Post-draft quotes from Pete Carroll and John Schneider

John Schneider and Pete Carroll – Draft Day 3 wrap-up

May 2, 2015

(Opening Statement…)

PC: “You guys don’t realize what goes on right now. We just came out of the push to put together our free agents. It’s so exciting because we have had such tremendous success, with many great treasures have been added to our club over the years, as well as the free agents, and we know that’s what we’re involved with, and every guy we’re talking to and every guy that we hook up may be that guy that’s Kam or K.J. or Doug and Kearse, that have done so many cool things for us. There’s a ton of energy down there, we just finished up, we just hooked up 12 free agents, 12 guys to add to the class, and there may be a couple more. There’s just so much energy, and to talk to these kids, because we get back into the recruiting mode a little bit, and to hear how excited they are to have a chance to play for our team and to come to add to it. We’ve looked for guys throughout with great attitude and great competitive nature about them. We just felt like we were knocking one after another as we were signing them up today. We followed up with the free agent push. We’re really excited. John did a great job again, the board came off like we were hoping and so many guys fit some issues that we had, some needs that we had, so here we go. It was an awesome job.”

JS: “It went a little bit too much like we thought it would. This year was an interesting year in that regard. I don’t know if it’s the longer time that everyone has now to prepare for the draft, but it just seemed like this year everything was coming off better than we wanted it to, as far as people taking really good players all the way through it.”

PC: “Terrific draft, so we’re really fired up about it. I think that just today we could see the emphasis on up front. We needed to hit a couple guys. We had a couple guys that we had put up on the board and had a pin in them and hoping they would happen, and to get Terry and Mark Glowinski, those guys were really prime guys. Tom went out and worked out KristjanSokoli a couple days ago to see if we could do this transition with him like we had this success with Sweezy a while back, and he just fell in love with the kid, and for us to nail it like that gives us three solid guys coming in to really compete and make this group a really competitive group. Just an exciting overall draft and again, I’ll say this too, when we look at the draft we start with Jimmy Graham. John worked the deal with the One, to get him to start this thing and then add this kind of firepower is really fun. That’s kind of the overview. We’re kind of fired up about it, so we just want to let you hear it.

(On why Tom Cable thinks he can do another d-line to o-line transition…)

JS: “It starts with the measurables, and the attitude of the person, and the grit, the makeup, his background, his character, what he’s all about. He’s one of our 30 guys that we brought in, too. To be able to come in and look the guy eye to eye and feel the passion. Of all the guys we selected, they all have different reactions when you call them and let them know what’s shaking, and [Sokoli] was so intense, he was like, I’m not going to disappoint you. He was just really excited about the opportunity. It starts with the measurable, and then I have a coach that’s willing to go ahead and dive in to all those intangibles and work with that and teach. It’s huge.”

(On what they liked in Tye Smith…)

JS: “Oh, man. Very aggressive. A really cool mover. Length. Tough. Just competed his tail off all the time. He was always around the football. I want to throw a name out there to compare him to, but I can’t because you guys will think I’m crazy. As a mover, and his ball skills.”

PC: “A great all around athlete. Played a lot of sports. Stuff comes naturally to him, and he’s a big hitter, too.”

JS: “He probably had one of the cooler plays in college football this year. He had a pass deflected and a forced fumble and almost got the fumble recovery on the same play. He broke on this ball, ball goes flying in the air, he deflects the ball, then he comes around the corner, a guy caught it on offense, and then he still jumped around a corner and ripped the ball out, and almost got the ball, but his teammate got it, it was pretty cool.”

(On how important was it for Smith to have a big game against West Virginia…)

JS: “It was great because of the way he competed with Kevin. The first two or three plays the way the two of them came off the ball at each other; he came to play. Kevin’s a great competitor, and so is Tye.”

(On where Smith will play…)

PC: “We’re going to play him at corner, start him outside, that’s where he looks most comfortable. But he has enough knack and nature to him, he might be able to play inside some day, we’ll see what happens. But, we want to start him at corner.”

(On what made them think that Sokoli could be similar to Sweezy…)

JS: “It’s the measurable of the players, and the intensity with which he plays. Toughness, the mental toughness, the way he prepares, and just knowing that there’s certain guys that could be specific fits for our offense, especially on the offensive line. To have a coach like Tom, who’s willing to dive into those intangibles, that’s where it starts. If he’s comfortable with it, then we go from there.”

PC: “He’s in the 4.8s, I think heverted 38 or something, he had a great shuttle at 4.2 or something. Just phenomenal stuff at 300 pounds. And he’s a hard-nosed football player, and he’s real smart too, and you take all that together, and there’s not another offensive lineman on the board, maybe, that has those measurables. He already separates himself physically, so we’ll see what happens. We’ll be very patient with that, but we’ve been through it. It doesn’t always work, but we’re going for it again.”

JS: “Provided the opportunity, Sweezy came along in a very fast fashion.”

(On the Albania and Nigeria backgrounds of today’s picks…)

PC: “It factors in just as it does. There’s no intention of that, or any kind of thought there. It just happens, and it does make us a very diversified group, which is good. We always like the uniqueness, and we look for the guys that have something special about them. Just because he comes from a different place doesn’t mean he’s going to be unique, but I think Sokoli’s going to be, and Obum is a unique player to pick up. Again, John fell in love with this guy’s motor right off the bat first time he saw him, and the transition he’s made. It’s going to take some time for him to develop, but to play that hard that fast so relentless, as he switched sides of the ball, that lit us up, and that fits what we’re looking for. He jumped off the film at us with his effort and his intensity. We feel very consistent throughout this class with that makeup, we want these guys coming in with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove, and both these guys you just talked about are exactly that.”

(On the first two linemen selected today…)

PC: “Terry Poole is a very physical football player, moves really well. He’s 300 and 20 something pounds, over 6’5”, we’re going to play him at guard and see how that goes. He’s been a left tackle most of his career. But, we want to see him go inside and take a shot at competing for that guard spot. Mark Glowinski has also been a guard, we’re going to put him on the other side, put him on the right side and let him go at it, a very, very exciting mover and athlete. Really good measurables again. Very smart kid. Those two guys; we’ll start there. We’re going to reserve the right to do all of the moving we need to dohere, but that’s where we’ll start with them on Day One. Sokoli’s going to start at center, we’re going to put him in there and see what happens right off the bat.”

(On whether offensive line was an area of need…)

PC: “Yes, it was. We really wanted numbers. We wanted more young competition going on there to force everybody to push and see who could bust through and let the games begin and see what happens.”

JS: “Somebody asked me in that get together we had before the draft if we wanted to address the offensive line, and I said “yes”. But you can’t push guys, either. You can’t just do it to do it. They have to come to you in the right spot. Quite frankly there was an opportunity for us to move back in there, and we just decided to hang. We ended up hanging in there because of what you’re talking about. Yeah, we felt that if we go back, we might not have a shot at player A or player B. That’s how we think of it.

(On what they saw in Ryan Murphy…)

JS: “Versatility. Tough, a very steady football player. Returned a kickoff against USC for 100 yards.”

PC: “The guy started 38 games. He averaged almost 70 tackles a year. Very consistent. Played in the nickel area so we saw him get close to the line of scrimmage like we play Kam and how he fits in. Played on the deep end as well. One of the things we really love about the guy is how his teammates feel about him. They want to go war with this guy. He’s one of the first names that pop up, that this is a guy that we all trust and believe in. He’s a grit guy, he’s tough, he’s just what we’re looking for. Jeron Johnson leaving gives us a slot, we’d like to get a guy to come in here and compete for that spot and see what he does. We think he’s got a great chance to do that.”

JS: “I was at the workout at Oregon State, and he had a great positional workout, thinking that he might play corner as well. That type of workout, and he’s a safety.”

(On what is it about the attributes of a guy from Buffalo to transition him to offensive line, as opposed to defensive linemen in all of college football…)

PC: “You see guys that come out on the defensive side of the ball that maybe don’t quite measure up, but when you compare them to offensive guys, they really stand up to the measurables, like John started with that. Sweezy ran fast, he was fast, and Kristjan runs really fast for a guy, so that’s as far as I can go.”

(On whether ObumGwacham is an outside pass rush type of guy…)

PC: “He’s an outside edge rush guy right now. He doesn’t have enough background to show us any more at this point. He’s an athlete that is an outside backer, LEO-type, we’ll see where he fits in. We don’t want to try to load him up with too much, we’d like to get his hand on the ground and see how he does just coming off the football. Our coaches are excited to see what happens when we get to work with him a little bit. This off season will be so valuable to him to show how far he can go. We know he’s going to go really fast and he’s going to go really hard and he’s not going to stop for anything, so that’s a great place to start.”

(On transitioning a guy from wide receiver…)

JS: “From a measurables standpoint, there’s guys you look at every year to see if they have the toughness and the passion to maybe be able to make that transition, more as a practice squad kind of guy.”

PC: “It’s not the greatest statement about his hands, either.”

(On whether they want Gwacham at more than 245 pounds…)

PC: “We want him at the strongest, fastest weight. Whatever we can get him to, we’ll see where that goes, but we really want his movement to be paramount so we don’t want to overload him. From 240 to 260 in there, that’s what our guys usually weigh in that spot.”

JS: “He’s a really cool kid. He’s a real intelligent guy, that’s overcome a lot. I know you hear that a lot with us. Big time track athlete. Helped all the guys on the team manage their stipend money. You could see him throughout the season, improving, trying different things, trying to protect his hands.”

(On LS Nate Boyer…)

JS: “You fall in love, through the process, with guys, giving people opportunities for different reasons all the way through the draft. Through a good friend of mine I’ve become very aware of who this guy is at his core, and everything that he represents, and what he’s done every year at Texas. Then, three tours and come out of high school. He’s just a phenomenal person, and he’s a competitor, and he’s tough and he represents a lot of really, really cool things that quite frankly I think would be really good for a lot of us to be around. And, he runs down and covers kicks, and he’s really made himself into a legitimate snapper at Texas.”

PC: “I think he’s going to hit somebody. He’s going to be able to hit somebody. It’s a great opportunity for us to have a guy come to the program with his background, and all that. We cherish competitors, we cherish tough guys, we cherish guys that can overcome odds, and he’s done all of that. And, he’s done a good job, too. He’s even snapped a football. We’ll see what happens.Gresh[Clint Gresham] better get ready.”

(On the propensity of using draft picks who are new to a position, or are switching positions…)

JS: “I don’t think that’s us in particular, I think a lot of people do that. We just try to accentuate all the positives in all the players, and make sure you cover yourself in all the deficiencies, and make sure somebody is smart and intelligent and willing to work with the coaching staff, and learn from them and listen and fit that criteria.”

(On ObumGwacham’s weight…)

PC: [We want the] strongest, fastest weight. We’ll see where we can get him to and where that goes, but we really want his movement to be paramount—so we don’t want to overload him. From 240-260, that’s usually where our guys weigh in that spot.”

JS: “He’s a really cool kid. He’s an intelligent guy who has overcome a lot. [He was] a big-time track athlete and helped other guys on the team manage their stipend money. You see him throughout the season improving—trying different things, trying different techniques with his hands.”

(On Nate Boyer…)

JS: “You fall in love through the process with guys and giving people opportunities for different reasons all the way through the draft—through a good friend of mine I have become very aware of who this guy is at his core and everything he represents. What he’s done every single year at Texas and three tours—he is just a phenomenal person. He’s a competitor, and he’s tough. He represents a lot of really, really cool things that, quite frankly, are really good for us to be around; and he runs downs down and covers picks, so he’s really made himself a legitimate snapper in Texas. He’s not going to be afraid—he is smart, tough, and reliable.”

PC: “It’s a great opportunity for us to have him in the program with his background. We cherish competitors, we cherish tough guys, we cherish guys who have overcome odds, and he is done all of that, and he’s done a good job, too, snapping the football. We’ll see what happens.”

(On the risky thought process of late-round picks…)

JS: “I don’t think that’s us in particular. I think a lot of people do that—you just try to find to accentuate all of the positives in the players and make sure you have covered yourself in all of the deficiencies and make sure, in some ways, he is someone who is smart, intelligent, and willing to work with the coaching staff and learn from them, listen, and fit that criteria.”

(On the difficulty of evaluation…)

PC: “You just have to see what you have to see… It’s so crucial for guys to play with a high-energy output; it’s so crucial for guys to play with effort—when we see somebody who is out there, we want him to be part of our team. We will figure it out. It’s such a commodity that we cherish so much. We are in total agreement—we are looking for guys like that. (Boyer) is extraordinary, he flies all over the field. We know that if we can coach him up and harness that, we think he might be able to a fantastic contributor to our team. Imagine him chasing kickoffs and cover punts—he is going to be tremendous. Ricardo Lockette is a good example of that. It took us a couple years, but we were able to find got him use that speed and he became a phenomenal cover guy, well maybe this guy is someone like that, too. We will give guys a chance.”

(On who they were most surprised to still be on the board…)

PC: “Tyler (Lockett). We wanted a returner in this program so badly. John just needed to figure out where we were going to get him, and I am thrilled we got him. He is such a special return guy. He is going to be a terrific receiver, as well, but what I just thought was so unique, and I thought other people would want that, too.”

JS: “Especially when you’re picking up there and you don’t pick until 63, it is wide open. To me, it was Frank (Clark) because there was such a drop-off in the talent level there with the pass rushers. All of the people we were talking from different teams about where this guy—everyone talks in vague terms—but where this guy may go, so with Tyler it was a deal where both guys were going to get taken right around there, but we feel blessed with Tyler because it was just a couple of spots away. This is what Pete’s hitting on, and that’s why we felt he was the best returner in the draft, and I know his dad extremely well, and I know what the kid is all about.”

(On the size at wide receiver and Chris Matthews…)

PC: “Chris (Matthews) is an exciting prospect coming back to camp. He made a big impression at the Super Bowl, he had made a big impression on us anyway—we brought him back to go to work and he did a nice job. We go into this camp thinking that Chris is going to be a big guy and the big receiver in this offense. He is as good as it gets to fill that expectation—we’ll see how he does. Our receivers come in all shapes and sizes, and we like them all. They all have their special ways. Doug (Baldwin) is a special football player for this team, and Lockette is totally different and Chris is totally different and (Jermaine) Kearse is kind of in the middle of all of that. As long as we don’t feel that we are restricting ourselves in the style of play—you can have too many big guys, too many small guys—we like the variety, we like the uniqueness, and we are going to try to utilize that really well.”

(On Tye Smith’s size…)

JS: “He’s got pretty good size; he has really good length, too.”

PC: “He’s right around 6-0’. He’s got good, long arms and right around 195 pounds, too. There are guys taller than that, but not many—it is hard to find guys who can play the position that are taller than that. He is at the big range of corners when we look at it, and there are larger guys, obviously.”

(On focusing on positives instead of deficiencies….)

JS: “I think we have a staff that has such good teachers, it allows us to focus on those positives. The easiest thing to do in evaluating and scouting and just having an opinion in general is pointing out the negatives and what they can’t do. You can stay in this league for a long time telling everybody what people can’t do.”

PC: “I think it’s really inherent in just our nature in our team. I am that way, too, and we are looking for stuff that guys bring. We are going to try to fit that in. We are always looking for uniqueness and trying to champion that, so we are looking at guys and the high-end of them, and we believe that we can coach them to what they have demonstrated in their potential. I do think we tend to go that way. (Clark) is a great example of that—we kept looking and digging into the good things he could bring—where some people may have stopped that process—and we kept digging and found the guy we thought could be really special and deserves that opportunity, I think some people oversee that sometimes.”

(On the defensive line…)

“I feel good about it. At this time of the year, right after the draft, everybody feels pretty good about things. But once we start going through the offseason and seeing how everybody is working and coming along, we will have a better feeling the closer we get to training camp, as you know we are a team that is not stopping, and everyone is being evaluated all of the time, and we are always looking to get as many good players as we can for the coaching staff.”

PC: “I think that (Ahtyba) Rubin is a really good addition. I think he is an exciting addition, he has played really good football—he is a big, strong, tough dude who fits right in with our style of play inside there. I think he is really adding to our group and I think we have improved in that. We are real happy to sign him. I think that is a plus heading into the draft, knowing he is coming into our team. We are really looking forward to having him.”

(On the role of Jimmy Graham…)

PC: “He is as special as a tight end can get—he is big, he is fast and he is athletic as a guy can be. What I am counting on is him complementing the guys and making everybody better. I think we will hopefully be able to add to his game—he is planning on that—and he is going to help us, help Doug (Baldwin). He is going to help the running game, and the running game is going to help him. There is a lot of stuff that is going to work together here, and I think it is a big, big positive for us. And we will see, it will take us some time to unveil, but we are planning on that being a big factor and helping us in general.”

(On making everything fit…)

JS: “I tell people all of the time when I meet with them, especially agents, that it’s not any different than playing Madden. You have money to spend in a certain amount of room, and you have to make everything fit. Every year—we try to draft good players all the way through—but you also have to draft according to what your future may or may not hold, kind of worst-case scenario.”

PC: “We’ve seen this and we’ve had to adapt. It’s kind of a natural progression of acquiring really good players and maintaining the core of our team to fit that altogether-it’s a master plan that John has been working on. We keep working on this and it continues to challenge us, which is why we have those difficult decisions at the end of the year that we have to make. I think John has done an amazing job keeping this going—we have the core together and ready to come back again and put together a great camp to get started again. There will always be some faces changed.”

JS: “That’s a great point—the game has changed, and as much as you’re excited to give somebody an extension, or draft a player, and then somebody may be leaving and it hurts when you have to do that. It’s part of our game.”

(On how far you look ahead…)

JS: “Three years… It’s not like we make callous decisions. We weren’t really fired up about letting Chris Clemons go and Red Bryant—and there’s been a lot of guys… You only have a certain amount of money to work with, cap space.”

(On Bruce Irvin…)

PC: “If we pick up Bruce’s option it’s a great thing, if we don’t pick up Bruce’s option it only means we aren’t picking it up… We want him to be here for a long time.”

JS: “We wanted (James Carpenter) to be here. We didn’t pick it up because of what we had going on, but that didn’t mean we didn’t want him back. We had a negotiation with him and it didn’t work out.”

PC: “We met with Bruce yesterday before we got going, and it went very well. We discussed what our plan is and what we are planning on doing, still knowing that maybe something could happen that could change the decision. It has nothing to do with the statement of how we feel about him in our program. We expect him to be here for a long time and we will work to get that done.”

(On ongoing discussions with Russell Wilson…)

PC: “We won’t talk much about it because there’s a lot of stuff—it is such a crucial thing. We are so excited about getting Russell [an extension] and keeping him forever—we want to do all of that. He has been an extraordinary player for us and we all recognize that. It’s a big deal, there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s been draft-focused for us on our end, and there’s going to be continuing talks. It’s totally in motion. Whatever happens, happens, but we will work it out and make it a great deal and have him here forever.”

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