Clayton’s Observations: Seahawks’ Carroll really likes where his team is at

Aug 14, 2020, 2:33 PM | Updated: 3:35 pm
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll...
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll spoke to John Clayton about his roster. (Getty)

The Seahawks and other teams around the NFL started to get more of a feel for the football season.

Clayton: Seahawks healthier than expected as practices begin

On Friday, the Seahawks moved from the ramp up period of conditioning on the field Friday by – for the first time since the start of camp – the offense could go against the defense and the defense can go against the offense. On Monday, the Seahawks get to put on pads.

There will be 14 padded practices.

Pete Carroll joined me on 710 ESPN Seattle Friday and – as always – he was fired up. What he said was pretty telling. You can tell he likes this team. Though a lot of people around the league may not have the total respect for this roster, Carroll had a different feel.

Not only does he see a big improvement in the defense, but he loves what he’s seeing with the offense.

Russell Wilson came into OTAs last year looking his best. Carroll thinks he looks even better. That’s important because Wilson is finally getting recognized as one of the top two quarterbacks in the league. It’s Wilson and Patrick Mahomes.

Wilson reacted to the “Let Russ Cook” campaign. Though he doesn’t sound as though he wanted to turn the offense into a 40-pass per game team, Wilson said he would like to have the ball in his hands more in the first three quarters.

ESPN Stats and Info calculated Wilson gets the 12th most combined passes and runs in his first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, he gets the fourth most.

Carroll said earlier in Wilson’s career that everyone needed to be patience and give Wilson the chance to evolve as a top quarterback. He’s evolved to being a top two quarterbacks so he might be allowed to go more earlier in the game. The key is to get a four-point lead by halftime. The Seahawks are 56-0 when that happens.

What is noticeable is the improved speed on offense. Without question, this is the fastest receiving unit since Carroll came to the team in 2010. Chris Carson wasn’t at practice because of a death in the family. Rashaad Penny is on the PUP list. Carroll had great praise for rookie running back DeeJay Dallas and veteran Carlos Hyde.

Rookie Damien Lewis looks like the front-runner at right guard. He was running with the first team.

On defense, Carroll was pretty bold. He thinks this defense can get back to the unit that can give up less than 20 points last game. Last year, they gave up over 24. Again speed is the key to the improvement.

Carroll said Bruce Irvin was the best strongside linebacker maybe in Seahawks history.

Without question, Carroll believes this is the best secondary since the Legion of Boom. Quinton Dunbar appears to pass his Covid-19 test so he got a physical Friday. He should make his debut in the secondary on Sunday. Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi are in direct competition for the nickel cornerback job.

It was interesting to see what was happening on the defensive line. Rasheem Green and Benson Mayowa were running as the first team defensive ends, Green at the five technique an Mayowa at the Leo.

There is some concern about second-round choice Darrell Taylor. He’s on the non-football-injury list coming off his January surgery in which he had a rod put in his leg. Carroll doesn’t have a timetable for his return. Padded practices start Monday.

Carroll said if he can’t get any padded practice it would be hard for Taylor to do a lot at the beginning of the season.

Listen to my full conversation with Carroll here or in the player below (28:33 mark).

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

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