The Seahawks finished their week of practice in the rain, a welcome change in weather in a region battling wildfires and smoke. The shift in weather is good news for the Seahawks' home opener against the New England Patriots, in terms of air quality, and that's not only good news, which brings us to five things we learned from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's Friday press conference.
1. Another week with no positive COVID-19 tests is "a major accomplishment."
The Seahawks made it through training camp without a single player testing positive for COVID-19, aside from a false positive for receiver John Ursua, was quickly returned to practice after multiple negative tests. And while that alone was a big accomplishment, another big test for the team, and for teams all around the league, was going on the road and keeping such a big travel party safe. There's still plenty of work to be done, but Carroll is very encouraged that his team once again returned nothing but negative tests in the week following its first road trip.
"It's a really big deal," Carroll said. "It's a really big deal in that this is kind of like stage two of the process of figuring it out. We figured out camp, our guys did a marvelous job—all the people that contributed to the process in the procedure to get that done in camp was fantastic. Then we went on the road for the first time, there's a ton of stuff that you got to go through to orchestrate that thing, and we orchestrated it to where we made it all the way to, here on Friday, with all negative tests again. So that's a major accomplishment."
League wide, testing numbers have been encouraging, and Carroll admits he's a little surprised how well it has gone so far, but he also knows there's a long way to go still.
"We haven't made through, everybody's got to get to the first couple weeks on the road and at home to figure out their process and how it works and fits and all that," he said. "But yeah, I think I'm surprised in general that there's so few positive tests happening around the league with all the people that are testing. It does show you, though, that the focus of testing every day has really brought our attention to the details that it takes to pull this off, and I think that's a big part of it."
2. Injury updates.
The Seahawks have two players listed as doubtful for Sunday's game, tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, who missed the opener with a pectoral injury, and defensive end Rasheem Green, who has a neck stinger. Neither practiced on Friday.
Receiver Phillip Dorsett II, who missed last weekend's game with a foot injury, is questionable and did not practice Friday, and Carroll indicated that a decision on his availability will come on game day.
3. Long-term injury situations.
In addition to the players currently on the 53-man roster, Carroll also gave updates on some players who are on the physically unable to perform list and non-football injury list.
Carroll said Rashhad Penny is "doing a really good job" and looks to be ahead of schedule of a prognosis of midseason return. The third-year running back is currently on the PUP list, meaning he is eligible to return after six weeks.
Second-round pick Darrell Taylor, who is dealing with a leg injury from his final year at Tennessee, has resumed running, but has been dealing with what Carroll called "a tough return."
"He's working really hard, and he cares so much, he wants to he wants to get it done, so we'll just have to stick with him," Carroll said. "He was running on the ground pretty hard this week and so we'll see how that how he handles all of that, I can't tell you though."
4. The Patriots are unique in the way they adjust from week to week.
While every team prepares for a specific opponent and adjusts their game plans accordingly, no teams make as significant of changes to what they do from week to week as New England does, something that is a reflection of Bill Belichick's experience and talents as a coach, as well as his coaching staff.
"It's his background, he's got great background," Carroll said. "He's fitting game plans to match the opponent and match with his own team in a matter of putting them in the position to win games," Carroll said. "More so than anybody that will face, he's apt to focus on different aspects of their defense from one week to the next and stuff in in their offensive approach. He'll tell you a lot about what he thinks about you by the game plan that will that will unfold. We won't know 'til it's over, but he's got his way and they have a marvelous spectrum of stuff that they can coach that most teams don't have. He's got a great staff those guys have been together for such a long time that they can really utilize a lot of stuff that they've done over the years past."
5. The rotations at a few spots very well could continue.
In last week's opener, the Seahawks used multiple players at three different position that, more often than not, are played by one player throughout a game. Weakside linebacker K.J. Wright, right cornerback Quinton Dunbar and left guard Mike Iupati all earned the starts and saw most of the playing time, but all were spelled at times by Jordyn Brooks, Tre Flowers and Jordan Simmons, respectively. Carroll said similar rotations could continue over the early part of the season.
"I think it only helps to have more guys available," he said. "So sure, if everybody stays healthy, then I don't know why we wouldn't. Unless it just starts to show differently and in the competitive opportunities guy show that they deserve to play more, then they're going to play more. And if we can roll guys through, it just makes us that much stronger by taking the burden off of a guy. So we'll see how it goes. This is just the first week, and we'll learn a lot in the next two or three weeks."