has said this before. But now that we are past the draft and no one has really been added to this competition since free agency it’s becoming clearer that the battle for the strongside linebacker spot appears to be shaping up as a two-man battle between Wilhoite and Garvin. They were two of the three free agent linebackers the team signed, the other being Arthur Brown who is apparently being ticketed as a backup at the MLB and WLB spots. Seattle’s primary SLB last year, Mike Morgan, remains unsigned and it had been thought he could return depending on how free agency and the draft developed. But it’s looking more as if the Seahawks have moved on.
6, Carroll also passed along a few health updates.
Specifically, Carroll said Thomas, coming back from a tibia injury, is “a little bit ahead of Tyler (Lockett)’’ at this point. Lockett had both a tibia and fibula injury. But he indicated each should be ready for the season saying of Thomas and Chancellor that they “should be back with it” at the start of the season.
He said Chancellor is “not back to full speed’’ yet but is doing some work after having had surgery on both ankles in February.
He said specifically of Lockett that he remains limited and that “it’s a ways out before we see him go full speed.’’
But he rave about tight end Jimmy Graham, saying he was “surprised to see how quick and explosive Jimmy looks. He looks the best he has ever looked. Looks trimmer than he has ever looked but he’s just as heavy, or heavier.’’