Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley knows his team has to do better in third and long situations – and it starts with him.
The Seahawks defensively are 9 of 20 (45 percent) for the season on third and 10 yards or longer. According to Bradley, that number should be down around 15 percent.
“Yeah, it’s unacceptable,” Bradley said. “We can’t continue to operate like that. So we’ve got to address it. I don’t know if we have to change things, we just have to be more disciplined.”
Bradley said he’s tried variations of different schemes, including three-man rush, four-man rush, tight-man coverage and blitz. But ultimately, along with making the right call, the players need to execute.
Bradley confirmed that Byron Maxwell and Danny Gorrer are working at nickel cornerback with Marcus Trufant out nursing a back issue. But Bradley is hopeful that Trufant can play on Sunday.
Trufant did not practice for a second straight day.
Bradley said the Panthers have 43 explosive plays in four games – runs of 12 or more yards or passes of 16 or more yards – so defensively he’s concerned with being sure tacklers and keeping Carolina’s yards after the catch to a minimum.
“They really have a couple different phases,” Bradley said. “It’s like normal football that you see every Sunday. And then there’s the option phase. And they got the explosive part, where they’re going for the long passes – different, unique routes that we’re seeing with talented receivers like Steve Smith.”
On the injury front, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was added to the injury report today with a calf issue, and did not practice today. It appears to be the same injury that the Cal product has dealt with since 2009, and that forced him to miss four games in the 2010 season.
Offensive lineman John Moffitt (knee) remains out. Defensive tackle Jaye Howard (foot) did not practice for a second straight day.
For Carolina, linebacker Jon Beason (knee), cornerback Chris Gamble (shoulder), offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner (knee), safety Colin Jones (shoulder) and offensive lineman Mike Pollak (shoulder) did not practice for a second straight day.
Defensive end Antwan Aplewhite (knee) and defensive end Frank Alexander (back) were full participants.