Pete Carroll Preview: Seahawks HC breaks down Week 2 clash with Titans
The Seahawks started the 2021 season on a high note, beating the Indianapolis Colts 28-16 on the road.
Now, the Hawks return to Seattle where they face the Tennessee Titans, who, like the Colts, made the postseason last year.
As he does every Friday, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll joined Voice of the Seahawks Steve Raible for The Pete Carroll Preview on KIRO 97.3 FM’s Seattle’s Morning News to break down his team’s upcoming matchup.
Here’s a bit of what Carroll had to say.
12s are coming home
The last time Lumen Field had fans in the stands for a Seahawks regular season game was Week 17 of the 2019 season. That finally changes on Sunday, with the 12th Man back in what’s likely going to be an electric atmosphere when the Titans come to town.
Carroll has said multiple times how much he missed the fans last year, especially with the Seahawks winning exciting games late in the fourth quarter at home.
“To me, there’s a lot of pressure because we want to perform for them,” Carroll told Raible on Friday. “We’re not going to be able to give them back everything they didn’t get last year, but I’m just really excited about reuniting and feeling the special connection there is here. I’ve grown to realize we have an extraordinary fanbase. There’s just a sense of loyalty here that is really special and it’s created such an environment where this is one of the toughest places to play and everybody knows it.”
The Titans have been one of the better teams in the NFL the last two years, making the playoffs each season and making it to the AFC Championship in 2019.
Carroll offered plenty of praise for how that organization has been rolling of late.
“We see terrific players with a similar background of winning. These guys have won a lot of games,” he said. “Coach (Mike) Vrabel 29-20 since he’s been there, so they’ve been winning the whole time. They won 11 games last year and made the playoffs and all that. We know that’s what they have in their locker room.”
While the Seahawks’ season got off to a great start with a thorough win over the Colts, the Titans got blown out by the Arizona Cardinals 38-13 in Week 1.
“Last week, that game just went all Cardinals,” Carroll said. “Everything they did (worked). They slapped them around with their pass rush and just made it so difficult and got ahead so far that (the Titans’) running game wasn’t a factor. They really took them out of their game early.”
The Titans lean on a tough running attack with Derrick Henry, who paced the NFL in rushing yards each of the last two years, leading the way. But the Cardinals bottled up Henry for just 58 yards on 17 carries and forced the Titans to try and play catchup on offense.
“This is not a team that is made up to beat you coming from behind and throwing the ball all over the yard,” Carroll said. “They want to run the football and for all the obvious reasons.”
While the Titans may be a run-first offense, that doesn’t mean they don’t boast a dangerous passing game.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has revived his career since joining Tennessee in 2019 and he has one of the best wide receiver duos in football in seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones and third-year receiver A.J. Brown, who was teammates with star Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf in college at Ole Miss.
Carroll pointed out that Seahawks fans know Jones well because of his many years with the Atlanta Falcons, who Seattle faced often, but that they may not know too much about Brown.
“A.J. is a fantastic ball player. He’s big and strong and makes big plays and comes through and wins games with game-winning types of plays,” he said. “And Julio’s one of the best guys we’ve ever played against. Those are incredible receivers we’re going against. Tannehill had a really big year last year. It was a struggle last week, but he (was very efficient in 2020). He had a great season last year, so they’re loaded.”
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player below.