The Seahawks are back in Seattle following Sunday's 24-7 road victory over the New York Giants, which means Pete Carroll made his usual appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday morning to recap the win, which improved Seattle's record to 4-2.
Here are six things we learned from Carroll's appearance on the Brock and Salk show:
1. The offense "did a lot of good things" once it ended the "slop fest."
Seattle's defense was outstanding all day long, allowing a single touchdown, which came off a turnover, 177 yards and only two explosive plays—"that's a fantastic night of defense," Carroll said. The offense, on the other hand, was something of a mixed bag. Penalties and dropped passes limited the Seahawks to just 3 points in the first half despite moving the ball well, a scenario Carroll described as "a slop fest for a while, then we were fine." But once the offense did settle down, that group did some very good things, producing three second-half touchdowns, 10 explosive plays, 425 yards and 26 first downs.
"There were a lot of good things," Carroll said. "We had a really wide-open game plan, we went up top a bunch on them. We had chances that were there, and Russell (Wilson) did a really nice job picking out some opportunities to get them up top, he just didn't connect on them. We could have had a monstrous game. Third down was really good on both sides of the ball."
A big factor in Seattle's offensive success was the game plan designed by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable, as well as Bevell's in-game play-calling.
"I loved the plan last night," Carroll said. "I thought we did all kinds of different things and moved the ball around in a lot of different ways with a lot of guys running the ball. A lot of misdirection stuff, and took advantage of the trick stuff. We had the really gorgeous things happen against the blitz, we had some really good opportunities there, and almost really scorched it, but missed a couple of shots."
As for those early struggles, Carroll said he thinks his team, and in particular some of the young offensive linemen, are pressing a bit.
"I think it's a little bit of mentality," he said. "I think we over-tried again. it's one of the No. 1 things—we're so hyped up, we say how fired up we want to play and all, but really there's a level in there of mentality so you don't get in your own way. They're trying to do things, and it's for the right reasons, they want to be really good, they're busting their tails and all, but sometimes they try to too hard. They reach and they don't need to, or they try to beat the cadence and they don't need to."
2. Ethan Pocic and Mark Glowinski "came through and did a nice job" at left guard.
With Luke Joeckel out for a while as he recovers from knee surgery, the Seahawks rotated rookie Ethan Pocic and Mark Glowinski at that spot, and both held up pretty well. Pocic also played briefly at center when Justin Britt came out for a few plays with an injury.
"I think the left guards came through and did a nice job," Carroll said. "Pocic did really well, and jumped in at center and did well too. It just shows his versatility. He and Glow split time, and we'll see what happens this week.
"They play a little different style, they're different style guys. They're built a little differently and all. We'll sort it out, but I'm really happy that they both played and had success and helped us moving forward."
Those two contributed to what Carroll said was one of the line's best games of the season.
"We were coming off the football well," he said. "I thought that was probably our best game up front, protecting and all that, blocking stuff. So we're making progress. It doesn't need to be a finished product right now, we need to keep getting better, and I think we did."
3. Jarran Reed had his best game.
Second-year defensive tackle Jarran Reed piled up seven tackles, a pretty big number for an interior lineman, and had a sack/forced fumble that helped the Seahawks put the game away. Reed has been solid throughout his career, but that was his best performance yet according to his coach.
"That was his best game," Carroll said. "He was just rock solid, he was all over it. He was really tough at the line of scrimmage, the point of attack, then he had some plays that he made too. He's just such a good fundamental football player. We got a great product in him coming out of Alabama. They had taught him how to play with great leverage, great hand placement, and he has great instincts too, you can see that. He can come off blocks and make plays, he disengages really well, and he's doing all of that stuff now. He's really in good shape, physically fit, and playing great ball."
4. The running back rotation is "still coming together."
Since starting running back Chris Carson went on injured reserve, the Seahawks have used Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy fairly evenly, while using J.D. McKissic and, when healthy, C.J. Prosise in third-down and two-minute situations. In fact, the Seahawks used all four of those backs on their first possession, and Carroll said he's OK that his team is still sorting things out with its backfield.
"I think it's still coming together," Carroll said. "I don't think we've centered in at it yet, we're working at it, and I don't mind that. We had it set up that four guys were going to get the first four plays."
Unfortunately, Prosise re-injured his ankle early in the game, which was his first game back from a two-game absence.
"He didn't hurt it bad, but he knew he didn't have it under him, so we didn't play him," Carroll said. "So here we go again, we're waiting on him, unfortunately."
5. For Carroll, coaching and parenting are a lot alike.
Considering he has two sons on his coaching staff, it's hardly a surprise to hear Carroll say that he can't separate who he is as a father from who he is as a coach. And in fact, Carroll has often mentioned in the past that he feels like there's something of a father-son relationship between himself and players.
"I can't divide that," he said when asked if there are parallels between the two. "Really, I can't divide that. If you're being who you are, it is what it is. It starts with caring, it starts with hoping you can help people be the best they can be—be the best son, daughter, receiver, tight end, whatever it is. I don't see it any differently. Philosophically, it comes from exactly the same place. I do come at this as a parent. I think that's the best thing I know how to do, it's the thing I've done the longest, so I'm trying to look after everybody in that manner. And I'm not trying to be their dad, that's just the best way I can look at how to deal with people. I think it is very similar, yeah. We're trying to have fun as a family and we're trying to have fun as a club, and we want to win as a family and we want to win as a club."
6. Even on injured reserve, Cliff Avril is an important part of the team.
Despite Cliff Avril going on injured reserve last week, the result of a neck injury sustained in Week 4, he continues to be an important part of the team. That includes traveling with the team and being a presence on the sideline during games.
"I like him being with us," Carroll said. "He has been such a steady force for us. He sees things well, he's a really clear thinker, and he's a good guy to have with those guys. Those guys get a little bit twisted sometimes in their perspective and all, so he keeps them in line."
Game action photos from the Seahawks' 24-7 victory over the New York Giants in Week 7.