Pete Carroll met with the media following the team's Monday morning practice at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center fresh off of the Seahawks' preseason game against the Chiefs, a 14-13 loss this past Friday at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.
The team will practice three more times this week - on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday - before holding a walk thru practice and traveling to San Diego on Friday for the third preseason game of 2015 on Saturday, Aug. 29.
1. Thomas Rawls & Rod Smith Are "Just Trying To Hang Right Now"
Seattle went with three running backs on its 53-man roster for much of last season - starter Marshawn Lynch, backup Robert Turbin, and 2013 second-round pick Christine Michael. Lynch and Turbin have a pretty firm hold of the No. 1 and No. 2 spots again this year, so it's Michael who rookie running backs Thomas Rawls and Rod Smith are battling for a roster spot.
The pair of rookies have impressed early in training camp and had solid showings in the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, but on Monday Carroll tempered the buzz surrounding the first-year players, hinting Michael might be further ahead in the competition than some think.
"They're just kind of trying to make it," Carroll said of Rawls and Smith. "They're just trying to hang right now. I don't know if they're pushing anybody, but it's a push on themselves right now just trying to figure it out, find a way into special teams, show that they can do something when they get a chance, you know? I really like the way that they've competed so far. Unfortunately there's only two more games to figure it out, but they're doing well."
Michael helped himself with his showing against the Chiefs this past Friday, particularly in pass protection, where the running back laid a huge hit on Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford, who injured his ribs on the play but was at practice as Kansas City resumed workouts this week.
"He had a couple great blocks and unfortunately a guy got hurt on one of them," Carroll said of Michael's play. "That's just an illustration that his game is rounding out and he's doing a nice job."
Michael finished Friday's game against the Chiefs with a team-high 10 carries for a team-high 27 yards.
"He ran the ball well when he had his chances," Carroll said. "When he had the opportunity he hit it really well."
2. Brandon Mebane Is In The "Best Shape" The Seahawks Have Seen Him
Brandon Mebane's 2014 season ended early after the veteran nose tackle tore his hamstring in Week 10. He was in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career, having tallied 20 tackles (11 solo) and a sack while anchoring Seattle's run defense. Carroll said Mebane's recovery from hamstring surgery was "guided well by the trainers" and the nine-year veteran has come back looking better than ever, recording a sack - and of course, his signature belly roll - against the Chiefs last week.
"He's returned in fantastic shape," Carroll said. "I think it's the best shape we've ever seen him in, and I think his confidence is at an all-time high. He feels great about everything that's asked of him and he's played really good football. He looks as quick as ever. He's thrilled and we're thrilled about it."
3. B.J. Daniels Is Showing "A Lot Of Good Things"
B.J. Daniels, who the Seahawks converted from quarterback to wideout late last season, is one of 10 players pushing for play time at the position. He's received a good amount of work through two preseason games on offense and special teams, seeing action on coverage units and as a kick and punt returner behind rookie wideout Tyler Lockett.
"The more you can do," Carroll said. "That's a real motto in the League and he's an example of it. I loved that he covered kickoffs so aggressively, too. This is his second game as a wide receiver ever, so we take that into account. He's shown a lot of good things. He's got a lot of natural ability. He's a very competitive kid. We like the heck out of him, and the fact that he can play quarterback is huge. Who else can do that? It's rare to have a guy like that."
Carroll said the reason Seattle converted Daniels to wide receiver in the first place was because they loved him as a football player and wanted to find a place for him on the 53-man roster. Daniels dropped a pass in Kansas City last week, but has finished each exhibition with three catches for 19 yards. His versatility and willingness to contribute in multiple spots on special teams could help him land on the team's final roster.
"He's doing a good job," Carroll said. "He's played well in the games."
- Carroll confirmed the team visited with veteran free-agent offensive guard Evan Mathis over the weekend. Mathis, a two-time Pro Bowler, played for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. "It went very well," Carroll said of the team's visit with the 33-year-old lineman who's set to enter his 10th NFL season. "He's a terrific guy. He would obviously bring us experience and all that, but there's a lot of issues here that we have to take care of to get that in order. We got the information we needed."
- "Things remain the same at this point," was Carroll's response when asked if anything has changed on the status of strong safety Kam Chancellor, who has yet to report.
The team took the field for the first practice of preseason Week 3, preparing for the San Diego Chargers Saturday August 29.