RENTON — If Week 1 was the Disney-esque beginning to Shane Waldron’s NFL career as an offensive coordinator, Week 2 was the harsh crash to reality.
As Tennessee stormed back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull out a 33-30 overtime win over the Seahawks Sunday, Seattle’s Waldron-led offense had few answers.
The Seahawks went three-and-out on three of their final four possessions, the only exception the final drive in regulation when the Titans were just trying to prevent a big play.
But when he met with the media Thursday, Waldron had the same even-keeled demeanor of the week before.
“You know there’s going to be highs and lows throughout the year,” Waldron said. “It’s how quickly you can bounce back when things don’t go exactly as you want them to go. Get to Monday and get it corrected, get to Tuesday and really knowing you’ve got to talk to yourself and get yourself right back in that mindset.”
By Thursday, Waldron said what happened Sunday was deep in the rearview mirror for both himself and quarterback Russell Wilson. The two talked Monday about what happened and made corrections, and by Tuesday he said they were well on the work of preparing for Sunday’s game at Minnesota.
“He had a great day today where he was locked in,” Waldron said. “(We) moved forward and made adjustments that we needed to make (earlier in the week), or anything that we needed to talk about. He was really forthcoming talking about them and was ready to move forward this week with the Vikings.”
Those adjustments this week include trying to get more players involved in the passing game and making the running game a bigger factor.
In Week 1, tight ends had five catches. In Week 2, just one for 3 yards.
Mostly just the way the game went, he said.
“Sometimes when you call a certain play for somebody, the coverage doesn’t dictate the read going to that guy and that happened a few times, especially early on in the game,” he said.
And in Week 1, Seattle rushed 27 times for 140 yards. In Week 2, just 18 for 77, and only 24 on seven after halftime.
Waldron said the Seahawks mostly need to make sure to stick with the running game.
“We know we want to be a balanced attack,” he said. “We want to be able to run the ball and certainly be able to do it at a more effective level and stay committed to it as the game goes on.
“… Overall, with some of the things in the run game, that early-down efficiency shows up and is so important that we can stay committed, on track, and move the ball with the run game.”
What Waldron lamented most was the three-and-out in overtime which featured two incomplete passes to the team’s two best receivers — Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf — and then a sack on third down that turned the ball right back to Tennessee in good field position.
Waldron accepted full responsibility, and without going into detail, said essentially the play calls needed to be better.
“I’ve got to do a better job of putting our team in position to try to win the game right there,” Waldron said. “You live and learn from those mistakes, move forward, and do the best job we can the next time that situation arises.”
It’s a sequence of plays he pored over this week mostly to try to learn how he might handle it differently next time.
“I’m striving to be the best I can for our team, and I think any time a call doesn’t work out the way you envisioned it or defenses play it a little bit better or something doesn’t work out, that’s when you look back and try to learn from those and say, ‘I want to do that better the next time that scenario comes up,’ ” he said. “That’s the competitive nature of this business. That’s where I want to hold myself to a high standard and keep looking to improve every time out there.”
Brandon Shell, Dee Eskridge remain out
Three Seahawks did not take part in Thursday’s practice, all for the second straight day — running back Rashaad Penny, receiver Dee Eskridge and right tackle Brandon Shell.
Coach Pete Carroll has already said Penny is unlikely to play Sunday as he battles a calf injury that also held him out against Tennessee.
That Shell (ankle) and Eskridge (concussion) are out for a second straight day increases the odds they won’t make it for Sunday, either.
Eskridge also sat out last week with a concussion, and given the league’s concussion protocol, he might have a tough time playing at this point.
The good news is Freddie Swain took part on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with a back issue, so the Seahawks might have four healthy receivers Sunday. But Seattle might look to elevate a receiver off the practice squad.
If Shell can’t go, then Jamarco Jones is expected to start at right tackle.
Shell injured his ankle late in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee.
Jones might have to match up often with Minnesota end Danielle Hunter, who has four sacks already this year, three against Arizona Sunday.
Also limited Thursday were nose tackle Bryan Mone (elbow), safety Marquise Blair (knee), defensive end Benson Mayowa (neck) and offensive linemen Duane Brown and Gabe Jackson (each resting vets).
Mone hopes to return this week after sitting out last week.
Blair was not on the injury report earlier this week, so that’s one to watch. Mayowa was listed as full on Wednesday.
No longer on the injury report is Metcalf, who was listed as a full participant Wednesday with a knee issue.