Carroll: What Seahawks can do to improve against the run on defense

Sep 26, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:21 pm
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll reacts after a play against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 25, 2022. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

After six quarters of putting no points on the board, the Seahawks’ offense came alive Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, with quarterback Geno Smith played a fantastic game. The defense unfortunately struggled to stop Atlanta, however, especially against the run, resulting in 178 rushing yards for the Falcons and a 27-23 Seattle loss.

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The run defense was a big talking point for head coach Pete Carroll during his Monday morning show on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

“Defensively, we didn’t stop these guys running the football is really what it felt like,” he said. “And they didn’t have to throw it very much. And when they did, (Falcons QB) Marcus (Mariota) did a nice job. He hit a couple big plays and kind of changed the field, a couple of really easy ones for us to fix that didn’t have to happen. But their running game really, I thought, was the heart of the day.”

Run defense has been an issue for the Seahawks in all three games this year. In Week 2, the San Francisco 49ers rushed for 189 yards, and in a Week 1 win over the Broncos, Denver rushed for 5.2 yards per carry.

In this most recent loss, the Falcons rushed for 5.8 yards per carry with running back Cordarrelle Patterson leading the way with 141 yards.

“Their running back was really something now and we didn’t stop him enough. So there’s some things we have to do to get fixed up,” Carroll said. “Three games into it, I can see some things differently than I saw them going in. And now that we have our guys on the field and we see what we’re doing scheme-wise and all that, we have to adjust a couple of things.”

So what is it that Carroll is now seeing differently?

“Well, I wasn’t sure how well we would play some of the blocks and principles that were defended and fitted in the runs and all that, and we need to adjust a little bit,” he said. “We’ve got some stuff we’re going to do.”

The big issue in the run game has been setting edges as all three of the Seahawks’ opponents have done very well on outside runs.

Defeating blocks is a key talking point for the Seahawks going forward.

“Guys, they get their opportunities, and they have their fits, and then they have to win in their assignments. We have to do better there,” Carroll said. “But that’s not just the (players), we (the coaches) have to help them more. There’s different choices we have scheme-wise and things that we can do. And we just need to fix some things up … (Defeating blocks), that is an issue when you’re not getting off the blocks to make the tackle, then the next guy has got to make it. So we have to be exactly in the right spots, we just have to be cleaner and sharper, and we have to help our guys more with what we’re asking them to do.”

How much of the issues are physical rather than mental and communication-based?

“It’s a mix. It’s a combination of stuff. It’s always a combination of stuff. It’s not that easy that it’s just one thing,” Carroll said.

Carroll said he and other coaches need to help the players more.

“We know we have to help them in some certain areas so that they can really be aggressive and really teeing off the way we’d like them to. Our guys played really hard and they were physical and they knocked the heck out of them and all of that,” he said. “… We get some some nice sacks in the game and some nice stops, but not not enough. They were able to play pretty conservatively and that doesn’t open them up for the mistakes that you need to create on defense. It was hard to get the ball off them.”

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

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