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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



August 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

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Carroll and Schneider explain motives behind Wilson trade

Posted by Percy Allen

It's been a busy day inside the VMAC where GM John Schneider finalized a number of moves. He said some of the deals have been developing for weeks, while others came about in the past 48 hours.

Among the moves, the Seahawks reworked LB Leroy Hill's contract and he'll accept nearly $4 million less than he was supposed to make. Seattle traded with Detroit for backup OT Tyler Polumbus and the team traded CB Josh Wilson to Baltimore for a conditional fifth-round pick.

Coach Pete Carroll wasn't scheduled to speak with the media today, but in light of the roster changes he stopped by the press room with Schneider to talk about the transactions. Here's the uncut transcipt.

Carroll: "This is a really busy time and active time. We're just going to follow the template that we set. John is going to keep working every end of it to do everything we can to help our team in as many ways as possible.

"I would guess that there's a couple of things that you want to ask about. Josh Wilson got traded today to the Ravens. This is an opportunity for us that came along because of our depth and our situation at the cornerback position that we're very happy with. Tru, (Marcus Trufant), Kelly Jennings and Walter Thurmond and Roy Lewis and a couple of the young kids too that have done very well gives us an opportunity to make a move here. Josh is a great kid and we love him and all of that, but this is a team that really came after him. It happened very quickly and a very competitive situation. We were able to do something that hopefully that will be good for him and for our program too."

Schneider:
"Absolutely. This is the most difficult weekend of the year for everybody involved, for the coaches and for the players. All of these guys. The personnel staff that has to go through the evaluations and address the players. The players that work their tails off the whole season. Josh has been a factor here for several years now and done a great job in the community and everything. Very well respected. This was a team that was very aggressive in coming after Josh. They have a situation where they have a strong need and as Pete said it has more to do with the way Walter has stepped up and the way Tru is playing and some of the younger guys. I think it was one of those deals that comes along. We get calls on some of our players. We don't do everything, but this was one of those deals that we just felt like we couldn't pass up."

(Who is the starter at cornerback now?)

Carroll: "Kelly will be the starter at this point and Walter is going to keep battling. Walter has had a great camp and he's played beautifully for us. He's played maybe more than anybody else. We got a great look at him and we're real excited about his contribution. He played the nickel spot for us as well and has done a really good job as well. It's his emergence and Kelly's play together which really gives us a chance to make a move like this."

(What specifically has impressed you about Thurmond?) Carroll: "Walter is an all-around football player. He runs and hits like a safety. He's made a bunch of hits already that are really exciting. He's shown the speed and agility and also the attitude and the mentality to get out there and lineup. He hasn't backed off of anything. He had some good challenges this weekend, some really fast guys and all of that. We've seen him against a lot of guys in a lot of situations already and he's really on the come. We're just pumped about it. And John thought we got a great value in the draft when we was able to get Walter because he was injured and he's really just been a pleasant addition to the team."

(Was Jennings ahead of Wilson?) Carroll: "They were splitting time so we were pleased that both guys could play for us and that was evident all throughout their camps. Kelly has done a wonderful job for us. He's really a good technique player and we're pleased as heck to have him play. We were able to do this because of the other guys."

(Odd to trade a starting cornerback for a fifth-round pick?) Schneider: "What happens is the market is different at different times. Randy Moss was traded for a fourth-round pick. It fluctuates. Right now with Josh in terms of a value, we felt like it was at a level where with him being an unrestricted free agent next year it was at a point where we thought was definitely fair."

(What happens with the kickoff return game?) Carroll: "We're looking for Leon (Washington) to step up as well as we have a number of other guys who are doing it. But Leon is really dying to be the kickoff return guy and we love the thought of having him back there. So in my mind if it was the opener today, Leon would be the kickoff returner back there."

(Would you have made this deal if Trufant doesn't play like he has?)
Carroll: "I don't think we even have to think that way. Tru has played great. He's done everything we hoped he could. ... It's really, the whole group has been coming along in a good fashion. They've changed the style of their play and adjusted. Each of the guys have really taken to it and given us the confidence to go ahead and make a move like this. Tru is a big-time competitor and has really played solid. We think he's playing as good as we've seen him in the past so we're happy about that."

(Does Thurmond become the nickel guy?)
Carroll: "Yeah. At this point. Today if we walked out on the field, he would be right now, but we have a couple of other guys. Roy has played really well in there. Babs (Jordan Babineaux) has played there too so we have some depth there too."

(Does Tyler Polumbus help with the depth at OT?)
Carroll: "Yeah we're excited about this. He's played both left and right tackle in the same system at Denver. He's started in games. We got plenty of film on him. We know that he can play. At this time, we were very fortunate to find Tyler and we're in a very - obvious intense need right here with the situation that we have with our guys banged up. It was great to see Chester (Pitts) practice for the first time today and he got some work officially. I don't know if you noticed, but Russell (Okung) was walking out there on the practice field today. So the situation is getting better, but we need quality depth. We need the competition at the spot. We've been very fortunate that we made it through with the way it's been. Manny (Mansfield Wrotto) has done a great job in playing. He's probably played more plays than anybody in the NFL. He's played almost every snap."

(Are you planning more monitoring with Thurmond's knee?)
Carroll: "He's played three full game. Played over 100 plays counting (special) teams and all of that. But he'll be on the mend for awhile. That's still a guy coming back. But he's shown everything that he needs to do."

(Does he still wear a knee brace?)
Carroll: "He still has it."

(Can you comment about the Leroy Hill situation?)
Schneider: "That was a situation where both sides, we've obviously been talking to Leroy through the whole thing. He had a situation that came up and both sides just felt like we could come up with a solution. Leroy's representatives did a nice job of figuring out a solution for the situation that Leroy was involved in."

(Will he make the roster?)
Schneider: "Well if you're suspended you don't count on the roster. He's suspended for the first game for sure."

Carroll: "We really like the way Leroy plays and we're looking forward to him playing for us."

(Did all of these moves just coincidently finalize today or was this planned?)
Schneider: "Tyler had been in the works for several weeks. He was a guy that we were looking at when he was with Denver and then he moved on to Detroit. Detroit was aware that there were only a couple of teams running the zone scheme like we are so we were able to work out a deal with them to acquire Tyler. This one with Josh moved very fast. It became like Pete said a competitive situation and we just wanted to, it's one of those things. It wasn't like we were planning this two weeks ago or Sunday.

Carroll: "What gave us the opportunity is like I said, the other guys elevated to the point where we were able to do something. John said on one of the first days he got here that we wanted to develop a roster that people were going to come after. That other teams were going to come after our guys because we had depth at all positions and this is an example of that. This gives us freedom and opportunity to continue to upgrade and get this team as strong and competitive as we can possibly make it. This is an illustration of what we're talking about at this position. I wish it was at every position."

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