Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks are ‘getting better at what we’re doing’ heading into bye
The Seahawks needed a win in a bad way when the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars came to town on Sunday, and Seattle got just that, beating the Jaguars 31-7 to get to 3-5 heading into the Week 9 bye.
Naturally, Carroll was thrilled with getting a decisive win before the week off.
“It was a really good day yesterday,” he said. “We needed it, the fans needed it and we earned it. We played really good football yesterday.”
“We’re getting good right now. We’re getting better at what we’re doing and you can see it,” Carroll later added. “… Now there’s fewer areas where you can get us. We have a lot of room to improve and we’re going to keep going, but we’re getting there.”
Here’s what Carroll had to say about how the Seahawks are improving on offense and defense.
Offense finds a rhythm in passing game
Geno Smith made his third start of the year in place of the injured Russell Wilson. He played very well, completing 20 of 24 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to DK Metcalf.
Metcalf had the two scores on six catches and 43 yards while Tyler Lockett accounted for 12 catches and 142 yards. Those two received 19 of Smith’s 24 passing attempts.
“It always is, that’s no rocket science there,” Carroll said when asked about planning to get those two receivers the ball. “Those guys are terrific football players and yesterday we were really pecking away at them really nice with the dropback game and Tyler was the recipient. He had some big plays, crucial catches.”
The Seahawks employed a fast passing attack that allowed the to really move the ball downfield efficiently.
“We were really quick with the football yesterday,” Carroll said. “I was really fired up about the rhythm that we were able to throw with. (Offensive coordinator) Shane Waldron really put the plan together to give Geno a shot to really function quickly. You saw all of the inside passes that we hit Tyler on and DK caught a couple. The rhythm of that is what made that work.”
Carroll said the Seahawks are at their best offensively when they have that quick passing attack.
“We have to continue to strive to stay in that pocket because that gives us a chance to get the ball out and the pass protection guys don’t have to work as long and we can move the football that way effectively where our guys can catch it,” he said.
The Seahawks made a change on offense with Ethan Pocic taking over as the starting center for Kyle Fuller. Carroll thought Pocic did a “nice job.”
“He called a good game. He had some plays that he needs back technically but he played a good solid football game,” he said. “Geno felt really comfortable with him so we will see how that fits moving forward.”
Moving forward should include Wilson, who Carroll said is trending upwards and has a chance to play in Green Bay in Week 10 when the Seahawks return from the bye.
Carroll said that getting Wilson back will be big as he’s “a factor” that could have helped them win the close games they’ve lost of late as he’s been hurt.
“The teams that played us without Russell are fortunate,” Carroll said.
Defense continues to trend upward
The Seahawks’ defense played another good game on Sunday, holding the Jaguars to just one late score and 309 total yards.
Carroll, whose background in coaching is on the defense, was fired up with that unit’s play in Week 8.
“The defense played really good, really hard yesterday,” he said. “They were on their stuff all day long … There were just a handful of plays that got away from us … We really have improved and we’re really excited about that.”
“To see the collective effort and intensity and attention to detail and toughness, all of those things are all clicking and we’re doing the best job we’ve done this year in the last month or so in mixing our coverages to just make it harder for our opponent and it’s just working out really well,” he later added. “Guys are really utilizing the changes and the calls and the coverage changeups effectively, and we’re playing much more aggressive pass defense.”
Seattle’s pass rush got just one sack, but they hit Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence seven times and pressured him far more.
Two players who stood out in the pass rush to Carroll were Darrell Taylor, who returned after missing last week with a neck injury, and Carlos Dunlap.
“Darrell in particular (stood out), and Carlos did a really nice job yesterday, too,” Carroll said. “He was really physical in his rushes. That’s where Carlos was at his best when he’s just breaking down the edge. He knocked some balls down, got in the passing lanes and was effective there. Meanwhile on the other side, Darrell was flashing and speeding around. He had some great rushes that didn’t transfer into sacks and all that, but he had a good day.”
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