Schottenheimer also talked about the potential return of Doug Baldwin and a potential new position for Tyler Lockett when he met the media Thursday.
The last two Thursday’s, Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer vowed to do a better job when he met with the media for his weekly news conference.
He didn’t have to do that this Thursday, with the Seahawks coming off their first win of the year, a 24-13 victory over Dallas in which the offense began to finally look a little like what Seattle coaches had promised all offseason.
Seattle ran it 39 times, didn’t commit a turnover and got a rushing touchdown from a running back (Chris Carson), the first in almost a calendar year.
The Seahawks also hit one of Schottenheimer’s magic numbers, of having more than 50 combined completed passes (16) and rushing attempts (39).
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Schottenheimer says somewhere from 52 to 55 combined rushes and and completions generally results in a win.
Seattle had 35 in the opener against Denver (16 rushes, 19 completions) and 44 against the Bears (22 of each) before breaking through against Dallas.
“We know we want to play with a balance, we want to get to that number of over 50, close to 55 rushing attempts and completions,’’ Schottenheimer said. “We were able to do that this week, but each week is a different story. We want to sustain it, but there’s more to it than just calling runs to sustain it. You’ve got to do a great job on third down, you’ve got to stay ahead of the sticks, defense has got to do a great job giving the ball back, which they did. We think we can and that’s the expectation.”
Here are five more takeaways from Schottenheimer’s meeting with the media:
ON WHY 52-55 IS THE IMPORTANT NUMBER
More from Schottenheimer on the 52 to 55 goal for rushes and completions.
“I think it’s a goal because you’d love to be playing with the lead in the fourth quarter where you’re trying to run the ball, you’re trying to eat up some clock, you’re trying to ground out some ugly yards,’’ he said. “Hopefully, you’ve worn the defense down a little bit — so it’s definitely a goal. It’s something we talk about, and some weeks you’re not always going to get 30-plus rushing attempts. It doesn’t always happen that way. It depends on the opponent you’re playing and a lot of different things. Sometimes, the weather conditions can affect things both bad and good, but it is a pretty cool number. I think if you look at it over time, it probably holds pretty true.”
DOES IT MATTER HOW MANY RUNS OR COMPLETIONS MAKE UP THAT NUMBER?
Not really, Schottenheimer said.
Asked if one of the numbers could be 45, Schottenheimer laughed.
“Well, 45 (passing attempts) to 1 (rushing attempt) probably wouldn’t be very good,’’ he said. “But you might have really good numbers if you threw it 45 times. The balance obviously does show up. There are certain times where the numbers are offset one way or the other and it’s a cool stat.”
The Seahawks were 4-1 last year when they had 50 or more completions and rushing attempts, the loss coming against Washington.
Seattle’s high last year was 60 (37 runs, 23 completions) in a 12-9 week two win against the 49ers at home.
WILL TYLER LOCKETT RUN THE WILDCAT SOMEDAY?
As have others this week, Schottenheimer praised the play of receiver Tyler Lockett, who has had to take on a larger role with Doug Baldwin out the last two weeks.
But as he did, Schottenheimer also volunteered that Lockett is begging to run the Wildcat, an offense in which the ball is directly snapped to a runner.
“Again, he’s always got that big-play potential,’’ Schottenheimer said. “I think that’s one of the things that I remember just from watching from afar or playing against them, but he’s been tremendous. He had some nice third down conversions for us in the game, but he’s all into this whole thing. He wants to do the Wildcat. I’m going to tell you guys that maybe we will, maybe we won’t, but he’s all over me about this Wildcat thing so if he keeps making big plays, who knows? Maybe you’ll see it.”
Schottenheimer said he asked Lockett what would happen with Russell Wilson on those plays and Lockett said Wilson “can be out there somewhere.’’
DOUG BALDWIN IS ‘ITCHING’ TO PLAY
Schottenheimer was the only coach to talk after Thursday’s practice, in which Baldwin was listed as a limited participant as he tries to come back from a sprained MCL that has caused him to sit out the past two games.
Schottenheimer said all appears to have gone well so far but that it’s too early yet to say if Baldwin will play Sunday against Arizona.
“He’s always standing there by me,’’ Schottenheimer said with a laugh. “I think he just wants me to know that he’s there. He’s looked pretty good. Get through tomorrow’s preparation and just kind of see how everything looks, but I know he wants to play. I know he’s itching, but we’ll go through the week and the process and we’ll come up with a good plan.”
EXPECT ARIZONA TO BRING A LOT OF PRESSURE
Speaking of the Cardinals, while Arizona is 0-3 and featuring the worst offense in the NFL, the defense has remained fairly stout, having gotten eight sacks and allowing 3.7 yards per rush, each numbers comparable to Seattle’s (the Seahawks have eight sacks and are at 3.6 yards per catch).
Arizona was noted for bringing a lot of pressure under former coach Bruce Arians and Schottenheimer said they still do under new head coach Steven Wilks, who last year was the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. In fact, according to ESPN the Cardinals are second in the NFL in blitz percentage at 38.2 behind only Cleveland at 41 percent (defined as percent of blitzes per drop backs).
“A bunch of pressure,’’ Schottenheimer said of what to expect from Arizona. “They just bring a lot of pressure. They’re playing some different stuff in terms of they’re playing a lot of sub right now, a lot of nickel defense with extra DB’s in the game. Obviously, the pressure numbers are really high. They’ve got a couple of guys that they bring more than other guys. They’ve played a couple of pretty good offenses but they cause problems. Because obviously Steve coming from Carolina with that package and some of the things that you’re doing, it doesn’t always look the same to you as opposed to like a base defense. I’ve played against Patrick Peterson quite a bit, obviously a great player. It’ll be a challenge. They’re a team that can get on you in a hurry with some of the pressure packages that they have.”
“. … they’ve always blitzed a lot, but yeah. I mean the pressure numbers are definitely high right now. You look at them, you’re like ‘wow, that’s a lot of pressure numbers.’”