Pete Carroll squinted into the afternoon sun and offered the obvious.
“As I look across the board and I look at this football team, we look different,” the Seahawks’ second-year coach said the other day after a practice at the team’s training camp.
“It’s a different group.”
That it is, as a hectic – and at times frantic – first week of free agency has reshaped the roster that Carroll and general manager John Schneider spent most of last year, well, reshaping.
Last season, No. 75 was starting right tackle Sean Locklear. Now, it’s
Last season, No. 74 was Ray Willis, who had started all 16 games at right tackle in 2009. Now, it’s
Last season, No. 65 was Chris Spencer, the starting center the past five seasons. Now, it’s veteran free agent defensive tackle
Last season, No. 36 was Lawyer Milloy, the starting strong safety. Now, it’s
Last season, No. 54 was versatile linebacker and special-teams standout Will Herring. Now, it’s rookie free agent linebacker Blake Sorensen.
Last season, No. 10 was veteran kicker Olindo Mare. Now, it’s
In addition, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was not re-signed in free agency, and replaced by former Minnesota Vikings QB
You get the picture. Or at least a vision of what Carroll was talking about.
In fact, only 16 players remain from the team Carroll inherited when he was hired in January of 2010.
What’s going on – and has been going on – is reminiscent of what happened between the first and second seasons under Mike Holmgren in 1999-2000. Like Holmgren, Carroll won a division title in his first season. Holmgren’s roster turnover, however, was needed to get the salary cap under control, while Carroll and Schneider have had ample cap space this “offseason” to be major players in the free-agency market.
But new coaches want new players to help them play the way they want to play the game.
And, as Carroll says, the Seahawks are now younger and bigger.
Younger? Take a look at the offensive line, and the secondary.
On the line, where Carpenter and Moffitt form an all-rookie right side, the left tackle is
That’s why the acquisition of former Raider
In the secondary, there’s still cornerback
Bigger? Take a look at the lines.
When everyone is healthy and able to practice, the starting unit on defensive will include 323-pound
“Just look at those other guys,” said Mebane, a third-round draft choice in 2007. “We’ve never been this big before.”
The increase in size also is obvious on the offensive side of the ball, starting with Gallery, who is 6-7 and weighs 325. The 6-5 Carpenter checks in at 321 pounds and is very thick through his upper body. Okung is 6-5 and weighs 310 pounds, while Moffitt is 6-4, 319.
“I’m definitely the runt in this group,” Unger, who is 6-5, 305, said with a smile.
The new-look Seahawks will get another facelift on Thursday, when the players return from their first day off of camp. That’s because all the players who have been signed in the past week finally will be allowed to practice.
The group includes wide receiver
“It’s crucial that we finally get them out there,” Carroll said, with an eye to the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego next Thursday. “This is most challenging for those guys to be ready.”
They need to hit the practice field running, rather than wade into their new situations.
“Hopefully these guys will take this first step when they jump out on the field and make it clear why they’re here,” Carroll said. “And work for themselves and for the fellas on this team.”
This new-look team, which is younger and bigger.