Were the Seahawks in on Antonio Brown for the couple of hours the receiver was a free agent Saturday? Will there be competition at safety this week after Tedric Thompson struggled in Seattle’s tougher-than-expected 21-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday?
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll addressed those issues, and more, during his day-after-game radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle Monday morning.
Here are highlights:
Yes, the Seahawks did put in a call on Brown.
Repeating what he usually says when asked about these things, Carroll said the team’s plan is to always be involved with any player that might be able to help them. So, they were with Brown, as well.
“We were involved in that one, yeah,’’ Carroll said. “We were ready if something was there.’’
Something wasn’t there, as Brown almost immediately signed with the New England Patriots after being released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday.
Does Seattle going after Brown speak to something more about the team’s receiving corps? Only two wide receivers even had targets Sunday — DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett — with David Moore still out with a broken humerus bone. So it’s an area where the Seahawks could improve. But Brown won’t be it.
Will Tedric Thompson have to battle in practice to keep his job?
Yes he will, Carroll said.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 418 yards against the Seahawks, with 55 coming on a play near the end of the half when he lofted it deep for John Ross III. Thompson was positioned to make the leap but mistimed his jump, allowing the ball to go to Ross, instead, for a TD that put the Bengals up 17-14 at the half. Giving up such a big play in that kind of situation is pretty much unforgivable in Carroll’s eyes.
And as Carroll said Monday, Thompson’s biggest mistake was jumping at all.
“Such a bad choice on leaving his feet on the long ball,’’ Carroll said in a frank assessment. “That’s such a costly play.’’
Overall, Carroll said of Thompson: “There’s plays that could be better. So we’ve got to keep working at it.’’
Carroll said Thompson, in his first full season as the starter at free safety after the departure of Earl Thomas (Thompson started 10 games there last season after Thomas was injured), “might have been overtrying a little bit.’’
Asked if there will be competition this week for the job, Carroll said, “We’ll just keep it going.’’ Meaning, yes.
But the first player Carroll mentioned as getting a long look there to possibly replace Thompson might not be who everyone expects — Lano Hill. Carroll noted Hill played well in his two starts last year at safety when Thompson was hurt (with Hill playing strong safety and Bradley McDougald moving to free) and said, “He deserves a chance to play. He’s a really good ballplayer.”
Carroll then mentioned rookie Marquise Blair is “working his way back, too. So we’ve got good competition at the safety spots.’’
Blair elicited a lot of excitement with his performance in the first preseason game. But he hurt his back/hip in the second preseason game and has been in and out of games and practices since then.
Blair played 12 snaps on special teams Sunday, compared with 23 for Hill. But neither played on defense.
Carroll vague on injuries to Dissly, Ford, Thorpe
The Seahawks suffered three notable injuries in the game that caused players to leave and not return: cornerback Neiko Thorpe (hamstring), defensive tackle Poona Ford (calf) and tight end Will Dissly (knee).
Carroll did not offer specifics on any of the injuries, but said “all those guys got some issues.’’ And of Dissly and Ford in particular, he said they’ve “got something we’ve got to deal with.’’
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Ford has “a calf strain’’ and is week to week. So, that would at least mean Ford wouldn’t have to go on injured reserve and might not miss much, if any, time.
Seahawks were ‘a little arrogant’ with running-game plan
Maybe the most eyebrow-raising stat of all Sunday was the Seahawks gained just 72 yards rushing on 25 carries, 2.9 per attempt.
The total was lower than all but one game last season — the opener against Denver, when Seattle fell behind early and basically gave up on running — and the yards per carry worse than all but the Carolina game.
And it was not expected against a Cincinnati team that allowed 4.7 yards per carry last season.
Carroll said one factor is that the Bengals loaded up to stop the run — they had all three of their nose tackles active for the game, and played a lot of 5-2 fronts.
“They committed hard to the running game,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll said Seattle knew that might happen, but thought it could just win a lot of individual battles and run the ball well anyway.
“Thought we would be able to knock them off the rock,’’ he said.
But Seattle was not able to, and Carroll said the Seahawks should have adjusted and changed up some of their runs to give the Bengals different looks.
Carroll said the Seahawks were “a little arrogant with our stuff at them.’’
Of course, some might then ask why they didn’t throw it more — just 20 times (not including four ending in sacks) on 49 plays. But the Seahawks also had trouble protecting, which appeared to leave them going back to running more — Seattle had 13 runs and passes in the first half.
Will Ziggy Ansah play Sunday?
Carroll said the hope is that he will but wouldn’t outright say he will.
Defensive end Ansah was not active for Sunday’s game after being listed as questionable, and after having practiced all last week.
Carroll said after the game it was mostly precautionary that Ansah didn’t play.
But Monday, he also noted Ansah’s shoulder got sore during the week from practice.
“We’ll just go day to day and see how it goes,’’ Carroll said. “I’m really counting that he’ll be able to make it.’’
Jadeveon Clowney ‘was really good’
Jadeveon Clowney officially played 48 of 77 snaps Sunday, which Carroll admitted was a lot more than the team might have anticipated.
“That’s why I didn’t state a number (to the media during the week) because I had a feeling it might not be one we would stick to,’’ Carroll said.
Clowney officially got credit for one sack, one pass defense and two tackles.
But Carroll said there were several other plays where he was in Dalton’s face and helped alter throws.
Carroll said he thought it was “a really good’’ beginning for Clowney. “He had a bigger effect than maybe the numbers show,’’ he said.
Once Ansah is back, Carroll said the plan is for Ansah and Clowney to be on the field a lot together.
“We are not going to alternate those guys, so we’ll figure that out,’’ Carroll said.
The obvious thought would appear to be Clowney will continue to play the LEO/rush end position he did Sunday with Ansah at the five-technique end position, where Quinton Jefferson was the starter Sunday.
Could Mike Iupati be back this week?
Carroll said yes to that one, as well.
Iupati played one snap at left guard when center Justin Britt was injured and had to leave, which meant Ethan Pocic had to move from guard to center.
Iupati returned to practice last week after dealing with foot and calf injuries that caused him to miss the preseason.
If healthy, he would likely return to the left-guard spot ahead of Pocic.
“Really hoping’’ he plays Sunday at Pittsburgh, Carroll said.