RENTON (AP) — A week off for the Seattle Seahawks allowed coach Pete Carroll to take a closer look at some of his team’s struggles.
Third down has been the biggest issue for the Seahawks this season on both sides of the ball. A defense that ranks third in the league in yards and points per game given up is allowing opposing offenses to convert on 41 percent of third down opportunities.
Offensively, Seattle (6-4) is converting just 33 percent on third down. Both stats are in the bottom third of the league. The Seahawks face Miami (4-6) on Sunday.
“For as good as we can play on defense at times to be at 40 percent, that’s not good enough for us. We need to knock that thing down,” Carroll said.
It’s an area Carroll focused on during the week off to evaluate how they can improve over the final six weeks of the season. Carroll said they broke down what they were doing in a given situation and how teams are attacking them in those situations.
“We came to some conclusions that we wanted to fix some things,” Carroll said. “There’s a couple spots in the third down areas where we haven’t been as effective, so we’re trying to focus on that.”
Carroll said there will be some “subtle” changes to how they handle some situations that the team will adjust going forward.
The Seahawks had a practice on Monday that allowed them to implement some of the adjustments. It also allowed them to try and shake off the rust after a week away from the facility.
“(A bye week) can throw you off. You can get thrown out of whack because you’re in those routines,” Carroll said. “… I’m not taking it for granted that we’ve just got it nailed and we’re back in full steam again.”
The bye week did come at a perfect time for Seattle to rest some lingering injuries. The Seahawks have been relatively healthy throughout the season with just three players on injured reserve through the first 11 weeks — none of which were starters.
The Seahawks did have 13 players listed on their final injury report before their last game with the New York Jets.
Only guard James Carpenter was unable to practice during the team’s first workout since the break on Monday. Carpenter was still undergoing tests for a concussion suffered three weeks ago. Carroll said they would know more about his status on Wednesday.
Linebacker K.J. Wright was cleared to return to practice from a concussion suffered two weeks ago on the opening series against the Minnesota Vikings.
Defensive tackles Clinton McDonald (groin) and Greg Scruggs (oblique) also missed the Jets game with injuries but were back on the practice field Monday.
Carroll said that he expected cornerback Walter Thurmond to be back in the lineup this week.
Thurmond was activated from the physically unable to perform list prior to the Seahawks win over the Jets, but was inactive for the game. He’s practiced with the team the past three weeks and Carroll is ready to get him back on the field.
“I think he’s ready to go,” Carroll said. “… He’s a special football player and we’d like to get him involved.”