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Carroll values preseason victories

Pete Carroll wants to win them all, but not at any cost during the preseason. (Associated Press)
Pete Carroll wants to win them all, but not at any cost during the preseason. (Associated Press)

Coach wants winning mentality maintained

RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks will shoot for an eighth- straight preseason victory in Green Bay tonight. And as remarkable as that accomplishment may be considering how many variables are at play in the preseason, what stands out most about that streak is not so much the wins themselves, but that they actually matter to Pete Carroll and his team. 

Will a win tonight help the Seahawks in the standings? Not even a little. But Carroll genuinely believes his players can learn about how to win football games even when the final score doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to the regular season. The Seahawks won’t approach the game with a win-at-all-costs mentality – Sidney Rice and Zach Miller are just two of several players who could play if the stakes were higher, but won’t in this game – but for a Carroll-coached team, there is still plenty of value in fighting for a victory, even in August. 

“Preseason is really important to us,” Carroll said. “… I do not blow off these games like it’s just another game and we’re looking at the young guys. It’s way more than that for us, and we’re trying to build a mentality around here of winning, and to understand how you win and the lessons that it takes and the discipline that it takes to always show your best every time you go.

“I don’t think that you should ever play anything and just kind of show up. You should go for it every chance you get forever, because you can’t afford to try to call on it when you need it. We don’t do that. Every game is a huge game.”

A preseason winning streak doesn’t mean much of anything by itself to the Seahawks, but what led to those seven straight victories is significant. Seattle’s run of preseason blowouts not only shows the depth Carroll and general manager John Schneider have built, it’s also an indicator of how fully the team has bought into the “always compete” mantra.

Would it have really mattered in the grand scheme of things if the Broncos finished off that second-quarter drive with a 1-yard touchdown run? Probably not, but that didn’t keep Seattle defense from putting in maximum effort for one last play, the result of which was a goal-line fumble that Brandon Browner returned 106 yards for a score. 

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a preseason game or if it’s the last game of the year, we’re trying to play them all the same,” Carroll said. 

That being said, Carroll won’t pretend he treats the game exactly like he would a regular-season game. Teams barely game-plan for each other, even in this third preseason game in which the starters see the most playing time of the preseason.

Injury update

Carroll said rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill suffered a bicep strain during Tuesday’s practice, and that a timetable on his return is not known. Carroll did, however, say that a report from a Pennsylvania TV station of a three-to-six week recovers was “not accurate.”

“He strained his bicep in practice,” Carroll said. “We’re just going day-to-day, week-to-week if it takes that long. We’ll see how it goes. He won’t play in this game.”

Also not expected to play are fellow rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams (knee), guard James Carpenter (foot) and fullback Michael Robinson (illness). Two of Seattle’s pass rushers who recently returned to practice, Bruce Irvin (groin) and Cliff Avril (hamstring), will be game-day decisions. 

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