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‘This is the place I want to be’ - Seahawks rookies impressed with team culture

Praise for Pete Carroll abounds with the new class.

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie minicamp has come and gone, and the Seattle Seahawks have laid eyes and uniforms on their newest recruits.

Many of the draft picks interviewed with the media over the weekend. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from their first impressions.

All of the interviews, and any quotes contained, can be found on the Seahawks Youtube channel.

The first major theme was that of the reputation of the Seattle franchise itself. More than a few rookies were legitimately excited to be part of this team in particular.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Smith-Njigba is happy. He said he’s “happy to be in a Seahawk uniform, happy I’m out here competing,” and about Pete Carroll, “happy he’s my coach, been in this business a long time.”

Mike Morris

Morris made waves this weekend, mainly by looking impressive and giving good interviews. In particular, he answered early questions about how and why he gained 20 lbs after the combine.

Why? “ be a Seahawk. I met coach Pete Carroll, I met Coach Hurtt, and this is the place I want to be.”

It turns out he truly did weigh himself the day of the draft, per special request of the Seahawks through his agent, and he sent a picture to them in order to be drafted. Interesting stuff.

Morris indicated again Seattle is “where I want to be. I’m really excited for the growth I’m about to endure.”

Olu Oluwatimi

“I know from a distance he’s an awesome coach. Seattle’s an awesome organization. He’s a very energetic coach and the culture starts there.”

Oluwatimi said Carroll and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh both love competing. It’s interesting having this many Michigan guys suddenly on the team; not sure how I feel about it.

Kenny McIntosh

The team’s final pick said something interesting. He immediately claimed that being out here is extremely similar to Georgia, especially the attitude of getting to the next level. He compared Carroll to coach Kirby multiple times.

In reflection, I’m not surprised how many times he compared Pete Carroll to what’s currently the most successful college program in the nation. Much of what made Carroll a dynasty builder at USC has remained as his reputation, and some of the greatest strengths he’s brought to the NFL.

The other fascinating feature was a continuation of a subtle theme of friendship among this rookie class. With so many draftees from the Big 10, a whole bunch of these rookies have played against each other.

We’ve first seen the reaction of Devon Witherspoon to rival-turned-teammate JSN on Day 1 of the draft.

At camp, it continued. Anthony Bradford, Mike Morris, and Oluwatimi mentioned each other in how they’re excited to play together, have enjoyed playing against each other, and looking forward to the growth of the days ahead.

In general, it’s an impressive class thus far through a couple weeks. The rookies spoke extremely well, not only praising the culture here but calmly expressing self-confidence and high football IQ. Looking forward to seeing them in action this summer.