Seahawks Insider Blog

Pete Carroll on KJR radio: he still gets awakened by Super Bowl; Earl Thomas "absolutely" will be ready for season

Credit host Dave Mahler for going beyond the primary news of the Seahawks' week -- the stunning trade to acquire premier tight end Jimmy Graham from New Orleans, the signing of Cary Williams to likely replace Byron Maxwell as a starting cornerback -- and asking a checklist full of roster questions and follow-ups from post-Super Bowl issues to coach Pete Carroll today. The question-and-answer session aired live this afternoon on Mahler's show on Seattle's 950 KJR radio.

Here are the highlights of what Carroll said:

--All-Pro safety Earl Thomas "absolutely" will be ready for the start of the regular season on the second weekend of September. Thomas recently had surgery to repair labrum damage from his left shoulder dislocating during the NFC championship Jan. 18. Thomas continued to play that game and the Super Bowl Feb. 1 with the injury, and is likely to be limited into training camp and the preseason.

--The coach said he believes he has successfully moved past the stunning interception thrown by Russell Wilson to Ricardo Lockette from the 1-yard line on Seattle's final play of the Super Bowl -- and the intense, worldwide criticism he got for calling for a pass instead of giving the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch with 26 seconds left in the game and the Seahawks down 28-24. But he said he still gets awakened sometimes in the middle of the night with how the Super Bowl ended.

--Nickel back Jeremy Lane may not be ready for the start of the regular season. Lane had surgery to repair a shattered left wrist and torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He got both those injuries at the end of his return of an end-zone interception of Tom Brady in the first quarter of Super Bowl 49.

--Cornerback Tharold Simon is likely to be ready for the regular season. He recently had shoulder surgery, from an injury he played through during the postseason.

--On the talks that continue for a new Wilson deal beyond his rookie one as a third-round pick that is scheduled to end following this season: "We love Russell. We are going to do everything we can to get this right."

Carroll didn't like being pressed by Mahler on reports Wilson may end up playing out the final year of his original deal at the bargain-basement salary of $1.5 million and then being asked if that may happen.

"Let's not negotiate this on your show," the coach said, ending that subject.

--The Seahawks want to bring back unrestricted free-agent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson as Wilson's backup, and the team is negotiating now for that to happen.

--Asked who might be the punt returner now that free-agent Bryan Walters signed with Jacksonville today, Carroll mentioned practice-squad quarterback B.J. Daniels is an option for that and for kickoff returns.

It's obvious -- by that comment and by the Seahawks promoting Daniels to the active roster in the most recent playoffs -- the coaches want to reward Daniels for what they've said was an outstanding season of practicing in 2014.

--On Oakland free-agent center-guard Stefen Wisniewski visiting the Seahawks yesterday and today: "That's a potential...we'll see where it goes"

Wisniewski is a candidate to replace Max Unger, the two-time Pro Bowl center and Seahawks since 2009 Seattle traded to the Saints Tuesday to get Graham.

Carroll said in the wake of Unger's departure the offensive line will obviously be "a big focal point" for preseason competition. He said again, as he did immediately after the trade on Tuesday, that he and his staff like the like Seattle's incumbent linemen, including Patrick Lewis, who at one point last season was the fourth-string center -- and that if the Seahawks didn't feel that way with the blockers they already have they wouldn't have traded Unger. The coach added the Seahawks see next month's as "a very good draft" for offensive linemen.

--The Seahawks and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will Graham throughout formations, sometimes at the conventional tight-end position next to the tackle, as an inside slot receiver, out way wide, "wherever we need to." One study of Graham with the Saints said in recent seasons he was aligned at places other than a traditional tight-end spot at the end of the interior line two-thirds of his snaps recently.