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September 27, 2013 at 4:04 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson

Along with media opportunities with local reporters who cover the team, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson also usually hold a conference call during the week with media of the opposing team.

The Houston Texans PR department passed along some of those quotes to us this week, and here’s some of what they said:

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll

On relying heavily on the read option last year and not using as much this year: “Well, we didn’t even run anything resembling that the first seven or eight games of the year. We just picked up on it some as time went on. We just used it when it fit and we’re still doing the exact same thing this year.”

On Head Coach Gary Kubiak referring to him as a ‘secondary guy’ as a result of his past and what he’s done with the secondary in Seattle: “I really was a defensive back coach my whole upbringing and all that, and have been championing the way we played now forever, as a long as I can go back almost to my early days coaching. I always look for guys that can play in this fashion. I used to say at SC, ‘We would like it to be Corner U,’ as opposed to Linebacker U or something else, Running Back U or whatever, because of the factor that it gives you as a defensive coach if you’ve got guys that can play out there and hang up play after play after play with any receiver you throw out to them. It allows you to do things defensively scheme-wise that really is an asset. Whatever that means, I’ve been a defensive back guy forever.”

On if he’s surprised by how well the defense has done given its youth, especially in the secondary: “I don’t know that I’m surprised by it, but just really thrilled by the fact they came together the way they did at the right time with a bunch of young guys. I think probably most impressed with the camaraderie that they have. They work together throughout the year to be connected and to play with a really similar mindset and all of that. I think that’s really allowed us to bring these guys together in quick fashion. It kind of showed itself real early that we we’re going to be talented. You could tell that. It was just a matter of would they come together in a special fashion and they have. There’s four leaders there. You can’t say any one guy. They kind of take turns, from Earl (Thomas) and Kam (Chancelor) and the corners. They all have something to bring to the table and it’s really worked out well.”

On what attracted him to S Earl Thomas initially:“Unbelievable tenacity. He’s as good as a competitor as you can ever find. You put that together with how tough he is and how fast he is, you have a special player. He really did look to me a lot like Troy Polamulu in their makeup and stature and style of play, and so aggressive, so assertive in their style of play that I saw similarities. When he ran 4.3’s, we knew had something special.”

On what he thinks when he watches DE J.J. Watt on tape: “Just a phenomenal player. Yeah, he can go by just his first name (joking). He’s a phenomenal player. He’s the kind of player that every team wishes they had because of all that he brings. His leadership I’m sure is obvious based on the style of play that he brings that you can count on every snap. He plays so hard and he’s so aggressive, and he’s so playmaker oriented. And he’s a great kid too and all of the rest of the things that he brings. He’s just a phenomenal player and he causes a ton of problems because of his style and his ability.”

On causing 10 turnovers this year and what the key is to that: “Being ahead really helps. I like to think that it is the number one thing we emphasize in our program. It’s the first thing that we talk about every year, every camp, about getting the football and taking care of it. I’m trying to emphasize it better than every coach that’s ever coached. For years at SC, when we really had the big run, our numbers were phenomenal year after year after year in getting the football. It’s a winning formula in itself. We do it because it’s the single-most important factor to winning for us. Our numbers have kind of proven that out.”

On not having a pick-six this year and the league trending to interceptions returned for touchdowns and why he thinks this is happening: “Well, I don’t know that it’s that easy to nail something like that. We’ll have to watch the numbers as we go through the season. Sometimes, it just goes in bunches and all that. I think the volume of passes that are thrown and the confidence that offenses have to throw the ball more than ever would lead to just more opportunities I would think. The more opportunities, the chances are going to elevate that you’re going to get some and run them in, but I couldn’t tell you that there’s any trend other than the fact that everybody is constantly throwing the football so much more that there’s more opportunities and chances.”

On how he thinks his team is handling the high expectations: “Well, we’re trying to handle it really well. There was enough conversation coming out of last year and going into the offseason that it was topical for us to deal with it. We want nothing more than the highest level of expectations. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re certainly not shucking that one at all. So it’s a conversation about being disciplined and knowing the truth and not getting caught up in the hype and maintaining a humility about you that that stuff doesn’t get in the way. I think of all of the years, I go back to SC again, we had those number one rankings year after year after year. You become comfortable with that and that’s where you want to be. You want to get to the point where you understand why people talk about you as they do and then you want to constantly remember that you live up to that and you have to always prepare to do that. I think it’s a real mindset and something we’ve worked on. If you want to win for a long time, you’ve got to get squared away with that or it’s going to screw you up.”

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

On the exceptional play of the defense and how that impacts their offense: “Well, it’s played a huge role. Obviously, our defense is one of the top defenses in the National Football League. For me to be able to go against them every day is a challenge and helps me get better, helps me improve. Obviously, we have some of the top corners and defensive backs in terms of safeties in the league. It’s pretty impressive just to watch them. They bring so much energy every day and it helps our offense improve. It gives us a challenge on daily basis and it helps us get better for sure, especially me.”

On what it’s like watching DE J.J. Watt on tape: “Man, being a Badger and going to University of Wisconsin, obviously know so much about him. He’s so talented. He’s so physical. He’s quick in terms of getting to the quarterback and he’s just so intelligent. You can just tell that he’s a smart player and he understands the game. Obviously, I know J.J. and he’s a great individual off the field as well. You’ve got to love what he does on the film. He’s definitely a factor and so he’s going to have his good plays obviously. He’s going to make a lot of plays. He’s been doing great things out there, but we’ve just got to try to find a way to control him as much as we can and make the plays when we need to.”

On if he can say anything interesting or funny about his relationship with DE J.J. Watt: “All I know is me and him, because I came to University of Wisconsin a year after he left, so he left his junior year and, after my year at University of Wisconsin, we were at the Pro Bowl and all that. Me and him were just joking that if he had stayed his senior year, we probably would have won the national championship. I missed playing with him. It’s going to be an honor to play against him, but we’re going to have to step up and play our best football against a very, very good Houston Texans defense.”

On not running the read option as much this year: “We didn’t really run it, man. It’s kind of one of those things, we kind of make it look like we run it and it makes the defense all week kind of think about it and try to figure out what they’re going to do to prepare for it. So I think the biggest thing is we try to disguise it and make it look like it is. Obviously, I want to hand the ball off to one of the best running backs in the game in Marshawn Lynch. I want to hand the ball to two-four and let him be who he is.”

On if the team has decreased the read option: “Yeah, I think one of the biggest things is obviously I have the ability to run the ball and all that, but I’m not trying to run. I’m trying to drop back in the pocket and, every once in a while, get outside of the pocket and make the throws too as well. I’m not trying to take any unnecessary hits. When I do run, I always try to get down and always try to slide and get out of bounds. Just play the game the right way. Marshawn Lynch is the guy who we want to hand the ball off to.”

On how the team has been handling high expectations: “Well, we don’t shy away from the challenge. I believe that we have such great competitors in our locker room and just our coaching staff believes in us. We believe in them. The way they prepare us, like I always said to the guys, I always say, ‘The separation is in the preparation.’ And we have to prepare the right way. Every week, we go into it, it’s a championship mentality. Our goal is to go 1-0 every week and just prepare for that week like it’s a championship game. This game’s going to be a huge game. It’s one of the teams that obviously a quote-un-quote Super Bowl contender and is a team that’s got a lot of talent and everything. There are a lot of great teams in the National Football League, so you look forward to these games, going on the road in a very, very tough environment. You have a lot of respect for that. Against a very, very good football team who’s coached extremely well. So we’ve got to play our A-plus game.”

On if he’ll attempt to communicate at all with DE J.J. Watt this week, even in a humorous way: “Yeah, I’m sure there will be some kind words shared every once in a while, some back and forth. He’ll be trying to chase me down and hopefully he doesn’t get me too often. It’s one of those things that I love watching him play, I love playing against him. Obviously, I got to play against him in the Pro Bowl too. He’s a great player.”

On if he’s surprised about how quickly the defense has excelled: “Well, I’m not surprised at all. Our defensive guys have worked extremely hard every day. Every day, we go 100 percent and just compete at the highest level. That’s what Coach (Pete) Carroll always talks about. So the guys just love the game. Earl Thomas, every day, it seems like it’s the Super Bowl for him. That’s the way it is for me too on the quarterback side. It’s the same thing for Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, and obviously Kam Chancellor too. Them, you have the other guys that can fill in. The depth that we have at the defensive back position is just off the charts. We have legitimately seven-eight guys who can start on almost any football team. It’s just impressive to watch and go against these guys every day.”

On people doubting him last year by saying that the team is carrying him and proving people wrong: “I never doubted myself. God’s given me a lot of talent and it’s such a blessing to be able to play the game of football. To be a 5-11 quarterback, I’m playing for a lot of kids in the future and it’s one of those things that my height never defined my skillset. I believed that I could make all of the throws and I was smart enough, I was intelligent enough to play the game of football, and I just had that drive to be great one day. I’m not there yet. It’s a long journey. You just take one day at a time and enjoy it for what it is and continue to grow. You respect the process too at the same time. You respect the process of a weekly basis, what I need to do of the career journey that I’m on right now. I’m beginning year two and just continuing to learn as much as I can and be on that constant quest for knowledge.”



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