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Impressive Rookies & Other Takeaways From Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll's Tuesday Press Conference

News and notes from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s press conference following the team’s moves to reduce the roster to 53 players.


The Seahawks, like every other NFL team, had to reduce their roster to 53 players, a day that is always challenging for the players who are let go, first and foremost, but also for the people who have to make those decisions knowing they're affecting people's lives.

"It's a big day in a lot of directions for guys; guys that don't get to stay with us and guys that do make the club," Carroll said. "It's a big day for coaches and scouts and players and all that. Treat it with respect and all and try to make it as clear as possible where everybody stands as we go through the process. So, that's what we have been working on all day."

But while the Seahawks would love it if everyone could stick around, they are excited about the group of players who were on the field Tuesday following those roster moves. Here are five takeaways from Carroll's press conference:

1. Undrafted rookies Joshua Onujiogu and Joey Blount have "the right kind of makeup."

A pair of undrafted rookies, outside linebacker Joshua Onujiogu and safety Joey Blount both made the 53-man roster, so it's not surprising that Carroll had good things to say about both.

"Joey and Josh, those guys are great examples of guys that just put their head down and competed their tails off, and they showed that," Carroll said. "They've got the right kind of makeup to help your club."

Carroll expanded on what both players brought to training camp in order to make the roster.

"Joey had a great camp," Carroll said. "He just had a great camp and made plays on special teams which was where it really started. It's a classic illustration of the guy making some noise on teams, and we look at him to see if he can support and help us in the position, and he did a really good job at that as well. But I give it to him on special teams that really won him his spot.

"Josh was just really consistent and brought it and did a nice job and surprised us that he was able to stay in the competition throughout all this time. We got a couple guys here that we are looking at that we've got to make sure everybody is healthy. Congratulations to both those guys."

2. Justin Coleman may not be gone for long.

The Seahawks released cornerback Justin Coleman, a move that came as a surprise considering he was the No. 1 nickel corner throughout camp. And while the Seahawks have faith in rookie Coby Bryant should he take over that role, Carroll's comments Tuesday indicated that Coleman might be back soon. As a vested veteran, Coleman isn't subject to waivers, so the Seahawks could bring him back if both parties agreed to a deal. Releasing and re-signing veterans has become common in the NFL this time of year because players who are on the initial 53-man roster then subsequently placed on injured reserve are eligible to return after four games, while players who are placed on injured reserve at any time up to the roster deadline are out for the season.

"There's moving parts," Carroll said. "Justin is a really good football player, and hopefully this isn't where we're done with him."

3. Tariq Woolen is ready to play.

When the Seahawks selected cornerback Tariq Woolen in the fifth round of the draft, the common belief among draft prognosticators was that the former receiver out of UTSA had a lot of upside, but was still unpolished and might need time to develop. As it turned out, Woolen has stood out throughout training camp and the preseason, and due to injuries to Artie Burns and Sidney Jones IV, he spent a lot of time with the No. 1 defense. Burns is back and the hope is Jones will be soon as well, but the way Carroll is talking about Woolen, he could be in line to have a big role even if everyone is available.

"He can play, yeah, he can play," Carroll said. "It was almost poetic that he goes out there and struggles (in his first preseason game), misses a tackle, and a touchdown pass on a bust right off of the bat. Even in that game, it was like, 'OK, this is what it could be like. Let's fix everything up and get back to work,' which he did. In that game in particular, he came right back at it. We played him a lot, so he got a lot of reps through the three games, and he's been out here going against Marquise (Goodwin), DK (Metcalf), and Tyler (Lockett). He's hung in with all of those guys. Those guys are as fast, as good, and as really a diverse talent that you can go against. He's ready to go."

4. Dareke Young didn't look like a Division II player.

Dareke Young was the last of Seattle's nine draft picks and played at Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, but throughout camp and the preseason, he didn't play like a seventh-round pick from a small school, and that's why he was able to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

"He never looked like anything but a guy that belonged, regardless of where he came from," Carroll said. "Few of us know where Lenoir-Rhyne is, and he just never looked like that. He looked like he belonged right from the day one. He's physically really fit. He's a big, strong kid, fast. He ran routes better than we thought he would. He was clean in-and-out of his breaks. He's strong with the catch. Sometimes, he needs to work on catching the football a little bit better, but it's not because he can't catch it; it's because of the situations and getting better around or whatever. But he's more than that. He's also a special teams guy. He's a really good blocker; it really matters to him to be a physical player. And it showed up and we really liked him early on. It was just, is he going to be able to hold it throughout camp and he did. The quarterbacks know that he's out there. He's going to make the strong, good catches. We know in the running game, he's going to be a factor too, so we are excited about what he has done."

5. Releasing Marquise Blair was a particularly tough decision.

Two years ago, Marquise Blair, a 2019 second-round pick, was one of the stars of training camp after taking over the nickel role, but unfortunately a Week 2 knee injury ended his season. His 2021 season was also cut short by a knee injury, and while he was able to make it back healthy for this year's camp, he ultimately didn't land on the 53-man roster.

"He's a really good ball player and tough kid and all that," Carroll said. "In one sense it's hard to break in here, you we've got really good players and he's a guy that wants to play the game as much as anybody, very intense about it. And this gives him an opportunity to have a chance to start somewhere. He's a nice ball player and he's tough as hell and we loved him, so we wish him the very best and the door is always open."

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