Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s practice and preparations for their Week 5 road contest with the Carolina Panthers.
Carroll emphasized the importance of the team getting their game right on the road this week in Carolina, pointing to their 0-2 road record away from home thus far. Carroll specifically noted the team’s inability to take advantage of turnovers on the road like they have been able to take advantage of them at home as a priority for improvement.
Heading into the week of practice, Carroll said there will be a big focus on third down defense and third down offense, and that the first two days of practice will be highlighted by a lot of extra work on correcting the issue that was their downfall against the St. Louis Rams in Week 4, when on several occasions the Seahawks could not get off the field on third-and-long and only converted two of nine third down plays on offense.
On the Seahawks’ last-ranked passing offense, Carroll commented that despite the enormous pressure and extraordinary expectations placed on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, he believes that Wilson is “equipped to handle it”, citing an increasing familiarity with the receiving corps that will help the offense take off in the coming weeks.
On that receiving corps, Carroll thinks wide receiver Sidney Rice – who leads the team in receiving – has done a nice job with the chances he has been given, but Carroll would like to see wide receiver Golden Tate become more involved, as the offense looks to spread it around to cause cover issues for their opponents.
Also of note, Carroll said practice squad quarterback Josh Portis will see an increased workload in practice this week as part of the service team, mimicking the play of the mobile, athletic Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
On the injury front, Carroll said that guard John Moffitt is still dealing with a knee injury and is not ready to go yet, defensive tackle Jaye Howard is bothered by a foot injury, and cornerback Marcus Trufant is experiencing back issues that are related to the back injury he has dealt with in years past. Carroll said that if Trufant could not go then fourth-year defensive back Danny Gorrer or 2011 sixth-round draft pick Byron Maxwell are able to fill in as the fifth defensive back on the nickel defense.
You can watch Carroll’s full press conference here, and our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s practice.