Wilson has been sacked a league-worst 12 times through two games, and Carroll said that isn't entirely the fault of the offensive line.
The phase Pete Carroll used was “over-trying.”
That’s how the ninth-year Seahawks head coach described the play of veteran quarterback Russell Wilson on ESPN 710 on Tuesday morning, hours after Seattle dropped a 24-17 decision to the Chicago Bears to fall to 0-2.
Wilson, the Seahawks’ seventh-year quarterback, completed 22 of 36 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a lost fumble in the defeat. He was also sacked six times, five of which occurred in the first half. Seattle’s 12 sacks allowed through two games ranks dead last in the NFL.
But, according to Carroll, that’s not entirely the fault of the fledgling Seahawk offensive line.
“I’m finding Russ over-trying a little bit,” Carroll said on the Brock and Salk Show. “He’s pressing in difficult situations to try and see if he can come up with a way to make something happen instead of just getting rid of the football.”
That was particularly apparent in the first three quarters on Monday, when Wilson completed just 9 of 22 passes for 69 yards. He was 13 for 14 for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the final 15 minutes, though he also committed two fatal turnovers and much of that production came when the result had already been decided.
“In the long yardage situations, he needs to throw the football a couple times,” Carroll said. “We need to get rid of the ball and just give up on a play because it’s not happening and not take an additional pressure. So that just adds up and it makes it hard on him.”
Carroll also added: “The momentum of the rush building on you is a factor, and we’d like to eliminate that. That does go right to Russell’s competitiveness. He’s a battler and he’s going to try to figure it out, and he has so many times. But maybe not then, not now, not in these (situations), and keep us forward a little bit better so we don’t have to take the negatives. The negative plays are really difficult. It kind of adds up on you somewhat.”
Carroll said there’s hope that linebackers Bobby Wagner (groin) and K.J. Wright (knee), offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (hamstring) and cornerback Tre Flowers (hamstring) — all of whom missed the Chicago game — will return for Sunday’s home opener against Dallas.
Carroll was less optimistic about the immediate status of wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who is working back from an MCL sprain suffered in the season opener against Denver.
“Judging from how (Wagner and Wright) ran last week before we left, and I know they ran over the weekend too, if they came out of that OK then they have a chance to play,” Carroll said. “It’s just because K.J. is coming off surgery, he may be another week. I don’t know. But he looked really good.
“Both of those guys were thinking they were going to play this week (against Dallas) as they were working out last week, so let’s see what happens there. D.J. should be pretty darn close to getting back as well. I don’t know about Doug yet. He may be a little further than the other guys, but we have to wait and see though.”
“Tre was really close (to playing against the Bears). He was running hard in pregame and all of that. So I’ll be shocked if he’s not ready to play. So that’s a nice boost for us, obviously.”
As for new injuries, Carroll added that starting center Justin Britt sustained a shoulder injury while trying to recover a Wilson fumble during the fourth quarter of Monday’s game, but x-rays were negative. His status is as-of-yet unclear.
A lighter Penny
Rookie running back Rashaad Penny’s production picked up a bit against the Bears, as he rushed for 30 yards on a team-high 10 carries.
There may be more of a reason for that, Carroll said, than starting running back Chris Carson’s mysterious second half no-show.
“He worked really hard during this week,” Carroll said of Penny. “He weighed in about eight pounds less than he did the week before, coming off all that time he was not able to practice full-speed (because of a finger injury). He just was ready to go and I wanted to see how he’d do. That’s part of it.
“I wanted to see how we’d mix so we’re doing things right as we go through the stretch of (the season). That’s the coach’s decision.”
Despite only signing with the Seahawks in the middle of last week, linebacker Mychal Kendricks — who pleaded guilty last month to a felony insider trading charge — played 54 snaps against the Bears, finishing with three tackles and a sack.
“(It was) a very intense week for him. He was just tuned in every minute of every opportunity that was there. He was meeting at night. He was coming in early. He was trying to do everything he could so he could hold up his end of it, and he felt pretty confident.
“I watched him throughout the pregame and as we started the game and coming off the field. I was wanting just to learn about him and figure out what he’s all about, and he was very intense and very serious about the corrections and the issues and making sure he knew what the communications were. He was talking it up, and I thought the guys around him did a really nice job to help him feel comfortable and have the ability to make some stuff happen.”