Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks’ DL shines, injury updates, rookie flashes

Sep 13, 2021, 11:55 AM | Updated: 2:16 pm
Seahawks DE Benson Mayowa...
Seahawks DE Benson Mayowa tallied one of Seattle's three sacks of Carson Wentz. (Getty)

The Seahawks had to hit the road for a tough game against a playoff team in Sunday’s season opener, but the end result was a pretty resounding 28-16 Seattle win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Pete Carroll: Key to Seahawks’ fast start in Shane Waldron’s offense

After allowing the Colts to score a field goal on a lengthy drive to open the game, the Seahawks were in control the rest of the way, dominating in seemingly every aspect of the contest.

As you’d expect, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was thrilled with how his team opened the 2021 campaign. He joined Mike Salk for 710 ESPN Seattle’s Pete Carroll Show on Monday to break down the big Week 1 win. Here’s some of what Carroll had to say.

Old faces shine in new offense

“You either adapt or you fall apart and get crushed,” Carroll told Salk of his team changing some aspects entering 2021.

That was certainly the case on offense, where Seahawks had four touchdown drives in new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s debut.

The first score of the year, though, was something we’ve grown accustomed to seeing with the Seahawks, and that was Russell Wilson dropping a perfect touch pass to Tyler Lockett in the end zone.

With a blitz coming and Lockett lined up in the slot, he ran past his defender into the end zone, and Wilson threw it right where only Lockett could get it. He made a brilliant over-the-shoulder catch for the score.

“It was just one of those Tyler moments and Russ moments that we’ve seen over the years. It was just perfectly done, like choreographed. It was gorgeous,” Carroll said.

And it appears that Lockett knew that play was coming early in the day.

“He was doing it in pregame, working on that catch in pregame,” Carroll said of Lockett. “And then all of a sudden, here it is and it pops up and it was great.”

Tight ends get some work

Also on the offensive side of the ball, we saw both of Seattle’s top tight ends get some work in the passing game with Will Dissly and Gerald Everett combining for five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Carroll was a big fan of how those two executed in the Seahawks’ passing attack, which is headlined by Lockett and DK Metcalf.

“I really liked that. Diss had a great game and we’re just starting to see what Gerald’s going to be,” he said.

Dissly is entering his fourth NFL season while Everett is entering his fifth. Unlike Dissly, Everett is new to the Seahawks, having come to Seattle after spending four years with Waldron in Los Angeles with the Rams.

Everett caught two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown, and he lined up all over on offense for the Seahawks.

“Gerald is going to do so many things for us. He had a really nice game,” Carroll said. “Unfortunately the stats don’t count the other screen that he had when he made a beautiful run (because of a penalty), but he’s going to get a lot of balls coming his way and he’s going to be very alive on third down, very alive in the red zone and a real go-to guy.”

Defensive line stands out

If there was one area of the Seahawks’ defense that turned heads on Sunday, it was the defensive line, where all nine linemen played and shined at various moments.

Seattle utilized a steady rotation at that spot, and Carroll called it “a little bit of a Rolodex.”

That “Rolodex” helped the Seahawks tally three sacks (four if you include one on a two-point conversion attempt) and 10 quarterback hits of Colts quarterback Carson Wentz.

“I thought (defensive line coach Clint Hurtt) did a really nice job managing that. Only one time did we have to sprint a guy on late,” Carroll said. “We do have a variety of guys, and what I think I saw yesterday was what we’ve been seeing all throughout camp and some of the preseason games, that there’s a variety of guys and a variety of styles and variety of players we can go to.”

In particular, the play of Seattle’s defensive ends really caught Carroll’s eye.

“I though Darrell had a very good first game, Darrell Taylor,” Carroll said of the 2020 second-round pick who made his regular season debut after missing his entire rookie season due to injury.

“Benson Mayowa played really well in his role. Carlos (Dunlap) really forced the issue,” Carroll added. “Alton Robinson did some nice stuff late in the game. He didn’t get as much play time as I wish he could have got.”

But one edge rusher was the star of the Seahawks’ defense in Indianapolis.

“Rasheem Green really was on fire, which he’s been like the entire camp,” Carroll said.

The fourth-year defender missed a lot of time in 2020 due to injury a year after leading the Seahawks in sacks with four, and Carroll said that Green has a new role in Seattle’s defense for 2021.

“We moved his position and changed him and he’s totally taken to it,” he said. “He gets a lot more edge play and he just looks like a terror. I’m just so excited to see it. We forget how young he is. He’s still just a young kid and he’s growing at it and man is he coming to life.”

Green is just 24 years old despite being in his fourth NFL season, and Carroll said the Seahawks have always thought of him as a “young pup” with lots of upside. Now, Green appears to be putting it all together for Seattle’s defense in 2021.

“He’s really bright, he’s really tough, he’s got great length and he’s explosively strong,” Carroll said. “I just think we’ve found a better spot for him to show his stuff. You notice the guys we’re playing on the edge, those guys they have a factor in the (pass) rush and a factor in the run and they do some pass (coverage) too. He’s just cut it loose so well all camp that it showed up in the game. That was a clear example of a guy who brought his practice work and all that to gameday and we’re really excited for him.”

Injury updates

The Seahawks entered the Week 1 opener in very good shape in the health department, and they left Indianapolis in fairly good shape, as well. But three players did leave the game with injuries and didn’t return.

Running back Rashaad Penny left the game with a calf injury after two carries. Salk asked Carroll if Penny could make it back in time for Week 2.

“It’s a little bit more than that,” Carroll said. “He’s got a little bit of a calf issue and we’ll determine in the next couple of days how we handle that. But we’ve got to take care of him and make sure he gets back. He looked great on the couple of carries he had, but it got tight on him. We did some tests and stuff but we’ll let you know in the next couple days. We’ve got to take care of him.”

The other two injuries were on offense and both were to receivers. Penny Hart and rookie Dee Eskridge both left with the same injury.

“Concussion deal. You’ve just got to wait and see how he bounces back. He felt fine last night and was saying he was good and all that,” Carroll said of Eskridge. “Penny Hart also got hit in the head. Those guys both have to go through the protocol and figure them out.”

Speaking of Eskridge

Eskridge didn’t play a ton before he left the game, but he made two carries for 22 yards and was also used in motion in the passing game. Carroll was raving about the 2021 second-round pick on Monday.

“He’s really explosive. He’s not just fast and explosive – he knows how to use it,” he said. “You’ll see him as he gets openings, man he knows how to hit it. He’s got a good feel for blocks and setting things up and all that. He’s going to make some really big plays this year.”

Carroll noted later that the Seahawks will “take it slowly” with Eskridge in order to not “overload him,” but physically there are no limitations to what he can do on the field.

“He’s a good route runner, he’s got fantastic catching range and really strong hands,” Carroll said. “He’s really good with the ball out and away from him on deep stuff … We want to make sure that he comes along with confidence and he’ll grow fast if we do that.”

Listen to Monday’s edition of The Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

More Week 1 reaction from 710 ESPN Seattle

• Rost: The Seahawks clicking isn’t a surprise, but it happening in Week 1 is
• Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ 28-16 win over Colts
Seahawks Takeaways: Surprising defensive standout, great debut for Waldron

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