Seahawks say they’re already prepared for Eagles’ pace
RENTON – The Seahawks don’t plan on playing catch-up this Sunday in Philadelphia.
That’s as true for the tempo as it is for the scoreboard, and for as much as has been made of the Eagles’ pace with an offense that averages a league-high 73 plays per game, coach Pete Carroll said this won’t be the first time his Seahawks defense has played a team that’s standing on the accelerator.
“We know that they’ll go real fast,” Carroll said, “and we’ll see how much they want to do that. We’re not concerned about that, really. We practice like that all the time because you never know when a team is going to do it.”
And Seattle has faced teams that do it. New England two years ago for instance, the year after Patriots coach Bill Belichick studied Oregon’s pace over the offseason.
“That year, they were going as fast as you can go between plays,” Carroll said.
As fast as 12 seconds from snap to snap when the Patriots were really rolling. The Seahawks won that game 24-23. The Broncos are also a team that can try to push the tempo, but cornerback Richard Sherman said the change of speeds is something Seattle’s defense is used to dealing with.
“It doesn’t change anything for us,” Sherman said. “We’ve dealt with tempo for a couple of years now. We’ve dealt with the Patriots’ tempo, Denver a few times with their tempo. It doesn’t change a thing for us. We play disciplined, sound football. It gives you more opportunities.”
Seattle’s communication system is already in place, something linebacker K.J. Wright said allows the Seahawks to react quickly.
“We use one word for most of our calls,” Wright said. “We go from there so we don’t have to do as much talking out there to get on the same page.”
• TE Cooper Helfet missed Seattle’s last game with a sprained ankle, and while he hasn’t been ruled out this week, he was not expected to practice on Wednesday. “He’s a day-to-day shot,” Carroll said of Helfet. “He’ll have really Thursday, Friday. He’s going to have to do something for us to show us that he’s getting back before game day. I don’t think we can wait all the way to game day in this situation.”
• CB Jeremy Lane sat out last week’s game with a strained gluteus maximus, the latest in a series of injuries. He missed seven games because of a strained groin, and he was limited to special teams one game because of the lingering soreness. “He’s practicing (Wednesday),” Carroll said of Lane, “so we’ll see how he handles it.”
• C Max Unger isn’t expected to practice this week, but he is improving after missing the past two games because of a sprained ankle. “He’s getting encouraged that he’s making a turn here,” Carroll said.