Seahawks Insider

Carroll press conference

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on Nov. 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm with 44 Comments »
November 12, 2012 3:39 pm

Pete Carroll had a laid-back, bye-week attitude for his Monday afternoon press conference, showing up in jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. He was not rushed as normal, and spent a little time with wise cracks. At one point he slipped in a fictitious  comment that they would spend the bye week putting in some triple-option plays.

Somewhat newsworthy, Carroll said that he thinks everybody with injury issues will be ready to return after the bye week. Specifically, if James Carpenter is able to return, Carroll would like to get him back in the lineup. John Moffitt has looked solid the past two weeks filling in for Carpenter at left guard.

He said the film of Sunday’s win over the Jets showed a very good and disciplined defensive performance. The offensive struggles in the first half, he said, were a result of “over-targeting” the run blocks. Cable and Max Unger got that worked out and the corrections were productive in the second half.

His decision to give the team the whole week off, he said, was aimed to give them a good “mental break.”  His message to the team before leaving was to be certain to rest. Some players go home and spend too much time training. On the other hand, he said he worries that the big guys can get into the Big Macs and put on 10 pounds in a hurry. He said the players were given plans for workouts they were expected to follow.

He was particularly happy with the way the team has finished the past two weeks, with good offensive fourth quarters. “We’re getting harder to beat,” he said.

Leave a comment Comments → 44
  1. JazBadAzz says:

    I would love to see James back too, I didn’t like Moffit in the run game at all this week.

    I hope these young guys stay focused with a whole week off. Most of them will be playing Black Ops 2 since it drops this week. Some will go home and visit family but I mostly want them to rest and remain conditioned. They have played a long hard season so far and I am proud of them!

    Keep up the good work fellas and dont do nothing I wouldn’t do! LOL

  2. Anyone know what this means? “The offensive struggles in the first half, he said, were a result of “over-targeting” the run blocks.”

  3. Dave Boling says:

    I asked the same question, pdway. He said they were heading out at the wrong angle on their zone blocks. The Jets weren’t really in the places they expected them to be when they fired out. He said Cable and Unger got it figured out and made the adjustments.

  4. Southendzone says:

    Can any X and O geeks out there compare & contrast the Hawks run game & blocking with what Houston does? I hear they are both a zone scheme but when I watch both teams play, I feel like I’m watching 2 totally different systems.

  5. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    interesting stat, irvin was in on 13 plays had two sacks not bad production for that few of plays.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    It’s been so long since the Seahawks have made it this far into a season without devastating injuries.

  7. @dave b. – thanks for the response. got to love the access in the age of the internet. and to think, I remember having to wait until the monday morning paper to see the sunday boxscores . . .

  8. seatowntp says:

    Thanks a lot, Georgia.

  9. “It’s been so long since the Seahawks have made it this far into a season without devastating injuries.”

    That’s a very good point. Seems like we’ve got better depth along the O-line than in seasons past, but you’re right – I remember the year we lost all our CB’s, the year we lost all our WR’s, the multiple years of O-line injury misery – – – knock on wood things stay good this year.

  10. Hawksince77 says:


    For more on your question about the run blocking, you can listen at the 3:30 mark in the PC interview in the link below:

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Lol, I wasn’t trying to jinx em however I won’t mention this subject again until the end of the season. In fact someone flag the comment I made at 4:38 and have it deleted immediately.

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Southendzone – Houston and Seattle really are very similar with their zone scheme. What I think the significant difference you are seeing is the difference between Lynch and Foster. Houston really tries to get him off tackle and stretch the perimeter of the defense. Seattle on the other hand works the inside zone much harder with Lynch. But regarding the technique the linemen use, it’s nearly identical. In fact I’ve noticed that when each of these offenses get in short yardage they will go man up front, too. Next time you watch Houston play, focus on the linemen only, like a center / guard combo to one side, then check Seattle out. I think you’ll see similar concepts.

    ’re getting harder to beat,”

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Oops, I was going to comment on this: “We’re getting harder to beat,” Damn right Carroll. You sure as hell are. I love it!

  14. Ewalters7354 says:


    Looking forward to your breakdown of RW’s performance.You bring great insight.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    Dave – Would you expect Carp to go back to LG *and* Moffitt to take McQuistan’s spot at RG, if he’s able to return for Miami?

  16. Ewalters7354 says:

    Duke, from what I read on, Pete said Carp and Moffit will compete for the LG spot, with Carp being the favorite.Idk why in the hell McQuistan looks to be safe on
    the right side Maybe he knows how to keep Breno’s temper calm?

  17. Dukeshire says:

    Thanks, and I hate to hear that, McQuistan plays most of the game in his own backfield.

  18. Hawksince77 says:


    I have a couple of comments about the game, not so much focused on Wilson.

    After watching the Seahawks this season, and closely watching other QBs, it has become clearer to me how important the TEAM is that surrounds a particular QB, and how the team impacts that players performance.

    Suddenly everyone thinks Wilson has gotten so much better, but I would assert that his improved performance is a combination of things, several of them more important than his particular play. I will list a few:

    1 – quality of the competition. Since playing the niners, the Seahawks have not played outstanding defenses, with the exception of the Jets, and the Jets offense was so bad it gave Seattle’s offense that much more opportunity. Had the Jets been able to move the ball, sustain some drives, and score a few points, Seattle’s offense wouldn’t have looked quite so shiny. The Vikings don’t field a top defense, and neither does Detroit.

    2 – play calling. While it has improved somewhat, I still think it hampers the QB position. The run/run/pass/punt sequence makes it difficult, as you ask your QB to throw the ball when the defense knows you have to throw it. The option-read is a great addition to the offense, because you can run/throw/keep from shot-gun, based on the read. If you just run a rushing play (the same you would do on a play-action fake) you are committed to handing the ball off. When you do this on consecutive first and second downs, and sometimes third, you greatly limit the QBs option for making a big play, let alone converting on third down. Also, just about anytime you have second and short, you should go PA and try for the big play. On 3rd and short, if the defense is selling out to stop the run, bootleg and go for the big play, or throw short for the first, or have the QB run for the first. Like the second and goal from about the 2, when the pass interference was called on the PA fake and throw to Evans in the endzone – I really liked that play call.

    3 – skill players. If you don’t have them, your QB is going to look like shit. Just ask Sanchez. He is a better QB than his numbers, because he has almost none of the advantages Wilson has. Grow Sanchez in Seattle’s system, and ends up looking competent, in my opinion. Perhaps not really good, but certainly not the disaster he is now. The fact that Tate, Baldwin, Lynch, Turbin, Rice and Miller are actually good football players makes all the difference.

    4 – offensive line performance, including an outstanding running attack. This is a QB’s best friend, and a capability that will help any QB look that much better.

    5 – killer defense. Stops the opponent. Shuts them out. Gives the offense great field position. For example, how did Seattle score their second TD? Off a turnover that gave them great field position. The better the defense, the better the QB is going to look, and the better his stats.

    6 – Pete Carroll’s culture. He brings a positive, performance-based culture to Seattle, one that supports everyone (including the coaches) to be their best. In some ways it’s simple: you’re given a chance, and if you have the character, the skill, the desire, and the ability, you get to play. If you sport a bad attitude, think you are entitled, don’t work hard enough, or lose your competitive edge, you don’t stick around. Think of the Al Davis Raiders, or the Jerry Jones Cowboys, or any disfunctional NFL organization (Philly, for instance). No matter how much you spend, or how good your players, if they are not supported in the right environment, they won’t produce as a team.

    I don’t think Wilson is all that much better than he was in week one. People forget that he was running for his life the entire game, as the offensive line gave him zero time. In that last drive, he went for something like 10/12, converting more than 2 3rd and 4th down plays. He threw multiple catchable balls in the endzone that would have won the game. And that was his first professional NFL game. As I have argued before, he played well against the Rams, even though he threw 3 picks and no TDs. Same for the niner game. Any given play, he looked decent enough, especially when you factor in the other game-circumstances.

    And this doesn’t even count his amazing performance and comeback against the Patriots, or his never-quit performance against the Packers.

    Sure, he has refined his game, eliminated some mistakes and poor behaviour, and I believe, as I always have, that he is a special talent and will thrive here in Seattle. But he’s not superman, and when the Jets succeeded in bringing signficant pressure, he was sacked and fumbled. PC said after the game he thought Wilson was trying to press too much, and that he should have been more willing to simply throw the ball away, or take the sack. But he ammended his thoughts after watching the tape, and said that Wilson was playing his game (this is my paraphrase) and that he simply got beat a couple of times. This isn’t a paraphrase from PC: “He [Wilson] really save our butt a couple of times when he scrambled around and made a play.”

    So yes, I think Wilson is special, but all the success he is credited with right now is credit that should go to the entire team: PC, offensive line, WR/RBs/TEs, Bevell, and perhaps most of all, to the defensive unit, the true most valuable unit of the 2012 Seahawks.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    You don’t think Wilson is much better now than 10 weeks ago? You don’t believe the play calling and plays that are available to run have anything to do with his improvement? You don’t feel a QBs impacts how an o line looks? Goodness. Of course this is a team game, and takes all to be successful. As for “everyone” that feels Wilson has “suddenly” gotten better, please don’t include me in that group. I’ve watched a rookie QB develop each week, in certain areas, but has been anything but sudden. I understand you wanting to give perspective to those that are crediting Wilson for Seattle’s success, to date.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    … but to mitigate Wilson’s improvement and contributions now, based on those like me, that are slowly coming around, is folly. That is, improved play at the most important position in team sports should not be trivialized, IMO.

  21. Hawksince77 says:


    Yes, I think Wilson is better than he was ten weeks ago, and I said so. But if you took his QB numbers (whatever ones you want to use, QB rating, QBR, whatever) and compared it to what it has been done in the past 4 or 5 games, you will find a massive improvement, and what I am asserting is that everyone who is slobbering over that massive improvement and putting it all on Wilson’s individual performance are greatly overstating their case.

    My comment was intended to alleviate some of the slobbering, or perhaps direct it at a broader target.

  22. Hawksince77 says:

    For example, everyone knows now how much better Wilson plays at home than on the road, and how he has the best home-field QB rating in the league.

    But when were those games played? The biggest losses and poorest QB performance were on the road, at St Louis, Arizona, and San Francisco (3 of Seattle’s 4 losses). Wilson also had a fine performance at home in week 2 against the Cowboys.

    And I do think the play-calling (particularly the read-option) has helped a lot. But I don’t see how Wilson’s performance helped an awful lot in the first half against the Jets, as the pass-protection was very poor, leaving Wilson very little time in the pocket. That was the worst, if memory serves, since the first game against the Cards.

    And every game has it’s quirks, and sometimes those help (like in Green Bay) and sometimes they hurt (like against the Rams and Niners). Nature of the game.

  23. Hawksince77 says:

    And finally, none of my comments are directed at anyone in particular, or at any attitude in particular, or how it may have changed over the course of the season.

    The intent was to provide a broader perspective, one that I haven’t heard anywhere else (and I am thinking here specifically of the national media). Something very special is going on here in Seattle, and it goes far beyond the QB position (although that always gets the most attention).

    For example, the ESPN pre-game show tonight focused entirely on Sanchez/Tebow debate. There’s a team going down the tubes, who just got whooped by an up and coming contender (the Seahawks) and it’s like they don’t even notice what is going on. Sure, they feature Wilson in the QB portion of the show, but nothing else.

    I know I should be used to this by now being a Seahawk fan (do you remember how the team was rated all year in 2005? And how the Panthers were the favorite to win the NFC championship game? No respect, all year, despite their overwhelming performance).

    Anyway, same thing this year. The team won’t get any respect until/unless they beat Chicago. Even if they beat Miami, it won’t be any different than beating Minnisota or the Jets. It’ll be how the Dolphins have a rookie QB, just like it was a terrible Ponder and Sanchez responsible for the beating their teams took at the hands of the Seahawks.

    Another example: an entire article on the NFC play-off race, with nary a mention of the Seahawks, just one game out of first place in the division with 6 more games to play:

  24. Hawksince77 says:

    BTW, this is my source for asserting that the Seahawks are one game back in the division:

  25. richardcranium says:

    Anyone have incite as to why Ray Edwards was released from ATL? I have not followed them closely enough this year.

  26. Ewalters7354 says:

    I agree with both you guys in reference to Wilson.He indeed has gotten better and as a result, so has the team imo.Looking at the numbers, he still hasn’t thrown a bunch, but has made better decisions, which in turn, is all this team needs.

    Some of those pressures have to be credited to Wilson though.The were a few times he would escape the pressure, then, he would reverse field and try and outrun the defense.That’s a habit he absolutely has to break.

  27. Hawksince77 says:

    One last comment for the night and I bet Ewalters is regretting calling on me to comment at all. :)

    1 – the Seahawks are getting better every week.

    2 – they have dominant wins over the Cowboys, the Panthers (the score was closer than the actual game), the Vikings, and the Jets.

    3 – Nobody has dominated the Seahawks. The worst beating they took was San Francisco on that short week. But even that game came down to the final possession.

    4 – Tom Brady, the Niner offensive line/Frank Gore, Matt Stafford and Adrian Peterson have had success against Seattle’s defense. Two of those four enough to translate into close losses for Seattle.

    5 – there’s not a team in the league that can beat Seattle 2 out of 3 games at Clink.

    6 – there’s not a team in the league that wants to play in Seattle against this year’s Seahawks. And any that do haven’t been paying attention.

    7 – Seattle could easily win out. The niners have been exposed, and can be beat at home. Chicago is vulnerable, and Seattle matches up well with them. Seattle is a better team than Miami, but will have to play that way to win that away game. None of these games are gimmies by a long shot. Any one of them could beat the Seahawks on any given day, but I think Seattle has the advantage. As PC pointed out today, the team has played very consistent.

    8 – I don’t think Atlanta is as good as their record. I think Green Bay is better than their record. Seattle doesn’t want to have to go to Green Bay at any point in the play-offs. The Giants are always stupid-scary in the play-offs, for some reason, but they look bad right now. Phili’s a mess, the Cowboy’s a mess. New Orleans is scary, but a good chance to miss the play-offs. If I had to guess, I’d say Seattle makes the play-offs one way or another, but has to go to Green Bay and get beat. That would be some kind of pay-back, karmic almost.

    9 – I just haven’t seen anything in this team that smells like regression. They get Carp and KJ back next week, and presumably Thurmond contributes at some point. Barring catestrophic injuries, or really flukey football, this team is going places, and nobody knows.

  28. bulldog80 says:

    77, I agree with every one of those final 9 points. Well said

  29. Hawksince77 says:


    You remind of one thing I have noticed in Wilson’s play that has made a difference: for the first time, he is making contested throws.

    In the past, I was under the impression that Wilson was unwilling to take chances due to PC’s mantra against turn-overs. But both TD passes yesterday were close things, and had to be perfectly thrown as both Tate and Rice were not really open.

    PC even mentioned it in his interview today, words I hadn’t heard before. PC said, “Tate wasn’t open,” and then went on to say that Wilson will continue to take those shots, that it is part of his make-up as a professional QB.

    I had heard Wilson say such things before, but never PC, so maybe that is something that has changed as well. Perhaps PC has encouraged Wilson to open up a bit, and take some chances, whereas earlier in the year he coached Wilson to play conservatively.

    If this is true, the difference is PC, not Wilson, as evidenced by Wilson’s play in pre-season, where he threw several contested balls, most of them successfully.

  30. Ewalters7354 says:

    77, lol I’m enjoying the read my man

  31. Dukeshire says:

    Too much there for me to get through tonight, so I’ll leave it at this: I’m not judging Wilson on his numbers. His stats have next to nothing to do with the improvement I’ve seen in him.

    And for the slobbering over Wilson, where were you 2 months ago? Lol.

  32. Ewalters7354 says:

    I also listened to that interview this morning and I agree with it all.I remember back in preseason, after the first game against the Titans, Wilson madeba comment say how if it’s one on one coverage, he’ll give his guys a chance.And that’s exactly ehat he does.He also throws his pass catchers open which I love.

    And I do agree that the credit has to go to Pete for not playing scared/safe.This team is now playing to win.Imo

  33. Ewalters7354 says:

    Please excuse the horrible typing.Sometimes these phones put what they want.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Hawksince77, just what are you trying to say?

  35. Hawksince77 says:

    Duke writes:

    “I’m not judging Wilson on his numbers. His stats have next to nothing to do with the improvement I’ve seen in him.”

    Good for you (I mean, cool). Most people just look at the statistics to make an argument. Here’s an example:

    Wilson throws behind his receiver and the defender jumps the route for a pick-six. Wilson gets blamed for the terrible throw and resulting score. (Panthers game).

    But Wilson makes exactly the same mistake and a throw to Lynch and has it bounce off his hip up into the air and Rice catches it for a first down. Wilson has made exactly the same mistake, but it goes down as a completion and a first down. (This was in his first game, I believe.)

    Wilson drops back and throws the ball to Miller crossing over the middle and again, throws it behind him. But the defender doesn’t jump the route, and Miller reaches back and catches the ball for a seven yard gain. Goes down as a completion.

    In all three cases, Wilson makes the same poor throw, with 3 different results, none of which he controls after the ball leaves his hand.

    All Wilson can do is what he does: pre-snap read, take the snap, execute the play. Once he throws the ball, it’s literally out of his hands.

    I have charted every Wilson play for 3 games this season, evaluating every drop-back, decision, and throw. In my opinion (one that I am not going to support with exact statistics) Wilson actually missed more throws yesterday than he did in several previous games. Out and out misses. Only 3 or 4, but it’s usually 1 or 2 out of 25 attempts or so.

    He missed badly on a couple to Rice. He is credited with under-throwing Rice on the flea-flicker (although after watching it I didn’t think it was egregiously under-thrown – simply gave the defender a chance to make a play).

    His sacks weren’t any better or worse than before. The Jets beat the offensive line, and sometimes got to Wilson. Sometimes he got away and made a play, like he’s been doing since week one.

    His two TD passes were things of beauty, but no more so than the pass dropped by Turbin in the Frisco game (a play that could easily have changed the outcome of that game).

    The TD pass to Miller required an amazing catch to count as a TD. That pass was far more difficult than 2 or 3 that were dropped in the Cards game.

    The point is, most people (excepting Duke) are comparing numbers and charting Wilson’s improvement based on them, when I think a lot more is involved. PC said at the time of those close losses, and Wilson did as well, how close they always were, and they were. It really helps when the proper blocks are made, and receivers actually catch the ball.

  36. Hawksince77 says:

    Duke wrote:

    “And for the slobbering over Wilson, where were you 2 months ago? Lol.”

    I appreciate the sentiment, and have respected and admired Wilson since before the draft, and have long supported/predicted his success with Seattle. Was that slobbering? I don’t think so. It was always based on verifiable and quantifiable facts and assessments by professionals.

    As Wilson has emerged in recent weeks with acknowledged success and broken records (first rookie ever to win first five home games, for instance; first rookie to throw 2 game winning passes in the final 2 minutes) I have been looking across the league at other QBs, and what makes them good, or what makes formally good QBs look really bad, and I have shared the results of that thinking in my comments above.

    I think Wilson is a good QB, has been a good QB, and has the potential to be really special. But even the best QB can’t win without the right professional environment, and that’s my major point. His performance is the tip of the Seahawk iceberg, the culimnation of many positive factors, no one of which is entirely responsible for Seattle’s increasing success.

    But the QB is a gauge, one that reflects a working or disfunctional system, so I suppose there’s that.

  37. Carpenter is just flat out nasty when healthy. He is the closest thing we’ve had towards replacing Hutch since Hutch sold his soul to Satan and left town. He is the brute that Moffitt just quite isn’t. I’m a little disappointed in Moffitt, because quite honestly, to this point I am a bigger fan of McQuistan. I don’t think many fans quite appreciate what McQuistan brings in terms of his experience and demeanor on the field. This is a guy that’s been in Cable’s system now for 6 years. He knows his part and he plays it to the best of his ability. He’s a nasty dude too in his own right, maybe not on the same level as Breno or Carp, but similar. He might be this team’s best cut-blocker.

  38. I think the only point being made here is that the pass catchers went from below average to average and Russell Wilson’s numbers have improved because of this. If the point is indeed the team around Wilson playing better has a greater impact on Wilson’s apparent improvement than Wilson’s own growth, I could go with that. But that makes the early season QB debates even more crazy.

    I would contend that if the pass catchers even played at an average level on the road, 3 of those INTs in St Louis wouldn’t have happened, they would have won that game, the Arizona game and probably even the SF 49ers game. In that case, Wilson’s numbers don’t show the big improvement over the last few games because they would already be starting at a high point.

    I still don’t think it’s clear that the pass catchers can continue their average play on the road (hopefully they can). If Tate is to continue as a starter, he has to be more consistent and deliver more than 1-2 big plays a game. He has to play as a polished NFL WR rather than solely relying on his tremendous athletic ability (he could be the most athletic Seahawks WR ever).

  39. Houston runs their zone blocking scheme so much better than Seattle does. Houston’s linemen literally move the d-line and linebackers in the direction they want them to go, and create the gap for the one-cut back to thrive off of. That kind of movement also sets up the bootleg play action passes to the opposite direction, and the counter runs, as the DL and LB’s read the zone push and stray that direction. During last night’s game, it seemed like the Jets were not where they were expected to be, but from what I saw, it was due to missed assignments creating gaps in the wrong places. In one case, I saw Okung block the end instead of the tackle on a run to the right side, leaving the tackle with a huge gap straight to Lynch. Okung was supposed to let the end go and take the next gap (DT or blitzing LB), as the DE would have a long way to run in order to tackle Lynch from behind. The zone scheme works, and Lynch has thrived since he figured out how to find the hole and take a single cut, attack through and then work his magic after contact. I guess it will just take a little more time for the offensive linemen to really figure it out to the point that they automatically know who they are supposed to cover. I have heard people call for Cable to be booted because the pass blocking is sometimes horrendous, but this needs to be a run first team with Lynch on the roster, and I think the zone blocking scheme best suits him.

  40. Dukeshire says:

    According to Cable it was due to the Jets defensive scheme, not missed assignments by the o linemen. Once that was communicated to Unger, who makes the protection calls at the line, they improved. If you notice later in the half and nearly all the second half, Seattle was far more effective. And considering how relatively inexperienced Seattle’s line is, to the rest of the league, and most definitely to the Texans, it’s no surprise they aren’t as consistent as Houston, yet.

  41. Hammajamma says:

    I’ve been away from this blog for a few weeks while overseas and because I wasn’t bored enough to sift through all the shouting. It’s good to see people back to commenting on football rather than each other. Good stuff here.

  42. Dukeshire says:

    Welcome back. It’s amazing how a couple wins cull the heard, so-to-speak, isn’t it?

  43. Hawksince7our posting7,please keep postiing. Your posts are very factual & so interesting. Everyone has a right to their opinion,but it`s refreshing to see Posts with substance.. Hawksince77 is what I meant,my typing sucks….

  44. rramstad says:

    Zone blocking requires discipline to move in space and let the defenders show up. The offensive line has to move like a picket fence, with consistent gaps, in the direction of the play.

    If the offensive line over thinks it, they can get situations where one player makes a point of stepping into a particular defensive player, and that can create a gap which other defenders can come through.

    When planning and studying against a particular defense, it’s important to note where the linebackers line up, how deep they are, and how they set relative to the tackles in terms of shading.

    If the linebackers are deeper, or more shallow, or more directly behind the tackles than expected, the timing of the offensive line in run blocking zone can be off, and as a result you can end up being your own worst enemy i.e. the more you press, the more you come apart, the more gaps you create, the easier it is for the defense, so you try harder, and things actually get worse.

    At that point you kind of have to go back to the well… just push down the field, stay within arms length of the man next to you, take any contact that comes, do not reach out to initiate contact (unless there’s a specific interior gap that’s being run), and things will likely improve, even though it feels like you aren’t necessarily blocking anyone, you are creating a wall of humanity that’s difficult for the defense to penetrate except around the edges.

    (Yes, this is over simplified, but you get the idea.)

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