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Seahawks defensive line depth shines in opening

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — There may not be many big names on the defensive front for Seattle…

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks may not have many big names on the defensive front.

But a look at the statistics table for Seattle’s season-opening win over Indianapolis shows the effect the Seahawks are hoping to see from the combined washer rotation.

“We really feel like that’s the strength of our unit,” said defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. “We have so many good players in that position that it’s important for us to have a really good rotation and keep everybody fresh and play at a high level.”

While the Seahawks struggled defensively in the first half of last season, it was partly due to shortcomings on the defensive line, particularly problems reaching the quarterback. Performance changed with Seattle’s mid-season take on Carlos Dunlap, but it still wasn’t what the Seahawks needed for their defense to function optimally.

That’s why there was so much optimism about Seattle’s actions against Indianapolis in the opening. It wasn’t just one defender that contributed, it seemed they were all.

Bryan Mone was a mid-range threat in his third season, with five tackles. Rasheem Green had perhaps his best day professionally, with four tackles, one sack and two passing passes. Kerry Hyder Jr., Benson Mayowa, and young setter Darrell Taylor all had their flashy moments that appeared on the statistics page.

Dunlap had the least impact, but sacked Carson Wentz for no credit in a 2-point conversion attempt.

“It’s a good looking group,” said coach Pete Carroll. “We’re really happy with the pressure we’re getting in the ranks of friends.”

Take this stat from Pro Football Reference: The Seahawks secured Jamal Adams with a blitz 98 times in 12 regular season games last season, averaging more than eight per game. That’s one reason Adams set an NFL record for most sacks by a defensive back and led Seattle by 9½ the season before.

In the opening against Indy, Adams was awarded two blitz. Seattle didn’t need the extra pressure because of the success of the defensive front.

Now the Seahawks are taking a Tennessee offensive line by Arizona last week that allowed six sacks and watched as Derrick Henry ran 17 carries for just 58 yards.

“It’s very elite, there are too many guys who can go after the quarterback and do special things,” Adams said after the win. “It’s really a three-pronged rotation, you know what I mean? It can be really special.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Carroll turned 70 on Wednesday and joked that not many people can hold pre-scheduled news conferences on their birthdays. The league’s oldest coach said he is grateful that he continues to have the opportunity to coach in Seattle.

“I’m really grateful and grateful for where we are right now and the opportunity to be here and work for the Allen family in this franchise, and their support, the fans we love to deal with. Everything about what we’re doing here is really as good as I hoped,” said Carroll.

INJURY UPDATES

Seattle recruited knee-sprained C/G Ethan Pocic to the reserve team, but Carroll said he’s optimistic the team will only have three weeks in IR. Pocic lost his starting job to Kyle Fuller, but went into rotation for a handful of series against the Colts last week. LB Jon Rhattigan has been signed from the training roster to replace Pocic in the 53-man squad. … RB Rashaad Penny (calf) did not train on Wednesday, raising concerns about his availability this week. Carroll said on Monday it seemed unlikely that Penny would play against Tennessee. …WR Penny Hart was allowed to attend training on Wednesday after leaving Sunday’s game due to a concussion. WR Dee Eskridge (concussion) was not cleared and was not on the training ground.

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