Three Takeaways From Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll's Week 10 Wednesday Press Conference

Key takeaways from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's Week 10 Wednesday press conference.

Pete Carroll shared several injury updates during his Wednesday press conference, which you can read all about right here, as the Seahawks begin preparations for their Sunday Night Football matchup with the Patriots in New England. Here's a few more things we learned from the Seahawks head coach to start Week 10:

1. Cleaning Up The Defense

While this past Monday night's game will primarily be remembered for what the Seattle defense was able to accomplish at the end of regulation, when it helped seal a 31-25 victory by stopping the Buffalo Bills offense on four straight goal-to-go situations, Carroll did call out a couple areas he would like to see the Seahawks clean up, namely third-down defense and fundamental tackling. 

Seattle allowed the Bills to convert on 12 of their 17 third-down tries, the highest conversion rate (71 percent) against the Seahawks this season. In games against Buffalo and the New Orleans Saints in Week 8, Seattle has allowed opponents to convert a combined 21-of-32 (66 percent) on the all-important down. But through the six games prior, the Seahawks allowed opponents to convert 30-of-88 third-down tries (34 percent). Carroll said the key to getting back to those early-season numbers lies in playing better on first- and second-down to set up more difficult third-down situations for the opposition.

"One of the big problems is what's happening on first and second down that's allowing them to have seven third-and-shorts in the game," Carroll said of this past week's game against the Bills. "If you look, we've had 13 third-and-two or lesses in the last two weeks. That's really hard to win like you like to on third down, that's the shortest distance that you can get on third down, and so we have to play better ball on earlier downs and then we've just got to get off [the field] when we have our chances.

"But it has been kind of a theme here, allowing these third-and-shorts and not getting out of those. That's really the focus."

As he did postgame this past Monday night, Carroll gave credit to Buffalo's shifty playmakers in quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back LeSean McCoy, but said "we can do better at that" when addressing the tackling issues Seattle's defense had.

"Fundamentally we didn't play as well as we like to," he said. "We don't want to give it all to them - they're really good players and they did a nice job and all - but we're better than that. We can tackle better. We've been tackling really, really well all year and we had a game that didn't resemble the kind of execution we've had on the perimeter and in open space."

2. C.J. Prosise Will "Play A Lot" This Week

As the snap counts from this past week's game show, rookie running back C.J. Prosise continues to see his role expand within Seattle's offense. Against New Orleans, his first game back from a wrist injury that had sidelined him since Week 1, Prosise led the team with 80 receiving yards and put up another 23 on the ground on just four carries. While he didn't log another 100-plus yard effort against the Bills, he was on the field for 55 percent of the team's offensive snaps, more than starter Christine Michael, who played 38 percent.

"He's going to play a lot, yeah," Carroll said of Prosise. "Really happy with what he's doing and how he's fitting in comfortably and handling things well. He'll continue to play."

Asked if Prosise and Michael are even in the running game, Carroll said: "You'll see. We're going to play them both."

3. "A Big Matchup" Between UW & USC 

Looking to the college football world, No. 4-ranked Washington (9-0) takes on surging USC (6-3) - winners of five straight - this weekend in Seattle. Carroll, who of course won two national championships (2003-04) and seven consecutive Pac-10 titles (2002-08) during his nine-year coaching career at Southern California, commented on this weekend's matchup between the Huskies and Trojans.

"Oh baby, that's a big matchup," he said. "Watching both sides, it's awesome to watch. [Huskies] Coach [Chris] Petersen is doing his thing, they're having an incredible year and playing great football in all facets against whoever they've got to go against. It's been really fun to watch them.

"The Trojans have really caught fire here. They're going. Quarterback's [Sam Darnold] doing really well. Since the quarterback change they really have moved ahead and their offense is going, defense is going. This is a good matchup now. It's a good game."

Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX.

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