Carroll on Seahawks’ matchup against the Rams: ‘This is one of the cleanest teams that we will face all year’

Dec 15, 2017, 9:30 AM
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The Seahawks led the NFL in penalties. Pete Carroll is taking it upon himself to fix the issue. (AP)

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner remains a game-time decision for Seattle’s Week 15 game against the Rams, head coach Pete Carroll told Dori Monson during his weekly show on 97.3 KIRO Radio Friday.

Player Spotlight: Seahawks’ LB Michael Wilhoite ready for his chance

“We won’t know with Bobby until maybe gametime,” Carroll said. “So we’ll take him all the way up to it. He’s been nursing a hamstring for a month now. We’re not quite sure yet, we’ll have to wait all the way up, and there’s a couple guys like that.”

Linebacker K.J. Wright (concussion) and running back Mike Davis (ribs) will also be decided later this week, though Carroll sounded optimistic about Davis’ chances.

“We’ll know more (on Wright) by Saturday,” Carroll said. “(Davis) practiced this week, being really forward-thinking about it. He’s thinking he’s playing and all that, we’re thinking he’s playing. He got banged pretty good, we had to take care of him all week long, but he did practice well.”

Those injuries to Wright and Wagner mean the Seahawks could be without two Pro Bowl veterans on defense when they face the visiting Los Angeles Rams. At 9-4, the Rams are one game ahead of the Seahawks (8-5) in the NFC West; but because Seattle has already beaten the Rams earlier this season, a Seahawks win Sunday would move Seattle to first place in the division. The game will be airing live on 710 ESPN Seattle on Sunday, December 17.

Here are a few other notes:

On what he sees with the Rams’ current squad: “They’re playing really, really good football. This is the third week in a row of teams that are just really complete. This is one of the cleanest teams that we will face all year at this time, as far as just everything — they’re an excellent special teams team, they’re rated high in almost every category, they can run the football well, they don’t turn the ball over, they’ve got a really nice pass rush, they have 40 sacks, they’re an aggressive-style team. (Defensive coordinator) Wade Phillips does a great job with the defense. And the quarterback is just playing really good football, really a very impressive turnaround from year one to year two. He’s just played great all year long and now that we’ve seen him all year, we have a lot of respect for how he’s going.”

On how both teams have changed since their Week 5 meeting: “They’re just more confident. I think we got four turnovers on them that day… they just know who they are (now). (Todd) Gurley has been incredibly consistent… I think that they’re maybe a little more just aware of who they are, I think that’s strong for them. And our situation, we’re better up front on offense. Our offensive line is playing the best its played all year long. We feel really good about what we’re doing on offense and being able to move the ball and we have the potential with the way Russell’s played to do a lot of good stuff. So, I think we’re better there. Defensively, it depends on how our guys respond and who’s in the lineup and who isn’t. I think we’ll play good on the deep end, and up front it just depends on the linebacker play. We’ll see how it goes.”

On dealing with season-ending injuries to so many players, especially at running back: “It’s been hard to imagine that our guys have had such a difficult time staying healthy. And it’s been a variety of guys and a variety of injuries, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the way we’re training them, it’s just all kinds of things, it’s just all kinds of things, just an array of problems. But it has certainly hit that (running back) position and guys have really had to come through and step up. Mike (Davis) played beautifully last week and we’re hoping he can get back and contribute again.”

Do you how people perceive you if the perception is different from what you think the reality of your team is? “Maybe differently than you might think. Of course I care (if) we’re not being authentic to who we really are and we get lost in the moment and it takes us somewhere else. I’m trying to find this consistency with our identity and how we can perform on a regular basis and we can count on all that. It’s really important to retrace your steps and get back on track. And obviously, there needs to be some remorse shown, or you don’t get it. Our guys did, they felt it and they weren’t proud of that (ending in Jacksonville). They don’t like the way it happened. And we know why it did, it’s because we were trying to darn hard and we got to over-trying and that kind of took over us. But I think in the long run, and I know for Quinton Jefferson we’ve talked a number of times this week how now he appreciates the fact that he’s been through that, he knows what that’s like, and he hopes to set a really good example moving forward. That’s a really good lesson… and I hate to learn by the hard way, but sometimes you have to go that way to get better.”

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Carroll on Seahawks’ matchup against the Rams: ‘This is one of the cleanest teams that we will face all year’