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Carroll: ‘We ran up against a buzz-saw on the other side’ in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks argues a call with referee John Parry #132 during the first half of the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 10, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – Yes, Pete Carroll knows the offensive line needs some improvement. And yes, he does think it will improve.

Every week, Carroll takes time for a one-on-one interview with the home of the Seattle Seahawks, Q13 FOX. This week, he talked about the O-line, the importance of winning the home-opener, and the magic that is Earl Thomas.

The Seahawks have never lost a home-opener under Pete Carroll. Coach, is there a different kind of energy and excitement about the home opener every year?

Oh yeah, this is a big deal to us. We realize how important it has been over the years to really dominate your opportunities at home. This is the first shot we get. We want to capture it – the feeling of it. We want to connect with the fans. We want to make sure that we get off to a great start. We want the new players to sense what it’s like a on a real gameday. There’s a lot to it, and yeah, we want to do really well.

It’s never easy to start a season on the road, so where would you like to see some improvement tomorrow from last week?

We need to be more consistent. We were not consistent on third down on either side of the ball. I think that was really the story, on the inside of it. We didn’t covert on offense, and we didn’t get em off the field on defense. So, that will make a big difference in terms of time to play and everything that you want to mix on the offensive side of the ball. So, a big focus right there.

Why do you think this offense has been able to be so consistent going up-tempo in the past?

I think it really is good for Russell – he’s great at it – and if you notice, he runs a lot in those situations and he makes things happen. So, it really does put him in command of it. It is, in part, the situations that you’re facing. If you do it all the time, it isn’t as effective. But it certainly has been good for us. Russell’s been great in the situation – we feel very confident, rather at the end of the half or the end of the game that we can get the job done, and we’ll look forward to those (opportunities) again.

When you go up-tempo, is that easier or harder on an offensive coordinator who’s trying to get those play calls in?

Well, they have to work together. There’s a mixture of calls that happen there. Sometimes, the quarterback takes it when we’re really in a full-tempo. They talk through it and work through it, together, making those calls. I don’t think it’s any harder or easier. We’re really good at it, and we’ve been at it for a long time. Really, when you’re talking about Russell (Wilson) and Darrell (Bevell), they communicate perfectly in that situation. So, we look forward to the ops.

On the defensive side of the ball, it’s great to see Earl Thomas back. Is there anything you can say about Earl that hasn’t been said before?

I’m so impressed with his return this year – everything he did to get right and get healthy. And then the way he’s attacked the offseason, and in particular camp, and ready for this season. He’s just been impeccable. And he’s impressed us that he’s come back so fast and with such tremendous determination. And this is a guy that is as determined as you can get. So I’m really excited for him, and how he affects the rest of our team.

How about that mentality? He said he doesn’t want to be just the best safety of all time – he wants to be the best defensive back of all time.

Good for him. That’s a lofty thought, but I’m not surprised.

Let me take you back to seven months ago. We were in Atlanta, for the playoff game against the Falcons. Kyle Shanahan’s on the other sideline, and John Lynch is up in the TV booth. How did we get here with the 49ers?

I don’t know how it happened. It’s a great opportunity for both those guys for their first shot. Kyle’s well-deserved – he’s done some extraordinary things with the offenses he’s coached. John Lynch is an amazing individual, and I just wish I hadn’t talked to him so much when we’d be in these games. I’m telling him everything that’s going on and trying to help him learn and get ahead in the business he’s in. Obviously I wanted to help him compete and sure enough, now he’s calling stuff against us. I don’t know how that happened.

I know it’s just one game in, but have you seen Kyle be able to put his stamp on the 49ers?

Yeah, you can see it in the offense. When he hired Robert Saleh, and he had a chance to make a mark on the defense, so you could see it on both sides of the ball. Special teams is coming. I think you can see that this is a totally different team than we faced, and they look like a different style across the board. We really have a lot of respects for all the things they’re doing.

What are your thoughts on the O-line right now?

I just wish it hadn’t been the storyline for everybody to want to talk about. But, we didn’t play well enough up front. We ran up against a buzz-saw on the other side in this opener. I think you’re going to see us improve. We had a really good offseason and preseason, the first game just didn’t hit right. We’ll see if we can get on it. We need to mix our running game like we want to. It’s very important to us, and we didn’t get that accomplished last week. So, we’ll see how we do, but I really feel like we’re going to get back on track.