Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had plenty to say — and most of it good — following his team’s 38-25 victory in the season opener over the Falcons when he talked to media members via Zoom on Monday and also held his first weekly radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle.
Here are highlights, as well as a few thoughts on the snap counts from the game, made available Monday morning:
Rasheem Green appears to be the only injury of concern
Carroll said Monday afternoon that defensive end Rasheem Green suffered “a pinch” in his shoulder when he briefly left the game Sunday and it’ll have to be monitored this week.
“We’ll have to see how that goes during the week here,” Carroll said. “But there’s still some effects so we’ll see what that means for this game this week.”
Green backed up L.J. Collier at one defensive end spot Sunday and played 30 snaps.
Carroll said there were no other new injuries in the game.
One injury to watch this week is receiver Phillip Dorsett II’s sore foot, which made him inactive Sunday.
The Seahawks are at home this Sunday against the Patriots, for whom Dorsett played the past two years. Carroll indicated on his radio show that it was still too early to know if Dorsett will be able to play. “Hoping to get Phillip back when he’s ready.”
David Moore stepped in for Dorsett as the third receiver, playing 33 of 62 snaps (DK Metcalf played 61 and Tyler Lockett 58).
Assessing the rookies
The Seahawks ended up with just three rookies active Sunday — right guard Damien Lewis, linebacker Jordyn Brooks and receiver Freddie Swain.
Lewis, a third-round draft choice out of Louisiana State, went the entire way, playing all 62 snaps.
He had a tough matchup against Grady Jarrett but seemed to hold his own more as the game wore on. More troublesome in Carroll’s view were two holding penalties against Lewis, one in the first quarter and another in the fourth.
“He’s got to get better with his hands,” Carroll said on his radio show. “The holding penalties are something that really bother us. It’s something we’ve been harping on. Just got to get him better. But he played good football and was tough and had some really dominating blocks.”
Swain, a sixth-round choice out of Florida, ended up working as the fourth receiver with Dorsett inactive. He played 16 snaps, with another seven on special teams, and had one catch for 17 yards.
“He’s a good football player,” Carroll said of Swain. “And he’s a guy that we really trust in a lot of situations. So you’ll see him play more and more.”
Brooks, Seattle’s first-round selection out of Texas Tech, played seven snaps filling in for K.J. Wright at weakside linebacker for part of two series. He had one tackle.
Carroll said the Seahawks wanted to “break him in and get him going. He’s going to be a great factor.”
Rookie running back DeeJay Dallas and defensive end Alton Robinson were inactive, while defensive end Darrell Taylor and tight end Colby Parkinson remain on the non-football injury list and can’t return for five more weeks.
Carroll, though, said Monday afternoon that Dallas and Robinson could be active this weekend.
“They’re right there,” Carroll said. “They were both on the verge of being on the active roster this week, so they’ll be in that same position again. It just depends on matchups and things like that. Both those guys are ready to play, though.”
Carroll said one of the keys to the offensive success Sunday was going uptempo a bit more often, getting to the line and getting the snap off quickly, which he said was an emphasis during the offseason.
Carroll said the tempo helped “limit the defense in terms of their timing and their ability to make substitutions and we did it a number of different ways.”
Seattle worked on tempo during Zoom calls during the offseason program, Carroll said, with players standing up in their rooms and going through the paces of it virtually.
“We carried it through camp and it showed up in Game 1 in a big way,” he said.
Atlanta passing numbers ‘deceiving’
The Seahawks won despite allowing Matt Ryan to throw for 450 yards, just shy of the 460 the Seahawks allowed to Atlanta’s Matt Schaub a year ago (the most Seattle had ever given up).
But as Carroll noted, 268 of those yards came in the second half, with the Falcons down by at least two possessions the entire way (Seattle took the opening kickoff of the second half and scored a touchdown to take a 21-12 lead).
Carroll said the Seahawks were content at that point to allow Atlanta some small gains in hopes the Falcons couldn’t get a quick score.
“We felt in control of the game kind of in the middle of the third quarter,” Carroll said Monday afternoon. “And with the weapons that they have, they just forgot about the running game and just started throwing it every down, so we just were playing the clock and making sure that we didn’t let them get back in the game.”
On his radio show, Carroll added: “We’d always love to have great numbers but those numbers are really deceiving. … But we did get beat up top one time (a 44-yard pass to Julio Jones). That’s a play we really messed up and that should never happen. Otherwise we kept the ball in front of us.”
Seattle gave up a touchdown in the fourth quarter when Ryan hit a wide open Calvin Ridley from 18 yards out when defenders Shaquill Griffin and Jamal Adams collided.
Carroll said Adams “was trying to fit between the receiver and the DB and it didn’t work out quite right. But he was making the most aggressive decision he could make, which is in his makeup.”
Indeed, other than that play, Adams was a consistent wrecking ball through Atlanta’s offense.
Via Pro Football Focus, Adams played free safety on 40% of his snaps, with the other 60% spent at strong safety and other positions. Samuel Gold of The Athletic tweeted Adams was used as a pass rusher on 11 of his 79 overall snaps and got pressure four times, including one sack.
“We wanted to just cut him loose,” Carroll said of how Seattle used Adams. “So that’s what you saw.”
Black Lives Matter
Carroll had Alicia Garza, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, speak to the team last week.
Asked about it Monday, Carroll said: “Well, I had met Alicia a while back, and we had some interaction a while back. And so we got to talking maybe just before camp about, would it be possible that she could have the opportunity to visit with us? And so it took us a while to get that done — she’s really busy — but she held just a fantastic meeting last week, and really she just told her guys about the history of the Black Lives Matter movement and what the phenomenon is all about. … And then she talked a lot about voting and try to encourage our guys on the kinds of things that they could do to be proactive and really just to kind of just fill them up with the background of what’s really going on.”
- Carroll said of the early touchdown on a screen to Chris Carson: “We’ve never run a better screen in all the years we’ve been here. He walked in the end zone. That’s a big factor for us.” Carroll cited the blocking of Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic and Mike Iupati on the play. He also specifically cited Pocic’s ability to properly communicate blocking assignments throughout the game.
- Carroll said Collier, who played 30 of 79 snaps after starting at defensive end “did a nice job. He was really active.” Carroll indicated that job is Collier’s to keep for now: “We’ll keep coming back to him.”
- Jordan Simmons played 13 snaps, filling in for Iupati at left guard on two series. Carroll said that was simply part of a plan to rotate players.
- Seattle also rotated at the right cornerback spot, where Tre Flowers got 10 snaps filling in for Quinton Dunbar, who played 68.
- Seattle indeed played far more nickel and dime defense, with Marquise Blair on the field for 55 snaps, or 70% of the game, and Lano Hill — who played in six-defensive back formations — getting 29 snaps, or 37%.
- Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer coached the game from the press box after having been down on the field the past two seasons. Carroll said he will likely continue to coach from upstairs. “He really liked it,” Carroll said. “Worked out well. Was something we talked about the offseason and so we’re gonna take full advantage of that.”
- Carroll said, of the three sacks Seattle gave up in the first half, one was on Russell Wilson for missing his read and holding the ball too long and another — on the first play of the game — was due to a mistake “that had nothing to do with the offensive line.”
- Carroll said he would continue to monitor air quality this week as to whether the Seahawks will practice indoors or outside. The Seahawks practiced inside Friday. The Seahawks don’t practice Tuesday so no decision needs to be made until Wednesday.