By John Boyle
Maybe it’s another sign of how much is expected out of the Seahawks in 2013, or maybe it’s just a product of them coming out of yesterday’s win relatively healthy, but despite a road victory, much of Pete Carroll’s press conference focused on the struggles of the offensive line and the running game.
Carroll acknowledged that his team needs to improve in that area, but said when he reviewed the game on film, he did see improvement as the game went on.
“They wound up doing all right as the game would up,” he said. “We needed to help them a little bit scheme wise, some things we needed to fix in the run game that against that opponent didn’t work out right for us. Really I don’t think it’s anything, we just need to get back to business and we’ll make this go in the right direction.”
Carroll later made comments indicating that they changed some things in the running game schematically that weren’t working, then didn’t adjust in time.
And speaking of the O-line, Carroll liked what he saw out of James Carpenter, who didn’t start but saw significant time at left guard.
“James played fine, he did a nice job,” Carroll said. “Made it through feeling good health wise. He played quite a bit and had enough chances to show run and pass that he’s ready to keep moving forward. We’re really happy he made that progress. He played half the game, they about split it. It was good to get him the activity.
Asked if that meant Carpenter would start over Paul McQuistan, Carroll shook his head, then said, “Not necessarily.”
Talking about the game, Carroll singled out the play of Russell Wilson who passed fro 320 yards and completed 24 of his final 28 attempts: “Individually, Russell played an excellent football game.”
Carroll was also happy that his team, despite not running the ball well for most of the day, was able to close out the game by burning the final 5:25 off the clock.
“We got knocked back right off the bat, and it just didn’t matter,” he said. “The guys really executed really well. We had to block well, we had to pick up the pressure. We ran and threw the ball in that sequence to run the clock out. We take a lot of pride in the way we finish stuff, and that’s the perfect illustration of finishing a football game—taking a knee. That’s just the way we like to do it… That was a great finish.”
As for the injuries, the only one of any significant to come out of Sunday’s game was a hamstring injury to backup safety Jeron Johnson, which Carroll called a “a minor strain. We’ll have to figure it out later in the week.”
On CB Brandon Browner, who missed the game with a hamstring injury, Carroll said, “He wasn’t ready to go. He ran hard in pregame, but not full speed. We want to make sure we can get him back to full speed… he ran today, he’ll run tomorrow, Wednesday we’ll see how he does, we’ll try to get him for Thursday’s practice.”
Carroll was also optimistic that DE Cliff Avril will make it back this week: “Cliff Avril’s a good possibility if he makes it through the week. He practiced well enough last week, he was very close to being able to play Sunday. We’re planning on him being part of it this week unless he has some kind of setback. That’d be a nice little boost to get him back in the game.
And here’s the update on DE Chris Clemons, who is still working his way back from offseason knee surgery: “Clem’s going to practice. He’s going to take reps this week… He’ll take reps Wednesday and we’ll just see how he does. We need to just get him through the practice routine and see if he can handle it, which we think he can. He looks great, but he hasn’t done that yet. That means he’ll be working against other guys and pushing and shoving and all of that, in a limited fashion, then we’ll just take it one day at a time and see how he progresses.”
“He’s really chomping at the bit to go now. He’s telling us he can go, he’s ready and all of that, so he’s exactly where you want your player to be. We are having to hold him back until he can really prove it, then come back after that work and feel good, so we don’t know how long that’s going to take. It may take a couple more weeks, we don’t know.”