Here’s what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say after the team’s 27-24 overtime win over Tampa Bay Sunday:
Opening statement: “What a day at the stadium. Really just a tremendous statement that our guys made today about hanging together and believing and really just about competing. They competed so hard today and under the circumstances that we were under, it just doesn’t happen. I know that’s a lot of points, maybe the best in franchise history or something like that, but we aren’t real proud of that because it took us 21-0 to break that record. But it is a fantastic job of the players at halftime making the adjustments and zeroing in and winning the football game. Tampa Bay played really good today. We saw them all week long, thought they were a really good looking group. I know their record doesn’t show that, but when you watch the film and how hard they play and how tough they are and the schemes that they throw at you, I really wasn’t surprised that they would play well. I was disappointed that we weren’t able to do better than we did. A lot of really cool things that happened, Hauschka making the game winner, and Hauschka continues to come through for us. The extra point is a huge kick, too, to tie the game up. He did a fine job for us today. I loved Golden’s explosive punt return, that just kind of let you know that we’re here, that we’re coming for this win. It was an incredible play. The guys up front on offense, to run the football, and come back and run the ball. This is one of the top-ranked defenses against the run, and we had a lot of respect for what they’re doing and the problems they create and our guys really did a great job of blocking today. We rushed for over 200 yards and Marshawn gets 120-something or whatever; that’s a big day against these guys. We really moved the line of scrimmage and did an excellent job. Again, also to see that Russell finds a way to get us in position to win again. He’s just a terrific football player and a great leader; he never thought for a second that we weren’t going to win this football game, and he made the plays he needed to make to put us in position to do it. I really liked the way we responded at the end of the game defensively. It took us all day long to get going, but the last 6 times they had the ball they didn’t score a point. The way it was looking before that, who would have believed that. The guys rose up, the rush was there, the plays were made in the secondary, and the third down downs totally changed. The first half, I think they were 7 for 8, weren’t they? And probably 1 for 7 or something in the second half. They might have made the first one [in the second half] and then from then on they couldn’t convert a third down, which is the way we like to play. They did a fine job. Mike Glennon did a fine job, too; he took advantage of some stuff today, too, and I liked that. Anyway, it was a terrific win here at the stadium, and we’re thrilled about it. The fans were awesome and hung with us just when we needed them, and it was great to do that together.
On shutting down Tampa Bay’s running game after a big start for them on the ground: Right now, we’re in a little bit of a funk in the running game. We’re not tackling very well. We’re trying to take the ball away so much that we’re not tackling very well. Until we fix that, we’re going to continue to struggle. It’s real obvious to me, what the difference is to me. We’re kind of going for too much, and trying a little bit too hard, and I think we can fix that. We’ll see if we can get it done. I didn’t notice it as much last week, but I think that’s really what’s going on. There’s a lot of yards after first contact by the running backs, so we need to do much better there.
On Russell Wilson’s play: I don’t think [the two interceptions] diminished the way he played at all. On the first one, he threw it underneath the guy, and he made a change in the route, and he just made a mistake on the throw because of the way he got rushed. On the other one, that’s a play where the ball gets tipped up and all, and he could have lofted the ball a bit better. I think he’s playing great football. I think eventually, they’re going tip a ball and get something on him, but other than that he got pounded again today, it seemed, more than we would like. He’s a bit banged up from it, and I’m hoping that we can protect him better. We’ll see what happens.
On Max Unger: Max’s got a concussion and we’ll find out what that means. We don’t know.
On the switch with the O-line in the second quarter: We just wanted to get Alvin going a little bit, and just in the competitive sense, the guy’s been working hard, we’ve waited a long time to give him a shot. We like to get him a little bit more as we go, and see if we can bring him along.
On Wilson flexing his hand: He kind of got banged a couple of times. He got hit enough today that a couple of things were bothering him.
On whether the issues with the run defense is similar to middle of last year: I don’t know. I can’t remember what our excuses were for that happening last year. We got to get right. This isn’t the way we want to go. The running game and third downs, really showed up in a big way today. They’re a good attacking team, we need to play a whole lot better. I really think it was us today, completely.
On any impact from the defense being on the field a lot on Monday night: I don’t think so.
On the pass interference call on Earl Thomas: I really disagreed with that call. A guy running for a ball, with a guy up the sidelines, he’s going to turn back and play the football, and he has just as much right as the other guy. They said he had his hand on him or something, but Earl played the play perfectly. I didn’t see a great replay of it, but just watching it, that should have been a great play for us, that’s the way I saw it, but they didn’t see it that way. They get to do that, you know.
On Thomas maybe playing more cautious because of it: He didn’t know what else to do. How do I correct something I thought was a perfect play? That might have been going through his head.
On being 3-0 in overtime games with Russell Wilson; is that a trait of his: There’s no question. The poise that he brings to those situations is impeccable. The athleticism and the ability to make plays, and the preparation that gets him to the position to make the plays, he’s doing everything we can possibly do. I wouldn’t want anybody else there. Let’s go Russell, and let’s go see if we can win the game. He was talking about it all the way from halftime on. He knew what we were up against. He did exactly what we wanted to do.
On Wilson’s second interception, near the goal line: It was a really good call down there. We had waited, we had looked for that opportunity to throw the ball over the top to Doug and the guy made a heck of a play, getting off the ground. I think, and we’ll see it when we look at the film, that Doug was where he was supposed to be, and he put the ball over the top, and the guy surprised Russell that he got up so much. It’s easy to say we should run the football; maybe next time we will.
On Wilson being a little frustrated at that point: I didn’t see him getting frustrated. I haven’t seen Russell get frustrated yet since the time I’ve been around him.
On Marshawn Lynch’s play: First off, Marshawn got sick in the first quarter. He just got sick to his stomach from the fast start, and it took him a while to get back, that’s why he wasn’t in there early on. I thought he ran great today. He was just a warrior out there. He took advantage of some really good work up front and it was a great finish. I thought he was going to run it in and win the game right there at the end. He probably could have. He had a great game, I thought.
On whether he has ever coached a team that came back from a 21 point deficit: I don’t know that. I can’t remember. I know we’ve been behind by 21 points before.
On whether he always wants Golden Tate returning the ball from inside the 5 yard line: I really trust him. I know that in saying that, there’s going to be some times when you’re going to second guess, and why did he return it from 2 yards deep or whatever it is, but he’s a great football player. And you need to give him a chance to make plays, and he does and he will. I’m fine. If he makes a mistake back there trying to do something great, I’m OK with that. It’s a risk-reward, and look what he did.
On what he said in the locker room at halftime: We have a whole approach to that situation; unfortunately we’ve practiced it before. We practice that exact scenario in camp, and we have for years, and so that when that happens our language should direct their focus back on what you do. You can’t try to win the game in the first drive. It won’t happen. The problem is that guys over-try in that situation, and we’re very clear about how we do it, we want to do it one play at a time, and be patient in the comeback. And, then sense when it’s happening. We want to kind of latch on to when it’s happening. That’s when we had some big plays that gave us that feeling. I thought Golden’s punt return was, yeah, here we are. We’re here for real at the end of this football game. I thought that was an emotional swing that we captured there. There’s a real clear thought, and we executed beautifully in the second half to get that done. Unfortunately, in that first drive, they get the field goal, but the rest of it we took care of business.
On Okung and Breno’s return: They had really good workouts in pregame. We’ll see them next week, we’re really excited about that.
On possibly bringing out the best in the opposition: Honestly, we talked like that, that we’re going to bring out the best, and we expect teams to play at their very best. The farther you go, the more the hype builds and all. That’s a demonstration of their respect. I like to point it out. As soon as we stop thinking that’s going to happen, we’re in deep trouble. We have to prepare every week to play a championship football game and find a way to do that. That’s kind of the way I like it. I like it just like this.
On any other injuries: Bowie came back, he had a little knee thing that he came back from. Bruce got a little stinger in the shoulder that should be ok. Russell kind of got banged up, we’ll see what happens. Max’s concussion is the big deal, we’ll see what happens with that one.