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Pete Carroll Show: Upbeat off-season feels like a ‘rebirth’ for Seahawks

Brock Huard says he wants Kam Chancellor leading the Seahawks' ship for the next three years. (AP)
LISTEN: Pete Carroll explains Brandon Browner's role in the secondary

Seattle’s football team didn’t exactly die last season, but head coach Pete Carroll says he is seeing the second coming of the Seahawks.

During the “The Pete Carroll Show” Monday, the Seahawks’ eternally optimistic head coach said the team is emitting an even more upbeat vibe than usual entering the 2016 season.

“It almost feels like a rebirth kind of thing,” Carroll said. “We’ve been through a lot of stuff, we’ve been challenged by a lot of stuff. We’ve learned so much: winning and losing and then trying to come back again and still maintaining this huge standard and expectation. And we know it’s right there for us; everybody feels it. That’s what is really fueling the energy around the building and why we’re so enthused. And then we hit it with this draft, so it’s feeling pretty good. Millions of things have to happen, but we’re in the right place right now.”

Related: Pete Carroll says Seahawks will use Brandon Browner as safety and nickel corner

Carroll called the 2014 offseason “very challenging” for the top four players in the secondary (Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Jeremy Lane), both physically and mentally. This offseason has gone much more smoothly.

“Those guys are all having much better off-seasons,” he said. “They’re just in flow, they really have commanded the leadership spots and really are busting their tails. It’s incredibly fun to see.”

Other highlights from the conversation:

Carroll came away very impressed with the talent at rookie minicamp. He called the overall execution by the young players “really, really clean,” which wasn’t always the case last year. For example, on one day during last season’s camp, there were seven snap-exchange mishaps.

“We didn’t have any of those. Everything just worked really well and guys were flying around. It was a really fun camp to watch.”

Carroll considers both Germain Ifedi and Jarran Reed as first-round caliber players. Seattle traded back to pick Ifedi with the last pick of the first round and moved up seven spots in the second round to pick Reed. He said both guys stood out as people who seem to demand respect from others.

“I feel like we got two No. 1’s. We have two No. 1 draft picks on our team. How do you ever get that done? But it really feels like we did in absolute keep spots.”

Maintaining balance is still the emphasis on offense. Carroll is no fan of the claim that the Seahawks have abandoned their run-first principles and rattled off some stats to prove the perception false. He said Seattle has run the ball over the past four or five years more than 50 percent of the time, which is a higher percentage than any other team in the NFL. The dedication to the run helped open up the big play, he said, with Seattle being the NFL’s top-rated team for throwing the ball farther than 20 yards.

“We’ve been able to run the football, stay with that emphasis and still maintain the explosive nature. I don’t think you realize how effective Russell (Wilson) has been throwing the ball down the field. That’s a big part of what we want to do. We’re not a dink and dunk team, but we still need to continue to get the ball out.”

“Masters” course for Thomas and Wilson hasn’t started yet. Carroll said at the end of last season that he would be putting the two veterans through a Masters program of sorts that would enhance their grip of the game.

“We haven’t been able to get going specifically with me doing that yet. Earl is still on his honeymoon … the timeframe is we haven’t been able to because we only have so many hours in a day. So we haven’t been able to work it in yet. Russell and I are in conversations of where we’re doing and it’s going to be really fun to do. We’ve got plenty of time, but not quite yet.”