Carroll and general manager John Schneider went on a spree this summer in an attempt to round out Seattle's collection of pass catchers. Bringing in Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow and (the now-dispatched) Terrell Owens was more than a publicity stunt.
Schein: NFL's most fascinating team
"It really guided a lot of our thinking in the decisions that we made ... with the receiver position," Carroll told ESPN Seattle this week. "We weren't sure, you know? But he's proven to us that he's ready to go. ... He's applied himself so well and has done a great job in the weight room. He's never been pumped like this before. He's feeling really confident out there and we are all looking forward to it."
Rice is practicing again, and he caught his first pass in forever against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Carroll has yet to announce if the wideout will play against the Oakland Raiders this week, and he hasn't named Rice a starter for the regular season. Three months ago, this would have been a crisis. Not today.
Rice is a bonus. It's been hard to count on him -- and his contract makes him an even bigger question mark -- but if healthy, Rice gives Russell Wilson yet another field-stretching threat.