BY Art Thiel 01:04PM 09/19/2016

Thiel: Seahawks not same after Wilson injury

Wilson, Rawls, Baldwin and Lockett were among the injured in the loss to the Rams Sunday. But Wilson’s sprained ankle loomed largest because of the limits placed on the playbook.

During a sack of QB Case Keenum, DE Cassius Marsh was called for a face mask penalty, but appears to have only his open hand on Keenum’s helmet. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

After two games of tepid offensive production, it’s clear that the Seahawks haven’t adjusted to a Russell Wilson diminished by an ankle injury.

“He looked OK, but he didn’t have the same spring and pop he usually has,” coach Pete Carroll said on his weekly Monday morning radio show on ESPN 710. “He’s not the same guy who runs all over the field. He got out, and did a nice job making a few yards.

“We’ve not been able to do all the things we like to do. We tried to adjust. It changes us a little bit. Other things have to elevate.”

One thing that must rise is the running game, but that may be more difficult Sunday against San Francisco. RB Thomas Rawls made his first start in Los Angeles since he broke his ankle last season and had only seven carries for minus-seven yards before coming out after his shin was kicked.

WRs Tyler Lockett (knee) and Doug Baldwin (knee, back) also were hurt and awaited exams Monday, as did Rawls. Carroll had no health updates on any of them, including Wilson.

“I’m more concerned to see how Russell comes back,” Carroll said. “He was OK coming out of the game; a little sore. He’s off the charts in being able to (recover to play). We were careful with him in practice. He’ll go right after it again.”

After the 9-3 defeat that left the Seahawks with 15 points through two games, the re-made offensive line was criticized again. But Carroll clung to the hope of steady improvement, particularly at right guard where the Seahawks have been missing Germain Ifedi, the first-round draft pick who sprained an ankle a few days ahead of the opener.

“We’re still a new group, and we made pretty good progress,” he said. “We probably protected better than we have against those guys the last couple of years. But we didn’t run the ball quite as well as we have. Those guys will get better. We did practice with Ifedi the whole time, and he drops out two weeks ago. We’ve had to make an adjustment. We made mistakes, a couple of missed calls. The whole thing has to fit together better than it has.

“So much has been the same for two weeks. Really disappointed.”

Carroll said there was “a chance” Ifedi could return Sunday, much depending on how he runs Monday during a workout. Asked if personnel changes on offense were contemplated, Carroll said, “You never know. We have to make some decisions on some stuff to get in a mode that fits us. It’s been three halves since Russell got hurt, so we have to see.”

If Baldwin or Lockett or both can’t go against the Niners — each was out temporarily at the same time Sunday, severely limiting options — the Seahawks may have to look outside the roster for free agent help.

The defense played well, but several Rams drives helped keep the Seahawks pinned deep in their own territory. Last week the average drive against Miami began at the 22-yard line. Sunday in LA, the average drive started at the 17.

“We let let them kind of inch their way out of it, into a midfield punting game,” he said. “Special teams kind of neutralized each other. We didn’t get an edge. It made it kind of a bland game, in the sense of, ‘Where was the big play gonna happen?'”

Carroll lamented over several officiating calls that went against Seattle, including three offensive pass interference calls and a face-mask call against DE Cassius Marsh during a late-game sack against QB Case Keenum.

“The last thing I want to do is blame officials for this,” he aaid. “We had calls in this game that were significant in a game this close. A number went against us, and I was battling for some conscience because they went against us. Those are 40-yard plays.”

Lockett was flagged for contacting his defender just before a completion to him that was nullified.

“There is an allowance for these guys to hand-fight as long as it’s not controlling anybody,” Carroll said. “That was what was going on. The official felt (Lockett) grabbed him and gave an advantage.”


The Seahawks Monday were slapped with a $400,000 fine (Carroll $200,000), docked a fifth-round, 2017 draft choice and had a week of organized team activities taken away next year for violating rules against excessive contact in OTAs last June.

“I’m disappointed, I’m really disappointed,” Carroll said after the penalties were announced. “We’ve worked really hard to try and do a great job. But the league came in and felt like we were in violation. We didn’t quite meet the standards that they want, so this is what happened.”

ESPN reported Monday that WR Doug Baldwin received a negative result on an MRI test (knee), but Carroll wouldn’t confirm.

“I don’t know good information,” said Carroll, “but he seems to feel okay. There will be three or four guys that we have to check out as the days come off this week. We’ll see what happens Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll give them a couple days to get back and see what happens.”


  • Where to start? However, in my humble opinion . . .

    + Mix it up at QB, i.e put Boykin in for occasional plays. Result: Opposition is kept guessing.

    + Have our running backs – who have speed – cease running into a wall of 10 players. Myself and the missus call it the ‘dumbass play’. Mix it up with end arounds, and running into open spaces even if it means going east or west for a few yards at the start of the run. Result: More yardage more often or not as avoiding the endless pursuit for a hole is statistically more productive than wham, bam and hope!

    + Throw long long to speedy guys such as Richardson and Lockett. Result: Catches or interference plays for big yardage [when called!]

    + Cash in on Jimmy G. No, not unload him, but throw to him! Result: He”l beat his man 9 times out of 10 in jump ball situations.

    15 points in two games with all of this talent at our disposal is DREADFUL, so change is needed and NOW.

    OK, next coach up!

    • 1coolguy

      You lost me at: “missus”…………..

      • Missus = the wife ‘-)

      • art thiel

        I faded at “Boykin”

    • art thiel

      Well, then . . . I’m sure Paul Allen will be calling you shortly.

      • Mmmmm, so why would Paul be calling an old British ‘soccer’ geezer sitting in his office in Idaho?

        Wait, I need a paycheck. Hi Paul!

  • MrPrimeMinister

    They should have sat him, as you advised last week Art.

    • art thiel

      Hard to heal when you’re running away from Aaron Donald.

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  • 1coolguy

    If nothing else, this injury to RW just shows everyone just how much his mobility has covered up, in terms of the Hawks’ weak O line. Put a drop back passer in and the Hawks have a losing record.

    • art thiel

      Don’t forget how much Lynch covered up same.

  • John M

    The offense hasn’t been in sync, period. Have to put most of it on the O-line, they haven’t played the position/together before. Like is cruel. Hopefully experience will lead to sync before it’s too late to care. When it’s like this more guys seem to get hurt. Not an auspicious beginning . . .

    • art thiel

      Actually, I like “like.” It is not cruel.

      • John M

        You caught another misstep in my Line, Art, hate it when that happens . . .

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Hate to say it but they seem to be the same. Same ole Seahawks who lost twice to the Rams judging solely by this road loss. I thought they could overcome the bad match up the Rams present but that was a foolhardy emotion.
    It is only one game to Judge. They are tied across the board with the other inhabitants of the NFC West.On paper NFC champs could happen. It seems obvious though that they need the fast scrambling RW back or it will be another season instead of chasing a Wild card spot for them.