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January 16, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Pete Carroll: “I have great respect for what Jim has done”

Here’s what Pete Carroll had to say when he talked to the media before practice today. He talked about his relationship with Jim Harbaugh, updated injuries, and more:

(On his relationship with Jim Harbaugh…) “We have not been friends over the years because we don’t know each other very well. Just know each other through the game, when we used to coach against him back when he was playing and since we’ve coached against each other. So it’s a very confined relationship in that regard. For whatever reason you guys have had a field day with thinking that it’s something other than it is. I have great respect for what Jim has done and I think he’s a tremendous football coach. I don’t know him very well personally. So that’s it. That’s where it starts and stops and all the rest of the stuff, you’ve guys have had a blast with it but there’s nothing there. So that’s it.”

(On Percy Harvin’s injury status…) “He’s still going through the process, the protocols as we call it and we don’t know. We don’t know anything yet.”

(On how he keeps his players focused when the players are 60 minutes away from being a team that may potentially play in the Super Bowl…) “We’ve worked really hard at establishing a process that helps us be prepared for everything that comes along and we do that by being really consistent and how we deal with the issues of next week and the games that come up in a manner that doesn’t make one game different than another and obviously you’re at the end of the year. It’s the last chance to play at CenturyLink and all that kind of stuff and it’s a championship game going to the ultimate championship game, but we have developed a way to talk through that and to practice and to prepare. So this isn’t something different that we have to deal with other than the obvious. The obvious is there and we bring that upfront and then we go about our business and try to stay very routine, very consistent about how we handle these opportunities so that we could do it very well. We feel like we’re well-versed and we know what we’re trying to get done and how we want to go about it. So we’ll see what happens on game day, but that’s how we do it.”

(On if there is a deadline for when Percy needs to be cleared to play…) “There’s a deadline from the doctors, whenever they call. They’re the ones that are really in charge of this thing at this point and I don’t know when that is. They’ve got to go through the process.”

(On if he will practice today…) “No.”

(On what the doctors said about Percy’s concussion…) “That they’ve got the next stages to get through. It’s a whole process they go through and no indication to help you understand more because I don’t understand any more than that.”

(On if Doug Baldwin will return kicks if Percy is not cleared to play…) “He’s the next guy up yes.”

(On how KJ Wright did in practice yesterday…) “He’s done fine so far. Today will be a big day for him. He was limited yesterday. He looked like there were no problems, but we will have to wait and see.”

(On Malcolm Smith…) “Malcom has played really well. We don’t feel like we have to have him back; to force the issue. If he can go, he can go and now I think I can answer a question from yesterday. If he’s ready to play in the football game and we’re dressing up, he’s playing.

(On Colin Kaepernick’s intangibles…) “He’s a fantastic competitor. He uses all of his tools and he’s got a great arm and he’s got tremendous velocity on the ball, he throws the ball well inside and outside of the pocket and he’s a fantastic runner. So we’ve all watched him. He’s been extremely consistent at what he brings every game. Brings his approach and his factor of moving around and creating with his legs, he’s always present. Since he emerged on the scene, he’s been very consistent and very effective and they’ve won a ton of football games with him at the quarterback spot.”

(On if there is an advantage for Derrick Coleman to read lips and how has he contributed to the team…) “Well when you can’t hear, yeah he’s got a great advantage. He’s been a great contributor on this team. He’s played fullback for us. He started at fullback, he’s backed up when Mike Rob [Michael Robinson] has been in there and they’ve shared the position, he’s been an absolute, core special teamer for us and he’s a guy that does everything right. He does his job impeccably well in all areas and everything that we ask of him. He’s a terrific-effort guy; he’s tough he’s fast he’s the third running back on game day when the roster sets up that way. So he’s been a fantastic part of the team and it’s been a really cool story. Not because he has issues, because he’s made this team and he’s made a spot for himself and he’s claimed it. The fact that he has a hearing issue is really not even something that we deal with. But I would think that at CenturyLink, when it’s crazy and he’s looking in the huddle, he might be the very best one to get the call from Russell [Wilson]. So he’s got an advantage there.”

(On if he’s had to make any special accommodations for Coleman…) “No we didn’t at all. Derrick is very much upfront about it and very comfortable with making sure everybody understands and just, ‘look at me when you talk to me please’ and ‘there may be a time when I don’t hear you. So don’t get frustrated. I’ll get it.’ You don’t even know it’s happened, you don’t even know that there’s an issue and I don’t even know how he does it under the circumstances, but he’s a terrific communicator for us and we don’t have any problems with it at all. There’s maybe a special situation, when he’s behind the quarterback and the crowd is going crazy and there’s an audible being called out, but you’ve seen running backs all the time go up and try to get help from the quarterback in those situations. So really, it’s not even a factor and if it is, he’s overcome it magnificently.”

(On if he knew that Coleman had a hearing problem when he first signed…) “Yeah I didn’t know. Didn’t know because he didn’t have any exposure or experience with that, with a guy like that. So that issue went away almost within the first day.”

(On how much of an advantage it is for his team to utilize certain exercises such as yoga and meditation…) “Well I don’t know. I think there was an article written about that stuff. I wasn’t quite clear. That’s not something that’s a pervasive practice for us. There are some guys, and I would think there are guys on most teams that do other aspects of physical training and development that go along with their regular stuff. We have a guy, Dr. Michael Gervais that works with us that does a really nice job of helping our guys that are interested and does counsel a number of guys. But it isn’t like a practice… I’m not leading the meditations. I might be able to, but I’m not. But here’s the deal. Around here, we’re trying to do everything that we can possibly think of to help our guys be the best that they can be and whatever that means to us and it absolutely involves the development of the whole person. So we’re trying to help our guys find the ways, from sleep to nutrition to exercise to flexibility training to rehabilitation and everything that we’re doing;  to try and help our guys so that they can be at their best. So we have offered our guys numerous alternative opportunities to do stuff and some guys take to it and some guys don’t.”

(On the improvements to the defense in terms of stopping the run…) “We had a time in the middle of the season that I thought we kind of followed the trend of poor tackling and execution at the line of scrimmage. I kind of felt it was around the league, I thought you could see some of that, and we just made a real fundamental shift back to the basics of the game and demanded of our guys to take accounting of that. Everybody saw it and could understand it and I thought we made a turn. I thought we turned our focus on the real basics of football, which is blocking and tackling and leverage and all of the things that are so important. We stayed with that emphasis throughout and I think it’s really made a difference in our football team. It’s helped us in numerous ways.”

(On how does a change like that specifically happen…) “We had a significant special meeting to make a statement of where we are and where we want to go, and how we were going to go about it. I tried to get buy in from everybody that they would understand, which they did, they’ll do whatever we ask of them. Sometimes it’s the coaches that have to stay with it and keep pushing the issue. So we pushed the issue to them about becoming the best fundamental football team in the NFL. That’s what we were working to become, and everybody kind of latched on to it. It had to do with open field tackling, in line tackling, leverage at the line of scrimmage, stance, get offs, pursuit, all of that stuff, all of the fundamentals that go back to when you first start playing this great game of football. Fortunately we could see the change; we could see us playing better in the statistics, the number, all of that showed that.”

(On the impact the 12th Man brings to the Seahawks…) “You couldn’t pick a better venue to play a championship game, anywhere that I can even imagine than right here at CenturyLink. The 12s are something really unique and special. Whether it’s the stadium, whether it’s the crazy people in the Northwest, whether it gray skies that makes them want to come out and scream. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something unique and special that we have and you can’t ignore it. You can’t say that it doesn’t factor in, it does, and so we’re extraordinary fortunate that we have this following and the fan base that we have. I’ve been at the stadium in Mexico City with 110,000 and I’ve heard it and I know about that one down there, and a bunch of stadiums and indoors and all of that. There is nothing like the experience here. Fortunately we’ve been able to ride along with them. We’ve won a lot of games in the last few years playing at home, which is absolute instrumental to being a championship team. You have to dominate at home if you’re going to be able to sustain. Fortunately we have the best place in the world to play. I may be a little bias about that, but I think the numbers kind of show it.”

(On getting more production out of the tight ends…) “We’d love to have them catch more balls. I don’t know if we’re missing it or not. It’s always a part of our game plan; it’s never a part that we’re putting on a shelf for a while. Sometimes it goes that way, sometimes it doesn’t. When we’re throwing the ball around 20 times a game it’s hard to spread it around, there are not that many balls out there. If that’s what it comes out to be Zach Miller could care less. He just wants to win, and our other guys are the same way about that. Luke Willson had a particularly good game when we played the 49ers last time. We’d love to see him show up again.”

(On Richard Sherman speaking on how different Coach Carroll is from the typical NFL coach and when did he embrace that…) “I tried when I was about 24 and the coaches yelled at me when I was an assistant on staffs. They thought I was crazy trying to do what I was trying to do. I thought I was wrong because they told me I was. So just by growing up and maturing and the opportunities when I had the chance to be in charge, when I got to be a coordinator for the first in years way back at N.C. State. I was given the opportunity to have a voice and to speak out and so that’s what happened. I don’t know, all I’m trying to do is do the best we can do. All I got is this. So this is the way they get it, and if it doesn’t comply with the way other people do it I can’t do anything about that. It’s no different in our program right here. We’re trying to find guys that have unique ways about them and qualities and try to allow them to demonstrate that in the way we perform. We’ll go to no end to figure that out. It’s no different with my assistant coaches, the coordinators, or the guys calling the shots here. It’s no different with John Schneider, we’re all l trying to figure that part out you know, and we really believe fundamentally that if you out people in the positions where they’re really good at them, and they’re really capable, they’ll have a better chance of performing at a high level. The same thought goes to how I’ve done this. Part of that process is figuring out who you are and what you are so that you could do that consistently and be at your best. That’s something that is going on around here and I’m excited about that people are hearing it because we’re trying to help our guys be the best that they can possible be, every single guy in the program, and that approach is felt by these players, they can tell and they’re responding in a way of giving us the best they have to offer, and that’s all we can ask for. That’s basically what’s going on, and it’s been what’s been going on for a long time.”

(On if a coach can have an effect on the officials by talking to them about certain plays…) “I don’t know that. You like to think that you could help your team out a little bit by pointing stuff out, just helping the officials. The guys at this level are extremely professional, they’ve got their own way, their style, their style, they’re trained and drilled, and they’re the best in the world at what they do. I don’t think that that factor is much of a factor. Everybody is human though and sometimes things happen and guys get caught up in the moment just like everybody else does. There could be a factor. We’re just competing. That’s all we’re doing is competing and whatever that comes out to, maybe it helps us, maybe it doesn’t.”

(On the most challenging part in preparing a game plan to play against the 49ers…) “They’re such a consistent football team across the board that they have many strengths. That’s why they’ve been so successful for the last few years. They have just found this really wonderful core group of guys and they’ve put them in good positions, they have a good fundamental approach so there are no weaknesses. You just have to just wear on them and play on them and hope that you can find you edges on game day, and it’s been very difficult for teams in the last three years since Coach Harbaugh has been there.

(On Michael Bowie…) “He played good solid football. He did a good job; we’re expecting him to continue to get better. He’s a young kid that has a chance to improve. We have a real good situation where we have other guys that can play the spot if we need them, but Michael has done a nice job and we’re looking forward to him playing well again.”

(On if the Seahawks would be the same team without Earl Thomas…) “I don’t think we’d be the same without any of the guys that we’re counting on. I think everybody has their way of factoring in. Earl is an extraordinary football player and an extraordinary personality on this team because he is a relentless competitor. So without him we would be unique. I think if we loss Richard Sherman or Red Bryant or any of the fellas that are playing for us, it’ll be a different makeup of the team, but Earl has a big impact. He’s just so consistently on it that he lifts up other guys play.”

(On what happened to James Carpenter…) “We left it to a competitive situation like we talked about, like we try to do everywhere when we can, when we have guys that can battle for the spots getting healthy when everybody is ready to go, we’ve had a chance to work at that. Right now Michael Bowie has a done a nice job. He’s kind of captured us in his athleticism. He’s a huge kid, he moves really well, and he does a nice job. It doesn’t have anything to do with James Carpenter, it’s what Mike has done.”

(On Michael Bennett’s impact to the defense…) “Mike has been a really positive influence. He’s a smart football player, really savvy on the field in game day and savvy athletically. He can make things happen because he has a real knack and nature about getting to the quarterback. He does have versatility. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he’s big enough and technique sound enough that he could hold up against the big guys. Maybe not over the long haul, but as we move him around we think we can find really unique ways to use Mike. He’s been a real factor for us, so he’s been real positive.”




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