While Pete Carroll said he knows the focus will be on the offensive line for Seattle giving up four sacks Thursday, he said QB Russell Wilson also deserves some blame for not getting rid of the ball more quickly.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knew that of all the statistics from Thursday night’s preseason 18-11 loss to the Minnesota Vikings one would stand out — the four sacks that quarterback Russell Wilson endured in the first half.
So Carroll decided to head off that topic quickly during his post-game meeting with the media, addressing it in his opening comments before anyone could ask. And in his answer he made it clear that the blame may have been more accurately placed on Wilson for not getting rid of the ball more quickly than on a rebuilt offensive line that has been the topic of much conversation in the off-season.
“I know that you are looking at the sack numbers and thinking ‘oh geez, what’s that mean?”’ he said. “We really, we need to get the ball out. We need to throw the ball away and get rid of it so we don’t take the big plays (losses). … Russ can do a better job to help us there when we get stuck. Sometimes we try really hard to get out to try to make a bigger play when the pressure eventually gets there. But on rhythm, we were fine a few times. We need to get the ball out and stay quick with it like we want to and not let the rush get to us. When you don’t, then you suffer negative stuff that makes it hard to get going.”
That’s a critique that Carroll might not have stated quite as concretely a few years ago. But with Wilson now one of the highest-paid QBs in the NFL and the acknowledged leader of the offense, if not the entire team, Carroll may feel Wilson can handle a bit more of a public blame when necessary.
Carroll, asked a more general question about the sacks later in his press conference, stated flatly that “it didn’t have anything to do with the offensive line.We all missed a blitz one time that we had a huge play on. Russ saw it, he pointed it out. He cleared it up for the guys and we didn’t didn’t execute it. That was one time we got in trouble. And then two other times he just held on to the football because they covered us up. He hung in there and and just waited and tried to make it happen and then he gook off and he got caught against a really good rushing front.”
For his part, Wilson seemed to go along with that assessment, saying that while he thought the first two were coverage sacks in which the Vikings “did a good job’’ that the other two “I’ll just take the blame for.’’
Wilson said that he will always try to make a play but that he knows that sometimes “making a play is also sometimes throwing it away, sometimes making a play is just getting three yards on a scramble and running it. Sometimes making a play maybe a 65-yard scramble and bomb. There are so many different ways to make a play. We’ve made a lot of great plays off scrambles before so you don’t want to shut the ball and throw it away and just waste a play, in my opinion. You want to have that competitive edge.But you want to have that smart competitive edge.”
Wilson noted that the Seahawks mostly had bad field position, starting at the their own 3, 20, 8, 20 and 27 on his five first-half drives, which meant mostly just trying to get out of their own end of the field early in the possessions.
He could also rightly point to the fact that the starters have yet to play a lot together in games this season, and that Thomas Rawls and Jimmy Graham have yet to play at all.
Still, the reality is that the Seahawks have yet to score a point in six drives with Wilson as the quarterback this preseason.
He threw an interception in the end zone to end his only drive last Saturday against Kansas City while the Seahawks had one drive end on downs and the other four in punts that Wilson played in the first half against the Vikings..
“We’re going to be great,” Wilson said. “I really believe in our guys and what we have and what we are doing. We really haven’t played, the first game we only had one drive and we did really well except for one play. Then today we were backed up, a little tough situation and (going against) a great defense really, and they made a couple of plays here and there. We had a couple of opportunities to make some plays and we just came up a little bit short. But we are going to make those, though, and we are going to make them soon, too.”
Wilson is 8-17 for the season for 111 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
In a few other notes. …
— Carroll said that both TE Nick Vannett and DL Jarran Reed left with sprained ankles. Of the two, Vannett’s sounds potentially more serious than Reed’s. Said Carroll: “Think Nick Vannett hurt his ankle and Jarran Reed reaggravated his ankle he hurt a week ago. But we don’t think that’s too bad. We’ll see what we do with Nick.”
— LB K.J. Wright left briefly after being kicked in the stomach but returned to the sideline.
— DL Michael Bennett played a couple of snaps early but took the rest of the game off. Carroll said that was by design. “We just wanted to keep him out of there. Just get him in and get him out.”
— Carroll also said it was by design to play Jake Heaps in the third quarter and then bring back Trevone Boykin to assure that Heaps got in the game. Said the intent was to play Heaps more but the way the game went meant it didn’t work out.
— Carroll said the snapping of Nolan Frese had some issues. “We had a low one and a high one,” Carroll said of Frese, who is seeking to replace Clint Gresham, who was waived in March. “We weren’t as clean as we were in week one.”