Pete Carroll Preview: Seahawks have tough task vs 49ers’ offense
The Seahawks have lost three games in a row just twice under head coach Pete Carroll, and those streaks both came before star quarterback Russell Wilson came to town in 2012.
Seattle (1-2) will look to avoid that kind of streak Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers (2-1) in the Seahawks’ first NFC West game of the 2021 season.
Carroll broke down the matchup with the 49ers and also provided an update on a player who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
What makes the 49ers tough?
Carroll and the Seahawks obviously know the 49ers well as the two teams face off twice a year.
After making the Super Bowl in 2019, San Francisco fell to 6-10 due to a wide array of injuries on the roster. But they appear closer to the 2019 team than the 2020 version, Carroll said.
“They’ve had really good coaching and they’ve got good scheme and they’ve got good ideas,” Carroll said. “They’ve had a marvelous pass rush up front for some time now and they’ve played off it defensively and it’s been a great strength for their club. And they’re there again. They were the same last year until they got banged up and lost some guys and they didn’t have the same group that they were bringing at you.”
When it comes to the 49ers, Carroll says their coaching, commitment to the run game and their pass rush are what really stand out.
“They’re just a smart club,” he said. “(Quarterback) Jimmy is a winning football player – he’s been winning games since he came in the league – and he does a nice job with them and they mix their run a lot. It’s a really good team that we’re playing and we’ve got to play really good football against them to get it done.”
Two players on offense who really can cause problems, Carroll said, are receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle. (Note, Kittle may not play, per head coach Kyle Shanahan.)
“You’re going to have to deal with those guys quite a bit,” he said. “You’re going to get Deebo in so many different areas of their game whether he’s in the backfield getting the ball, whether he’s coming across running reverses and fly plays. His catch and run ability in screens is really effective. Kittle is an all-around football player that can do everything. Unfortunately they know that, so they get the ball to these guys all the time and it just gives them a little bit more of an opportunity to make a play and have an influence on the game.”
Another key player for the 49ers is Kyle Juszczyk, a fullback who Carroll said gives their offense “so much versatility”
“He comes through,” Carroll said. “… These are great playmakers that I would tell you have a great impact on the game and the coaching staff knows how to use those guys.”
Last week, the Seahawks allowed the Minnesota Vikings to convert nine of 14 third-down attempts. Improving on third downs on both sides of the ball has been a point of emphasis for the Seahawks this week, especially when they’re on defense.
“They don’t have like the key receiver to throw it to or the little guy gets open in the slot. They do a multitude of things and (have) ways to get it done,” Carroll said. “And they use their second quarterback (rookie Trey Lance) as well in crucial third-down situations and they’ve been effective there, too … They’ve got a real diverse approach. Fortunately we’ve played these guys a lot, so we know kind of the range of the things that they do. We just have to stop them now and make sure that we can get off the field.”
After not having any players test positive for COVID-19 during the 2020 season, the Seahawks could be without their starting tight end as Gerald Everett is on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Carroll provided an update on Everett’s status Friday morning.
“He feels fine. It’s not a question of feeling sick,” he said “He’s a vaccinated guy, so he’s protected in all those ways, he’s just contagious so he’s still out of the building for now.”
Carroll said Everett has to test negative on back to back days in order to be eligible to return, so they won’t know whether he has a shot to come back and play on Sunday against the 49ers until later on Friday.
The potential loss of Everett, who has eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown this year, is a big one for the Seahawks, Carroll said.
“To not have him, he’s a big aspect of our offense we’re just developing now. You saw last week we used him all over the place,” he said. “We really like the guy and we want him involved in everything.”
If Everett can’t go, look for Will Dissly to have a bigger role.
“If we don’t have him then Will Dissly has more action and Will is a come through guy, too,” Carroll said. “He’s a really good football player. But they’re a little bit different in their styles and we have to adapt to that.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.