Seahawks’ Carroll: Tariq Woolen has ‘legitimate chance’ to be dominant
The Seahawks have gotten far more success than anyone could have imagined this season out of fifth-round rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen, who just continues to make big plays for Seattle’s defense.
On Sunday against the Rams, Woolen nabbed his sixth interception of the year, setting a new Seahawks rookie record in just 12 games played. With those six picks, Woolen is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions, and he also broke up two more passes in the win in LA.
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“Tariq makes a pick. I understand that gives him a franchise record. He’s having a great season,” head coach Pete Carroll said postgame. “He was beat a couple times today and came back out of it and made some plays that were really fortunate. You’ve got to be a little lucky sometimes, too.”
During his Monday morning show on Seattle Sports 710 AM, Carroll was asked what the future holds for Woolen.
“He’s handling everything in really an excellent way. Because he’s been able to handle what’s going on – the notoriety and all of that. But he’s never played like this. This is uncharted territory,” Carroll said of the UTSA product. “He may tell tell you ‘I’ve always had this,’ but he’s never played this.”
Woolen wasn’t just a fifth-round pick, but this is only the third season he’s played cornerback as he started his college career as a wide receiver. Woolen is as physically gifted as they come, though, checking in at 6 foot 4 with 34-inch arms while able to run the 40-yard dash in a blazing fast 4.26 seconds.
“It’s not hard for him. He’s gracefully moving about it,” Carroll said. “And he’s taken on the new stuff that he can learn and trying to find the consistency and trying to find this extraordinary focus that he will hopefully gain in the time ahead that will take him to where he is a dominant player. He has a chance. And not everybody has a chance, but he has a legitimate chance … He has a chance to really own this thing in the end.”
Not only are Woolen’s successes pleasant to see, but sometimes so are his struggles, Carroll said.
“He comes right back. He gets beat on the crossing route (Sunday) and comes right back to me and he’s like, ‘I could have done it,’ because he knows he can make all these plays,” Carroll said. “And so it puts the pressure on him that he’s handling. It’s a beautiful thing and we’ll just keep enjoying the season and hopefully he can keep going.”
Listen to the full Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.