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January 20, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Pete Carroll: “We need to take note and recognize how special it is”

Here’s the official transcript of what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say to the media today:

(On if going to the Super Bowl has sunk in yet…) “I think I used the word magical. Yeah moving on with it now. We already have to start talking about plans and what’s going on and what this all means and I’m so very grateful. Most grateful for the opportunity that we had and for the way that we are able to perform and get the job done so that we can move on. So we’re really grateful for that and it was a heck of a lot fun. It was great to see.”

(On if he could’ve envisioned a better moment to send his team to the Super Bowl than the end of the game vs. the 49ers…) “Yeah it kind of came out, going all the way down to the last drive and all that too. It came out with all of the drama that you could maybe hope for in a game like this. It was a great match up. They’re a fine team and they were tough on us and we were tough on them and you just kind of had to wait it out and see what the opportunities were going to present. We took care of business when we needed to. I think the thing was a very, very obvious expression of great finish and we really finished. Defense, to take the ball off on three straight drives to end the game was a huge accomplishment and a big statement that we were fighting it out and we were going to slug it out and offense scoring four out of the five drives or whatever in the second half, all of those numbers really support a great comeback. So it was a really cool night for our guys and they really came through and they really made it happen and the ‘Niners didn’t make it easy at all. We had to really fight for everything. So it was really great event.”

(On if there was anyone that he wanted to talk to in order to seek advice on what to do in preparation for the Super Bowl…) “No not really. We have a good team of guys here to do it. I’ve been to a lot of bowl games and it kind of seems very similar. You know, we’ll be there for a week kind of like it is. So our guys that have been through this in the past and years past, we kind of feel like we’ve been there before and all that kind of stuff. Not the Super Bowl of course, but an event leading up to a big game and all that. So they seem pretty comfortable with that. I think I’ll be okay.”

(On if he allows himself to reflect on this moment on a personal level…) “A little bit. When it’s the Super Bowl, you’ve got to take note and we all talked about that today in the team meeting. You take note of being the kid watching these games and always thinking that you would like to be a part of it someday. I pictured playing, not coaching. But, we all have those kinds of dreams. So we need to take note and recognize how special it is and be grateful for the guys that’s helped us get there and which is the guys in our room. So we kind of talked about it like that and I feel like that about it. I think we’re very fortunate to have come together at this time to make this happen. Not so much about the four years and all that, although I did mention that, but it’s a great reward for a career that calls for so much. So I’m very happy about it.”

(On what makes the Seahawks unique…) “I think it’s the competitiveness that this team has and you can see that we’ve really chosen guys that have a feeling that they got something to prove and I think we’re all like that. John [Schneider] is like that, I feel like that, we all kind of feel like that and made a little bit of a ‘chip on the shoulder’ kind of mentality around here and it’s something that I recognized in the second year I think that we had a bunch of guys that kind of understood what that meant and we’ve kind of just built on that in some way. So I think that we’re a very, very competitive group and they understand the value of that and how that feels like and that’s what’s going to get us where we want to go and we’re grateful for that and they understand that. It’s very powerful, it’s a powerful feeling that we have.”

(On Percy Harvin’s schedule this week…) “I have to wait until we see… I don’t know what happened today and then we have Tuesday and we’re practicing on Wednesday. That would be the first chance. I think that he has a very good chance to practice based on how he was on the weekend. He was in pretty good shape on the weekend. He still has to go through a couple of clearances and all that but we’re kind of counting on him to be ready. I think he should be. What do I know? I have to check with the doctors. That’s what I’m kind of hoping.”

(On if he’s talked to Richard Sherman about his comments last night…) “Yeah we have met. I think Richard had a chance… he got his thoughts out today a couple of different times about what he felt about it and we did talk about it and he was really clear that the last thing that he wanted to do was to take something away from our team and what we had accomplished. He got caught right in the throes of the fight and the battle and all that right off the bat and there was a little bit of leeway there and understandably, particularly for the guys who play on such an edge emotionally, like Richard does. But, he made his statements. He felt like he didn’t want to take anything away from the team.  Don’t think he wanted to send any personal messages, it just kind of came out in the heat of the moment and the emotion of it. Even after the game, he was still very emotional. This is a very emotional kid and this is what drives him and I understand that. We did sit down and talk about it because I wanted him to present himself in his best light. He’s an incredible kid. He’s got great sense about things, and understanding, and sensitivity, and awareness and he cares and he’s a very thoughtful person. So when he puts out those kinds of thoughts, he has to know what he’s saying and understand it and I think he’s very understanding at this point that he caused a stir that took something away from the team.”

(On if he had a problem with anything Sherman said last night…) “I look at it this way. I look at it like, and I said this earlier this morning, that with these guys, we’re doing this together and my role that I play is what I am the most is I am the dad and I looked at it like he was my son in a sense. ‘What would I tell my son?’ and I said that ‘there is some stuff in there that I think that you should think about. Did you really want it to come out the way that it did’ and talk our way through that and he didn’t. But he didn’t feel right about that. So he came out and made a statement. So I supported him in that. But there were a lot of great things that happened last night and we’re talking about some other stuff.”

 (On if he took the common approach about cooling off for a bit…) “I think there’s any question. Yeah. I mean how do all of our guys handle it? The guys that do handle it… I usually talk the quarterbacks and those guys have been well-grooved on how to deal with stuff but, calm a linebacker or defensive or lineman or talk to a guy right after he makes a touchdown run or something like that. I understand it, I get it, but that’s the media. You guys are there, available for us.”

(On if there were any other key moments in his four year tenure at Seattle that made him realize that getting to the Super Bowl is a realistic goal…) “I always thought that this was realistic. This is was the place that I was hoping that we were going to get to, but regardless of who was coming in. But, when we saw Kam [Chancellor] and KJ [Wright] and those guys and what they brought and Earl and how they were growing up and Russell Okung and all of those guys that w ere coming through. We started to sense that we were putting together a group and I told them way back than that, ‘you guys are going to be the nucleus of this of what’s going to happen here’ and then we added another great clash and put in Bruce [Irvin] and Russell [Wilson] and all those guys that came on to add to.. They were the start of it and they we’re kind of the heartbeat of it. So I think it’s later than we think than we wanted it to be, but we’re still on track for something really special and we had to wait a little bit and that it would be worth it.”

 (On if this feels like he’s gone in a full circle in terms of starting his NFL coaching career in New York and now he’s playing in the Super Bowl in New York…) “I hadn’t thought that. But I will for you right now. No I don’t feel like that. I think my first time in New York as the head coach was kind of in the middle of the circle somewhere or maybe it wasn’t even a circle, might have been some other shape. It was kind of a hairy time.”

(On if he remembers watching the 2005 Super Bowl against the Steelers…) “No I don’t remember that game except watching the replays since I’ve been here drew my attention. I didn’t make much of a dent into it at the time but it was a very, very eventful game and memorable in some of the worst ways for the people around here. I know.”

(On what he can take away from playing in college bowl games when preparing to play in the Super Bowl…) “Well you can’t have a better proving ground I think, in terms of the process of it. You have a lot longer to prepare for it, but it still gets down to it when you have the last couple of weeks and those are the most important weeks to me in the Bowl prep. Some, you get a month. It’s like a whole spring practice. So you get more time. The buildup of it, the anticipation of it, as the media changes kind of the focus as you get closer to the game; all of those elements are there because we’ve played in big games. The Rose Bowls and the Oranges and those games that really brought in a lot of attention, there was a lot at stake and a lot of national interest and all that. So it feels very comfortable in that regard. I think we learned a lot.”

(On Doug Baldwin’s health…) “He’s banged up a little bit. He’ll be a little bit slow on Wednesday. He got kind of a hip pointer thing going, but he’ll be okay for the game we will be slow with him coming back this week.”

(On how KJ Wright felt after the game…) “He’s got a sore foot, but not bad. It feels okay. He was really excited that he didn’t reinjure himself and he made it through and performed well. So he’s ready to go.”

(On the changes the defense made to prevent Colin Kaepernick from scrambling in the second half…) “Yeah the changes weren’t too drastic because the plan was pretty simple in what we were trying to do. We just had to make sure that were focusing the rushes properly and not getting out of whack, trying too hard to sack him and make sure that we rushed with the proper lanes that we had designed. So we did a good job there and then the zones that we played, we kept our eyes on him. Treated him like a check-down, with a different level with intensity. He was so fast coming out of there and they had designed a couple of really nice plays in there to get him out. They looked like passes but they were really delayed draws and guys were blocked down field really well. They had a nice scheme going and we had to adjust to that and we had to gauge his speed differently. If you look at KJ’s first angle as he broke out on the first one, before the real long one, he took a normal angle and he lost it and then Bobby [Wagner] had one and lost it and then Sherm [Richard Sherman] had one and lost it. He ran through us because he is a long strider and he’s deceptively fast. So that was the adjustment. We really had to see him game speed again, to get on it and they really had great intention to run him. They had a lot of designed stuff for him to run in this game, which worked out well.”

(On Richard Sherman is a rare athlete to tip the ball…) “The play that he made? I think for Richard, it’s pretty routine to tell you the truth. He does that consistently. Rarely ever fails to get a hand on the football. It twisted him a little bit and it was a tremendous job of making good contact on the ball. We had a couple of balls during that night, one for them one for us, guys tipped the ball and then wind up catching it. Doug [Baldwin] had one and the one that [Anquan] Boldin that Earl tipped. So he made very good contact on the ball. He has on numerous occasions worked on that tip and he did it a couple of weeks back and it works. So that’s not a new play for him. So I think it’s a pretty normal play for him. He’s very hard to get over, he’s very long and has got great leaps and his coordination in the air is really, really special. So he generally makes that kind of play.”

(On his philosophy when making an offensive tackle eligible on first and second downs…) “Yeah we just wanted to try to match up well with their outside guys. Both of those guys are monsters out there and we thought that it would be good to have different than just the normal tight end match up that we would put. We would put Alvin [Bailey] out there at 300 and something pounds to block their outside backers and that was just for fun; to just kind of change the game plan do something different. But that’s in respect to them in how physical they are.”

(On if they have done this before…) “Yeah we have used that from time to time. That’s not new for us. It’s something that we mix in different plans. So we just utilize that again. I’ll tell you this, it was about their outside backers and trying to see where they were and try to get an identification and stuff like that and see if we could block them, which we had a hard time blocking. They are very good again

(On if he saw Jeremy Lane being struck by a player from the 49ers’ sideline…) “Yeah I did. Yeah I did and I think that’ll be very interesting report back from the league. I was really disappointed that it didn’t call because there is an official that’s on that he was obstructed out of bounds. By intent? I don’t know, I can’t tell that. I don’t know who knows. But it did happen and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure of the rule, but I think the rule had… that’s part of the bench, that’s part of the team, and they’re not allowed to do that. They have to make way. I had to make a deal about it because we saw it during the game, made a big deal about it to the officials so it wouldn’t happen again and I was just surprised because there is a guy that’s tracking that, the gunner. We’ll find out the ruling. I don’t really know what that is.”

(On was it pretty clear that Lane got hit by someone…) “Oh yeah, yeah he definitely got hit. Yeah he did.”

(On his philosophy of keeping guys poised…) “Our approach is to try to help our guys be the best that they can possibly be. That’s the overriding philosophy. We’re trying to figure out how we can help our guys perform at their very best. With that thought in mind, some guys have personalities that would fit in some places and might not fit on other teams. In our situation we’re pretty open to be flexible to the uniqueness that guys bring to our program. Not just physically, but also in their makeup. I have no problem with guys that have personalities that are outgoing. I don’t have any problem with guys that are quiet, I’m okay with that, it’s what is the end result to what they bring, and we’re going to figure out how to communicate with them, how to help them, how to help them grow and be their full complete self and there is a lot to that. We care and it makes a big difference to us, and our guys know that. When they say we let them be themselves, I told them this weekend, we don’t let them be themselves, we celebrate them being themselves, and we cheerlead for them to be themselves, and we try to bring out the very best that they have to offer. Sometimes we go overboard, sometimes the individuals get out of bounds, and then you have to step back and get back in bounds. I understand that. That’s kind of how we operate, it may sound different to you, but that’s how we do it.”

(On if it’s an open minded approach to keep guys poised…) “I think I’m competitive, I don’t know that that’s open minded. I’m trying to help our team be great and play great football and do this game the way we’re supposed to do it. I don’t want to miss out on somebody because maybe they’re not like me, I’m okay with that. I’m just trying to figure out where they fit in, and if they can help us they can help us. I look at it more competitively than I do open minded, I understand why you say that, but I think it’s a little bit different way of looking at it than that.”

 (On going back to the MetLife Stadium after already being there this season…) “Well now that it’s time to talk about that, yeah. I always like using those illustrations on where we have been there before and we’ve done that. We just try to hold back on that at the time thinking it was too presumptuous, but we’re fortunate now. We’ll be in the same hotel, we’ve been in that locker room, we’ve played well at that stadium, so hopefully we’ll utilize that some. It’s just about being comfortable.”

(On what went into deciding on whom to start between Paul McQuistan and James Carpenter…) “We have been real impressed with Michael Bowie. Let me take it back quite a ways here. During the two week period we thought we’d give him a shot, and see if he could perform well enough and give him an opportunity to compete to play, and he did a really good job so we were excited about it. As we prepared for this week we had intended for the thought to keep the competition open, and as we looked at just the way things were coming together, we made a coach’s decision that’s it might be better in this instance to go with the guys that have been playing a little bit more, and experienced and keep the rotation with Paul and Carp playing. It worked out fine for us you know. It’s one of the deals where it’s so close; the competition is so keen that it could go either way. We didn’t think it would hurt us football wise, but we thought the experience would help us. We didn’t put too much pressure on Michael Bowie in that instance. He’s going to be very competitive as we move forward, and here go another couple of weeks so we’ll see what happens.”

(On historically it was always a top ten defense that won championships until the Tom Brady’s, Peyton Manning’s and Drew Brees’ came into the picture, and if he could bring it back to the historical defensive ways…) “That’s a cool question. We’ll find out. When you just use Manning and Brady, you’re talking about a couple of the greatest passers to ever play this game, in great systems that really recognize how to utilize their talent at its fullest, and the best way to do that is to let those guys throw the ball all over the yard. They could handle it and do it well and win championships doing it. That is what we’re facing. This is a statement about those years before, I don’t know if they were throwing the ball like that then, so this is a new challenge in that regard, but it’s a great challenge for us. It’s one that we’re excited about because we respect him and them so much. We’ll find out you know, I don’t know. That statement that defense wins championships has been out there a long time. I don’t know that it ever went away. We’ll find out.”

(On how he balances going on fourth down or kicking a field goal…) “We balance all of it hopefully really well. We take the new information and make the right decision and choice. Obviously we were very fortunate there. Immediately there were three choices; you punt it, you go for it, or you kick the field goal. I didn’t want to punt the ball from there, so we thought about it and said okay let’s go ahead and kick it. We got him out there, took a look at the distance, and there was just a little bit of a breeze. We were beyond the distance that we had planned to kick the field goal, and I was going to stretch it. So between Brian Schneider and I, we looked at each other and said forget it. Let’s let it run down and we’ll go ahead and take our shot and use the other option. That’s what happened there. In exercising the player, that’s important, that’s real important you know. Steven Hauschka knew that it was outside of the range too, that was part of the consideration.”

(On if he would’ve went for it on 4th and 2 if Jermaine Kearse did not make the catch…) “I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.”

(On what it says about Peyton Manning about having 5 different receivers catch 10 or more touchdowns in a single season…) “Nobody has ever taken more command of the game than he has at this stage of his career than he has, and the coaching staff has allowed that to happen where he can be in total command of what’s going on. I think that’s great football because the guys have to play it. The coaches do so much, we call everything here for our guys, and most teams do that, calling formations and plays and you let them know what the options are and all of that. That works well, that works well, but when the player is doing that now you’re delivering right from the source of the guy who has to function and I don’t know if you can ask for more than that. I think it gives you the best opportunity, if you have the right guy, to get the most out of every play. I think that’s what Peyton is famous for now. He sees every defense, he knows all of his options, he makes his decisions all the way to the last second, fixes it and changes it and adapts to give him the best opportunity to what he feels he can do the best. He’s not calling plays for somebody else, he’s calling plays that he can throw and complete. So that gives him great command and great power over the ability to execute. That’s what we’re seeing and so this is a very rare illustration of that. There are few guys that have ever played the game that can do that. In the old days quarterbacks called the plays, but they had a couple of formations. It was real easy and it was different. You go back to Joe Namath in the Super Bowl when he was running Matt Snell off of one side and he was throwing the ball out there you know. They only had a couple of formations, and we’re running to the left today. They did it, and it worked, it was awesome. He would look at those guys in the eye and say you better block them because we’re running over there again, it was a different connection with the execution of the game. This is thrilling to have a chance to go against the best guys to ever play. It’s a cool challenge.”

(On who are the best corners he has seen defending a fade route and where Richard Sherman fits on that list…) “I always had a tremendous respect for Michael Haynes. He was a guy that I studied a long time ago and thought he had phenomenal hand eye ability, because it really comes down to getting your hand where the ball is. I thought he was phenomenal. Raymond Clayborn was a guy that I always loved watching and at one time Michael and Raymond played together in New England. Richard is about as adept as you can get. There was a guy Everson Walls who played for Dallas. He was a phenomenal hand eye guy I thought. I never coached him, but I that is what I thought from a far. He was a phenomenal ball hawk guy.”

(On if he would say that Richard Sherman is the best corner at defending the fade that he’s coached…) “In my opinion, I never coached those guys I just watched those guys. In my opinion out of all the guys I’ve had, there is nobody that’s been better, and I’ve had a lot of really cool players. Ty Law was a great hand eye guy, but Richard is right there. He just has extraordinary length, timing, feel, and catching ability.”

(On if K.J. Wright goes back to his starting role now that he’s back…) “I don’t know. We’ll figure it out. He played a lot and played well. I don’t know that answer, and we don’t need to know that yet, but what a great asset for us now. He plays Will and Sam and plays the nickel as well. We’re thrilled to have him back.”

(On if there are any injuries that occurred during the game…) “Brandon Mebane is a little banged up, just an ankle that is sore. We’ll see how he goes during the week; I think the foot and ankle thing. We’ll have to rest Marshawn Lynch some. He took a lot of hits last night.”

(On what he looks for in players…) “It’s about grit to me, it’s really grit. That’s what we’re looking for in guys, and that’s that competitiveness, that mentality of there’s no obstacle too big. They never give in to the thought that they can’t win. Tremendous resiliency, have to be successful, that makeup that drives them, that’s really what we’re looking for. I use the chip word because the guys that have a chip on their shoulder are made up that way. I think grit is a better word. I’ve come to believe that grit is the key factor in deciding success and overcoming maybe short comings and abilities and stuff like that. The guys that have the grit, they’re the ones that you’re looking for.”

(On how unusual it is for him that his kicker was uncomfortable kicking a field goal that was out of his range…) “That’s a little bit unusual. I love the honesty. Most guys go and say I can make it and go out there and plunk it down at the goal line. I thought it was a great moment for us, and it was a great decision.”

(On Alvin Bailey starting in the third quarter…) “Again it was just the matchup against extraordinary outside linebackers. The guys are huge and long and effective, and we thought what might give us a little bit of an edge, they’re not use to playing guys that are 320 pounds coming at them. We thought we might get a little factor, and on the big play that we broke it, it didn’t work out that way in the blocking scheme, but Alvin still came through and sealed a nice block for us. That was the thought.”

(On if he has done that before to any other opponent…) “Yeah we have. I can’t remember the number of plays, but we have done it a couple of times, yeah.”

(On whom the influence was for his love for the game…) “My big brother. He and his friends used to toy with me and laugh at how hard I try to beat them and they were way bigger than I was and stuff like that. They kind of set examples for me and made fun of me and stuff, but coached me into just loving battling and all that. I think it goes to way back then. He’d be on his knees and I’d be standing up trying to run him over and stuff like that.”

(On if he likes the 3-4 technique on defense…) “We have all year. That’s been in and out of our stuff. It depends on the game plan and all of that, but we have kind of been in and out of that so that was nothing new. We didn’t do anything new in this game. We did everything just like we’ve been doing it, but it worked out fine. Those opportunities did work out fine for us and we had an extraordinary good game at the line of scrimmage, it was the best that we’ve had against them, and we’re very proud of the way those guys played up front.”

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