Third downs get such a bum rap.
One of these days, we hope, Pete Carroll and his coaches will realize third-down success starts on first down. They never seem to get that, constantly droning on after losses about how third downs ruined their offense.
It was more of the same after the 24-22 playoff loss to Dallas, with Carroll telling anyone who would listen that their failure on 11 of 13 third downs was what did them in — as opposed to any play-calling mistakes on the preceding downs.
Brian Schottenheimer continued the refrain Thursday, telling 710 ESPN: “The biggest issue that we had — and it was kind of the issue for us throughout the course of the year when we struggled – was third down. We weren’t able to convert on third downs. We weren’t able to get momentum going. We’re kind of an offense, because we run the ball and we throw the deep play passes, that when you’re struggling on third down it kind of hurts your ability to get started.”
It’s true the Hawks put themselves in big holes on third down; they averaged third-and-8 and went three-and-out six times in 12 possessions.
But how do you get into trouble on third down? How do you get into a spot that is too challenging to overcome? By messing up on first and second downs. And the Seattle offense finished the season just as poorly as it started it.
Continue reading Coaches talk third-down failure, but it starts on first two downs
“The Seahawks are going to be a running team as long as Pete Carroll is the coach. If you can’t handle that then you probably should pick another team to root for.” — Bob Condotta on Twitter
Condotta is right: Pete Carroll is not going to change his philosophy — or his offensive coordinator. Nor should he.
Unlike some fans, we have no issue with Carroll’s overall tactic of controlling the game with the run and great defense. This is the same philosophy that took the Seahawks to two Super Bowls, and Carroll is very confident it will take them back.
But he will evaluate how the first year with Brian Schottenheimer went, and they hopefully will improve their in-game adjustments so they can avoid the kind of unnecessary playoff loss they just experienced in Dallas.
As Carroll said, “We have to adjust a little bit quicker.”
Continue reading Carroll’s Hawks will run, but they ‘have to adjust a little bit quicker’
“It feels like we are just getting started.” — Pete Carroll
Consider the Seahawks’ next Super Bowl window officially open.
A day after Pete Carroll led the Hawks to the playoffs for the seventh time in his nine seasons, he signed an extension keeping him in Seattle for three more years.
It does indeed feel like the Seahawks are just getting started — both this year and beyond.
Continue reading With Carroll re-signed, playoff-bound Hawks ‘just getting started’
We’re two preseason games into Seattle’s new offensive era, and the reviews on Brian Schottenheimer and Mike Solari have been pretty glowing so far.
Last week, Pete Carroll reiterated that one of his concerns about the old offense was that coaches were starting to “jam our players into the system” rather than play to their strengths.
The obvious example there is Jimmy Graham, who was forced to become a blocker and was not used downfield as well as he should have been. But Carroll also meant the offensive linemen. As he said in May, “We needed to shift gears a bit to match up with the guys we have here.”
Well, after two preseason games, they seem to be making progress.
Continue reading Offense developing consistency, creativity
Are we entering the final four years of the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era? Or just the next four?
The recent death of Seahawks legend Chuck Knox brings to mind the future of Carroll, coming shortly after Wilson’s destiny was a hot topic in the wake of another record-setting QB deal.
Seattle’s coach and QB are signed for two more years, and the pessimist’s view says Carroll’s age and Wilson’s price could mean both are gone by 2022. But the Positive Petes out there would point out that Carroll is spry enough to coach 10 more years and Wilson has said he wants to play in Seattle for 20.
Either way, four looks like the magic number right now.
Continue reading How much longer will Carroll/Wilson era last?
A few days ago, when talking about his goal to revive Seattle’s running game this year, Pete Carroll made a reference to another legendary Seahawk coach when he said, “It isn’t like three yards and a cloud of dust. It ain’t Ground Chuck.”
As it turned out, it was a timely reference to Chuck Knox, who died today at age 86. Knox was an old-school football man who used the running game to become the first coach to lead the Seahawks to the playoffs.
Knox immediately turned the Hawks into contenders when he arrived in 1983, took them to the playoffs four times in nine seasons and ranks second in wins (80) behind Mike Holmgren (86) and just ahead of Carroll (79). Knox, who also coached the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams, ranks 10th in wins (186) among coaches in NFL history.
Continue reading Remembering Chuck Knox
By the time Seattle’s prospective new NHL team likely plays its first game in 2020, Pete Carroll should be a month into his third contract with the Seahawks.
Carroll, 66, has just two years left on his current deal, but it’s obvious he plans to coach beyond that. He reportedly told Paul Allen after the season that he is “all in” on flipping the Seahawks’ direction back toward the Super Bowl.
He wouldn’t have completely revamped the top of his coaching staff if he thought he was going to retire after the 2019 season. He wouldn’t have hired Brian Schottenheimer, Mike Solari and Ken Norton Jr. with the promise of only two years — “Hey, guys, come up to Seattle for a cup of coffee before you get kicked to the curb when I retire in 2020.”
No way. He knows he wants to keep going, and that’s why he switched up his staff. He needed new blood to keep his own boiling.
Continue reading ‘Energized’ by new staff, Carroll has more than two years left
Pete Carroll’s goal since he arrived in Seattle has been to “do it better than it’s ever been done.”
Sorry, Pete, but there’s only one team that has done that, and it’s headed to the Super Bowl again.
So Carroll and the Seahawks will have to content themselves with trying to do it better than anyone but the New England Patriots.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady continue to prove they are the best coach-QB combo ever, now on to their eighth Super Bowl together and a cinch for Team of the 2010s as they go for their third win in four appearances this decade and sixth win overall. That’s doing it better than it has ever been done.
Continue reading Adjusted goal for Carroll: Do it better than anyone but Pats
After a steady three-year slide that ended with Seattle out of the playoffs this season, Pete Carroll apparently is ready to re-forge control of his team and re-establish his principles.
Carroll recently said he plans to make his team more disciplined while rejuvenating a once-strong running game that is the identity of the offense.
To do that, he needed some new voices in his coaching staff. So he reportedly is bringing in some familiar enforcers who will command players’ attention and be loyal to Carroll’s approach to winning.
Continue reading Familiar enforcers will drive Carroll’s club
“People talking about retirement. I ain’t old enough to think about retiring.” — Pete Carroll
On the last game day of the season, Jay Glazer reported Pete Carroll was contemplating retirement. Carroll quickly shot down that report with the above quote, but it turns out there was a little more to it.
A week before the season ended, Paul Allen apparently asked Carroll what he was thinking, and Carroll assured his boss he was “all in” on building the Seahawks back up.
According to Davis Hsu, the sneakily sourced Seahawks Twitter champion, Allen was worried Carroll would retire and was ready to go “big game hunting” to replace him. If Carroll had said he was going to retire, Allen apparently would have gone after Jon Gruden, Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban.
Also, if Carroll had retired, John Schneider would have left for Green Bay, per Hsu. But Carroll wanted Schneider to stay with him, so Allen formally blocked the Packers from talking to Schneider.
Carroll, 66, is signed through 2019, and it’s possible he decides to retire after that. With the big coaching shakeup he has performed this week, he is either trying to finish strong or build up another five-year playoff run.