The Seahawks have a short week to get ready for the Los Angeles Rams, who come to town Thursday night. That means a lighter on-field workload for players, who have to recover physically and prepare for a game that kicks off just four days after Seattle's Week 4 win in Arizona.
In addition to the info on the team's health and how they'll prepare during a short week, which you can find in the link above, here are five takeaways from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's Monday press conference:
1. If you're coming to Thursday's game, be early.
It isn't always easy to get to CenturyLink Field for a weeknight game, but Seattle's head coach would really appreciate it if you find a way to get there early so you're in your seats by 4:50 p.m. The reason? Paul G. Allen will be inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor prior to Thursday’s game. Then prior to kickoff, Seahawks Chair Jody Allen will honor her late brother by raising the 12 Flag.
"This is a special occasion celebrating Paul and all that he stood for," Carroll said. "For the Seahawks and the Northwest and all of that. There's going to be a program for him before the game starts, so we encourage the 12s to get there early and enjoy it and have some fun. Jody is raising the flag, which is great. I can't wait to see that. It should be a big event, big night. It should be a lot of fun for everybody."
2. Luke Willson's "personality and spirit" have been evident upon his return to Seattle.
When Luke Willson arrived in Seattle last week prior to re-signing with the team that drafted him in 2013, the reception that greeted him was an unusual one for a free-agent addition.
"Luke came in Tuesday night and got here, showed up late to get signed up and all, and the coaches came out of the offices to meet him in the hallway," Carroll said. "It was like a celebration. Rarely is it ever like that. This is an unusual player, a gifted personality and spirit. Bringing him back to the program was exactly like you said, we didn't miss a step. The coaches were thrilled to get him back. The players that knew him, same. The guys that don't know him are kind of wondering, what the heck is going on with this guy, because they can't understand why it's so obvious to the rest of us. It's great to have him on the team. He had a fantastic week. He didn't skip a beat in terms of installation that was going on for the game plan. He went out and played the football game and played well. Made a couple big plays. Just added to it all. We were very fortunate that we were able to replace that loss with a guy like Luke. He's one of a kind."
Asked if Willson is one of the more unique personalities that he has coached, Carroll said, "He's on my all-time team. He would definitely be there. He's just so valuable as a spirit on your team because he's so upbeat and been so tough. Unbelievably durable and overcame stuff. He's a good performer. He runs fast. He's in great shape. He's done a great job of staying in shape. His hair is back and all of that. He looks good."
3. Seattle's pass rush is just getting started.
With Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah on the field together for just the second time, the Seahawks recorded four sacks in a win over Arizona, though three of those came from Mychal Kendricks, who had two, and Rasheem Green, who had one. Ansah added one sack, and while Clowney didn't record a sack, he had several pressures and most importantly he returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown. While Sunday's game was a step in the right direction for Seattle's pass rush, Carroll still sees a lot of room for improvement.
"I don't feel like we're anywhere near where we're going to get to," Carroll said. "I think we can be a formidable rush and effect and our defense. We're still working to bring it together. I think the guys did better this week than last week. They were more forceful and more active and more involved. We'll see how we go. I'm really counting on those guys. I'm feeling better. Game three for (Clowney and Ansah together); it's the third game of the preseason. They're doing the best they can. The guys have been great attitude wise, work habits, practice habits. They've really done everything they can do with the moments and the opportunities that they've had. We're getting there.
"I don't think we're off to a fast start. I think we're just getting going. I don't know how much longer I can keep telling you guys that. I feel like I have been for a while, but it does feel like that. It feels like we knew. Mychal Kendricks had two sacks yesterday. Should've had three. Where'd that come from? We're just getting going. That adds to everybody's play. It was great to see Mychal have an active game. Ziggy got his sack and obviously, JD had a big impact in the game. Glimpses. We're seeing glimpses here that take us to a place that we'll really be excited about."
4. Carroll loves a defensive lineman who hustles.
While the Seahawks signed Ansah to disrupt quarterbacks first and foremost, he made a couple of plays Sunday well away from Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray that showed a trait that Carroll loves in defensive linemen. Ansah did get a sack on the final play of the game, but three of his previous four tackles all showed a lot of hustle as he chased down a pass catcher after beginning the play as a pass-rusher. Three of Ansah's tackles prior to his sack occurred 15, 6 and 11 yards down the field after wide receivers had caught passes.
"That's one of my favorite parts of ball is when big guys run," Carroll said. "They run and they make stuff happen. We make a big deal about it around here. It's the first highlight I'm looking to show. I can't get enough of Al Woods chasing the football. It's a big part of team defense. It's everybody giving great effort all the time, every chance you get. For whatever reason, for all the natural aspect of really big guys don't like to run that far. When they do, it just adds to the whole spirit of what you're doing on defense."
5. Shaquill Griffin continued a strong start to his season.
While Shaquill Griffin was credited with just one pass defensed, in addition to seven tackles, he had a better game than that one pass breakup would seem to imply. Griffin also made a textbook pass breakup on a pass to Larry Fitzgerald, but that play was wiped out by a defensive holding call away from the play. He also was solid in coverage throughout the game, part of an effort that kept the Cardinals from stretching the field with their passing game, and also drew an offensive pass interference call. Sunday was just the latest in a string of strong performances for Griffin, who was unhappy with his play last year and who came into this season with a transformed body and better approach to the game.
"He looks good," Carroll said. "He looks really active; he's made consistent plays. You've seen him knock balls down kind of in consistent fashion almost week in and week out. Doing a good job on top, on the deep balls. He's playing great football. I think he's doing great."