Carroll also talked about the lack of a pass rush and a running game and said leaving earlier wouldn't have helped deal with the elevation
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he was already “on to Chicago’’ when he met the media Tuesday afternoon.
But since it was his first presser since Sunday’s season-opening 27-24 loss at Denver, the Broncos game was still at the top of everyone’s mind.
Here are 10 things that stood out from what Carroll said:
CHRIS CARSON HAS TAKEN THE LEAD IN THE TAILABCK BATTLE
Carson and rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny each got 25 snaps and seven carries in Sunday’s game.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Former Seahawks kicker Stephen Hauschka announces retirement at age 35
- Nahziah Carter announces he's leaving UW men's basketball team to begin pro career
- What to watch for when the Seahawks play the Giants on Sunday — plus Bob Condotta’s prediction
- Five new free agents the Mariners could be interested in, including slugger Kyle Schwarber
- What to watch for when No. 23 Washington hosts Stanford on Saturday, plus Mike Vorel's prediction
But Carson turned his carries into 51 yards while Penny managed just eight. And Carroll said the playing time may not be so even moving forward saying that Penny appeared to feel the effects of not playing the final three preseason games after suffering a broken finger in practice.
“Chris I thought looked really good,’’ Carroll said. “He was really aggressive and did what he could with the plays that he had. Rashaad looked a little rusty to me and I visited with him about it. He really only had one good week of practice and coming back and it wasn’t enough — he needed more work and he wasn’t as responsive as he has been earlier on before he had to sit out for a while, and so he’s got to work real hard to make sure that he is ready to go and we will work him in. We love the chance of getting him in there. We are going to keep looking for it. But Chris really took the lead at that position after that game.’’
RUSSELL WILSON ‘COULD HAVE PLAYED BETTER’
Carroll said quarterback Russell Wilson did some good things in the game but that he also “could have played better,’’ specifically in avoiding a couple of the sacks he took that killed drives. Wilson was sacked six times but said after the game he probably could have avoided three of them with better decisions.
“We missed some chances and there was a couple he tried to escape to make something happen on a couple downs there that fell right into easy sacks for them,’’ Carroll said. “It wasn’t because of the pass protection necessarily, it was because he moved and fleshed off the routes that got covered up. … they were able to get us a couple of times when we normally would think they wouldn’t.’’
THE PASS PROTECTION COULD ALSO HAVE BEEN BETTER BUT GERMAIN IFEDI PLAYED OKAY
As Carroll said, the fact that Seattle allowed six sacks means he can hardly say the pass protection couldn’t have been better.
But noting that Wilson ran himself into a few sacks, he said that number doesn’t necessarily accurately portray how the offensive line played.
In particular, Carroll defended the play of right tackle Germain Ifedi, who spent much of the day going up against Von Miller, who finished with three sacks. Not all came on Ifedi, though (Pro Football Focus said he allowed just two pressures overall) and Carroll volunteered a defense of Ifedi.
“I understand that on the broadcast all they (analyst Mark Schelreth and announce Dick Stockton) could do was talk about Ifedi,” Carroll said. “Germain played okay in this game and I don’t know the guy went in thinking he wasn’t going to play very well. But he (Ifedi) did a nice job on a lot of stuff. But we weren’t quite as clean as we need to be on a couple of pickups and so you saw them take advantage on a couple of stunts that we would normally block up that we have been blocking up all camp and we missed it, so they can play better, too…. I think our protection is better than it’s been, but six sacks doesn’t show you that.”
SHAQUEM GRIFFIN MAY SEE LESS TIME AT WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER THIS WEEK
Griffin started last week in place of K.J. Wright at weakside linebacker. But after the first few series Seattle went with a rotation at the position with Austin Calitro playing on run downs and Griffin on passing downs — Griffin ended up with 41 snaps and Calitro with 34.
Carroll said Griffin — who was making his first NFL start and also at a position he did not play in college — made some mistakes.
“Austin did pretty well and Grif, he had some problems on some stuff there were some things that happened to him that was not quite as clean as we would like got,’’ Carroll said. “He got fooled on a couple of things. But he played hard and played tough and all of that — it’s his first game trying to figure it out and even through preseason he has had a lot of reps. But stuff happened to him for the first time in this game that hadn’t happened to him before and he didn’t always see it the way he needed to.’’
Carroll said the team will watch Griffin and Calitro — who was also playing in his first NFL game Sunday — in practice this week and then make a decision on how to divvy up playing time.
LEAVING EARLY WOULDN’T HAVE HELPED DEAL WITH ALTITUDE
That Carroll mentioned a few players vomited and a few others had to take IVs, which might have been attributable to playing in an elevation of 5,280 feet, had some on social media wondering why the team didn’t leave earlier for the game — Seattle flew to Denver Saturday afternoon, as it normally does for Pacific or Mountain time zone games.
Carroll, though, pointed to studies showing that someone would have to be in the altitude for an extended period to adjust and that a body may actually react better in the first 24 hours as a reason for not going early.
“We understand that’s exactly the wrong thing do to,’’ Carroll said of going earlier. “That’s what we have learned science wise or whatever. We have been taught that.’’
Carroll also said of the altitude that “it wasn’t a big factor. It is a factor but it wasn’t the factor that changed the game, I don’t think.’’
THE PASS RUSH NEEDS TO BE BETTER AS DOES THE RUN DEFENSE
While the Broncos had six sacks Seattle had just one and only five quarterback hits and Carroll said the obvious — “we didn’t rush the passer very well.’’
Specifically, Carroll said the Seahawks struggled to adjust in play-action situations and said defensive line coach Clint Hurtt was talking to the line specifically about that. “We got stuck on the line of scrimmage some,’’ Carroll said.
He also cited Denver’s 146 rushing yards on 32 carries and said “that’s not good enough for us.’’
CARROLL WISHES HE’D THROWN A CHALLENGE FLAG EARLIER ON A FUMBLE IN THE FIRST QUARTER AND HE’S STILL WONDEIRNG ABOUT THE REVIEW ON DENVER’S FINAL TD
Film review shows that Jarran Reed did indeed force a fumble by Denver’s Royce Freeman in the first quarter and may have had a recovery.
But in something Carroll continues to lament, Denver ran a hurry-up offense on the next play and was judged to get the snap off before he could get his challenge flag out.
“It was really close,’’ he said. “I don’t fault them (the officials) at all.’’
But he wishes that he’d made the decision a little earlier. While Seattle players ere signaling that they had the ball Carroll tends to rely on coaches from up in the press box to look at a review and give him a final “yes or no” before throwing the flag and he said that simply didn’t happen in time Sunday. Denver went on to score its first touchdown on the drive.
“They did a nice job because they were in a hurry-up mode,’’ Carroll said. “Just needed one more flash of a second and we would have had another turnover there.‘’
Carroll also lamented that it was hard to tell if Demaryius Thomas was in bounds when he caught a 4-yard TD in the fourth quarter that proved to be the winning points.
Officials initially signaled incomplete before huddling and ruling it a completion. That meant a review meant that they had to overturn a completion, which is generally regarded as being less likely than siding with the call on the field.
Carroll said he had no issue with the officials huddling to talk it over on the field saying “that’s a good thing. I like it when the guys have their input and talk it through and figure it out.’’
But he then noted the TV copy made it tough to see if Thomas was in or out.
“You look at where the pylon is, which is out of bounds on the TV copy that I am looking at after the game, the shading of the grass isn’t the same right there and it is really difficult to tell where his foot was,” he said. “His foot was on the pylon which means he is out of bounds. But look at it again, look and see how the white line and the shading in there, there was a discrepancy in there that could be the TV. I don’t know. His foot was real solidly even with that pylon but maybe it was in there. I don’t know.’’
THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI OTHER THAN JUST MISSING A FIELD GOAL
The Seahawks blew a chance at three points in the second quarter Sebastian Janikowski missed a 51-yard field goal and then when Denver was offsides, a 46-yarder on the second attempt.
But Carroll said there was no real reason for either miss other than that they were just missed. Both plans snapped closer to the left hashmark and both were pushed to the left.
“It’s unfortunate,’’ Carroll said. “It was a big kick in the game and we had two shots at it too, which was kind of unusual that it even happened like that. There was really no explanation for it. He had nothing. He just mis-hit the first one and the next one he hit really well and the ball just moved a ton and there was a wind coming this way and it took off left, unfortunate.’’
FOURTEEN RUNNING PLAYS WEREN’T ENOUGH
The Seahawks want to get back to running the ball more this season but struggled to do that Sunday with just 59 yards on 14 carries by Carson and Penny.
Meanwhile, Seattle threw it 33 times with Wilson sacked another six, nowhere close to the kind of run-to-pass ratio the team wants.
Carroll said frankly that 14 runs was “not enough.” He said being behind a lot of the game played a small part in it but said the main reason was that Seattle was 2-12 on third downs and couldn’t maintain many long drives — 11 of Seattle’s 15 drives last four plays or less.
“That just leaves you where you don’t get your next series,” Carroll said, specifically lamenting that Seattle failed on five third downs of five yards or less. “Every one of them should have been a conversion and that changes the complexion of everything about the game and your play calling and all of that.”