NOTE: I uploaded the video again so it should work now.
With middle linebacker David Hawthorne set to become a free agent in March, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has sent mixed signals on the possibility of the TCU product returning to Seattle.
Hawthorne has led Seattle in tackles the past three seasons, but Carroll said he wanted to get faster at linebacker and liked the way rookie K.J. Wright played inside when given the opportunity.
However, when asked about Wright’s role on the team moving forward at the combine today, Carroll said he believes Wright’s best position is at outside linebacker.
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“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” Carroll said. “We’ve got some free agency issues that we’re dealing with right now, and he gives us some flexibility, so we’ll just have to wait it out.
“If I had my way I’d let him play where he finished up outside. I think he has the versatility to do that, and it gives us the opportunity to move him around and to pressure him, and to drop him out under coverage and also do some things inside at times with the way we move our defense that you can take advantage of all that.”
Carroll also did not leave out the possibility of chasing one of the top pass rushers in free agency in Houston’s Mario Williams, should the Texans not franchise him.
“We’re going to entertain every opportunity, because that’s just the way we do it,” Carroll said. “Our conversations are about every opportunity that is out there for us.
“We have set our direction from the beginning to try and build through the draft, and do everything we can to do that and stay young and competitive and healthy from that standpoint. But we’re always looking. We need to address the issue about our pass rush. It’s a big factor for us. We’d love to make some movement there.”
Carroll echoed general manager John Schneider’s comments that the team continues to work to get deals done with Marshawn Lynch and Red Bryant.
And Carroll also talked about some of the quarterbacks available in the draft, particularly gushing over Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Carroll believes that Griffin can successfully make the transition from a spread offense in college to a West Coast or play action-based offense in the pros.
“He’ll be able to do whatever is asked of him,” Carroll said. “He’s got that kind of range of ability. Now it’s a different system he’s coming out of, much different than what we typically see with the big-time pocket passing quarterbacks.
“But he’s just such a marvelous athlete, and he’s so smart. And he has such a great makeup about him – and I’m saying that ahead of us visiting with him when we’ll get to know him more in time. But I would think that he can handle anything.”
Carroll declined to talk about the possibility of going after Peyton Manning in free agency should Indianapolis release him.
“We really can’t talk about it,” he said. “He’s on somebody else’s team. So we’re not part of that discussion right now.”