Here’s some of what Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say to the media after Seattle’s 34-7 win over the Saints Monday night:
Opening comment: Well, we had a blast tonight. It was just a great night for the Seahawks and the fans and all. The Seahawks set an all time record for the noise and all that as well. Just a really good night. I’m really proud that we came off the bye so well. You’re concerned, you don’t know how that’s going to turn out, but we got great rest and we came back strong and you could tell all night long that we had our legs and guys were flying. All phases played well. In the first half, the movement of the ball with the offense was great. Our third down wins made a big difference so that we could get the ball back into the offense’s hands. It was just a terrific night. I can’t even point out all of the guys that contributed. I will say this: the defense to hold that quarterback, that coach and that team to that kind of a production night, that’s an incredible night for our guys. The really cool thing is that we didn’t do anything special, we did what we like doing and the way that we want to play. We matched our guys up the way we always match up. I thought it was obvious that K.J. Wright had a great football game and did stuff all night long and he had a lot of matchups and a lot of responsibility for the backs and the tight end. A bunch of guys played well, but he jumped out. Russell was fantastic again tonight; he just does it. He finds so many ways to make it hard on our opponent, that he’s tough to defend, tough to deal with. Just a great night here, we’re thrilled to do it Monday Night for our fans and for all of the people that are following us, and they had a blast, and so did we. We’re ready to get going again, we have a big week coming up.
On big plays in the passing game: We got them in a short yardage situation one time and I think that happened. They definitely played the run well tonight, we didn’t run the ball as well as we’d like. It allowed us to hit a bunch of other stuff. I thought (offensive coordinator) Darrell Bevell did a great job of adapting to the game and what was there and what he needed to take advantage of, and did. Some terrific calls. Really good execution, we did a Two Minute drill again, which was great. Just a lot of really exciting, cool things for us.
On the two new defensive backs: Yeah, Maxwell played a great game for us. Max’s been doing it, that’s not a surprise. I tried to stand up for him, that he’s going to do ok, he’s shown us, and he’s played enough football, we know that he can play the game, and he’ll just get better with the terms and experience and all that. Jeremy Lane jumping out there for the first time, playing all that nickel stuff against some really good guys and good schemes, he did a terrific job. He’s a great athlete in there, but he’s still a pup playing in that situation; came through really well.
On the team being focused all week: I liked the way they took it. Like I said, there was a lot of emotions that come to you when that happens, when you lose some of your guys. We’re such a tight group, and we care so much about one another, that when you lose somebody, once you get through the initial thought of it, we felt bad for them, that they weren’t able to stay with us and keep playing. It’s really a compassionate response, because they’re so close. That’s what it was. As far as the football, it wasn’t an issue. That was not the issue at all. The football thing is not the problem, because we know how to respond to that. We’ve prepared ourselves mentally for guys having to step out of the lineup and guys having to step up. That was exhibited again tonight. We handled it really well, and we did what we needed to, but we miss those guys not having a chance to be with us.
On the importance of the pass rush, and the impact of the crowd noise: I talked to a couple of their guys coming off, and they mentioned it to me, I didn’t bring it up. They said it was so loud that they had trouble getting off on the cadence. Without question, it was a factor tonight. Our guys take advantage of that, we have a very fast group of guys. We’ve really zeroed in on the rush responsibilities now, and they’re giving us a real forceful group, that should be at its very best here. That’s because of the 12th Man doing their thing, too. I know we worked together with the crowd once again.
On the choice by Russell Wilson on long pass to Doug Baldwin: Oh, it was perfect. He did a perfect job. He saw it coming, and he checked off to it. Then, he changes the route and the protection and then makes the great throw, and we get the great catch, too. All of that had to happen. It was exactly what we hoped would happen when they came after us, and he did it, and they slowed down, and they didn’t do it anymore. That’s a real, real illustration of his maturity, and where he’s come, and he’ll just continue to get better, but that was exactly what we would hope would happen. He saw it, executed it absolutely perfectly, and we got a big play out of it.
On clinching a playoff spot: I’ve been telling them that we haven’t done nothing yet, because we really haven’t accomplished anything, except having a nice record. Tonight we did, we accomplished something; we’re a playoff team, which is great to know that. But that’s not our goal, and we don’t talk that way. You never hear these guys say, oh boy, we want to get into the playoffs. That’s not the goal we set. We want to win this division, and that division gets us a chance to play at home, and that’s what we’re after. And then we’ll talk about what comes next. That’s why this is such a huge week coming up, and we’re going to go after it with everything we’ve got, and it’s going to be another championship matchup, and we’re going to give it everything and see if we can get it done.
On the play of the defensive secondary: It’s a phenomenal night. Just because Drew has thrown for 300 yards 8 or 9 times this year already. This is the most prolific guy ever. He threw for 6000 or whatever it was two years ago, whatever it is. He’s a great football player and a great leader out there, and for us to hold up; they had to work to get over 100. It took them a long time to get to 100. That’s an enormous accomplishment by the whole group. I’m glad you pointed it out; it is the whole seven and the rush involved. What we’re really excited about is that we got to play the way we want to play; we didn’t have to change anything, and that’s important.
On what it is about Russell Wilson that seems to endear the fans: It’s everything about him. I get asked all the time and I really feel inadequate in trying to describe to you who he is and what he’s all about, other than you just keep watching him. He’s an extraordinary individual. It goes way beyond his football ability, he’s an amazing person. We’re just blessed that he’s spending his time with us right now. The leadership, the discipline, the hard work, the competitiveness, the toughness that he has and demonstrates, and his uncanny ability to rise to the moment. Here he is playing against one of his favorite players ever; I asked him something about it, and he said, “I’m not playing Drew Brees. I’m playing the Saints.” He had it nailed right from the get-go. I was going to tell him that, but he already knew it. He’s just an extraordinary person and we’re very fortunate, and they should keep coming out, and they should keep chanting his name and have fun with it while we can.
On Derrick Coleman getting his first touchdown: It was a screwball play, it wasn’t supposed to happen like that, obviously, but sometimes, it takes a little tip drill.
On Steve Sarkisian going to USC: I’m thrilled for him. This is a lifelong dream for him. He was a kid that grew up in southern California. There is no coach they could have hired that understands L.A. better and what that’s all about. That’s my opinion. He has a tremendous sense for the area and the schools and the coaches and the traditions and all of that. That’s why it was such a big deal for him to get this opportunity. He had a great time here in Washington, he loved it, and did a great job with them, but it’s just a chance to go home and do it at a great university. There’s a number of guys that could have got the job and done a great job with it. I think Sark will do an extraordinary job. I’d like to say this, too: Eddie Orgeron did an incredible job. I thought it was one of the most incredible illustrations of leadership and direction and amazing ability to turn something like that. I’m so impressed with what he did. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t get the job, but there’s only one spot there. I’m sure Eddie is going to do something great, too. It’s a great night for S.C. I think they’re going to really benefit from him being there.
On Kellen Davis: He got a neck sprain or something, we’re not quite sure what that is yet. He’s the only guy that didn’t finish the game, so we came out of it very healthy.
On any hope that Percy Harvin could play: I held out hope, I’m one of those hopeless optimists, but he just couldn’t quite get there. He felt a lot better today. He just has some stiffness that hasn’t quite gone away, and we don’t want to take a chance at this time. Here is another week, and we’ll go day-to-day and as soon as he’s ready to rock and roll, we’re going to go. It will be fun to add him to it.