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Carroll on Seahawks standouts, Lynch’s conditioning and more

Brock Coyle, an undrafted linebacker out of Montana, was among the Seahawks who stood out in Seattle's preseason opener, according to coach Pete Carroll. (AP)

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” Monday morning, discussing the team’s preseason opener and more. Here are a few highlights from that conversation:

Seahawks standouts. Running back Demitrius Bronson, wide receiver Paul Richardson, tight end Cooper Helfet and linebacker Brock Coyle were the players Carroll mentioned when asked who stood out in Thursday night’s preseason opener against Denver.

Richardson, Seattle’s second-round pick, caught four passes on five targets for a team-high 27 yards.

“Paul Richardson had a very good first game, looked very comfortable,” Carroll said. “We’ve seen great stuff from him on the practice field. He’s an exciting, explosive downfield receiver. He’s got great speed but he caught tough balls underneath and ran tough with the football and showed his quickness like he’s shown on the practice field.”

Coyle, an undrafted rookie, started at middle linebacker in place of Bobby Wagner and made five tackles.

“Brock did a great job at linebacker and I’m really fired up that he can have that opportunity and demonstrate that he can do something special like that,” Carroll said. “He played very well with the first group at the Mike linebacker spot and on (special) teams.”

Wilson taking hits. Quarterback Russell Wilson took a beating at times last season, particularly during a stretch when injuries forced Seattle to play with a patchwork offensive line. It was a similar situation Thursday, the Seahawks missing three starters and only getting one series from right guard J.R. Sweezy. The result was the same, too. While Carroll would prefer Wilson not get hit like he did against Denver, he did see a positive.

“He got pounded a couple shots there. It’s good for him,” Carroll said. “He’s a great athlete and he can take his hits and all. We don’t want him hit, but they really need to be banged around because they’re really not touched throughout preseason and all through the offseason, and that’s not real football. So they need to anticipate and feel it and bounce back, get up off the ground and hit the ground well, too. Being that he is such a good athlete, he does take those pops pretty well. We don’t want him hit at all, but he needs to also be ready when it does happen.”

Lynch’s conditioning. “He needs a lot of work to get back,” Carroll said last Wednesday when asked about running back Marshawn Lynch’s physical state considering he had reported to training camp less than a week earlier following his holdout. Carroll praised Lynch’s conditioning following Sunday’s practice and again on Monday with “Brock and Salk”.

“He looks great. He just looks so well prepared,” Carroll said. “I don’t know how he did it without all of our work. He was able to put together a terrific offseason because he’s lean, he’s quick, his timing looks like it’s there in the early stage of getting into practice. I was really fired up about what he looked like yesterday.”

Britt vs. Winston. Second-round pick Justin Britt is competing with veteran Eric Winston to start at right tackle. Britt has been taking the first-team reps during training camp and started Thursday. It looks – and based on Carroll’s comments, sounds – like the job is Britt’s to lose.

“Justin Britt has just made a great first impression and … he’s just been on it,” Carroll said. “… He’s an aggressive player, but as players understand what’s asked of them they can exhibit that more. So in the next three weeks, I’m hoping that by Game 1 he’ll feel pretty darn good about what he’s doing and he’ll be knocking some people around and he’ll be finishing plays with good effort. That’s when guys are feeling comfortable.

“He’s trying to hold off Eric Winston, who’s trying to get that job, too, and that’s an experienced player that has started a lot of football games. It’s a really good push, so that’s a good battle going on there.”