The NFL preseason: Pete Carroll’s version of a football polygraph.
“We’ve evaluated them in practice and now it comes to game time,” the Seahawks coach said about the first game Thursday at 7 p.m. 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.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
He did say that linebacker Bruce Irvin (groin) would not play. It’s also unlikely guard James Carpenter will see action, as 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 also has a slight groin injury and Carroll said the decision on his status will be made at game time.
Carroll stressed that the game is mostly about evaluating the 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 to see rookie second-round pick Christine Michael, who will see action at running back and kick returner.
Carroll did not list middle linebacker Bobby Wagner as one who might not see action (shoulder), but talked considerably about his back-up, Allen Bradford, a converted running back from Southern California.
“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 his plans for his quarterback rotation, although he made it clear Tarvaris Jackson and Brady Quinn will see a lot of action, suggesting that Russell Wilson could be used sparingly.
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.