Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 2.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that Head Coach Pete Carroll is standing by quarterback Russell Wilson after the rookie threw three interceptions in the team’s 19-13 loss at St. Louis over the weekend, “Wilson remains Seattle’s starting quarterback heading into this week’s game against Carolina, and one-quarter of the way through this season, Seattle’s coach tried to take a big-picture perspective on his rookie’s performance. ‘He’s a first-time starter,’ Carroll said. ‘He has been in every game and had a chance to win ‘em. He’s won one of them, and two of them got away from us at the end there.’ All true. Seattle has had the ball in the opponent’s half of the field with a chance to win in the two road games it lost.”
O’Neil also has a look at what we learned and what we’re still trying to figure out after Sunday’s loss in St. Louis, “Seattle’s defense isn’t entirely impregnable.
St. Louis entered the game having completed five passes of 20 yards or more, fewest in the league. Well, not only did the Rams have a 52-yard pass against Seattle — the longest play from the scrimmage the Seahawks allowed this season — but St. Louis converted five third downs that required 10 yards or more. The Seahawks’ defense didn’t allow a touchdown, and played well enough to win, but there is some room for improvement when it comes to getting off the field.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune clarifies the health of quarterback Matt Flynn, who Carroll said yesterday in an interview 710 KIRO AM is not an option to replace Wilson as the starting quarterback because of a sore elbow, “Carroll later clarified his comments during his regular interview session with reporters Monday afternoon. ‘Matt’s ready to play,’ Carroll said. ‘We just don’t know what’s going to happen when he gets a lot of work. He might be all right. But we don’t know that. We have not taken him there yet. But he’s ready to play in every game, and he’s ready to go in the very next play we need him, and so the competition goes on, in my mind, as it does in every position on our football team. Our guys continue to compete. But he has not had the opportunity, because we give the starter all the reps. And with a young guy for the first time, we’re giving him every single snap we can.’ Carroll said that Flynn has not aggravated the elbow injury, which he described as tendinitis when it occurred. He did not rule out the possibility of Flynn having to deal with the elbow issue for the rest of the year. But if Carroll needed to use Flynn later this season as the team’s starter, he has plenty of experience monitoring an injured quarterback during the week’s practices to make sure he’s available to play on Sunday. That’s exactly what Carroll did for nine games last season when Tarvaris Jackson suffered a torn pectoral muscle, but only missed the Cleveland game.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune debates and defends Carroll’s decision to stay with Wilson at quarterback, “Here are some evaluation tools to consider, on both sides of the matter: There’s been so much talk about Wilson’s lack of height that it has obscured the reality that he’s more lacking in experience. He’s a rookie. He makes rookie mistakes and it’s to be expected if you decide to start one. Matt Hasselbeck came to Seattle after two seasons in Green Bay as an understudy to Brett Favre, and in his first five starts, he completed 51 percent of his passes and had two touchdowns and five interceptions. That’s far shakier than the pace Wilson is on. The thing you have to consider when deciding the worth of weathering the learning curve of a young quarterback is if you’re certain you’ll come out the other side with a winner.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald points out that according to Carroll, Wilson would still be the team’s starter at quarterback even if the uncertainty surrounding Flynn’s sore elbow was made clear, “But regardless of the unknowns about Flynn’s elbow, Wilson would still be the team’s starter, Carroll said. That was the case after three games when the Seahawks had won two straight, and it remains true even after a loss that saw the passing game continue to struggle. ‘We’re going with Russell, and he’s working his tail off to get it right,’ Carroll said. ‘While all of the focus goes to the quarterback position, there are a lot of guys who figure into what’s going on, and he’s one of them. We’re just trying to get better.’ “
Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes about Carroll’s decision to stick with Wilson at quarterback and offers some analysis on the Seahawks’ third-down struggles – on both offense and defense – that occurred Sunday in St. Louis, “Third down was one of the glaring areas where the passing game struggles were noticeable. Wilson missed all three pass attempts on third down and was sacked two other times. Seattle’s only two third-down conversions in the loss came when Wilson ran for 2 yards and Lynch rumbled for 8, both in third-and-1 situations. But the third-down problems weren’t limited to the offense. Defensively, the Seahawks gave up five third-down conversions to the Rams, but all five were of at least 10 yards or more. All five of the third-and-long conversions came on St. Louis drives that eventually led to points. Notes: Carroll said they do not expect G John Moffitt (knee) to be ready for Sunday’s game at Carolina. … The Seahawks released OL Allen Barbre on Monday. Barbre spent the first four week of the season on the suspended list.”
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com looks at some of the reasoning behind Carroll’s decision to stick with Wilson after the rookie quarterback threw three picks in a 19-13 loss to the Rams, “Wilson threw for 160 yards, three interceptions and no touchdowns on Sunday. Carroll defended some of Wilson’s mistakes, saying he wasn’t entirely responsible for two of his interceptions. The first came on a first-quarter pass that was thrown slightly behind Doug Baldwin, going in and out of the receiver’s hands before it was caught by Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson. ‘He could have thrown the ball a little better to Doug but Doug had a chance at that ball and the guy (Johnson) makes an amazing play to get that ball off his back hip,’ Carroll said. Carroll also excused Wilson’s third interception – which he threw on the Seahawks’ final drive when tight end Anthony McCoy slipped as the ball was in the air – but said his second pick was the result of holding onto the ball too long. Wilson was looking for Sidney Rice during a third-quarter drive but he was hit as he threw and the ball popped up into the air. ‘That ball should have come out [sooner]. We should have got rid of that football. We had guys wide open,’ Carroll said. ‘It was a double-corner-type-of-blitz and so there was a lot of spacing out there. But we got distracted on it and Russell didn’t let the ball go.’ “
Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton of “Bob and Groz” discuss the importance of eliminating costly penalties in this short video from mynorthwest.com.
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Carroll’s Monday media sessions, “The team is averaging just 130.8 yards per game through the air. Despite completing 17 of 25 passes for 160 yards, QB Russell Wilson threw three interceptions and failed to convert some critical third downs to helped sink the Seahawks in a 19-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. ‘We’re going with Russell right now and he’s working his tail off to get it right,’ head coach Pete Carroll said Monday. ‘There are a lot of guys that figure into what’s going on, and he’s one of them. So we’re just trying to get better.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com says Carroll’s decision to hang with Wilson at quarterback is the right call, “Team record: The Seahawks are 2-2. That is a reasonable record for them given the schedule to this point. The season is not slipping away. Offensive philosophy: Carroll is the one choosing to play conservatively on offense. Why replace Wilson without giving him a chance to do more than manage the game? Has Wilson failed, or has the offense failed? It’s only four games: Back in 2010, about half the season went by before Carroll and veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck reached a comfort level with one another. Carroll wasn’t comfortable opening up the offense. ‘It took some time for us to get together in our thinking, Matt understanding us and us understanding Matt,’ Carroll said following a Week 11 game that year. ‘I think we have cut him loose.’ The dynamics are different now, but there’s still a process involved. Late-game promise: Seattle has trailed in the final minutes of three games this season. Wilson moved the team downfield in every case. Better play from his receivers might have made the difference at Arizona. Wilson was moving the team effectively in the late going Sunday when McCoy tripped, leading to the pick.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnworth breaks down the fantastic play that two former Cal Bears – Marshawn Lynch and Brandon Mebane – had against the Rams on Sunday, discusses the Seahawks’ need for improvement on third-down, and focuses on guard James Carpenter, who excelled in his return to game-action Sunday at St. Louis.
Finally, we have Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday available here.