Pete Carroll Show on Seahawks win: Russell Wilson ‘almost perfect,’ thoughts on new-look secondary
The Seahawks began the 2020 season with a good all-around showing in a 38-25 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and head coach Pete Carroll had plenty to be happy about Monday morning when discussing his team’s performance on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant during the weekly Pete Carroll Show.
“That was really fun. We had a fantastic trip,” Carroll said. “It was our first time doing the whole COVID thing and getting on the road and everything that took place. The lead up to the game, it was a good challenge. Our people handled it so well. We had so many things to orchestrate, but it turned out to be again, we focused, we played well and had fun and had a great win.”
Carroll spoke in detail about his players and specific aspects of the game, as well as gave a quick preview of the Seahawks’ Week 2 game against the New England Patriots next Sunday.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from what Carroll told Danny O’Neil, Paul Gallant and former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus.
Russell Wilson shines
Star quarterback Russell Wilson was in full control of the offense on Sunday, completing 31 of his 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Yeah, he had as many touchdowns as incompletions, and Carroll said his numbers should have been even better.
“He played almost a perfect game,” Carroll said. “He had a couple drops there where he was just about dead on it.”
A big question heading into the season was whether the Seahawks would allow for Wilson to be more involved early in the game by throwing more overall passes and passing more on earlier downs. Carroll seemed to imply this is what can be expected from Wilson and the offense going forward.
“What really stood out is it looked so much like practice and that’s what we hope to make it look like,” he said.
One of Wilson’s better throws was on a fourth-and-5 play where he found DK Metcalf for a long touchdown. Carroll said there were a good amount of factors that led the team to go for it, and that they were well prepared to do just that.
.@DangeRussWilson wanted it all 💥
A perfect throw to @dkm14 for the touchdown on fourth down!
Q3: SEA 21, ATL 12 pic.twitter.com/gK6r0Nzgqk
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 13, 2020
“Sometimes you’ve got to go. I’ve always loved going for it on fourth down,” he said. “We haven’t done it as much as we used to and when we feel really good about the matchups and the situation then we’re looking for it … It’s hard to punt from (the 37-yard line) and it’s too hard to kick a field goal, so a little bit kind of fit together in that regard.”
The Seahawks made two big additions to their secondary in the offseason with trades for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and cornerback Quinton Dunbar, both of whom played their first games for Seattle in Atlanta. Not only that, the Seahawks used a variety of packages that saw seven total defensive backs see action on Sunday.
“We’re just trying to use our guys and we’ve got a good role for (safety) Lano (Hill) to play, we’ve got a good role for (nickel cornerback) Marquise (Blair) to play,” Carroll said. “Both the safeties – (Quandre) Diggs and Jamal Adams – those guys were all over the place. It was really, at times, you saw a whole slew of those guys out there. It just depends. We’re not doing it for resting guys, no. That’s other positions where we rotate, but we are doing it to play guys and get in matchups that we like and you saw some really good wins.”
Carroll said Hill had “a couple good wins” in coverage and that Adams, who led all players with 12 tackles, was “all over the place.”
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 13, 2020
Blair, who changed positions from safety as a rookie last year to nickel corner, had a good showing.
“Marquise, he’s just getting started, but we’re really excited about what he’s going to bring,” Carroll said.
With Adams, Carroll was thrilled with what he saw out of his newest defensive weapon.
“We had seen him in practice and of course seen him on his film in the past and we wanted to just cut him loose, so that’s what you saw,” Carroll said. “The more active positions you put him in, he makes good choices and good decisions. He didn’t do everything perfect. He ran into (cornerback Shaquill Griffin) out there one time and gave up a touchdown. He was trying to flip between the receiver and (Griffin) and it didn’t work out quite right, but he was certainly making the most aggressive decision he could make, which is kind of his makeup.”
Yardage not an issue
The Seahaws’ defense gave up over 500 yards, but that wasn’t a problem for Carroll because of how and when the majority of those yards came.
“It was a game where we were way ahead the whole time and they knew we were ahead and they were having trouble stopping us because we had good consistency moving the football whereas they had come into the season hoping to balance out their attack,” Carroll said. “They did run the ball a bit early in the game and then they just got away from it and that’s not the way they wanted to play. But I think it was because of the score and then in the game, it’s not just the numbers on the scoreboard, they could feel that they were having trouble slowing us down, so it just turned into a throwing game … If that’s the way you’ve got to get (a win), that’s no problem.”
Carroll said the Seahawks would love to have better overall defensive numbers, but “those numbers” from Week 1 are deceiving because the Falcons were playing from being essentially the entire game, and almost completely abandoned the run game in the second half.
On tap: The Patriots
The Seahawks’ next game will be in Seattle against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Under center for New England will not be Tom Brady, but instead Cam Newton, who the Seahawks faced a ton from his time with the Carolina Panthers.
Newton, who has been one of the better mobile quarterbacks in NFL history, is off to a good start with his new team. In the Patriots’ Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins, Newton completed 15 of his 19 passes for 155 yards and ran the ball 15 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Carroll said defending Newton and the run will be a tough task for his defense.
“We’ve been playing Cam for a long time and the offense he’s been in, they’ve run everything you can think of and every style of run from wildcat runs to options and all kinds of things,” Carroll said. “… (The Patriots are) incorporating the best of him and we will not discount the fact that coach (Bill) Belichick and these guys, they’ve figured these things out and can utilize him at his best, so they’re going to make it very difficult on us. He looked pretty good in the opener and (his running) was certainly a big part of the offense.”
Listen to the Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.
More on the Seahawks’ Week 1 win
• Moore: Time to tip my cap to the ‘cooking people’?
• Rost: Did the Seahawks actually let Russell Wilson cook?
• ‘Thrilled he’s on our team’: Seahawks, Jamal Adams beaming after his debut
• O’Neil: New season, new Seahawks? Win over Falcons sure felt that way
• Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 38-25 win over Falcons