Eagles Wake-Up Call: What the Seahawks Are Saying
Let’s check in with the Seahawks to see what their players and coaches are saying heading into Sunday’s heavyweight fight:
Pete Carroll was Mark Sanchez’s coach at USC. While with the Trojans, Sanchez completed 64 percent of his passes and threw 41 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. Carroll was publicly critical of Sanchez’s decision to leave USC early to enter the draft but it appears coach and quarterback have maintained a relationship over the years. When Carroll saw how good Sanchez looked running Chip Kelly’s offense this preseason, he felt compelled to shoot Sanchez a message of encouragement. Sanchez never completed more than 57 percent of his passes in a single season while in New York. Now in a more favorable system, his completion rate currently sits at 64 percent like it did back in his college days.
“Their offense is just kind of friendly. They do a lot of good things. They’re making yards running the football and they’re getting a lot of plays and their quarterbacks are functioning really well,” said Carroll. “Mark looks really quick in the offense. He’s very decisive and gets the ball out and they’ve got guys open, so he’s making good use of the system. He looks really good in it.
“Back to your thought about quarterback-friendly, it’s been really productive for the guys, from [Nick] Foles all the way throughout. It’s really sharp.”
Carroll has faced off against Kelly on the collegiate level and believes that experience can help, particularly when it comes to handling the tempo offense. Unlike some other opponents the Eagles have faced, the Seahawks won’t be scrambling to adapt to the pace.
“We’ve been in the no-huddle defensive mode for so long that we’re familiar with how this goes,” he said. “We know that they’ll go real fast some and we’ll see how much they want to do that, and we’re not concerned about that really. We practice like that all the time because you never know when a team is going to do it. It’s not that hard for a team to do if they want to demonstrate that commitment so you have to be ready all the time. We feel like we’ve had good background in preparation for this.”
— In discussing his looming matchup with Richard Sherman, Jeremy Maclin showed respect to the corner but noted that “I like my chances against anybody.” Sherman gave his thoughts on the Eagles receiver Wednesday.
“He’s explosive. He runs good routes. He plays hard. He has speed – he has deceptive speed some would call it – and this year he’s obviously made a lot of big plays so you always have to be aware of him down the field,” said Sherman.
The corner was also asked about LeSean McCoy and the importance of remaining disciplined against him.
“It’s really important.,” he said. “And that’s what’s going to make it a fun matchup because he’ll challenge the integrity of our defense, and hopefully we’ll stand up.”
— Russell Wilson confirmed that the Eagles were pretty hot for him heading into the 2012 draft. Did he think there was a chance he could end up in Philly?
“Yeah, I definitely thought so,” he said. “That was one of the top teams that was really talking to me. It was an east coast team that I knew a lot about. So yeah, I definitely thought that was a possibility.
“Like I’ve always said and like I said during the draft process, I said whatever team picked me I was going to try to make the other 31 teams regret it for not picking me. I’m grateful to be a Seattle Seahawk obviously. It’s a tremendous honor to be the starting quarterback for this team and this franchise. I do have a ton of respect for the Eagles and what they’re about. I grew up watching the Eagles a good amount being from the east coast and watching those famous players like Donovan McNabb and all the other players they had. I have a lot of respect for the Philadelphia Eagles.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Just in time for the holidays, we launched our shop featuring the official gray short-sleeved Birds 24/7 t-shirt pictured above.
Using the All-22 film, Sheil shows us how Mark Sanchez is coming along with the zone read.
Kelly says he was not contacted by the Florida Gators.
Some national pundits believe the Eagles are a Super Bowl team. Check their thoughts and power rankings from around the web.
Maclin believes he can hold his own against any secondary including Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Peter King thinks “we’re headed for a quarterback mini-revolution in 2015.”
Will the Bears stay married to quarterbacking yo-yo Jay Cutler? Will the (presumably) new coach in San Francisco want to keep Colin Kaepernick? Will the Eagles test the market for Nick Foles? And what of Cam Newton?
Newton is a big question mark now, after a poor season for Newton and the Panthers. I tend to pass it off as a year in which any quarterback would struggle, seeing that both his offensive line and receiver corps were denuded after the 2013 season. If I’m Carolina GM Dave Gettleman, I may just let Newton play out his final season, at $14.7 million, and see where he is this time next year. “Cam is the most interesting guy right now,’’ said Polian. “When it comes down to it, he hasn’t proven much yet, except he can get hurt. He’s got some tread off his tire already.’’
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News gives his key match-ups for this Sunday’s tilt against the Seahawks:
Eagles ILB Mychal Kendricks v. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: Kendricks is the lynchpin of a run defense that held its last 7 opponents to 3.6 yards per carry. Lynch leads the league in broken tackles. Advantage: Eagles
Eagles CBs Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin v. Seahawks WRs Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Paul Richardson: The pressure will be on the Eagles’ corners to hold their coverage when QB Russell Wilson gets outside and extends plays. Advantage: Even
Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin v. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman: Sherman is one of the best press-man corners in the game, but the susre-handed Maclin has 9 TD catches and is averaging 15.3 yards per catch. Advantage: Seahawks.
Training continues for the Seahawks. We’ll speak to Kelly before the Eagles’ 11:40 practice.