Pete Carroll Preview: The challenge of Seahawks facing familiar faces
The Seahawks will look to get back in the win column when they take on the New York Jets, who have plenty of familiar faces.
Additionally, the Jets field one of the toughest defenses in the NFL, including an elite cornerback tandem with star rookie cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and former Seahawks standout D.J. Reed.
“It is (a good matchup),” head coach Pete Carroll told Steve Raible during this week’s Pete Carroll Preview on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. “And they’re all jacked up, they want to try to do something with their season there. They cleared up the quarterback situation it seems and I’m sure that the team is fired up about that. They’re not coming all the way out here just to see the Northwest. I know (head coach Robert Saleh) will have them fired up.
“And it is a really good defense, so we’ve got to be on it. They play very similar to the 49ers’ system, which is a derivative of our old stuf. We understand it, we know it and we’ll lock horns.”
There are familiar faces for both sides this week, including with Saleh. He’s in his second year as the Jets’ head coach, and he was a defensive quality control coach with the Seahawks from 2011 to 2013, where he won a Super Bowl ring.
Carroll reflected on Saleh’s time in Seattle during his Friday morning show.
“Being the person that he is, he was really disciplined and a really highly-educated guy that used the system and the numbers and the concepts and the principles and the organizational strengths that he brought and he taught us a lot of stuff,” Carroll said. “He really set set us in motion with all of the things that we do in terms of our evaluations, analytics and stuff like that from the defensive side … You might say he learned a lot (from us), but I was able to grab as much as I could while we had him. He was really sharp, just a high character dude. And it’s not surprising that he’s taken it so far and done so much so soon. It’s really fun to watch him go.”
Longtime Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown is also on the other sidelines as he signed with the Jets this offseason after spending five years in Seattle.
Brown was a leader and consistent force during his time with the Seahawks, and Carroll had nothing but good things to say about the veteran lineman.
“We caught Duane in Year 10 of his career. He was a remarkable force on our team when he showed up here,” he said. “We really cherish the time that we had with Duane. He’s playing good football, too. He looks good out there, so he’s still chopping away at it.”
Does Brown being with the Seahawks for so long – including last season – help the Jets at all in terms of any advantages? Carroll doesn’t think so given Seattle has a new starting quarterback in Geno Smith – formerly of the Jets – as well as a new defensive system this year.
“I don’t think that he would have much to go on. He knows us, he knows me, he knows how we think and stuff like that, so certainly he can pass along that. But as far as scheme and giving them an edge, I don’t think he’s going to have that much to offer,” Carroll said. “We have new (pass) rushers for the most part, so I don’t think it’ll be a great advantage for him. And it’s not an advantage for us to know him either in that regard. We know how to play him and go after him, but scheme-wise and all that, it’s pretty typical as it is for a normal week with a team that we haven’t played much.”
The Seahawks didn’t have star receiver Tyler Lockett last week against the Kansas City Chiefs as he was out of action due to hand surgery.
It’s unclear whether Lockett will suit up this week against the Jets, but Carroll is certainly hoping that’s the case.
“He’s a great player. I have not been around a player that’s any more equipped and better to come through when it’s clutch time,” he said. ” … To not have that guy, that’s tough. That’s a factor and there’s no two ways about it. But the (other receivers) worked to fill in and all that. But getting him back this week if he can go, that’s a big plus for us, and for Geno in particular for all of those crucial situations. Just think of all the crucial catches he’s made this year already to move the sticks and the touchdowns and all that. So I hope we’ll have him out there.”