SEATTLE (AP) — In recent seasons, Pete Carroll found himself in production meetings with John Lynch as the television commentator for those games sharing information about the opponent that week and the foundations of his football philosophy.
Carroll certainly didn’t expect that sharing those kinds of details could come back to have an adverse effect someday — except when Lynch took the job as the general manager of Seattle’s division rival, the San Francisco 49ers.
“I don’t think there’s any question, the way he went about finding his information and getting answers to things. He was in-depth beyond where most guys go. He wanted to know why and what were you thinking. Those kinds of things,” Carroll said of those production meetings.
“I didn’t really put it together. I thought he’d be doing ‘Monday Night Football’ or something. ... He was adding up his background and reservoir of information at the time. It makes sense it came out to get him a GM job.”
Lynch may someday be able to use some of Carroll’s wisdom in reconstructing the 49ers. For now, San Francisco is in another rebuild as it heads north to face Carroll’s Seahawks on Sunday.
Eventually Lynch may succeed in making San Francisco a contender again, but the opener showed just how far the 49ers have to go in a 23-3 loss to Carolina. And they will be trying to show improvement against one of the best defenses in the league.
“I don’t think I can complement them enough,” San Francisco QB Brian Hoyer said. “I think it’s a great combination of scheme and players.”
Seattle does have its issues to solve that were highlighted in the opening loss at Green Bay. The offensive line continues to be the biggest concern, as it was overwhelmed by Green Bay’s defensive front, leaving quarterback Russell Wilson to scramble for safety and disrupting the Seahawks offense.
Take away Wilson’s 40 yards rushing on two scrambles and a 30-yard run from rookie Chris Carson, and the Seahawks rushed for just 20 yards on 15 carries.
For a team that continues to say its offense is predicated by the run, those numbers aren’t acceptable.
“Everyone has to be on the same page on offense for every play to work. Most of the time it was just one guy, one block and that’s what kind of killed the play,” Seattle guard Luke Joeckel said.
Here’s what else to watch as the division rivals meet:
HOYER’S STRUGGLES: Hoyer’s debut for San Francisco didn’t go quite as planned. He committed two turnovers, threw for just 193 yards and led only one scoring drive in a 23-3 loss to Carolina. Now he looks to rebound in one of the game’s loudest venues and against one of its stingiest defenses. Hoyer has never played the Seahawks in his career but knows what to expect.
“The bigger task is their defense. Obviously, the crowd has a lot to do with it, but when you just line up and look at their defense and their scheme, it’s a tough thing to go against,” he said.
WHO’S FIRST?: Who will be Seattle’s primary ball carrier? The expectation is Thomas Rawls will play after sitting out the opener while recovering from a high ankle sprain. If Rawls is healthy he should get the bulk of the carries. Seattle is still trying to find the best use for Eddie Lacy, who had just five carries for 3 yards in the opener.
FILLING A HOLE: The 49ers have a big hole to fill on defense with rookie linebacker Reuben Foster sidelined for a few weeks by a sprained right ankle.
Foster made a big impact in 11 plays in the opener before getting hurt, making three tackles, including one for a loss, and breaking up a pass. San Francisco allowed a 40-yard TD pass on the play after Foster left the game and struggled after Ray-Ray Armstrong took his place.
LINE SHIFT: There’s no doubt Seattle’s offensive line must play better. Seattle appears set with the same starting five for this week, but changes could be coming if the mistakes from the Green Bay game continue.
This also isn’t the same type of defense as Green Bay. San Francisco failed to get a sack last week against Carolina and gave up 116 yards rushing.
“We’re just working, competing every day, but there’s no sense to panic or do anything crazy like that,” Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable said.
HOME COOKIN’: Seattle has won the past six meetings against the 49ers in Seattle. The Seahawks are also undefeated in home openers under Carroll. Their most recent home-opening loss came in 2008 — Mike Holmgren’s last season — a 33-30 overtime loss to ... San Francisco.