PHOENIX—One of the Seahawks' most significant free-agent additions this offseason was the signing of safety Julian Love, who started 16 games for the Giants last season while also serving as a team captain.
Signing a player of Love's caliber, however, led to some speculation about what it meant for the futures of Seattle's Pro Bowl safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs. But when Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday, he made it clear that Love is joining the team to add to what Diggs and Adams bring to the defense, not to replace one of them.
"I know there's some conversation about what we did with Julian, does that have some impact on Jamal or Quandre?" Carroll said. "It doesn't. We have a clear thought of what we're going to do with our guys and how we want to play them, and we feel very fortunate to have all of our guys."
The Seahawks opened last season planning on using a lot of three-safety looks, but Adams' Week 1 injury changed things for the defense. The addition of Love, along with tendering restricted free agent Ryan Neal, gives the Seahawks the depth and talent to play with three safeties on a regular basis.
Asked if the plan was for Love, Diggs and Adams to all play together, Carroll said, "Oh yeah, absolutely. That's what I'm saying."
And when the follow up was whether that meant something like 25 percent of the team's defensive snaps, Carroll quickly replied, "Oh no, they'll play together a lot more than that."
More than anything, Carroll said, the Seahawks went after Love just because of how much they like what he brings as a player and a leader.
"The opportunity to get Julian, who's a remarkable player, he had a remarkable season last year—I can't remember a guy who played over a thousand snaps and played over 200 snaps on special as well. That's an unusual mix," Carroll said. "That's just one aspect of what Julian brings. He's a really versatile football player, he called their defenses—he had the green dot—he's a captain. It's a very rare opportunity to get a guy like that, so we jumped at it."
Carroll said Love can do everything from play nickel to deep safety to playing run defense in the box, the type of versatility that will make it easier to play with three safeties on the field at once.
"He can do a lot of things," Carroll said. "He was a very dynamic player in their system, he did everything, from the front to the back. He's a really good deep-end player, but he fits into the running the game and pressuring and all of those things. He's a really complete football player. And also, the smarts that he brings, the leadership that he brings, he's going to be a really good addition."
As for Adams' recovery from a torn quadriceps tendon, Carroll said the recent updates have been positive and that Adams is pushing to make it back for the start of camp.
"It sounds really good," Carroll said. "We sent our guys out to see him about 10 days ago, and he's coming in in the next couple of weeks too, so we're keeping track. It sounds like he's doing great. He's pushing it, and he's going to try to bust whatever projections that would keep him from not being ready for the start of the season, he's looking to get that done, and we're counting on it, hoping it."
Carroll did acknowledge that Adams being ready for the start of camp isn't a given right now, and said the Seahawks will be cautious with him.
"That's not what the doctors are saying; they're being more open, allowing more room for that to see what happens," Carroll said. "We'll see what happens. We're going to be really optimistic about it but support him, and we're not going to rush it."