Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll responded to comments made by his former player, Taylor Mays, after the USC product was drafted 49th overall by San Francisco.
In a conference call with San Francisco-area reporters, Mays questioned Carroll’s advice for him to get ready for the NFL. The Seahawks had an opportunity to select Mays with the No. 14 pick, but instead selected Texas safety Earl Thomas.
Entering 2009 Mays was considered the top-rated safety in the draft. But he was the fifth safety chosen in this year's draft behind Tennessee's Eric Berry, Earl Thomas of Texas, T.J. Ward of Oregon and South Florida's Nate Allen.
“I love Taylor, and I love the player that he is,” Carroll said. “And we were thinking that we’d have a terrific chance to get him somewhere. When our safety situation came up with Earl (Thomas), we didn’t think we were going to get him. So we jumped at that opportunity there. … I’d like to pick all my guys, but it just didn’t work out. And unfortunately for Taylor it was a hard day for him. His expectations were very, very high and mine, too. So I feel for him.
“But I know what he’s going to be like. He’s going to be ferocious going about this opportunity in San Francisco. Unfortunately he’s in the division and so we’re going to be battling against him and all of that. … I’m sure he’s got a chip on his shoulder and it’s not going to help us in the division.”
Carroll did say that had Mays been available when the Seahawks picked at No. 60 they would have considered picking another safety.
“If that would have happened absolutely,” Carroll said.
Carroll said he had not talked to Mays during the draft, but one of his coaches had.
“He might want to wait a couple days before he talks to me,” joked Carroll. He went on to say he doesn’t blame Mays for being upset with him.
“I don’t blame him for being the way he is,” Carroll said. “I would probably be surprised if it was anything other than that. … I feel for him. My heart sunk with him when he didn’t get picked earlier.”