Pete Carroll wants to give Geno Smith, Seahawks offense a longer leash

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SANTA CLARA, CA – SEPTEMBER 18: Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Seahawks 27-7. (Photo by Michael Z

After six straight quarters without points, head coach Pete Carroll is ready to expand the offense in hopes of speaking production for the Seattle Seahawks.

“We didn’t find our explosions in the game, you know, and I felt like there’s no reason not to go for our stuff. We have all kinds of things that we want to do and I think we can do more of it,” Carroll said on Wednesday.

After scoring touchdowns on their first two drives of the season against the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks’ offense has mostly been neutered by their opponents. The only points scored in Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers came off a blocked field goal by Tariq Woolen that was returned by Michael Jackson for an 86-yard touchdown.

“We’ve just got to score,” right tackle Abe Lucas said. “Just got to do a better job, I think, as a complete offense just putting the ball in the end zone and just taking advantage of opportunities when we get it is all. I’m not super concerned, because this offense is very explosive, has a lot of good weapons and good players. So just got to finish it.”

Carroll said that some of the conservative nature of the offense has been to protect rookie tackles Charles Cross and Lucas as they make their first starts in the NFL. Seattle was just the third team since 1970 to start two rookie tackles in the first game of the season and keeping things reined in was done so with an eye on helping them adjust.

“We didn’t want to open it up and expose the tackles any more than we had to so that all kind of fit together. But they’re holding up. They did a nice job in general,” Carroll said on Monday. “Geno (Smith)’s in command of what’s going on and he’s real accurate with his decision-making and all. I think it’s just more freely taking advantage of what’s going on rather than being concerned about our ability to hold up.”

But Carroll has been pleased with the play of Cross and Lucas and how they’ve held up against strong pass rushers such as Nick Bosa, Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory through two weeks.

“They’re out there doing it. They’re holding up their own,” Carroll said. “They’re really attentive to the things they need to improve on. When we communicate with them, they’re not being hard-headed about it. They’re not being where they can’t handle the criticism and the critique. That means that there’s nothing holding them back now. We just got to keep going and keep playing. They’ve seen some pretty darn good guys already. They’ll continue to see good guys, you know, each week but we’re starting to build a little reservoir of experience. So it’s nothing but positive.”

Wide receiver DK Metcalf said there’s not anything they can do about the two games that have gone by so far. It’s all about getting things clicking again moving forward.

“You can’t cry over spilled milk,” Metcalf said. “Six quarters are gone, so we have to look to the future. Yeah, it’s frustrating, but that’s part of the game. Nobody is going to be perfect throughout the whole season, so eliminating the mental errors, the little mistakes we had as an offense, and not put our defense back out there on the field. They played great in the first two games of the season, so it was really on the offense, and special teams needs to clean up our little mistakes and not put our defense in bad situations.”

Smith is completing 81 percent of his passes through two games, throwing for 392 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Seattle’s offense hasn’t been able to push the ball downfield much. However, a 49-yard completion to Metcalf was called back due to an ineligible man downfield on Lucas last Sunday.

Carroll believes that Smith has shown them he is fully capable of running the offense they want to execute. Now with the trust in the rookie linemen coming along as well, it’s time to take off some of the training wheels.

“Just the things that we work on and all with this thought that I’m not going to wait for 3-4 weeks to figure out what Geno’s looking like,” Carroll said. I think he looks really good. I’m convinced that what he’s done in practice and what we’ve seen, he’s carried to the games. The game’s not too big. He’s very comfortable in the games. He’s very poised about stuff and is accurate as heck and there’s no reason to be worried about it at all.

“So we’re just going to just kind of go and see if we get this thing rolling in a better clip than we have.”

Injury Updates:

– Defensive end Shelby Harris would not have practiced with the team on Wednesday anyway due to an injury to his gluteus, but he is currently away from the team to attend to a family matter as well.

– Left guard Damien Lewis did not practice on Wednesday, but did participate in the team’s walkthrough. He sustained a thigh bruise in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers.

“He’s got a thigh bruise but he got a lot more done than we thought he would,” Carroll said. “He looked OK moving around.I think we’ll take it easy on him today and take each day one at a time here but that’s a good indication.”

– Cornerback Justin Coleman (calf) and safety Joey Blount (hamstring) remained out due to injuries sustained in practice last Thursday.

– Safety Quandre Diggs (knee), linebacker Cody Barton (shoulder/hip) and guard Gabe Jackson (knee/resting veteran) also did not practice.

– Center Austin Blythe (shoulder), cornerback Artie Burns (groin), linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (shoulder/knee) and nose tackle Al Woods (knee) were limited.

Carroll said that Burns was expected to fully participate in practice, but was instead listed as limited at the end of the day.

“We’ll take a look and see how this week goes. But we’re excited to get him back,” Carroll said.

– Cornerback Tre Brown, who remains on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a patella tendon injury last November, is still not close to returning to action. He would be eligible to come off the PUP list after next week’s game against the Detroit Lions.

“He’s still working,” Carroll said. He’s here working out every day trying to get right. He’s not close right now. He’s not running full speed yet. So he’s working out and doing a lot of strength work and all the stuff with the trainers and all that but he’s not ready yet.”

– Safety Jamal Adams had surgery on Tuesday to address the torn quadriceps tendon in his left leg that landed him on injured reserve. Carroll said they still don’t know the timeline of Adams’ recovery, though it’s expected to be most, if not all, of the rest of the season.

“The surgery went well,” Carroll said. “He’s resting at home and is going to be there for a while to begin his rehab. Everybody sounds pleased that it worked out OK.”

Injury Report:

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