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After COVID-19 protocols meant a low-key week off, the Seahawks are ‘all fired up’ to defend their 5-0 record

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 20, 2020

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the sidelines as the Seahawks take on the Miami Dolphins during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla.  (Doug Murray)
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) on the sidelines as the Seahawks take on the Miami Dolphins during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Doug Murray)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – A week ago Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told his players that their week off would be as critical as any in the NFL season, with the team needing to continue to show the same discipline it had to that point in avoiding any positive COVID-19 cases.

The message appears to have been heeded as the Seahawks (5-0) returned to the field Monday with no positive tests having been reported.

Players were required to stay in the area instead of going home, and were tested each morning at the VMAC.

Carroll had hoped players would stay around the facility as much as possible, and Monday he indicated that had happened.

“We stayed on a regimen of daily testing and all of that worked out just exactly like we would have hoped,” Carroll said. “That means that everybody continued to do right. … Now, we won’t really know the results of this week until we get to end of this week – there’s a lag time there. But everybody really is tuned in, and that’s that discipline that it takes to continue to do that. That is what’s going to carry us through as long as we can stay diligent about it.”

Carroll said he thinks there were some added benefits to players having to stay in town and get tested every day.

“I talked to the guys today about this. This was probably the most productive bye we’ve had because everybody was here, and they all without having a lot of things that they could do on their own time they spent a lot of time in here working out and take care of themselves, getting the best treatment possible and so it just seemed more connected than normal,” Carroll said.

“I don’t remember going on the practice field after a bye with the guys all fired up like they were today.

“And we’re just out there, a regular bonus Monday for us to get back in action, start moving around, and they’re all out there standing in line ready for us to stretch them out for over five minutes early. … I don’t know what the heck they were so fired up about, but they were jacked up and ready to go, they’re kind of chomping at the bit to get back at it. …

“We didn’t execute as well as we needed to practice, and that’s why you have this practice so the first day back isn’t, you know, in the middle of the game week and all that. So it was very, very good response to come in and out of this thing. We are healthier, and they feel better physically and that was expressed today.”

Seahawks coaches, meanwhile, spent the bye week as they always do – conducting a hefty self-scout of the team to date.

As Carroll noted, that’s a daily process during the season. But the bye week allows for a little deeper look and an ability to step back and assess all of the season to date.

“We take a big deep dive into the stats and the numbers, and not necessarily the stats that are on the stat sheet,” Carroll said. “But this is all about how many times we’ve called plays and defenses and pressures and coverages and situations and there’s a number of ways we look at all that stuff.

“We go by and start what we would normally do in the offseason, and in a quicker version – we only had five games to do so we can get through it, and that’s to make sure that we know what it looks like we’re doing and the messages and signals we sent to our opponents to figure out what we want to do about that. So it starts there with really the analytics, really start with the numbers, and then we go from there. Then, that takes us back to the film, takes us back to looking at what we know we’ve done numbers-wise. … For the most part, we know what’s going on, but this just gives us a really focused opportunity (to do that) and then it’s all about where we want to do with the next step that we take.”

Any revelations unearthed in that deep dive?

Carroll said “that’s the last thing” he wanted to tell the media Monday. which of course only makes sense with a game on tap Sunday against division rival Arizona.

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