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Figuring Out Defensive Issues & Other Takeaways From Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll's Monday Press Conference

News and notes from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s Monday press conference.

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The Seahawks were involved in a shootout for the second straight week, though this time they came out on the losing end, falling to the Saints 39-32. A day later, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll held his usual Monday press conference to discuss the game, provide injury updates and more.

Here are six takeaways from Carroll's presser:

1. Rashaad Penny is heartbroken, but ready for a comeback.

Carroll announced earlier in the day that running back Rashaad Penny will be out for the season with a leg injury that will require surgery. It's the second serious injury of Penny's career after a torn ACL in 2019, and Carroll said that experience should help Penny this time around, though that doesn't make it any easier to go down with an injury.

"He's an experienced guy at this, but it doesn't mean that his heart isn't broken about playing football," Carroll said. "He's going to deal with it better than he did last time around because he has that experience, but it doesn't lessen the pain in missing it."

2. Kenneth Walker III is ready to step up.

With Penny out, rookie Kenneth Walker III is expected to step into the starting role, and as he showed Sunday, rushing for 88 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown, the second-round pick is ready for an increased role, even if there's still room to grow.

"He's just getting comfortable with the timing of hitting the line of scrimmage, seeing the blocks at full speed, and he's just getting comfortable," Carroll said. "He's going to get a lot better. He will get more and more feel working with the guys, he hasn't had that many turns yet. It's obvious that he can do it and he can hit it, there's no question about that. Taking full advantage of all of the opportunities that come up, that's going to take a little bit, but at this point, he's not going to have any time to keep patiently waiting. He's going, so this is a really great opportunity for him to jump to the front, see what he can do with it, and we're counting on him to do stuff in a big way."

3. Updates on Al Woods and Travis Homer

Defensive tackle Al Woods, who has been one of Seattle's best defensive players this season, was unable to finish the game due to a knee injury, but Carroll said in the morning on his radio show that it's something Woods should be able to manage, and said later in the day they'll take it day-by-day.

"He's still feeling it a little bit today," Carroll said. "We'll go in really easy with him tomorrow. We'll see how he does. Just go day by day with him."

Carroll also said that running back Travis Homer, who is on injured reserve with a rib injury, should be able to return in two weeks, which is the soonest he could come back after missing the required four games while on IR.

4. A change in kickoff time could be necessary if the Mariners and Astros go to Game 4.

With the Mariners advancing to the American League Division Series against Houston, there is a decent chance that both they and the Seahawks will be hosting a game on Sunday—Game 4 of the series is Sunday, so barring a sweep by one team, there will be two games in Sodo that day. And depending on when that Game 4 is scheduled, there is a chance the Seahawks' game against Arizona could be moved to a different time. Carroll said there have been talks already about that possibility.

"They're in conversations about that right now trying to figure that out, and I know both sides are working at it," he said. "So, something will come. I don't know the result of it yet."

5. Ryan Neal "did a really good job" in his first start.

Ryan Neal started at safety for the first time this season, and when Carroll was asked after the game how Neal did, he said he wanted to evaluate the tape before giving an assessment of Neal's play. A day later after reviewing the game, Carroll liked what he saw from Neal quite a bit.

"I thought Ryan did a really good job," Carroll said. "He was very active. He had a whole array of opportunities to make. He had some plays that weren't exactly right, but he did a really nice job, tackled well, hit well, defended the pass well. I thought he was really obvious. He gave us a boost. So, I'm anxious to see him go back at it again. Josh (Jones) did a nice job in the substitution stuff when he had his opportunities. I was really fired up about Ryan. I thought he did really well."

6. The defense is looking to recover from a slow start once again.

This is the third straight season in which the Seahawks have given up a lot of points and yards early in the season. Things got better each of the past two seasons, including a dramatic turnaround in 2020, and Carroll wants to see the same out of this year's team.

"We just have to make our moves and get our best guys in the right spots doing the right things as soon as possible," he said. "We are working at it. I don't know why it's like that, I have no idea why we would start slow. We are dealing with it again, and we know that we are going to come out of it."

The Seahawks face the Saints in New Orleans for Week 5 of the season at Caesars Superdome on October 9, 2022. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.

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