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December 15, 2013 at 6:19 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Opening statement: Because of this team and this coaching staff, and Tom and the work that these guys do, we have tremendous respect for this place and to this football club. To come in here and play that well across the board is really tough for us this time of year. I know there are a lot of questions about how we bounced back and all of that kind of stuff. We really didn’t see any sign of anything other than turning our focus to this opportunity. I think it was clear that our guys were there and ready. That’s a big deal for us. I love seeing this across the board. Everybody hit and ran hard, played tough football the way we want to do it. We got a terrific win today. You have to say something about the defense giving up less than 160 yards on the day against a quarterback like that and those receivers. A lot of it happened up front, but our guys on the back end came through again with the matchups that we had and played great coverage all day long. The picks were huge to get, but the coverage was great and that’s as good a day as we’ve covered people and I like our numbers. When you give them a lot of respect, that’s a statement, so we’re proud of that. It’s important for us to get together on this road trip and get it over with. We’re done on the road now and we go back home and try to take care of business to try to finish up this season, with a great matchup coming up this week in the division and we’ll do all of that. I think it’s worth noting that Russell has won more games as a quarterback in his first two years than anybody in history. We’ve been talking about Russell and these are just markers that this guy is going to continue to knock off. He’s so special, he’s such a tremendous competitor and such a unique individual that he’s able to do this kind of stuff that catches him up with the names on this kind of a list right now. We’re real proud of him and excited. It’s really cool that he’s been able to do that. We still have games left, so we’re going to keep going. It was a very exciting day for us and I loved that we had all of those turnovers today.

Q: How about the job that (Byron Maxwell?) did?

A: He’s played great. He’s played great football and today he was tough on them. They double moved him a couple of different times. He took some throws away from Eli with great coverage. The kid makes a great play underneath on the crossing route in a man situation and he just continues to be right on the mark. I think it’s a great statement about our system of guys that play. We’ve had a lot of corners; Jeremy Lane played very well today also. These guys are in the system and they know how to do what we want them to do and they’re playing with great technique and great attitude that is getting them the chance to make these kind of plays. (…) on the other end, so it’s kind of cool.

Q: How important do you think that was, for the team to get the shutout there at the end?

A: It doesn’t matter in one regard because we need to win, but in the locker room, it’s pretty important, these guys were fighting to keep it. They were battling to do it just because you have a chance to do it. It’s very unique when you get that. Anybody that has ever played on defense wants to go shut somebody down and shut them out when you can and today we were very fortunate to get that done

Q: Your team has already clinched a birth in the playoffs. Do you plan to rest your starters going forward?

A: That’s a good question. We will never do that. That’s not the way we think. It’s too important for us to maintain the level of play, week to week, as we move towards the playoffs. There will be a time in a game where we do some stuff, but we’ll never take that approach.

Q: Is that as good as your defense has played since you’ve been here?

A: It was a complete game. The running game was there. We rope-a-doped a little bit there in the end on the running game, but other than that, it was all day long, all phases, one out of ten on third down, sacking the quarterback and the picks, it’s just as complete a game as we have had.

Q: You said you respected this place. Can you expand on that a little bit? What is it like for you to come back here?

A: It’s more getting ready to get over here before the game. I described to (…) being a little kid watching the Giants and the Skins play on television, and the Eagles. I was a little kid watching black and white, I can go back that far. It struck me and it humbled me to think about that we’re going out here and playing here today. New York is an extraordinary place. In the world of sports, there’s nothing more fun than to come battle and compete here. I’ve been here for a number of years, which just adds to it. It was really cool to come here and play well today like this.

Q: Has your mind wandered at all to what this place might look like in February?A: Just being human about it. Of course we know it’s here. It’s something we want to talk about, but we’re not at that point right now. When the time comes, if we put ourselves in position to do that, then we will utilize the fact that we have been here.

Q: What is the real meaning of this match?

A: It’s the next championship opportunity. Today we could have been the one to win the division today, but it didn’t happen. We put ourselves one step closer to owning it. One thing that we’ve been really proud of and talked about all season long is seeing if we can take care of this business on our own and not having to get help from anybody. That means we have to keep winning our games, so this is a huge game today to get that accomplished and it sends us back home where we love playing and we’re really excited about putting up for the homestead to finish the year and see if we can get a couple more. It’s just a huge game for us to get today and we played like it, we prepared like it and I think it showed.

Q: You’re 4-1 this season in these 10 am pacific time games. Do you put the whole theory to rest about west coast teams coming east and having to play a 1 o’clock game?A: We hope so. It’s something that 5 three-hour time zones and when we looked at it at the beginning, somebody said what do you think of the schedule? It is just what it is. We have to go play them. The fact that we’ve done that, that’s a good accomplishment. It’s hard to do that historically and it’s not a big deal to us. We don’t care. That’s where we wanted to get it, we talked like this three years, four years ago now and tried to get it to the mindset where it doesn’t matter where you play or when you play and we’re there now. That’s a huge accomplishment for a club. We’re in good shape on that one.

Q: How did Malcolm play for J.J. today?

A: Pretty good. He contributed again. We’ve had so many guys step up during the season, which is such a crucial makeup of your team when your guys can do that. Guys stepped up and started and played in a shutout game. He must have done pretty well.

Q: How about Clinton McDonald?

A: Clint actually started today because Tony McDaniel was really sick. He was violently ill and we couldn’t quite get him ready to go. Clint started, he was active and he’s had a fantastic year for us. A while back, we let him go, and he’ll tell you that his world changed a little bit when he came back. He was a real big factor for us overall.

Q: In the very beginning, did you adjust, once you saw what you had with Russell Wilson, did you basically adjust your philosophy to what he could do?

A: No, we really didn’t. Really, we haven’t changed the makeup of the quarterback spot for years. We want that guy to be like the point man and give the ball to everybody else and distribute it and never make the quarterback the featured part where you have to throw the ball to win. We’ve always worked with a balanced formula, so Russell contributes to that because he is so mobile and active and all of that. We’re able to do things that he does well more so, you see him on the perimeter more than some of the other guys we’ve had in the past. The philosophy has not changed at all. We want a balanced attack, we want to protect the quarterback, we want to keep in a mobile spot so it’s harder to find him, and we like him to have play actions off of the run game.

Q: Were you surprised how many fans made it out here today?

A: It was a great showing. Everywhere we go they’re showing up. It’s great that they’re having so much fun with it. I’m thrilled that we’re taking part in that. When we go back home they’ll be hanging out in the middle of the night by the airport and stuff. They’ve been incredible. It’s awesome for us to go back and have more celebrations at home. We’re playing for them and we’ll see if we can get those playoff games.

Q: Doug Baldwin had a nice game too.

A: Solid. Really solid. He had nice catches, nice significant plays in the drive, really nice play on the touchdown play to get into the end zone. It was very close obviously, but nice job of punching it in.

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