Here’s all of what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say after the team’s walk-through earlier today in anticipation of Thursday night’s preseason opener at Denver:
(On background of the week and preparation for the game) It’s been a long preparation really to get to the first game. It’s been months to get here. Everybody’s really excited to play football and have fun getting back at it. All of the long months of the OTAs and mini camps and all that kind of stuff now kind of gets lost behind us. It’s been a long time getting back. It’s been a great offseason for us and we’ve had a great time with it. We’ve been very fortunate obviously to enjoy the heck out of our season last year, and it’s time to turn that page and you know, get going. It’s a great matchup with a fantastic club to play against and the best that the AFC had to offer. It’s a great match for us and so we look forward to the great challenges. They’re a very exciting team and they’ve done a lot in this off-season to bring a bunch of good players together so again it’s going to be fun to see where we are.
(On opportunities for the rookies in tomorrow’s game) Well you know,historically, we’ve really leaned on our young guys and played them a lot in preseason and they’re going to play a lot in this game. The starters will be out there for a while, and we’ll let you know as the game comes to us, how long they’ll play. But the bulk of the game will be played by our young guys. We’ll be really excited to see them. Our guys will be cheering for them and hopefully they’ll be able to put together some good football. It is that time of year of opportunity. It’s what’s going on right now. These guys have dreamed their whole lives to be in the NFL and to have a chance to play and here it is. So we’ll dedicate this night, tonight and the game tomorrow to these young guys playing in their first NFL game as we have always done. We’re looking forward to seeing those guys come through and make some things happen.
(On nine-game preseason winning streak) We like playing. We’re playing to win them. We don’t play a game when you don’t care about winning. But we’re still going to play everybody and everybody is going to contribute and all that and we’ll see what happens. This is a fired up team and a very difficult situation to play in and they’re going to make it really hard. We’re going to try and play good football and we’ll see what happens. We like winning them though, yeah.
(On preseason success as a reflection of the team’s depth) I don’t know, maybe. You guys can figure that out however you want. I don’t know if that’s the case or not. But it isn’t because we don’t play our guys. I think we’ve played more free agent rookies. They had more playing time in the last couple years than anybody so we’re proud that we give these guys a great opportunity to show what they can do and count on them to play well.
(On anyone in particular he is looking forward to seeing play tomorrow) No, there really isn’t. There is no one person or one position group even. We just want to see the whole crowd get out there. Of course, the first thing we want to do is we want to see them run and hit. We’ve held back the whole time, this will be the real first live work that we’ll get. We’ll use these preseason games for that purpose. But as a coach you’re always wondering what’s going to happen the first couple opportunities to tackle and run down the field and make plays on special teams and all of that but you don’t know until that starts. But our guys generally come through pretty well so we’ll look forward to seeing that.
(On if preseason game planning is directed towards the competition for each player on the roster or for the opponent) We really game planned it to put our guys in position to show us what they can do. It’s not about the opponent to any extent like it is during the regular season but there still is a plan. The plan is to really give our guys a chance to play fast and play hard and see how they do. To us, obviously that’s what is most important, to figure our guys out. To confuse them or to tantalize them with a game plan is not the way we go about it at all.
(On importance of preseason games for special teams) It’s everything. Everything gets amped up to full speed. You can’t tell until the guys are running and hitting and full clip. Of course in special teams a lot of guys will play in a lot of different positions. We’ll try to figure who fits it and try to uncover the strengths and uniqueness that our players have. In all phases, I don’t think any one part is any more important than another.
(On B.J. Daniels and all four quarterbacks in the upcoming game) Yeah, we’d like to. He tweaked his groin out here the other day so I don’t know if he’ll get the chance or not, but we’d like to see everybody play.
(On Kevin Norwood) He had a bone spur removed yesterday in his foot. It was a real nagging situation that we didn’t want him to just try and tough it out. He could tough it out and he has in the past, but we want to try and fix him and get him right. We think it’s going to be a very quick recovery and he could make it back by the end of the camp. We’ll have to wait and see how it works out. We’re glad to fix him, this guy has been playing with a lot of pain and he just sucks it up and goes through it but we figured out how to help him out here.
(On Kevin Pierre-Louis’ situation) He’s had an oblique strain that just has not gone away. He tried to work his way through it and it just kind of stayed aggravated so he will not be able to go in this game.
(On what positions he can see the biggest difference in from practice to a game with pads) The interior line. The offensive and defensive line. You don’t really know until they go for it and start playing. It’s really good work for the receivers to get out there and know they’re going to get hit. We haven’t hit these guys at all. So the first time its live action, it’s more difficult and challenging for them. But really, we really focus up front where the guys can really cut it loose and play. You know, we haven’t blocked anybody low the whole camp. There are aspects of the game that need this full speed tempo just to get it right so we will probably learn most right there.
(On any restrictions for Paul Richardson tomorrow) No, he’s playing.
(On James Carpenter) James is going to the game. He’s dressing. We will see how he does, see how he looks. At this time, we’re always going to be patient, always. That’s in our minds, knowing that we have another week, another three weeks to get guys ready so we will be very conservative in trying to push anybody at this time of year.
(On David Gilreath) Yeah, he got a concussion so we’ve held him out. I think he has a chance to come back next week is what we would think, but we just wanted to make sure we did a good job with him.
(On Marshawn Lynch) He’s coming along.Yeah, he’s coming along.We’re progressing him with his reps and turns. Each week we will continue to amp him up and see where we can get him to and just take it one week at a time. He needs a lot of work to get back.
(On Earl Thomas getting first crack at punt returns) You’re going to have to wait and see.
(On explanation of cut block rule from the officials) Very much so. Yeah, we dug in with those guys. As a matter of fact they went in the offensive line room to talk with those guys and look at film and all that to make sure. We can really feel the emphasis that’s been placed on the areas that they’re talking about right now. On offense, on the receivers, no pushing and shoving and the defensive guys with grabbing jerseys is a big issue. Hands to the face is a big issue. You can just tell that they’re on and the cut block is going to watch very closely so we’re trying to do all that exactly within the guidelines and make sure that we aren’t fighting and resisting the changes that are here. We’re trying to adapt and go with it. We had a great session. The officials that came in here did a terrific job. We saw the effects when they were here. It was a great exercise for us.
(On if there is anything different that offensive line coach Tom Cable has had to teach the linemen about properly cut blocking) Yeah, the point is that you can’t cut and roll, the dangerous part that the league sees is rolling into the back of the legs – rolling up on a guy’s legs – so you have to cut block without rolling. That’s different, that’s been a knack that guys have. It’s hard to move when you’re lying on the ground – from here to there – without rolling. You can do the “alligator” or the “gator” or whatever that thing is, but that doesn’t get it done. So it’s different, it is much different, so we practice it differently.
(On his thoughts on extra points being moved back in the preseason) Do I have any thoughts on it? Yeah, it’s longer. I think it’s going to be a factor. It’s certainly in the minds of the kickers. It’s a long way over there compared to where it was. It’s going to be a big deal when somebody misses one and it makes a difference in the game, and it’s likely going to happen with all these games in the preseason. It’s interesting; we’ll see what it means.
(On being confident that he understands the league’s new defensive rules) In degrees of confidence, I’d say moderate to high.
(On if the players approach will change once they’re playing another team, rather than practicing against their teammates) We’ll learn, as will the officials, about what they’re going to call. We know what they’re supposed to call, and what they’re saying they’re going to call, and then we’ll find out what happens in game time. We’re going to count on it being just like it was on the practice field, and just like the interpretations we heard from the league. We’ll learn from there. As always when there’s new emphasis, they are active on those emphasis areas early in the preseason to make an impression. We’ll expect that. I hope it doesn’t disturb the game, we’ll see.