Pete Carroll Preview: Seahawks facing Wagner, addition of Abram
The Seahawks have dropped back-to-back games in tough fashion and have slid out of the NFC playoff picture heading into a Week 13 clash with the Los Angeles Rams.
It started in Week 10 when Seattle went to Germany to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In that game, the Seahawks struggled mightily in the first half offensively, had a key red zone turnover and had no run game while struggling to stop the Bucs’ rushing attack.
Despite a bye week right after that loss, the Seahawks had many of the same struggles against the Las Vegas Raiders last week, allowing over 300 yards of offense to running back Josh Jacobs, including an 86-yard touchdown in overtime.
During his Friday show on KIRO Newsradio 97.3, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll discussed a bit of what the team has been working on and much more during the latest Pete Carroll Preview.
“We have really pointed out some things specifically,” Carroll told Steve Raible. “The third downs, that’s a scenario that’s got to get better. When we were going here a couple weeks ago, third downs were working nice for us on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense. When you don’t get those first downs on offense, it’s just killer to the momentum of the game.”
Last week, the Raiders converted 8 of 14 third-down opportunities two weeks after the Bucs converted 10 of 15 third-down tries. The Seahawks, meanwhile, converted once on third down against Tampa and just 4 of 9 times on Sunday against the Raiders.
“That’s a big deal for us, so we focused heavily on that,” Carroll said. “And again, it’s all about the football, take care of the ball. We gave the ball up twice. We’re getting the football (on defense) – we’re fourth in the NFL in takeaways – but we’ve just found a way that the ball gets away from us. Our ball carriers have done a great job of taking care of the football, it’s other ways that it’s happened and we just have to clean those up.”
Some good news for the Seahawks is that safety Ryan Neal looks on track to play after suffering shoulder and elbow injuries against the Raiders.
“He’s carved out a real niche for us,” Carroll said. “And he’s a spiritual leader for the team too. He’s got a lot of juice to him. And guys really look up to him and count on him.”
But Neal’s status being unclear earlier in the week led to the Seahawks claiming 2019 first-round pick safety Johnathan Abram off waivers. Carroll told Raible the Seahawks had familiarity with Abram due to the draft process a few years ago and that they like the way he plays.
“He does play the kind of stuff … that we asked Ryan and Jamal (Adam) to play,” Carroll said. ” … Johnathan’s a good football player, was a No. 1 pick, really aggressive, he’s very good around the line of scrimmage, tough at making his hits and tackles and stuff and blitzers and that kind of thing. We’ll see how he fits in.”
Abram won’t be active this week, Carroll said, but could play next Sunday when the Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers.
Facing Bobby Wagner for the first time
The Seahawks underwent a pretty substantial roster shakeup this past offseason, trading quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver and releasing perennial All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, who then signed with the Rams.
This Sunday marks the first of two meetings Seattle will have with Wagner and the Rams, and Carroll discussed what made Wagner so special during his time with the Seahawks.
“He was just top of the line in every factor,” he said’
When thinking of Wagner, the first thing that comes to mind, Carroll said, was his “commitment that demonstrated this unbelievable consistency in everything he did.”
“He did everything the same every day. The knock would come on the coaches’ door on Tuesday at the same time right around 10 a.m. and he’d open up the door and just check in with us. He was clockwork on everything,” Carroll said. “And he recognized how important it was to have that kind of discipline, and it made him a Hall of Fame career, I think. There’s a lot of guys that have the talent, but he had everything in all of the elements that allows you to show that kind of consistency that separates you from the rest of the crowd.”
Listen to the full Pete Carroll Preview at this link or in the player below.