The Seattle Seahawks certainly didn’t have the greatest record or the most jaw-dropping plays throughout the season last year, but they were certainly one of the NFL’s biggest surprises. While they made the playoffs with a losing record, they won their division and then beat the New Orleans Saints in coach Pete Carroll’s first year.
So what’s he do for an encore? Carroll basically completely overhauled his offense, bringing on coordinator Darrell Bevell — who brought quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and receiver Sidney Rice with him — and adding former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable to instruct his offensive linemen — of which the Seahawks are going young, as witnessed by their draft. Carroll says it’s all part of a plan. Whether that plan actually works out will begin to be known pretty quickly.
Pete Carroll joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Scott and BR to discuss why Tarvaris Jackson is QB1, the biggest difference in the offense from this year to last, the receivers the quarterbacks have at their disposal, how this year’s camp has compared to last year and the grand master plan the Seahawks have orchestrated.
As we get ready for the first preseason game, who is the No. 1 quarterback in Seattle?:
“Coming in, usually you’ve heard me talk about competition so much and make a big deal about it and even it out across the board, including the quarterback position. But I thought, in the sense for our football team, it would help us competitively to situate the quarterback deal right off the bat. So I made Tarvaris [Jackson] the quarterback from the moment he got here because of his five years working with [offensive coordinator] Darrell Bevell and the carryover he would have. … That’s worked out fine. … Charlie Whitehurst, I love what Charlie’s doing, Charlie’s had a great camp. He’s scrambling to catch up. He’s done very well, but Tarvaris is just that much further ahead.”
What’s the big difference from your offense last year to this year?:
“We haven’t changed that so much. I think the addition of Tom Cable is a magnificent adjustment for us. He’s been great with these guys. We decided to go young with our guys up front and rebuild the offensive line and he’s molding these guys into a unit. … Our running game is similar, although because of Tom’s background, we’ve expanded some principles. … Darrell Bevell will call the plays, coming out of Minnesota. … The passing game will be much the same. Obviously we’re going to feature the ability of the quarterback. T-Jack can move around and he really can enhance the running game with his movement and ability to get out of the pocket.”
It’s got to help your quarterbacks that they have weapons on the outside:
“Yeah we’ve got a good-looking group. Sidney Rice is really big-time and he’s fun to watch. He’s terrific on the practice field and we know that he’s made all kinds of things happen on gameday. Mike Williams is coming on strong, as well, and that gives us a nice one-two punch. Ben Obomanu, a guy who really emerged last year as a good player for us, we’re excited to get him back in action and bring Golden Tate up. He’s getting a lot of work. … It’s a group that should be together for a long time and hopefully our QBs can really take advantage of those guys.”
Is it a completely different feeling for you opening your second training camp compared to your first?:
“It is different. We’re starting at such a different point than we did a year ago when they won nine games in two years and everybody was wondering what was going to happen. Now, just kind of the language that we use, the approach and the style and the way we practice, the message just gets carried so much faster. … It’s really been fun. It’s just a different atmosphere. We’re trying to make normal being a division champion and make normal being a playoff team and make normal the focus on championships.”
On flying under the radar while bringing on new coaches and former players of those coaches coming along with them:
“We really did have a plan, even going all the way back to the draft … that was all part of rebuilding this thing and structuring it around an aggressive thought of running the football, being tough up front, utilizing Tom’s background and his influence. Every step of the way we’ve really had a big plan. The fact that nobody sees it, that’s OK with us.”