Normally a stream-of-consciousness speaker, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll paused in the sun Thursday.
The halting question? Carroll was asked what it would be like to receive his ring Thursday night for winning Super Bowl XLVIII.
“It’s really an honor,” Carroll said. “The honor in it comes from doing it together with all these guys. You feel very fortunate and humbled that it’s come to this now. It’s just really cool to have done something like that together.”
The Seahawks were mum on the details of the ring ceremony after wrapping up the final day of mandatory minicamp with another 90 minutes of brisk practice in Renton.
With the distribution of the bling, last season is sealed. The first Super Bowl title in franchise history moves into the past.
“When we get that ring, we put that heavy ring on our finger, and we realize that we actually won the Super Bowl, it makes you want to do it again,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “That’s what we have, that’s the itch that we have and how can we do it again and how can we do it that much better.”
Seattle will navigate more than a month between the end of the three-day minicamp and the start of training camp in late July. Carroll hopes different groups on the roster will get together during that time to at least maintain conditioning. He’s also wary.
“Just everybody stay safe,” Carroll said. “They’re on their own now. They’ve worked so long together. Our guys have worked so hard, I can’t imagine they’ll lose their conditioning over this time, but we want them to maintain, at least, and improve if they can. It’s just kind of the unknown that I’m concerned about.”
The Seahawks also have a significant set of injuries to monitor. Surgeries sidelined strong safety Kam Chancellor (hip), left tackle Russell Okung (foot), wide receiver Sidney Rice (knee), and linebackers Bruce Irvin (hip) and Malcolm Smith (ankle) for the duration of the three-day minicamp. Irvin is unlikely to be back until late in training camp. Rice might not be ready by the start, but he should be participating soon after.
As for Chancellor, Okung and Smith, Carroll said each “has a chance” to be ready for the start of camp.
“All those guys, we’ll have to wait and see,” Carroll said. “As they progress and the work builds up, do they handle it well? We won’t know that until we get there. Everybody’s projected to have a shot at it, so that’s what we’re counting on right now.”
Meanwhile, the Seahawks feel they have built depth at linebacker and wide receiver in comparison with a year ago.
Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who missed almost all of last season after hip surgery, has been healthy this offseason. He sat out the second half of Wednesday’s practice just to take a break. Carroll said they do not want to work Harvin three consecutive days.
Joining Harvin are rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood. Both impressed during organized team activities and minicamp, but they missed time because of slight injuries. The spindly Richardson hurt his shoulder. Norwood had a “sore foot.”
Adding Richardson to a receiving corps that already included Harvin has made the Seattle receivers faster overall. Carroll said they could field a track team.
The absence of Smith and Irvin allowed more time for Korey Toomer, who is entering his third season. But Toomer missed the final two days of minicamp because of a hamstring problem. Rookie Kevin Pierre-Louis also is a factor at linebacker.
“I’m hoping that in a lot of groups we just improve some,” Carroll said. “That really helps us if we can get that done.”
It also would help boost Wilson’s ambition to be that much better — which the Seahawks hope leads to a second title.