Maybe he was in a hurry, maybe he was just excited for the upcoming season opener, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll arrived at his Wednesday press conference by sprinting through the VMAC auditorium to the stage at the front of the room before diving into a discussion about his team, which is about to kick off the 2021 season with a trip to Indianapolis.
"This is a chance for us to get this thing kicked off," Carroll said. "It happens to be a 'Competition Wednesday' for us which means we're battling all day long to get back to the basics, fundamentals, and focus on putting together a great week. That's what this thing is. It's exciting to be here, I can't wait to see the day's work and seen what happens on just this day. Then we crank one day at a time and take it to the weekend. We know that we're getting ready for a really good club, a well-oiled machine. All phases of the game are good so it's a championship matchup for us, we have to play championship football."
Here are five things we learned from Carroll's Wednesday presser:
1. There are a lot of new things about the offense that Carroll is excited about.
With a lot of the starters not playing in the preseason, Carroll admitted he's "curious about the whole thing" when it comes to what the team will look like. "I'm curious about how it all fits together because you start all over and create a whole new life about this team. I'm anxious and excited to see our guys go because we have guys in all of the right spots that we love. We are really looking forward to them pulling off the gameplan. On both sides of the ball, it's like that. Maybe it's a little special for the offense because it's brand new."
With a new offense under new coordinator Shane Waldron, there is an element of mystery about how that unit will perform out of the gate and about what the offense will look like, but Carroll has seen plenty of things that have him excited about the potential of that group.
"Across the board, I feel like we've solidified guys in spots that we have a real good feel for," Carroll said. "Their uniqueness and what they are bringing to it, whether it's Gerald (Everett) and what we brought in with him or Gabe (Jackson) coming in to work for us and how he's going to add to it. We will see what (Dee) Eskridge can do as he adds to it. We had a real picture for what he could be, and he's given us no reason to think otherwise. He's practiced and prepared really well. Those are the special elements that are uniquely different but maybe the most special thing about it is, and I'm hoping it shows, the relationship with Shane and Russ (Wilson) and what they have been able to do together to get to this point. The excitement they both feel to turn out this offense and maximize all of the strengths of that. As we learn and as we grow, we will find out how far along we're at. That's something I'm really excited about because that's been really obvious, that there is something going on there and there's chemistry."
2. Carroll has notices "a little special juice about" Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks making a change at coordinator will impact everyone on that side of the ball, but no single player more than quarterback Russell Wilson, and from everything Wilson and Waldron have said this summer, and based on what Carroll has seen so far, there is reason for optimism about the relationship those two have formed.
"I think the relationship with what we are doing and how tuned he is to that generates another level of excitement from him and for what he's hoping to put out there through his work," Carroll said. "The potential that he can feel by the way we are interacting and communicating can lead us to some really cool stuff and really help our guys maximize what they can bring too. He's got a little special juice about him and that's probably what I am mentioning about the chemistry between he and the coordinator."
3. What the Seahawks like about new cornerback Bless Austin.
The Seahawks made yet another move at cornerback this week, signing former Jets starter Bless Austin on Tuesday. Asked about the reason for that move, Carroll pointed to the former sixth-round pick's aggressiveness and physicality.
"Wow, he's a hitter," Carroll said. "He has a really aggressive and physical style of play, and that's what I loved about what I saw. He's got good size to him, but his willingness to throw his body around and give you everything he's got is what jumped off of the film to me. I don't know what happened there, I don't care, but the style that he brings is something that I was excited about bringing to the club, and we will see what happens. It's going to be hard for those guys who got here today to have an impact right away, but we are going to push it and see what happens."
4. Jamal Adams will be better in 2021.
Jamal Adams was a Pro-Bowler and second-team All-Pro in his first year with the Seahawks, and he set an NFL record for defensive backs by recording 9.5 sacks, so last season was hardly a disappointment. But now that Adams has had a full year with the Seahawks to better learn his teammates and the defense, the expectation that he'll be an even better player this year.
"He's in better control in everything that we are asking of him," Carroll said. "We've expanded the things that we are asking him to do because we have had time to work it out and get ready for it. He's playing in a position that a lot of guys that I coached over the years would give anything to be able to do the things that he's doing. He has a lot of really cool things that he's doing in the scheme. He's going to be called on to excel at them of course but we are really counting on his instincts, awareness, and savvy that he brings to fit in. He's ready to roll."
5. Injury updates.
The Seahawks placed three players on injured reserve Tuesday, Colby Parkinson, who is coming back from a foot injury, Tre Brown (knee), and Nigel Warrior (knee), who was just claimed off of waivers last week.
Asked about Brown's knee injury, Carroll said, "He's had it before so it's a condition that we're working through. We are going to try to get rid of it before we bring him back. He can play with it, he has, but we want to see if we can heal him before we bring him back."
Carroll said Warrio's "got similar stuff," to Brown's injury. "There's some stuff he has to work on physically."
Photos from Seahawks practice on Wednesday, September 8 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.