Seahawks Takeaways: What Carroll said about 4th down decision, injuries
A day after the Seahawks lost 30-16 to the Baltimore Ravens to fall to 5-2 on the season, their head coach joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant for the weekly Pete Carroll Show.
It was a pretty telling “Tell the Truth Monday,” as Carroll addressed his decision to have kicker Jason Myers attempt a 53-yard field goal in a tie game in the third quarter rather than go for it on fourth-and-2. That leads off our takeaways from what Carroll had to say coming out of the Seahawks’ Week 7 defeat.
Going for it on fourth down wasn’t a consideration
The general consensus on Sunday was that Carroll had a choice to either attempt the field goal or go for it on fourth down on that fateful play in the third quarter. Carroll said his decision was between two kicking options, however, and going for it was never something he considered.
Carroll said he made his choice “with total confidence that we’re gonna make the kick.” Myers missed it, however, and the Seahawks ending up being outscored 17-3 by Baltimore in the second half.
The fact Myers is a Pro Bowler who showed he had the range Sunday to make a field goal if Seattle reached the Ravens’ 35 was all that Carroll needed to know.
“That’s not too long of a kick – that was within range in the warmups and all of that kind of stuff, everything was fine,” Carroll said. “It was right at the point (where) we’d already cleared that this is where we can kick from.”
If there had been doubt about Myers’ range, Carroll said he would have turned to another Pro Bowl member of Seattle’s special teams: Punter Michael Dickson.
“Some people would say you go for it on fourth down right there. Well, the other choice is kick the ball deep. My alternative was to put them in the hole if we weren’t gonna kick the field goal. But it was our spot, we’re kicking it, that’s how we do it. Jason’s a great kicker and he’s gonna come through for us – that’s the way our mentality is gonna be and there’s no reason for us to change it.”
Seahawks could go different directions in run game
Something else surprising from Sunday’s game was the fact that second-year running back Rashaad Penny, who has typically been the first option out of the backfield after starter Chris Carson, was a complete non-factor. C.J. Prosise, meanwhile, received one carry for the Seahawks, which resulted in a 17-yard gain.
When asked by Michael Bumpus about Penny’s day, Carroll’s response was revealing in its lack of details.
“He didn’t get in the game,” Carroll said about Penny, adding that it had nothing to do with a hamstring injury that recently limited the 2018 first-round pick. “Not a cautious approach. We had a couple plays for C.J. and it just worked out that way.”
Elsewhere in Seattle’s run game, the Seahawks stuck with Jamarco Jones at right guard instead of D.J. Fluker, who was active but didn’t play due to a hamstring injury that he been dealing with for a few weeks. Could that be a sign of things to come? Not necessarily, but Carroll is definitely encouraged by what Jones has done in Fluker’s absence.
“He has done a really good job. He’s giving us the confidence that there’s no question he can play. It’s why we didn’t force D.J. back in, because Jamarco’s done a good job.”
Seahawks’ secondary coming together
The Ravens didn’t do much through the air, with Lamar Jackson throwing just 9 for 20 for 143 yards and no touchdowns on Sunday. Jackson did more damage with his legs, of course, racking up 116 yards and a touchdown on 14 rushing attempts.
That being said, Carroll felt good about the play of Seattle’s secondary even though safeties Bradley McDougald and Lano Hill were out with injuries.
“Our guys are playing good, solid football,” he said of the Seahawks’ defensive backs. “I think (cornerback Tre Flowers) is really getting his rhythm. Glad to see him really playing consistently tight. (Cornerback Shaquill Griffin) didn’t have any problems in the game. Our under-coverage guys are good. They make plays.”
Carroll believes the Seahawks will continue to see improvement as the season goes on and with the returns of McDougald and Hill.
“I think we’re getting more solid. We finally have our guys together and so now it’s time to get rolling and see if we can get on a little roll here.”
Injuries: Who should return and who is still hurting
Of Seattle’s injuries, Fluker’s is the one that sounds the least worrisome at this point.
“D.J. will be back if everything goes well during the week. He could have played in this game. It was better to not play him and so we didn’t,” Carroll said.
The status of left tackle Duane Brown continues to be up in the air. Brown has missed two straight games and Carroll said in a Monday afternoon press conference that things are still “a day at time now” with Brown.
“He’s closer, obviously, after a couple weeks sitting out,” Carroll said. “He wants to get something done on Wednesday. We’ll find out if he can. He’s determined to try to make it back. I don’t know if that’s going to work out or not.”
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who sat out Sunday with an ankle injury, is in a similar position to Brown.
“It’s a day-to-day deal,” Carroll said. “… He’s going to be caught somewhat like Duane. He’s going to want to come back Wednesday, Thursday or so and see if he can get back out there. We’re going to need to see him, see that he can get off and put some pressure on it. I don’t think we’ll be able to go all the way up to game time and not play him at all during the week and see if he can play. I don’t see that happening, we need to get him some work during the week so he can prove that he’s OK.”
You can listen to the full Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player embedded below.