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Buy or sell: Pete Carroll’s praise for Seahawks’ pass rush and O-line

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stood up for his pass rush and O-line on Monday. (Getty)

With the Seahawks off to a 2-0 start, head coach Pete Carroll had some praise to share on Monday for some areas of the team that don’t typically receive receive much positive attention.

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On The Pete Carroll Show with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant, the Seahawks coach stood up for his pass rush, which has just three sacks in two games – and two of those have come from safety Jamal Adams instead of somebody who plays more of a traditional pass-rushing position.

A few hours later during his usual Monday afternoon press conference, Carroll shined a light on the offensive line, which is featuring three new starters – free-agent addition Brandon Shell, rookie Damien Lewis and Ethan Pocic, a 2017 second-round pick who has taken over at center.

How much stock should be put into what Carroll said? Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant discussed Tuesday whether they’re buying or selling the coach’s comments following Sunday’s 35-30 win over New England.

Selling: The pass rush has been better than it’s looked

What Pete said: “There’s been some comments or conversations about pass rush – we missed four sacks. We missed them and they were right there. … We were right there and we’ve just got to get the guy down. (Patriots quarterback Cam Newton) is phenomenal at making you miss, but the rush allowed us to be there and had we made those sacks on the night, it would have been an extraordinary night of playing defense because those were all critical opportunities to stop them and the drives were continuing to go.”

Danny O’Neil: “No, no I’m not (buying). Jamal Adams clearly had Cam Newton dead to rights once and Benson Mayowa was right there another time. That said, Cam Newton’s kind of like Ben Roethlisberger in that both are exceptionally huge dudes and you can’t count almost-sacks as sacks because part of the reason they’re successful is that they shrug off contact. No, I don’t think that Seattle’s pass rush was just fine and the only reason that it stood out was because of a couple tackles that they missed. Not buying.”

Paul Gallant: “This is going to be another tough week for the Seahawks’ defense because they are playing against yet another mobile quarterback. They’re going up against (the Cowboys’) Dak Prescott, a guy who had three rushing touchdowns against Atlanta… along with 350 yards passing, so I think we might see some of those similar moments again on Sunday, though with the added benefit of Dak Prescott not being as big as Cam Newton.”

Danny: “And Dallas has really put up some impressive offensive totals. … We’ve seen Seattle blitz a little bit more… I think they’re going to have to do that over the course of this season. I think they’re going to have to find ways to bring pressure because I don’t think they’re going to get it when they rush four.”

Gallant: “My hope is that (safety) Quandre Diggs plays in every single game because I think that the pass rush, it’s at its best when Jamal Adams is a part of it. I know that’s concerning because he’s a safety but I think you have to do what works and that works right now.”

Danny: “He is their most efficient pass rusher and some of that’s because sometimes he’s not blocked. So far, he’s been the guy that when they send him, he most consistently gets home.”

Buying: The Seahawks’ offensive line has been good

What Pete said: “The guys are doing really well. Honestly they’re doing well. Brandon Shell’s a good player and he’s holding up, he’s been really consistent so far. Damien (Lewis) is doing a fine job, too. He’s a really good athlete for the position. Even though there’s newness there, he’s just got a great feel for it, he’s really tough, he’s really strong. And (Ethan) Pocic is playing well. Ethan has given us a transition that was better than you might have thought with the new guy coming just because he’s been a student of the game since he’s come here and he really helps in that regard. And maybe there’s an LSU thing between the center (Pocic) and the guard (Lewis), I don’t know, but they’re communicating really well.”

Danny: “Yeah, I buy that. I think the offensive line has looked pretty good. I don’t have huge complaints. Yeah, Russell (Wilson) has got hit, but I will stand to the end of the day that part of the reason he gets hit is because of how long he holds onto the ball. And that’s not a criticism of Russell, it’s just the reality of how Seattle’s offense works, that Russell buys more time, it results in more big plays, it means that they take more sacks. That’s just how it works; it’s the cost of doing business with him.”

Paul: “I am buying this as well. They looked better than they did in Week 1. There was, I think, marked improvement. Maybe it was because you were going up against a team that isn’t as adept at rushing the passer as Atlanta in New England, but it was impressive.”

You can hear the full segment in the podcast (including more buy or sell topics) from Tuesday’s episode of Danny and Gallant at this link or in the player below beginning at around the 26:20 mark.

Follow Danny O’Neil and Paul Gallant on Twitter.

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Danny and Gallant Show