Home USA News Pete Carroll, the Seahawks defense is coachable, not hard

Pete Carroll, the Seahawks defense is coachable, not hard

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The music was not playing.

There was none.

In the Seahawks locker room, the walls of which shook with the pounding bass right after winning four straight from October to November? Empty churches are louder than Seattle’s room of 60-plus players at Lumen Field late on a Sunday afternoon.

The buzz, the fun, is like winning and even a respectable Seahawks defense right now. Long gone.

The Las Vegas Raiders beat them on Sunday a 40-34 overtime loss. Josh Jacobs ran untouched for an 86-yard touchdown to win it. It was the last of his 229 rushing yards, the all-time most by a single player against Seattle.

“It hurts,” Seahawks linebacker Puna Ford said. “It’s always going to hurt to lose a game like that, especially when you’re running, when you’re hitting 80 yards.

“It’s just not acceptable on our end.”

Point guard Shelby Harris also didn’t need an amplifier to be heard in the locker room Sunday. Allowing a 3-7 team 283 yards rushing and 576 total yards, the third-most in Seahawks history, tends to dampen enthusiasm.

“We have to be where we have to be. And we just have to play,” Harris said.

“It’s probably just the point.”

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) tight end Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Al Woods (99) rushes for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

Josh Jacobs is better than Bo Jackson

How bad is what Jacobs did to the Seahawks on Sunday?

It was worse than the other raiders running back, named after some guy Because Jackson was dragging Brian Bossuart and Seattle’s defense around the Kingdome for 221 yards with a landmark 91-yard touchdown run into the tunnel on a memorable Monday night in 1987.

“We didn’t play a rush worth anything,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Sunday.

It came after his team dropped to 6-5 and outside the seven-team NFC playoff picture.

There are two main facts about the Seahawks defense right now. And they shout:

  • They weren’t tough enough
  • They were trained

Seattle Seahawks running back Jordin Brooks (56) runs down the sideline after Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores the game-winning touchdown in overtime of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

“We just have to play more physical,” inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks said. “Guys have to come off blocks, make tackles. Do not miss tackles.

“That’s what it is, basically.”

Well, there’s this: For the second straight game, Carroll and defensive coordinator Clint Hurt’s game plan was the opposite of what the opposition did in Seattle.

U Munich, November 13 before the Seahawks had their bye, Tampa Bay’s last-ranked offense was rushing in I formation and power right at Seattle’s new 3-4 and at times two defensive linemen. Even when the Seahawks switched to their Bear formation of three linemen over opposing guards and under center with outside linebackers on the edges of the line as the fourth and fifth linemen, the Buccaneers ran all over the place.

So did the raiders.

So did the 49ers, in the new division leader San Francisco beats Seattle 27-7 in two weeks. So did Atlanta and New Orleans defeated the Seahawksalbeit with more modern formations than the old-school look the Buccaneers and Raiders gave the Seahawks.

Incorrect scheme. Again.

On Sunday, Carroll and Hurt planned to shut down Davante Adams, Las Vegas’ dynamic wide receiver, and Derek Carr’s pass rusher.

In Germany, Carol and Hurt planned taking Tom Brady.

Instead, the Buccaneers and Raiders ran the Seahawks off the field.

“What’s different in the last two games, they stayed with their regular lineup, used a defender. More unique than other games we’ve played,” Carroll said. “It was a problem for us again.

“An old-fashioned ball. There is nothing new in this, in general. It’s just different and we haven’t been used to it in either of the last two weeks.”

Adams finished Sunday with seven catches on 11 targets for 74 of the Raiders’ 576 yards.

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) catches a pass from defensive end Derek Carr (4) as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Mike Jackson (30) defends during the second quarter of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle . Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

“We did a lot of things to keep him from playing the ball,” Carroll said. “Remember, there have been those 40-something goals in the last few weeks. Today there were 10 or 11 of them. A lot of the ball goes to him.

And what? Jacobs blew the door off the Seahawks linebacker, which is losing passengers every hour.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates as he runs into the locker room after scoring the game-winning touchdown on an 86-yard overtime run in the NFL against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

“Josh was really great today. He had a great game,” Carroll said.

“We didn’t tackle it as well as we should have, we didn’t plan it as well as we should have.”

Carroll was asked if his new scheme this season, with fewer true defensive linemen and faster linebackers, is getting enough push forward to stop physical attacks.

“It’s not that simple,” Carroll said. “These are seizures. That’s all the support and what we do from the back end as well.

“We have to play better than we do against two defenders. It couldn’t be more obvious. This is as obvious as it gets. Something we’ll take care of.”

They should.

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs between Seattle Seahawks linebacker Ucheno Nwosu (10) and linebacker Quandre Diggs (6) after catching a pass from quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the third quarter of an NFL game Sunday, November 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

What can keep the Rams (3-8) in freefall at Inglewood, Calif., this coming Sunday, or Carolina (4-6) and then the 49ers (7-4) in Seattle’s next three games from what the Buccaneers do and the Raiders just did to the Seahawks?

Only carelessness — like the New York Giants, who finished second in the NFL but dropped five of their first six games in lost in Seattle last month.

“We have to fix it. Everyone will expose it if we don’t fix it.” Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs said after his first two interceptions of the season went for naught Sunday. “We made some adjustments. Today she showed her head.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t stop the run, we can’t do anything. It starts with everyone. …

“Teams will see that, and if they see that, you might as well run the ball. We have to make these stops. I do not humiliate anyone. I’m just saying we have to make those stops.”

Seattle Seahawks guard Quandre Diggs (6) fights off an interception by Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the first quarter of an NFL game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Lumen Field in Seattle. Pete Custer Pete Custer/The News Tribune

This story was originally published November 27, 2022 8:09 p.m.

Greg Bell is a Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019, he was named the Washington State Sports Journalist of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. He began covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season in 2005. In the past, he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the US Army, so he might ask you to give it up and give him a 10.

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