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September 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here is the transcript of what Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say following today’s 23-20 overtime win over the Texans:

Opening statement: “This is an extraordinary day. The Texans played great football. They handed it to us every way they wanted to in the first half and we really didn’t have any answers to stop it. The best thing that happened to us was going in to halftime and trying to regroup. And I think the challenge that we all wanted to meet up to is we hadn’t shown who we were yet and how we could play. We just weren’t doing anything the way we wanted to; the way it’s supposed to look. And so to go the last 42 minutes or whatever and not give up a score, that defense is just crazy good, because that’s a fantastic team. You know, we came into this game with tremendous respect for them. They’re people, the coaches, the quarterback, the running backs, everybody—their rushers, the whole thing. And we knew we were going to have a really difficult time and we were gonna have to play really well and we just didn’t. So it was so frustrating for us to get started. But once it got going we could feel the defense’s play and Russell’s (Wilson) was just off the charts. I don’t know what his numbers were. It didn’t matter. You had to watch this game to see the things that he did to give us a chance and to keep us going. And all he kept saying was “Give me a chance. Give me a chance,” you know. Darrell (Bevell) did a great job of calling plays and got him on the edge and got him some chances to move and make things happen so it wound up being a really fantastic finish for us. As the game got on we got stronger. We love that about our team. We looked like we didn’t have any juice or anything the first half and then we got stronger as we finished. So, fantastic win over a terrific football team in a very difficult situation that we’re really proud of.”

On how critical it was to show that they could play with toughness on the road: “It ain’t critical to anybody to show on the outside. We just wanted to be what we’re capable of being, and we weren’t that for a while there. And it just looked like we were in, you know running in sand, and it just wasn’t like that. You know it’s tough, they got stronger they played better. We made more plays. We did everything we needed to do to give ourselves a chance. And some great plays came out of that. Richard’s (Sherman) great play. The great punt return that Golden (Tate) had. The terrific catch on the sidelines that Doug (Baldwin) had. The runs that Marshawn (Lynch) had. We needed everything to work for us so that we could get back in it. I don’t care what your opinion is of what we need to look like. We need to play like we’re capable and whatever that is we’ll take that to the bank.”

On what they struggled with on defense in the first half: “We didn’t get any pressure on the quarterback it felt like, and there were just a few plays that got away you know They executed really well and they got us out of shape, out of whack a little bit on the deep in on a coupe balls they threw. The quarterback did a great job. (Matt) Schaub’s a really, really good quarterback. You saw how many balls he threw dead on the money with guys hanging all over guys. That’s what he done on film too and he did again today. We just kind of settled down a little bit, and we might have over-tried a couple times trying to cover up on 80 (Andre Johnson) you know we bring in so much respect for him, and gave away some spots in the middle down the field.”

On who saw WR Doug Baldwin’s catch on the sideline that led to the challenge: “It was right in front of all of us. We saw it. Honestly, I saw it the way the official saw it. I thought I saw just what he saw, but it was so close it was worth the challenge, and it was actually a bit different when you look at the film. So, it was the right thing to do to challenge it because at the time we were reaching and clawing and scratching a little bit. Doug said he hit both toes in so we said ok let’s go ahead and throw it and see what happens.’

On (QB) Russell Wilson’s running in the fourth quarter: “Heck yeah he did. He was running for his life out there. That’s a great pass rush. They really put the heat on us. Let me say this too, for us to do this with Michael Bowie, with his first start, Paul (McQuistan) getting his second start at tackle, and letting him get his first start this year, that’s a fantastic accomplishment. You could tell, you could tell we were scrambling for a while and we had a hard time picking them up and getting things done up front, but they hung tough and they finished it off and got ourselves a win. So, I was really proud of those guys for coming through.”

On his vantage point and reaction of CB Richard Sherman’s interception and if he was surprised that they threw it: “No, that was really a fantastic call by Dan Quinn. Something that he practiced during the week for a situation just like that, and we practiced exactly that happening with Sherman picking the ball off and scoring. So that doesn’t happen very often you know, but when it did it was like the world stopped for a second there, because he had the ball in his hands and there was nobody in front of him, and we had practiced exactly that. So, it was really cool that it happened, but even more so for the poise and the athleticism for Sherman to pull it off. It was great pressure by Kam (Chancellor). It was the way it was supposed to be. We’re looking for the quick throw and Sherman found it, and to pull away and make a touchdown out of it was amazing.”

On what was said in the locker room down 20-3 at the half: “We have something that we talk about you know, and we have a specific talk that we go through in that situation and we just pulled it up. It was time. It’s about coming back one play at a time and doing things right and not getting impatient and believing. And that’s how it goes.”

On if he saw growth from today’s game unlike the game against Atlanta in the playoffs last season:“I think that’s a great observation because we were unable last year a number of times to just finish off the drive and get out of there and give the ball back to the offense or win the game. And we did it, I don’t know, four or five times today. I thought it was just a tremendous sign of growth. And the guys coming through making the plays and the rush getting there and executing down the stretch. It was the same situation, just get one more first down and they’re ready to kick a long field goal and they just wouldn’t let it happen and that’s a big adjustment; improvement for us obviously. There’s three games last year we left out there in those same situations. So it was a big deal yeah.”

On the condition of DE Michael Bennett: “Mike was in the locker room with us. He’s got a strained muscle in his back that really grabbed him and really hurt him. They were just really concerned because it was close to his vertebrae. They weren’t sure what it was so they took good care of him, but he’s OK. I don’t know what that means for next week but he was in there and he broke them down at the end of the game. So he’s fine.”

On what he sees from the team’s guts and determination and character: “Yeah we call that grit. We call that grit man. That’s what that was. That game was all about grit. You just had to keep hanging and just not let all of the things that had happened build up and stop you from believing, and just hanging tough and not accepting the fact that it was gonna be so hard and persevering. That’s exactly what that is.”

On if that “grit” reinforces all the things he says: “It really helps me. It helps me by competing and finishing, and that’s exactly what happened today and the character of this team was really challenged today. And there were so many times where we could have said “Ok, not today,” and they would just not go there. Hopefully that will help us next week.”

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