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Clayton: Seahawks Minicamp Observations — Carroll praises new offense, potential breakout players

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' offense is expected to work at a faster pace in 2021. (Getty)

The Seahawks’ offseason program is officially over. Next stop will be training camp on July 27.

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Head coach Pete Carroll went on Zoom Thursday afternoon and wrapped up Seattle’s minicamp. Some of the biggest praise went to new Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.

Carroll praised the way Waldron is coaching and teaching the new offense to Russell Wilson and the offensive players. He brings the Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco 49ers system to the Seahawks, which is more complex than Carroll’s teams have had in the past. What Carroll likes is how Waldron’s added packages and complexities seem to be gobbled up by the players, particularly Wilson.

The new offense has a faster tempo. Wilson likes that. Even though Carroll takes criticism for wanting more running plays, these packages and plays take what defenses give them. There is a little more with two tight ends. Carroll is hoping that the offense will be balanced much more than the 40 percent/60 percent run-to-pass results from last year. He pointed out there should be a big improvement on third downs, where he is hoping for a 50 percent success level that would keep the offense on the field.

Carroll said it’s an easier offense but it can try to do more.

Related: Carroll details what stands out in Waldron’s offense

On defense, Carroll offered great praise for defensive end/strongside linebacker Darrell Taylor. Because Taylor attended rookie minicamp, every OTA and this week’s minicamp, Carroll said he’s one of the most prepared Seahawks on the field this spring. Taylor’s ability to rush the quarterback and move has been impressive.

Carroll also praised linebacker Cory Barton for how well he is doing as the starter. It sure doesn’t look good for K.J. Wright getting signed back onto the roster although both sides continue to talk.

One name that hasn’t been mentioned in ages is defensive end Aldon Smith. Carroll said he has been in town and in the team’s facility at times. Though he hasn’t been on the field, Carroll is thinking he will be at training camp.

Tre Flowers received good praise from Carroll, who said Flowers is really ready to compete in what will be an extremely competitive training camp at cornerback.

One player who will be a sleeper to watch in camp is wide receiver Penny Hart. Hart was impressive in OTAs, according to Carroll. Hart is in competition for playing time at a position that lost David Moore in free agency.

After Thursday’s practice, the Seahawks had an event to try to get more players to vaccinated. Carroll is hoping that if players respond they could get to 70 percent of players vaccinated by the weekend.

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