Seahawks’ Carroll: How Williams trade came to be, what he brings

Nov 3, 2023, 12:06 PM | Updated: 12:08 pm

Seattle Seahawks...

Leonard Williams of the New York Giants takes the field on Sept. 21, 2023. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have a big matchup this Sunday when they head across the country to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.

Salk: Seattle Seahawks trade is a big statement — and a bet on Geno Smith

It’s a battle of two first-place teams as the 5-2 Seahawks lead the NFC West while the 6-2 Ravens are atop the AFC North.

It’s also the first time that Leonard Williams will suit up for the Seahawks.

The veteran defensive tackle was traded to Seattle from the New York Giants earlier this week ahead of the trade deadline for two draft picks, and he’s set to make his Seahawks debut on Sunday.

During his weekly Pete Carroll Preview on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM, the Seahawks head coach discussed the trade for Williams and how he fits into the team.

“This guy is such an amazing person,” Carroll said of his newest defender to Steve Raible. “It’s something I’ve known through the whole (USC) thing way back when he was coming out (of college), and we’ve heard a lot of great stuff about him and all that and have had our eye on him all along, kind of watching his career as he’s played along the way.”

Williams, 29, starred collegiately at USC, where Carroll used to coach, before being drafted sixth overall by the New York Jets. He was then traded to the Giants in 2019 before getting dealt across the country to Seattle.

As Carroll noted, he’s someone the Seahawks have been watching closely for a while.

“When this season rolled around – and even last year, we talked about it. I mean, just (about) guys that you would like to add to your team, this was one of them,” he said. “And so (general manager John Schneider) went to work on it and just stayed with it, stayed after it and really orchestrated it so that we had the opportunity. There were a number of teams that wanted to get him in, and we were able to pull it off.”

Based on what Carroll has seen this week, it’s clear why there were plenty of suitors for the veteran defender.

“Just an immediate first impression. I mean, like an awesome first impression,” Carroll said. “He kicked butt on Wednesday’s practice and on Thursday. He looked great out there running around chasing everybody and stuff. He just picks things up almost instantly.”

What Williams also brings, Carroll said, is leadership, as evidenced by him being a captain during his time with the Giants.

“When you get great guys like that, that just makes you better,” he said. “He’s gonna play pretty good, too. Wait until you see him. He’s gonna look great in that big 99.”

Seattle’s defense has been much improved this year, primarily against the run. This trade was not an indictment on who the Seahawks already had on the defensive line, Carroll said.

“It’s not because of any deficiency necessarily at all. It’s just we had a chance to get a great player and add him in and get a better, more solid rotation at a high level,” Carroll said. “When you can add the character as well, the competitor as well, it’s just a win-win on all angles for us.”

Carroll also expects Williams to be a three-down player for the Seahawks.

“He’s a great technician. He’s really powerful,” Carroll said. “You’ll see how quick he is, too, to disengage and chase and all that stuff. He’s an effort guy who plays every down when you want him to. There’s just no holes. He’s a fantastic football player.”

Listen to this week’s Pete Carroll Preview at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks and Leonard Williams

• K.J. Wright: What Seahawks get in adding Leonard Williams, who it helps
• Huard: Why Seahawks gave up more for Williams than 49ers did for Young
• Lefko: Gap closed? How Seahawks, 49ers match up after trade deadline
• Seahawks Football 101: How will Leonard Williams fit into defense?
• Rost: Why Seahawks took the risk with Leonard Williams trade
• Why Leonard Williams can ‘hit the ground running’ with Seahawks
• What does 1st-place Seahawks’ trade for Leonard Williams say?

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