What could these six possibly have in common? Each was a first-year starter for the Seahawks last season. Each also finished training camp on Thursday as a second-year starter. So they are just six of the reasons that Pete Carroll has heightened expectations for his third season as Seahawks coach.
“If you asked those guys how much they know now versus what they knew last year, they’ll just say they hardly can compare it,” Carroll said during his camp wrap-up Q&A session.
“The awareness. The expectations of what they’re supposed to be doing. How they read. How they apply the study time. In every single phase of it, they’re so much farther along. So that’s why we expect our team to make a significant jump.”
It also helps that this six-pack of players lines up at pivotal positions. Chancellor, the extra-strong strong safety, and cornerbacks Sherman and Browner comprise three-fourths of the secondary – joining third-year starter
“That’s a bunch of guys who played for the first time that now feel they understand the game way better,” Carroll said. “And they’re going to get better a year from now, as well, but this is the biggest jump they’ll make.
“It’s something we’re counting on. It’s really a factor I’m counting on, particularly up front. Our offensive line play right now, we were never at this level at any time last year.”
Camp also was different this summer. For one thing, there was an offseason of OTA practices and minicamps leading up to it – needed elements that were erased by the 136-day lockout last year. Then there were the new guidelines in the CBA that ended the lockout, limiting teams to one practice a day.
So saying that training camp broke on Thursday is part semantics, part lifestyle change for the veterans.
The players will continue to follow pretty much the same schedule next week as they have the past three weeks, although the veterans who live in the area will go home each night rather than to the team hotel.
“The camp work that we set out to do, the things that we hoped to accomplish, I think we’ve really knocked it all in,” Carroll said. “We’ve seen a bunch of guys; we’ve gotten a lot of information on our young guys.
“These next few weeks of games will be very important. But as far as the camp process – understanding how these guys learn, do they fit, kind of starting the process of developing roles for them because you know what they can do – all of that is moving.”
Still to be determined: Who starts at quarterback in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener, although
Closer to being decided: Second-round draft choice
What we already know: The addition of end
“I’ve got no complaints at all,” Carroll said. “I think we’ve taken only positive steps.”