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Pete Carroll Radio Interview on Brock and Salk: My notes and thoughts

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Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke to Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Radio this morning, and had some really interesting comments. I took notes.

Coach Pete Carroll:

Audio Link

  • Compared to the last few years, this rookie mini-camp has Pete more excited because everyone across the board fit the bill so well, the picks that we made, they lived up to the billing. That is part of it. The execution in the camp was really really clean. Think we really benefited from Joey Hunt coming in with his QB (Trevone Boykin). That just seemed really clean. On Saturday last year we had seven snap exchange problems just with the new guys working together. We didn't have any of those. Guys were working really well and flying around.

  • Did the guys look like we thought they were going to look? We were extremely pleased with all of that. We learned how the guys first handled the interaction being in a program. Answering the bell about how they are going to practice, run around, hustle and be attentive in meetings, I mean rule number three in the program is "be early" and they were early. These guys got the message man, they were in there with their pencils poised, notebooks ready to go. So we really had their attention. They also got to see some of the other guys and how they blend together too. Are they communicating pretty well? They seem to be a very, very tight nit group already. Doesn't know how you do that that fast.

  • No leader of the group yet. But the two guys that stood out and commanded respect were Jarran Reed and Germain Ifedi. They just seem to fit to be guys that guys want to follow.

  • We wanted to hit it on the O-line first. We needed to hit it on the D-line, we needed to get this thing shored up and that happened. And we needed the RB position to get more competitive and add some depth there. So those were the three focuses going in (to the draft). We hit it just right. We are really very fortunate. Pete feels the Seahawks got two number one (two first rounders). Two number one draft picks on a team, how do you ever get that done? But it really feels like we did, and in absolute key spots. Rees Odhiambo is going to be a real nice competitive guy too, he fit it in. He is a monster of a guy. He seems to have a great feel for what is going on too. That just continues to add to the competitive depth we want on this roster.

  • The emphasis to stay with a balanced offensive attack is always at the heart of what we do. Interesting that Pete thinks it is the last four or five years that we have run the ball 50.2% of the time, more than anybody in the NFL by a few. We love that that is where we are. We think that is a great formula for winning and we are not departing from that. So we need to work to maintain that, not more emphasis but the emphasis to make sure we can maintain the style of play we want to create.

  • Pete: We had some other statistics that you guys might enjoy knowing; we became really really efficient in the throwing game in the second half of the season, Russell Wilson did a magnificent job, Doug Baldwin and all the fellas did a great job. 3rd down went off the charts, red zone went off the charts and all that. We also wound up being the leading team in the NFL throwing the ball over 20 yards, we were the top rated team in the NFL for throwing the ball over 20 yards. We threw 15 touchdown passes (over 20 yards) during the course of the season which is the tops in the league. We've been able to run the football, stay with that emphasis and still maintain the explosive nature of it. Russell throwing the ball down field is a big part of what we want to do, we aren't a dink and dunk team. But we still need to continue to get the ball out, so Pete likes that mix and trying to maintain that.

  • Hopes so (that we are effective running the ball on 3rd & 1 this year). We got really big on the right side (with J'Marcus Webb and Germain Ifedi) starting this thing off. Don't know how it is going to end up but we are going to start off with Ifedi at RG and Webb at RT. Webb did a really nice job there at RT at the end of last year. We are enormous over there. So that is a good starting spot. We'll see how that goes, we have a lot of competition going on. So excited about Germain, he is a monster of a guy, he's got a great attitude, he's smart and he's just big, bulky, thick, long, hard, tough, just all of that stuff. Really hoping he can become a real factor and Pete doesn't see any reason why he shouldn't.

  • It was a very challenging off-season (last year) for those guys (Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Jeremy Lane) physically, and it was mentally for Kam, he had all sorts of stuff he was going through. Very very challenging. Even going into the last game we were all beat, beat to heck. Those guys are all having much better off-seasons, they're just in flow, really have commanded the leadership spots and really are busting their tails, incredibly fun to see. Part of why the coaching staff is upbeat and all that is because the players are tuned in, these guys are really ready to take on this challenge, it kinda almost feels like a rebirth kind of a thing. We've been through a lot of stuff, we've been challenged by a lot of stuff, winning and losing and then trying to come back again. Still maintaining this huge standard and expectation. We know it is right there for us, everybody feels it. That is what is fueling the energy around the building and why they are so enthused and then they hit it with this draft so, it is feeling pretty good. Millions of things have to happen but we are in a good place right now.

  • This is an amazing (secondary) room right now. To have all the fellas in good mental state and physical state to get us back into it. DeShawn Shead playing so well at the end of the year. Think of the difference right now for Jeremy Lane then he was a year ago, gosh he was so banged up. He's ready to go and solid. The supporting roles; Marcus Burley can play really well, Kelcie McCray did a great job for us when he started for us last year, he gives us great stability there at the third spot and ready to play. It's deep, its competitive, it's fast, with great leadership. And a system that we are going to continue to grow and ask our guys to do more things on the backend, so it is a great group. I think the run we have been on in terms of just pass defense and limiting big plays and stuff like that is pretty well documented, we are coming back to try to go for it again, see if we can really be on top of it.

  • We are going to play Brandon Browner at safety in base downs and in nickel we are going to use him to match-up in different spots playing inside. We may be able to develop a really unique role for him. We've seen him play back to his New England days and they used him quite a bit inside and he really matched up on TEs and slot receivers and things like that -- he matched up well and we are going to see how that develops. He love having him in the building, he is such a competitive dude, he is such a tough guy, he's just got the right mentality, so it is really fun to bring him and Chris Clemons back.

  • There's always some stuff we are developing and some good things that we are doing (in the secondary scheme wise), but mainly we will see us more match-up oriented because of that, because the guys give us a chance to do that, we'd always do it if we had the opportunity. That means there might be some more dime-packages and things like that rather than nickel.

  • Haven't been able to get going specifically with Pete teaching the "master class" yet. Earl is still on his honeymoon. The time frames right now, haven't been able to, only so many hours a day. Russell and Pete are in the conversations where they are going and it is going to be really fun to do, we've got plenty of time. But not quite yet. We are still in phase two.

  • Everything is on the total ups with the eye test on the O-line. Webb has a calf thing he yanked so he missed last week on-the-field stuff. He is digging in on the learning and all that but he wasn't able to get the work. We're so fortunate to have a guy (Britt) that's this flexible, that has the ability to play guard, tackle and center, if that works out in the next couple of weeks. It gives us marvelous flexibility. Gives us the chance to get all the best guys on the field at the same time, however we go about doing that. We are really excited about Mark Glowinski -- Mark did a really good job when he played last year. He made a great impression on them all throughout all the preparation and all of that and they want to give him a chance to be out there playing with them so they have to move some parts to get that done, possibly. At this time we are gaining, gathering information so that we'll make some good decisions here down the road.

  • Regarding a fair timeline for consistency on the offensive line: Unfortunately it depends on how good and strong the leadership is of the communication and all that. It's really about being coordinated and so that comes from the captaining of that language and identification and all of that stuff. That is part of the reason they want to see if Justin can handle this at center because he is the guy that has been around the best, communicates the best with Tom (Cable). There needs to be a level of communication between Tom and that guy that makes the calls that is really out there, so they can stay ahead and stay abreast of the challenges that happen in games and during the course of the season, all of that. So they're trying to get that really nailed. If that gets nailed then a lot of things will follow.

  • It was a little hard on us last year, Drew Nowak, we tried really hard to get him to do it and it was new for him and he is a really bright kid and we thought it was going to happen faster and it took us a long time. So his point in answering the question in this manner is he can't tell us exactly but they do know that if it is hard and challenging it is going to take 7 or 8 games. But if all of this thing is facilitated by really good communication it can happen sooner than that. So he thinks they really feel they found some things that are really important to them that they discovered during the second half of the season that as they start this season they carry over and they think it is going to make a big difference. They want to pick up where they left off regardless of who is out there playing and they think they can get that done.

  • He wants that (starting OL) group (Week 1) to be smart, wants them to really be together so they can identify well and just get the right guys on the right people. That is half the ball game. So if we can come out of the shoots like that, so all of their teaching and the demands they are playing on these guys will be directed at that thought. Of course we want to be physical and hammer the football. Taking care of the QB in terms of pass rush is really going to come to the scheme and our expectations of the style of throw. You know how quick we were in the second half of last season, how it made an enormous difference for them and they are picking up from there right now from the beginning.

My Thoughts:

  • I really think the Seahawks have the potential to be the best they have been on defense. From what we know, absolutely everyone is healthy, and have been since the final playoff game. Kam, Earl, Sherman, Lane, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, everyone on defensive line, they all appear to be 100-percent healthy. The Seahawks have that perfect blend of age and experience with their players, it seems. Our guys are 26-28 years old in the secondary, still young enough to not have lost a step and be in the prime of their physical life but with enough seasons under their belt to be savvy experienced vets. Throw in the depth of talent we have and that we can rotate in based on matchups (Browner, Clemons, Lane, Simon, Shead, Burley, etc) and the defense could be lights out. Worth mentioning is that our pass rush should be upgraded as well with Clemons back (healthy, used situationally) and second year Frank Clark who Michael Bennett thinks will get 7+ sacks in '16 and could become an all time great Seahawk.

  • I absolutely love the plan for Brandon Browner and it was what I had voiced as a thought before we even signed him. "What do you think about getting Browner and him playing safety? Play to his strengths and avoid his weaknesses?" Well, that is what we got and I love it. Browner on TEs (as he did for NE) could be a home-run for Seattle in fixing our TE coverage issue. Browner absolutely mauling and terrorizing small nickel receivers with his size and physicality sounds amazing. And him playing safety out there with Kam and Earl...sounds fantastic. He will be able to use his size, length, ball skills, and ability to lay the boom but not be asked to follow a receiver which isn't his strong suit (watch any Saints game). I love this plan.

  • I'm super curious to see what type of play Webb can give us. I have only heard awful things but Pete has praised his play at OT a few times in the last few games he played for the Raiders. I really want to get my hands on those games and watch them, specifically watching him and seeing if he really did a nice job or if Pete is just being really really optimistic.

  • The narrative on Glowinski hasn't changed since the Cardinals post-game presser, after he got his first NFL snaps in. They are high on him and want to find a way for him to start. I am extremely excited to see him play.