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Pete Carroll talks Matt Flynn, pass rushers and more


By Brady Henderson

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll joined “The John Clayton Show” from the scouting combine in Indianapolis on Saturday. Here are a few highlights from that conversation:

Young pass rusher preferred. Reiterating something he told reporters a day earlier, Carroll said the team would prefer to fill its need for pass-rush help with a young player. Finding that pass rusher in the draft would be ideal, Carroll said, but a younger player like Jason Jones – who was 25 and coming off his first contract when he signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks last offseason – is the type of free agent they would prefer.

“We’d love to get a young guy. We really would like to find a guy in the draft if it’s possible,” coach Pete Carroll said about the Seahawks’ need for pass rushers. (AP)

Carroll wants to add an interior rusher as well as someone else on the outside to complement Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin.

“Those two guys are going to be really important,” Carroll said of Clemons and Irvin, “but we need another guy, and we need another guy inside. We worked with Jason Jones last year and he got banged up a little bit, but that’s the right kind of move. We’ve got to find a guy in the draft here that can help us. We’d love to get a young guy. We really would like to find a guy in the draft if it’s possible.”

Carroll didn’t get into specifics but said that Clemons is “having a great recovery” from a torn ACL he suffered in the Seahawks’ playoff win over Washington.

Flynn’s future. Echoing the sentiments of general manager John Schneider, Carroll said the team has no problem with the idea of going into the season with quarterback Matt Flynn making more than $5 million in base salary to back up Russell Wilson. Carroll’s comments seem to suggest that preliminary trade talks with other teams have not started.

“Well sure. Certainly we can,” Carroll said when asked whether the team can proceed with Flynn at his current salary. “The contract is written so that we could. We’re planning on it right now. We don’t have any options at hand. But we’ll see what happens. It’s likely that some teams may take a look. He’s an incredibly good football player. So we’ll see what happens, but if we’re together with Matt and Russell going into our spot, we have a great one-two punch and … that will give us great security going through the season.”

Linebacker depth needed. The Seahawks have two outstanding young linebackers, but Carroll seems dissatisfied with the depth behind K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. Leroy Hill’s contract is set to expire, and it’s hard to imagine Seattle bringing him back given his age, declining production and his latest arrest. So the Seahawks could be looking to fill one starting spot along with adding depth.

Backups Mike Morgan, Allen Bradford and Malcolm Smith – all USC products – are each entering their third season. Heath Farwell, a special teams standout, is the lone veteran of the group.

“We don’t have a lot of depth. We’re very, very young at that position,” Carroll said. “We’ve got the USC backup crew in there, those guys have got to fight their way through it and see. Mike Morgan and Allen Bradford and Malcolm – those guys are really cool players coming up but, we’ve got to challenge those guys and see how far we can push them as well, and we’ll see where that goes. We’ll be interested on every spot, but for sure certain on defense up front.”

‘We need workers’. The Seahawks could use another wide receiver to team with Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin, ideally one who can stretch the field. But don’t expect whatever player the Seahawks add to that group to come with any questions about his work ethic.

“We’re not just going to take guys because of their stats or something like that or what they could do. We want guys that are going to fit in and complement,” Carroll said. “And it’s really important, we need workers. Russell sets the tone. He’s such a tremendous worker that I don’t want to add anybody on that side of the ball that isn’t coming to work every day, because we won’t be able to take advantage of his leadership in that regard. So not everybody fits, but we’ll see.”