Share this story...
Latest News

Pete Carroll explains how much Seahawks will rely on rookies, growth of 2nd-year players

Pete Carroll's Seahawks have 11 new rookies coming out of last week's NFL Draft. (Getty)

Rookie minicamp may not always be the most important part of the offseason for NFL teams, but it could be this year for the Seahawks.

NFL Draft reaction: Brock Huard | Jim Moore | John Clayton | Danny O’Neil

With so many long-time Seahawks now retired or with other teams – or possibly facing retirement, as is reportedly the case with wide receiver Doug Baldwin – Seattle will need strong performances in 2019 from some of its youngest players.

Rookie minicamp, which kicks off Friday at 1:30 p.m., will feature Seattle’s 11 NFL Draft picks as well dozens of undrafted free agent signings and tryout players. Seattle has a few holes to fill on the roster, including spots on the defensive line (following the trade of pass rusher Frank Clark), wide receiver, and cornerback (following the departure of nickel corner Justin Coleman in free agency). Several first-year players will also have a chance to make the roster with strong showing on special teams.

Head coach Pete Carroll joined Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle to preview Seattle’s rookie class and the potential development from second-year players.

“L.J. (Collier) you’ve already talked about, I’m hoping that he’ll show that (leadership) makeup and that’ll be who he is and what he brings to the program,” Carroll said about the Seahawks’ top draft pick. “We need all that we can get. There’s some interesting guys throughout here. (Safety Ugo) Amadi, we’re really anxious to see how he fits in and what he can do. He’s been a real live wire in (Oregon’s) program, he’s been an excitable player that’s infused a lot of energy and we’ll see how he fits. There’s another guy, (Utah safety) Marquise Blair, who doesn’t say very much but he hits the (heck) out of stuff, man. He is physical and tough and is looking for big hits. That’s another way to send your leadership impact on the team.

“(Wide receiver) D.K. (Metcalf) is such a great worker, I’m really hoping that he’ll fit into that category of player that impresses you just because his work ethic is so good and his intensity is there. So there’s a lot of different ways (to lead). I can’t you about the vocal leader or the guy that’s going to stand up front and tell the stories and stuff; I don’t know about that right now.”

A step forward for second-year players

Second-year Seahawks won’t have a chance to enter the battle for roster spots until OTAs later this month. But there are already a few players Carroll has his eye on.

“You’ve never heard me count on anything but (young players taking a step forward),” Carroll said. “It’s a natural fact that they do, they make a big jump here between Year 1 and Year 2. And that’s important for us. A great example would be (defensive lineman) Rasheem Green. We’re counting on him being a legitimate part of this team. He works hard, he’s tough, he’s strong, he’s fast, he cares. He’s in it. He’s a guy that he needs to be a bigger factor. That’s why we took him last year. And he’s had a nice kind of ramping up, and so we’ll see how that goes…

“To add these guys (from the 2019 draft) with the class last year that I thought was a terrific class, we’ve got 10 or 11 picks coming up next year as well. We’re in great shape to continue to build. You’ll see how we put it together. We’re not done; we have so much work ahead of us right now. It may look like, oh, the draft is over so now we’re onto the season. We’re still competing at every level to get our roster right, to get our guys signed, to continue to add to it. So it’s an exciting time.”

You can listen to the full Carroll interview from Brock and Salk in the player embedded in this post or download a podcast of it at this link.

For more from coverage from Carroll’s interview, check out this story:

What was Carroll’s role in Russell Wilson’s negotiations with Seahawks?

Brock and Salk podcast