Looking for someone to blame for Seattle laying a goose egg in a 24-0 humbling at Pittsburgh?
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says to point the finger at him.
“I’ve got to help more,” Carroll said about his team’s struggles on offense. “I’ve told the players in the locker room I’m not helping them enough. And I’ve got to do a better job of finding ways to make it more available for us to move the football, and to make our plays – like on third down today. We had a hard time today.”
Carroll again pointed to the fact that Seattle’s offense is struggling because of all the new bodies they added on that side of the ball this season, and little time to build a chemistry.
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“Knowing how new we were, and how few opportunities we had to bring them along, it’s going to take a little while. And that’s unfortunate, and it’s very difficult to have to live through it. But we know what’s going to happen at the other end, and we’re going to stay the course because we know that.”
“We’ve got a lot of changes we have to make obviously – we didn’t score a point, period,” Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. “That’s embarrassing. We can’t be a good football team and go in and play like that.”
Seattle had better pass protection today, but still allowed five sacks.
“We protected better today,” Carroll said. “It may not have looked like it, but we protected better today against a very aggressive front. So we made some progress there, but we didn’t run the ball worth a darn today. And we need to.”
But the primary issue with Seattle’s offense is the team’s inability to run the ball. The Seahawks finished with 31 yards on the ground, averaging just 2.4 yards a carry.
“We’ve need to get our running game going,” Jackson said. “I think if we get our running game going, that will help with those explosive plays. We can play action those guys and try and get them up, and then try and go over top of them.
“But they’re not going to respect the play action if we’re not running the ball well. So we’ve got to do a better job of that.”
Added Marshawn Lynch, who finished with 11 yards on six carries: “Something that will help us out a lot is execution, executing on a lot of small things that I feel we’re not capitalizing on, to put ourselves in better positions to make ourselves able to go and hit that home run play we’ve been looking for.”
Carroll said he never considered lifting Tarvaris Jackson for Charlie Whitehurst late in the game with his team struggling. He does not believe that Jackson is the problem, and will remain with him as the team’s starter moving forward for the foreseeable future.
“It had nothing to do with the quarterback spot,” Carroll said about Seattle’s struggles offensively. “I don’t feel like that at all. We’ll look at everything, but I don’t feel like that at all.”
Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner was targeted repeatedly by Pittsburgh offensively and struggled in coverage. He was called for pass interference on a deep ball to Mike Wallace on the Steelers’ first drive of the game that resulted in first-and-goal on the one for Pittsburgh, but Seattle’s defense held tough and forced them to turn it over on downs.
Browner also gave up 2-yard touchdown to Wallace on a fade route in the third quarter.
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Browner seemed to struggle keeping up with Pittsburgh’s smaller receivers.
“I’ve got to watch film and see how it looks from that perspective,” Browner said. “And then I’ll have a better answer for you then. But everything is so new right now. I know it was a tough one, I know that much.”
Carroll clarified Sidney Rice’s injury after a report by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports surfaced stating that Rice has a torn labrum.
Carroll confirmed that Rice does have a torn labrum, but said the injury is not like tight end John Carlson’s shoulder. Carlson needed surgery to repair his torn labrum during training camp and was placed on the season-ending, injured reserve list.
Rice practiced all last week and according to Carroll, the strength in his shoulder is improving, which should give him an opportunity to play next week.
However, there’s no guarantee Rice won't injure the shoulder worse if he plays against Arizona on Sunday.
“We just need to see if he continues to respond,” Carroll said. “He’s got a sore shoulder now, and we’ve got to make sure he’s right before he comes back.
“He’s got some damage in his shoulder. We’re trying to figure out how he can come back. … The labrum issues are all different. He’s responding well. We need to see if he’s ready to go.
“This will be a big week for us to test him. He was about 80 percent last week I would think. If you watch practice you would think he could play. We didn’t hit him and knock him around, so we won’t know until we get more active with him in practice. We’ll know more this week.”
Some tidbits* Seattle’s longest play from scrimmage was a 17-yard pass to Eddie Williams, who joined the team five days ago.
* Seattle’s offense only crossed midfield twice. The Seahawks punted eight times and four 3-and-outs.
* For a second straight game Seattle’s defense did not force a turnover. Linebacker Aaron Curry dropped an interception that would have thwarted a touchdown drive for Pittsburgh in the first half.
* Mike Williams finished with one catch for nine yards and was only targeted three times. He has to have more of an impact on the game than that.
* The Seahawks finished 2 of 12 on third down, while Pittsburgh finished 8 of 15 on third down.
* Carroll said the team is relatively healthy, with no injuries of note to report