Pete Carroll was as befuddled by his offensive line’s horrible performance against Tampa Bay as anyone, but he is viewing it as a one-off.
“I ain’t worried about it a bit,” he told 710 ESPN.”If it happens next week and the next week, then we’re in trouble.”
Carroll said Joey Hunt played well in place of Justin Britt (ankle) but Britt’s absence might have messed up Germain Ifedi, who also had a new right tackle next to him as Bradley Sowell replaced Garry Gilliam for performance reasons.
Aside from George Fant’s struggles against Noah Spence and Robert Ayers, the biggest issue was Ifedi missing stunts by the defensive line.
Carroll said Seattle knew the Bucs did a lot of stunting and the Hawks practiced for it. Yet they missed them from the beginning, as Gerald McCoy and company beat Ifedi and Sowell.
The Hawks gave up a sack on the second play as both Ifedi and Fant got beat. On third down, Ifedi missed a “game” by the D-line and Wilson was flushed from the pocket.
“We looked like we weren’t quite ready for it,” Carroll said. “We had trouble with their games. We had trouble with their edge rushes. It affected Russ. He started moving and ducking and dodging. It was just hard on him.”
Wilson completed just 17 of 33 passes for 152 yards and threw two interceptions — resulting in his worst passer rating (38.8) since his rookie season.
Carroll said Joey Hunt “did OK” filling in for Britt: “He made his calls. We were accurate with guys we were supposed to be blocking. He got on the second level really well a couple times. He was really athletic. He held up well.”
But Carroll agreed the personnel change probably hurt Ifedi.
“Justin is a big deal to us,” the coach said. “He’s done a great job in there, and all of a sudden he’s not there. That may have hurt Germain a little bit.”
As for replacing Gilliam, Carroll just said, “We wanted Brad to play. Wanted to see how he would do. And we left him in there.”
Carroll expressed regret over coaching strategy as well, saying he wished they would have kept running the ball.
“I wish we would have stayed with it and not got caught up in trying to solve the problems in the passing game,” he said.
One of the ongoing problems in the passing game has been the poor play of Jermaine Kearse, who has dropped passes and committed penalties (an illegal pick in Tampa) while still having his usual trouble getting open.
Carroll didn’t have much to say about that, other than saying the receivers need to run better routes and “we just have to get cleaner with some stuff” fundamentally.
As for the running game, Carroll said Thomas Rawls was not able to “max out his opportunities” because he barely practiced last week after getting “beat up” in his first week back from a broken leg.
Carroll pointed out that Rawls couldn’t keep his feet under him early in the game and also ruined a big gain on a zone read when he held on to the ball as Wilson was trying to keep it on the fake.
Carroll said he expects Rawls to be able to practice more this week and find his rhythm more quickly on Sunday night vs. Carolina.