Preseason is Pete Carroll’s truth serum

Staff writerAugust 7, 2013 

Seahawks Camp Football

Seahawks running back Christine Michael looks for running space between Clinton McDonald (69) and Jesse Williams last week during training camp in Renton. Michael, a second-round pick, is expected to get plenty of action in Thursday’s exhibition in San Diego.


The NFL preseason: Pete Carroll’s version of a pro football polygraph.

“We’ve evaluated them in practice and now it comes to game time,” the Seattle coach said about the first exhibition game, set for 7 p.m. Thursday at San Diego. “Some things change and we have to get to the truth … who are these guys, what are they all about, how do they fit in?”

For someone seeking the truth, Carroll pleaded the Fifth Amendment fairly often after Wednesday’s walk-through, choosing not to elaborate on a number of the Seahawks’ injury and manpower issues.

“Not everybody’s going to play a whole lot,” Carroll said. “We’re going to mix our rotations up; we’re not going to be real specific with that.”

He did say linebacker Bruce Irvin (groin) would not play. It’s also unlikely guard James Carpenter will see action, while he’s dealing with a foot injury unrelated to the knee problems that have sidelined him for parts of the past two seasons.

“At this time, we’ll take the stance that if we think guys need rest, we’re resting them,” Carroll said. “You’ll see some of the decisions when we get to the game.”

Center Max Unger has a slight groin injury and Carroll said the decision on his status will be made at game time.

Carroll stressed the exhibition opener against the Chargers is mostly about evaluating young talent and establishing a tone for the season.

“We expect to go out and play football our style,” Carroll said. “We’re going to try to play fast on offense and fly around on defense and special teams and start the process of trying to figure ourselves out … more than anything we want to see our young guys, they’ll get the bulk of the time.”

Carroll said he’s specifically interested in seeing rookie second-round pick Christine Michael, who will see action at running back and kick returner.

Carroll did not list middle linebacker Bobby Wagner(shoulder) as one who might not play, but talked considerably about his backup, Allen Bradford, a converted running back he briefly coached at USC.

“It’s a really big opportunity for Allen,” Carroll said. “It’s been a long-term project with Allen; we transitioned him from running back, way back in the day … he was one of the best high school players in the nation. He’s really fast, really strong and really tough.”

Carroll is sending a broad reminder to his team: “Because you did something last year doesn’t mean anything this year. Now, we’ve got to start all over again.”

He would not divulge plans for his quarterback rotation, although he made it clear Tarvaris Jackson and Brady Quinn will see a lot of action, and he suggested Russell Wilson wouldn’t.

The prime expectation is for high effort.

“It better be hard-knockin’, runnin’ full speed and flyin’ … we don’t have other chances,” he said. “We’re expecting the message is clear what we’re trying to get done. We’re expecting to see our guys hit it. It’s not the kind of thing where we’re (easing) our way into the season, we’re going to go for it right from the get go.”

The Seahawks were 4-0 in the 2012 preseason and hinted at their defensive dominance by allowing opponents to an average of 11 points per game.


Recently signed free agent receiver Early Doucet was cut Wednesday. According to the NFL transaction wire, it was for failure to disclose a physical condition.

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440


SEATTLE (0-0) at SAN DIEGO (0-0)

7 p.m., Qualcomm Stadium

TV: Ch. 13. Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM.

The series: This is the 12th time the two teams have met in exhibition play, with Seattle holding a 7-4 edge in the series. In the last exhibition between the teams, the Seahawks held on for a 24-17 win in San Diego in 2011. This is the seventh consecutive time Seattle has traveled to San Diego for an exhibition – all since 2004.

What to watch: Expect Seattle cornerstone players such as Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Sidney Rice to play sparingly, if at all. Carroll said after practice Wednesday that he wants to get a good look at the team’s young running backs, including second-round draft choice Christine Michael, sixth-round selection Spencer Ware and second-year pro Derrick Coleman. … Former Seahawks receiver Deon Butler and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, both attempting to make San Diego’s final roster, are slated to play. … University of Washington product Donald Butler plays linebacker for the Chargers. … University of Idaho product Nathan Enderle is competing for a quarterback job with San Diego. … Bellevue High graduate and University of Michigan product Steve Schilling is listed as a reserve offensive guard for San Diego. … Former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt is now the offensive coordinator for the Chargers. … University of Washington product and Tacoma native Ron Milus (Lincoln High) is San Diego’s secondary coach. … Curt Menefee and Brock Huard will call the game on the TV broadcast, while Steve Raible and Warren Moon will call in on the radio for the Seahawks.

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