RENTON — So how to describe the play of the Seahawks defense in the first half of Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the 49ers?
Well, let’s let defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt tell it.
“It was just a horror show of errors,” said Hurtt, who also called it “really poor.”
Hard to get more blunt than that. But Hurtt has quickly earned a reputation for telling it like it is in his first season as the defensive coordinator after the firing of Ken Norton Jr.
And Hurtt was just as candid with his team in what he says is simply his attempt to let his players know what is expected of them.
In fact, Hurtt said he delivered that message to his players at halftime and left San Francisco heartened that they responded to it in the second half.
“But when we hit halftime, to be able to go in and make the changes that we needed to, identified to the guys where the issues were and where the mistakes were made and take ownership of that,” Hurtt said. “Then in the second half, we were much more consistent with those things that we were doing right, down to down.”
Indeed, the stats told a tale of two halves. The 49ers had 259 yards on 33 plays in the first half, 7.8 per snap, but just 114 on 37 in the second, or 3.1.
Most stark was the difference in how Seattle defended the run. The 49ers had 123 rushing yards on 19 carries in the first half, 6.47 per attempt, including a 51-yarder by Deebo Samuel, but just 66 on 26 in the second, or 2.54.
Of course, the 49ers were ahead 20-0 at halftime and were never threatened in the second, appearing to operate in run-out-the-clock mode for much of it.
And some progress in the second half wasn’t enough for Hurtt to be satisfied.
One thing he acknowledged has been a consistent issue for the Seahawks is tackling. Seattle has missed 30 tackles, via Pro Football Focus, and has the third-worst tackling grade overall.
Most costly was a missed tackle by Darrell Taylor in the backfield on Samuel’s 51-yard run in the first quarter.
And Hurtt said for all the emphasis on the team’s shift from a 4-3 to a 3-4 front in some of Sunday’s struggles, that tackling has been the biggest problem overall for the defense.
“It would fix a lot of things,” he said of better tackling. “You want to keep down explosives, and if you keep explosives down, you also keep down points. Tackling is a huge issue, and it is frustrating for myself and obviously for all of us. The players are cool because it’s not like it’s something that goes ignored. We work on that all of the time and even have added phases into practice so that we can continue to work on it. The guys are tracking and doing the right things in practice. Right now, we are playing fast in the game, we are playing aggressively, and are throwing our body, but we are not wrapping up. We are leaving our feet too much, and these are all of the things that players know that we’ve talked about that has to get fixed. We have to continue harping on it.”
Jamal Adams’ surgery goes ‘well,’ no ETA for return
Seahawks safety Jamal Adams had surgery to repair a torn quad tendon earlier this week and coach Pete Carroll said it “went well and he’s resting at home. … everybody sounds pleased that it worked out OK.”
Adams is on the injured reserve list and presumed out for the season but Carroll said Wednesday there is no real timetable.
“Don’t know,” he said when asked how long Adams’ recovery will be.
Seven Seahawks sit out
Seven Seahawks sat out practice Wednesday, including two who were injured Sunday — guard Damien Lewis (thigh) and defensive lineman Shelby Harris (glute). Harris also was not at practice Wednesday for a personal matter.
While Lewis sat out, Carroll expressed optimism he might be able to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
“He went through the walk-through today, so he’s got a thigh bruise, but he got a lot more done than we thought,” Carroll said before practice. “He looked OK moving around. I think we’ll take it easy on him today and take it one day at a time here, but that’s a good indication.”
Also sitting out was cornerback Justin Coleman with a calf injury that held him out against the 49ers and could mean that rookie Coby Bryant will start for a second straight week.
Asked if Coleman will play Sunday, Carroll said, “I don’t know that yet.”
Guard Gabe Jackson (knee/resting veteran), safety Quandre Diggs (knee), linebacker Cody Barton (shoulder/hip) and safety Joey Blount (hamstring) were also sitting out.
Barton’s injuries were not known until after Carroll spoke to the media so he was not asked about them. It’s unclear if they are anything that could impact his status for Sunday.
Four players were listed as limited, including cornerback Artie Burns, who has been out since the Dallas preseason game on Aug. 26 with a groin injury. Others listed as limited were center Austin Blythe (shoulder), linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (shoulder/knee) and defensive tackle Al Woods (knee).
— Taylor has two missed tackles and has the second-worst tackling grade on the team (via PFF). He doesn’t have a sack. Asked about his play so far, Hurtt said, “I addressed that stuff accountability-wise with him privately. What I will say is that … he wants to play better. We have to continue to coach him better and clean up some details for him, but obviously, we expect great things out of him.”