BY Art Thiel 08:52PM 09/21/2015

Thiel: Carroll talking Seahawks fans off 0-2 ledge

After a bad start, naturally, coach Pete Carroll sees no reason to panic: “Sometimes it has to get way hard before it gets really good.”

Earl Thomas draws a bead on Packers backiup RB James Starks Sunday night at Lambeau Field. / Jonathan Nesvig, Sportspress Northwest

As with a high tide on a low beach, panic begins to creep into an NFL fan base at 0-2. For the 12s whose feet are a little damp, Pete Carroll offered up a message Monday.

“Sometimes it has to get way hard before it gets really good,” he told reporters, explaining once again less than 24 hours after the loss in Green Bay that the decision on whether the NFL world in 2015 is made of cheese has not been made.

Even though there was, from a distance, little surprise in the 27-17 loss at Lambeau Field, given the bruising the Packers took in three consecutive previous trips to Seattle, an 0-2 start is a startler to newbie fans unused to life in the NFL streets instead of the penthouse.

Discomfort is not without reason.

Since 1990, the first year in which six teams from each conference qualified for the postseason, 14 percent of teams starting 0-2 went on to make the playoffs, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Then again, the Seahawks beat some tall odds in 2010 in getting to the playoffs at 7-9, then clocking defending Super Bowl champ New Orleans. They also have pulled off 15 triumphs from fourth-quarter and overtime deficits, and last season danced on the heads of doomsayers who said the Seahawks were done at 3-3.

Carroll is familiar with this terrain.

“To play at the level we’ve played at for the last three years,” he said, “we’ve done lot of things really well. You have to, because you’re challenged at every turn. There’s a lot of fine-tuning to get that done. It’s very challenging. We’re in the fine-tuning of it.

“Not getting started well doesn’t mean we’re not going to finish well.”

Finishing well starts with the Chicago Bear at 1:25 p.m. Sunday at the Clink, the home opener for numerous first-time Seahawks who will enjoy for the first time what Bette Midler may have referenced when she sang about the wind beneath her wings.

Not surprisingly, much of finishing well begins with Russell Wilson, who in the second half Sunday appeared to remember that the thing that sets him apart from other NFL QBs is running run fast, hard and often.

Because every defense is taking cues from the Rams and Packers in piling up scrap iron and heavy furniture in front of RB Marshawn Lynch.

“People are loading up,” Carroll said of the pursuers of Lynch, who had 41 yards on 15 carries behind an offensive line still learning how to block the run as a group. “What’s necessary was Russell needing to get going too, which he did in the second half. It’s all mixed together, all a part of the threat. It was much more a priority that Russell rushed for (78) yards.

“Makes it harder to zero in on Marshawn.”

Wilson had 10 carries, some scrambles, some read-option keepers and a couple of naked bootlegs, all necessary to do what Seattle needs. A year ago he set a career high in yards (849) and attempts (118), and his 7.2 yards per carry average led the NFL. But for the 2015 season’s first six quarters of the season, he seemed to run out of necessity, not opportunity.

Carroll said the change was ordered.

“We went into the game,” he said, “knowing he would do that.”

The Seahawks also discovered in the first half that their cobbled-together offensive line could also do some pass protection.

“Much improved,” he said. “We had a real improved pocket in the second half last week too.”

Run blocking was another story. In his second career start, C Drew Nowak was man-handled by Packers B.J. Raji, a week after being blasted by the Rams DT, Aaron  Donald.

“It’s been very demanding,” Carroll said of Nowak. Of the run blocking, he said. “It’s just growing. We have s very young group. (Lambeau) was a great setting for us to survive, make it through, with the crowd. We’ll just get better because of it. It will be nice to execute at home.”

As far as 0-2, Carroll said he wasn’t leaning on the 3-3 start a year ago as much as the cumulative weight of previous trials.

“It’s not necessarily about last year,” he said. “It’s just that there’s always stuff you go through and you have to find yourself, find a way. I like the (opponents) to learn that, but sometimes you got to learn it yourself.

“I know you like to see everyone roll perfectly through this thing, but it’s not like that. We were 3-3 last year; everybody’s wondering, ‘What’s going on?’ And we hadn’t found our stride yet. Here we are at (two losses). We’ll see what happens.”

Starting Sunday. Come in from the ledge, 12s, and bring the vodka bottle with you. The season now gets compelling, because the Seahawks are doing it the hard way.



  • 1coolguy

    IMHO since pass blocking is easier for an O-line to learn and jell, I suggest coming out passing in order to then loosen up the run game.
    We just saw what focusing on the run game for an entire first half gets us!
    Maybe after 6-8 games after the run blocking jells we can move toward the run game, but it isn’t there yet and I am surprised with the play calling for this reason.

    • Joe_Fan

      How about targeting Graham in the first quarter and get him and Russell going?

      • art thiel

        Carroll said he was targeted in four of the first five pass plays Sunday. Didn’t get him the ball, for reasons he declined to explain.

    • art thiel

      Typically run blocking is easier than pass protection. Not so far for these guys. Teams are overloading to stop Lynch, and Wilson has yet to make them pay a steep price. I suspect you will see that Sunday.

  • MacPhisto92

    The Seahawks have to be the worst 1st half team in the entire NFL (and have been for the past 3 years).. Seems like the only time their offense gets going is when they’re tied or behind late in the 2nd half and go no huddle. When was the last time Seattle held a big lead at halftime?? They rely on late game heroics every week, but you can’t keep expecting that to happen. The other big problem, is the fact that even when they do take a late lead, the defense can’t hold it. Forget the Super Bowl, this team will be lucky to make the playoffs.

    • art thiel

      Carroll has always deployed his playbook to draw defenses one way early, then go the other way late. Doesn’t always work, but they’ve also scored big early.

      And making the playoffs is a feat for NFL team. Carroll’s teams have always been better in January than September.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Not to mention despite their flaws in 2013 and 2014 they still won their division and finished 13~3 and 12~4. We get well vs Chicago and take it one game at a time shall we?

  • Joe_Fan

    We’ll get it turned around starting this Sunday.

    • Rosemary Snow

      my associate’s stride close aunty makes $98 an hour on the portable workstation……….Afterg an average of 19952 Dollars monthly,I’m finally getting 97 Dollars an hour,just working 4-5 hours daily online.….. Weekly paycheck… Bonus opportunities…earn upto $16k to $19k /a month… Just few hours of your free time, any kind of computer, elementary understanding of web and stable connection is what is required…….HERE I STARTED…look over here
      ➤➤➤➤ http://GoogleBestTimeOnlineJobsNetworkOnlineCenters/$98hourlywork…. ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

    • art thiel

      Against backup QB Jimmy Clausen, you’re not too far out on the limb.

    • MrPrimeMinister

      Sounds strange, and too early in the season, but this week, this is a MUST-WIN game. So yeah, there is a little bit of pressure here. If they don’t win, the season is over.

  • Talkjoc

    Can we trade JG back to the Saints for MU, since were NOT using JG. EVERY OTHER TEAM that has a stud receiver goes back time and time again to that receiver. Bevell insists on running to set up the run. Maybe it should like the second half like 1coolguy suggested. On a different note, tough watching two of our former lineman STARTING for the NY Jets. Spend some $ on the O-line. Some of Chancellor’s salary after we trade him for a lineman. Rant over. Peace out.

    • art thiel

      Graham caught 5 balls and a TD in the first game. So sure, let’s undo the trade after one invisible game.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        It is okay to miss Max and his absence is felt but so far they have not
        used Graham to the Max…Green Bay Double teamed Jimmy on obvious
        passing downs and essentially neutralized him.They also Thwarted Tyler
        Lockett and in running formations jammed Beast often at the line knowing
        #88 was being wasted doing his substandard “blocking thing” a total
        waste of 8~10million dollars in theory for Micheal Bennett’s “favorite”
        What to do?Time for the defense to “Get Well” against Chicago
        and hope the Play calling becomes more creative for our host of
        receivers.Home Sweet Home could do wonders.
        Go Hawks!

        • Wanda Moore

          $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ I’m finally getting 100 Dollars an hour,just working 4-5 hours daily online.
          my Aunty Arianna just got Subar.u from only workin part time on a home pc and $29364 lncom/30days. Look At This………….du…………➤➤➤➤ http://GoogleHomeJobsNetworkOnlineCenters/Earn$100hour….
          ✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐✐ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • MrPrimeMinister

    Meanwhile pagano is having the proverbial conniption fit about his team being 0-2. Coaches obviously have different ways of responding to difficulties, but not sure I buy the laid back “everything is going to be fine” shtick.

    • art thiel

      His Seattle track record says Carroll has been right way more than he hasn’t. But he’s never paid a QB $87M either, then tried to flourish under the cap.

    • 1coolguy

      Pagano is on a 1 yea contract and is fighting for his job, unlike Pete.

    • WestCoastBias79

      The Colts are a mess. Discord between front office and coach, not to mention a roster that’s riding the dreaded either too young or too old line. All 0-2 starts are not the same.