Six Takeaways From Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN Seattle

Key takeaways from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's Monday morning segment on 710 ESPN Seattle following the team's 12-10 win over the Dolphins.

Pete Carroll joined 710 ESPN Seattle hosts Brock Huard and Mike Salk on Monday, the morning after his team's 12-10 season-opening win against the Miami Dolphins. It was a game with plenty of things to "clean up," as Carroll put it, but "fortunately we got a win doing that." Carroll elaborated on that point in the nearly 28-minute sitdown session, and also provided a health update on his quarterback, but here are six more takeaways from the Seahawks head coach's time on "Brock and Salk": 

1. Three Players Knew The Game-Winning Touchdown Play

On Russell Wilson's two-yard touchdown toss to receiver Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks quarterback changed the play at the line of scrimmage, something Baldwin told the media Sunday night. But Carroll said just three players - Wilson, Baldwin, and Jermaine Kearse - were aware the pass was coming because of small indicators that Carroll said "You wouldn't even see" between the Seattle signal caller and his receivers. 

"They knew it was a running play," Carroll said of Seattle's O-line and running back on the play that proved to be the game-winning toss. "They ran the play that was called, and he threw a touchdown pass."

Carroll said the subtle communication between Wilson, Baldwin and Kearse is something the Seahawks have done "a lot."

"We've practiced this stuff so much," Carroll said. "This has been an extraordinary focus for us. We practice throughout the week, throughout camp, throughout offseason to be in these situations where it's just normal, and it is. That's what they're telling you. They know how the things are going to go and they know the plays have to be made and we can count on the guy back there delivering the ball that we're going to make good choices and he's going to take off when he has to and all of that. So it was good."

2. Thomas Rawls' Workload Will Increase

Veteran Christine Michael got the start at running back and carried 15 times for 66 yards, while second-year pro Thomas Rawls, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury last December, took 12 touches for 32 yards. Carroll answered "yes" when asked if Rawls' workload will increase moving forward.

"He tried to run so hard yesterday that that's all he did," Carroll said of Rawls. "He ran really hard, which he wanted to prove he was back as well. He felt great after the game to have played and all of that. He had a couple short yardage plays that kind of knocked his numbers down a little bit, but he's going to be fine."

3. An "Emotional" Return For Jimmy Graham

After an offseason full of rehab on his surgically repaired knee, Jimmy Graham suited up for the Seahawks' regular-season opener. Carroll called it an "emotional" return for the former Pro Bowler who had his initial season in Seattle cut short after tearing his patellar tendon in a game last November.

"After the game in the locker room Jimmy was one of the first guys I saw and we were hugging it up and it was just emotional because he had overcome so much," Carroll said of Graham, who saw 17 snaps against the Dolphins, making one catch for 11 yards on the team's game-winning drive. "If you can go back to the dark days of the rehab, way back when, go back six months when he doesn't even know if he can straighten his leg out again, can't even move. To get back to this part where he proved that he made it back and now he's ready to go."

4. Earl Thomas Will "Come Back And Play Great"

Carroll said Earl Thomas was "really frustrated" with his performance against the Dolphins. The Seahawks free safety missed some tackles he usually makes, and although it's hard to tell who was responsible without knowing the specifics of each defensive play call, Thomas also had Miami receiver Kenny Stills slip behind him in the deep middle of the field in the second quarter. Stills ended up dropping the pass from Ryan Tannehill, which led Thomas to express his thanks by pointing an index finger toward the sky.

"He was really frustrated afterwards," Carroll said of Thomas. "He just didn't like his game at all. Things didn't work out quite right. But he's had a great camp. If anybody was prepared to play well, Earl was. Maybe he was hyped. There was a lot going on. What went on yesterday might've affected some guys more than others and Earl's a real cocoon guy, he's really stuck, you know him, he doesn't want to talk a whole lot, he doesn't want to share a whole lot, he just wants to stay in his area and kind of in his lane, and I think he felt a little bit out yesterday, so he'll come back and play great."

5. The Seahawks Are Looking To "Upgrade Our Intensity As A Blitzing Team"

During his Thursday press conference last week, Kris Richard joked with the media when asked about what he knows heading into 2016 that he did not know at Week 1 of last season, with the Seahawks defensive coordinator replying, "Blitz every single down. Blitz every single down, that's huge for us now." While that wasn't necessarily the case in Seattle's 12-10 win over the Dolphins, Carroll said bringing additional pressure on the quarterback was a focal point of the Seahawks' defensive game plan, as the unit recorded five sacks and nine quarterback hits on Tannehill.

"What I think you saw, you saw the result of a big focus by our guys to upgrade our intensity as a blitzing team," Carroll said. "We had a really good camp in that regard and the focus was there. We've got the guys that you need to blitz and so I thought Kris called a really good game. He gave these guys a chance. He had a big variety of things he had to adjust throughout the game and cut our guys loose and it was great to see it."

6. He's "Looking Forward" To This Week's LA Trip

The Seahawks meet the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 of the NFL season, traveling to southern California for Sunday's matchup. The game will be played in the same stadium where Carroll spent his time coaching the USC Trojans, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

"I'm looking forward to it, really looking forward to it," Carroll said. "Ever since it happened I've been on the upside of that one. I just think it's going to be fun."

The Rams relocated from St. Louis this past offseason, a move that will significantly reduce travel time between the Seahawks' headquarters and the new-home of the their NFC West rival. 

"To take our team to LA I think is really fun for a lot of our guys," Carroll said. "There's a coming home thing for a bunch of players from Southern California. Playing at the Coliseum will be fun, seeing how horrible that visitor's locker room is, and all that. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity. That's all. What else? It's a ballgame on grass, so it'll be fun."

Check out some action photos of Seahawks vs Dolphins Week 1 at CenturyLink Field.

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