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Seahawks Rookie Tariq Woolen 'Way Better' Than Expected, Says Pete Carroll

The Seattle Seahawks continue to reap the rewards that rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen provides.

Another week, another game where Seattle Seahawks rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen showed his play-making ability. 

Of course, rather than showing off, the Seahawks and Woolen would certainly like to pick up a win after coming up short for the second-straight week after a 27-23 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Lumen Field. 

But it's hard to ignore what Woolen has done through his first three games in the NFL. He didn't exactly top the blocked field goal that resulted in a touchdown in the Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but he added his first career interception against Atlanta, continuing to impress and surprise Seahawks coach Pete Carroll along the way.

"I got to be honest with you. I didn’t know," Carroll said of Woolen. "I didn’t know a ton of background about him in the regular part of the draft and all. And a guy that we knew were interested in because of the measurables and he’s been way beyond that. He’s been way better than what we could have projected."

But, per Carroll, what's been setting Woolen apart, aside from his 6-4, 210-pound frame and easy-going personality?

"It’s really because his mentality is really solid," Carroll said. "He’s seemingly very comfortable with the opportunity and he’s open for criticism, and open for critique and getting better. You can talk to him in the games and he’s calm and poised and all."

Woolen's interception - which was also Seattle's first pick of the season - came at the end of the first half on Sunday as Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota was attempting another big pass play to get Atlanta near field goal range. 

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The Falcons had torched the Seattle secondary through the first half, but Woolen put a brief stop to it. Through three games, he's tied for first on the team in passes defended (three), interceptions (one), and blocked kicks (one). 

Carroll has certainly been impressed but knows he doesn't need to give Woolen his flowers just yet. After all, there's a whole season ahead.

"Just go slow about it, we don’t need to pat him on the back too much," Carroll said. "He’s doing fine and we’ll get him going. I’m really fired up about his contribution.” 

Woolen's next chance to show off will be at Ford Field on Sunday at 10 a.m. P.T. against the Detroit Lions.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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