The Seahawks are hoping to turn things around this week as they head on the road to face the Carolina Panthers. With injuries piling up, Pete Carroll is searching for a fix at multiple positions.
On who will play fullback this week: “You’ll wait and see, we will unveil that as we get there.”
Did Robert Turbin do enough to show he can play the position: “Yes, he did admirably and has welcomed the challenge of taking care of business there for us.”
Analysis: With Derrick Coleman out for the foreseeable future, the Seahawks have had a couple players come in for tryouts but are yet to sign anyone. Last week we saw Robert Turbin play the position but it was evident that he was not quite comfortable in that role. As a result, I see the Seahawks going with more two back sets as they go out of shotgun. Turbin said after the game on Sunday it was the first time in his career that he played the fullback position. There are rumblings that Michael Robinson may be available comeback but that is hard to see as he is flourishing in his new career as an analyst for NFL Network. Pete Carroll is sure wishing he had 2014 7th round pick Kiero Small back as he was just promoted to the active roster for the Cleveland Browns. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks utilize Robert Turbin the next couple of weeks.
The last three drives against the Rams went for 90, 91, and 82. Do you think you turned the corner offensively in the second half: “I hope so. We really feel that the guys felt comfortable with what we were asking them to do. Everything fit together really well for the two and half quarters and we moved the ball pretty well. We are hoping that we can keep getting better and take off from there. There was a real good sense on the offensive side about protecting the quarterback and the run system worked out real well for us. We will see if we can keep going.”
Analysis: With the defense not playing at the level we have come accustomed to, the offense is going to have to step up this year. That being said, Marshawn Lynch has only run for 100 yards in a game once this year. With the trade of Percy Harvin now in the books, Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell are going to have to find a way to get Lynch going. This team rode his back all the way to the Super Bowl last year and his lack of production in the run game could be a reason for the slow start this season.
On the increase in penalties: “We want to get rid of them. The differential of 10 penalties to two penalties on your opponent is a big deal. We gave them a lot of stuff. We continue to work on it. The line of scrimmage, there was a couple, a delay that I could have fixed with a timeout but didn’t. The aggressive penalties, there are always questions about them and sometimes they happen and sometimes they don’t. We are going to continue to work to cut them down because we don’t want that differential for our opponent.”
Analysis: Without the leader of the offensive line, there is no surprise to the increase in penalties up front. Max Unger is so important to this team and it seems every year he misses some time and the line does not play up to expectation. The team just won’t compete against good teams if they are committing this many penalties per game.
On if the defensive line can attack the passer with the current personnel: “We basically have the same personnel that we had a year ago you know. There is just a couple of switches in there. We totally believe in our guys and know that they can get it done.
Missing one linebacker, does it change how you can use Bruce Irvin as a pass rusher: “No it doesn’t.”
Analysis: As much as Pete Carroll wants to say they are using the same personnel from last year, the fact of the matter is they are missing three key components to the defensive line from last year: Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, and Clinton McDonald. The depth at defensive line is definitely something to worry about because they are playing more snaps. Last year through 6 games, Cliff Avril had 3 sacks. This year he only has 1 sack. Michael Bennett had 4.5 sacks this time last year compared to only 3 sacks this year. The fact that both of this players played significantly less snaps last year but had more sacks is certainly alarming. We will see if the defense has some new schemes in play this week as they try to attack the quarterback and contain the quarterback.
Last year you had 28 interceptions and this year you are only on pace for 5: “They come in bunches, they come in bunches. We won’t get any interceptions in the last six games we played but we will get chances this week. Cant do anything about those last ones.
Analysis: This question seems as if it irritated Coach Carroll quite a bit. Obviously the lack of takeaways is a reason to be worried but it looks as if Pete is trying to move on and focus on getting the team moving forward in the following weeks instead of looking back at the last six games.
On what was learned about Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood last week: “They handled it well. They had no problem going in and out of the game. Other than that, Paul has shown really good consistency. We love how he runs and hopefully he will be a factor that way too. This was kevins first shot so we don’t know much, but he handled it. Kevin’s played in a bunch of big football games and been a great come through player in college and we have seen nothing but that from him on the practice field.
Analysis: It was nice to see the two rookies out there this week and we can only look forward to see how they progress over the next few weeks. Obviously this team is in dire need of receivers so hopefully one of these guys can step up and become a factor in the passing game. Richardson, known for his speed, was able to go out and grab the ball on a couple of curl routes and that is something that he can really build on as he continues to get bigger.
Why is Bryan Walters the kick/punt returner: “He is really good at it. He is good at catching the ball and is a good decision maker. When they kick the ball to us we want to make sure that we get it and make sure that we keep it and that is what is most important.
Analysis: Well, you certainly are not going to get the electrifying returns that Percy Harvin was capable of but with Bryan Walters back there you are going to be able to rely on him to hold on to the ball as Carroll said. As a player who has made a living fielding punts with both the Chargers and the Seahawks, fans can be comfortable in the fact that Bryan Walters won’t cough the ball up. At some point I think it would be nice to get Christine Michael back there and see what he can do. His elusiveness could be a very good thing for the return game.
Is the team excited to get back out there: “The offense is excited to get back out. They really felt a lot of momentum in last week’s game and they want to build on that. Were anxious to go play football again.
Analysis: The team wants to get back out there and play the brand of football that they know and get back to the level they were playing at last year. Losing two straight for the first time since 2012 is surely not sitting well with the players. The offense should be able to build on their stellar game this weekend and the defense can build on the second half success they had. If the Seahawks can generate some turnovers this weekend, they should have no problem putting up points down in Carolina.
Around the NFC West
-The 49ers are bolstering their lineups as they are about to get key players back from injury and suspension the next few weeks. The pending roster moves are quite interesting.
-Players in San Francisco are looking lost and not interested?
-Tre Mason is emerging as a featured back in St. Louis as Seahawks fans learned last weekend.
-Brett Favre calls Austin Davis the next Tom Brady?
-The Cardinals schedule is about to get a bit tougher and the 49ers and Seahawks can be beneficiaries of that.