Salk: Seahawks found their identity on offense by doing it Pete Carroll’s way

Oct 19, 2021, 12:37 PM
Seahawks RB Alex Collins...
Seahawks RB Alex Collins celebrates his rushing touchdown with Penny Hart and Duane Brown during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Seahawks suffered a 23-20 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers to fall to 2-4 on the season, but they didn’t come away from the game without some positive takeaways.

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For Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show, the most positive takeaway come from the offense, which was down star quarterback Russell Wilson as well as top running back Chris Carson.

“For the first time in a long time, I think the Seahawks may have found their identity again,” Salk said Monday morning.

“You have to know who you are in order to succeed at what you do,” Salk later added. “And last night for the first time in a long time, I felt like (Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll did what Pete Carroll wants to do. It didn’t lead to a win, unfortunately, because Geno Smith is not good enough to get that win late in a game … But I hope it showed you that you have to have a plan.”

And what exactly was that plan that the Seahawks executed offensively?

“What does Pete want to do? He wants to run the ball,” Salk said. “He wants to be balanced. He thinks all of your ‘Let Russ Cook’ talk is malarkey.”

The Seahawks ran for nearly 150 yards against a tough Steelers run defense with Alex Collins, starting in place of the injured Carson, becoming the first Seahawks running back since late-2019 to go for over 100 yards.

As far as the “Let Russ Cook” comment, Salk was referring to the popular Twitter phrase that took over early in 2020 that essentially boils down to letting Wilson be more of a focal point of the Seahawks’ offense and putting the ball in his hands more.

“(Carroll has) been compromising, he’s been trying to find a way to work with his quarterback, he’s been trying to find a way to ‘modernize,'” Salk said. “But at his core … Pete Carroll truly believes that the best way to win in the NFL is by owning the other team through the run and that it just opens up so much more that he wants to do.”

Salk believes that in 2021, with a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron working with Wilson, that Carroll has been compromising in terms of how Seattle’s offense operates.

“That’s not being convicted in your identity,” he said. “Yesterday, I saw a coach at halftime who said, ‘No more. No more will I allow this to happen. No more will I continue to compromise with a player who’s not even out here. We’re going to do this my way. I’m the coach, I’m in charge, we’re doing this my way.'”

In the first half, the Seahawks failed to tally 100 total yards and had no points on the board. With a run-heavy offense in the second half, Seattle put 20 points on the board.

“They came out in the second half like a house of fire. They were great. They ran the ball down their throats,” Salk said. “They ran it on third-and-7, they ran it on second-and-20 and they had success doing it … They ran it when you’re not supposed to and had success doing it because they were convicted about it.”

And Salk believes that Carroll will keep that type of commitment to the run game going forward.

“Pete Carroll is as convicted about this as he’s going to be on anything. You’ve got to go run the ball,” Salk said. “He believes that’s when they’ve always been good is when they run the ball best, he believes that’s when they were at their best last night and he believes that’s how they’re going to be at their best moving forward. That’s the blueprint: Run the ball.”

Listen to the third hour of Monday’s Mike Salk Show at this link or in the player below.

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