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Five Things We Learned From Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll's Monday Press Conference

Key takeaways from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll’s Monday press conference.

The Seahawks returned to work Monday following what head coach Pete Carroll called a "really difficult" game against the Los Angeles Rams, who handed Seattle a 42-7 defeat.

"It didn't go at all like we had thought," Carroll said. "We ran into the Rams, who were on it. They played a great football game, they took advantage of the opportunities that were there, they made some things happen, then they were able to really cash in on a day that really went their way in a lot of ways."

Here are five things we learned from Carroll's Monday press conference:

1. The Seahawks know they have to "get going again."

Part of what made Sunday's result so shocking was that it came just two weeks after the Seahawks played their best game of the season, ending Philadelphia's nine-game winning streak.

"Just a couple weeks ago, we played one of the best games we've ever played," Carroll said. "… I think that's why our expectations were so high and why we're disappointed about it today, but we have to move on from there."

But things played out much, much differently for Seattle hosting another top NFC team on Sunday, and as Carroll put it, "we've got to turn it and make sure we get right and get ready to go do Dallas.

"We're ready to get going again, we have to. We have a big game coming up. We have to turn it. That may seem difficult for those out there to understand how we can do that, but we will. That's how we work and that's how we operate. That's what's coming. It's disappointing, but we've got to move."

Asked about the mood of his team a day after a rare lopsided loss, Carroll said, "They were quiet. They did a good job working out today, everybody got the juice going in their workouts and all, but they are quiet. They wanted to hear where we're going and what's up, and they're very respectful of being held accountable. That was the first thing, everybody's got to hold themselves accountable for what they can do to do right. I thought the response was very good under the circumstances."

"That's certainly where it begins, and that's why it was so obvious to talk about that in the locker room yesterday after the game," Carroll said. "It begins there. We've got to do a good job of that, that way we can put it to rest and get on and move forward. That's the best way to do it."

2. The Rams running game was "a huge factor."

When asked what disappointed him most about the game, Carroll didn't hesitate to point to his team's run defense. When the Seahawks beat the Rams earlier this season, they held Todd Gurley to 43 rushing yards and 50 total yards, but on Sunday Gurley had 152 rushing yards, including 144 in the first half, and four total touchdowns.

"We weren't able to stop the run," Carroll said. "The last time we played these guys, we were able to hold Todd Gurley to 50 yards. That was a huge factor in this game that we weren't able to control."

One factor in Seattle's struggles was not just players missing due to injury like Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and K.J. Wright, but also the effect of having so many players miss significant practice time in recent weeks even when they're able to play in games. That was most obvious on defense with Wright out and Wagner not practicing, but a lack of practice time has been an issue on offense as well with players like Duane Brown and Jimmy Graham having missed practice time with injuries.

"We've been going through weeks of having a lot of guys not being able to practice, and I think it caught with us a little bit fundamentally," Carroll said. "We've had guys being able to make it to the games, but their involvement in the practices hasn't been there. I think we got a little off there fundamentally. In a game when we needed to play with great fundamentals, we didn't. We actually kind of played our way into it on defense, that's why we played better in the third and fourth quarter. I think that can become a problem for us; we've had a lot of guys on the injury list, and we've made it through it, but we didn't respond. I think it finally caught up with us a little bit."

3. The Seahawks were "so far off schedule" on offense.

From turnovers to dropped passes to errant throws to sacks to penalties, plenty went wrong for Seattle on offense Sunday, but the overall theme of the offensive struggles was that, because of all those other issues, the Seahawks were often in very difficult situations in terms of down and distance. By facing a lot of second- and third-and-long situations, the Seahawks weren't able to run the ball as often as they would have hoped, and the Rams were able to get after Russell Wilson with their pass rush.  

"We were so far off schedule," Carroll said. "We had a combination of a couple of crucial penalties that happened and the negative plays that happened that kept us from getting on schedule. We had seven or eight plays that were third-and-11 or more; we didn't convert any of them. We converted some on the third-and-8 or less, and we could have had a solid game had we stayed on schedule, but when you get off schedule against a group that can rush like they can, we made it easy for them and they took advantage of it. It's really hard to overcome that."

4. The Rams "took full advantage" of great field positions.  

The Seahawks gave the Rams a short field with a turnover on their first possession of the game and L.A. turned that field position into points, establishing a trend that would propel the Rams to a huge win. The Rams began seven of their 14 possessions inside Seahawks territory and another one on the 50-yard line, and they scored on seven of those eight drives. On the six possessions that started on their own side of the field, the Rams punted six times and were intercepted once after driving deep into Seahawks territory.

"Against a team that functions well, that's a good solid team, we needed to make them go a long ways, we needed to make them have to throw the ball to get down the field," Carroll said. "Those situations just played right into their strength, and they took full advantage of it."

5. Injury updates.

Carroll said Bobby Wagner, who played through a hamstring injury that had him listed as questionable, "is coming out of the game like he was a week ago. It didn't hurt him at all to play, which was very fortunate. So that means he'll have a really good chance to play again."

Linebacker K.J. Wright, who didn't play because of a concussion, still has a bit more to do to be fully cleared, but Carroll said, "he's feeling recovered and looks like he has a chance. By Wednesday, he should be in pretty good shape to practice is what I've been told."

Tight end Nick Vannett "banged his shoulder" but results of tests were negative.

"He's OK," Carroll said. "He's got a sore shoulder though. He should be all right."

Linebacker D.J. Alexander left the game with a concussion and is in the protocol, which means his status won't be known until late in the week. Justin Coleman left the game with a chest injury but was able to return, and Carroll said the nickel corner should be OK.

Asked if running back Chris Carson would return to practice this week, Carroll said, "We'll see. I don't have the final from his workouts today, we'll know by Wednesday if he's practicing."

The Seahawks have to make a decision this week on cornerback DeShawn Shead, who returned to practice two weeks ago from the physically unable to perform list. Carroll said the Seahawks will decide later this week on Shead, who would be done for the season if he is not added to the 53-man roster this week.

The Seahawks fall short 42-7 against the Rams in Week 15 at CenturyLink Field.  

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