Pete Carroll met with the media on Wednesday at Virginia Mason Athletic Center ahead of his team's Week 2 matchup with the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams, a meeting that will bring the former USC head coach Carroll back to the stadium he called home from 2001-09, L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
"We have a lot of respect for this team," Carroll said. "We’ve had them in the division for all these years and we know how difficult they are, so we’re going to play them accordingly and see if we can put together a really good game and get this thing going here."
Here are three things we learned from the Seahawks head coach:
1. What He Saw Between The 49ers and Rams on 'Monday Night Football'
With the Rams playing the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football earlier this week and the Seahawks opening with a win against the Dolphins this past Sunday, Seattle had the luxury of watching their next opponent after Monday's team meetings were through. The Niners dominated the evening in the Bay Area, scoring on all four trips to the red zone to secure a 28-0 shutout victory.
“They did a lot of really good stuff, there’s not many things they didn’t do well in the game," Carroll said of San Francisco's Week 1 performance against LA. "They ran it, the quarterback was protected and they scrambled well. They played really good defense and they kept the running game under control, which is a big task against the Rams as committed as they are to it.
"I think probably that the Niners were so complete," Carroll added of what stood out most. "What a fantastic first game for anybody. I’m sure they’re really fired up about it.”
2. The Rams Are "As Talented As Anybody We Play"
The Rams won both games against the Seahawks last season, with the first coming in the 2015 season-opener in St. Louis and the second occuring in Week 16 at CenturyLink Field. Despite finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs last year, the Rams recorded a 4-2 mark in the NFC West, tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the best record in the division. But dating back to 2012, Jeff Fisher's first year as head coach of the Rams, the two teams have gone 4-4 against one another. As ESPN's Mike Sando points out, the Rams' perceived success against the Seahawks comes because of the way the clubs have fared against other competition, with the Rams going 23-33-1 (.412) and the Seahawks going 43-14 (.755) against all other opponents in that span.
"We have not played them well the last few times out," Carroll said. "We’ve had some good games against them, but not as many as the other teams in the division. I think Jeff does a great job, they’re well coached and tough and they make things happen. They have a lot of talent. They’ve taken advantage of their draft opportunities and they’ve got a lot of people on this team that can play ball. So I think they’re as talented as anybody we play.”
With Los Angeles' lopsided season-opening loss in mind, Carroll emphasized the Seahawks "don't take teams lightly in this league because they're too good."
"We have a lot of respect for them and we’re not going to miss that at all,” he said.
3. Explaining The Roster Shuffle
The Seahawks parted ways with 2013 fifth-round draft pick Tharold Simon and 2016 undrafted rookie free-agent signee Tani Tupou on Tuesday afternoon, with Simon getting claimed by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday. In the pair's place, the team signed cornerback Neiko Thorpe and fullback Will Tukuafu, and Carroll was asked about the decision to bring the two players in as Seattle readies for the Rams.
“We had a chance to pick up a guy we thought could help us more on special teams and we also saw that Neiko can play corner," Carroll said of Thorpe, a 6-foot-2, 198-pounder who played in 28 games the past two seasons for the Oakland Raiders, starting two. "Got good looks at him, we’ve seen him over the years, and thought that that would help us.”
On Tukuafu, who appeared in 23 games with the Seahawks the past two seasons but was released by the club before Week 1, Carroll said: “We’re going to bank on his experience, that he’s been with us. He’s been through a lot, protection and route-running and things, just all of the things that the fullback position calls for. We took a look at a young guy last week knowing that Will might be there for us and we’d want to go with the experience.”
The best photos from Wednesday's practice as the Seahawks returned to Virginia Mason Athletic Center to prepare for their Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Rams.