Seahawks coach Pete Carroll returns to New York on Monday night. It’s a place where he has some bad memories, along with one very good one.
Carroll was the head coach of the Jets for one year, in 1994. In February 2014, he won the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.
“We had a nice night there,” Carroll told reporters on Thursday. “That’s something that these guys don’t know. There’s only a couple of guys that would even relate to that. Just the staff, we’ve been there before and it’s fun to go back kind of coming off last week with our guys all around and all of that.”
He’s referring to the 10-year anniversary of the Super Bowl victory. The 2013 team was recognized at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
And he seems to have no hard feelings about his short stint as the man in charge of the Jets.
“Like anyone that’s ever coached there or worked there in New York, and you’ve been there long enough where you’ve got the feeling of what it’s all about, it’s an extraordinary place,” Carroll said. “It’s an extraordinary memory to be part of that. To have had a chance to be on top of it for a short while, a matter of months, it’s significant to represent that town. It’s an amazing place. It’s fun to go back and see it again.”
The flight home will be a lot more fun if they win and move to 3-1. With the 49ers looking elite, the Seahawks need to rack up wins against other wild-card contenders, like the Giants.
Geno Smith’s success as the Seahawks starting quarterback was a heartwarming storyline last season given how long Smith had been waiting for his second chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
The first chance went up in smoke in August 2015 when Smith got punched in the face by IK Enemkpali in the Jets locker room because he owed the defensive player money. Smith broke his jaw, which allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over as the Jets quarterback and sent Smith down the path of being a backup quarterback until he got his opportunity in Seattle last year.
Smith will be back at MetLife Stadium on Monday to face the Giants and one of the players tasked with stopping him was in the locker room on that fateful day in 2015. Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams said that he’s happy to see Smith looking “comfortable and confident” leading the Seahawks given what happened when they were teammates.
“It’s awesome to see,” Williams said, via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “Because when I first came in the league he was the starting quarterback for the Jets, and it was a crazy eye-opener for me to see he got punched by a linebacker in the locker room and I was just like a rookie seeing this and was just like, ‘Whoa.’ . . . Since that moment, he kind of got his opportunity taken away from him and he was trying to climb back. It’s really cool to see him in a system that’s working well for him.”
The Giants defense has gotten off to a rocky start this season, so seeing Williams and company knock Smith out of his comfort zone would be a good development for them if not for the quarterback’s story arc.
When it comes to most punters and kickers, the men who fill these inherently interchangeable jobs in the NFL fall into a collection of vaguely recognizable names. And it’s often hard to remember when or if a player has exited the blender of signings, tryouts, terminations, lather, rinse, repeat.
That’s why it likely didn’t register for many that the recent addition of Brad Wing to the Steelers’ practice squad carries some significance. As noted by John Breech of CBSSports.com, Wing last played in an NFL game in December 2017.
A native of Australia, Wing entered the league in 2013 as an undrafted free agent from LSU. He competed with Donnie Jones in training camp with the Eagles. The next year, he landed with the Steelers — and won the job.
In September 2015, the Steelers traded Wing to the Giants for a seventh-round pick. He punted for the Giants through 2017.
Released by the Giants in early 2018, Wing found no takers elsewhere. In 2019, he punted in the short-lived AAF. He was completely out of football in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Then came 2023. He landed with the San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL. His performance didn’t result in an immediate opportunity in the NFL. Instead, out of nowhere, the Steelers brought him back as insurance against the possibility that punter Pressley Harvin’s hamstring injury will keep him from playing.
And we might see Wing on Sunday in Houston, exactly 2,100 days after he last played in an NFL regular-season game.
Giants head coach Brian Daboll said before Thursday’s practice that running back Saquon Barkley would do individual drills as he works to get back from an ankle injury and the team’s injruy report shows that he did exactly that.
Barkley is listed as a limited participant on the team’s first report ahead of Monday’s home game against the Seahawks. He was injured in Week Two and did not play in last Thursday’s loss to the 49ers.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas missed both of those games with a hamstring injury, but he was able to join Barkley in the limited category. Tight end Daniel Bellinger (neck), defensive lineman D.J. Davidson (elbow), and edge rusher Azeez Ojulari (hamstring) were also limited on Thursday.
Left guard Ben Bredeson (concussion) was a full participant and appears on track to play after missing last Thursday.
Saquon Barkley is getting back on the field.
Via multiple reporters, head coach Brian Daboll said in his Thursday press conference that Barkley will do individual drills in the day’s practice and the team will see how he feels.
Barkley suffered an ankle sprain against the Cardinals in Week 2 and did not play last week in the Giants’ loss to the 49ers on Thursday night. While New York conducted walk-throughs during the short week, Barkley was listed as a non-participant on all three practice reports.
The Giants have even more extra time than normal coming off last Thursday’s game as they’ll host the Seahawks on Monday night.
Barkley has rushed for 114 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown and caught nine passes for 41 yards with a TD in two games so far this year.