Carroll vows run game will get back on track

Seattle averaged 2.7 yards per rushing attempt in Sunday’s win at Carolina

Staff writerSeptember 10, 2013 

Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis, right, and the Panthers kept Marshawn Lynch in check Sunday, holding the Seattle running back to 43 yards on 17 carries, an average of 2.5 yards per carry.

BOB DONNAN/USA TODAY SPORTS

RENTON — My bad.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll expressed that sentiment when asked to explain why his dominant run game averaged just 2.7 yards per carry in his team’s 12-7 win over Carolina.

“Not everything worked out the way that we’d liked,” Carroll said. “We didn’t run the ball very well. In our program, as you guys know, that’s a huge focus and so we were disappointed.

“We plan to go right back to business and get it done this week. We can’t go like that. We’re not going to do our football that way. We have to do something about it this week against a tremendous defense.”

The Seahawks finished No. 3 in the league in rushing last season, averaging 161.2 yards a contest.

But in the first half against Carolina on Sunday, the Seahawks totaled just 34 yards. Carroll said his staff changed the approach of Seattle’s run game to try to take advantage of things the team noticed when watching the Panthers on video.

But when Seattle’s running attack stalled, Carroll said the Seahawks went back to what had been successful for offensive line/assistant head coach Tom Cable last season in the second half, and things finally began to click for them in the fourth quarter.

“We just didn’t get it done the way that we liked it,” Carroll said. “I contributed to that. So I’ve got to make sure that I help out and do the right things to help us, and get us on a track on what’s really important to us.

“We didn’t zero in early enough, where we could make the adjustments that we normally make. It just took us a while. At the end of the game, we were able to run the ball enough to make

the drives that we needed and things worked out. It just took us longer than we needed in that game in particular.”

AVRIL EXPECTED TO PLAY

The Seahawks are getting healthy at the right time. Carroll said defensive end Cliff Avril is expected to be ready for Sunday’s home opener against San Francisco if he makes it through practice this week.

“He practiced well enough last week, and he was very close to being able to play on Sunday,” Carroll said. “So we’re planning on him being a part of it this week, unless he has some kind of setback we can’t foresee. So that will be a nice little boost to get him back in the game.”

Carroll said cornerback Brandon Browner still had issues with his hamstring during pregame warm-ups before the Carolina game, and the hope is that he’ll return to practice Thursday. Browner remains a possibility to play against San Francisco.

Meanwhile, defensive end Chris Clemons (knee) will get some reps with the team Wednesday, but still might have to wait a couple of weeks to return to the field.

“We need to just get him through the practice routine, and see if he can handle it, which we think he can,” Carroll said. “He looks great, but he hasn’t done that yet. So that means he’ll be working against other guys, pushing and shoving and all of that, in a limited fashion.

“And then we’ll just take it one day at a time and see how he progresses.”

Carroll said the training staff is holding Clemons back, and that the team’s leading sack man feels like he’s ready to play.

“He’s really champing at the bit to go now,” Carroll said. “He’s telling us he can go, and he’s ready and all of that. So he’s actually where you want your player to be. So we are having to hold him back until he can prove it, and then come back after that work and feel good. So we don’t know how long it’s going to take. It may take a couple weeks, I don’t know.”

Carroll said his team had no serious injuries after Sunday’s game at Carolina that he’s aware of. Safety Jeron Johnson did suffer a minor hamstring strain, and Carroll said he will see if he can get back on the field later this week.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com @eric_d_williams blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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