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September 30, 2013 at 5:53 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here’s what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say today during his weekly Monday press conference:

Opening: “Well we had a most excited game on Sunday. It showed so many things. It showed how far off we were in the first half of the game; trying to go there and play good football. We couldn’t get going and it took us a long time to get started and fortunately, like I’ve said here, there’s half times, so that you could go in and regroup and get organized. Our guys came out firing after what was really a dismal first half in really both sides of the football and just turned the game. What I was most excited about and to really see it on the films, as well look at the game in depth is to see the effort and intensity that mounted and grew as the game was going on and as we got farther into the game. I felt our guys were getting better and by the time we ended the game,you look back and you see what the defense had accomplished against a really good offense that had a number in the first half. To go all of that time not give up any points and really even protect the field; they could barely get across the 50, it was a fantastic performance by our guys. I’m really proud that it turned into a win so that we could really take all of that out of it. The play of Russell Wilson was just extraordinary in how he did it. It wasn’t just by big numbers in throwing the football, it was just by playing the game and taking advantage of the opportunities that he could and he did. And, with some huge plays in there and unfortunately for Houston, they had a couple of big penalties. They were legit, but they were unfortunate in the time that they hit that added to our field position and stuff. So it was a very, very exciting game, it was a great win to get, big challenge and we’re going to be stronger because of that. That’ll help us. So we get cranked up and get ready for next week’s game and here we go again. We’ll get to that later. But, that’s another big challenge coming up that we’ll get ready for.”

On what area did Coach Carroll think the team did better in the second half: “Well we were stopping them in the second half. We were able to get some three and outs and get rid of the explosive plays that had happened. We covered them up a little bit but I think when you look at the end of it, we rushed the passer so much more effectively in the second half and we didn’t do anything differently. We just kept working it and our guys got going and we got heated up and really changed kind of the rhythm that they had on their offense.”

On Michael Bennett’s status: “Michael [Bennett] is going to be okay. He’s going to practice this week. He went from where he was to he was feeling pretty good today. So we’re excited about that for him. He was really scared. They had him in all of the alerts and didn’t know what was going on. But, I just checked him before I came in, he’s going to go this week and we’ll see how much he can work and… with the thought that he can go this week.”

On Breno Giacomini’s status: “He had surgery this morning and the surgery went really well and the doctors were really pleased that there wasn’t a lot of problems with his knee, structurally and that he can get back quickly from this. So we’ll hope, whatever that means I don’t know because he has to do the recovering, but they think that he’ll get back in a pretty short time here. The ‘loose bodies’ are the little things that are floating in your knee right there that get in the way and they were able to clean all that up. So we’re very hopeful that he’ll have a good return.”

On Max Unger’s status: “Max [Unger] is going to get some work this week and we’re going to take good care of him. We’ll see how it goes. I’m sure we’ll be very protective of him early in the week and hope by the end of the week, he’ll be able to go.”

On what the offensive line can do to be better without Max Unger; “Well they’re going to get better. They’re going to improve, it’s going to be easier for Mike [Michael Bowie] with the second time out at right tackle and where he’s really starting a game and he gets the whole week’s preparation. I thought that He and Sweez [J.R. Sweezy] did better as the game went on together; working on the right side. Struggled earlier and got better in terms of working together. So that hopefully that will continue to improve. Lem [Lemuel Jean-Pierre] played a great football game for us. Did a nice job and filled in really well for Max [Unger]. We had a couple of exchange issues you know… timing at the line of scrimmage, we got messed up a couple of times and got a couple of penalties because of it. But hopefully that we could clean that up and improve there.”

On how Coach Carroll feels about how the offensive line performed against J.J. Watt: “Really it was very difficult. They were very good. They caused all kinds of problems. We were trying a bunch of stuff to double them up and chip on them and all kinds of things. He’s a great football player. You know somebody said that, ‘it changed when Cush [Brian Cushing] went out of there,’ and it probably did a little bit. Cush [Brian Cushing] is a very aggressive player and the two of those guys together, in the same spot, backing up is very difficult for us. So it was a big challenge and the guys off of the edge brought too you know. So we had our problems with those guys and we did not get settled in at any time in the game I don’t think. We did better at the end, when Russell [Wilson] started taking off and running and saved us.”

On what he thought about the performance of the secondary and linebackers in terms of pass coverage: “We played a lot of man-to-man and they beat us some. You know, we got beat on some one-on-one stuff. They did a nice job. They kept mixing their routes and their personnel and did a nice job. I think we improved clearly in the second half and we settled in a little bit. We mixed our coverages throughout. We didn’t play all man-to-man but we played enough and gave them so chances to see if they could beat us and they did some. They have a really good quarterback and really good route running. They’re a fine football team and they made their plays. I don’t think that there’s anything that really surprised us in that regard. We were hoping to get a few more wins or couple more rushes that would get the quarterback off the spot and all. But they were pretty darn good.”

On Michael Bowie’s performance: “Yeah he survived the game. I don’t know that we could ask for any more than that. He got through it. He did improve during the game, which that’s what’s most encouraging. We gave him quite a bit of help as much as we could and it wouldn’t matter who was playing right tackle, we would’ve given a lot of help to care care of JJ [Watt]. Even though he only had a sack, he still was a huge factor and he was big problem and he had us moving most of the day. But Mike [Michael Bowie] is going to be a good football player. We really don’t have any question about that. He’s growing quickly, he was comfortable with it, it wasn’t too big for him. So I’m hoping that we’ll see real steady improvement here in the next couple of weeks until Breno [Giacomini] has a chance to come back.”

On K.J. Wright’s injury status: “He hurt his shoulder. Yeah his shoulder kind of got hit pretty good. He has a little history there and so he knew what had happened and he just needed to get settled down and came back in.”

On any other injuries that occurred during the game: ”Jeremy Lane has little hamstring issue. We got to figure out what that’s all about. We’re excited to see that this isn’t injury related but seeing Bruce [Irvin] come back. You know, he gets back. He’s in the building. He was really excited to get back with us. We have a chance to have an exemption for him on the roster here, through this week, and we’ll figure that out by the end of the week. He’s in good shape, he’s healthy, and he’s worked really hard. He went back to West Virginia and worked out the whole time. We’ll see how he fits in as we start practice up on Wednesday.”

On Russell Wilson’s scrambling: “Well I think you can look at it in different ways. I look at it as that’s part of the make-up of our team. That Russell [Wilson] is in our club and that he can run around make some special opportunities for you and as long as he continues to do it well and stay out of trouble and not get hit, he did a great job yesterday. Very few times that they hit him when he was in the pocket, but when he got out, he took care of business pretty well. That’s stuff that you have to deal with our club. I’m not worried about him doing it too much because I think that he has a really good sense for it. He knew that we needed some help and he needed to make some things happen and he used his legs to do it. So its very difficult to deal with, obviously. He rips off a 25 yard run out of nowhere. It’s so hard to make 25 yards in any time and he rips one off, doesn’t get touched, steps out of bounds. So that’s going to be part of the offense and sure they’re not going to shy away from letting him go.”

On if Russell Wilson has been conservative with running the first three weeks: “No I don’t think so. I think he’s just been playing the game. He doesn’t change the way he plays, it’s just that the opportunities were there and I think he took advantage of the fact that there were some lanes to get out of. They were coming hard after him, there were some spaces, and he was well aware of how things were going. We needed his help and he gave it to us.”

On what was the cause of the offensive line’s struggles: “It was a little bit of everything. Technique wise we got in trouble some, we got overanxious a little bit. It got kind of crazy for a while in the first half and we made some mistakes too you know. We made some mental mistakes which did come from communication issues, and identification issues. We had to struggle through that, and then we made some technique errors where we got whipped on some stuff by poor sets and things like that. It mounted to us having issues and not being able to move the football in the first half. Hopefully we’ll get better and we really intend to do that so we’ll see if we can improve on anything. Hopefully it’s noticeable this weekend.”

On if he’s been a part of a comeback like the one yesterday: “Yeah. Not always do you win them, but it was very similar to the Atlanta game, but we won this one. There’s been really cool come from behinds. That was really a difficult one. We needed the defensive score; we needed every aspect of it. We needed the penalties; we needed every aspect of that thing to go the way it went to get us back in that thing because they’re such a good football team. I think that’s really the clear point to me that we played against a really tough football team that was really ready and that put everything into that game. Their fans were on it, every aspect of it was going and we were able to get out of there. We’re very fortunate that all of that took place.”

On the 4-0 start and what it means: “I was trying to be really clear with the guys today that it doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that we had a good start. That was last week already, what are we going to do now. That’s really what’s at hand. We don’t need to get any fuller of that than that. We couldn’t have done any better in terms of the wins and losses. We have a lot of football out there that we have to improve, and we have a long haul. Probably the most significant thing is that after all of this there are still 12 more games until we even get close to playoff time. We’re a long ways from home right now.”

On Richard Sherman’s progression: “Richard has a lot of things working for him. He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s got the speed that he needs to play the position, he has tremendous hand eye skills catching the football, He’s tremendous catching the football, he’s terrific playing the football, but there are a lot of guys that have that. He has tremendous savvy as well. He studies well, he’s really smart, the game makes sense to him, he can learn as the game is going on from things that are happening, he can take advantage of all of that, and he’s tough too, he’s a tough guy. You put all of that together and it makes him really a complete package. He really demonstrates it consistently. I think he’s played terrific football. If they catch a ball on him, they catch it, that’s going to happen, but he’s really close when it does and he’s really out to make you pay if you make a mistake on him.”

More on Richard Sherman: “I think I told you guys I went through he first half of the season last year and we sat down and watched every ball thrown in his direction, and after a while it got repetitious that he’s all over every throw if they catch them or not. He’s got a tremendous focus ability that he can stay in it and not give up plays and give away easy catches. It’s why he’s a real constant factor. He’s for real.”

On having to go back on the field right after a defensive touchdown: “Yeah he was a little bit gassed. We played 91 plays, that’s a long night that takes its toll. It’s kind of the good and bad. It’s great we scored, but now we’re going back out. That’s always the case, but I think that the next effort is really fueled by what you just did and usually it’s a pretty good moment. We were looking the whole time to rotate guys if you noticed. Byron Maxwell jumped in for him just a little bit there so he could catch his breath. Fortunately we have guys we could do that with.”

On his thoughts on a quarterback scrambling and the pressure it puts on defensive coaches: “I have tremendous regard for having to deal with those issues. I’m not the guy that’s going to say stay in the pocket a little longer. If he could do it well, and use great judgment, which Russell Wilson does, then we have a constant factor that we throw in there. He did a nice job running the ball too. A couple of the reads that he pulled out he made some effective yards. The time that we rolled him out on 4th down that was with the thought that he could run for it. I reminded him that here’s a chance that you can run with thing, and sure enough he took off and made a miraculous run to get to the first down marker. I think I do have maybe more regard because of the pain that we’ve been through over the years trying to stop guys that have that kind of ability.”

On Paul McQuistan’s play: “He’s surviving. It’s not his natural spot, but with smarts and utilizing the scheme he’s getting through it. That’s all we can hope for him to continue to do for us. It’s a big challenge out there. He’s getting great players week in and week out, he’s got another great one coming up this week, and he’s going to work hard to survive it again.”

On his reaction to Lane Kiffin’s firing: “It’s been a really tough time. It’s been a hard time for the Trojan family. It’s been a hard couple of years, and this is difficult too. Transitions like this are huge. It’s getting a lot of interest for obvious reasons, it’s a huge program and all of that, and I’ve known Lane Kiffin since he was a little kid. I feel for him in this situation. But they made a decisive move and they’re going to move forward and make a good choice and get the thing going the way they want to go, but it’s very difficult.”

On Ed Orgeron being the interim Head Coach: “I think Ed will do great. Ed has been through enough as a head coach, he knows this program as well as anybody, and he’s got a real way about him if you know Eddie. He’s got a way about him that resonates, and I think he can take control of the very difficult situation and make something happen positively. It’s very, very difficult because what are your expectations when a guy takes over. It’s hard to say you’re going to turn it around and everything, but Ed is a tough guy, he’s a good guy and he knows football and he really loves and knows that program as well as anybody. I think he’ll do the best anybody can do at this time.”

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