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December 18, 2013 at 5:31 PM

What they said: Pete Carroll

Here’s more of what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say to the media today (and note that this was before the news today that Brandon Browner has been suspended):

Opening statement: “Well we’re winding down here. Fourth quarter of the season is coming down to it now and boy, our guys are tuned in. It’s a great opportunity coming up, playing the Cardinals in the division and all that coming home. We can’t wait to get through this practice today and see if we’re back on track and putting together the kind of week that we need. The Cardinals have been playing great football. They really have been playing very, very well and it’s obvious that they’re coming in here, trying to get something done here. They’ve got a big playoff opportunity too. So it should be a great match up for us and it’s fun coming back to CenturyLink. So we’re all pumped up about it. I’m sure you are too.”

On how important it is to clinch the number seed in the NFC West: “That’s the only chance we got and we’re going to go for it this week. It hasn’t to do with next week. This is a championship match up and we’re going to do everything we can to go get it done.”

On the differences between the Cardinals the last time the Seahawks played against them and the Cardinals currently: “They’re just cleaner, sharper, better at everything. Their run game on defense is the best in the league. They’ve always had really good, talented guys up front and they’re just getting after it. Carson [Palmer] is really hitting. They really have come together. You can see how efficient he’s been in the last couple of months. They’ve just gotten better. So Bruce [Arians] is doing a great job. You can see his imprint on this whole thing, their style, their attitude and all that. So they just have made a big improvement and they’ve given themselves a great chance to have a heck of a season.”

On how they approach choosing corners in the draft:“I would like to think that we have a real good style about us and the way we’re coaching and what we’ve done. We’ve done this for years and you look back, there’s been a lot of corners that we’ve coached over the years that have done real well and they’re all getting coached the exactly the same way that they were years ago. So there’s a real formula to it and fortunately, we’ve drafted guys or acquired guys that could take to it and Kris [Richard] and Rock [Rocky Seto] and I, we’ve been working on this for a long time. I’m not surprised by it, I’m just thrilled that we have the kind of depth that we have and the guys, when the challenge that have been faced was there, they nailed it. So hopefully we can keep going with it.”

On Brandon Browner’s case status and Percy Harvin’s injury status: “We have no official word on what’s going on there and Percy [Harvin] will not practice today.”

On if he has different plans with Percy Harvin since he has not been cleared to play: “Not at this moment. Not at this moment nothing has changed. We’re just trying to see if we can get back out to work and get him on the field.”

On Brandon Browner’s injury status: “He’s just about to get ready to where he can practice now. He’s getting close. It’s kind of iffy whether he can do it or not. I think if he was practicing today, he would be able to go, in a limited fashion.”

On the Cardinals’ defense: “Well their front, they’re really talented. We’ve seen Darnell [Dockett] and Calais Campbell for years. Those guys have always been a problem. They’re loaded. Those guys are tough and it starts right in the middle. Daryl Washington is a terrific football player; Karlos Dansby is a terrific football player. They have all of the right ingredients for a good defense and they’re playing really tight right now. Todd Bowles has got them going. They’re aggressive and physical and all that. So they’ve turned the ball over they’ve been tough against the run, they’ve just been a problem for anybody that they play. So they’ve always been kind of like that to us. We had a game against them when it wasn’t like that a couple of years ago but in general, they’re always very physical and because it starts right there in the middle with those guys.”

On if he believes in the challenge of strength versus strength of Seattle’s running “First, they’re not the same as they were. They’ve grown. They’re a tremendous front right now and that just takes time and it showed that it took them some games to get going. We got them early. They’re different right now and they’re just better. We’re going to run the football. So matching strength with strength, if that’s what you’re asking me, that’s what we do. We’re not changing depending on the team that we’re playing. So we’re going to come out running the ball and try to get our running game going. Because there was success earlier, doesn’t mean that you have it now. So it’s a whole new challenge and it’s really important, through the overall game plan, that we stick to that and try to make that happen.”

On Carson Palmer: “Yeah I think he’s playing like you could always imagine him to play. He’s had a lot of good stretches; he’s put up a lot of yards over the years in those different situations. I think this is… it looks to be kind of a culmination of his career. He’s really sharp, he’s making good choices, he’s got pretty good protection, he’s got terrific receivers to go to and all of that is fitting together really well. Bruce [Arians] has always had good quarterback play and he’s getting it again.”

On Brandon Mebane: “I think Brandon [Mebane] continues to play like he has. He’s been really consistent over the years; he’s been a great player for us. I think the guys around him have contributed to his play and I think just the three-technique play and Mike Bennett being a factor as an inside rusher, Tony [McDaniel] has done a nice job too, as has Clinton McDonald. I think that’s all fit together and it’s just bringing out the best aspects of all of those guys. So it’s kind of the chemistry of them.”

On if he is surprised that he hasn’t heard anything back from the league about Brandon Browner’s case: “It has taken a long time and I’ve been a little disappointed in that, but we’re handling it.”

On what does he hope a young tight end like Luke Willson will take away from Zach Miller: “Zach is a tremendous pro; I mean he is such a pro. Work ethic, toughness, attention to details, ability to come through, versatility, I mean everything you ask of him. Whether it’s special teams, or whatever you ask of him he does really well with great pride and all of that. All of our players could grow from that, Zach is a tremendous example of that. Luke has tremendous talent. He has speed and strength and catching ability and range and all of that, but to make yourself a great pro it’s those other elements that you need to really bring the package together, and Zach really does demonstrate that on a regular basis. He’s a great leader for him and a great role model for him, and Luke is a great kid too. There is nothing to keep him from being the same style player in the years to come.”

On where Luke Willson is at in terms of his blocking ability: “He’s part of it. We don’t hesitate to put him in any situations to block, he can be a point of attack guy, a backside guy, we move him, he’s done stuff in the backfield, and his versatility has already been demonstrated. Sometimes you have a tight end that does some things and doesn’t do other things. Luke is not that, Luke can play the whole position. I mean he’s been a fantastic draft pick for us, an incredible draft pick for us. I mean he could play so early and contribute in such a variety of ways, and he’s really just getting started. He’s a tremendous prospect for us for the years to come.”

On why he chose Luke Willson over Vance McDonald, the other Rice tight end: “Not everybody knew about him, he hadn’t done a whole lot. He caught a lot of balls his junior year than his senior year he was there. I think the availability that that presented to us in later rounds. We saw the talent., we saw the range of ability, but it was really John Schneider’s knack of understanding where he would get drafted that made him so valuable to us. At that spot that’s as good a pick that you could make. I think it was just a set of circumstances that made him available to us. I’m not comparing him to the other fella at all, it’s just when we had that pick at that time it turned out to be a great opportunity, and Luke has made that come to life.”

On if Breno Giacomini and Russell Okung are back to full strength: “No they’re fine. I think they’re playing back to full strength. It’s taken a little while, but they’re very comfortable now, they’re both feeling pretty good and we’re counting on them just like we have in the past.”

On where he came up with Brandon Mebane coming angled stance: “It’s really been around more than you noticed. It’s just a style of play. Some guys are better playing square shouldered, and some guys can play cocked like that. Brandon has a good feel for that and he utilizes it really well. it’s really a style of player and our coaching is looking for what guys do well. If he wasn’t that way our scheme wouldn’t show that we play the guy squared up, and at times we do with other guys.”

On Tony McDaniel’s injury status: “Yes. He’s fine, full strength.”

On why he hasn’t put Brandon Browner on IR: “I think in respect to the player and what he’s done and what he offers our team. I think all of that and we were able to do it because of the versatility of some other guys. Had he come back, who would play? It’s a big, great question and one of you would probably ask that question a week from now if he was back. Byron has done a great job. He’s just made it through and he’s done a great job of playing. That Wally Pipp story comes to life sometimes and I’m thrilled about what Byron has done. He’s been such an impact player for us and we had the opportunity to wait it out and see what was going on. This injury thing has kind of fell into the middle of it all. It’s turned out very, very well for us. We’ve been very fortunate with the way it’s turned out so far.”

On Malcolm Smith: “I think we’re very fortunate.  I was thinking about it today when I was correcting something with Mike Morgan, we’ve been coaching him since he was 18 years old, and Malcolm is the same. Those guys have been in our system for such a long time I don’t even know how old these guys are or how many years they’ve been around, but it seems like forever. Malcolm totally understands what we ask of the position. He has the style that is kind of unique. He’s a great athlete, a great speed guy; he’s really the best he’s ever been at diagnosing and attacking the line of scrimmage. We know we have a great coverage guy in him, and he blitzes well so when he gets in there he has strengths, and he can play to the system. Even though it’s not even close to the same packages you would see with K.J. Wright, but we still can get affective play out of him. We’re very fortunate that we have that kind of depth and that kind of quality that can jump in. It’s a good note that he did play really well for us in games that we have performed some of our better outings. We’re very confident at putting him in, we don’t hesitate and we’re lucky to have him.”

On if they saw enough of Tharold Simon to know what they have in him: “Yeah we did. I think we did. We’re really encouraged about it. Unfortunately he’s had a toe situation; he’s had both great toe issues here. I don’t know how that can happen, but he did. He did show us enough. We got him in competitive situations out there and he just got reinjured and he actually injured the other foot. That’s a concern, that’s a concern to us, we don’t know what that means as we go into the offseason, but he did show that he could be competitive. He’s really long and he has the kind of wing span that we like at that spot.”





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