Seahawks Insider

Pete Carroll’s tepid summation of Seahawks’ preseason opener fits the result

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Aug. 8, 2014 at 12:24 am with 31 Comments »
August 8, 2014 12:42 pm

Pete Carroll gave an apt postgame summation of the Seahawks’ first exhibition game as Super Bowl champions, lost 21-16 at Denver while playing without three starters on the offensive line — and with quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson and Terrelle Pryor running for their personal well-being far too often.

“We’re just surviving. We’re really surviving right now,” Carroll said of an offensive line that was without center Max Unger because he has a new groin injury, guard James Carpenter because he just got back from a calf injury and left tackle Russell Okung because he returned only Monday from toe surgery.

“We have guys on the second team that have been hereabout three or four days. We are just not very sharp right now, and unfortunately it showed. 

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon (27) punches Denver Broncos tight end Gerell Robinson (89), earning one of Seattle's three personal fouls plus an ejection Thursday in the Seahawks' preseason opener at Denver (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon (27) punches Denver Broncos tight end Gerell Robinson (89), earning one of Seattle’s three personal fouls plus an ejection Thursday in the Seahawks’ preseason opener at Denver (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

“But we survived it, got through it.”

And they still had a prime chance to win and extend their string of consecutive preseason victories to 10.

Pryor made numerous plays that weren’t really there, escaping charging Broncos and running and throwing for first downs. He would have thrown for the go-ahead score on a called screen pass to Demitrious Bronson on second and goal from the 3 with 2:54 left. Pryor’s deft, flick throw while under heavy pressure into the right flat was a tad high, but was one Bronson should have caught.

“If he catches that, game over,” Pryor said, before taking responsibility as a quarterback should with, “but I should have thrown it better.”

On the next play, Pryor again darted away from pressure then threw from near the Seahawks’ sideline to the goal line for Ricardo Lockette. Three Broncos were surrounding Lockette, and the ball got tipped into the arms of linebacker Steven Johnson for the interception that essentially ended the game.

“Trying to make a play,” Pryor said, “but I have to be better.”

Carroll liked what he saw out of Pryor, who finished 9 for 16 for a game-high 137 yards passing. The former Ohio State star and Oakland Raiders starter for three seasons into 2013 also ran seven times, not by design but out of frantic necessity, for a team-high 28 yards.

“It was fun to see Terrelle Pryor for the first time,” Carroll said. “He was, obviously, all over the field, trying to create when we had troubles up front and he was compensating for that.

“We had a great drive to win the football game, Unfortunately we didn’t finish it the way we wanted to.”

Others who stood out in Carroll’s mind in the moments after this game:

–“Cassius Marsh caught my eye. He did a nice job,” the coach said of the rookie fourth-round draft choice from UCLA, who had four tackles and Seattle’s only sack.

–“I thought Tarvaris did a nice job playing,” Carroll said of Jackson, who was 5 for 6 on the final drive of the first half, which ended with the first of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals and a 10-7 lead for the Seahawks.

–“”Paul Richardson did a real nice great job for us. First time out, I love to see that,” Carroll said.

The second-round pick from Colorado had four catches on the five balls thrown to him, for 37 yards. But Richardson told me in the locker room that he has to clean up many assignment errors he made. The wide receiver said he wasn’t hearing the entire play calls, and thus missed blocking assignments outside on running plays. The facts Carroll praised his play and Richardson criticized the finer points of it is a good sign that Richardson is thinking the way coaches want rookies to in order to continually improve.

“Paul Richardson, he’s going to be special, I believe,” Pryor said.

Carroll bemoaned the 13 penalties the Seahawks committed, for 131 yards. Some were particularly damaging to the Seahawks’ mantra of winning everything, even practice games such as these. Here’s how Seattle allowed Peyton Manning and the Broncos to drive 61 yards in 14 plays for the exhbition’s first touchdown: Defensive end Michael Bennett jumped offsides turned a third and 9 into a easier third and 4 that Manning easily converted; then the Broncos were about to be called for holding that would have made it second and 11, but Bennett was called for slapping his hand to the head of an opposing lineman for offsetting fouls and a re-do; and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel jumped offsides to give Denver another first down by penalty on that same drive.

Seattle also had three personal fouls, including one on 2013 draft choice Tharold Simon for slapping the facemask of Denver’s Gerell Robinson after Denver’s third-quarter touchdown. Simon got thrown out of the game for that, a glaring negative to what had been a standout training camp for the cornerback who missed all last year with foot injuries.

“Really sloppy football game. When you have 25 penalties in a game it’s going to be kind of messy,” Carroll said. “I think that kind of shrouded the game a little bit, for both teams.”

Carroll didn’t cite NFL officials’ new emphasis on rules such as hands to the face and pass interference as the reason for Flag Night.

“One hands to face, which is a new emphasis. I just think it was, on our end of it, sloppy play,” Carroll said.

Of the three personal fouls the coach said: “It’s bad football. It’s bad football when we are doing that. … We’ve just got to get stuffed cleaned up.”

Overall Carroll gave this rather tepid assessment of the starters on offense and defense, who played about 20 plays and to a 7-7 draw with Denver into the second quarter: “I thought the ones did OK.”

It befit a rather tepid preseason debut.



Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. Pryor should have been given another chance to win the game. He was hit in the head on that last pass. With all the penalties called – I don’t see how they missed that one..

  2. seahawk44 says:

    I was not impressed by Britt. Especially when Schilling was next to him. Still lots to learn for thr rookie.

  3. chuck_easton says:

    My personal view of the game:

    1. o-line oye vey! But 1 starter and that starter was Sweezy.
    2. Looks like Seattle will be keeping 3 QB’s.
    3. Coyle looks like he’s done just about everything he can to make the team.
    4. The D was all vanilla. LB’s with the exception of Coyle ran themselves out of too many plays leading to big gains on the ground.
    5. Simon is a bonehead. He’d better get that in check before the season.
    7. A.J. looked good at CB in coverage and on his Int.
    9. Plenty of work to do with the rest of camp.

  4. DFloydd says:

    First preseason game. No worries. A ton to work on for all three phases but they’ll get there. I do have to agree with the OL concerns. But let’s see the actual entire starting line up before judging too much.

  5. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Pryor is a keeper imo. So is Coyle.

    Britt is a rookie o-lineman. Very little chance of any rookie o-lineman playing well in their first few games. Especially their first game.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    I agree with Chuck’s list and would add the Britt has a *long* way to go. Very slow to react off the snap.

  7. joeradio says:

    When the game was interrupted, I kind of lost a little interest. All in all, we didn’t show them too much which was good. I really don’t know what the hell the schedule makers were thinking having us ‘scrimmage’ against 3 of our regular season opponents in the preseason. Frustrating.

    We had a ton of guys out. I’m not worried about this game although it would’ve been nice to have a 10 game winning streak.


  8. RDPoulsbo says:

    Yeah, I was expecting some sloppy play, especially with so many starters completely out. They really did get down to the very bottom of the depth charts last night. Now there’s a baseline to expect improvement.

    The work as a unit will come, especially when the starters are healthy. This was a game of individual evaluation. Coyle, Jefferson, Bates and Pryor stood out three most. Ware showed why he made the team last year. Simon, well, he was a guy I hoped would make some noise. The noise he did make might lead to him being cut. Completely immature and there’s no place on this team for that crap.

  9. sluggo42 says:

    We see how much Ryan clady made a difference for the broncos line, they were pretty solid. I liked Marsh against the 3rd team, not sure how well he’ll fare against the 1’s, but he seemed to get a lot of penetration, and should have had his second sack when OS slipped out for that huge gainer on their go ahead drive..

    Baldwin is great, Richardson caught the ball smoothly, he is a keeper.

    The kid LB Coyle looks pretty darn good too. Turbin looked slow, michael looks NFL fast.

    I’m not even gunna start on the OLine, I’ll defer to Slave for that, and merely say +1 to whatever he says… I guess to wrap it all up I could simply say, what a mess. Starters or not, there is nothing working there at all. Thank goodness we have quick nimble QB’s..Winston was abused by their rookie time and time again, ’twas ugly.

    The chick on NFL am is smoking….

    Pryor vs TJ… Hmmm. I don’t know if TJ can’t move, or just chose not to, or did Pryor bail too quickly , and not hang in to let a pocket form? Hahahaha, a pocket form…. Whee, good one!
    How can our line suck so bad? I know it’s early, and the starters are all gimpy, but why does every other team have a better line if Cable is so damned smart? It’s brutal, and anything other than our nimble QB’s would be dead this morning… Just sayin…

  10. jchawks08 says:

    It’s hard to take a real assessment of the 1st preseason game, but a few players that stood out to me were Marsh, Jefferson, Coyle, and Richardson. Jefferson made I think 3 stellar plays in a row. Hope the ankle thing turns out to be nothing. Never good when they need a cart to take them back to the locker room.
    It’s a shame they had so many starters out. Takes away a lot of excitement. IMO, of course.
    The big runs against our 2nd and 3rd stringers were somewhat alarming. Sure, some were called back for holding, but there were still several that stood.
    Again, I don’t get too worked up about these things in the 1st preseason game, but it’s all we have to go on at this point!
    Moving on to game #2.
    Go Hawks!

  11. chuck_easton says:


    Not too worried about the big runs against the D.

    Quinn’s defensive scheme requires every player to be assignment correct and cover their particular gap.

    Too many times I saw Heath Farwell go to the wrong gap while the ball carrier went right through the hole where Farwell should have been.

    The outside LB’s (Jeffcoat in particular) took bad angles and tried to crash the inside which allowed for several big gains to the outside. This D scheme requires the Outside LB’s to contain, seal off the outside, and push the RB back into the big butt boys in the middle.

    I don’t see that being an issue when KJ, Smith/Irvin, and Wags are in there.

    And as I said earlier. That was probably the most VANILLA D I have seen the Seahawks run since the Holmgren era. No stunts, no blitzes, straight ahead bull rushes. Seattle’s front 7 was so dominant last season because of all the movement.

    In the secondary, I was disappointed with Maxwell and Lane. They allowed too many easy receptions right in front of them. Again, probably due to no defensive game plan, but Maxwell better step it up and get back to his level of play he showed at the end of last season.

    The only reserve DB’s that looked solid were Jefferson and Johnson.

  12. chuck_easton says:


    It all starts and ends with the o-line play. I’ll throw BobbyK and STTBM a bone here and suggest it was a conspiracy to have the o-line look SOOOOO bad last night that Carp, Sweezy, Unger, Okung, and Winston/Britt will look All Pro in comparison.

    I know there is a lot of love for Sweezy on here. He’s decent. But last night showed he NEEDS to have two solid o-linemen on either side of him. Without Unger at center and Breno at RT Sweezy looked lost. This was his chance, as the only starter out there, to look good in comparison to the guys around him. He looked just as lost as the other four.

    Michael showed why he’s so frustrating to the coaches. He’s fast, he hits the hole without hesitation, but he is still clueless on blocking. That one play where he crossed in front of the QB and went at the D player’s knees while an o-lineman was engaged was pure Pee Wee. He still looks like a kid that doesn’t have a clue what to do if the ball isn’t in his hands.

    Percy looked pedestrian but not a concern. Miller looked good, but he should have caught that 3rd down throw even if it was high.

    Wilson looked just like last year. His first series he just doesn’t seem ‘right’. His throws are off target, he isn’t getting the ball out quick enough. His second series he calmed down. Nothing new, nothing to see here. Nothing to worry about.

    Baldwin is going to make us forget about Tate. Dude was fearless on that slant catch.

    Turbin still looks slow. I just don’t understand it. He just looks like he’s running in sand all the time.

    Coleman is the starting FB. What little we saw of Smalls he didn’t impress.

    Ware may very well make the team as the 5th RB.

    You can sign Richardson’s name on the final 53 right now, and in ink.

    Walter stood out to me more than Bates.

    Lockette…meh…but I am not looking for him to impress.

    All in all a very bland performance by the offense. They need to get it out of 1st gear before September.

  13. GeorgiaHawk says:


    Thomas is arguably one of the best WRs in the NFL.

    We couldn’t stop him in the Super Bowl & we couldn’t stop him now.

    No one can stop that stud.

  14. jchawks08 says:

    Have to agree with Georgia and his Thomas analysis.
    We’re going to see Maxwell continue to get picked on. Peyton didn’t even think about throwing to his right, or, Big Sherm’s side.
    Apparently Duke hates Brock, but I thought Brock was spot-on in his analysis of Maxwell’s play. It’s the scheme. Playing soft zone. I mean what was Peyton’s YPA? About 5 again?

  15. GeorgiaHawk says:

    There are a handful of great WRs out their (with size) that no DB can stop.
    Thomas is one of them.

    Brandon Marshall (wish we could have picked him up) is another.

    Just go back & re-watch our game with the Bears two seasons ago. Marshall put on a clinic against the LOB.
    Especially on Sherman & Browner.

  16. I know everyone expects me to rant about the offensive line, but I wont, and here’s why: 1) I only got to see a few plays of the game. The rest was info gleaned from live chat and play-by-play internet updates. 2) We had ONE starter play on the line. ONE. 3) Its the first preseason game, and Seattle is ALWAYS bad on offense and terribly sloppy the first game.

    Im going to rant about Carrol and Cable. The problem I have is with having RW in there AT ALL after his first hit, with Schilling and Britt in at RG and RT, and Bailey at LT going against Ware. There is no way in hell he should EVER have been in there like some Guinea Pig Bait for sharks. Thats flat stupid of Carrol and Cable, and you can write that down and frame it. I will own that comment. Had he been hurt, they both would have been SHREDDED in the media and by fans, and rightly so.

    On 23 plays, he was hit 4 times. If they threw about half the time, thats 4 hits and 2 sacks out of 11 or 12 passing plays. Thats flat BEGGING to get your qb killed.

    Having Sweezy and Winston stay in as long as RW would have been the No Duh thing to do. Or at least pull RW if those guys came out. Abolutely and unnecessary risk. Mind boggling.

    I still have just as much faith in our starting O-line to improve from last year as I did before the game. If Okung and Unger are healthy, and Sweezy improves, I fully expect Carpenter to play well, and Winston to solidify the RT position while Britt does mop-up duty and learns the right way–on the bench.

    We’re going to have a fine run blocking line, with average pass pro. And that will be a huge improvement over last year. But Okung and Unger and Carp cant get back fast enough…RW’s professional football life utterly depends on it, obviously.

  17. chuck_easton says:

    Or wait until the 3rd pre-season game when Chicago comes to town to see how the starters handle Marshall? It’s the 3rd pre-season game where the starters play the most minutes.

  18. Georgia–From what I heard, Coyle and Pryor made a good case to make the team, so I agree.

    And I agree Thomas is a stud WR. But your fav Maxwell (whom I also really like) is a bit light in the pants for a true LOB corner, and if he cant do better vs a big fast guy like Thomas, other teams will do exactly what Denver did and beat us that way.

    I think Chancellor and Wags being out, not to mention Smith, hurt us and had a lot to do with our pass D struggling, and the run D too. But Maxwell is not playing up to par, perhaps he showed up a little complacent? Consider this a wakeup call for the dude…Always Compete definitely applies to the Secondary.

  19. Chuck–hopefully by game 3 of preseason our starting line is intact, and Lynch plays some. Then we will have a better inkling of where our offense is at. Unless and until that happens, we wont know diddly…

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Marshall has a pretty good side kick to cover too.

    Best WR combo by far in the NFL imo.

    Should be a great match up for the LOB.

    Can’t wait for that game.

  21. wazzulander says:

    I think it’s a reach to bash Cable for playing RW. You can probably just leave that one on Carroll.

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:


    I totally agree with your rant about leaving Wilson in there behind a patch work line.

    Denver was playing harder (collectively) in this pre-season game then they played in the Super Bowl imo.

    They looked like they were out for blood to prove their toughness.
    Wilson didn’t really need to be playing under those circumstances imo.

  23. PugetHawk says:

    The offensive line play was offensive…so was the Broncos field conditions. I do not like seeing Wilson take shots like that in pre-season. If you don’t have starters to use on the line, then play Pryor or T-Jack.

  24. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I don’t think Browner would have fared much better against Thomas but I could be wrong, however Thurmond? Forget it.

    Now Jefferson made some impressive plays yesterday but I don’t think he covered Thomas. However I could be there too.

  25. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Agreed, didn’t know Cable was in charge of when Wilson plays or doesn’t.
    His title is assistant head coach. There is one guy ahead of him.
    Head coach Carroll seems to have a strong voice in team decisions.
    From an outsider of course.

  26. GeorgiaHawk says:
  27. emperorzook says:

    Wouldn’t you all like to be flies on the walls for the team and position groups film session

  28. I agree, PC is ultimately responsible for playing RW with backups on the line. However, there’s no way he made that decision in a vacuum, without getting assurances from Cable that there was any point in having him in with Britt and Lem and Schilling and Bailey and Hauptmann to “block” for him. Cable had to have argued for having him in there, and as usual thought he could coach up guys who obviously arent ready for primetime.

    And of course, I too am an outsider. But I cant believe PC made that decision and Cable argued against it. They both screwed up, IMO.

    emperorzook–No kidding! I would bet there were some grumpy words from PC directed at Cable after RW got hit for the umpteenth time.

    So, if RW passed 11 or 12 times out of 23 plays, and was sacked 2 times and hit 4 (not sure if those stats mean 4 total hits or 6), he was hit every third dropback, or worse. Thats 33% to 50% of the time. Sheesh.

    In a normal game, had he played the whole game, that would work out to between 8 and 16 hits per game. No qb can survive that. Food for thought….

  29. And no conspiracy–I think Cable just has too much faith in his low-talent backups and his own teaching ability. I also think he wanted to see if Britt, Bailey, and Schilling could handle the real deal. Well, its safe to say Not Yet. I just think it was asinine to risk RW while finding that out…

  30. bshane54 says:

    So a few things from my standpoint that haven’t been noted in this article.

    1. Spencer Ware – time to go. He makes bad reads when he has the ball and runs he isn’t running hard. Let him go.
    2. Michael looked amazing. He slashes and runs hard – not comparing him really but he is a little reminiscent of AP. I think if he gets the ball enough times we will see some serious break aways. Tons of Potential there.
    3. Too many penalties. The refs seemed to be calling a few things that they could have let go – a couple of calls against denver stand out.
    4. Paul Richardson is the real deal. He will be one of the best on the team. Imagine him lined up on the opposite side of the field from harvin.. who do you cover? Harvin of course.. but that leaves richards on wide open. I can also see a triple option where Harvin ends around, Wilson makes the read on whether the defense bites, and either passes it or hands it to harvin. That’s a dangerous play for opposing defenses.
    5. Pryor looked really good – If you watched when he actually had protection he was money. It’s without protection that he muffs up a little bit, but so do most qb’s.
    6. Coyle. WOW. Undrafted diamond in the rough. All I can say on him.

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