Pete Carroll Wraps Up Spring Practice

April 14, 2006

Opening Statement on Spring Practice

'We were challenged in spring with some guys not able to go and we found a way to get through a practice and got a lot of work out of the guys who were recovering as well as the guys who were healthy. It made for a real productive spring when it could have been otherwise. The fact that the quarterback got shaken up right off the bat with John David (Booty), that was disappointing for us. But then again we maximized the opportunity for Mark (Sanchez), he really got a bunch of great work in. It was really like what it was for John David the spring before. So we just capitalized and worked on Mark and he developed tremendously and had a great spring for us. He couldn't have come out of it better, I don't think, under the circumstances. Unfortunately for John David he is going to have to wait until his back is recovered. He looks like he is on course. Everything looks great, and he feels terrific, he has no pain all at this time. When John David, comes back that will be huge at camp, he will jump to the reps at the front, and we will try to get him caught up and see if he can hold on to his spot. Certainly he would win right now if he wasn't hurt. He would have the lead position at the quarterback spot just based on his experience. But Mark has done a great job at battling, so it will be great to see the competition. The running back spot got knocked around with Hershel (Dennis) not being able to go, and getting banged up. So we will have to use our imaginations during the fall. To take something out of it (spring practice) Ryan Powdrell and Brandon Hancock have had great springs. They were very productive and showed us that they are ready to play and help us out. Powdrell made a fantastically quick transition to help us out on offense. We would like to get him the ball, hand him the football as well as throw it to him as well as fullback duties. That is really been a great experiment that has been successful for us. What we were able to do was find time for the guys who are banged up. I am talking about the guys like Terrell Thomas, Dallas Sartz, Kevin Ellsion, Brian Cushing, those guys all came back and got good work during the spring before it was over. Enough to show us kind of where they would fit in and what there chances are for playing as well as to develop for themselves. It has been an interesting, challenging spring in that regard, but yet our guys have practiced really hard and kept up the tempo of competition.'

On Mark Sanchez and his chances of earning the starting spot

'We will see. I don't know, I need to see him in comparison to John David. He did great. That is coming from nowhere; he hadn't practiced much before this really, and only received quality reps during bye times really. This has really been his focus time. He has shown he has the ability to be a really big time quarterback in this system, there is no question about that. The question is when does it all come together. '

On Ryan Powdrell playing tailback or fullback

'He is going to play both. If we had to play right now he would start at tailback and (Brandon) Hancock would start at fullback, because that is all we have. He showed that he has something special about the way he runs. He is able to catch the ball extremely well; it is a matter of him learning his position. He is going to be playing fullback when the young guys get here.'

If one of the freshmen or transfers could come in and take the starting tailback position

'Absolutely, heck yeah there is. We are counting on having that kind of competition.'

On Chauncey Washington

'He is doing really well. He just has to finish up his courses, and he has a real good chance to make it.'

On the depth of the line

'Yes, particulary when (Drew) Radovich came back and (Travis) Draper. That makes a difference to us on offensive line. Those two guys make a difference to us. (Jeff) Byers and (Matt) Spanos have both shown that they can play as starters and Matt (Spanos) did well at tackle too, so that helps us out there. Kyle Williams had a good strong spring and Chilo (Rachal) had an excellent spring. The guy that came up late when Jeff Byers got nicked was Alatini Malu. He had a lot of good quality reps with the first group and really improved in the spring. I am much more confident about him playing with the first guys.'

When John David Booty will be able to start throwing

'It is no sooner then eight weeks. He wants to throw right now, he feels like he can throw now but they won't let him do any twisting or turning yet.'

On John David having the starting spot at quarterback

'He will come back with the same spot. There is nothing that is really going to change it is just that Mark's (Sanchez) game will have improved. Mark had a great spring. He probably had 30% more work than when we got him. So it has been to his great advantage to catch up and that just makes us better.'

On Kyle Williams

'Two years ago he was in a lot more in the second half, that was when Deuce (Luti) was weighing 400 pounds and he couldn't finish the games all the time, so Kyle would come in. That is basically what happened, Deuce was a brand new starter and hadn't really established himself so Kyle played a lot more then.'

On Carroll's goals to improve the defense in spring

'I am really fired up about the defense. I think the depth at our linebacker spot will give us the ability to move these guys around and the use of talents will really help us. Kaluka (Maiava) and Rey's (Maualuga) emergence has been obvious, both of those guys could be starters. That is a great improvement from where we were a year ago. We have Dallas (Sartz), Brian Cushing and Thomas Williams coming back, all of those guys will be at 100% when we go into camp. We just have great depth and we are going to use those guys a lot. We are going to move Keith (Rivers) around and put him in fresh situations like we did a few years ago and Dallas has been moved around a lot. That just allows us to be very flexible. Up front Sedrick (Ellis) was really good. Lawrence Jackson, until he got banged up, was doing really good. Kyle (Moore) has improved tremendously. I think the best out of all those guys is Chris's (Barrett) emergence. Chris has really had a great spring practice and he is a capable starter for us. He is such a good athlete, and he is faster than other guys that we have had and more athletic then other guys who have played at that spot. He played tight end in high school.

If Averell Spicer will be factor in the fall

'We hope so, we haven't seen anything from him, he was unable to go but one day in spring. The one day he looked like a totally different guy than he did when he was in the fall. We hope that big jump from the first and second year will show up. We need for him to come on and help us.'

On Walker Lee Ashley

'Walker Lee had an excellent spring. He got more work then you could imagine. We wore him out. He played 3-technique in the nose at 310 pound he is a welcome addition to this group. He is very young but he is learning and he is athletic. He is good enough to be able to contributor in the fall. At this point he isn't ready to be able to vie for a starting position at this point but with our depth situation he should be able to grow fast now and the fall.'

On Defensive Coordinator

'I have demoted myself. What we have done is added to what we have done. Nick has been great. We are still doing all of the meetings together, and planning. He takes care of the day to day stuff that keeps us going and helps me keep the continuity of the work and the staff. He has brought in great energy and background. He has helped Kenny's (Norton) fast emergence with the linebackers They have jumped right into the philosophy and have made great progress. I think he has really helped Kenny he has had a great spring, it is his first one. That has helped that transition.'

If Allen Bradford is set at safety

'He has a tremendous range at what he could do and we need to find out what that is. We will bring him in at safety and see where he fits in. We will look at him in some different situations just like we always do.'

On Kevin Ellison

'As fit as he was to be able to make it through the beginning round. He did a great job of preparing and rehab.'

On coming back after loosing two Heisman Trophy winners' If you can think back this day coming up, this day of practice was the day that we said to Matt ok you go first, at that time we had no idea how he was going to do. Mark Sanchez, I think, is ahead of where Matt was at that time. John David is well ahead of that. So we are in better shape going in. We had no idea that Matt would be so productive or have such a great career or get off to such a fast start. We anticipate that John David is going to be able to do that as well as Mark. From what we have seen and what we know, there is no doubt in our minds that we will be able to expect really good quarterback play out of our guys.'

On Mark Sanchez only having one year to watch and learn compared to Matt Leinart's two

'Mark is different in the way he delivers the ball. We are much higher on Mark at this early stage then we were on Matt. Matt went ripping from this point forward, as we all know. Mark is a stronger thrower at an early age then Matt was. It is more obvious, there is no telling how he is going to manage the games he is playing in. Matt did an extraordinary job of doing that his first time out. We expect John David to be able to do the same thing. There is much more of a question about Mark's ability in that regard because we haven't seen him in that situation. John David has played in a bunch of games, in a bunch of different situations, so we have much more of a feel for him. One thing we did do was we threw the ball a lot more early on in spring to catch him up. In that regard, it helped him some. Mark is a strong guy, he is the strongest guy we have had since Carson (Palmer). He is comparable to that.'

If Carroll would be surprised if Mark Sanchez beat John David Booty out for the starting position

'John David Booty has a couple of years on him. That is extremely valuable. We have come to value that time it takes to learn the spot. For a guy to do this in one years time it would be extraordinary for us. I don't know what to expect other than everything has been positive. Everything these guys have done has been good. Seeing John David feel so good right now gives us the feeling that he is just going to come flying out of this rehab and start working out.'

On naming a starting quarterback going into fall

'The thing is one guy is first string and the other guy is second string. In essence we are in the same position coming out of spring time. It is the only thing that makes sense to me. It doesn't diminish any of the competitiveness for the fall. This is a different situation then when we named Matt two years ago. We need to make sure John David makes it back. Everything looks beautifully if he makes it back and he comes out flying then it is going to be hard for Mark to knock him out, just because of the background and the information. I wouldn't count Mark out. He has done too well and he has exceeded every threshold. He will be so much more confident when he comes back in to fall camp after putting spring in his back pocket. It is a big jump I think. Both guys can play. We are in a very lucky situation.'

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