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October 2, 2013 at 5:15 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here’s some more of what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say when he met with the media prior to practice today:

On Andrew Luck: “Great player. He’s a great player. It was not a difficult pick to take him first a year ago and he’s lived up to every bit of it and more. He’s really a complete football player because he is such a great athlete. He’s big, he’s strong, can throw the ball all over the yard, and he’s a really good runner and he’s difficult to sack. So he’s a very, very good football player. They’re not holding back anything. They’re doing everything that they can think of in the passing game because he can handle it and he’s such a bright kid and what they’ve done this year, they’ve already have come out of the shoots. They’re emphasizing the running game, running the ball for closer to 150 yards a game. To add to that, I think it’s just kind of putting the pieces together to make it a very complete offense in the football team. So it’s a great challenge for us.”

On if the Colts’ current offense resembles Stanford’s offense: “Somewhat. Yeah somewhat. They’re some similarities in there. Pep [Hamilton] is doing some things like they did. But, they’re versatile in their passing game and they do so many things. They do everything from the quick game, in the play actions, and the movement of the quarterback to the quick rhythm drop back stuff and the deep drop back stuff too. So they really do everything that you can think of and it’s because he’s capable. You would never be able to get away with that with a normal guy. He’s extraordinary.”

On if the Colts’ running game serves as a strength to their offense: “I think the strength to their running game is that they’re committed to it. They’re committed to run the football. They’re going after it and they’re coming down hill at you. I think it’s pretty obvious that they wanted to… they knew they had a great thrower and a great passing game for the future and they wanted to balance that out with the commitment in their run game and I’m not surprised at all that they saw it that way because it makes them very complete. It’s a really cool combination that they have.”

On watching Andrew Luck as a rusher: “Absolutely. The guy runs under a 4.6 [40 time] and you can’t get him. He’s difficult to get down. He’s avoided a bunch sacks, over the couple of years already with his strength and his savvy. And then, he gets out, he can get a lot of yards too. He scored touchdowns and all of that. You would think of him as a pocket quarterback, but he’s way more than that because he has the explosiveness and he’s tough too. He has shown that over the years all the way back to his college days. He’s really tremendous package”

On incorporating Bruce Irvin into the defense this week against the Colts: “Yes some. We got to get him on the practice field first to see what he looks like. He seems to be very fit, he feels healthy as he can be, he was a little bit nicked when he left, but he feel better now, his weight is right in the right spot, he looks strong and solid. He worked every day back at school, but we got see what he’s doing and what he looks like. This is a bit of a transition for him. He hasn’t really cemented himself in the position with the limited amount of work he got in preseason. We got to wait and see what he looks like.”

On how beneficial it is to be getting the Seahawks’ defensive line back: “I don’t know. We’ll find out. I don’t know that. I think I said a couple weeks ago or whenever, that it’s going to take us a bit to get a feel for how to utilize everybody, once we have them on the field at the same time. I don’t think that we will be able to know that for a couple of weeks anyway. But it’s fun to work with it and Bruce [Irvin] is our fastest guy and brings tremendous edge rush. He’s a featured rusher as a down guy and in passing situations as well as playing linebacker now, in early downs so that we can spot him around. So we have tremendous flexibility with him once he adds to it. So he should make other guys play well when we get him right.”

On Bruce Irvin transitioning back to playing linebacker: “He was way ahead of the schedule. We weren’t sure how comfortable he would be because we wanted to ask him to do a lot of stuff. That was what the demands for this position calls for; coverage stuff, zone stuff, pressure, and all kinds of different things that was added to it. He was picking things up so quickly, Kenny [Norton Jr.] was thrilled with it, all the way through OTAs. So we really haven’t had to hold back at all. The problem here is that we had a four week layoff. We just got to figure out. But other than that, he has done exceedingly well. We really will not have any restrictions in the game plan if he’s out there playing. We can go for it.”

On Indy’s Robert Mathis: “As we look at it, he plays like the Leo position; the one that we refer to. They use 3-4 personnel but play 4-3 scheme. So he’s a featured rusher. So they get him every down going. They rarely drop him. He’s got great quickness, he’s got tremendous savvy, pass rush savvy, he knows how to take advantage of the sets of the guys that he’s going against, he’s got a real variety of moves, big spin guy, as well as a guy that can really dip on you. He’s not real big, but he’s got just tremendous sense for doing things. So what he does is if you make a mistake, he gets you and so we have to be very tuned into him and he can wreck your game if we don’t do a great job with him. So we are going to give all the respect that we can in that regard.”

On Max Unger practicing today: “Yeah Max [Unger] is going to start getting work today and we’ll see what it looks like. We’ll take that day-by-day and we’ll know more by the end of the week. He won’t get a lot of work in today but he is part of the practice. So we’ll see what happens.”

On Breno Giacomini: “No. No not yet. He’s still in New York. He’s going to be there for the rest of the week before he comes back or something like that before he comes back. So we haven’t seen him physically yet.”

On Jordan Hill:  “Yeah he’s going to practice today. He practices today. Where that fits into the game plan, I don’t know yet, but were excited to get him back. It’s been a long time waiting on him. So he’ll be in the regular rotations in practice today.”

On getting Hill back: “Well we were really excited about him. He’s done a lot of cool stuff, learned really well, showed versatility and quickness and unique quickness for the position. We saw him with a little bit different style than what we see Tony [McDaniel] playing and appreciated. We had him early yon schedule to be one of the four rushers… inside rushers to go with Michael Bennett inside. So he made a very good impression that regard. We’ll just kind of start it up again. See where we are.”

On Clinton McDonald performance: “He’s really done well. He’s looked better than at any time in the last couple years. I don’t know if the layoff, of whatever it was a week or ten days or something, I don’t know what happened. But he came back on fire and he’s done well in the running game and the passing game. So he’s reminding us that he should be here on a daily basis which is great. He’s really competing,. Sometimes things happen when the transitions occur and he’s really come flying back. So it’s pretty exciting to see it.”

On the Seahawks’ offensive line using J.J. Watt as a standard in terms of better protection: “Well we can call that memorable okay? That was memorable. You know, at the end of the game, we were walking and shaking hands and all and he turned and looked at me and looked like Braveheart. But that certainly will… you can compare everybody to him. I think he is the top of the mark as far as an active defensive lineman and causing problems and all that. I’m not sure if Michael Bowie is dreaming about him or not, but he might be and they weren’t good dreams. He’s a fantastic player. So that will be somewhat of a standard for us. I think. It should certainly help.”

On noticing differences in Andrew Luck this year:  “I think… and I didn’t study him as much last year. I just watched him more. So I think they’ve… just judging now of what they’re asking of him, he’s doing everything, like I said. So they have as much confidence in him as you could have and of course Pep [Hamilton] goes way back with him. He’s known him for a long time. So he probably doesn’t have to be convinced. So I don’t know what more you say about it. They give him the opportunity to do anything. I think he’s running a lot of the game at the line of scrimmage; he’s got a number of plays that he could call at the line of scrimmage to fit the defense and that’s because he’s so smart and has such command of the system and all. So I guess what I’m saying is that they’re doing everything with him. So I don’t really know if they did that last year. But they certainly are now.

On seeing similarities between the Colts’ offense and the 49ers’ offense: “There’s not much resemblance in the throwing game. In the running game, there is some. But the commitment, they’re more basic and the Niners do a lot of whacky stuff with these really cool plays and interesting styles of runs and things like that, from game to game. These guys are more standardized in what they’re doing. They’re trying to come down hill. The power play that they run, it’s kind of emblematic of their style, is in the middle of their offense. That’s still there. So there’s a resemblance but, there’s more reliance on the drop back passing game and you don’t really see the quarterback oriented things at all.”

On Doug Baldwin:“He’s a terrific inside receiver because of his quickness. He has exceptional quickness and his sense adds to that. He’s kind of savvy and has an instinct of finding the spaces. He really has a very, very good quickness with getting in and out of breaks and setting things up. So we try to utilize him to do that. He’s like a lot of the classic slot guys that have that knack and sense inside. That coupled with the chemistry that he and Russell Wilson has and continue to grow makes him a very valuable target in those situations. And he’s obviously a big play guy too. He can make the big play win the chance comes. So he’s come through a lot for us.”

On Steven Hauschka: “He’s on it right now; he’s right on the mark. I think it was real fortunate in the preseason game when he had the five field goals in the game. That was cool too to end the preseason that way and kick it off into the season, and he’s just continued to stay on course. He’s just been rock solid for us every day. He hits everything all of the time, so he’s on it. I think he’s experienced being comfortable with us and being comfortable with the whole mechanism of the snapper and holder is going to surely help. So we’re in a good place and we’re going to keep going with him.”

On the receivers improving in terms of creating separation from the opponent’s secondary: “Well it can always improve, it can always get better, and we will. We’ll continue to grow. Our guys our doing a nice job, they’re playmaking guys where you can throw the ball at them and they’ll make things happen and all of that. I’m not disappointed in any of that aspect of it, but we can always do better and cleaner and take advantage of the opportunities of the calls. But they’re doing a good job. We need to give Russell Wilson time to throw the football and give him a chance.”

On doing better starting off rather than finishing well: “Well it is all about finishing, but everybody would like to start well. We would love to start well so we’re working at it. The message isn’t changing, no. I hope the execution does though.”

On Spencer Ware and Jeron Johnson: “Spencer is still hobbling around. Jeron Johnson should practice today, which is a real good thing to get him back finally. It’s been a while for him too.”

On if any coach’s talks to Russell Wilson about improvising play calls when the original play breaks down: “Since the middle of last year we’ve been trying to instill the confidence that he has the good sense for when it’s time. I encourage him to make his plays and take off when he has to. If he’s taking off too early and not giving the play a chance then we’re going to talk to him about it. And he’ll be the first to come back and say ‘hey I left a little early’, he knows. In the end of the game last week, he knew that there were some opportunities so he did look for them, and he took them maybe a little sooner than you might expect if he’s really reading everything all the way out. He saw big spaces and he took off, and he knew that he could change the game possibly that way. The way we were going we needed a little something to help us, and he realized that, we were talking about that on the sidelines. Really we do trust him, we trust him, and we’ll correct whatever we see, but most of the time he’s telling you before you can even get it out. We’re all in this together, but we believe in him, and as long as he can continue to stay away from getting pounded when he takes off running, which he did a great job of again. He rarely got hit other than when he was throwing the ball. We’re okay about it and he understands that.”

On Earl Thomas: “He’s really playing well, he had a regrettable play last week, and he’d be the first one to tell you. We gave up a seam route that we shouldn’t have given up last week, that we’re generally really good at and all over it and expect him to make those plays. He tried to help somewhere else and try a little bit too much, which is always the problem for the good guys, they want to do more. He’s playing great football, he’s tackling really well, and his effort is so consistent. He’s the epitome of a guy giving full effort, and he takes advantage of all of those opportunities that show up, by being there and being on point at all times. He’s so much further along than he was in his younger years when he just didn’t have enough background yet to really take advantage of reading and feeling and sensing and all of that kind of stuff. Now he’s on it. He’s right at the heart of his really good play, but I think where he’ll grow and even more so is to continue to minimize the errors you make by trying too hard or trying to make something happen.”

On the defense making mistakes in pass assignments in the first half: “There were a couple where we just kind of got beat, and really the difference between the first half and second half is the pass rush. The first half he’s sitting back there looking and taking his time to find out where he wanted to go, and he took full advantage of it. Matt Schaub is a really accurate thrower and if you give him time like that he’s going to cut you up pretty good. Once we got going on the pass rush, things started to fit together, balls started getting tipped, he had to furry and we got him off the spot, and the whole complexion of our play was affected by that, and our success was affected by that. We would like to always work together with rushing and coverage, and we play aggressive coverage wise, but even with that, if the quarterback can get back there and get settled, they’re going to get you anyway. He’ll throw the ball away from your coverage and all, and that’s basically what was happening.”

On Brandon Mebane’s performance: “He’s been going for a couple weeks now, he’s been on it. I think Brandon is right on it and he’s doing everything that we want him to do. He’s playing really physical at the line of scrimmage and he’s causing problems more in the pass rush than he has. I think the compliment of the guys around him is helping him. He’s playing good football. I don’t know if I’d call it his best. You did so I’ll go with that, that’s alright with me.”

On Colts’ tight end Coby Fleener: “Yeah he’s a real go to guy for them already. We knew him coming out and studied him really closely and really had a lot of regard for his route running ability and the speed that he has. He’s a great target at 6’6” so he’s a problem. What’s exciting about their offense is that they use all of those guys and they use them in all different kinds of route running styles. He gets way down the field and he does the quick game stuff, he can catch it and run, he’s just a big target for them. We think he’s a really good player, and we have to pay attention to him, and we have to not just focus on Reggie Wayne and T.Y Hilton and those guys. He’s a big part of it.”

On teaching the QB position differently in comparison to how he taught it in the 1990s: “I like to think that given a guy like Russell Wilson we would have seen his strengths and we would have coached to his abilities. In everything that we do, we’re looking for unique talents of guys and then we try to manage a way that that would show up in our offense and our defense based on their abilities. I haven’t changed about that approach over the years so I would like to think that I‘d keep it the same. We just didn’t have a guy that was so unique. I think just in general, in general of football, all levels of football, the passing game is more alive. Everybody is using it with more confidence and understanding and background and savvy for it, and it’s a different dimension in football to a certain extent, and all of the things off of that have kind of grown as well. It’s a changing time for offense. So maybe we’re more reliant on the quarterback. If I would have had him way back in the day when we were in New England or wherever, I might still be there. I like to think we would have figured it out then too.”

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