Pete Carroll isn’t handling the Seahawks’ struggles well



Emotions boiled over for Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf last Sunday as a result of Seattle’s string of losses. This week, it was head coach Pete Carroll’s turn.

After the Seahawks lost 23-13 to the Cardinals — their fifth defeat in the last six games — Carroll abruptly walked away from his postgame press conference after eight minutes, before later returning to take questions from reporters for another nine. He said this is the most frustrated he’s been since arriving in Seattle — “it’s not even close” — and the team’s 3-7 record is its worst since 2011, with the weeks left to rebound for a wild-card spot quickly slipping away.

“I’m just not any good at this,” Carroll said. “I’m not prepared for this. I’m struggling to do a good job of coaching when you’re getting your butt kicked week in and week out. It’s new territory, and I’m competing in every way I can think of. But I’m just unfamiliar with it. 

“So if I leave early or if I make a mistake, I’m not on my best game right here … I’m not making any excuses. And I don’t want to get good at this.”

He walked away from the podium after finishing an answer, saying “I’m really done.” But he returned in street clothes, out of his team-branded quarter-zip that he started with, and said, “I know that you probably have some more questions. I don’t know if I have any more answers for you, but I’ll try.”

Those answers haven’t emerged at any point over the past six weeks, either. Russell Wilson’s return from a finger injury was supposed to provide a boost, but the quarterback has thrown for just 367 yards in the two games since his return (both losses), with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

Seattle was shut out against the Packers last week, and managed just 13 points against the Cardinals on Sunday. Wilson, in his second game back from the finger injury, completed 14 of 26 passes, and the team’s lone offensive touchdown the last two weeks came on a 2-yard run by DeeJay Dallas.

Pete Carroll during the Seahawks' loss to the Cardinals
Pete Carroll during the Seahawks’ loss to the Cardinals
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Carroll expressed optimism about the Seahawks not turning the ball over and only committing two penalties the entire game, but said other issues that have followed them throughout the season — like third-down and red-zone conversions — have become clearer when the offense no longer has its explosive plays on first and second down.

“It’s really surprising now that we’re back a couple weeks with Russ back in there that we had such a hard time scoring and moving the football,” Carroll said. “The running game was pretty efficient. But it came down to we were 1-for-5 in the first half (on third down). The hard part of it is that this is what it’s been like and it hasn’t gotten better.”

Carroll said that he doesn’t understand “why it’s become a mystery” to score points, since it’s never been an issue, but the Seahawks have topped 21 points in a game just three times all season. Metcalf has only recorded seven catches for 57 yards the past two games, the opposite effect that Wilson’s return was projected to have. Tyler Lockett had a 48-yard catch against the Cardinals, but only has six receptions the past two weeks, too.

Pete Carroll speaks to Russell Wilson
Pete Carroll speaks to Russell Wilson
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“I don’t have any other thought in my mind. I’m just disappointed that I’ve got to keep coming back in here and talk about the same stuff and don’t feel like I have good answers for you,” Carroll said to reporters, via ESPN. “Because our answers so far have not turned it. … It starts with me. I’ve got to get this done, and I’ve got to help my guys get it done.”

Seattle’s next chance to fix its season will come when it travels to face the Washington Football Team on Nov. 29 for “Monday Night Football.” Washington defeated the Carolina Panthers this week for its second consecutive win, improving to 4-6.


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