Pete Carroll Show: Russell Wilson a big reason for Seahawks’ aggressiveness on offense
The Seahawks’ offense wasn’t quite as sharp as it has been to start the 2020 season, but quarterback Russell Wilson continued to make his case for NFL MVP by throwing for a season-high 360 yards with two touchdowns to help Seattle beat the Miami Dolphins 31-23, making it the second time in franchise history the team has started a season 4-0.
Before his team shifts its focus to the Minnesota Vikings for a Sunday Night Football showdown in Seattle, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll reflected on the Week 4 road win in Miami with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on The Pete Carroll Show Monday morning. Here’s a bit of what Carroll had to say about his team’s offensive performance.
Aggression on offense
The Seahawks went for it just once on fourth down against the Dolphins, but it was well within kicker Jason Myers’ range (it was fourth-and-3 from the Miami 18-yard line). Ultimately, it didn’t work out as Wilson was sacked, but the play showed that Seattle is being more aggressive on offense than in previous years, opting to look for touchdowns rather than punting or kicking a field goal. Carroll spoke of that mindset on Monday morning.
“We’re going to continue to look for those opportunities because we believe in our guys that they can pull it off and Russell can pull it together,” he said. … I like the attitude, too. I always like going for it. We won’t do it all the time. We’ll do it when the time is right and when it fits the situation, hopefully.”
That fourth-down play in the second quarter wasn’t the only instance of the Seahawks playing extra aggressive on offense.
After a Jason Sanders field goal for Miami made it a 10-9 game with just 24 seconds left in the first half, you would have thought that Seattle would get the ball, take a knee and go into the locker room for haltime. Instead, with two timeouts remaining, Seattle marched down the field and Wilson found running back Travis Homer for a score, making it 17-9 in Seattle’s favor. The four-play, 75-yard drive took just 21 seconds of game time.
“The offensive staff, they jumped on my mug. We had two timeouts and 24 seconds and there’s a logical thought that’s ‘OK, we have the ball coming up in the second half, let’s not screw it up here,'” Carroll recalled. “But the other side of it, the logic is we’ve got Russell, you know? And Russell makes great decisions and he understands the situations and he knows exactly as much as you could know about these kinds of situations.”
Carroll said the offense practices those kinds of situations all the time, and that played a big part in opting to be aggressive late in the first half. He said having Wilson is key as well, as he knows he won’t make a major mistake and that he trusts his star quarterback.
“It’s worth the shot going for that and we’ve earned that by preparing for it, so it’s not even a big deal,” Carroll said. “We knew exactly what was going on and it was easy for us.”
The play of the drive? A 57-yard pass from Wilson to David Moore that got Seattle to the Miami 7-yard line. Speaking of Moore …
Moore has ‘really good gifts’ physically
With receivers Phillip Dorsett and Josh Gordon unable to play due to injury and waiting for NFL reinstatement, respectively, Moore has emerged as Seattle’s No. 3 receiver. He has done so well that he may have caused fans to forget about Dorsett and Gordon waiting to return to action.
Moore opened the year with three catches for 28 yards against Atlanta, then followed that up vs. New England with three catches for 48 yards, including this ridiculous 38-yard touchdown.
Oh my goodness @DMoeSwagg23 gets his feet in!! 🙌
Q3: SEA 21, NE 17
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— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2020
He had only one 2-yard catch in Week 3, but Moore shined in Week 4, catching three passes for 95 yards, including the aforementioned 57-yard snag late in the first half as well as another incredible touchdown reception, where he somehow kept both feet in bounds in the back of the end zone.
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— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 4, 2020
Carroll raved about the athleticism of the fourth-year receiver and 2017 seventh-round pick out of Division-II East Central in Oklahoma.
“David has a combination of strength and power for a receiver that’s somewhat unusual because he’s not the biggest guy – he’s over 200 pounds, but he’s just not the biggest guy – but he’s really powerful and he uses it when he’s running and he uses it when blocking and uses it when he gets off the ground,” Carroll said of the 6-foot, 215-pound receiver. “If you notice, he makes a lot of catches that are contested with guys all over him because he’s strong enough to hold his space and all that. He’s a real natural athlete who’s got really good gifts and timing and things like that.”
Chris Carson toughs it out and excels
Speaking of physical specimens, Seahawks running back Chris Carson is one big, fast and strong dude.
There were questions about whether Carson would suit up on Sunday after injuring his knee on what many are calling a dirty play by Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill.
Carson didn’t appear to show any ill effects of the injury, rushing for a season-high 80 yards on 16 carries and scoring two rushing touchdowns.
“He really played well and he’s just our style,” said Carroll, who has made it clear how much he loves tough, physical running backs. “We love to see him make his plays, make his runs and he’s just got a way about him that we all really like. And he’s just so darn tough and he showed it.”
Carson was listed as questionable with a minor knee sprain and was a game-time decision. He made it clear to Carroll and other coaches that he was going to play early in the week.
“He said on Wednesday, ‘I’m going to play. I’m going to play in this game.’ And we all were thinking otherwise and he made it through the week, but we were hesitant about it until we saw him make it all the way through gameday,” Carroll said. “He pulled it off and played a good football game.”
O-line continues to rotate
The Seahawks have rotated starting left guard Mike Iupati and backup Jordan Simmons through the first few weeks of this season. That rotation and more occurred on a hot day in Miami.
Jamarco Jones came in at right guard for rookie starter Damien Lewis, who was questionable to play with an ankle injury, and played 19 of Seattle’s 63 snaps. Cedric Ogbuehi also saw game time, filling in briefly for starting right tackle Brandon Shell and playing 13 snaps. Week 4 was the first game Ogbuehi appeared in this season. Starting left tackle Duane Brown and center Ethan Pocic played all 63 snaps for the Seahawks on offense, joining Wilson as the only offensive players to do that in Week 4.
Carroll said that was all part of the plan heading into the game.
“It was certainly the intent going into Miami because it was a messy day down there (with weather) and we tried to get everyone on the field and get a chance to play just to give guys a break,” he said. “When you do that, if a guy does tire out then (the backup) has already been in the game and it’s OK to put a guy back in kind of thing.”
Carroll said there’s a balance to doing that because you want chemistry and continuity on the offensive line, but he thought it went well and that it gave the team more confidence in the backup linemen.
“We just wanted to make the coaches feel comfortable about subbing and just work through it,” Carroll said. “I hope we can continue to do that in general just to keep guys fresh.”
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