Reporting from Renton, Wash. — In a way, Pete Carroll has already transformed the Seattle Seahawks into the Seattle USC-hawks.
Eight of his former players are on the training camp roster — and that's after he cut LenDale White — and his staff includes former Trojans coaches Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Ken Norton Jr. (linebackers), Rocky Seto (defensive quality control) and Brian Schneider (special teams).
"It's just guys that are used to what Coach Carroll's teaching, guys who can hit the ground running," fullback Ryan Powdrell said. "We know what to expect. We're used to winning and we have that winning mentality. Whether you're a rookie or you're [starting linebacker] Lofa Tatupu — it's almost relaying the message of what Coach Carroll is preaching."
Sometimes, that takes some doing. For instance, Carroll likes to start each practice with an old-fashioned drill in which players form a single-file line and high-step through a line of foam bags. It's not something you see in many other camps, if any, but it's a routine that Carroll loves — as do the spectators watching from the nearby hillside.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said he last ran the bag drill in Pop Warner football.
A lot of people think Carroll is far better suited for college than the pros. But he says the Seahawks are already embracing his way of doing things.
"It's really in an overall attitude in approaching our work," Carroll said. "We maintain a high level of attitude and tempo that people say pros can't do and aren't willing to do.
"Just like SC — and I say this every time I can — I don't want to be the best one doing something, I want to be the only one doing it. In my own way, in my own fashion. We want to create our own unique way that we own. That's us. That takes bonding and teaching and molding and experience. That's what we're going through. And it's been a blast."