Pete Carroll explains what young Seahawks can learn from K.J. Wright

Jan 8, 2019, 10:22 AM
KJ Wright, Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks...
LB K.J. Wright is one of 14 Seahawks hitting free agency on March 13. (AP)

During his Monday morning interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Mike Salk, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll offered an unprompted story about linebacker K.J Wright.

Biggest takeaways from Carroll’s season-ending press conference

“We talked about it yesterday and showed on film an illustration of mastery,” Carroll said, “to show (our team) what it looks like in just one illustration in the thousands of chances that guys have.”

That example was Wright’s end-zone interception of a pass from Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in Saturday’s Wild Card loss. The Seahawks saw the exact play from the Cardinals in Week 17, only that time it worked; Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen found wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for a 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Wright recognized the mistake by the corner and nearly caught up to Fitzgerald on that play. Against Dallas, Wright recognized the play immediately and was able to not just to anticipate and cover it, but also to intercept the pass.

“It’s an unbelievable awareness,” Carroll said of Wright. “It’s not his job. That’s not his job to do. But he had such presence to understand… and he used all of those elements to make that decision.”

It’s a story that highlights not just a goal for Seattle’s younger players, but also the work that needs to be done this offseason. Huard and Salk revisited that story Tuesday morning to dissect it a bit more. When it comes to which personnel groups Carroll wants to see that from, there’s no doubt for Huard it’s the secondary.

“Pete’s a secondary guy. He is hardest to please in that way,” Huard said in his Blue 42 segment of Brock and Salk Tuesday morning.

“Just the fine details and the mastery (he’s taught), whether it was sitting with Shaquill Griffin every day or right there with Richard Sherman in his rookie year, trying to help him and implore about the little details that make such a difference. To me, I think that conversation is for Shaquill, I think it’s for Tre Flowers, and I think it’s to those young safeties in Delano (Hill) and Tedric (Thompson). Those guys got to watch people do it at the highest level; they got to see Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. And while they’ve taken some baby steps – and while they absolutely came on the field and were functional this year – they weren’t wreckers. They weren’t game-changing wreckers. And if you become a master at your craft, you can have an opportunity to win a game at safety yourself like Earl Thomas has. You can take over a game like Kam Chancellor, or you can have one of the greats, like Aaron Rodgers, not even throw to your side for an entirety of a game. To me, I think that conversation most clearly pointed at that secondary.”

Huard answers three football questions for his Blue 42 segment every weekday morning at 7:45. You can hear past Blue 42 segments here

You can hear Carroll’s full interview with Huard and Salk here.

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Pete Carroll explains what young Seahawks can learn from K.J. Wright