Seahawks use Pro Bowl to show why Seattle is a desirable spot for players
The Seahawks are officially in the offseason, as the coaching staff and a select few players are now done with Pro Bowl festivities that they took part in last week.
Head coach Pete Carroll and his coaching staff coached the NFC team, which included quarterback Russell Wilson, cornerback Shaquill Griffin and linebacker Bobby Wagner – though Wagner didn’t play due to a minor injury. While the group was having fun in Orlando, Florida, Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy, who was in Orlando for the Pro Bowl week, said the team was hard at work throughout the week showing off why Seattle is a marquee place for players.
Carroll brought his vintage outgoing and fun style to Florida, and showcased the “always compete” mentality to the NFC roster that he has used in Seattle since he arrived in 2010 by shipping a basketball hoop for a shooting competition as shown in the below video.
Brought #CompetitionWednesday to the Pro Bowl ‼️
Pro Bowlers Michael Thomas, Chandler Jones, Jared Cook, and Darius Slay competed in a basketball shootout competition held inside team NFC's meeting room. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/heJSStfXiY
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) January 23, 2020
Heaps said though the NFC team lost 38-33, Carroll, Wilson and company showed how the Seahawks operate in Seattle, the culture they have and why Carroll is a “players’ coach.” All of that is critical with free agency right around the corner.
“To see the NFC players on the Pro Bowl roster and how they talked about Pete Carroll and what their impressions of Pete Carroll were and the impression that I walked away from is that Pete Carroll, to them, is an absolute star,” Heaps told Tom Wassell, Stacy Rost and Mike Salk. “And he is.”
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) January 26, 2020
Typically, the Pro Bowl is a getaway of sorts for players that are among the league’s best who aren’t playing in the Super Bowl and the game and week taken pretty lightly. Heaps said that wasn’t the case for the NFC roster.
“Just in that week, his impact and his impression that he left on all those guys, I mean, it’s the Pro Bowl and they actually wanted to practice and play,” Heaps said. “It’s like they were excited to be there and be around him.”
With roughly $60 million in cap space and some prized free agents available, Heaps said the Seahawks made a tremendous impact among the league’s elite and that should help them when the team reaches out to available players.
“It does have a positive effect (on free agents wanting to play for the Seahawks),” Heaps told Salk. “A lot of these guys who are on the free agent list, Seattle just bumped up to top-three in their list.”
Wassell said that from his perspective, Carroll and Wilson have “magnetic personalities” that people gravitate towards, at least here in Seattle, and wanted to know if that was true of the NFL’s best players as well. Heaps said that’s true, and that personality can be used as an advantage in another way.
“The other side of that too is that they are also testing out these other guys,” Heaps said. “One, it’s a recruitment process but also it’s a chance to play with these other guys and for them to say, ‘I don’t really like that guy. I don’t like his attitude or his approach or the conversations that we have.’ So it’s a ‘feel out’ process as well.”
Teams are officially allowed to contact free agents on March 16 and can sign player on March 18. Keep track of the Seahawks’ offseason moves at this link.
Listen to Heaps talk about his experience at the Pro Bowl at this link or in the player below.
More Seahawks offseason coverage:
• Russell Wilson on success with Schottenheimer, Lynch’s Seattle return
• Moore: This is the year Seahawks need to trade up in NFL Draft, not down
• Will the Seahawks target any Pro Bowlers in free agency?
• Moore: Top 10 free agents that Seahawks should bring back for 2020
• Brock and Salk: How the Seahawks should prioritize the offseason
• Moore: If tweets are any indication, Reed won’t be back with Seahawks
• Gallant: Is it time for Seahawks to shake up defensive coaching staff?