And Carroll doesn't mince words when he's asked what is unique about his new quarterback -- the explosive, irrepressible and, most noticeably, 5-foot-10 Russell Wilson.
"Everything is," Carroll said, on his walk out to practice Wednesday. "His smarts, his focus, his discipline, his attention to detail, his work habits, his athleticism, his competitiveness, his confidence. Really, however you can rank them, he's that high on the list in all those areas. Now, all of those things will be in question in the real season, and he needs to back all that up. But if you observe him, if you know him, you think it'll happen."
The 10 starting quarterbacks with one season or less of pro experience who will take the field in Week 1 all have stories of how they landed on the first team. Nine of the 10 were taken in the top 35 picks of the draft, and their teams are looking for reasons to play them. Not so for Wilson, the 75th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
The Seahawks initially planned to use a 4-4-1 format in splitting first-team reps between incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, high-profile free-agent import Matt Flynn and Wilson, to try and find their starter. But Wilson was so good in his first weekend at work, a rookie minicamp in early May, that Seattle scrapped the original script and decided to go forward with a 3-3-3 format instead.
"It was important for him to maximize that minicamp," Carroll said. "We tried to get him as much opportunity as we could there, get him ready to compete, to give him a lead-in by taking every snap. And it jumpstarted everything."
What's stunned many in the Seahawks organization has been the consistency of performance by Wilson relative to most rookies that come into the league. First-year players, almost systematically, hit a wall at some point during camp, and it can take a while to fight out of it. Wilson did hit a wall, like the rest of them, but it only took a day or two for him to bounce back.
That's why, when assessing Seattle's Week 1 game against Arizona, it might be wise to look at Wilson as something other than a snot-nosed rookie. Carroll and Co. don't plan to treat him like one. Last year, Carolina liked that Cam Newton had been adaptable from Florida to Blinn College to Auburn and was confident it'd carry over. Seattle feels the same way about Wilson, who made a similarly seamless transition from N.C. State to Wisconsin in 2011.
Rapoport: Ranking Week 1 games
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"We have high hopes for him, that's for sure," Carroll said. "We have an expectation that he won't have the rough times some other guys have. I don't think he's ever suffered from that stuff. Maybe he will, but I'm anticipating he'll be out there and ready to go."
When Carroll is asked if starting Matt Barkley as a true freshman at USC in 2009 at all played into his comfort level with Wilson in Seattle, he responds quickly -- "Certainly" -- and says the most striking similarity between two very different players is that no situation seems too big for either.
More than anything else, this is about what Wilson has proven to Carroll. If Carroll was going to stick to his "Always Compete" mantra, Wilson had to be the pick. The feeling inside the building was that Wilson needed to be noticeably better than the competition to win the job. And he was, to the point where the only drawback seems to be his stature.
"(If he was 6-foot-4), he'd have been vying to be the first pick," Carroll said. "He has everything you look for -- all the records, the numbers, he did everything. He'd be right up there with Andrew (Luck), and you'd be trying to figure it out. That's my opinion. I just look at him, and think that there's nothing he can't do."
A little over the top? This weekend, we'll start to get answers.
Albert Breer went 162-89 with his predictions last season. How will he fare in Week 1? His picks are below, with home teams listed second: