seahawks

Carlos Dunlap reflects on Seahawks debut, challenges defense to rise up

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It didn’t take Carlos Dunlap long to make an impression on his new Seahawks teammates.

If you ask defensive end Rasheem Green, the two-time Pro Bowler has been a leader since stepping in the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for the first time last Wednesday.   

"The first time I saw Carlos, my first impression was 'This guy's a real pro,'" Green said. “He always has a notepad, always super early in meetings. He's always doing things as a pro. So, that's what thing I'm going to try and copy from him, just the small things."

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The veteran edge rusher, who was acquired by Seattle after nearly a decade with the Cincinnati Bengals, practiced just three times with his new team before suiting up last Sunday in the Seahawks 34-44 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

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It was an experience Dunlap is still trying to wrap his mind around.

"That pre-game warmup was so weird," Dunlap said Wednesday. "There were so many weird feelings going out there. I was trying to do my normal routine, and even though I did my normal routine, it just felt like out of place and weird. When we come out as a team to do our warmups as a team, we're stretching and I'm looking around. You normally have one or two guys you make eye-contact with and you get going or say something. I was trying to find out who was going to be my guy."

 

The 31-year-old wasted no time making an impact for the Seahawks. He quickly picked up his first sack in a blue and green, and added five total tackles (three solo), three tackles for loss and three QB hits in his debut.

“You seen during the game that when I made plays, guys came, celebrated with me, and that was fun to see,” Dunlap said. “It was natural for me.”

Now that Dunlap has gotten his first-game jitters out of the way, it’s all about finding continuity with the Seattle defense. Having several new faces in and out of the lineup and reconfiguring rotations due to injuries has been a challenge for Seattle, as veterans Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams noted in their recent media availabilities.

[RELATED: Seahawks defense stumbles in loss to Bills, but pass rush inspires hope]

Like Wagner and Adams, Dunlap did not mince words when describing Seattle’s dismal performance at Buffalo and the nuances the defense must improve upon on Sunday when the Seahawks face their next litmus test vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

“I look forward to building on that, and playing better as a defense, because actually we did not play good enough, so I can’t sit here and act like we had a great game, or my game means anything, or [Jarran] Reed, he’s not happy about his game,” Dunlap said. “We want to do that with wins. That’s the standard here.”