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December 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Carroll on ESPN 710 Seattle: “Got to give them credit, but we can play a lot better”

As you might imagine after a game like Sunday’s, lots of interesting stuff today from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when he made his regular Monday appearance on the team’s flagship radio station, ESPN 710 Seattle.

Here are some highlights. …

— Carroll said OT Russell Okung is continuing to deal with soreness in the same toe that held him out eight games earlier this season, and that also caused him to miss a few plays Sunday. Carroll said “we won’t know until later in the week” what his status is for the Rams Sunday, but noted that “he did go back in and play, so that’s a good sign.”

— Carroll said of WR Percy Harvin that it’s “an unknown situation again” and that “we don’t have any updates” and that they will have to wait until Wednesday again to know if he is going to be able to practice.

— As for the game, he said his overall thought was “you could win that game a lot of different ways but it was just a very difficult game, tough football, and they brought it on this Sunday.”

— Asked what was different in this game than the win over Arizona in October, he noted that “they’ve won a lot of games since then and they are a different football team .. that’s why it’s not the same game, they were hard and tough about playing on the road. That didn’t faze them that much.”

— As for the main issue with the offense Sunday, Carroll said the pass protection was “handled pretty well. We actually protected very well. He (Russell Wilson) had time to throw the football, but we got covered up quite a bit.”

— Carroll said one reason Seattle was throwing deep so much was that Arizona “took the middle safety out of the hole, so we had sohots at him.” But he said Arizona “played really well when we had one-on-one situations, they won. Those balls were kind of on time and they made the plays, we didn’t drop the passes, they defended them. … we weren’t as open as we would like to have been.”

— As for what happened on the series when Malcolm Smith returned an interception to the 3-yard-line late in the first half, Carroll said the first play was executed well and got them to “inches” from the goal line. He said the second play, also a Marshawn Lynch run., was “a touchdown play.  We just missed it. It’s blocked well, just got bounced on the read. That happens sometimes. We had a good play call and we just didn’t read it quite properly.” He said of the third down play, a pass to Michael Robinson, that “they knocked us around pretty good on the pressure and we couldn’t get the ball cleanly to the back we wanted to get it too. They won those plays.”

— Asked about the offense, he said “well we’re struggling” and then pointed to the third down percentages (Seattle was 2-13 on third downs Sunday) and that they  have not been good for three games now, averaging 26 percent the last three.  “That’s enough of a stat to tell you we are off. … got to get that back on track,” he said.
He noted that many were “very makeable and we just didn’t get it done. A big area of focus for us this week.”

— Asked about Christine Michael, he noted that Michael was active for the game and that there will be a game when “he’s going to get a shot” but that he’s still a young, developing player.

— As for the missed field goal, he said “the snap was a little bit challenging but not enough that we shouldn’t make those.”

— He noted that he texted with Wilson “until late in the night, came in around 4:30 this morning” and they went through the film play by play to figure out what happened on each play.

— He said one of the main issues in the passing game was how well Arizona played defense. He said Arizona’s corners “came up and knocked some balls away that I didn’t think they would get to.”

— Carroll noted that both Wilson and Lynch thought Seattle had gotten a first down on a play that turned out to be a third-and-one late in the second quarter. That was the play where Wilson rolled out and threw incomplete to Doug Baldwin. Carroll said Wilson would  have kept it and ran had he thought it was third down instead of first.

— Carroll said he has no doubt the ball hit the ground on the late throw to Baldwin, but that the real key was that Seattle “let the game be that close so those calls could make a difference.”

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