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October 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here’s more of what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say during his weekly meeting with the media today:

Opening statement: “Well we have our opportunity to finish off our games in the AFC this week and we got a really nice team coming in here. Tennessee has played really good football. They’ve had a chance to win every game and been frustrated when they haven’t because they’ve got a big expectation there. So we have a lot of issues with these guys. Defensively, they cause us problems. Scheme-wise, they play very aggressive football, they got a great runner, they got guys that can catch it and I know that they’re in a bit of a quarterback transition here. But, Ryan Fitzpatrick has done a lot of good things and he threw a bunch of balls and had a great second half last week. So it’s a really big deal. This is a… it seems like a rare opportunity to get back at CenturyLink, in the midst of our schedule here. Max that opportunity of being here. We’ve had some good games here already this season. We need to do that all over again. So we’re cranked up about that opportunity and we know we go back on the road here after that. So we got to really make the most of this. So it’s a very big week for us and the guys have come together, with real intent to have a good week. You can tell already. So we’re off and running.”

On the Titans’ defense playing well on third downs: “They’re very aggressive. Just their whole make up of their style. They’re challenging you from the beginning. They pressure a lot. They have a very multiple oriented scheme that really gives them a chance to do a lot of stuff and it’s hard to predict what you’re going to get. Other than that you’re getting a really aggressive style. So they’re doing a fine job.”

On how the Seahawks’ secondary will respond this week against the Titans: “It’s really important that we do. Yeah, no team plays well when you give up big plays and we have been out of that mode for a long time around here. And, we have really come to expect that we’re going to make the right choices and decisions and understand the game, so that doesn’t happen. So it’s crucial. It’ll be crucial this week that we do. We need to turn that around.”

On the secondary making mistakes that are of a long-term concern: “Only if we’re not paying attention as we move forward. The lessons were really strong because they were really basic fundamental things and tried a little bit too much. Tried to get something extra out of a play and put us in a bad position. That hasn’t happened very often, it’s not characteristic of us at all, and I don’t think that it’s going to continue. So it might have been a little wake up shock… we have to stay with the basics of everything to make sure that we make our fundamental plays.”

On the Seahawks’ DBs being ready to play against the Titans’ receivers: “No they’re ready to go. They’re very serious about this.”

On Max Unger: “Max [Unger] is going to work. He’s going to work today. He’ll be in a little bit limited fashion. But we’re kind of counting on him coming back this week. He’ll get all of the work tomorrow and Friday and we’ll limit him some today to make sure that he gets back to a good start. But, it’s really good to have him back. Lemuel JeanPierre doing a really fine job for us in filling in. But Max Unger is really the guy that has the greatest command of what we’re doing up front and he’ll help other guys play well and make the right choices and decisions. He’ll help the quarterback too and identification. Which, is important and which we have missed some over the last couple of weeks periodically. And, it’s made a difference in our pass protection. So counting on that showing up a little more so and we need team leaders, and a guy like Max Unger to coming back is a big deal for us.”

On Zach Miller: “It’s going to go all the way to game day again. He’s running today. But, we won’t know all of the way. We’ll take it all the way… I had fingers crossed last week and we’ll do it again this week, that we can get him back.”

On Bobby Wagner: “Bobby [Wagner] sprained his ankle and he’s not doing anything yet today. He thinks he can make it by game time. Again, this will go all the way to Sunday.”

On K.J. Wright practicing at middle linebacker: “We’ll do some of that. Yeah we’ll do a couple of rotations in there and see how it works out. We will let you know later in the week.”

On if Bobby Wagner’s injury being a high ankle sprain: “Yes.”

On addressing the pass protection issue: “Well the combination of the new guys has made it challenging to be right all the time and that’s just to get the scheme right and calls right. And then physically, you’ve got to come through and get your blocks as well and your combinations and things have to be carried out well. Which, within experience, there’s some slippage in there. There’s some space in there that’s occurring that we don’t want. I’m really hoping that Max [Unger] will secure the calls, like we’ve said. Get everybody on the right guys and the identification is really clear and precise. And then we still got pick up our stuff. You know, guys till got to make their blocks. But, the biggest issue has really been a little bit of the inconsistency on identification and getting everybody on the same page and that’s just the continuity. That’s so crucial up there that you lose, when you lose three guys, plus the tight end. So we had to suffer through a little bit and that’s why Russell [Wilson] has had to run more. He has had to take off, in order to kind of even out that factor. So hopefully we should see us improve. We’re counting on that. And then, as well as Michael Bowie playing more and Paul McQuistan being at the left tackle spot. It helps those guys with the experience. Imagine, these are all first experiencers for Michael Bowie. So he is improving. His confidence will continue to grow I think and if we put him in the right spots all the time that would really help also.”

On the receiver’s performance being hard to judge due to protection issues: “I think we’ve been a little bit out of that… the motive. Being able to evaluate that like we might want to because Russell has had to move so much. There have been a lot of adjustments to routes and things like that. Our guys are working really hard. I think that we’ve got a good group. We like the rolls that they’re in and the things that we’re asking of them. So yeah, they’re ready for a big game. They would like to get the ball coming out to them on rhythm, the way that we’re counting on it and we’ll see if we can do that.”

On if he encourages Russell Wilson to use his legs when there’s nothing there: “It’s going to depend on how it goes. He understands. Yeah so Id trust him to understand and when we think he took off too early or he didn’t give a play a chance, then we say something about it. It’s not happening that much. We’ve been very, very specific about that, in evaluating the times that he has taken off. He’s taking advantage of opportunities that have been huge and it has been a significant aspect these last couple of games to move the ball. But we’re always watching that. Sure, we want to make sure that he is giving the plays a chance, when he does get good protection. It’s a challenge when it’s been a little bit scattered up front and I think that he’s handled it really well and the coaches think that too. We’ve gone and looked specifically at that and see, ‘is he hanging in the pocket when he gets his chances and given the routes and receivers an opportunity?’ And I’ve think he’s done that.”

On Russell Wilson’s performance: “I think he’s doing a fantastic job, under the circumstances. I think he’s kept us alive in the games and given us the opportunity to have a chance to win. So very few guys could do what he’s doing.”

On Jermaine Kearse being more involved with the offense: “Yea he has done a great job. He’s done a great job for us. We have just growing confidence in him. We’re confident in him. We need more opportunities to him, exactly like you’re saying because he’s done everything well. He’s been a fantastic kind of addition and spirit on our special teams, which is just to show his competitiveness and his toughness gets carried over into everything that he is doing. He’s a very good route runner, he’s a terrific guy on the deep ball, and he’s one of our fastest guys. We’re going to continue to expect that he’ll be more of a factor. He’s earned that.”

On Jermaine Kearse taking opportunities away from someone else in order to get more playing time: “I wouldn’t look at it that way. We’re just trying to get him in positions to make some plays. To some extent, that happens. When you spread it around more so, but he doesn’t have enough balls for what he looks like and what his potential is out there., We need to get him the football a little bit more.”

On Jermaine Kearse’s special team success: “Well you know, I watched him a lot because I watched Steve Sarkisian’s team a lot and I knew Jermaine [Kearse]; kind of his style of play and all and I always thought that he was better than what showed. I always thought that he had more potential than what showed because he could always make terrific plays and then I thought some plays got away from him and when he came in here, I was excited to see what he would do because I had a sense for his potential. But I was kind of on his butt, to tell you the truth, always because plays got away from him. And I used to get mad at him because he didn’t help Sark win and I didn’t even know the kid at the time. So when we had a chance to get him, I don’t know if he remembers, but I got him pretty hard, right at the beginning of finishing plays and really giving us everything that he had and all that. He started to… He just made a move on the roster. I think when he got his eyes fixed, it really helped him too. You could imagine, looking like this or looking like this. I would think it helped. I have no idea what that means. But, he’s been terrifically on it since, really since the surgery, to tell you the truth. He has made great catches, one right after another and continued to impress us. But before that, he sent us a message about being tough. He sent a message about competing and that was exactly what we’re hoping. A guy coming in that wasn’t drafted would show us. Kippy Brown has loved him from really the first week that we had him and so he has been singing his praises since. So he’s done a great job.”

On if there is a management process that Russell Wilson is a part of in terms of letting a play develop: “Yeah I think it’s an ongoing process in that regard. From Coach Darrell Bevell to Coach Carl Smith, and even Coach Tom Cable in the run game and all, we’re all working with it to manage him. He can handle everything we tell him, we just have to make sure that our information is really on point. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t need work at things. He needs to develop his timing and his expectations of how things are going to go and all. With the quarterback you’re always working. It means the conversation direct through that management in many ways throughout. I don’t really think that stops. That’s how you work together with him. The relationships are so important that you can communicate well, and he can handle the stuff that we’re telling him, and we pick and choose the right stuff to share with him to help him out. That’s a real ongoing communication and dialogue.”

On being concerned about Sidney Rice’s lack of catches: “Only that I’d love for him to be making his plays and it hasn’t happened. It has nothing to do with the plans; it’s just the way the games have gone. I would just like him to be a bigger factor. He didn’t have as many targets this week for whatever reason, and it wasn’t by design in anyway. I know he feels real good this week, and we’re going to try to get it going because we’re better when he’s getting the football.”

On if Sidney Rice’s knee is a factor of him not getting many catches: “He’s still working it, but he’s prepared. He practices every day and he gets all of the workload that we ask him to do. He’s doing fine.”

On receiving any calls from the league about any of the calls that were made during the game: “I don’t really have any good updates. I haven’t gotten the official words back. We have heard some stuff, but nothing is set. I think that the pass interference on Golden Tate was one that we do know that they thought that was not correct. The other one that I do know about is when they reevaluated the touchdown opportunity on the blocked kick; they felt like they couldn’t tell enough to overturn the call. Like I said before, they weren’t willing to trust that he had the ball in his hand that pinned the ball in there, as adeptly as he did. It’s the way they saw it.”

On how much will you miss Bobby Wagner if he can’t play: “Bobby has been doing a great job for us. Fortunately if he can’t go K.J. Wright has flexibility and Malcolm Smith can jump right in there. Malcolm has been starting games for us so we really don’t feel like we lose too much in terms of the system, the background, and how to play our stuff. Bobby has been doing a fantastic job, he’s been very consistent, and he’s made all of our calls for us. K.J. Wright can do all of that for us. In the long run of course you miss him, but if I think it’s a game or two, Malcolm will jump in there, K.J. will fill in and we’ll figure it out. We’re real excited that Bruce Irvin came back; he played very well last week as we go back in look at it. His addition will help that group in general as well. And it gives a little more flexibility with some other things that we can do because he’s back. We’re pretty well schooled so we shouldn’t drop off much.”

On if there’s an update Percy Harvin: “Percy has been working hard. Today happens to be a day off for him, but he is moving, he is moving. He’s excited and he’s running and we’re hoping for the very best that there are no setbacks along the way, and we’ll keep progressing with it.

On if Percy Harvin will be back during the Cardinals’ week: “I don’t think that is realistic. I think that is too soon to expect that to happen, but it’ll happen. When it’s ready, and he’s ready to go, and we get a chance to prepare him so he’s physically capable of being safe. He’s a full on, full speed football player; he’s got to be ready to go. Really when he comes back, we want him to be able to endure the rigors of the end of the season. It’s not important to rush him back, it’s important to wait it out and be patient and get him out there when he’s ready to go and withstand the load of the game.”

 On Jake Locker: “I’m glad you brought it up, he’s really playing well. His accuracy on all kinds of throws, whether it’s down the field stuff, movement stuff, the stuff up top, he’s very sharp. He’s had no interceptions in his first games playing. He has run well, and you can really see the growth. He’s really commanding their offense and he looks great. He’s really commanding the offense and he looks great. He looks like a really top flight quarterback off to a great start in the season.”

On how much does their game plan change with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing: “He threw it 41 times last week so they weren’t hesitant to pass the ball. This is a team that likes to run the ball and keep you balanced out. They came out chucking it and they weren’t hesitant when he came in the game last week against the Jets either. They have a lot of confidence in Ryan, and once he got going he made the plays that gave them a chance to win the game.”

On Luke Willson’s performance: “He did very well. That was the first time that he really got some repetitions there to show if he understood what was going on or if he was just luck. He hit a couple of plays really well, and that’s tremendous versatility for us, and that’s the stuff that Zach Miller has done. We have said to you that we have not held Luke back at all; he’s just progressed right along through the system there. We have had no restrictions with him because he studied so hard and learned so well, and he’s physically capable of doing the things. He’s going to continue to improve and develop more stuff. there’s a lot of intricacies about this position that we utilize, but shoot he does a very good job. He caught and ran with the ball well last week also. We’re very encouraged by his progress.”

On personnel changes on the offensive line: “No. we just have to try to keep getting better. Right now we’re just happy to have Max Unger back out there. We’ll see how far we can take that.”

On Spencer Ware and Jeremy Lane’s prognosis: “They’re going to try. It’ll be all the way to end of the week on both of those guys. Spencer seems to still be kind of hobbling. Jeremy is doing some stuff, he’s running, he’s out there, but he won’t practice with us yet. He’s still rehabbing.”

On Michael Bowie’s performance: “He did better again. He was more consistent with his helmet placement in the running game. He just looks like he’s gaining confidence. There are fewer situations where he’s uncomfortable or he has no clue what’s happening. It happened a couple of weeks ago. Physically he’s capable. He can play the position for us, he can handle himself in the running game, he can hold up against the big rushers and the speed guys, now its consistency and that will come from his confidence in growing with us. We’re really encouraged about his progress and we think he’s going to be a fine football player for us.”

On if Coach Carroll knew Alterraun Verner from high school: “Yeah I knew him through college. We knew him going through the process. He always has been a real active football player, he’s been a really good all-around player, and has been playmaker. So it’s really now surprise that he starts off the season with four picks, and he’s flying around. He’s somewhat of a risk taker, and he knows how to and that’s because he’s a good all-around athlete, and he has good sense and ball awareness and stuff like that. He is off to a fantastic start.”




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