Seahawks turned to run game to change fortunes

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer sat together and decided with their team winless after two games there needed to be a change.

What the Seahawks were trying to do on offense wasn’t working.

“He and I sat down and kind of had a little heart-to-heart,” said Schottenheimer, who is in his first year with the team. “There were things that he and I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page about. It wasn’t just the running game, it was he and I continuing to build our relationship and it was an awesome meeting.

“It probably lasted about an hour and we talked about a ton of different stuff. I know I came out of that meeting feeling really good just about the direction where we wanted to go.”

The direction has been clear for more than three months as the Seahawks went from a team searching for answers to a team back in the postseason after a one-year absence from the playoffs.

And it was the decisions made before playing Dallas in Week 3 where the switch was made and Seattle started on its path that has the Seahawks headed to face the Cowboys on Saturday night in an NFC wild-card game.

The conversation between Carroll and Schottenheimer made clear Seattle was going back to the fundamentals of how it wanted to be offensively. They were going to make running the ball the priority and let quarterback Russell Wilson be a playmaker around the running success.

When Dallas arrived in Week 3, so did Seattle’s change in approach. That was the week Chris Carson became the workhorse in the run game. It was the week that the additions of D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy at the guard positions started to become noticeable, and Seattle’s running success meant Wilson was no longer under siege by the opposing pass rush.

Seattle rushed for only 113 yards that day in the 24-13 win — 102 by Carson — but it laid the foundation for what the Seahawks became.

“They were talking about it the whole time of running the ball more and being a run team,” Carson said. “They finally started getting it going against the Cowboys and it’s taken off ever since.”

Starting with Week 3, Seattle has rushed for 2,422 yards, the fourth-most by any team since 2010 during that 14-game span.

Carroll said that within a few games of facing the Cowboys, the commitment to Seattle’s offensive style became the norm.

“It was a step in right direction and the commitment came through but we were just getting started,” Carroll said. “It took us two or three weeks after that before we started to find the stride that we wanted and started to build on that.”

Briefly: The Seahawks placed safety Delano Hill on injured reserve because of a non-displaced fracture in his hip suffered Sunday. … The Lions announced that they are not renewing offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s contract. The team also signed former Raiders quarterback Connor Cook to a reserve/future contract.

Wild-card round


1:30 p.m.: Colts at Texans Channel: 7Channel: 10ESPN

5:15 p.m.: Seahawks at Cowboys Channel: 2Channel: 40


10 a.m.: Chargers at Ravens Channel: 5Channel: 13Channel: 46

1:30 p.m.: Eagles at Bears Channel: 11Channel: 3Channel: 8

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