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January 17, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Pete Carroll: “We go into the weekend really pumped about this opportunity”

Here’s what Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say as he met the media today for a final time prior to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers:

(Opening…) “We had a very good week. Everybody is tuned in exactly like we would hope. Each day of the week to set up on Monday and coming out to practice Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, very disciplined and strict and everybody was on it. Guys understand what we expect of them for the game plan, but their minds seem right as well. We go into the weekend really pumped about this opportunity and looking forward to it like everybody else is, that’s nothing new, but we feel very good about the football team right now.”

(On how the team has handled the outside distractions…) “It felt normal. Really, I think there was a couple of more minutes that we had to allow for the media and all that, but otherwise everybody really stayed true to form and I thought that it was handled very well.”

(On the Seahawks and the 49ers defenses being intimidating or if players don’t really get ‘intimidated’…) “That word isn’t a word that we ever go to.  It doesn’t seem like it fits to me. We’re trying to play really good ball and it starts at the line of scrimmage and works its way on back and they do the same thing. We’re different styles, but the results are very similar and it’s a bunch of guys on this football team and a bunch of guys on that football team that are very serious about playing great ball. So I don’t think it gets to that at all.”

(On Percy Harvin’s status…) “He will not make it through the doctor’s protocol and will not be able to go.”

(On how he manages the team in a game like this – where some have talked about a ‘hate’ between the teams – to control their emotions and avoid costly penalties…) “I think this is exactly what we want. The kind of build up to this game and the background to this game and the feeling that the players have and the coaches have about trying to excel and do something really cool to win this football game. The ‘hate’ word doesn’t even fit. I know it gets thrown around a little bit, but it’s way behind that kind of thought. This is competition at its very best and it’s going to be intense and fired up and all that. There’s no way it can’t at this time of year. So how we handle this is to really handle it normally. We look at every game as an enormous opportunity. We all know that it might be the last game that we ever participate in and we try to play it with that focus and the attention to the detail; to heighten their ability to perform. That’s it. So here we go. This week felt very normal for our guys and it feels like for the coaches. We couldn’t be more excited that we’ve accomplished what we’ve had to get here, but the way we need to think and respond is the same we’ve played all year long that’s gotten us to this point. So we’ve handled it normally and about the penalties and all that stuff, we’ll go play the football game and see what happens. I can’t control that at this point.”

(On KJ Wright’s injury status…) “KJ has made it through practices and he’s going to play in this football game and we’re really excited about that. It’s an incredible recovery to have surgery six weeks ago and now he’s playing. So many people did well by that to get to here and his mentality has been to play the whole time. He had a fine week of practice and we’ll play him.”

(On if there are any limitations on KJ Wright’s playing time…) “No. Nope, he’s going.”

(On Harvin’s concussion being disappointing…) “It’s super disappointing for Percy. First, he wants to play and you can see how he played his tail off when he had his chance. Just unfortunate circumstances you know? He’ll be back practicing next week, he’ll be ready to go and get back on the field with us and we’ll be thrilled to have him back. But, we have functioned the way we function because we don’t let things like that get to us and disturb us and how we’re thinking and how we’re preparing and all that. We would love to have him, but not this time.”

(On how he would characterize the wide receiving core…) “It’s a really competitive group, they’re very athletic, they’re clutch, they’re tough, they get after it, they block well, they do everything we need to them to do and you don’t know who is going to have a big game between those guys if we need it, but they’re all ready for it. You got guys that can make big catches at crucial times and they’ve proven that over the time.”

(On the wide receivers not getting as many opportunities to make plays in the Seahawks offense…) “It takes the guys that are in this room right here. The way we talk and the way that we set our sites on what we’re trying to do. We have never said that, you’re going to be a Pro Bowl guy and make a 100 catches a year, we never told Marshawn he’s going to make a thousand yards, we just go play football and play on this team. This game always calls for guys with that kind of mentality and this room is filled with guys like that. Doesn’t mean that I want our guys to want the ball more, I want them to be frustrated if they don’t get their plays made or they don’t make the play they want to make in a game or enough catches or runs. I don’t mind that one bit, that’s just them being competitive. But, you have to manage it properly though and I think that we do that.”

(On the impact of Marshawn Lynch to the offense…) “Honestly, this is exactly what I had hoped for. I hoped it would turn on out like this. I hoped that he would get a new lease on life, we would get the benefit of him jumping into a situation where he was going to be appreciated and understood and utilized and I just hope that it would turn out like this now. I can’t tell you I thought it was going to be three years of a thousand yards and ten plus touchdowns or whatever the heck it is. I didn’t know that. I think the really exciting part of it is how he’s responded to the opportunity. He’s maxed it out and he’s captured us, really our club with his leadership and his toughness and his style of play and our fans as well. So I couldn’t be happier for the way it’s turned out for the club and for him and he’s maxed out this opportunity. It’s been a beautiful thing.”

(On the players treating this game like every other game…) “There’s no question. There’s no question. See the thing is you think that means that we’re not respecting it. I think we respect it most but doing it that way and we’ve handled it well for doing it that way. I’ve just been through this before and I know that if you want to keep going and keep winning for a really long time, you have to have a sense for how to deal with these situations and I’m hoping that we can show you that we get it and I think throughout this season and last year, even going all the way back to year one when we got the opportunity to win the division and get into the playoffs and all that, our guys were prepared to do that mentally and it’s something that we now have situated ourselves, we might be able to show over a long period of time. It’s a young club, it’s got a great mentality and terrific leadership. They have a chance and to me, it’s not about one game, it’s about to keep on doing it as you look back at it. So it takes a really special mentality to get that done and hopefully, we’re trying to capture that.”

(On Macklemore performing at half time…) “That’s an awesome deal. For a kid who grew up here, I can’t even imagine 68,000 people going crazy for his wonderful talent and all that and he’s been with us for the last couple of years. It’s a great celebration. So everybody can have a good time. We won’t be those that have that good time.”

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