Pete Carroll Preview: Seahawks’ matchup with 49ers, Peterson signing, state of offense
Coming off a loss to the Washington Football Team on Monday night, the 3-8 Seahawks had a short week of practice for their upcoming game. But Seattle faces a very familiar foe in the San Francisco 49ers, who the Seahawks beat earlier this season.
The chances of the Seahawks making a late surge into the playoffs are low and only getting lower as they’ve now dropped three games in a row and six of their last seven, but head coach Pete Carroll, ever the eternal optimist, is looking for his team to get a big divisional win on Sunday to gain some momentum for the rest of the season.
Carroll shared his thoughts on the matchup with the 6-5 49ers, the newest member of the team and where the struggling offense currently stands during the latest Pete Carroll Preview with Steve Raible on 97.3 KIRO FM’s Seattle’s Morning News.
Of the 49ers, Carroll said his team has “always liked this matchup.”
“We’ve just kind of had a kinship in playing games and tough games against each other and all that,” he said. “The preparation has been smooth, and they’ve been really impressive. This is as good as they’ve looked in a long time with their running game. It’s really on fire right now, so we’ve got a lot of a lot to handle here.”
Speaking of running games, the Seahawks signed future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson, who has the fifth-most rushing yards in NFL history, to the team’s practice squad on Wednesday.
Peterson struggled to get much going in three games with the Tennessee Titans this season, but Carroll has been impressed with what the four-time All-Pro has shown him at practice this week.
“I don’t see anything that tells us otherwise,” Carroll said when asked if Peterson can help the team. “We’re thrilled he was on the practice field with us this week, so we can see who he is and what he is as a ballplayer up close.”
Carroll noted that he actually tried to recruit Peterson to USC when he was the head coach there before Peterson’s commitment to Oklahoma, so it’s a “thrill” to finally have the opportunity to coach him since he’s known Peterson for so many years.
“He worked really hard at practice,” Carroll said. “He’s always been a notorious worker. He showed that to us.”
Carroll said he felt that some other players “picked their step up a little bit” after seeing Peterson at age 36 practice the way he did.
“They thought, ‘Well holy cow, this guy can do it, so I better catch up with him a little bit,'” Carroll said. “That sent a real message to some of the younger kids, which was great … You can sense his respect for the game and it makes you want to do your best, too. He elevates you and that’s what great players have had the ability to do and when you can, it’s really obvious it’s valuable. It was great to have him in and we’re excited to see how we can work him in.”
Peterson now joins an offense that, simply put, has struggled mightily over the last few weeks and desperately needs a spark.
Many have claimed that the Seahawks’ offense is “broken,” despite star quarterback Russell Wilson’s return from a finger injury. Carroll doesn’t think that’s the case at all.
“I don’t feel that part of it at all because Russ just doesn’t let you go there,” he said. “He is such a confident guy in his language, which is always so powerful … His drive is really at the front of what we’re doing. So with that, I don’t see that happening at all.”
Some have speculated Wilson isn’t as confident as he usually is, either because of his finger or another reason. Again, Carroll isn’t buying it.
“He’s not doubting anything, but we have to play better,” Carroll said. “I don’t think it’s a confidence thing right now, I think we have to execute better and we’ve got to come through in the crucial moments of the game and keep the drives alive and keep the ball moving. I look around and we have guys that can do stuff, so we’ve just got to keep delivering that thing to them and give them a chance and we’ll see if we can make a little turn here before it’s over.”
Listen to the latest Pete Carroll Preview at this link or in the player below.