Following a "Bonus Monday" practice at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Pete Carroll met with the media in what was his first full press conference since the team was forced to trim its roster from 75 to 53 players this past weekend.
"It's the real thing starting off here this week," Carroll said in reference to the team's regular season opener to be played this Sunday against the Rams in St. Louis. "It's been a good, tough offseason for us and preseason and camp all went well, so everything's lined up, ready to go. We're excited about getting the roster squared away, finalized it. It was a very difficult day for a number of our players that have been with us, but as we look ahead it's a really strong team, a very competitive roster, and we expect a lot of stuff out of these guys and think we can play some really good football. We're looking forward to getting going."
Much of Monday's conversation with Carroll centered around the team's recent signing of veteran running back Fred Jackson, which digital media reporter John Boyle recaps for you right here. But below, find three other things we learned from the Seahawks head coach to open 2015:
1. Marcus Burley Is Seattle's Nickel Cornerback
Veteran cornerback Will Blackmon appeared to have an edge in the competition for the nickel cornerback spot through the early stages of training camp, but a groin injury kept him from participating in the team's first two exhibition games and he was waived this past weekend in the team's roster cutdown from 75 to 53 players.
Third-year pro Marcus Burley, who Seattle acquired in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts last August, will be the team's starting nickel corner to open the season. Burley saw a lot of action at the spot last year for the Seahawks, recording 32 tackles, a sack, and his first career interception through 13 games played.
"Burley played for us last year," said Carroll. "We liked the way he does it. We gave him a competitive shot with guys coming after him and he held onto the job."
Carroll also called out rookie Tye Smith, who the Seahawks selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, as another player who could see time at nickel cornerback this season.
2. Who's Hurt
Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who suffered a high-ankle sprain in the team's preseason opener, threw the ball in practice today and will throw again on Wednesday, with Carroll indicating Jackson is on track to be available in time for Sunday's regular-season opener.
"I think he's going to make it," Carroll said. "I think he's going to be ready to go."
Starter Russell Wilson is the only other quarterback on the Seahawks' 53-man roster, but wide receiver B.J. Daniels remains an option to quarterback the club if needed, just as he showed in the preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders.
Outside of Jackson, Carroll gave injury updates on tight end Cooper Helfet (sprained knee) and linebacker Mike Morgan (hamstring).
On Helfet: "Cooper's running around, so he's got a chance again. We'll go Wednesday, Thursday, and just do it one day at a time. He looks pretty close."
On Morgan: "Mike's going to probably miss this game. His hamstring's not coming back."
3. Seattle Isn't Interested In Trading Kam Chancellor
This past weekend, reports surfaced that other teams around the League had expressed interest in trading for Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks' strong safety who has yet to report. While nothing has changed on Chancellor's status this week, Carroll made it clear the team is not entertaining any trade offers with other NFL clubs.
"There has been a couple phone calls from other teams," Carroll said. "People just kind of wondering what's going on. We're really not interested in talking to them about that, so we don't."
- Carroll said Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch missed Monday's practice for personal reasons, "He had some personal matters today that he had to take care of."
It was Labor Day, but the Seahawks were at VMAC to begin the first regular season gameweek of the year against the St. Louis Rams.