INDIANAPOLIS—A lot went well for the Seahawks in 2016, including the team's third NFC West championship in four years, but ultimately the Seahawks fell short of the NFL's biggest prize, which means there's always going to be some evaluation—both of what took place the previous season and of how the team looks going forward—taking place in the offseason.
While every offseason has a different feel to it, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll remains as upbeat about his team's future as he ever has been in his seven years in Seattle.
"I always feel different about it, because of the season that just happened and the players and all that, there's a uniqueness every year," Carroll said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "But I'm really optimistic about our chances to play really good football. As always there are some tweaks that we have to do here and there, and we have to hope that guys grow and develop as they can, and that we do a nice job of stewarding that.
"I'm just as hopeful as ever. We have all of the elements that we need to have a really good football team. If we can add some to that—which we will—we are going to get better. Guys have to continue to develop and continue to work. Our young guys have to continue to get better. Our guys going from their first year to second year have to make a big jump. That's what we're counting on. We'll see how that goes. It's pretty much in the wool that's going to happen. We just have to see how far we can take them."
And as much as the Seahawks would have loved to see their 2016 season last a few weeks longer than it did, it is worth remembering that they did make the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years under Carroll and general manager John Schneider, and have won 10 or more games in five straight seasons, winning at least one playoff game in each of those years, doing all of that in a league built to create parity. Those accomplishments aren't on Carroll's mind this week as the Seahawks look to find new talent at the NFL Scouting Combine, but they're noteworthy nonetheless.
"Someday we will take a look back and we'll see," Carroll said when asked about his team's accomplishments. "I don't think it's time to do that right now. But, it's hard to do what we're doing, I know that. The numbers are out there. But us, we're still frustrated that we didn't get that next step. We are a kick away here and there from playing at home in the playoffs. And that would have made a big difference. So there's always things along the way that we can improve at. This year in particular there are areas we are really going to dig in and make us a better team. And we are looking forward to the challenge.
"So, I'm just as pumped and I'm just as energized and I can't wait to see the process come through and bring us our new talent and see where they fit in, and see where we can take it and make the adjustment—all of that stuff. That's what this time of year is. But, because of last year, there are certain things that come out of it that we are looking at, different than other years."
Photos of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll meeting with the media on Thursday, March 2 at the 2017 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.