Seahawks’ Pete Carroll on Wilson and Wagner’s future, coaching changes


For the first time since shortly after the end of the 2021 season, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke to the media about his team.

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Many were interested in hearing about Carroll not only because of the seemingly endless rumors about his star quarterback being traded, but also because of a major shakeup in his coaching staff.

Carroll covered a lot during his 23-minute press conference at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, and here’s what stood out.

Business Rumors of Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson’s future in Seattle has been debated and discussed for years now, but the rumors intensified last offseason when the star quarterback made it clear he was unhappy with how often he was hit by opposing defenses and that he didn’t have as much of a say. in terms of personnel as he would like. Wilson and his camp then gave ESPN’s Adam Schefter a list of four teams that Wilson would consider waiving his no-trade clause.

Eventually the talks died down and Wilson and the Seahawks made it clear they wanted their relationship to continue. That has been the case this offseason, with Wilson repeatedly reiterating that he wants to stay in Seattle.

But many teams are looking for a franchise quarterback, and Wilson’s name, naturally, keeps coming up.

Heaps disagrees with report Wilson doesn’t want Hawks extension

Carroll was asked if the Seahawks are getting any calls about Wilson, who is under contract through 2023.

“At this time of year, there are conversations about everyone. We talk to everyone, and it’s common for us to have conversations with teams about all players, especially marquee players, and that hasn’t changed,” Carroll said. “It’s the same every year we’ve been here… We don’t plan to move there (with Wilson). But the conversations, (general manager John Schneider) have to frame them, he always has. But nothing specific to that.

Later, off camera, Carroll told reporters that Schneider tells teams calling about Wilson that he is unavailable (H/T Bob Condotta, Seattle Times.

Later in the day, Schneider told reporters that he doesn’t get “constant calls” about Wilson, but “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t listen” to calls from other teams and “blow people up”. But he, like Carroll, said Wilson wasn’t going anywhere. (H/T Condotta)

The future of Bobby Wagner

Wilson isn’t the only team captain whose future is the subject of much discussion.

His 2012 teammate Bobby Wagner, a perennial All-Pro linebacker, has just one year left on his contract and is capped at more than $20 million for 2022, though the Seahawks could save more than $16 million. dollars by cutting it or exchanging it.

Carroll has made it clear he wants Wagner on the team next year.

“We hope to play with Bobby. We love playing with Bobby,” Carroll said. “He’s been a great player and had another great season. a position where we have to understand how everyone fits in, and Bobby has been such a constant part of that. We’d love to be able to play with him, so we’ll work towards that if we can.

Defensive coaching changes

Carroll made a big decision shortly after the season ended when he let go of longtime assistant Ken Norton Jr., who had spent the past four years as Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Additionally, Carroll fired defensive passing game coordinator Andre Curtis.

Norton was replaced by Clint Hurtt, who served as the Seahawks’ assistant defensive line head coach from 2017 to 2021. Curtis’ role was filled by the former Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach and Alabama, Karl Scott. Additionally, Hurtt reunited with former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai, hiring him as associate head coach. Desai worked with Hurtt in Chicago for three years before coming to Seattle.

Carroll said it was difficult to part ways with Norton, but added that he was very excited about his new coaching staff.

“What we’ve done is we’ve taken a really big step by giving Clint Hurtt this opportunity to be the defensive coordinator,” Carroll said. “He’s been an important factor in our team since he’s been with us. He’s a guy I leaned on all the time. We appointed him assistant head coach to help me with all the tough team decisions we make that affect the defensive side of the ball, but both sides of football,”

Carroll described Hurtt as being a “great thinker” and “creative”.

“The reason I liked hiring him when we did it was because of the people he worked with and worked with,” Carroll said. “It gave him a very diverse approach to the game and he learned very well.”

With Hurtt in charge and Scott and Desai playing prominent roles on the defensive coaching staff, Carroll is excited to see how this unit performs in 2022.

“There is going to be a strong influence from our side of the ball on defense which will take us to some places where I was really hoping to get,” he said. “We made our moves subtly, but now we can do it more meaningfully. I think our players are going to really like it.

Carroll reiterated that the Seahawks have run a 4-3 defense with 3-4 people for years, and they can do both in the future.

“We will sometimes look like a 3-4 team and sometimes a 4-3 team. We will use both sides of this approach,” he said.

Carroll also admitted the Seahawks have been “a bit cocky in the way we play defense” in recent years.

“We’ve been able to do that and go ahead and play what we want to play,” he said. “It’s not that time right now. It’s time to keep moving and keep growing.

Role of W. R. Dee Eskridge

The Seahawks made three league-low picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and used their first selection to add fast receiver Dee Eskridge to the mix.

Eskridge, a second-round pick from West Michigan, was expected to play a big part in Seattle’s offense but missed some time in training camp with a toe injury, then suffered a concussion in Week 1 that kept him out of action for seven games.

Overall, Eskridge caught 10 passes for 64 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 59 yards on four carries in 10 games as a rookie.

Carroll said he counts on Eskridge to be “a big, big part of what we do”.

“He showed us enough in the mini camp when he started, but then he got knocked out, so he had a very rough start with us and he never really caught up to it like he could have. be,” Carroll said. “…He is really talented, explosive, smart, tough. He will be involved in the kicking game and the return game in time. We haven’t quite got there (in 2021). He was ready to – he was always a substitute. So I think he will play an important role in attack as we can do a lot with him.

Injury Updates

Carroll also provided four quick injury updates on four of the team’s most notable players.

WR DK Metcalf (foot)

DK Metcalf struggled with a foot injury throughout the season in 2021. It didn’t cost Metcalf any games, but the injury limited how often he trained. Metcalf recently posted on social media that he had foot surgery, and Carroll gave more insight into what happened and his 2021 season.

“They fixed some surgery he had on his foot a few years ago and they just had to go in there and adjust some stuff in his foot,” Carroll said. “It bothered him all year. That’s why I told you that we couldn’t practice it (as much). He trained one day a week and a few walkthroughs. He always had to be on his toes just to keep his progress going, which wasn’t what was best for him. He needed to work, he needed to be there. It would have helped us and helped itself too. He knew it, we all knew it, there was nothing we could do about it. He did everything he could, and he did it admirably, remarkably well.

FS Quandre Diggs (leg/ankle)

Although Quandre Diggs is technically not a member of the Seahawks, as the Pro Bowl safety is expected to hit free agency in a few weeks, Carroll made it clear that Diggs, who broke his leg and dislocated his ankle during the last game of the year. , should be ready for training camp and that he hopes that camp will be with Seattle.

“I think there is no doubt. That’s all he thinks about. He’ll be back before, I think,” Carroll said. “(What I heard) was really positive and we really want to get it back (sign with us).”

CB Tre Brown (knee)

The Seahawks received a big boost in the secondary midway through the season when fourth-round rookie Tre Brown arrived after starting the year on injured reserve with a sprained knee that kept him out. gap during training camp.

When Brown returned, he quickly emerged as a starter on the outside, starting three games (appearing in five overall) and playing very well against DJ Reed. Unfortunately, Brown suffered a knee injury in Week 11, tearing his patellar tendon and ending his season.

“He got a knee fixed that he needed to get fixed,” Carroll said. “It was a problem he had when he came in. So he will be better than he was when he came into the camp. So look for that.

RB Chris Carson (neck)

After rushing for more than 1,000 yards in 2018 and 2019, Chris Carson’s production plummeted in 2020 as he missed four games, but the Seahawks re-signed the big back to a two-year free agency deal.

Carson rushed for 208 yards and added 59 yards and a touchdown through the air in the first four weeks of 2021, but that was all he would play as his season ended due to injury. neck that required surgery.

Carroll is hopeful and optimistic Carson will be ready to contribute next season.

“His training is going well. He is in a good mood. He can’t wait to play and come back and all that,” Carroll said. “Any time you have neck surgery it’s obviously very complex and everything and we have to see how it works out. You know how much I’ve always loved Chris. I would love to get them back if we can get him back.

Watch and listen to Carroll’s full press conference at this link.

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