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Seahawks Press Conferences: Pete Carroll, Earl Thomas, Germain Ifedi on mic

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Transcripts and note from Thursday's post-practice training camp day five.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks got back to work at training camp on Thursday. Here's what some of them had to say.

Pete Carroll:

  • We've got some guys with little nicks. There are a couple of soft tissue deals. Doug [Baldwin] got stepped on the back of his leg but he'll be fine. Kam has got a little groin thing that doesn't seem to be an issue. Right now we make the choice to hold guys out. We really don't want to push any of those aches and pains at all at this point.
  • Frank Clark has a little calf that is just tight. He cramped up a little the first day at the end of practice and it stayed sore so we are just watching it to make sure he is okay.
  • We're re-evaluating [Thomas and Jimmy]. Both those guys are pushing really hard. We're about almost going day-to-day with both of those guys now. We're getting really close.
  • Thomas [Rawls] did have surgery [in the off-season on his ankle].
  • The level of competition in the depth chart is the familiar feeling from the 2013 squad. Guys battling for spots. It feels like a really competitive roster. Also the focus is really on it in a similar fashion. A real clear sense of everybody wanting to put this together start to finish. It feels right.
  • Ifedi is just a tough football player. I love the way he is approaching the game. Him gauging what he needs to do and what he can and can't do, that's all we're figuring out right now. I don't want him to change anything. I want him to keep battling and to keep pushing. I want him to match the passion from the guys he sees out here across from him. We're gonna see...he's a real, I think he is the real thing in terms of tough and physical and cares and all that. It's gonna be a bit before he can put his football together. But it is going to happen and I want him to be just the guy that he is. He's hard, tough, cares a bunch. Making good decisions are what we are going to need him to do.
  • Glad Earl [Thomas] thought that [energy should be harnessed a little bit more]. Pete laughs.
  • Yesterday we had a big personnel meeting on the day off. Start looking and seeing what we are seeing and get our thoughts together on stuff. Only two days of pads [on football] but we've seen the film ten times already. Now it's starting to happen. The initial messaging, the defensive and offensive line have come out to go after it. Their getting after it. We need to be a physical, tough football team to play the style we play. We have to recapture that when we come back to camp and we're off to a really good start. That's what it [the film] shows. We've got a lot of room here to make improvements and that is important for us but the personality of the groups on both sides? I am fired up about that.
  • We've got to figure it out [DL depth & rotation]. As always I find myself taking a long time to decide on that. I want to see how these guys matchup, how they play and how it looks. We've got to figure out the nature of these guys as we put them together. We are looking for a big rotation. We would like to have a really good rotation if we can get that done. We like when we play that way best. So, we'll see. But there are some young guys that have done a nice job already and we want to see how they fit in when we get to the games.
  • To get a real sense for how you are going to manage the [DL] parts and how much and where they fit to me takes quite a while to get that figured out. The guys that have played a lot for us are in good shape. It is the new guys that I want to see how they can compliment. We have to figure out where we can use Frank [Clark] and how we can use Frank. I said earlier that I didn't think we used him enough last year. So we really want to fit him, we have a lot of stuff in mind. He's a very versatile football player but still it is kinda the tweaking we gotta get to it so we can put him in positions where he is really good and he makes the most of his ability and it is the same with the other guys.
  • I have loved what we have seen from him [Jarran Reed]. As much as Germain [Ifedi] on the offensive side has set the tone for the approach the young guys are bringing, I think Jarran is doing the same thing on the other side. As was built coming in he was a terrific run defender he is going to be that the way I can see it. That's just after a week of working with him. Technique he is very, very solid. He was prepared very well at Alabama and all of that carries over for us. He's very good with his hands and he's got a real sense for the ball. But most of all he is really tough and physical and we love that part about him. So, he has looked really good at the start.
  • I see it [skirmishes between OL & DL] as passion. This is the passion coming out. They want to play this game. They are excited about what is coming up. They want to get ready and really be at their best. We're seeing it. Sometimes we lose a little bit of the poise that we need. We can't play like that. So you get in a skirmish you get thrown out. It happens and that happened today [to Michael Bennett]. That's just the way you do it. The way we do it. But we need to take it to the heights that we can get the most out of it. I love the way our guys are working and we need to work together really well at that as we learn.
  • Right now it is a regular rotation [at SAM] and we have a different guy starting every day. That's just to get them with the first group and really make it a clean competition. We know, we can see what the competition is so we are going to let this thing roll for a couple of weeks and see what this thing tells us. All three guys are doing a really good job. We're talking about Mike Mo, Eric Pinkins and Cassius [Marsh]. They're all doing nice stuff. Take a very serious look at them every day to see how they are progressing. We're adding up plays, it is going to take a while. We're going to let those guys have at it and not be impatient about making a decision. We have plenty of time.
  • I'm not sure but I think he [Brandon Cottom] hurt his achilles. It was one of those things; on air, foot in the ground, bam. So what the initial thought is he did hurt his achilles. Which is a devastating injury for guys if that is what it is, I don't know.
  • The running back depth is concerning. It is a little bit. C.J. Prosise being out, Zac Brooks was held out with a sore hamstring today, we have to manage this really well. Christine Michael is doing a great job so we have to be careful not to over work him. He's just been on the money throughout. We're a little bit concerned so we picked up a guy today and we gotta make sure we do a nice job. We even used George [Farmer?] over there today.
  • Tupou is back to fullback. He had to go back because Tre Madden hurt his shoulder. He [Tupou] has got a cast on his hand. He caught a touchdown pass with one hand today.
  • Yeah, I think you could see it [Earl's shoulder not healed during the season]. It took him a while. Remember he didn't play until late in camp. We just had to protect him. He was safe, we knew that he was safe but he wasn't really confident and he wasn't at his best. It took him sometime. It was all part of the start of last season. We were struggling to get right.
  • George [Fant] is doing a good job. This is a great story if you guys watch it. This is a guy who played basketball. I don't think he played any football at Western Kentucky. He was on the team but I don't know if he got in the games or not. I don't think he did. So it's a brand new experience for him and he's doing a great job to be handling what he's handling with no background. He's a very interesting kid, he's working hard at it, he's a nice athlete.
  • Options at third down running back [with Brooks and Prosise out this week] is to roll everybody through and take it as a normal position right now. That's all we can do.
  • Collins is getting banged around pretty good [taking the extra reps]. He is very tough. He has really responded. The defense has come at the offense to really work our guys with the football to make sure it is really secure so they are getting banged around a lot. Which we intended to do. So he has taken to the physical stuff and he is dishing it back out. I'm really proud of the way he is handling, he's had a lot of work already. He and Christine [Michael] are the guys we have to be careful of because they are getting too much work almost.
  • Have seen something good every day from Trevone Boykin. He's handling it. He's in command of the huddle. He has a terrific physical ability. He can throw, he can run, he can do all that stuff in a similar style as the same things we do with Russ. So now it is just a long journey to get him right in a lot of areas. He's got the makeup it appears and I am really excited about him. We know, we have watched him long enough that he has the football playmaking abilities. Always been able to make things happen in a very similar fashion as Russell did. We're very confident that he has a chance to help us. You didn't ask about him but Jake Heap is lighting it up. He's having a great camp. It is a very good position for us obviously right now.
  • Tharold Simon is off to a great start. This is the best he's been. He's had a problem with his feet for years and he's never been able to get right and it has kinda cause something else to happen. He feels great and he's in great shape. Technique wise he is having a terrific camp and he continues to keep winning so it just makes us stronger. It makes the competition at that spot for playing time real. He's doing a great job.
  • He [Brock Coyle] got a little oblique strain today. We'll see what that means.
  • We'll see how it goes. Yeah, yeah I could picture that [no veteran backup QB going forward].
  • Our long snappers are competing. They are over there snapping the ball like they are in a alternate universe over there. They let a lot of time to go by to evaluate that position.
  • Competing and giving guys chances is what lead to Clint Gresham being let go. I know he is still out there working. Gresh was a great player for us and a great team guy for us for a long time.
  • Nick has done a great job. Nick has really lit us up with the passing game. Catching the football it surprises us how natural he is. Sense for getting open and feeling the routes and stuff like that is really good. Now we're focusing on his blocking. It looks like he is very willing but technique wise we've got work to do and scheme wise the combination stuff that we do is intricate and takes some time but I don't see any reason he can't play and be a factor. Luke is having a great camp, he is off to a great start. Brandon Williams is a really special pickup for us. Don't know that you guys appreciate that he was a core special teams guy for the Panthers for a number of years and he has played in a lot of games at TE. He has done a lot of football in the league that we really respect. He's come out here and he's really looked good as a blocker. He's fast and tough and all that kinda stuff but he looks like he has a little bit more strength and power and stuff than the guys we've had in a while so he made a good impression. We see him fitting in too so it's a good group.
  • Luke [Willson] turned his ankle a little bit yesterday. He came out and did the early part of practice just to test it and he was fine so I think if not tomorrow by the weekend he'll be fine.
  • Browner is working really hard at it [his new role]. What Brandon shows you is if you give him a chance to get into some match-ups situations he comes through. He can cover guys. He's always been a great cover guy. The way we are doing it now, he looks special. Now he has a lot to learn. He's learning the safety spot as well as learning the stuff we do in the nickel package so this is a lot for him. He has taken a tremendous attitude towards it. He is studying every day and working his tail off. It's way different than the way he has played before so it's a big distance he has to cover to get sound in all areas. But he will hit you, he is a good sensible football player so he makes good decisions generally and it's just a matter of time. The coverage part, there aren't no doubt he can do that and locking guys up and all that. He's really good at that.
  • I think Ronnie [Shields] hurt his achilles also. We'll wait and see. Montese [Overton] had a calf strain I think what it was. So we're getting some soft tissue stuff popping up that we are disappointed with.
  • There is so much [to the rookies digesting the playbooks]. They have to get into our language and understand what we are talking about so it isn't just what the book says but it's the interpretations and how they are supposed to take that to the field and the communications and all of that then reading the defense and understanding all of that. It is such a challenge. Whether you have been playing a long time or not learning a new system is a big challenge because you have to get to the point where you can play freed up, cut loose and go and they have to stop thinking so much to do that. That's the problem. To get the rookies to the point where they can cut loose and really show you how they are physically capable. That's the secret right now and what we have to try to figure out.

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Earl Thomas:

  • First few days into camp have been really good. I think you can see the growth in every bodies game. It's just fun to be out here with my teammates.
  • Having Kam in camp gives us a chance to really get in rhythm. To feel routes and build concepts together. You have to build trust and everybody has to be out there.
  • It's a whole lot better to not be coming off an injury. I gave myself to get into good shape. I can run all day now. That is a big part of the game, especially when it is late in the game, in the fourth quarter when everything is on the line. You have to be able to think clearly out there and your conditioning is a big part of it.
  • I don't think I was 100% [last year]. I think I got to 100% mentally though. I was able to overcome it. I watched enough film to see and that helped me get over the top.
  • During the Panthers game [in the playoffs] you still felt the impact of that game [Minnesota in the playoffs] because you were throwing your body around in that cold weather. My neck still feels a little tight from that game. But that was the circumstance we were dealt and we didn't get the job done.
  • Couldn't say if an edge was lost in the Panthers playoff game because of the cold weather game the week before. I just know we came out slow and the clock ran out on us.
  • Think every play stands out to me because you have to have that trust, that focus that everybody is going to be on the same page.
  • Think we need to harness the intensity in the right way. Besides today, the energy got a little weird but the intensity has been great.
  • You see from the body punches the offensive linemen are pretty feisty, they're fighters. If they are going to do that on game-day and fight for Russ I am happy for that.
  • I had to psych myself out every game (in regards to his shoulder and when he felt it was all the way back).
  • It feels good to have BB [Browner] back. He is very, very physical. We are going to use him all over the place. Especially when it comes to situations with tight ends and big receivers. He is going to help us out a lot especially in dime packages and stuff like that.
  • Being around him [Browner] you can tell he is grateful to be back. He is a humble dude. He has two Superbowl rings and he has a lot of experience. We love him here.

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Germain Ifedi:

  • The biggest challenge going from college to the NFL is the everyday aspect of it. Every day is football. This is my fulltime job now where as in school you have a bunch of different things to worry about but here it is only football to worry about. It's been a great adjustment to me. It has kinda been a shock because all I have to worry about is football. That aspect has been the biggest thing but at the end of the day football is football. I love playing it. Going from college to the NFL has been a pretty good transition so far.
  • Absorbing the new playbook has been good. Have been in it since a couple weeks after the draft. I have been getting all the ins and outs of it. I've gotten it pretty good though I am still learning. We've come a long way from where we used to be.
  • Advice from the veterans has been to be a pro. Take care of yourself, study the right amount, get in the tubs, be on time to everything. Just do all the right things. Do things that got you here in the first place.
  • Mike [Bennett] is a great guy. He's out there having us compete and helping me learn the player I want to be. To have a guy out here like that is invaluable.
  • He [Bennett] knows I won't back down. The team knows I won't back down. That is why they drafted me. We're just out there competing. We're out there trying to make each other better. He's trying to make me the best player I can be and off the field he has been a great mentor to me. We have a great relationship but on the field he knows he is going to give me my all and make me the best player I can be.
  • Don't let it [scuffle] take you outside your game. Still play your game and do your assignment. Even if something like that happens move onto the next play. Play the next play like that didn't just happen because that is what is going to happen on the field.
  • The transition from tackle to guard has been good. It has taken some time to get back learning out of a three-point stance instead of a two-point stance I played in college. But it's been good. I put a lot of time into it and study into it. It has been a good transition and I think it will be a good position for me.
  • You have to put it [going against a pro-bowl defensive end] out of your mind. You can't think about it. We're going to have a bunch of pro-bowlers on schedule this year and pro-bowlers all throughout our defense. You have to put it out of your mind because that is where you are trying to get to. Those guys don't get to being pro-bowlers by backing down to other pro-bowlers. You gotta take it for what it is and compete with them as best you can.
  • These first five practices I have gotten better. That's all I want to accomplish, to get better at something every day. To get better at thing A or thing B every day. That's always the goal, to get better.
  • I think you earn respect when you put the work in on game day. Practice is great, you put the hay in the barn in practice but it really counts when the games start coming.
  • Bennett has helped with the business side of the game, nutrition and taking care of myself. We went to the same school, 15, 20 years apart or whenever he went there but we went to the same school so off the field he'll always put his arm around you and help you with whatever you need. He's that type of guy, leader and veteran.
  • The communication has gotten better much better every day. That has been great for us because the better we are communication the better we are picking everything up so we can go and play instead of thinking. We can go up there, make the calls, communicate across the line and go with our play.
  • Has always been an intense player. Pride myself on since high school. Being that guy that go to play outside himself. You can't be the nice guy on the field or you won't be on the field very long.

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My Thoughts:

  • Well, assuming Cottom tore his achilles I am absolutely bummed. Our starting fullback goes from a potentially dynamic offensive weapon who is a good fullback and likely a good special teams player to being a Coleman body type in (RB) Tre Madden who is a rookie with no fullback experience or a Tukuafu body type in (DT) Tani Tupou who is a rookie with no fullback experience. Dammit!
  • I have gotten the feeling that Pete is disappointed in the blocking Vannett brings to the table right now. It's a mixture of the says he has said about Nick as a blocker when we drafted him compared to what he is seeing in camp along with the large amount of hype he is getting Williams the TE we picked up who seems like a safe bet to somehow make the team. He is a core special teamer, a quality receiver and our best blocker it sounds like.
  • Even I would be shocked to see Jimmy Graham practicing so soon but to any fan that says "he won't be practicing in camp" or "he won't be playing week 1" and that Pete is overly optimistic when it comes to injury recoveries I just can't think like you do when Pete is saying Jimmy is day to day. I'm sorry but why in the world would he say day to day (something so imminent, something so soon) and raise expectations for Jimmy in reality to be at least a month if not longer away from even being taken off PUP?