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Originally published September 7, 2010 at 10:01 PM | Page modified September 7, 2010 at 10:03 PM

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Steve Kelley

Why it's too late to retool Seahawks' whole roster

Pete Carroll's demolition of the Seahawks should have happened in April or May, not just before the season opener.

Seattle Times staff columnist

The revolving door in Renton has been spinning like a centrifuge.

On the brink of the season opener, a seriously important home game for the Seahawks against division rival and NFC West favorite San Francisco, the Hawks have been remaking the roster as if they had all the time in the world, not four days, to prepare.

Shouldn't all of these machinations have taken place in April or May or June? Didn't they know by the start of training camp which Seahawks could play and which couldn't?

Shouldn't the Hawks have known in July how dire their situations were on the offensive and defensive lines and in the secondary? Isn't it a little too late to be retooling this team this radically?

Fans heading to Qwest Field Sunday won't be able to tell their Seahawks without a scorecard.

And, with all of these changes this week it must feel like the first day of Boy Scout camp for the players. So many new faces. So many unknowns.

So what might it have looked like if ace motivator and head coach Pete Carroll had gathered his team in a circle of trust in the locker room this week and asked each player to introduce himself?

CARROLL: Ok, let's get started. Pat, why don't you begin. Men, this is your new offensive-line coach, Pat Ruel.

RUEL: Hi. I know you guys must be in shock after Coach (Alex) Gibbs' decision to retire last weekend. I want you to know that I'm here to carry on his legacy. As a biographical note, let me tell you that I most recently coached for the Omaha Nighthawks in the UFL.

MAX UNGER, guard, interrupting: Excuse me Coach, but what's a Nighthawk?

CHRIS SPENCER, center: Before you answer that question I have another. What's the UFL?

CARROLL: Let's stay on point fellas. Who's next?

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STACY ANDREWS, offensive lineman, acquired from Philadelphia: Hi, I'm Stacy and I'm a Gemini and Matt (quarterback Hasselbeck), I just want you to know that I'm here to protect you.

EVAN DIETRICH-SMITH, offensive lineman claimed on waivers from Green Bay: What's up? I'm Evan. I enjoy long walks on the beach. And I too am here to make sure Matt stays upright.

HASSELBECK: (gulps loudly)

RAHEEM BROCK, recently acquired defensive end: I'm Raheem. I'm 32 and from Philadelphia. And we've got like 27 new players and I'd like to know how this team won five games last year. Coach (Jim) Mora must have been a genius.

(Players stare uncomfortably at the floor.)

TYLER POLUMBUS, offensive lineman acquired from Denver on Aug. 31, (jumps up): As one of the senior members of this offensive line, I'd like to take a leadership role and tell all you guys that we have something to prove this season and ...

CHESTER PITTS, another new offensive lineman, who was injured and unable to play in the exhibition season: Yo Tyler, you've been here a week. Chill, man.

MARCUS TRUFANT, longtime starting cornerback: Hey, I was wondering, what happened to Babs (Jordan Babineaux). It was his day to drive. He never showed up and he wasn't answering his cell. I was almost late to practice today.

CARROLL: Um, Marcus, I know we're all a little jumpy these days, but I promise you Babs will be back tomorrow.

DEION BRANCH, veteran wide receiver: What about T.J.? I stood out front of my house for 15 minutes waiting on him (Houshmandzadeh) before my neighbor hollered at me that he read in the paper that T.J. was with the Ravens now. The Ravens?

AARON CURRY, linebacker, (turning and pointing nervously to the player sitting next to him): Excuse me, but I've never seen this guy before. He's not some sort of spy or something, is he?

NATE NESS, defensive back acquired from Miami, (raising his arms in the air): Easy, man. I'm on your side. I'm Nate and I'd like to say that I'm happy to be here. Of course, at this point in the season, I'm happy to be anywhere.

MICHAEL ROBINSON, former San Francisco kick returner signed this week by the Seahawks: This is Michael, I'm from Richmond and I'd like to know what's with y'all's weather? Is it always November in Seattle?

BLITZ, Seahawks' mascot: I know I wasn't exactly invited to this meeting, but I gotta know, Coach. Do I still have a job, or did you give it to Steve Vallos or something?

CARROLL: I can't lie to you, Blitz. You know how I like competition and you know those guys you saw in the lobby, wearing those stuffed animal outfits? They're after your job. It's open competition, baby!

(Players start to rise from their chairs and the circle breaks up.)

CARROLL: Good meeting, men. Now let's go out there and win forever.

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or skelley@seattletimes.com

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About Steve Kelley

Steve Kelley covers all sports, putting his spin on matters involving both the home team and the nation.
skelley@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2176

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