Salk: What is Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s takeaway from playoffs?

Jan 31, 2022, 12:29 PM | Updated: 12:30 pm

Seahawks Pete Carroll...

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll looks on during a game against the 49ers on Dec. 5. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

All but the final game of the NFL playoffs has been played, and the Seattle Seahawks have been home to watch it all after their 7-10 season.

So what might head coach Pete Carroll be making of everything that’s gone down?

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That was a topic of interest Monday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk Show, and the host of the show has an idea of what could be Carroll’s biggest takeaway – and that’s something worth putting stock into since Salk has been asking the coach questions on The Pete Carroll Show for the majority of the past decade.

“If Pete’s watching these games, I would imagine the two teams he’s pointed at are the Titans and the Niners,” Salk said. “Hard-hitting, physical, nasty, some playmakers.”

The Tennessee Titans have come up regularly as a team the Seahawks could take a page from mainly because of their commitment to a strong running game that ranked fifth in the NFL with 141.4 rushing yards per game during the regular season. They lost to the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals 19-16 in the divisional round, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill throwing three interceptions in the defeat.

As for the San Francisco 49ers, they just fell short of securing a spot in the Super Bowl, losing 20-17 in the NFC Championship to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday with QB Jimmy Garappolo throwing a late interception that allowed the Rams to secure the win.

Salk pointed out that the 49ers and Titans both used a style of play that Carroll has favored in his career but were knocked out by the eventual Super Bowl teams because they miss something the Seahawks have in Russell Wilson: a franchise quarterback.

“It’s just that neither team has the quarterback to get it done,” Salk said. “But other than that, isn’t that what Pete wants? Doesn’t he want a running attack like the Niners have and the multiple ways in which they get after you on defense? Those linebackers were taking dudes and body-slamming them to the ground (Sunday). It was the best tackling game we saw in the playoffs. …. If Russ was on that Niners team, they’re playing for the Super Bowl in two weeks.”

The 49ers actually led the Rams 17-7 going into the fourth quarter, and their defense was a big reason. The Rams were limited to just five full drives in the first three quarters, with only one resulting in points.

The Seahawks actually had success against the 49ers in 2021, beating them in both of their meetings, so Justin Barnes asked Salk if Carroll might say the Seahawks are close to where San Francisco, which went 10-7 in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs, is now.

“I think he might, but I don’t see the Seahawks tackle like that, I don’t see the Seahawks hit like that, I don’t see the Seahawks play defense like that,” Salk said. “… I just think that that’s what Pete wants and I really hope they can get back to it.”

Find podcasts of The Mike Salk Show at this link or on your favorite app, and catch the show live Monday-Friday from 6-10 a.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.

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