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Pete Carroll Preview: The challenges Falcons present Seahawks defense

Sep 23, 2022, 11:59 AM | Updated: 4:37 pm
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll watches from the sideline against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)
(AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

The Seahawks are looking to get back on track after a 27-7 loss at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, and they return home with a 1-1 record and will face off with the 0-2 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

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So how has this week of practice been coming off a rather resounding loss to the 49ers?

“It was really focused. Guys felt really bad about the way we played,” head coach Pete Carroll said during Friday’s Pete Carroll Preview on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 with voice of the Seahawks Steve Raible. “Across the board, there was just a lot of stuff that got away from us.”

Carroll noted that the Seahawks were penalized across the board and also made mental errors including plays were guys “went the wrong way on a couple of runs.”

“It didn’t feel like that was us,” he said. “And so I’m hoping that we bounce right back and you see us play good solid football and play mistake-free and give ourselves a chance to win a football game like we did in Week 1. That week is done and we put it behind us. Hopefully we put together the kind of week that can win for us.”

So what challenges do the Falcons present?

“The transition that they’ve made from Matt (Ryan) to Marcus Mariota is really just obvious,” Carroll said of Atlanta’s quarterback situation.

After years of a pocket passer in Ryan, the Falcons have a running threat in Mariota, whose legs are a focal point of the offense.

“It’s not stuff that you saw from the Falcons for years. It’s a really good job of the coaching staff and them playing to their personnel,” Carroll said. “They’re difficult. They cause problems for us and we really have to work hard to get this right.”

Another threat from Atlanta’s offense? Cordarrelle Patterson, a former NFL receiver who has found success with the Falcons as a running back.

“He’s gonna surprise you with how he looks as a running back,” Carroll said. ” … And they still use him as a receiver. They’ll shift them out of the backfield and do things with him. But that’s not his focal point. His focal point is carrying the football. And man does he run tough. Their group is a good group and they’re coming downhill, they try to stretch you and get the ball in the permanent when they can to use that speed. And that complimenting coming off the quarterback threats (to run) makes it a really difficult offense.”

So what do the Seahawks need to do offensively to slow the Falcons down?

“We need to really be on scheme. We need to be really scheme ready because the guys have to be in the right place when the quarterback is an option player. If you you blow it and you go hit the dive back and here comes the quarterback all by himself, they get just free yards it feels like,” Carroll said. “So we have to be really disciplined on the edge and do a nice job of not letting them factor with the quarterback. It can be a nightmare.  Outside linebackers have a lot to do with that and the nickel (corners), those guys have a lot of job responsibility here. That’s a big deal to us.”

And with the Seahawks’ offense, Carroll is hoping for more from the running game, which fell flat in Week 2 in San Francisco.

“We just need to keep going. We didn’t run the ball enough,” he said. “We’ve got to keep going. We need more turns more swings. We have to get our first downs, we’ve got to move the football to make that happen, but we’ve got to stay with it. And I really, really am disappointed in last week’s output in the running game.”

Listen to the full Pete Carroll Preview at this link or in the player below.

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