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Clayton: Why Pete Carroll is excited about the state of the Seahawks

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had a lot to be happy about at the NFL owners meetings. (AP)

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was in good spirits at the NFL owners meetings at the Phoenix Biltmore.

Pete Carroll talks nickel CB battle, Seahawks’ free agency moves

The meeting ended early, concluding on Tuesday. But Carroll loved the fact that due to a rule change, coaches will now have the ability to challenge offensive and defensive pass interference calls. He was among the many coaches advocating for that change.

What he also feels good about is the current Seahawks roster.

A year ago at this time, general manager John Schneider was scrambling to fill what turned out to be 11 openings in the starting lineup, and Carroll was scrambling to get young players ready to take over some of those jobs.

As a result of that effort last year, the 2019 team is deeper in talent than last year. Sure, it needs a pass-rushing defensive end, one more run-stopper and a wide receiver. But Carroll also pointed out it’s been to plan to move slowly in free agency and not overpay for new additions.

That’s the Seahawks way under Carroll and Schneider.

In free agency, the Seahawks have lost seven and signed two. But Carroll believes the roster is developing enough depth that it will be much harder to make the team than it was a year ago.

Perhaps the biggest example is in the secondary. Despite the loss of nickel cornerback Justin Coleman, Carroll re-emphasized this week that he feels Akeem King, Kalen Reed and Jeremy Boykins can all compete for that job. He’s also not ruling out one of the three challenging Tre Flowers for his right cornerback spot even though Flowers had an exceptional rookie season. Those three have now been in the system in the year and are ready to compete.

Carroll also thinks Jacob Martin will make a big jump at defensive end. Martin kept getting better and better in his limited playing time as a rookie. Carroll wants to see more coming from Rasheem Green, last year’s second-round pick, however.

The Seahawks are still looking to add a veteran pass-rusher. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that the Seahawks like former Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry a little more than fellow free agent Aaron Lynch. Perry has had 32 sacks in his career and has posted seasons with nine-plus sacks. Lynch has 18 career sacks, including 12 1/2 he produced in the first two years of his now five-year career.

If something happens at defensive end, the Seahawks will sign a player to a one-year deal. They still will prioritize pass rush in the draft.

While the Seahawks have a deep group at defensive tackle, one more run-stopper could be added. If the Seahawks could land former Washington Huskies DT Danny Shelton at the right price, they would be able to keep their four compensatory picks for 2020 and have one more run-stopper.

Carroll had interesting things to say about his wide receivers. He continues to like the development of David Moore, who statistically ranks high in his ability to catch deep passes. He said Jaron Brown probably needs more playing time but did well in the limited time he was on the field as a receiver. Brown has also emerged as a core group special teams player.

Special teams also look good. Ten of the top 13 active special teamers are back and Jason Myers is hoping to keep the Seahawks from looking for new place-kickers each year.

For Carroll, it was good owners meeting.

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John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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