Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll met with reporters Monday and addressed a number of topics about his team as they prepare for their regular season opener in Green Bay. Here are four quick takeaways from his press conference:
1. He likes Justin Coleman's versatility.
Losing DeAndre Elliott to a broken ankle in the preseason finale hurt the Seahawks' depth at cornerback heading into the regular season. To address a need, the team traded a 2018 seventh-round pick to New England for cornerback Justin Coleman, who Carroll likes as a defensive back because of his versatility to line up outside and in the slot as a nickel.
"He is really versatile," Carroll said. "He is a really active cover guy in all kinds of nickel situations, not just outside but inside as well. They moved him around a great deal. We have seen him play a ton of man to man. He is a really good match up guy. He covers big guys. He has covered small guys. They put him on all kinds of matchups, so we had a really good evaluation of him, not from the days he was here, we got nothing done then, but from the time we have seen him on film, it was easy to see he had a chance to be a factor and that spot kind of opened up for us in the nickel area with DeAndre [Elliott] and it made great sense to go get somebody and we found a really good guy and we are lucky to have him."
Coleman won't be competing with Jeremy Lane or rookie Shaquill Griffin for big reps, but he will likely add something on special teams in addition to his depth and insurance at the position.
2. The Seahawks liked both of their backup quarterback options.
Austin Davis was the winner in the running for the job as Russell Wilson's backup. Davis, who signed with the Seahawks in the spring, competed against second-year quarterback Trevone Boykin throughout the preseason. A late drive led by Davis where he went 5-for-5 for 61 yards, plus a go-ahead touchdown to win the game late in Oakland might've sealed the job for him. But although Boykin lost out on the job, Seattle signed him to their 10-man practice squad. Carroll said during his press conference that the Seahawks wanted to keep both quarterbacks regardless of the outcome of the competition.
"Most importantly, we wanted all three guys here," Carroll said. "John [Schneider] did a great job to figure out how to get that done. So to have Tre back with us and that group kept together, that was well done."
3. Competition at strongside linebacker and right guard.
Veteran linebacker Michael Wilhoite was one of five Seahawks players to leave the team last week to undergo the same knee procedure linebackers K.J. Wright and D.J. Alexander underwent in the month of August. Carroll said Wilhoite was the only player from the group to not practice Monday. That has given Terence Garvin a good lead on the starting job at strongside linebacker in the opener for now.
"Everybody but [Michael] Wilhoite practiced today and we will see how the days come after this," Carroll said. We will take the day off tomorrow and then take it one day at a time. Probably we won't know until Friday on those guys. Those guys are all claiming really favorable results in all that so, we will see how it goes."
In the battle at right guard between Mark Glowinski and Oday Aboushi, Carroll said they are preparing this week for Glowinski to be the starter but the competition between them isn't over just yet.
"That looks like it will (be settled) — we are going into this week with that thought — we will see how the week pans out and those guys are still battling and they will continue to compete throughout and Oday [Aboushi] did a nice job."
4. Reasoning behind waiving Kasen Williams and Ahtyba Rubin.
Carroll said Monday that the decisions to let go of Kasen Williams and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin were difficult given the relationships each of them have in the locker room with Seahawks players.
"These decisions are extremely difficult and they are excruciating at times based on the experience and the time we have spent together and the guys we are dealing with," Carroll said. "But there is a lot of stuff we take into consideration, many more than one aspect of the process. Kasen had great games and did a beautiful job for us and did well. But other guys did well too in the rest of the processes to add to it and we have to make our decisions and see how it all fits and sometimes you lose guys that you hate losing and that is great case of it. I was talking with him all the way up until he got claimed, hoping we could get him back and maybe we will someday."
When asked the primary reason why the team waived Williams, Carroll said it was because of the mixture of guys the team needed to put together at the position group. Special teams work factored in, too, but that is the case with most positions.
Rubin's waiving was more due to the addition of Sheldon Richardson, who the Seahawks traded for on Friday and will have a big role in Seattle's defensive line trenches next to Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Jarran Reed and Frank Clark.
"Another huge guy to let go that was hard to do," Carroll said. "But there are just all kinds of concerns to make this happen and then Sheldon comes in and plays. Then Naz [Jones] made as much of a statement about that as well. We will have to figure out the rotations, we are down to just a few guys in there right now, and those guys just have to come through and make the plays. Then we will make a move with somebody."