Seahawks Insider Blog

Carroll sees similarities in Niners

Pete Carroll acknowledged at time it's like looking in the mirror when he watches film on his team’s upcoming opponent, the San Francisco 49ers.

Fast, hard-hitting physical defense?


Run-oriented offense with a dynamic, playmaking quarterback?


Polished special teams that can make game-changing plays?


“I think we are similar,” Carroll said. “I can’t help but see that. Because they believe in playing big-time defense, which we do. They believe in the running game, which we do. They have a very strong emphasis on special teams, which we do.

“I think that’s really the three pillars of what we’re trying to put together here. That’s what I know we’re dealing with. And I don’t know how they speak it or how Jim talks about it. But it’s certainly what’s obvious about their team when you have to line up against them.”

But receiver Doug Baldwin, who played for San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh, says that’s where the similarities end.

“They’re completely different people,” Baldwin said. “Their personalities are completely different. Coaching style is completely different. But the strategic way they go about running their teams – obviously they both love to run the ball. Passing is not in the fore front of their offense, it’s all running. You build the pass off the run. That I guess you can say is comparable. And then defense as well. You’ve got to have a strong defense backing everything up.

“So from an outside perspective, yes. But from an inside perspective, it’s completely different.”

Baldwin is 0-2 0-3 so far against his former coach.

“It’s a little bit more personal obviously,” Baldwin said. “We want to get the win. I haven’t beat Harbaugh since I’ve been here. So it’s a little frustrating in that regard. I’m going to go out there and play as hard as I always play, regardless.

“Probably mentally I will just be more focused, more driven just because it is Harbaugh. But the fact that matter is it is the 49ers, it’s the next team in front of us, in front of our goal and another obstacle that we have to overcome.”

As he told us on Monday, Carroll said that defensive tackle Alan Branch won’t practice today because of an ankle injury. If Branch can’t go on Sunday, rookie Greg Scruggs and Clinton McDonald will rotate at defensive tackle along with Brandon Mebane.

“We hope we can get him back,” Carroll said about Branch. “We’re going to sit him today, and probably tomorrow, and try to get him out there on Friday to get him going. This is not as bad of ankle as he’s had. He’s had a history of ankle injuries, and he knows it pretty well. And we’re encouraged that he has a chance to make it back.”

Carroll also said he’ll find out where Walter Thurmond and Marcus Thurmond are at later this week. Both are trying to come back from hamstring injuries.

“We’re working to get them on the practice field,” Carroll said. “Then we’ll know.”

The Seahawks also added linebacker Kyle Knox to the practice squad. And safety Winston Guy is back with the team after serving his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

The Seahawks have received a roster exemption for Guy, so he does not count toward the 53-man roster this week.

The Seahawks have a week to decide what they are going to do with Guy.