Here is some of what Seattle head coach Pete Carroll had to say after the Seahawks’ 23-15 NFC Divisional Playoff win over the Saints Saturday:
(Opening…) This was an interesting finish to this game. We’re really proud to get the win and be coming back home next week, that’s a tremendous accomplishment, and we’re thrilled about that. We know we just played a fine football team and players and coaches and all that. We have great respect for that team and to get this win at this time is huge. I thought we had a lot of cool things happen in this game and I like that we took care of the football on a day like this, throughout, and we ran the football like we wanted to, and Marshawn had a big game for us and the defense just wouldn’t let them have anything. We gave up a couple plays on their scoring drive that were really nice plays by them, nice throws and catches. That’s Drew Brees, and he’s going to do some of that. We just kind of held on to where we were bleeding the clock. I think it was a very, very good day on defense, although I’m really disappointed in the way we tackled today. I’m anxious to see the film; it seemed that both sides didn’t tackle very well when it was wet and sloppy out there in the first half. We’ll find out, I don’t know. It just didn’t feel like it was normal. As we look at it, we’re thrilled to be going on, with areas to get better and things we can continue to improve, and we’ll continue to work at it in that manner. Other than that, congratulations to the 12’s, awesome that they did a great job again today, and we’ll come on back for another one here next week.
(On the 24 yard reception down the sideline by Baldwin…) We were trying to make a first down. We were still in a mode where we thought we needed to make first downs, and so I was encouraging Bevell to be aggressive with his call. We got something that we do a lot. We got a great look and it was an incredibly perfect throw, and a great job of making the catch. It’s a catch that Doug has made all year. He’s made those big catches on the sidelines, and it couldn’t have been more clutch, and it was awesome to see him come through, both those guys.
(On the impact of the wind on the passing game… ) Obviously it was. It was a deterrent from throwing the football. You noticed in the third quarter, as strong as it was, we ran the ball quite a bit there. We didn’t want to make crucial mistakes when we backed up. So, we just played good grind-it-out football, and kicked the ball and rely on the defense and all of that, and it worked out. But, it was definitely a factor, you could see the balls that Drew threw as well, they were taking off and it was hard to catch, and it was hard to handle the football at times. That’s just part of playing this late in the year.
(On whether that’s an illustration of why Seattle chooses their style of football…) I hope you can tell, this is that time. This is exactly why you make a commitment to be a balanced offense and a balanced football team, so that when you have these kinds of opportunities and situations that you can play D, you can stick with your kicking game and come through and you can run the football. I think it was really a great look. For us, in particular, to not turn it over and get one in a crucial situation. I think that’s exactly the way we would like to draw them up.
(On what happened to Percy Harvin…) The poor kid. He finally gets to play, and he banged his head against the turf really hard. He was OK the first time, but the second one really rocked him. They’re treating him for the concussion thing, so, unfortunately he was just sick about the thought that he couldn’t go back out. He was battling, did a good job, and gave us a little spark. I think he had 3 catches and a run which were nice plays for him in his first outing, and hopefully he’ll be able to make it back for next week.
(On where this ranks among Marshawn Lynch’s games… ) I think it is pretty much the same as always. He battles every week and when you give him chances, he makes plays. He’s had such a consistent run for us for 3 years now. I saw a stat the other day that it was three-straight, 1000-yard years and 10-plus touchdowns. He just continues to crank it out for us. You have to love his last touchdown run, though, that was maybe Beast Mode II, I don’t know, but it was a cool way to end that game and give us the chance and the score we needed to put it away.
(On the play of the defense…) Our guys are tough to go against. That’s a tough group. Danny (Quinn) has us really fundamentally sound, we just don’t break. We force you to keep working at it and working at it, and you noticed how they moved the ball at times and we would come up and get our stops. We played very well on third down today, and had a couple really crucial fourth down stops as well. They were aggressive and going for it and our guys were able to make the plays, but there’s really no weakness in this defense at this time. We didn’t play the run as well as we have been, and it’s because we didn’t tackle as well, we missed a couple opportunities, and it was killing us in the first half to have to see that and watch that, because we had really come a long ways with the run defense. Maybe we’ll get back on track better, maybe we need to do live tackling; I don’t know. We’ll figure that out as we look at the film. I just think it’s a tough group in all areas. You’ve got playmakers at almost every turn. That’s what we’re relying on.
(On Michael Bennett….) Mike’s been a great addition. Shoot, he’s made plays all year. We move him around and do all kinds of things with him. To force the fumble and recover it and be part of another sack, too. Just the way he plays is so fitting for us. He has a great style to him, an unusual player that he has kind of a variety of things that he does well. Hopefully, we’re doing him right by moving him around and taking advantage of that.
(On the decision to start Michael Bowie…) This was a classic competitive opportunity. We’ve been looking at our guys and how they’ve been playing, and he’s been playing. He played really well. I think he has 9 starts under his belt before today. We just thought with the two weeks, if we gave him a shot, he might be ahead at the job at this time. So, after two weeks of looking at him, we said, ‘let’s go for it’, and so he did a nice job today, I would think. I really don’t know that until I see the film.
(On whether the offense changed when Harvin left the game…) I think the game was a little bit different. We played a little more conservatively when we were backed up in the first part of the third quarter, really through most of the third quarter. We were trying to make sure that we were really sound and solid, and if we had to kick the ball, we kicked the ball. That changed just a little bit. It certainly seemed like he had a contribution that was obvious. He almost popped that run when we had him going on the edge, and we had that big third down play. Just unfortunately, he got smacked a couple of times, and he couldn’t stay out there.
(On defending their screen passes….) They might have thrown six or seven of them. It’s been a big part of their game. Our guys did a great job. Unfortunately, we had that big penalty called. We saw it so well that we got a holding penalty on it. We had a lot of respect for their screen approach; multiple ways, all different kind of actions and things. I thought that was a big positive for us; on a day when it’s hard to throw it, that’s what they were going to, and we were able to really knock those down. I think they had very little production out of the screen game, and so it was a good part of the defense’s work.
(On the advantage of having the wind at your back…) The kicking was really the part of it. We were worried about the kicks and stuff. I think that Hauschka did a great job kicking field goals. You how hard it was for their guy, so it was a factor. It was enough of a factor, that we respected it today, and played to it.
(On the long completion to Meachem…) That was too bad. We can’t play a ball better; we have two guys going up for the interception. In football, you don’t call a guy off like you do in baseball. The center fielder is in charge of that. You really don’t do that, guys go for the ball. Look at last week, we had three guys going for it. We’ll hawk the football pretty good, and unfortunately, it was a 52 yard play out of that thing, it was just unfortunate. I think we held up there, they missed a field goal. But, still, that was a big field changer and pretty discouraging at the time.
(On other injuries…) I didn’t get any other ones at this time.
(On defending Jimmy Graham…) We hopefully demonstrated a lot of respect for him. We think he’s a great player and he’s a huge target for them, almost 150 targets coming in. We wanted to make sure that we had guys in his area. We played a lot of zone. In our man to man stuff, different guys covered him. All of that was just to give them a variety of stuff. Remember last time, K.J. (Wright) did such a good job on him, we thought we needed to adapt a little bit, without his work out there. He didn’t seem like he had a big game today. I don’t even know his numbers, I don’t know what he did.