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Pete Carroll perfectly fine with bucking NFL trends with commitment to run game, defense

Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks throws a football during warm-ups prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

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The Seattle Seahawks are the only team in the NFL to have run on the ball on more than 50 percent of their offensive snaps. While the rest of the league has been chasing offense, offense, offense, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll vowed to get back to his philosophy of running the ball well and playing good defense.

After having just one rushing touchdown by a running back a season ago, Carroll vowed to get the running game fixed this season. The Seahawks are once again playing football to the exact formula Carroll wants to see from his teams. The defense isn’t as stout as previous star-studded iterations, but the offensive philosophy is right where Carroll desires it to be.

And if that makes him an outlier compared to the rest of the NFL trending toward spread attacks, then so be it.

“Yeah, I do,” Carroll said when asked Tuesday if he takes pride in going against the norm. “You know, I don’t mind being different at all. I didn’t mind it when we were in college either. We weren’t spreading out and doing all the stuff that other people were doing. We were running a pretty balanced attack back in the day and ran for a lot of yards (with) a lot of big time running backs. I think it’s a great way to play. When I look at – in college football and to look back, I look at the way that Nick (Saban) is doing his stuff there. They are still a very formidable running attack always, and in that when you’re playing all-spread teams week and week out, it’s a big transition for you and being unique is okay, particularly when you’re being aggressive and tough.”

The Seahawks have the league’s top rushing attack through the first 11 weeks of the NFL season. Seattle is averaging 154.3 rushing yards per game with an average of 32.3 attempts per game. They run the ball on 51.03 percent of their offensive snaps. The Tennessee Titans (48.01), New Orleans Saints (47.21) and Houston Texans (47.07) are the closest challengers to Seattle on the run dedication spectrum.

Seattle has rushed for at least 150 yards in each of their last seven games, posting a 5-3 record over that span with a pair of close losses to the Los Angeles Rams and an eight-point loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I think it’s really, it’s about commitment and the commitment to practice it and talk it and then carried out and coach it really well so that we’re able to do that,” Carroll said of the run game success. “I mean, everyone wants to run the football but to be that committed to it, I think that’s really what’s made the difference. The players are obviously suited – the guys up front are suited to run the football like that and the running backs are suited to run football like that and Russell (Wilson) complements that as well. I think everybody’s in on it.”

Carroll did watch the Monday night shootout between the Rams and Kansas City Chiefs and marveled at the production of both offenses.

“Some really good defensive coordinators on those staffs too, I want you to know that, that were coaching ball last night,” Carroll said. “The offenses were just crazy – it was crazy. There was some huge defensive plays in that game, but there was so much offense and just so much explosion in all. It was as good a game as I can remember seeing. It reminds you like the old AFL games back in the day, it was just such a shootout. It was amazing.”

But Carroll thinks his way of football is the best way to combat offenses such as the Rams and Chiefs. The Seahawks came close to beating the Rams in both meetings this season, losing by a combined seven points in the two games.

Carroll is perfectly fine zigging while the rest of the league is zagging and is confident the style he believes in will stand up over the long-term.