Following the fifth practice of Seahawks training camp at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, a workout held in front of a capacity-crowd of 2,600 fans, Pete Carroll took time to meet with the media.
Here's four things we learned from the Seahawks head coach:
1. Justin Britt Is "A Million Miles Ahead"
Right tackle Justin Britt, who the Seahawks selected with the final pick (No. 64 overall) in the second round of last year's NFL Draft, started all 16 regular season games as a rookie. In recent conversations with the Missouri product, Carroll believes Britt has come back stronger and more physical to start 2015.
"To talk with him about what it was like this year versus last year he's a million miles ahead," said Carroll. "He's very grateful for that. He spent a lot of time with [J.R..] Sweezy in the offseason. They worked together a lot, they communicated, and they talked so much. All of that helps.
"The thing we really hope for is that physically he would get stronger, and he definitely has done that. We're expecting him to be a whole step ahead than last year."
Carroll said Britt's rookie-to-sophomore-year rise has showed in his recognition of defensive fronts and in his familiarity with the language shared along the O-line and with the tight ends.
"He's much more capable of showing what his ability is like than worrying and thinking and wondering," Carroll said of Britt's development. "He didn't know if he was right most of the season. He was kind of hoping he was. Now he is now much more committed, so it'll help him in every way."
2. The Team's Depth Feels Like It Did A Couple Years Ago
A 'couple' is defined as two, so one could infer Carroll was talking about the team's Super Bowl XLVIII championship roster when he compared the team's current depth to what it was like a couple years ago, when the franchise won its first Lombardi Trophy.
"A couple years ago we were really excited for every position that guys were fighting for play time," Carroll said. "We really knew that if the next guy jumped in he was going to be able to play, too. It feels like that now."
Carroll said this year's club feels "a little different" than last year's, especially along the offensive line, where the team is working to replace starting center Max Unger and left guard James Carpenter, players who left the club this offseason via trade and free agency.
"We're really young on the offensive line, but the quality of the guys in all is really exciting," Carroll said. "This might be the best group of guys. We'll see. It will take us a month or so to have a sense in that. We're encouraged by that.
"It's a little different than last year. It seemed different last year. It's a really competitive roster this time."
3. Nate Boyer Has Been "Very Consistent"
Long snapper Nate Boyer, the 34-year-old former Green Beret signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas after the 2015 NFL Draft, has been "very consistent" with his snaps early on in camp, Carroll said.
"I'm anxious to see what he does when he gets downfield," Carroll said of the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Boyer. "He has to protect, and then when he gets downfield to make his tackles, he's a little smaller than Gresh [Clint Gresham] and all that. But he's competing for it and he's had good days one right after another."
Carroll hinted Boyer would receive a chance to snap in preseason games, the first of which comes next Friday, Aug. 14 at Seattle's CenturyLink Field.
"I think it's a fun story to watch and he's going to be given a chance," Carroll said.
4. Are Contract Situations Affecting Team Chemistry?
Quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner each received four-year extensions this past weekend, deals that will keep the pair of 2012 draft picks in Seattle through the 2019 season. Carroll was asked if all the talk surrounding player contracts could potentially disrupt team chemistry.
"It's a challenge if you let it be, it can be a problem," said Carroll. "We work so much with our individual guys. We know them so well. We care for them so much that I think we find our ways to work through all of the issues. I'm hoping that we can show that you can do that. I'm counting on it.
"Right now, after all of the stuff that's gone on with Russell's and Bobby's contracts, and the other things that you've heard, our guys are working like crazy. They're working with one another and alongside each other in great fashion. I think it's a statement to the connection the whole team has. We're trying to do something special here."
Kam Chancellor, meanwhile, has yet to report to camp and earlier Wednesday Seahawks Executive VP/GM John Schneider told SiriusXM NFL Radio he doesn't know when to expect the strong safety back on the field.
"I'd love to talk to him, but I haven't talked to him in a couple days," said Carroll. "It's an issue of concern. Yeah, it's an issue of concern, particularly for Kam. Here, we have to keep moving, and he knows. That's what we are called to do and so we're going to do that. But it's a very difficult time for him I think."