2. The Seahawks expect the unexpected from New England’s offense.
After having Tom Brady at the center for nearly two decades, the Patriots’ offense looks different in 2020, with Cam Newton taking over the job after Brady went back into free agency.
The Seahawks know Newton well after playing the Panthers several times while Newton was there, including twice during his 2015 MVP season, but that does not mean they know what to expect. This is especially true because, as Carroll notes, the Patriots “adapt to opponents as well as everyone else in the game.”
Bill Belichick, perhaps more than any NFL coach, is willing to change the game schedule drastically from week to week depending on what an opponent is doing well, or depending on what he has available – an obvious example is how much New England’s offense changed early in the 2016 season when Brady was suspended.
In New England’s season-opening win over Miami, the Patriots attempted just 19 passes while running 42 times, including a team-high 15 carries by Newton, who had 75 rushing yards and two touchdowns. But just because the Patriots were run so heavy in Week 1, Carroll knows they can not assume they will see the same Sunday.
“They’ve shifted their focus to how they ran their offense in the first game,” Carroll said. They can do anything in the second game. I’ll leave it open to Coach Belichick … We’ll have to see what they do this time. There are not enough games for us in their new thinking to know what to expect here. We will have to adapt to playing time.
“We have a really good background with Cam, but we do not know what they will do with him. It is only one game. We do not even have the advantage of the preseason game to try that kind of character and they have been notorious for change from one week to the next in how they approach their opponents and all.So we have to go into this game with an open look, it’s almost like a first game.We have some information of course – they showed that they really want to run football, ran it 42 times in the game, which is a big commitment. But we’ll see. We do not know. “
The Seahawks are hoping to get back a player who was unavailable in the opening due to injury, receiving Phillip Dorsett II, while the status of two other players remains less clear. Defensive end Rasheem Green left Sunday’s opener with a shoulder injury and although he was able to return to the game, there have been some long-standing problems and his status is unlikely to be known until late in the week. This is also the case with tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, who missed the opener with a chest injury.
“It will take the whole week for us to figure it out with (Green), see how he comes back,” Carroll said. “He got some tests done today so we do not know. Otherwise we’re in good shape. We’ll get Phillip Dorsett back on the pitch today, see how he gets ready for the weekend. So we’re in pretty good shape. “Cedric will still be hampered a bit. We won’t know until the end of the week about Cedric.”
The Seahawks train indoors, but hopeful air quality improves before Sunday.
As air quality is still an issue in Seattle due to forest fires across the west coast, the Seahawks moved Wednesday’s practice indoors – they also practiced inside on Friday – and Carroll said they have been in touch with the NFL, which is monitoring the leading situation up for Sunday’s match. From now on, the weather forecast requires things to get better this weekend, so Carroll is hopeful there will be no problems by Sunday.
“We are in direct contact with (the league) and they also monitor what is going on as we are,” Carroll said. “Hopefully we get a good change in the weather this weekend. It looks like it may change tomorrow and into the weekend, but we are very aware of that and are working to find out.”
5. Carroll wants fans to get tall even if they can not join the game.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Seahawks will play in an empty CenturyLink field on Sunday and in at least their next two home games, and the Seahawks will miss having the top fans in the NFL cheering on them in person.
“This is one of the great spectacles in sports that plays here in front of our fans,” Carroll said, “Especially the highest place you can find. The level of excitement and the energy and the connection to the people of this area has been unique and extraordinary, nothing other than a play.
But while fans may not be present, Carroll will still have fans making some noise when the Seahawks make big games this weekend.
“That doesn’t mean when we score or something, make a big game, fire the quarterback, people can’t go out on their front steps and start screaming, shouting out the windows,” Carroll said. “I hope that’s what’s happening. I think it’s going to be part of the game, your responsibility to get in touch with your fellow fans out the window. I hope that happens. We need you. We will feel you in some way We regret that we can not play in front of our fans, but we return to it.In the meantime, be creative, find out.Let’s go, rock the house and the neighborhood, no matter where you are, make the buildings you are in, all that fun. “
6. The Seahawks will seek to get more players involved in the defensive line turn.
Carroll generally prefers a deep defensive line rotation that keeps everyone fresh, but in Seattle’s opener, defensive end Benson Mayowa played 90 percent of the defensive snaps, while Bruce Irvin played 85 percent. Irvin’s snap count will always be a little higher because he plays strongside linebacker and finishes, but Carroll will still see rotation get deeper forward.
“I don’t want them to play that much, really,” Carroll said. “We want to rotate better. We had some new guys who were there – Damontre (Moore) had not existed for a long time, we do not trust him much. We want our rotations better than that, more evenly matched if we can. Sometimes you can, sometimes we can not. Bruce is double dipping because he plays the outside backer place, he is really uniquely qualified to do so. He also gets a lot of games there. out of it while we go. “