Carroll's Seahawks feature just 10 players from 2009 roster

RENTON, Wash. -- In just two seasons, Pete Carroll has redefined NFL shelf life, at least when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks.

When the Seahawks take the field Sunday for their season opener at San Francisco, they will feature just 10 players on the active roster from two seasons ago.

Seattle's roster shuffle has included another 24 new additions since the team won the 2010 NFC West title, albeit with just a 7-9 record, in Carroll's first season back in the NFL.

"If you got here last year, you're used to it -- if you got here last year and are still here. You kind of get used to it," said Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams, one of the additions who came on board in Carroll's first season. "The guys that come in and make an impact, they stick. I can't speak on anybody's situation and why things work out the way they do, but you're just fortunate you're one of the guys to make it and then you circle the wagons around the guys that are here and move forward."

It's no secret that Carroll and general manager John Schneider inherited an aging roster that needed an influx of youth and size. Their overhaul has taken less than two full seasons to create an opening day roster that features only one player -- defensive end Raheem Brock -- born in the 1970s.

Among Seattle's expected starting lineup is a 22-year-old offensive lineman, 22- and 23-year-old starting safeties and eight players in their first, second or third years in the league.

Youth typically means growing pains. Throw in unfamiliarity with another 24 new additions to the roster just from the end of last season, and 2011 could be a struggle for a team in transition.

And most of Seattle's changes this offseason came on the offensive side. There were the big-name additions of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, offensive lineman Robert Gallery, wide receiver Sidney Rice and tight end Zach Miller but also the drafting of offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt.

Plus, there was the addition of Tom Cable as the new offensive line coach in charge of the Seahawks' run game and Darrell Bevell as the offensive coordinator.

Even with a division title, the status quo isn't the way the Seahawks are operating. If all of Carroll's options are healthy enough to play Sunday, his offense could have just two players who started the season opener a year ago.

"Just to come in and start with the team, it gives you a little better presence. That first meeting is where they lay down the foundation of what you're going to be looking for for the rest of the season," said running back Marshawn Lynch, who came over in a midseason trade from the Buffalo Bills last year. "Coming in this year and actually being able to be a part of that first meeting where they did lay down the foundation, I got a better sense of where they're coming from and what's going on."

Carroll showed in Year 1 he was willing to part with anyone, perhaps most notably when he gave running back LenDale White -- who played for the coach at USC -- an opportunity during an offseason minicamp, only to cut him a short time later. This offseason, however abbreviated because of the NFL lockout, featured Seattle parting with two of its captains from a year ago, Matt Hasselbeck and Lofa Tatupu, and deciding not to bring back veteran safety Lawyer Milloy, or three of its starting offensive linemen from a season ago.

Between Hasselbeck, Tatupu and Milloy alone, the Seahawks lost a combined 33 years of NFL experience. That has led to countless questions about where Seattle will receive any leadership and just how much Carroll's persona needs to guide such a young team.

But Carroll said he's done having to sell his philosophy and believes the "buy-in" already has taken place and that now it's on this roster to carry it forward.

"We put so much emphasis on how we prepare and how we practice and on how fast we practice, and our guys don't have to say anything -- when they do that, then I know that they get it," Carroll said. "That's probably why I'm so excited about this group that we have, and I hope to keep it together as much as we can. We don't want a lot of changes now. We don't need a lot of changes. We just need to get better and grow up. We're young, and we need to grow with it."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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