- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Highlights and interpretations from coach Pete Carroll's news conference following the Seattle Seahawks' first practice of training camp Saturday:
Pass-rush thoughts. The Seahawks think their pass rush will be vastly improved with defensive end Bruce Irvin taking over Raheem Brock's old role opposite Chris Clemons in passing situations, and with Jason Jones rushing from the interior. Carroll: "Out of all of the aspects of our football team, I'm most excited about our potential to improve there." Perhaps it would be better for the team if Carroll were most excited about the possibilities at quarterback. Then again, Carroll is a defensive-minded head coach, so he might be inclined to think about defense first.
Proceeding with caution. The Seahawks, much like the Arizona Cardinals with Beanie Wells, are taking a conservative approach to rehab with one of their top offensive players. Receiver Sidney Rice is wearing a non-contact jersey in practice. The team has bet big on Rice and doesn't want to do anything to risk injury as Rice returns from surgeries on both shoulders. Carroll: "I just think he’s had enough that he’s been through that it warrants taking our time here and not rushing him back."
Closing the door: The law prohibits burial of the living, but Carroll broke out a figurative shovel when asked about recently released receiver Mike Williams. Carroll: "First off, it was just time to move on. Mike had come back and he had done some good things for us, and I just felt like it was time to just go ahead and move on. Mike had probably topped out what he was going to do for us at this place. Hopefully, he'll get another chance to do something somewhere else."
Forgotten contributors: Cornerback Walter Thurmond's return from a leg injury appears less important to the team now that the secondary has placed three starters in the Pro Bowl and a fourth, Richard Sherman, with similar ability. Carroll thinks Thurmond will need a month or longer to get back on the field. Carroll: "We think he’s unique on this team with his quickness and style; he’s a very aggressive kid. If he comes back to us in four weeks or six weeks whenever it is, when he does come back to us that can be a heck of a boost for us." Byron Maxwell is another nearly forgotten cornerback with the ability to make an impact, health permitting.
DUI fallout: Carroll shed no light on expectations for running back Marshawn Lynch, who could be subject to NFL discipline -- most likely a fine, possibly a suspension -- following a DUI arrest this offseason. The team doesn't know how the league might proceed. The NFL can act in the absence of a legal judgment, but that could be less likely in the absence of aggravating circumstances. And so the Seahawks wait.
Setting up the roster: Carroll pointed to new contracts for Lynch, Clemons, Red Bryant and Max Unger as a signal to the locker room that the organization will take care of productive players. Carroll: "We’re working really hard to have a really well structured roster, and if you guys take a look at it and look at the offensive side of the ball, how complete it is right now. There are not many question marks going forward contractually. We're very solid defensively, it’s very much the same. We’re committed to our guys and we want to demonstrate that whenever we can."
The Seahawks are holding their second camp practice Sunday at 10 a.m. PT.