RENTON, Wash. -- As Seattle Seahawks practice ended Wednesday afternoon, players and coaches gathered at the 40 yard line to take in a performance from the Kenyan Boys Choir, who was visiting for the day.
"Let's get together and feel all right," they sang while clapping and swaying to the music.
Coach Pete Carroll knows the team needs to find a way to change the course of its season following the fourth-quarter meltdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. And while he said he has done an "in-depth study" to figure out what's gone wrong at the end of games, it's Carroll's nature to look forward and preach optimism.
"What we need to do is we need to pick up on the positive things that have been happening for us, the good things that we’ve been getting done," he said.
Multiple players said Carroll held a separate team meeting Wednesday morning to talk through the team's issues. The message focused on finding a way to finish games better.
"It’s just finding that extra edge, finding that extra edge to get over the hump and being able to finish," safety DeShawn Shead said.
Asked to describe Carroll's demeanor in the meeting, Shead said: "You can tell he’s passionate. He’s definitely passionate. It’s definitely one of those that you know it’s time to lock in. It’s time to lock in and get serious and focus on the little things and doing the right things longer. That’s what our definition of finish is: doing the right things longer than our opponent. That’s the key to winning these games."
The numbers are staggering, and one problem Carroll is facing is that the issues are not confined to one side of the ball.
The Seahawks have blown fourth-quarter leads in all three of their losses this year. They've been outscored by 24 points in the final 15 minutes/overtime. According to ESPN Stats & Information, opposing quarterbacks are 40-for-48 (83.3 percent) for 449 yards and three touchdowns against Seattle in the fourth quarter, and Russell Wilson has averaged just 6.1 YPA with one touchdown and one interception.
Publicly, Carroll has pointed out that the team was 3-3 last year and still advanced to the Super Bowl. But in the meeting, players said he emphasized that this is a different season, and if they expect to get back on track, they'll have to earn it.
"That’s the big thing - finishing and regrouping and finding ourselves, not just expecting things to happen," offensive lineman Mark Glowinski said.
Added Shead: "The message was, ‘Yeah that happened last year, but this is a whole new year. We can’t just expect that to happen. We’ve got to go out there and put in the work and do the extra stuff and make it happen.' "
Carroll has taken responsibility and knows it's on the coaches to put the players in positions to finish better.
"I chronicled every play for a number of the games that you think I would look at to see what happened, and that’s kind of how it goes," Carroll said. "We have to be that much more right on our opportunities and create the wins at the right times When the other team does, they get it.
"There are some things that we can try differently in subtle ways. We’re just looking for a play here or there."