Pete Carroll talks mini-camp

You can see the press conference by clicking here.

Earlier in the week Carroll praised tight end Luke Willson (why the extra ‘L’ Luke… why?) for his display. He’s an intriguing guy. There’s not a great deal of tape out there, but any time the team brings an athletic ‘catcher first’ tight end into camp you can’t help but want to see more. Those types of players are changing the NFL as much as anything. Seattle’s offense has lacked a difference making athlete at the tight end position (that’s no slur on Miller or McCoy, I’m a big fan of both). We’ll see if Will.son can be the next out of nowhere field stretching big man.

Perhaps even more interesting, however, were Carroll’s comments about the defensive tackle position. He talked about not putting players into a discomfort zone (yes, I am making up an opposite to ‘comfort zone’). That meant Jordan Hill mostly featuring at the nose or one technique. Yet Jesse Williams featured at the three in mini camp, a position he isn’t that familiar with. He played the five and then the nose at Alabama. So what gives?

Clearly the Seahawks believe in Williams and his ability to start. The fact they’re already trying to get a good look at him at the three might give him an edge in terms of who eventually wins the starting job to replace Alan Branch (even if there’s still a long way to go). Unlike Hill, they’re trying to mould Williams early. They’ve done this in the past with their rookies (see: Russell Wilson taking ALL the snaps in mini-camp last year). Carroll even stated he feels Williams could start on first and second down. They appear to want size early. They want to play tough against the run. They started with Colin Cole at the three, switched to Branch and Williams could be the next man up.

Of course, he still has to prove capable and stay healthy. He’ll need to impress. But it looks like he has a great shot at winning a starting gig. Yet I can’t help but wonder how they see Hill fitting into the equation. Rotational cog for Mebane? Pass rush specialist? After all, he was the third round pick. Not Williams. I figured they might push Hill into the three early to test him there. It may still happen. But this week they kept him at the one and Carroll didn’t tout any eventual change of position in his interview today.

We’ll see how this process plays out. While this won’t be anything like last years quarterback saga going into camp, the ‘who starts at defensive tackle’ debate will at least keep things interesting. Can Williams win the job at the three? And if so, how does the higher draft pick fit in the rotation?


  1. PatrickH

    Last year Clinton McDonald was the one who usually replaced Mebane at the 1-tech position during passing downs. So I guess Jordan Hill will compete with him for that position. It could be that Jesse Williams and Mike Bennett played the Alan Branch and Jason Jones roles respectively this year. Scruggs could have been the competition at the 3-tech spot but for the injury.

    It’s also interesing that Pete praised Chris Harper today and on Friday. I think Golden Tate is going to face a big competitor coming up.

  2. Nate

    I thought u want the lighter DT at the 3 – Mebane at 3 and Williams at nose. But hey, they obviously know what they are doing. As long as they stuff the run, it doesn’t matter.

    • Belgaron

      They aren’t permanent roles, they are going to move them around, that’s just the first spots they had them at for the mini-camp.

    • Rob Staton

      That would be the orthodox way of doing things.

      • Dobbs

        Do the DTs switch sides depending on where the TE lines up?

  3. Cameron

    Could this development give credence to the idea that Williams draft stock slipped due to injury concerns and injury concerns alone? Perhaps the FO believed Williams to be the superior talent all along? I too am intrigued by this and can only conclude that PC intends to carry on with his defensive philosophy of stacking the line with run stuffers on early downs and unleashing the dogs on passing downs. With Williams and Hill PC got his Sheldon Richardson… it just took two players.

    • Belgaron

      Their draft board would have had them draft him in the 3rd if they felt Williams was the better prospect for the team, clearly some factor(s) cut his perceived value. And they clearly called his market correctly as the entire league passed on him in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. But just like last year when some may have been more excited about RW for QB, that didn’t mean they drafted RW in the 1st. They build their board and let talent drop to them, if Williams is the first rookie to earn a starting spot, more power to him. Their may be many starters from this class when all is said and done.

  4. Glor

    2 of the other 3 teams in this division love to run the ball (Rams, and 9rs), so it makes sense to be damn tough against the run.

    • Belgaron

      Absolutely, they want to pwn the run, no question. But with this offense becoming a high scoring unit, they will face much more passing this year as opponents try to keep pace or play from 2 touchdowns behind.

  5. EranUngar

    I think we’ll see a very flexible D line this year.

    It will start mostly with 3 big run stuffing players. Probably – Red, Mebane and Williams plus Irvine/avril or even Bennet on 1st and 10 and all obvious run plays.

    From there it will vary very quickly according to down, distance and pass/run alignments. Ranging from the “whales line” against the run setup to the QB rushing “sharks line” with Irvine, Avril, Bennet and Hill.

    It will keep the line fresh, prevent late game wear down and will enable them to have the “pass rush from hell” Carol wanted with the hard hitting power line to hold against the run.

    As funny as it sounds when discussing the 1st rated defense in points scored, if they glue together we could have a better D this year.

    Can’t wait…

  6. Dan

    I’m surprised by this, but I’m guessing Hill will be a pass rush specialist that spells Mebane and Williams will compete with McDaniel for the 3-Tech… That being said, Hill could come out as a long time starter for this team. With some added weight he should be acceptable against the run (at least good enough for the 3-Tech) and he already possesses the pass rushing skills.

  7. woofu

    Whats with the extra “L”, Jessie?

  8. Snoop Dogg

    Hey Rob! I have a question (that you might find annoying, but I find really interesting!):

    I know that we have talked quite a bit about the importance of right tackle in the NFL, and that it really is not a position of value today. That being said, in this draft (albeit a seemingly weak one), picks 1,2, and 4 were all used on rookie year+ RT’s. Do you think that we on this site have been undervaluing the position?

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      With respect, your question is based on a faulty premise – that 3 of the first 4 picks were RTs.

      Fisher, Joeckel and Johnson are all bona fide LT prospects. That’s the position each played in college, and that’s the position each ultimately will play in the NFL (and most likely in 2014), unless any of them proves incapable of doing so. That any of them may start out in the NFL at RT is simply a matter of transitioning to a higher level of competition, and the fact that PHI, KC and JAX all have reasonably talented LTs currently on their respective rosters (particularly KC and JAX). But make no mistake – ALL 3 were drafted to be LTs.

      Also, SDB has seen numerous debates regarding the RT position, particularly as it pertains to SEA. More than a few bloggers expressed their concern/displeasure with Breno Giacomini and hoped to see JSPC address that position in the draft (I like BG and thus was NOT one of them). So I’m not sure it’s fair to say that we on this site have been undervaluing the position.

  9. other ben

    I think that Cole started at the 1-tech and Mebane at the 3-tech. They moved Mebane back to the 1-tech after 2010. In the platonic ideal of this scheme, Pete wants a pass-rusher at the 3-tech (not a space-eater like Branch) and a run-stuffer at the 1-tech, but I think he’s having trouble finding that franchise 3-tech and is willing to settle at position until he finds a really great player.

  10. Jacob Stevens

    I actually kind of expected this development, even though I’m concerned with Hill’s strength at the professional level. I thought he demonstrated skills to be an undersized one-tech. I wouldn’t expect that that’s what they want, particularly, but since moving back from 3-tech Mebane had said he was going to have more 1-gap responsibility than the prior stint there, so Hill as a rotational 1-gap nose tackle on more passing downs makes sense to me, I expect he could be competent and it’s not as tall an order as winning the starting job.

    Williams being tried at 3-tech is not something I expected, but in both cases it seems to just be experimentation and I suspect shows they anticipate both guys to fill in as rotational guys less likely to win the starting job. Although if either have any chance to start as a rookie, it could be Hill as an undersized nose in that “43 with 34 personnel” with Mebane taking 2 gaps again more often along with Bryant like 34 ends.

  11. James

    Really nice to watch PCJS’s draft strategy reveal itself this weekend. Their picks were clearly targeted for very specific skills, all geared toward developing starters two years down the road, or filling a void on the current team. Williams, Hill and Willson should play a lot this year in their niche roles. Michael, Harper, Simon, Ware and Bowie (whom Doug Farrar raved about today) will develop, provide depth, and be ready to start in ’15. What an amazing thing to watch them put a championship team together.

  12. Saxon

    Does anyone think that Williams looks a little top heavy? At least in the videos I’ve seen he appears to have underdeveloped quads and tibialis. He may become even more stout and explosive as the Hawk’s strength and conditioning coaches build up his base.

    • Rob Staton

      Definitely top heavy and something he can and probably should address. Will be interesting to see what he looks like week one.

      • JW

        from a prospect perspective, combine never looks at leg press or squat talents. all about the bench press…I’d over develop my upper body, too.

  13. James

    I am incredulous that Ware could replace Real Rob on the roster this season. To begin with, Rob outweighs him by 30 lbs, and Ware isn’t going to add anywhere near that in the next couple of months. This is NFL fullback, not halfback – Russell Wilson’s last line of defense against blitzing LBs and stunting DEs. And Ware has no experience, has basically never played the position. Ware can be really good by ’14, but I can’t imagine letting Rob go to save a million or so in cap. The Seahawks offense would be significantly worse with Ware instead of Rob. Release McQuistan, Thurmond, Farwell, Maragos and McDonald…maybe; Rob…no.

    • JW

      30 lbs in stretching the case. I wouldn’t easily part with Mike Rob, but he is 32 and expensive.

      • Rob Staton

        I see zero possibility Mike Rob isn’t with the team next year. If anything the Seahawks are getting massive value out of his contract. Cannot underestimate how important he is. If they want to keep Ware they find a place for him on special teams and carry four RB’s.

        • JW

          If you mean 2013 I agree. But I’d be fairly surprised if he’s back 2014.

          • Rob Staton

            Depends on the deal they can do and how he performs in 2013.

  14. Eran Ungar

    Williams at the 3…for a good reason….

    With all the remarks about using Jesse at the 3 we forgot the biggest one :

    Playing the hybrid 4-3 the way we do we have both the 5 and the 1 playing 2 gaps at times. The 3 always plays 1 gap. If you want to ease a rookie into that line, especially one with Williams lack of football history and background, placing him in a spot were he has to mind just one gap sounds like a safer way to have him effective.

    Also when playing the week side (4-3 under) with the LEO at his side he avoids being double teamed by the Tackle and playing the strong side (4-3 over) he is between Mebane and Red who play 2 gaps each – they will draw the double teams and if he does they will crush the play.

    Stuffing the run from the 3 is the easiest role on the D line in the hybrid 4-3 for a guy with his size and strength. If you want him in a comfort zone – that is it.

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑