Lynch's rib injury is new. But, keep in mind he also missed practices Wednesday (rest) and Thursday (calf) last week -- then romped for 140 yards and a career-high 4 touchdowns rushing on Sunday against New York. We'll know more about how injured Lynch is tomorrow when we talk to coach Pete Carroll following the Friday practice, before the team flies later tomorrow afternoon to Kansas City.
Seattle needs Lynch every game, but absolutely in this one at Kansas City. The Chiefs (6-3) have the NFL's leading pass offense but only the 20th-rated rush defense. And the more we talk and write about the weather the more it's going to be 35 degrees below zero Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. (In actuality the current forecast high is 28).
Seems outside linebacker K.J. Wright may be back at middle linebacker Sunday against the Chiefs because Coyle has missed both practices so far this week. Coyle, the undrafted rookie from Montana that has made his first NFL starts the last two weeks, played hurt last weekend.
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Wright back to the middle, where he started for injured Bobby Wagner at St. Louis and at Carolina, would give more prominence to emerging rookie linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis outside in base sets instead of only the nickel packages in which he's played the last three games. That's what defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said following practice.
Quinn said now that Malcolm Smith is returning to play this weekend after being out for weeks the Seahawks will rotate the Super Bowl MVP and the rookie fourth-round draft choice. That's how much Pierre-Louis has impressed coaches this last month.
Here is what else Quinn said today:
Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn
November 13, 2014
(On being strong the past couple weeks against run and if Kansas City is a bit more of challenge) Yeah, really they’re a great challenge in a lot of respects. Certainly the run game is usually where we start it each week and it started for us, maybe three weeks ago, at Carolina, ‘How can we be on our fits?’ To make sure in the run game we want to play like we’re capable of playing. So, this team, another challenge in terms of the speed they can get on the perimeter with their backs so that’s one of the real challenges for us in this game.
(On how different it is without Brandon Mebane being in there) Brandon, I thought, was really having one of his better years. I’ve had the privilege of coaching him for four years and being around him and I really thought in terms of being on his game so luckily for us we’ve got Kevin [Williams] who is ready to step into that role. He’s been playing defensive tackle so he’ll slide in there and play a bunch there with Jordan [Hill].
(On when Kevin Williams fills in for Brandon Mebane he has a different leverage point and how does that look different) The one thing we like still is he’s big – at nose tackle, we like that. That fits the criteria first. Kevin has played so long that he knows how to play with leverage even though he’s a taller guy where Brandon was able to get up underneath guys so different in style but both effective in the way that they play but definitely different even when they stand next to each other you can see the difference but we’re really fortunate that Kevin chose to come here and be a part of this. It’s unfortunate for us to looks Brandon but for us to have a player of Kevin’s caliber, who can play inside and has the experience to do it, we’re fortunate that way.
(On Allen Bradford being backup Middle Linebacker this week) Yes—if we need to, that’s the reason we brought Allen here was if need be or called upon, he can do it. We know he’s got some value on the teams as well. So we love his toughness, the effort, the mindset that AB brings so we’re glad he’s back here in the fold and he’s had a couple playbooks through the last few months I’m sure but we’ll make sure that it’s some calls that he feels comfortable with too.
(On adding new parts with Malcolm Smith being back) A little bit because now we’re adding Malcolm back into the mix, we’ll rotate him and KPL [Kevin Pierre-Louis] in there as well in our base and our nickel package—so both of those guys will be a factor.
(On K.J. Wright playing middle linebacker) Yes—that’s where we’ve used K.J more when we need to in our base packages inside. I can’t say enough about K.J and his versatility—not only can he play Mike but he can play Will. It’s rare to have a guy that can have that versatility—not only week to week, but he can do it in a game if need be. So I have a lot of respect and appreciation for what he brings to our defense.
(On how K.J Wright is able to be versatile) I think it starts with him having really good football instincts. To say, ‘I understand the concept of how we play whether it is three deep, or man to man. Then, the intricacies of each position—you have to learn and study at those hard because you’re seeing things at a little bit of a different angle so I have a lot of respect for the way he has gone about it.
And, as I noted in the previous post, Russell Wilson spoke to the media today. Here's what the quarterback said:
QB Russell Wilson
November 13, 2014
(On how big a challenge is it to make sure you know where Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are at all times) Well knowing where those guys are, Hali and Houston, you got to know. They’re great football players, some of the best guys in the league and we’re going to have to do a great job of slowing them down.
(On what he remembers of camp last year and that group of corners including Ron Parker he was throwing at) Well Ron Parker’s been playing great for them; you can definitely see it on film. He’s played corner, he’s played safety, and he can do it all. It will be exciting to go against him just because he’s a great football player and he’s got a lot of talent. We had so many guys here, it’s tough to make it here but I thought that he’s playing extremely good football right now.
(On if he got a sense going against that group last year that there was a usual amount of talent with all the guys you have now plus Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Antoine Winfield and all those guys) Yeah, you think about all the talent we had last camp, this past camp and the times before. We’ve had so much talent at the cornerback position and then obviously, we’ve had some guys go to different teams and be very, very successful. When you look at Ron Parker, that’s what he’s doing for the Kansas City Chiefs.
(On the forecast being very, very cold for Sunday and how it’s different playing in cold weather as opposed to rain) In terms of the cold weather, they’ve got so many heaters on the sidelines, you’ve got the gloves, you’ve got the little heat packet in your pocket there so it will be alright. I know it will be cold. The question is how the ground will be, how the grass will be. If the ground will be frozen or not depending on how cold it is. That’s the kind of thing you have to get prepared for and make sure you get your traction and making sure that you have your balance in everything you do.
(On if the cold weather affects your ability to grip the ball at all) Not really. I have such big hands. In terms of gripping the football, it’s not usually a problem ever.
(On how he evaluates how he’s been playing and where he’s lacking right now based on having a passer rating under 80 in four of the last five games) Well I think my accuracy has been a little off for whatever reason. I keep believing in myself. I’m not going to doubt myself. I’ve played a lot of great football at times. I believe every time I get the ball in my hands, I’m going to make something happen. That’s never going to change. My confidence never waivers and sometimes you go through a downward slump but as long as you can find ways to win. That’s all I care about is finding ways to help our football win and then once I get back in my groove which hopefully it will happen this week, I think it’s going to be really hard to stop us because of how our defense is playing and how Marshawn [Lynch] is running the football and so there have been a lot of opportunities. That’s the good thing. There have been a lot of opportunities that we could have capitalized on and we haven’t. I think some of that’s on me and I look forward to those moments again, whenever they come back up, I believe that those game altering plays I’m going to make.
(On if he stills believes his footwork is the main culprit) I think sometimes. I think some of the times it’s been footwork and sometimes maybe rushing a little bit too fast. I think that one of my strengths is being poised at certain times and I think that I have to always go back to that. Always being as calm as possible and being smooth as possible and making those throws and hitting it when it’s there.
(On when he has consecutive running plays whether it’s a scramble or by design and the third play is a pass, if it is a little harder to compose himself after the running and the hitting) No, I don’t think so. I don’t think about it at least. I don’t think it makes a difference. Obviously I’ve had to run the ball a few more times than normal. In terms of, does it affect the passing game? I don’t think so. I do think your adrenaline is going a little bit more and I’ve done this ever since I was a young kid. I’ve been able to scramble and do all of that so I think I’m used to it. But one thing you have to figure out and make sure you know is stay calm and stay poised and I think that’s part of it because your adrenaline is running so high from running around from all those big guys. When you get back out there, every play is a new play for me and that’s what I’m looking forward to this week.
(On having so many reps with Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse and when it comes to working with Kevin Norwood and Paul Richardson, what kind of things does he do to make sure they’re up to speed) In terms of getting the other guys up to speed, I think they’re doing a great job. I think Kevin Norwood and Paul Richardson are doing a phenomenal job stepping up and making plays for us. I think there’s always room for all of us to improve, me especially. I think that, in terms of getting those guys up to speed, me getting up to speed to them and figuring everything out, I think it’s communicating and continuing to get extra reps when you can without tiring those guys out because they’re doing special teams stuff during practice and then after practice you don’t want to wear them down too much. There’s a happy medium to it but I also think a lot of it is visualizing and trusting it too. Trusting those reps, trusting the preparation and then come game day, letting it rip.
(On where he finds those extra reps) You find it in the film room. You find it in the film room. You find it in between drills when you can. ‘Hey, can you spot up right here for me?’ If I miss a throw during a game, Coach Carl Smith and I always make sure we go back to it and replay the down, the situation and complete the throw and let it go so I can come back to it. Next time it’s in a game, I’ll hit it again. That’s the way that I think. I think that with those guys they’re doing a phenomenal job, they’re so talented. They’ve got so much ability so I’ve no doubt in my mind what we can do and what we will do.
(On in the last two seasons how his numbers have taken a big uptake in the last month or two and what he attributes that to and if it’s something he expects out of himself this year too) Well, my goal is to take-off. That’s the goal. You want to keep getting better every week. I feel like I’ve found ways to win these past couple of weeks and you have to remember we’ve had a lot of guys out and all that but you still want to keep playing great football all the time and so you’re going to have your ups and downs but the key is finding your way back into that groove and staying in that groove and that’s what I believe is going to happen. We’re playing a very good defense so we have to play our best football. I have to play my best football. I look forward to those challenges.
(On having to count on new guys at tight end and receiver to some extent too and how much more inherently difficult is it trying to build up rapport with those guys in season) In terms of building rapport with the news guys, they love getting extra work, they love doing whatever they can. But also, those game reps are a little bit different and so the more that you can get those game reps in like the young receivers we’ve had in there, think about Cooper Helfet, Tony Moeaki – he’s playing and getting ready for the game and so those guys are so talented so you have to get as much as you can during the week and trust come game day, it’s no different. They’re ready to go. There very, very good catchers. They can do it all. They run great routes so it should look the same.
(On if there is ever any thought of how challenging these last seven games will be) Well it’s always been a challenge for us ever since I got here. I know that our schedule has always been tough – playing in this division, the NFC West, it’s not easy then you have to play some AFC teams that are very, very talented. We’re going against the Kansas City Chiefs, a playoff type team, that’s a very good football team, coached extremely well. They have a great quarterback in Alex Smith and they have a great defense and they have some star players on the offensive side of the ball. You look forward to those moments. You look forward to going on the road to Arrowhead. We know it’s going to be loud, we know their fans are going to be intense. Those are championship moments that you live for. Those are all the times when you’re a little kid you work for, those are all the times when you’re in the weight room during the offseason and throwing with the guys and traveling around and trying to throw with the guys as much as you can in different locations and find a way. That’s what develops championship teams is finding a way to win, finding a way to come back, finding a way when you’re ahead staying ahead, all those things and finding a way to continue to believe. Like I’ve always said to you guys, ‘Why not us?’ We have a great football team; we have a team that believes in each other, we have a team that believes in our coaching staff. We have the best fans in the national football league. So our goal is to show that every week. There are ups and downs throughout a season and you look forward to those because that develops the character of your team. That develops a championship season, that’s the journey and you have to respect the process and enjoy the journey.
(On playing Kansas City in the preseason his rookie year) I always try to visualize success and one of the things I thought about this morning was, ‘Playing at Arrowhead—oh yeah I’ve played there before.’ So it’s a little bit different situation—preseason game but those are things you try and remember. You try to remember what the stadium looks like, you try to remember how you got ready—what was the process of it, that was the third preseason game—that was a game I started in and it turned out really well for us, really good for us. So I think you try to rely on those things—I also try to rely on the preparation throughout the week more than anything else. I try to rely on the teammates that I have and the coaching staff, and trust that we’re going to find a way. We know it’s going to be a battle, we know it’s going to go down to the wire, and we expect that. We expect to find a way to win and that’s what it takes.
(On the difference in a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense) We see a lot of 3-4 defenses because the NFC West—they play a lot of 3-4 defenses and you have those big guys on the edge, they’re called linebackers, but they don’t look like linebackers. So that’s kind of the difference, you have those big guys on the edge and they’re usually bringing a five man rush every play. So you have to do a great job of blocking them up and getting protected, which we will hopefully and play a great football game.
(On did the preseason game feel big for him) I never look forward to the future—I just try to be in the moment, that’s kind of how I’ve always been. Yes I look forward to playing this game this week, but just because it’s the game this week but I just try to live in the moment and during that time period when I was a rookie getting ready for that first game, I just told myself, ‘I’ve been here before, I’ve played in a lot of games before, I’ve started in a lot of college football games, I’ve had a lot of great opportunities before, and played in front of a lot of big crowds before and I always want to rise to the occasion and elevate my game and elevate my teammates. So that’s one of my focus points—I’m ready, I’m prepared, and you get ready for those moments and you go.
(On the coldest game he’s played in) Probably somewhere in Wisconsin—practicing in Wisconsin, we always practice outside. I’ve played in some cold games in the ACC—I don’t know, 15 degrees. I don’t think I’ve ever practiced below, besides when I was a little kid playing in the back yard. Other than that, I don’t really practice in anything below freezing or below zero.
(On has he ever had to wear flat shoes instead of spikes) I’ve never had to wear non-spikes because usually the cold places that I’ve played have turf. So it’s a little bit different—the ground may be heated, but I’m getting ready for that just in case you ever have to wear non-spikes, just in case the ground is frozen and your cleats won’t go in the ground. So that’s probably what I’m going to be practicing in probably today most likely just to kind of get a feel for what it’s going to feel like, and get a feel for my balance, and moving around.
(On anyone liking to play in bad weather) I just enjoy playing the game—when the lights come on, you get ready to go. Do I wish we were playing in sixty-five degree weather—probably so but you look forward to the moments just to get out there. That’s what playoff football and championship football is all about—bad weather situation and it’s a grind. You have to find a way—that’s the mentality that you have to have. So I’m looking forward to it.
(On last week’s rushing performance) Well when you have a rushing performance like we had last week, you love those moments—that’s history, that’s real stuff that you never want to forget, that you can always rely on—the fact that Marshawn [Lynch] is running the ball as good as he is. He’s having an MVP type performance and that’s what you want out of your guy. Then, you think about all the other guys that are having to step up: Robert Turbin and Christine Michael—they’re playing great football too. So you watch the film, you get excited to see that kind of stuff because I believe that when you have one part of your offense doing really well and then the second part comes on, in terms of the passing game—we want to be very balanced. So like I said earlier in the beginning of this interview, I believe that we’re going to click, we going to make plays, and whatever it takes to win. I don’t care what the situation is, whether it’s a run for 450 or we throw for 450 as long as we score one more that’s all that matters to me.