The Pete Carroll Show: Russell Wilson’s command over Seahawks’ offense strong as ever
Coach Pete Carroll joined “Brock and Salk” on Monday as the does the day after every Seahawks game, in this case a 35-6 win over Baltimore. The podcast of their conversation can be found here. A few highlights are below.
Wilson in control. Brock Huard noted how efficient Russell Wilson was on Sunday in getting Seattle’s offense set with enough time on the play clock to either change the protection or the play-call altogether. Huard contended that Wilson’s command at the line of scrimmage has been as strong the last few weeks as it’s ever been. Carroll agreed, saying: “That’s a really good observation. Yesterday in particular, there were a number of plays that Russell had to adjust – one side to the other in the running game and some protection stuff – that when you add it all up it was a really good game for Russ in that regard. (Offensive-line coach) Tom Cable really takes note of those things and loves to see him on a high level of accuracy, because he can change some things and change it the wrong way. But he was really on it.” Carroll pointed to one of Wilson’s three touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin on Sunday as an example of an adept adjustment he made at the line of scrimmage. He explained that Wilson, Cable and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell had talked on the sidelines beforehand, then Wilson alerted the offense in the huddle that it might be coming. Carroll: “That’s really communicating on a high level and it takes all of that to be hitting it the way he’s hitting it.”
Baldwin’s hot streak. There hasn’t been a hotter receiver in the NFL in recent weeks than Baldwin, who has caught 30 passes for 515 yards and nine touchdowns over the last five games. Carroll said that surge in production isn’t so much a product of improved play from Baldwin as it is a trickle-down effect of improvement elsewhere, including Seattle’s offensive line. Carroll: “He’s doing pretty good. He’s just doing what he’s doing. He’s finding himself in great places, the calls are working out, he’s beating his guys, all his one-on-ones he’s winning, which he always has. But now with the added confidence with the guy’s up front, Russell’s getting that second look, we’re taking advantage of every time he’s getting open.”
Lynch’s absence. Carroll said there’s still no ETA on when running back Marshawn Lynch will return from abdominal surgery. He said that at this point it’s more about Lynch getting back into football shape than it is about continuing to recover from the surgery, which took place on Nov. 24. Lynch’s absence has coincided with Seattle’s offensive surge, but Carroll roundly dismissed the notion that it’s something more than a coincidence, saying: “I really think that’s a waste of energy. That’s a waste of conversation. That’s just not true at all. He fits right into our run game and our pass game and everything. To think that his absence has made us better, that’s not really the case at all. He’s a terrific football player and can do all kinds of stuff when he’s right. He’s had a hard time getting right this season. He has not been totally fit the whole time, so we haven’t seen him at his best. But it has nothing to do with the style or something like that.”
Praise for Rubin. Here’s something to file away for offseason discussion about which free agents the Seahawks may or may not bring back: Carroll said Ahtyba Rubin might be the best 3-technique defensive tackle the Seahawks have had in his tenure with the team (others who have started include Colin Cole, Alan Branch and Tony McDaniel). Rubin is playing on a one-year deal worth $2.6 million and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Carroll said he’s been instrumental to Seattle’s run defense: “He’s really solid now. He is as tough as you get. You can’t move the dude and he pursues the football really well. I think he’s been the most effective guy playing 3-technique for us that we’ve had, and most consistent. He just won’t budge. The harder it gets, the tougher he gets and the more he ain’t going to move anywhere. That position in our defense, we play a lot of over defense, he’s on the tight-end side a lot, and there’s a lot of plays that go right at him and he gets doubled a bunch. He’s fantastic at doing that so he has been instrumental.”
About that locker-room scene. The Seahawks posted a photo Sunday of Carroll addressing the team after its win from atop a cluster of lockers, with his head nearly touchdown the ceiling. Right tackle Garry Gilliam took it a step further, posting a video of Carroll doing, well, something while he was up there. Carroll explained that because of the way lockers were situated in that locker room, he wouldn’t have been able to see the entire team while he was addressing it had he stood in one spot on the ground. That configuration is not unique to the visiting locker room at the Ravens’ stadium.