710 ESPN Seattle Audio: Pete Carroll sees improved play from offensive line in win vs Chargers

Posted Aug 18, 2014

A recap of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's Monday morning conversation with 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Salk"

Early Monday, head coach Pete Carroll joined the team's flagship radio station 710 ESPN Seattle for his weekly conversation with Brock Huard and Mike Salk.

The trio started by recapping the Seahawks' second preseason game, a 41-14 Seattle victory that took place on Friday night against the San Diego Chargers at CenturyLink Field.

"It was a terrific night of football," said Carroll. "I was really hoping that we would feel a different sense of the game compared to the first week. The first week just felt like it was different. We got right back on track. We had a really good week of practice, guys were focused in and all that, and then we went out and we played ball across the board like we like to. It was good for us."

Seeing improved play out of the Seahawks' offensive line was one of Carroll's top priorities against the Chargers. One week after surrendering 3.0 sacks and amounting just 94 yards rushing against the Denver Broncos, the team gave up a single sack and recorded 243 yards on the ground against the Chargers. Carroll credited a solid week of practice to his team's increased success on the field.

"We noticed during the week that the offensive line seemed to take a step ahead in terms of their aggressiveness, and that means they're feeling really good about their assignments and what's asked of them and all of that," said Carroll. "They practiced really well against the first groups and the second groups in practice during the week. You don't know if it's going to carry over like that, but it carried over exactly like it was in practice."

O-linemen who played particularly well in Carroll's eyes were offensive guards J.R. Sweezy and James Carpenter.

"I've never seen a guy have a more physical football game than Sweezy," Carroll said of the third-year converted collegiate defensive tackle Sweezy. "He had a great football game for them in the half that he played, had a bunch of dominate hits and finishing plays. He's looked like our top guy all throughout camp and boy, he really showed.

"Having James back is a big deal," Carroll added of the former first-round pick Carpenter. "James moves people and he smacks guys, too. Our guards were flying and they really had an impact on the game. You could see it on a number of plays and we were really fired up about that."

Carroll closed the conversation with a comment on playing in front of a home crowd for the first time since the defending Super Bowl champions topped the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship this past January. Sixty-seven thousand, six-hundred and fifteen 12s turned out for Friday's game, and Carroll said their presence was felt on the field.

"We talked about it all week in anticipation and in the locker room guys were really looking forward to it," Carroll said of playing at the loudest venue in sports. "It just feels like coming home. It's really home. That relationship that we have is so fortunate. They were great again and had a blast. When you listen to the broadcast you realize you just get used to the constant, it's constantly roaring, and we're very, very fortunate."

Below, check out more bits of news and notes from Carroll's Monday conversation on "Brock and Salk"

    • The illegal contact call that wiped out cornerback Tharold Simon's 100-plus-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Chargers was determined to not be a foul after further evaluation from the NFL.

    • Carroll said Tarvaris Jackson will be the second quarterback to see the field in the team's third preseason game this Friday night against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field.

    • Left tackle Russell Okung (offseason foot surgery) should play Friday against the Bears. Max Unger (groin) is likely to come back and play at center. Strong safety Kam Chancellor (offseason hip surgery) will play if everything goes well in practice this week. Linebackers Malcolm Smith (offseason ankle surgery) and Korey Toomer (physically unable to perform list) will return to practice this week. And linebacker Bruce Irvin (offseason hip surgery) could return to practice next week. "It's a real cool step to feel these guys," said Carroll. "They are so anxious to be part of this team."