Focus on: Oh-dark-45

Posted Dec 23, 2013

A couldn’t-sleep Pete Carroll arrived at Virginia Mason Athletic Center even earlier than usual Monday, only to find equally frustrated Russell Wilson already there. So coach and QB reviewed the video of Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals together.

Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals was one that Pete Carroll had a hard time putting behind him, to point where trying to sleep proved pointless.

So the Seahawks’ fourth-year coach got up and got to work, arriving at Virginia Mason Athletic Center at 4:45 a.m. And guess who was already there, reviewing video of the 17-10 loss from several hours earlier and also getting a jump on preparation for Sunday’s oh-so-important matchup against the St. Louis Rams?

Quarterback Russell Wilson.

“He was in early. He beat me here,” Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session with the media, which this week just happened to be Christmas Eve eve. “He couldn’t sleep. And I couldn’t sleep. So we found ourselves sitting in the room watching the film together.”

What they were watching wasn’t exactly warm-and-fuzzy holiday fare. The offense had its least productive outing of the season when you combine points scored (10, the fewest for the Seahawks since a 13-6 loss to the 49ers in Francisco in Week 7 last season); yards gained (192, second fewest of the season to the 135 they generated in the Week 8 win over the Rams in St. Louis this season); and performance on third downs (2 of 13, or 15 percent; their lowest percentage since going 1 of 16 for 6 percent in a Week 7 loss to the Raiders in Oakland in 2010).

Wilson, meanwhile, had career lows in passing yards (108) and completion percentage (.407, 11 of 27) and his passer rating of 49.6 was the second lowest to the 38.7 he had in the loss at San Francisco last season.

So it wasn’t just “Tell The Truth Monday” at VMAC, it started in the pre-dawn hours for coach and quarterback.

“It was just trying to be really critical of all aspects and understand what happened and make some sense of it,” Carroll said. “That was really what was going on.

“I’d already been through the film and we were texting last night, just talking about the situations and the stuff that came up so that we could focus well when we put the study to it today.”

Wilson is his own worst critic, and was not pleased with his performance in a game that meant so much to his team – as a win would have clinched the NFC West title, a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-field advantage throughout the postseason; goals that remain in reach with a victory over the Rams.

“Russell was real frustrated about it,” Carroll said. “He knew he could play better and wanted to do more stuff and wanted to get that win as much as anybody.”

It was a case where two frustrated heads were better than one.

“It was a good chance for us to just talk through it,” Carroll said. “I had a better opportunity to listen to him and what he saw and what he thought than sometimes I get. We had a real concentrated time there.

“There was nobody around.”