On Friday, less than two days before the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll addressed the media saying that the Hawks are “in good shape” and feeling “pretty darn good” about the first game of the season.
“It’s a very difficult match-up with these guys because this quarterback is such a phenomenal football player,” Carroll said.
That quarterback is Cam Newton, the highly-touted Auburn alumn who combines a powerful arm with quick legs to make him a unique dual-threat. Last season, he threw for over 3,800 yards and 19 touchdowns while adding an additional 781 yards and eight TDs on the ground.
The Panthers offense relied very much on Newton last season. In fact, he lead the team in rushing yards, gaining four more yards than starting running back DeAngelo Williams did. But Coach Carroll doesn’t want to underestimate the Panthers at all.
“We [need to] really play well and do the all things we always need to do to [have] the chance to win,” he said.
But the Seahawks need their best players to play and, unfortunately, not all of them are completely healthy just yet.
According to Coach Carroll, corner back Brandon Browner will be a game day decision as he nurses a left hamstring injury he suffered on Wednesday and Cliff Avril, who also has a sore hamstring, “had a very good week of practice”, but will still be a game day decision.
Other notable injuries include defensive tackles Tony McDaniel (groin) and Brandon Mebane (groin) and wide receivers Sidney Rice (knee) and Stephen Williams (head), though they are currently listed as “probable” going into Sunday’s game.
Barring any other setbacks, Coach Carroll seems confident in his team and its potential success this year.
“You always like to play really good at the start and all the way through to the end,” said Carroll. “And we are going to try to do that again [this year].”