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Pete Carroll Praised 1 Seahawks Rookie Today

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll watches the game action against the Saints.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 25: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks watches action during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Lumen Field on October 25, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Pete Carroll is often optimistic, but it's still tough to ignore a head coach glowingly gushing over a rookie.

Per ESPN's Brady Henderson, Carroll said first-year running back Kenneth Walker has "turned the page" in pass-protecting situations to grow as a complete player during training camp.

"He could play all three downs and we'd feel comfortable with it," Carroll said.

That's no longer a far-fetched scenario. The Seahawks caused a stir by adding Walker to a crowded running-back room with the No. 41 pick, but his path to a significant role now looks clearer.

Chris Carson announced his retirement last month due to a lingering neck injury. That leaves Walker and Rashaad Penny, an oft-injured back who's dealing with a minor groin problem in training camp.

Carroll hasn't expressed major concern over Penny's groin injury, but it'll likely keep him out of Saturday's preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a result, the Seahawks could deploy Walker in a three-back role while he's on the field.

Before making his way to Seattle, Walker recorded 1,636 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns during his junior season at Michigan State. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Last week, the Tacoma News Tribune's Gregg Bell said Walker was "putting on an eye-catching show" as the lead back while Penny took a rest day.

If he continues to impress, Walker could carve out a noteworthy role early in his NFL career.