The focus of the football world is on the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and like every other head coach, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is ready to get a glimpse at the future of the league.
Carroll spoke to reporters about a number of different topics that pertain to the current offseason as well as the 2020 season.The full video of Carroll’s press conference can be found here.
Here are three of the most notable takeaways from Carroll’s first press conference since the end of the 2019 season.
It’s no secret the Seahawks need to do a better job at getting after the quarterback.Seattle was one of four teams that failed to record 30 sacks during the regular season, and failing to pressure the quarterback put even more pressure on the back end of the defense, which was regularly shredded by opposing quarterbacks.
Many mock drafts have Seattle taking an edge rusher, and when asked about the defense in general, Carroll quickly turned the focus to the pass rush.
“We’re looking to improve in some really critical areas, pass rush is something that we’re really focusing on,” he told reporters. “We really like the way we turned the ball over last year, we got the ball a lot, made some nice plays and stuff that gave us a chance, but we need to do some things more consistently and that’s rush the passer.”
While bringing Jadeveon Clowney back and adding more pieces to the defensive line would help, Carroll said that’s not the only way to improve a mediocre pass rush.
“That isn’t just the guys up front, it’s the whole connection between how we cover them down and how we make them hold the football and all that, but it will be a big focus for us,” he said.
The star of the combine last year was DK Metcalf, who the Seahawks selected with the last pick of the second round. Metcalf had some of the best physical traits of all the prospects and shined with a 4.33 40-yard dash to go along with explosive reps in the high jump and broad jump as well as a 40.5 inch vertical jump. He did all this standing over 6’3 and weighing around 230 pounds.
Well after the fact, this video of Carroll and Metcalf meeting went viral as Metcalf entered the room shirtless and Carroll promptly took his off as well.
DK Metcalf is now a Seahawk.
Months back he walked into his pre-draft interview with Seattle shirtless. Pete Carroll removed his shirt in a gesture of solidarity. pic.twitter.com/nSMiMZrZG0
— Rich Ohrnberger (@ohrnberger) April 27, 2019
“Coming out of here, I don’t think there was anybody that would make me take my shirt off,” Carroll said Tuesday, jokingly.
Despite a lot of buzz, Metcalf slid in the draft and the Seahawks were thrilled to select him. He rewarded them with 900 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season and a record-setting performance in the first wild card game where he had 160 yards and a touchdown.
“He couldn’t have been more impressive and through our process, we didn’t see the negatives that other people saw, so we were very fortunate he was there when we had out (opportunity) and it was really an extraordinary moment when he was still there when we picked there,” Carroll said. “We thought that never should have happened and he did everything to make it worthwhile and make it work and we’re really proud of the whole thing.”
A reporter asked about Metcalf exceeding expectations and how he’ll improve this upcoming season, and Carroll joked that Metcalf could help the reporter set expectations.
“He is a really diligent worker and because of that, he’s already made, as most of us have seen, consistent progress through the season,” Carroll said. “He’ll come back, I would think, with a new level of confidence after getting through the year and having a good successful rookie season and all that. Consistency, taking advantage of the opportunities with his matchups that he has and the calls that we have and really having the opportunity to build more chemistry with (quarterback Russell Wilson), it’s really so important just the little fine-tuning stuff … it’s just a big assent he’s on and we’re really excited about that.”
The Seahawks have a few notable players recovering from injuries this offseason that Carroll provided updates for at the press conference:
• Running back Chris Carson, hip: “Chris is doing really well. There’s not a lot Chris can do (physically because of the hip), so he doesn’t have many things wrong. It’s an injury that just takes time and it’s serious because it’s a hip and it’s not serious in we know what’s going to happen and it’s not misplaced or that kind of stuff, we just need to wait it out … He’s doing the best he can and everything he can possibly do and we’re just hoping he doesn’t overdo it and trying to monitor that, but we’re counting on a full recovery and he should be ready to go.”
• Running back Rashaad Penny, torn ACL: “All reports talking to him he feels good. He’s ahead of schedule as we always tell you … He’s really optimistic about roaring back. He’s an incredibly fit guy, so we’ll see if that can all work out for us in quick fashion … It would be an extraordinary accomplishment if he was ready by the time we get to camp and all that. We’ll just see what happens. We’re not going to set any deadline on that, we’ll see how he develops.”
• Center Justin Britt, torn ACL: “He looks good. I’ve seen him a number of times coming through the building and all, and his attitude and I’m hearing the work ethic that he’s putting forth right now is exactly what we’d hope for right now. He’s doing great, so going to come roaring back from his surgery.”
• Guard/tackle Jamarco Jones, shoulder surgery: “Jamarco did a nice job for us. He really did … He’s got to get well. He’s got a little shoulder work that he had to get done that he’s got to come back strong from that, which he’s working on all the way, and he should, but it’s an exciting start for him.”