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Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



September 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Tuesday live chat

We'll get going at noon Tuesday for our weekly live chat:

September 15, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Carroll says Seahawks are "quiet and serious''

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll held his regular Monday-after press conference today.

This one, though, was a bit more somber than most have been the last few years with the Seahawks coming off a 30-21 loss to San Diego.

Carroll had a lot to say about how it all went down.

I distilled it into this story for the Tuesday paper that hits on all the high points.

Carroll said the overarching mood was one of knowing that some things need to get fixed.

“They are quiet and serious,'' he said. "We don’t take these easily, you know. These are very high expectations that we live with here, and everybody knows that. And the main thing is that everybody took to heart the changes and the adjustments and the things that we can fix. And they are ready to do that. I think we came out of here together on what we felt happened.’’

In general, though, Carroll didn't change his view much about what happened the day before. Simply put, the Chargers played better. Their precision and possession passing attack carved up the Seahawks and kept the Seattle offense off the field.

“We played a really tough football game and a tough team that was ready and we were up against a team that played really, really good ball and we needed to make some plays when the opportunities were there for us and we didn’t get that done,’’ Carroll said. “What it really came down to was their ability to control the football. They were able to control the game by doing that and get a great win.’’

Seattle wanted to get the ball more to Marshawn Lynch and Percy Harvin but couldn't do it with so few plays --- 4o for the game --- and being behind from the early second quarter on.

And mistakes were a definite issue. That was another theme of his press conference Monday as Carroll said the team was subpar at what are the two most fundamental areas of the game -- blocking (specifically pass protection) and tackling.

Of the tackling, here's what Carroll said: "I didn't it was as sharp. Too many guys falling forward and leaking yards. On some of the perimeter stuff and the checkdowns, it just felt like we were leaking yardage and we weren't as sharp. It's one of the areas where we need to be on it and we definitely can improve there. We know that we can tackle better than that.''

And of protection, Carroll said: "We had some problems. We had some issues and we made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes in calls where we went the wrong way on a couple of things. And what I'm feeling about that is that in a game with so few plays,  the mistakes are magnified you know and they inevitably were. We just made a couple of calls that went the wrong way in the huddle and all that so we just made a couple of errors and it looked bad. But it will be better, we can be better and they did a nice job of rushing, but we need to be tighter with our pickups. We were a little bit off on a couple.''

Some of the hot button issues --- Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, the heat --- are covered in the linked story.

Here's the full quote of what Carroll had to say about the heat: "There's nothing you can do about it but hydrate really well during the week, which we did that. We were well ahead of that and we had a lot of guys that were given the fluids beforehand and at halftime to deal with it. But when you lose your juice  your juice, you lose it and you have to replace it and I'm sure they (the Chargers) had to do the same thing. But there is not much you can do so you. Go play the game. It does have an effect somewhat if you are really fighting to hold on to your juice and your energy, then you can make some mistakes, and there was some of that, some things that were uncharacteristic. But that's just the way the game is. You've got to play it and do it and we did the best we could.''

September 15, 2014 at 3:32 PM

A few quick notes from Pete Carroll's session with the media today, with video

Here are a few quick  updates from Pete Carroll's meeting with the media today following Sunday's loss at San Diego (I'll have more detailed quotes later):

--- Carroll said assistant coach Pat Ruel is out of  the hospital and headed back to Seattle after staying the night in San Diego after suffering from an irregular heartbeat after the game.

--- Carroll said there were no new significant injuries.

--- RB Marshawn Lynch walked off the field before the game ended due to a tight back, Carroll said, saying that Lynch was with trainers as he departed. He said Lynch has had issues with his back in the past and it is something they are constantly monitoring.  The only game Lynch has missed in his time in Seattle came in 2011 against Cleveland and was due to his back.

--- Christine Michael and Kevin Pierre-Louis should be back this week, Carroll said.

And here's some video of the first few minutes of Carroll's press conference today:

September 15, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Quotes from Denver coach John Fox

Here's what Denver coach John Fox had to say when he met the media today, talking about his team's 24-17 win over Kansas City Sunday and looking ahead to the game at Seattle this Sunday:

On LB Lerentee McCray’s injury looking serious

“I don’t have an update other than it’s not season-ending or anything of that nature.”

On if the penalties are a major cause for concern

“When you let somebody possess the ball for 10 minutes, it cuts down your opportunities on offense, and of course it’s a concern. I think the good news is a lot of them are self-inflicted. In this league, if you haven’t been beat you haven’t played. Everybody practices and gets paid and when they make plays, that’s good but when they’re self-inflicted those sometimes, are a little more frustrating. The good news is hopefully we get it corrected and it will be emphasized and we’ll see.”

On what his message to the team was after another close win

“If you look around the league, the margin of victory is pretty similar to what our first two victories have been. It’s not an easy task. As I mentioned last night, there aren’t a lot of 58-0 games in this league. When you looked at our first quarter of our season and you look at every team is a 10-win-plus team, one is the defending-Super Bowl champs and we trot to their place this week. Both Indy and Kansas City were both playoff teams a year ago. I think a month ago I would have taken it.”

On the offsides calls

“Obviously it was no cadence. Our fans, albeit great fans, make a lot of noise so they had to be on silent cadence. They might have been a little abrupt, something that we’re going to turn in [to the league]. We’ll see what happens. I can’t speak about it but we’ll turn it in. After maybe one or two I think we probably should’ve adjusted a little bit better but unfortunately we did not.”

On having seen the Kansas City offensive line movement on preseason film

“Yeah. It’s something that we made people aware of and it didn’t work out.”

On facing mobile quarterbacks

“It’s something new in the league. It’s something that’s been happening, been around for a while—probably a few more now than maybe 15 years ago. But there were always those guys as far as I can remember, I mean going back to Fran Tarkenton—you guys may not remember him but I do. It’s a dimension, and that makes it a little tougher to corral and contain and can bide time, and put stress on your pass defense. There’s no doubt that our first three opponents—two we’ve already faced, one we’re about to face—have that dimension.”

On if he’s got a good gauge of the team so far

“I don’t know that anybody’s playing their best football of the year after Week 2 and I’d say it’s a fair assessment that we aren’t either. That’s something that you try to do, is improve every day and every week. So hopefully we’re playing our best football well into the playoffs.”

On the second game compared to the first game

“They’re completely different games, completely different circumstances. Yesterday, we scored on 4-of-7 possessions. The unfortunate part is we only had seven [possessions], where that wasn’t the case two weeks ago. I guess that’s a catch-22. The good news is they’re self-inflicted wounds in many cases that we need to correct and it’s really in both phases. I think we’ve been 100 percent ball security in two games, offensively, which I think is a large reason why we’re 2-0. We’ve been more efficient than our opponent in the red area which again is why I think we’re 2-0. So there’s always going to be things to clean up and I’m sure there will be next week.”

On the running game

“I thought we improved from Week 1 to Week 2 in the run game. We were more efficient. I think our average was good. Even yesterday, their average gain of play was 5.1 and on the season, you would go with that. They scored 17 points. In this league, that’s going to win you most games. So there were a lot of positives. It’s not all negative.”

On if he would want to get the tuck rule not considered a forward pass

“I’d go back to 100 guys in a bar and if they all say it’s a fumble, it’s a fumble.”

On the dynamic play of the wide receivers and tight ends so far this season

“We’re good in that area. I think they’ve played well to this point but again we’re looking to get better each week. Pleased with where they are, got to get better moving forward.”

On if he will change the kind of music during practice this week knowing about the Seattle stadium

“No, just turn it up. Make it louder.”

On if playing Seattle in Week 3 is a good thing or bad thing and if he wished it was later in the season

“It’s on the schedule, we’ve known about it for some time. It’s a tough place to play. I think they’re 18-1 over the last three years in that stadium. It’s a very hostile environment. They’ve done well and it’ll be a huge challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”

On how he will manage his players’ emotions this week

“I think this is what makes this league great are matchups each week. I think everybody is probably excited as well as they should be.”

On CB Chris Harris Jr. back to full capability

“Yeah, I think with each game he’s going to gain confidence. Obviously he’ll game some stamina both from the full week of preparation along with the game itself. The kid’s worked amazingly hard to get he is and I thought he played well yesterday.”

On if he has watched the Seahawks-Chargers game

“No, bits and pieces. I saw it probably much like you guys did. We had to grade our tape today, make those corrections. The team is in there now going through that process and by 11 p.m. tonight I’ll have a pretty good view.”

On if knowing the Chargers very well will help give them a lot to take from yesterday’s game

“It’s hard to measure. A lot of the talking heads, they look at last week and that’s going to predict what this week is and that’s really not reality. It’s who executes the best on that day. I didn’t surprise me; San Diego is a very good football team. We played them twice a year ago, actually three times now that I think about it. So we’re familiar with them yes, but had not seen the tape yet I’m sure to beat the defending world champs that’d be a good thing.”

On facing Seattle with a rebuilt defense

“Their team is different. Our team is different. It’s 2014. Just about everybody is two games into it. We’re just starting the race. It’ll be a huge challenge like I mentioned before and one we’ll look forward to.”

On if the team plans to throw in CB Richard Sherman’s direction

“If I did, I probably wouldn’t mention it. We’re going to put in a game plan. It’s not in yet. We’ll see where it brings us.”

On his decision to not use timeouts at the end of the Chiefs game

“Typically in those situations, much like a week ago trying to re-kick out of our own end zone—somebody actually wondered about that—I think when you’re in that position, where the worst is going to be overtime, we elect not to [use timeouts]. If the game is a different score, it might be different.”

On if he decided not to use timeouts because he wanted to let his defense go out and make plays

“As it turned out, it was a down-and-distance thing, not a time thing. That’s kind of what you look at.”

On if he expects to have WR Wes Welker’s suspension lifted this week

“I have no idea. That’s a union and a league matter. I know we get Wes back for sure after four games. Anything other than that, that’s somebody else’s decisions.”

On if he’ll keep the roster at 52 players

“We haven’t really jumped into that part of it yet today. Anything’s possible.”

On if a win Sunday against the Seahawks would make him feel better about the Super Bowl

“That’s last year. We’ve moved on. We’re either going to be 2-1 or 3-0. I know that much.”

On the perception of the NFL after last week’s news

“I’m very proud to be a part of the National Football League. Unfortunately it does happen. I get it—the seriousness of it. But we’re a microcosm of society. It happens. But there are really a lot of good this league does. There are a lot of guys on our team, other teams around the league—we had a guy (TE Julius Thomas) after walk-through Saturday hosting a book drive after practice for less fortunate people. There are a lot of great things going on that sometimes I wish were a little more publicized.”

September 15, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Seahawks Daily Top 10: A few notes from the Pete Carroll Show, and some day-after links and Tweets

Time to wrap up some of what is out there about the Seahawks today after a 30-21 loss at San Diego Sunday:

1, A couple of quick notes from coach Pete Carroll's regular day-after-game appearance this morning on ESPN 710 Seattle. First, Carroll said Marshawn Lynch walked off the field before the game ended because his back had tightened. Second, he said he did not know about Richard Sherman not talking to the media. As for the game, he said of the Chargers that "We saw a team execute like crazy.  They did a great job.'' Asked if what San Diego did can be a template for other teams to follow, he said, "I don't think  it's that easy. Teams are what they are.'' Carroll also said the Seahawks played aggressively on the final defensive series, when the Chargers were kneeling down, because "we were going for every last-ditch shot we had'' to try to force a turnover.

2, You can find all of our coverage here.

3, All of the coverage from the San Diego Union-Tribune is here.

4, Here's all that the national media is saying about the game. Also, interesting takeaways on every NFL game here from NFL.com.

5, USA Today calls the Legion of Boom one of the losers of week two.

6, USA Today's For the Win column rips Sherman for not talking and the Big Lead also has more on that. And Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com says it shows Sherman is a front-runner. And Keenan Allen had even more to say about Sherman on his Instagram page.

7, Here's one thought on the Percy Harvin touchdown not being reviewed:

https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/status/511481616116772864

And a thought on the defense:

https://twitter.com/fbgchase/status/511527200638894080

8, Seattle will quickly turn its attention to a Super Bowl rematch against Denver, which held on late to beat Kansas City and improve to 2-0. Here's everything about the Broncos from the Denver Post. That includes this column from Woody Paige, who says that Denver should brace for Seattle being ready for the game.

9, The Seahawks are a 4.5-point favorite. A little analysis of the betting line here.

10,

September 15, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Pro Football Focus reviews the game

Lots of good stuff from Pro Football Focus in its review of Sunday's game.  Here is its official ReFocused analysis of the game.

Lots more notes from PFF below.

A couple that stand out to me:

  • As PFF details.when Seattle chose not to blitz, Philip Rivers had his way, going 24 of 27 for 234 yards and a +6.3 rating.
  • Seattle simply couldn't get the ball enough to Marshawn Lynch. As PFF writes, Lynch "continued his dominant running inside with a +3.1 grade with runs between the guards.''
  • And PFF details Russell Wilson being under more pressure than did the official stats as PFF writes that the "Seattle offensive line allowed eight QB hurries.''

Here are the full notes:

Offensive Summary

  • After having a stellar +2.9 grade in his first NFL game, rookie RT Justin Britt regressed with a -1.3.
  • Seattle offensive line allowed eight QB hurries.
  • No offensive player really stood out this week with a grade over +2.0 but right end Zach Miller had a week to forget. He was -3.1 overall with a -1.9 in penalty grading.

Passing

  • Wilson only threw 6 of his 22 passes more than ten yards downfield yet still managed to rack up 202 yards passing.
  • Wilson threw with a 90.9% accuracy this week (best in league) but also had the highest drop rate at 12%.
  • Even though they lost, Wilson ranked second this week in PFF QB Rating. Also surprising was his league-leading QB rating when attempting a pass under 2.5 seconds.

Rushing

  • Marshawn Lynch continued his dominant running inside with a +3.1 grade with runs between the guards.
  • Percy Harvin added two more rushing attempts (league-high 6) and is now averaging 14.3 yards per carry on the year.
  • Only playing 13 snaps, running back Robert Turbin earned a respectable +1.2.

Receiving

  • Jermaine Kearse was targeted five times and each time he had a different defender in coverage.
  • The Seaheaks challenged rookie corner Jason Verrett who gave up four receptions on four targets.
  • Targets: Baldwin 6, Kearse 5, Lynch 4.

Defense

  • Defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril followed up their solid Week 1 effort posting defensive grades of +3.4 and +2.0, respectively.
  • Seahawks missed nine tackles, four by Kam Chancellor.
  • Richard Sherman graded at +0.1 in pass coverage and +0.9 overall even though surrendering four receptions on six targets.

Opponent Passing

  • When Seattle chose not to blitz, Rivers torched them going 24 of 27 for 234 yards and a +6.3 rating.
  • Rivers only attempted five passes to the left side of the field, but completed all of them.

Coverage

  • Corners Marcus Gilchrist, Jason Verrett, and Donald Butler gave up 11 receptions on 14 targets. On six targets, Gilchrist only allowed three receptions for nine yards. Butler was not so lucky allowing completions on all four of his targets for 75 yards and one TD.
  • ROLB Melvin Ingram had a team-high five QB hurries on his way to a defense-high +2.2 grade.

Special Teams

  • Punter Jon Ryan earned an impressive +3.3 this week and ranks third out of all punters on the year.
  • Despite his positive rushing grades, Percy Harvin was -1.9 on kickoffs.

Signature Stats

  • The offensive line ranked third-worst in Pass Blocking Efficiency this week.
  • Showing poise under pressure, Wilson has thrown the ball away a league-high six times. As a result, his sack rate figure has decreased 5% from last year.
  • Even though he missed a few tackles this week, Kam Chancellor is still one of the best safeties in Run Stop Percentage ranking.
  • Marshawn Lynch led running backs in average yards after contact for week 2.

September 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Seahawks second toughts

Here are five more notes, quotes and thoughts on the game that was Sunday in San Diego as the Chargers beat the Seahawks 30-21:

1. I was talking with someone the other day about the idea that this season so far had seemed a little devoid of obvious storylines. No QB controversy, for instance. Not a lot of other position battles. But now here's a storyline --- how does Seattle react to its first loss as defending Super Bowl champs? And with the added intrigue of Denver now coming to town and looking solid, at 2-0, but also flawed, being outgained by the Chiefs on Sunday. The attitude in the Seattle locker room afterward seemed one of taking the loss in stride --- though much is sure to be made of Richard Sherman not talking --- with players mostly positing the view that this need be only one loss in 16 games that will be played. Win next week and things can get back to their expected place quickly. Seattle did lose three games last season, recall, including two in December, before going on the playoff run that turned the season historical. But certainly, there's a little more drama in heading into the Super Bowl rematch than might have been expected.

2. I'm sure many will wonder if San Diego has found a template for beating the Seahawks. Certainly, what they did makes sense --- try to keep the chains moving with lots of quick, short passes. But that's also what San Diego does every week now under second-year coach Mike McCoy, and in Philip Rivers it has the perfect QB to make it work. Seattle knew what the Chargers would do, and teams have had success moving between the 20s against Seattle before. Usually, though, they can't get it in the end zone. Sunday, the Chargers did, due in large part to the play of Antonio Gates. Most other teams also don't have someone like him.  It was a nice plan, expertly executed. But I'm not sure it's one every team can pull off against Seattle.

3. It's hard to know what to make of the offensive performance Sunday because of how few plays the Seahawks ran (official stats say 40 but rushes and passes add up to 38) and how Seattle also spent so much of the game playing from behind, which caused the Seahawks to have to throw more than they wanted --- Seattle had seven rushes and nine passes in the first half and finished with 13 rushes and 25 passes. So the plan would have been for another balanced attack, but that got out of whack when the Seahawks fell behind. Marshawn Lynch certainly wasn't happy about getting the ball only six times. But neither were any of the coaches.

4. Of all the stats you can debate, this might be the biggest of all so far: Seattle right now has lost two turnovers on the season and gotten just one in return. Seattle never had a negative turnover ratio at any point in the season a year ago when it finished with a plus-22 ratio that led the NFL --- 39 turnovers forced against just 17 lost. While so much of the focus on that stat falls on the turnovers forced, which was three more than any team in the NFL (Kansas City at 36), the turnovers lost was also fewer than all but three other teams. The fumbles lost, though, have been by two of the team's most trusted players --- Earl Thomas and Percy Harvin, each on returns.  Seattle had a chance at three fumbles Sunday but couldn't get any of them. Just the way the ball bounces sometimes. More telling Sunday was that Seattle didn't get an interception in Rivers' 37 attempts. But a lot of that is also a function of Rivers and the nature of a San Diego offense predicated on high-percentage throws. For now, it's not a trend. But it is a stat Seattle will want to turn around quickly.

5. There was a lot of talk  in training camp about Seattle having a deeper receiving corps than last season. But through two games, the contribution at the bottom of that corps hasn't been felt real deeply, other than Ricardo Lockette's touchdown last week. Bryan Walters had two receptions Sunday for 17 yards. But that was it other than the starting trio of Harvin, Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin. Lockette had one target, but no receptions, against the Chargers. Paul Richardson had no targets for the second straight week. And Kevin Norwood was again inactive, coming back from foot surgery. All are young players from whom you would expect growth (along with better health from Norwood). We also have yet to see much from Luke Willson, who has one catch for one yard this season, that coming against Green Bay.

September 15, 2014 at 5:53 AM

Seahawks snap counts vs. San Diego Chargers

Here are the snap counts for Seattle's loss at San Diego Sunday.

First, a few thoughts:

  • The official snap counts were 40 for Seattle's offense and 82 for the defense.
  • The entire starting OL played all of the game for the second straight game.
  • Fullback Derrick Coleman got just one snap, with the Seahawks going almost totally with spread formations, and largely out of the no-huddle as the game progressed.
  • Marcus Burley ended up playing 45 snaps, meaning Seattle ended up in the nickel more often than not. Early, Seattle appeared to want to stay with its base as much as it could with Jeremy Lane out. But the Chargers' success made Seattle have to go to nickel, and Burley got on the field a lot and responded well.
  • Newly signed Josh Thomas played one snap and got a pass defense on the play.
  • Marshawn Lynch had 24 snaps with Robert Turbin getting 12, largely in the no-huddle, a role he has often had the last year or so.
  • Percy Harvin had 25 snaps.

OFFENSE

J Sweezy, 40

J Carpenter, 40

R Okung, 40

J Britt, 40

M Unger, 40

R Wilson, 40

D Baldwin, 37

J Kearse, 35

Z Miller, 32

P Harvin, 25

M Lynch, 24

B Walters, 13

R Turbin, 12

L Willson, 8

P Richardson, 8

R Lockette, 4

D Coleman, 1

DEFENSE

R Sherman, 82

B Wagner, 82

E Thomas, 77

K Chancellor, 74

B Maxwell, 70

K Wright, 63

M Bennett, 60

C Avril, 52

M Smith, 51

M Burley, 45

J Hill, 39

B Mebane, 38

B Irvin, 36

T McDaniel, 30

O Schofield, 30

K Williams, 27

C Marsh, 16

J Johnson, 15

D Shead, 12

M Morgan, 1

J Thomas, 1

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