‘We’re getting better’: Carroll shares what he’s seeing from Seahawks’ defense
Oct 20, 2023, 3:58 PM
(Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
It initially looked like last Sunday was going to be a long day for the Seattle Seahawks on defense.
During their first two drives of the game, the Cincinnati Bengals marched down and scored two touchdowns while piling up 142 yards on Seattle.
That was essentially it, though, as the Bengals got just a field goal and 72 yards over their next nine drives to end the game.
The Seahawks lost 17-13, but it was hardly the fault of the defense.
So what changed for the Hawks that game?
“Nothing that dramatic. It wasn’t like the halftime talk got them (right) or anything like that,” head coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly Pete Carroll Preview on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. “(Defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt) did a nice job with with our adjustments and stuff. But it’s really just trying to continue to find that way to come out of the locker room with the right kind of mentality and willingness to go ahead and go for it, regardless of what the situation is, whether you’re ahead or whether you’re not. We’re trying to learn how to do that.”
In general, Carroll is pleased with what the Seahawks are doing defensively, especially in the second half.
“This is four weeks in a row of coming back and really getting after it and taking the challenge at hand and responding to what’s taking place, and then taking over,” he said. “The defense was able to do that in really obvious fashion, the best we’ve done it against the best offense that we’d seen in a while. I was really moved by that because we’re getting better.”
The Seahawks are improving across the board on defense.
Last year, the Hawks were 26th in yards allowed. They’re 16th so far this season.
In 2022, the Seahawks allowed the third-most rushing yards in football. In 2023, the Hawks have the league’s fourth-best rushing defense.
Seattle is also better in points allowed, going from 25th last year to 18th this year.
“I do hope that what’s happening also is that our guys are playing together more consistently and more confidently and we’re going to continue to go because there’s a lot of good players on the defense,” Carroll said. “There’s a lot of guys that can go out there and make the play you need to get made. I can name 10 guys or all of them that are able to do that. So hopefully we can keep it going.”
A big improvement so far has been Seattle’s tackling, which was a big part of the defense’s success in Cincinnati.
“It’s mostly the open-field tackles that really stand out,” Carroll said. ” … There wasn’t a lot of catch and run stuff. That didn’t happen. This was a team that was really adept at that. There just was a lot of real positive challenges and the opportunities were met. The guys came through and your mind’s got to be in the right place. Really as much as anything, your mind’s got to be right for those moments.”
Listen to this week’s Pete Carroll Preview at this link or in the player near the top of this story.