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November 18, 2013 at 5:24 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here’s more of what Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say to the media Monday:

(Opening…) “Well we’re real happy that we made it to the bye as we have and I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot to get to this point in some regards and in other regards, we haven’t done anything yet. So we come out of this game and feel real good about… that we’ve had a couple of weeks in a row of playing good, complete football. We’ve played in all three phases strong and there’s still plenty of areas to improve. With the return of the new guys, we felt their presence in the good ways and they felt the rustiness as well. But we’re excited about the fact we get some time off here and come back, get ready for a big game with these guys with a game under their belt and I’m talking about Russell [Okung] and Breno [Giacomini] and Percy [Harvin] in particular and they should be better for it and we should be pretty strong coming out of it. So it was a very, very good game on defense. Gosh we played really, really well upfront and that was real obvious that the last two weeks, we’ve played better than we had earlier and before that. So hopefully we can recapture that when we come back and get the running game going on offense when we come back and head into the end of the season to do something special.”

(On how he will manage the bye week for the players…) “Well we’ll get two days at the beginning of the week in addition to what we normally get. So on Monday, Tuesday because there’s a Monday night game. So we will pick it up on the other end. Rather than try to get something done now and practice a team that needs the rest. I would rather get it at the other end. So we’ll pick it up and get cranking on Monday and they’ll work out hard there and then Tuesday will be a big practice day for us and then we’ll get into that whole week.”

(On the importance of letting the players get their rest…) “I think it always is and the bye is always a time to try and take advantage of recuperating but also to try and get better. So I hope we’ll be able to come out of this. We go in pretty healthy. So by the time we get back out of it, we’ll be raring to go and we’ll look forward to a very good week of preparation so that we can really go after it and it’s a great time for us in that regard. We’re just fortunate that we’re going in pretty healthy and so we can come out of it that way.”

(On if he’s ever had a team be this healthy going into a bye week…) “Pretty close. Yeah. This is about as good as I can remember. I don’t have a bunch of those logged, in terms of grading of them. But it seems like we couldn’t hope for a whole lot more than what we have right now. So we’re happy about that.”

(On Brandon Browner’s prognosis…) “No we don’t. Hopefully by the end of this week, we’ll no more. He’s had a pretty good exam today, I know that. But he’s got a serious groin pull. I mean it’s legit and it’s not just a pulled muscle, he had some tissue damage and stuff. So it’s a severe groin pull and so they’re talking four-to-six weeks anyway at best. So that’s a long, long haul here.”

(On if he had a message for the team before they go off into the bye week…) “Yeah. It’s really important for us one, to realize the truth of where we are and what’s happened; so that they’re clear about that and we’ve done well. We’re in good shape right now. We talked about the things where we’re strong and where we want to add to when we come back, just particularly about football. I think it’s real important that we compete all week long, that’s the message. That they compete to get the most out of the recuperating from the game and rehabbing that needs to take place. Everybody has got something that they’re working on and that also that our guys do get their workouts during this week so that they can stay out of the mode of shutdown. You know, we don’t want to be in shutdown right now. So they’ve got it planned to work out this week. We’re encouraging everybody to do all of the things to take care of their bodies and to eat well and sleep right and all of that so that when we come back, we don’t have any issues. If guys go out and gain six or eight pounds, then they got to lose six or eight pounds in game week. So I’m more concerned about that than anything because I want it to be a regular week of preparation that we know how to do really well and I don’t want to have distractions from that. So that also includes being conscious that they’re Seahawks and they take advantage of that and have great awareness that they represent wherever they go, what they’re doing. We don’t want any issues coming off of this week. So I want everybody to handle it very well so we can get back to work. So it was a pretty strong message in a lot of areas we stayed on them and we’re very precise about how they want to handle this week.”

(On Jermaine Kearse’s prognosis…) “That he feels a lot better today, but he did have a concussion. He’ll benefit obviously from this week off. He’ll have two weeks before he has to get back. So we would think that he’d be able to make it. He’s not in bad shape at all now. So normally, he would go through the protocols and all of that. He will have plenty of time to get well.”

(On any other injuries that prevents players from practicing…) “No, no we’ll be in pretty good shape. [Greg] Scruggs has a chance to get back to working and Tharold Simon has a chance to get to working, which will be really cool to have those guys back in the mix.”

(On if Harvin felt sore after the game…) “Yeah he’s a little sore. He is a little sore. Just normal. First time you get hit in a year and a half, you know he’s going to feel it. But he’ll benefit from the break as well. When we come back, if everything goes like we hope, then he’ll be right back in the mix and he’ll be in normal rotation and returning kicks and the whole thing.”

(On the defensive line rotation…) “Well we’re pretty clear about Cliff’s [Avril] role, rushing outside and Clem [Chris Clemons] outside. We think that they give us our best shot right now and utilizing Michael Bennett as one of the inside guys. Then we’ve rotated guys around. We’ve used Bruce [Irvin] as an accent outside rusher and inside rusher and kind of in a linebacker position; to mix in his talent in there and Clinton McDonald has done a really good job too. He’s been a real surprise for us as he’s come back as one of the four rushers and then the other guys all mix at times. But that’s where we’ve kind of settled. Cliff [Avril] continues to be a real factor on the left and Clem [Chris Clemons] has been really effective on the right and then we’re mixing the other guys around, with a steady diet of Mike [Michael Bennett in there. So we’re in good place right now. We know what we’re doing and how we want to go about it.”

(On the key to the success of the front seven against the Vikings…) “Well I think it’s a carryover from last week. I think last week, we really figured it out and we came back and it was a dedicated effort all week long; to get the guys in the right spots and really be disciplined about it and really be gap-oriented so that as Adrian [Peterson] would bounce around, we would be in our spots and also to be very aggressive with our fits, more so than we have maybe in the last month or so. Continue to try to press the line of scrimmage and I thought that we had great play off Tony McDaniel. I don’t know if you guys noticed that, but he was really in the backfield and Red [Bryant] played his best game he’s played for us and it was really clear how forceful he was on numbers of plays and those two guys combined really hit the line of scrimmage. [Brandon] Mebane played fine, Clint [Clinton McDonald] played fine when he was in there, but it was really Tony [McDaniel] and Red [Bryant] that made a big difference this week and that means both those guys got better. So it’s just another indication that there’s room for improvement and the consistency of their intensity was great. It was really obvious and it was exactly of what we had hoped to and they tackled really well because of it.”

(On Bobby Wagner’s ankle…) “Yes. He’s at his best right now. I think it took him a couple of weeks. He missed a couple and it took him really a couple to get that going and he played really well. KJ [Wright] was really on it and Kam [Chancellor] was a big factor too. So all of those guys were all contributing to the… you could just see the intensity and the aggressiveness and we owned the line of scrimmage we felt against Adrian [Peterson] in really good fashion. The main point of that is where we come out of that. That’s where we want to be, as we finish this thing off this season with that kind of play up there and we’ll be okay if we do that.”

(On Sherman’s hip…) “No he’s fine. He’s fine.”

(On the Vikings’ first touchdown…) “Between the two of them, Earl [Thomas] could’ve helped him out too. They both got beat on the play action and the little juke that they made on the play. Either one of those guys could’ve helped to make the play and it was just unfortunate. It was really well executed by them and they got us.”

(On the key to the improved offense…) “We’re just improving. We’re getting better. Our third down numbers are in better shape. I think we’re in the top ten in third down numbers finally. We’re getting up there, we want to be in single digits, and we’re not quite there yet. Yesterday the pass protection was the best it’s been. Somebody asked about that last night and I didn’t have a good answer for you, but it was really clear that the pocket spread a little bit, and the edges were really solid. That was the first time that it’s really felt like that. It’s obvious that the return of those guys had made a difference. Russell Wilson had more time than he had realized. Hopefully he’ll become very comfortable and utilize that even more so. He did a fine job of making things happen when he moved, but there were times when he didn’t have to. That’s a little bit new in the last couple of months. I don’t know to throw it all together, but I know this week you could see that change is clear, our attitude about running the ball is clear, and so the mix should continue to go. I’m counting on us playing really good on offense down the stretch here.’

(On Percy Harvin affecting the Vikings’ coverage…) “I didn’t notice it at all. I don’t think it did at all. He played just a handful of plays. I don’t think they did anything different. They will, it’ll happen and they will when he’s more of a factor.”

(On Percy Harvin returning kickoffs…) “He’s back, he’s in.”

(On how Percy Harvin will be utilized on offense…) “He’s going to just fit in; we’ll put him in the rotation. We’ll play him with the knowledge that he’s definitely there and ready to go, and we don’t have to hold back and count plays and stuff like that. He’ll play a regular amount as we go. He won’t play every play; we’re going to still rotate our guys. We’re not changing the offense. I told Percy that the first night I talked to him. I told him we’re not going to change because you’re coming to our team, we’re just going to add you in and hope you can be a factor to help us, which he’s going to be. There’s no question, he’s a fantastic player, but that’s it. We love the way they’re all playing and so he’ll just be another issue, and it’ll be obvious that he’s out there. He’s that good of a player, it’s really clear.”

(On noticing when Percy Harvin was ready to play…) “In practice he looked great, but he just needed to get through the game. it was more getting through the game and come out of it okay, which he did. I think it’s been managed as well as we could’ve managed it. Everybody that contributed to that did a great job, and he got through the game, and played his plays, and now we’re ready to go.  I can tell you that he’s in full rotation now.  He’s going to be back there for kicks. You saw what happened, we might not get a whole lot of kickoffs, I don’t know, we’ll see how that goes. That was where it showed up. They obviously didn’t kick him the football, and that was worth a 35 yard return right there. That’s respect, and they demonstrated that. So we may see more of that in the kicking game, we’ll find out about the passing game and all.”

(On getting Brandon Browner back…) “When he’s well he’s well, whenever that happens. It hasn’t been a concern; we just play the other guys and go. We’re very, very fortunate. The key is that we have really good guys that can come on the field, it’s not about him, it’s about the other guys.”

(On the 13 home game winning streak…) “Since the first day I talked to these guys I say, if you want to have a great football team, you have to dominate at home, and so we’ve been on that topic for a long time. In this particular situation for us up here with the stadium and the crowd that we have, it’s an extraordinary factor that we’re great at home so that we can hopefully get in position so that we can play playoff games at home. We understand that pretty clear, we don’t talk about those records at all, I never even brought it up.”

(On Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell…) “They did fine, they played well. Byron Maxwell had a couple of balls thrown his way and he was really close and all of that. They made a couple of plays and did fine overall.”

(On how important is a bye like this for guys that are so tuned in like Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas…) “The two guys you mentioned won’t take a whole lot of time off. Probably of all of the guys on this team who won’t take the maximum time off. Those guys won’t. The first thing I heard Russell say was I can’t wait to get back and have a chance to look at all of the film. Don’t expect him to be too far from the film room. This is really important because it’s relative that the whole league gets this break. We’re not special in this regard everybody gets the same break; we just need to do it really well, and handle it well. The fact that we had a lot of guys playing, we had good rotations,  a lot of our guys aren’t worn down. Upfront our guys aren’t worn down; we’re in pretty good shape. The bumps and the bruises and those things are going to lessen some by two weeks’ time. That’s what everybody benefits from. If you look at it now, right before the end of the season, we get a substantial break. We’re going to try to max this thing out and take advantage of it. But for those guys in particular they’re not going to take much of a break, they’re going to work.”

(On Paul McQuistan and James Carpenter rotating at the left guard position and what did he see out of those two…) “Pretty much what they have been showing us. That we can expect Paul to really be on it and all of that and that James is physical and a tremendous athlete at that spot. They both kind of did what they’ve been doing. We didn’t learn anything to change the rotation in there at this time, but the competition is on which is the cool thing. Those guys are battling. It’s a good thing for both of them.”

(On Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini being able to make it through…) “They did really well, and we’re fortunate in the way the game went with us playing 58 plays or something like that, which helped. We had short drives and short fields and things so it just worked out okay. Breno played particularly well for it being his first time back. He was really physical in the running game. Russell had a couple of issues, but these guys will just be getting better all the way through until the end of the regular season. This is almost like the first game of preseason for those guys so things will get cleaned up and our expectations are very high that we will continue to improve.”

(On the running game…) “We thought we would run the ball better than that and we just didn’t get it done. Marshawn was hitting it and running hard and all of that. The big minus yardage play didn’t help us any. We exploded pretty much in the passing game. There were a lot of good plays for the number of times we threw the ball. We just thought that we would be more consistent. Their nose tackle did a nice job; Max Unger was battling with that guy all day long. We made a few more mistakes than we thought we would with the guys coming back, but they were rusty and made a couple of errors on calls and we didn’t communicate quite as well as we will in the next couple of weeks.”




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