"He’s a big back. He’s a big guy," Carroll said during the "John Clayton Show" on 710 ESPN Seattle. "Ain’t nothing wrong with that. But there will be a real concerted effort to make sure he’s at his very best."
The Seahawks signed Lacy to a one-year, $5.5 million deal with $3 million guaranteed. The running back's weight was a constant topic of discussion during his time with the Green Bay Packers.
When Lacy came out of Alabama in 2013, he weighed 231 pounds. After the 2015 offseason, Packers coach Mike McCarthy called out Lacy for gaining weight.
"Eddie Lacy, he's got a lot of work to do," McCarthy said. "His offseason last year was not good enough, and he never recovered from it. He cannot play at the weight he was at this year."
Lacy embarked on a P90X workout regimen last offseason and looked good at the start of 2016, rushing 71 times for 360 yards (5.1 yards per carry). Then he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the fifth game.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday that one team that invited Lacy for a free-agent visit had his weight at 267 pounds. Carroll seemed to admit that Lacy is not currently at his target weight.
"This is a hard time for him because he’s working some rehab right now, but he is well-aware of our expectations and the standards that we’re setting," Carroll said. "We would not have done this if we didn’t have a really clear understanding of how we’re going to go forward. This is a big deal for him. It’s a one-year contract for him. This is a chance for him to prove it and show where he is in the league and how he fits in and how he can work to secure a good future for him. And he knows all of that.
"There’s a weight in there that’s a really good spot for him that he’s working towards. And we’ll do a nice job with that."
Asked if that weight is around 235 pounds, Carroll added, "I don’t think so. That may have been a goal. But he’s a big man. I want him big. I want him big and tough and strong. But I want him in the best shape so that he can run at his best and be durable and handle the load -- 235, that’s at the time he came out [of the draft], he was there. But he’s developed. Into his [240s], he’s really dangerous."
Carroll noted, with Lacy and offensive lineman Luke Joeckel, that one-year deals can serve as added motivation. Both players are relatively young and are positioned to make more guaranteed money next offseason if they perform.
"I don’t think there’s any question that sometimes it comes at the right time for a player if they make sense of the opportunity and they go about seizing that opportunity, then it can really work out great," Carroll said.
If healthy, Lacy is the kind of bruising back who can fight through contact and give the Seahawks the identity they want in the run game.
The questions all offseason leading into the 2017 season will be about his conditioning and his weight.
"We have a real target for him," Carroll said. "We’ll be on it on a regular basis and we’ll keep him in great shape."