Pete Carroll Preview: Seahawks RB health, matchup with Panthers

Dec 9, 2022, 11:53 AM
Seahawks Kenneth Walker...
Kenneth Walker III of the Seattle Seahawks breaks the tackle by Nick Scott of the Los Angeles Rams on December 04, 2022. (Harry How/Getty Images)
(Harry How/Getty Images)

The Seahawks got back in the win column last week by beating the L.A. Rams, and they return home on Sunday to face the Carolina Panthers.

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While the Panthers are just 4-8 on the year, they have been playing much of late, winning two of their last three. Additionally, they’re 3-4 since firing head coach Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start. Since then, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has taken over as interim head coach.

“They’ve done really well with Coach Wilks,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said during Friday morning’s Pete Carroll Preview on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM.

Carroll discussed the Seahawks’ matchup with the Panthers and more during his weekly show.

As for the Panthers, Carroll thinks settling in on Sam Darnold at quarterback has helped the team.

“Now that they’ve settled in on Sam to be the quarterback, he’s a legitimate starting quarterback,” he said. “He’d been banged up. They went through some trials and tribulations, but they’re back to him. We know he’s got the throws in him, he’s talented big strong kid and he will not be rattled in this game. I know that they’re excited about trying to finish the season on a good note, and we respect the crap out of this thing.”

The Panthers, even while struggling to win under Rhule, have had a great defense the last few years including this season. What they’ve also done this season is run the football very well, even since trading star running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers.

Since that trade, D’Onta Foreman has taken over as the lead back, and he’s rushed for over 500 yards over the last six weeks.

“He’s a hammer. He’s a real hammer. And they’re gonna run a ton. They’re trying to run 40 times,” Carroll said.

That run game presents a real challenge for the Seahawks, who have strruggled to defend the run over their last three games.

“We’ve been seeing a bunch of running game lately and it’s been hard on us with so much ability to stay consistent with it with the last three teams we’ve played,” Carroll said. “These guys are no different. We’re in that same mode. We’ve got to play better, gotta get off the field on third down to eliminate those next couple of shots to get at you. It’s gonna be a really tough ball game and it’s gonna be a really good one.”

As for the Seahawks’ run game, not only has it been lackluster the last three weeks, but they’re pretty beat up at running back heading into Sunday.

Lead back Kenneth Walker III (ankle/foot) didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday, and neither did DeeJay Dallas (ankle). The good news is after missing last week, Travis Homer (knee) was full participant on Thursday.

“It’s going to take it all the way to gametime,” Carroll said of the Seahawks’ running back situation.

Regardless of who’s at running back, Carroll is looking for a better run game starting this Sunday.

“We have not been pleased (with the run game) these last three weeks. This last week we ran a little bit, but not like we should,” he said. “When that’s pumping it’s going to be really hard to stop us. Third-down numbers are pretty good for our guys. They’re coming through – 50% again last week and doing some cool stuff — but we need the whole thing fitting together to be the kind of team we want to be down the stretch. It’s gonna take all of it … The guys up front, we made a huge statement to them this week and they practiced their butts off man … I’m hoping that it’ll carry over and we’ll see a real continuity to us.”

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

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