Pete Carroll now faces a full season without Russell Wilson, and everything he does or says will have that extra layer of interest to it. We watched Bill Belichick without Tom Brady; what will Pete be without Russ?
They were among the most discouraged words he has given besides a playoff loss post-game, and yet they serve to highlight what remains intriguing about this team.
The full press conference is here, but Carroll’s thoughts on tackling are the focus of today.
I have to check on the tacklers. The guys that are missing. I think that’s the most important thing to me right now, I wanna see who’s missing tackles, and uh, fix that problem. I don’t think it’s an epidemic, it looked a little like that last week. We’ve got to clean some stuff up with some guys and you know, if they don’t get it right, then they won’t be able to be here and we’ll get guys that can.
Attention, Seahawk athletes: make a freakin’ tackle or Pete Carroll is going to boot you.
Let’s get one thing out of the way - if a team is as bad at tackling as what Thursday showed, they won’t win football games. It’s the primary focus of two-thirds of the game, and as was much debated here and everywhere last season, bad defense leads to bad offensive situations, leads to “is Russell Wilson even good?” and all sorts of other dilemmas.
This team is loaded with rookies and guys like Cody Barton or Marquise Blair trying to build their first full-time resumé, and elite talent who need no introduction like DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Quandre Diggs.
The rookie mistakes showed up in droves on Thursday, but gave no indication that this class is outmatched, in fact in other areas they still appeared up to the challenge.
The veteran presence is the true indicator of this team, and always has been the preferred roster compilation for John Schneider and company.
Diggs, Jamal Adams, Jordyn Brooks, and cornerback competition leader Sidney Jones did not play.
Those were the four leading tacklers from the 2021 season on the roster this year. Bobby Wagner and D.J. Reed were also in the top-5 mix, now on other teams.
Offensively this team has one 5’10” sized question mark that the defense does not have: who is the top talent that gets this thing rolling?
Defensively - and especially at the one football fundamental which nearly broke Carroll after the game - this is not the issue. Those three guys at the top are true game changers, at some of the most involved positions. That frees everyone up to do what they’re supposed to do, and we’ve seen it on this roster countless times. When Carlos Dunlap first arrived on scene, and the entire defensive line got to play down to their correct talent tier so to speak, the pass rush took off.
I personally love that in the twilight years of his career, without the Hall of Fame quarterback, Pete Carroll still competes this hard. He will not suffer the penalties and poor tackling.
Fortunately, the area that was the biggest concern from Preseason Week 2 will be radically affected in preseason. This is not to say that some of these other issues aren’t worrisome, but this particular part of the game won’t be this bad come September.