By John Boyle
The Seahawks practice week is over and they’ll be on a plane to Denver soon for their preseason opener. Before his team hit the road, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked to the media and answered questions about what we might see on the field tomorrow. Or perhaps more accurately, didn’t answer questions.
As he always does this time of year, Carroll was vague and full of sarcastic quips when asked questions about who might play, how much the starters will play, etc. He would not even confirm nor deny whether he’ll attempt to throw his age while at altitude in Denver (though he was warming up his arm after practice).
For example, when asked if Tarvaris Jackson would be the No. 2 QB or if that would go to Terrelle Pryor, Carroll said, “You’ll have to wait and find out.”
On if Earl Thomas will get the first crack at punt returns: “You’re going to have to wait and see.”
And asked his thoughts on the league experimenting with longer PATs in preseason games, Carroll said, “Do I have any thoughts on it? Yeah, it’s longer.”
But Carroll wasn’t all sarcasm Wednesday; he did give some real answers and updates, including a rather encouraging one on rookie receiver Kevin Norwood.
“He had a bone spur removed yesterday in his foot. It was a real nagging situation that we didn’t want him to try to tough it out. He could tough it out, he has in the past, but we want to try to fix him and get it right. We think it’s going to be a very quick recovery, and he could make it back by the end of camp. We’ll have to wait and see how that works out, but we’re glad to fix him. The guy’s been playing with a lot of pain and he just sucks it up and goes through it, but we figured out hopefully how to help him there.”
As vague as Carroll had been on Norwood’s injury, and with him saying the rookie would be out a while when asked the other day, there was some thought that the injury could be a long-term one. If Norwood is indeed back by the end of the preseason, that would be good news for the Seahawks.
Carroll said rookie linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, who has been battling an oblique injury, will not play Thursday.
Rookie receiver Paul Richardson, however, will play. He has missed several days in camp with a sore shoulder, but returned to action Monday.
Guard James Carpenter, who returned from a calf injury Tuesday, will suit up for the game, but sounds like a game-time decision.
“James is going to the game and he’s dressing,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he does, see how he looks. At this time we’re always going to be patient. That’s in our mind knowing that we’ve got another three weeks to get guys ready, so we’ll be very conservative in trying to push anybody this time of year.”
WR David Gilreath has been absent for a few days, and Carroll said it is because of a concussion. Gilreath could return to action next week, Carroll said.
Marshawn Lynch won’t play Thursday having only returned from his holdout a week ago (though he probably wouldn’t have played in the first preseason game even if he had been around for the start of camp). Asked about Lynch’s progress, Carroll said: “He’s coming along. We’re progressing him with his reps and each week we’ll continue to amp him and see where we can get him to, and just take it one week at a time. He needs a lot of work to get back.”
While Carroll didn’t specify which starters will play or how much, it’s no surprise that he said most of the game will be played by young players.
“We’ve historically really leaned on our young guys and played them a lot in the preseason, and they’re going to play a lot in this game,” Carroll said. “The starters will be out there for a while—we’ll let you know as the game comes to us how long they’ll play—but the bulk of the game will be played by young guys. We’ll be really excited to see them and our guys will be cheering for them, and hopefully they’ll be able to put together some good football.
“It is that time of year of opportunity. That’s what’s going on right now. These guys have dreamed their whole life to be in the NFL and have their chance to play, and here it is. So we’ll kind of dedicate this night tonight and the game tomorrow to these young guys playing in their first NFL game, as we have always done. We’re looking forward to seeing those guys come through and make some things happen.”
And the Seahawks did make one roster move Wednesday, waiving cornerback Trey Wolfe (and yes, that was just yesterday that they signed him) and signing defensive back Michael Dobson, who participated in the team’s rookie minicamp.