Despite the feeling from some league observers that the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals were supposed to share orange slices and sing Kumbaya after Sunday’s 58-0 shellacking, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said he does not feel like his team tried to run up the score.
Why? Carroll has plenty of experience playing from way ahead from the many times his teams at USC buried inferior opponents.
“What you’re trying to do is make first downs,” Carroll said. “You’re trying to get first downs and keep the football, with the sensitivity of the situation. And you know you’re going to run the football like crazy, which was awesome. We love to do that.
“So we got a lot of things done yesterday. And unfortunately on the other side, it was a very hard day for those guys. I get it.”
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As Will Brinson of CBS Sports points out, the Seahawks only passed the ball 22 times against the Cardinals.
“I’m very clear about how you do it, and have done it a lot,” Carroll said. “I’ve been in games where we’re taking a knee at the end of the second quarter to get the clock ran out.
“So it’s a sensitive situation. I understand that. But we have a very clear way that we go about it. And we’re trying to really accomplish a lot of stuff in that situation, as well as just finishing the football game.”
Carroll said the main thing he wanted to accomplish was getting reserve quarterback Matt Flynn some play time in the second half.
“He handled himself fine,” Carroll said. “And he’s got enough action where he’s played now. And so it’s been a long time for him. So that was valuable in the long run of things.”
Carroll said his team for the most part is healthy, although backup safety Chris Maragos has a hamstring strain that will need to be monitored in practice this week.
Overall, Carroll was impressed with the play from young cornerbacks Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane.
“For the first time out, and knowing the significance of it in the way we try and bring our young guys up, I was really fired up about it,” Carroll said. “So, in talking about Maxwell and Lane now, they both played well enough where I couldn’t tell the difference if one came out ahead of the other one. So that’s a really good sign for us.”
Carroll credited defensive back coaches Kris Richard and Rocky Seto for coaching up the young corners on their technique so they were ready when pressed into service.
The Seahawks might have to lean on the young corners some more, because Carroll said he does not know if Marcus Trufant will be back this week from a hamstring injury.
“He’s getting close,” Carroll said. “This was the week we thought he would come back.”
Carroll said that this is the best he’s seen linebacker Malcolm Smith play during the time he’s coached him. With Leroy Hill likely returning from an ankle injury, Carroll will have to make a tough decision on who starts at outside linebacker between the two.
“He kind of has a nose for the football,” Carroll said about Smith. “Things happen when he’s around it.”
In terms of the offensive linemen, Carroll mentioned J.R. Sweezy, Frank Omiyale and Lemuel Jeanpierre as guys who stood out in the second half.