Pete Carroll met with the media on Wednesday ahead of his team's Sunday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. Here's five things we learned from the Seahawks head coach:
1. What's Ricardo Lockette's Latest Condition?
Ricardo Lockette was headed home to Seattle on Monday evening after spending the previous week in Dallas following surgery he underwent to stabilize ligament damage in his neck that he suffered during a hit in the Seahawks' Week 8 win over the Cowboys. Carroll said the wide receiver made it back safe and visited Seahawks headquarters on Tuesday.
"He's here, he's back in town now," Carroll said. "He visited with us all yesterday. He looks good and his spirits are great and all. He's hampered, he's got a brace that he's wearing, but really forward-thinking and positive about coming back."
The surgery Lockette underwent puts an early end to his 2015 season, though with the club coming off a bye week he still remains on the Seahawks' 53-man active roster. Carroll said he has yet to hear a long-term prognosis on Lockette's football career.
"We haven't even heard anything about that yet," he said.
The Seahawks coach said Lockette's recovery is still in the "early stages" and did not know if all of Lockette's rehab would be done at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. However, the fifth-year pro will continue to be around the team.
"He wants to be here and we would love to have him here," Carroll said. "He lives here in town, so we expect him to be around a lot."
2. What Will Paul Richardson's Role Be?
This was a question Seahawks.com digital media reporter John Boyle took a stab at answering in a bye-week Q&A session with Seahawks fans.
Carroll was fairly vague with his answer Wednesday, but it sounds as though the second-year pro whose season ended with an ACL injury suffered in this past January's playoffs will be a part of the receiver rotation this weekend after starting the season on the physically unable to perform list.
"We're going to jump him right back in," Carroll said. "Really, we're going to put him right back into it. He's had enough time now, he's been out on the practice field, he looks great, so we're just going to fit him in."
A roster move will need to be made to move Richardson from PUP to the active roster before he sees any action. The injured Lockette represents the spot Richardson will most likely take on Seattle's 53-man roster.
3. How Healthy is Marshawn Lynch?
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch missed two games and three-quarters of another to injury in the first half of the season. Calf issues kept him out of the starting lineup against the Chicago Bears in Week 3, a game he later left with a hamstring setback that kept him from seeing action in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions and in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Lynch returned against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, carrying 17 times for 54 yards and a touchdown before putting up a vintage "Beast Mode" outing on short rest in a Thursday night game against the San Francisco 49ers that saw him carry 27 times for 122 yards and a score. Carroll said he thinks Lynch is back to form after his early-season battle with injuries.
"I think he's in very good shape right now for mid-year," Carroll said. "He certainly hasn't been overworked this time. He's strong and he looks quick and he's excited about playing. We really have an opportunity to see him at his best right now. For mid-year, this is a great sign for us as we move ahead."
4. What's Different About Playing in Primetime at Home?
As a franchise, the Seahawks own a 47-27 record in primetime games. The club holds a 19-12 record on Sunday night, which is where Seattle is slotted to play this week's game against the NFC West-leading Cardinals. Since Carroll took over coaching duties in 2010, the Seahawks have gone 15-2 in primetime, outscored opponents 417-194, and notched a 9-0 mark in those games played at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks won on Monday night against the Detroit Lions in Week 4 at CenturyLink Field, but their matchup with the Cardinals this week represents the first and only Sunday night home game this season. So what difference does a nighttime home environment make?
"It's all the 12s," Carroll said. "It's totally the 12s. You give them all day long to get ready, they come jacked up."
5. Why Have The Seahawks Played Better Football in the Second Half of the Season?
Historically speaking, the Seahawks have performed well in the second half of seasons under coach Carroll.
In 2011, the team started 2-6 but won five of its final eight to finish 7-9. After going 4-4 to open 2012, Seattle won seven of its final eight to finish 11-5, also going on to win its first road playoff game since 1983. In 2013, the team started and finished well, recording a 13-3 regular-season record before going on to win Super Bowl XLVIII. And this past year the club got out to a 3-3 start before winning nine of its final 10 games to finish 12-4 and appear in the Super Bowl for a second straight season.
Carroll couldn't provide a concrete answer Wednesday when asked what the key has been to getting his teams to finish seasons strong, but his response was interesting nonetheless.
"I'm asked that a lot," Carroll began. "In all humility, I don't know. I don't really know what it is, other than we have always emphasized it greatly. It's always been a big battle cry for us in everything that we do about finishing. Finishing to us is doing things right and outlasting your opponent, and doing it right longer than they can do it, so you're there, available for the wins.
"I'm going to say it again, I do think over the years I've tried to figure it out, because it happened at [USC] for a long time too," he added. "It might be the fact that we play young guys so much early, and our depth. We're very healthy right now and we have a lot of guys that have played a lot of football, and our rookies are not rookies any more. They're veterans to us, and they're playing. We don't have any hesitation to them jumping on the field in crucial times and all that. That helps us and keeps the rotations alive for the other guys too, maybe spreading out our numbers. I don't know if that's it, but that's always been something I've thought it might be."
The Seahawks took to the practice field on Competition Wednesday to prepare the first of a three-week home stand starting with the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field this Sunday.