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December 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here’s more of what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say to the media today:

(Opening…) “Well we had a great weekend trip. It’s a great way to get on the road for the last big time and take care of business. So we had a really successful finish to the traveling season. We had our big trips and we learned how to do it and I think that’s a great accomplishment for us. Felt very comfortable to be in that situation and be gone for a couple of days again, playing in a big stadium and all, everybody all cranked up and we’re real pleased to get that win.

“It was obviously a big day for the defense and they just played really, really well. There was just no phase of any aspect of what we were doing that wasn’t on it. The pressure was great, the run defense was there, the coverage was excellent, and the playmaking was there too.So it was a big day for us and it gave us a chance to kick in this home stand and we start this thing with Arizona coming in. It’s a big deal to us and it’s time for a championship ball game again. So we’re going to try and get revved up for it and go. Judging from the amount of people that showed up at the airport and out here at the facility when we got home last night, I think the area is pretty cranked up finishing the season. Incredible 12th man support here and also in New York. I don’t know where they came from, but they’re out there and they showed really well and had a good time and it was great to have them with us again.”

(On if he will continue his approach of modified practices…) “Yeah we’ve done it because of the schedule this year. We’ve used kind of the applications of walkthroughs and modified practices and things that we’ve been doing throughout the season. So we’ve got all of those kinds of back pockets to pull out. Right now, we’re having pretty normal weeks for the most part. We do take the opportunity to adjust the schedule a little bit at this time. We’re pretty well cranking though. We haven’t taken any Mondays off or any of that kind of stuff. We’ve just kind of kept our nose down the whole time and kept pushing all the way through. But we’re in pretty good shape right now.”

(On differences between last year’s defense and this year’s defense…) “I think to come back and play real well again, that’s better than most teams do it and then they don’t. So to come back a couple of years in a row and to keep the points down like we have and press this consistent defense and get the football and all that, that’s really good that we’re able to do that and we did that transitioning to a new coordinator as well. Dan [Quinn] has done a fantastic job. The way that we’ve adjusted our style in some regards, but the fundamental aspects of it, playing the deep ball real well, playing the running game real well and getting after the football has been there again and I think that we’ve improved our pass rush this season too. So we’ve gotten better. Statistically, we were pretty sharp last year too. So we’re in pretty good shape there.”

 (On if Byron Maxwell has exceeded expectations…) “Well he’s been very productive and very consistent as we had hoped he would do. We’d hoped that he would jump in there and just take off like he has been. If you remember as I was telling you, he had a great camp, he had great practices, he had practiced as well as any of our guys and just had been kind of as one of the backups and just couldn’t punch through it. But it wasn’t because he hadn’t performed really well. So everything that we had seen was like he’s playing right now and his ability to translate that from practice to the game field is noted. He did a great job and he’s been productive as can be. He’s had many great accomplishments here by taking over and doing it.”

(On if there was anything that stood out defensively against the Giants compared to the defensive performance against the Saints…) “The coverage was really, really tight yesterday. All the guys contributed, the linebacker and everyone contributed. The fact that we stayed on top of the deep ball really well again and when they through it, we were there to challenge the ball you know as well as played tight coverage underneath. So there was some really cool stuff. You take a look at the spectrum that Maxie [Byron Maxwell] makes a play on a fade up the sidelines and intercepts it and then he makes one on the shallowest of crosses that you can get and pick that one off too, that’s one extreme to the other. So that was kind of what we’ve felt. It was really, really tight coverage and very aggressive and we met the challenge of a really good receiving crew too. So we really liked that.”

(On improvements to the run defense…) “Our tackling is the best it’s been; team pursuit has been the most consistent. The things that I would tell you back then as we were missing some fits and some things like that, that’s not happening in nearly as much of our consistency is there. The overall attitude about playing fundamental football is really what’s improved and we realized it in the middle that we were kind of flip-flopping around. We weren’t doing much and so we took it up a notch, we made a challenge to players, the players challenge each other, and they took after it; to play really hard-nosed, tough football and it showed up. We really have improved a lot.”

(On differences between last year’s defense and this year’s defense…) “I think to come back and play real well again, that’s better than most teams do it and then they don’t. So to come back a couple of years in a row and to keep the points down like we have and press this consistent defense and get the football and all that, that’s really good that we’re able to do that and we did that transitioning to a new coordinator as well. Dan [Quinn] has done a fantastic job. The way that we’ve adjusted our style in some regards, but the fundamental aspects of it, playing the deep ball real well, playing the running game real well and getting after the football has been there again and I think that we’ve improved our pass rush this season too. So we’ve gotten better. Statistically, we were pretty sharp last year too. So we’re in pretty good shape there.”

(On Jordan Hill’s performance…) “He did alright. He got himself his first sack and chased the ball a little bit. It’s his first time he’s been out there, meaning much at all. So it was good to get him. Tony [McDaniel] kind of stayed sick. He didn’t feel as good as we had hoped. So he didn’t play as much in the game. So it gave Jordan [Hill] a good chance to get out there. So that was great to see him. He was active and he has a really good motor. He really chases the ball and finishes well. So he adds well to the group.”

(On the lack of success in the running game the past couple of weeks…) “Good teams playing us and missing some opportunities. Some penalties a week ago made a huge difference in what happened. I think we’re okay. We’re still going to pound away at it and keep working, keep getting our numbers and attempts up there, it’s just a matter of breaking one that means the difference in those stats sometimes. Our attitude about it is right and we’re on it and consistent with it so I’m fine about it. We would like to get more production and I would think that it would happen. We’re going against the best rushing defense in the NFL in this game so that’s going to be a great matchup for us, but we’re still going to pound away at it.”

(On if defenses are doing something different to stop the run…) “No I just think it’s a combination of things. I don’t think it’s anything in particular.”

(On if the defense was fired up to play against the Giants after coming off of the loss in San Francisco…) “I just think that everything was on. I think that everything that we could muster to get on course to play really well showed up during the week. Guys were disappointed in that last drive is basically what happened and they responded to make sure that they sent a different message.They didn’t want to feel that anymore, and they did a great job.”

(On Brandon Browner’s injury status…) ‘We’ll find out on Wednesday. He’s got two days of running here to see how he does and we’ll see what happens. We don’t know.”

(On Percy Harvin’s injury status…) “Again we’ll find out on Wednesday, we don’t know.”

 (On a clearer timeline for KJ Wright’s injury status…) “There is a bit. He had a great surgery. They predict that he could make it back to running in four to five weeks so we’ll see what that means. We don’t know what that means. They have a real good prognosis going that he’s going to be able to get back and be out there and challenge to be able to play if we keep playing games this long way down the road.”

(On Jeremy Lane’s injury status…) “He’s okay. He’s quite well.”

(On differences between Clinton McDonald’s performance before he was waived and when he was signed back on to the team…) “I actually talked to him about that because he’s been different. He’s been more active, he did lose some weight, I don’t know if that helped with the transition or what, but he did lose some weight he came back at 285. He just seemed to be quicker and more active and by far the best that we’ve seen him. He’s been very consistent too, he’s played real well and has done a great job, and he has four sacks I think, which is probably his best ever. It just seemed like something happened. Like the light went on, or his sense of urgency changed. He had said that he never really felt like he was ever cut before. He’s kind of been released and brought back and things like that on practice squads and stuff. This was the first time he really felt it, and sometimes you have to learn the hard way. He’s really been able to step up his game and he’s been a really good asset to us.”

(On if he will continue to rotate the left guards throughout the playoffs…) “I don’t know. We’re just trying to get ready for this week and we’ll see how that goes. I’m not even going to tell you how we’re going to do it this week, we don’t know that yet.”

(On the left guard’s performance…) “They’re doing good. We have two guys that can go out there and start, we’re lucky and it’s a valuable asset for us when it comes time for you to call on somebody. Paul McQuistan has been knocked around out there at tackle for a long time so he’s still settling in. Both of those guys are playing admirably and the competition is still on, we’re still competing with those guys.”

(On what happened on the 4th-and-1 play in the red zone…) “We flinched at the line of scrimmage and got a five yard penalty. That wasn’t the fourth and what we wanted to go for. It was fourth and one and we were willing to, but not on fourth and six.”

(On if there is it benefit to the team losing last week to San Francisco being that they still have something to play for…) “It would have been a different challenge. It would have been an entirely different challenge for us mentally; for the coaching staff and for the players as well. I mentioned it last week that this could be the best scenario that you have to stay in it and keep battling. I’m more concerned about losing the edge that we’ve gained and it’s taken months and months and months to get here, and then all of sudden you kick into a month mode where it could be different. We try to make it the same, but I think the challenge is different. This is much more of the same, kind of like Groundhog Day all over again, here we go again. There’s nothing wrong with that, we know how to get prepared for games, we know what we’re trying to get done, and the whole routine and the emphasis on every game is a championship game has been right on it for us. Here we come this week and there’s nothing new, which is a good thing. We’re going to make the most of what we got. I would’ve wanted it as soon as we could’ve won it and dealt with that challenge, but right now I think we understand clearly what we’re trying to get done here.”

(On if he feels fortunate to have back two guys that he released in Michael Robinson and Clinton McDonald…) “No question those guys are great guys to return to our roster. Guys that we love and been with and battled with. Sometimes you don’t know anything because Clinton is playing better than ever. We feel very familiar and comfortable and we love having those guys in our locker room. Those guys are Seahawks and that means something to them. They’ve been great guys to pick back up.”

(On Earl Thomas’ injury status…) “He’s fine today. I think he’s in good shape.”

 

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