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January 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Pete Carroll: “We have to be able to pressure him”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met the media after practice today and talked about his initial thoughts on defending Peyton Manning, gave health updates, and more. Here is the official transcript:

(On how the bye week went…) “It’s been a really good week. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in this week, getting prepared to leave and all of the family issues and the tickets and all of that kind of stuff is taken care of in good order. Football is in good shape. We had a really good week, we’ve installed the game plan at this point and we’ll just add to it and tweak from here. The guys were really attentive, the practices were fast and strong and just the way we like. So as we go into the weekend, getting ready to travel, everything is in order and we’re ready to go.”

(On how Percy Harvin looked in practice this week…) “He did great. He looked like he was in full speed, a hundred percent the whole time. Had no problem with installation and all that. He looks ready to go. There’s no hesitation in saying that.”

(On if Harvin is participating in everything with no limitations…) “He’s playing and doing everything we want him to do. Yeah. Every aspect of it.”

(On if KJ Wright was resting today…) “We’re just taking care of him. Making sure we get through this week.”

(On if the Seahawks will be focusing on refocusing the emphasis of practice…) “Well it’s really important for us to stay in the game plan. So we’ll use our days and our themes accordingly. There are some breaks and there are obviously some things that we have to attend to, but we planned to have a normal week for us under these circumstances as best we can. That’s why we have everything done at this point so that we can really focus on the repetitions and really get things ironed out, but not the heavy learning stuff and then we’ll deal with all of the media issues that we have and take care around the practice sessions and the meetings.”

(On if he’s wondered how fate has differed when the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson instead of acquiring Peyton Manning…) “No I haven’t spent much time with that since we’ve moved on. It’s kind of interesting that we’re playing at this point and we wound up with Russell and they wound up with Peyton. So it’s pretty cool.”

(On if he would’ve drafted Russell Wilson if he acquired Peyton Manning…) “Yes.”

(On if the Seahawks will practice on the installation that was put in this week or would they seek to fine tune their game plan…) “Well we’re going to do all of what you just said. We’ll be tweaking, we’ll be going over, we’ll be refining and all that kind of stuff. Yeah it’s a special opportunity to just get better at what you’re doing and they’re doing the same thing. So it’s a competition to see who can do it the best. So the subtleties that you don’t have time to get to on a normal week now can be attended to and hopefully that’ll make us better.”

(On if he is confident to give more responsibilities to the young secondary players, especially against a quarterback like Peyton Manning…) “Yeah it’s really been a help because this week and getting prepared for this offense and the quarterback, we have to be able to do everything. We have to be able to pressure him, we have to be able to play zone and man, do all of the things. Hopefully give him some new looks the he can’t prepare for. We have to find a way to get him out of his normal rhythm. Very few teams have been able to do that. So it’s a big challenge and we are using the experience and the background that we have to pull out everything that’s necessary for this game plan.”

(On if he will have to monitor how much Harvin will participate in the Super Bowl…) “Not a bit, not a bit. He’s going. He’s ready to go and he’ll be fully involved and that’s from the kicking game on throughout.”

(On Marshawn Lynch and Doug Baldwin’s injury status…) “Yeah just getting back from the game, both guys got banged a little bit. They’ll both be fine. They’re probable to play and all that, but they’re more than that.  They’re going to go, they’ll be fine.”

(On why it’s difficult for defenses to get to Manning…) “Well there’s a long story here. It’s the tremendous expertise that he has, his knowledge of what’s happening allows him to utilize the rhythm that he needs to get the ball out and he can utilize the adjustment of the protections and the routes as well. So they’re very, very quick with the football. That’s the first thing. They protect really well, they make the proper adjustments and do things right so that he can take full advantage of what he’s seeing. They’re able to respond and all that. So they are so efficient that you just don’t get very many opportunities. You really have to get them out of their routes, you got to hopefully get a rush on him that he can’t see coming, and try to change his rhythm because if he’s in rhythm, he’s almost impossible to stop.”

(On Michael Bennett’s versatility to play different positions…) “Yeah he’s been a great addition to the team. Michael has had a fantastic season. He’s given us all kinds of versatility. We didn’t realize how unique of a player he was. So we’ve really just tried to move him to the spots we thought we could take advantage of his savvy, awareness and all of that and complement the guys that he’s playing with. He’s been a great player for us. As I look at it now, I wish we had more plays early in the first of the season, we were really spinning our guys and he wasn’t getting as many turns and he’s played a lot more as the season went along.”

(On if he’s seen Bennett’s sack dance…) “Yeah I’d like to not see that sack dance, but see the sacks. The dance, eh. The sacks are pretty good. We don’t need that dance.”

(On if he feels like Kam Chancellor has improved his performance…) “Kam is on it. Kam is really on his game and like I said, the time that the guys have spent together has really paid off. He’s really on it, his preparation is really dialed in, he’s getting everything out of every rep in practice and all the meeting times and he’s extremely confident right now. He’s really on it and he just knows that he’s on it. So just to see a guy really, really peaking at a great time and we’re thrilled to have that happen.”

(On if Kam has adjusted to the new tackling rules…) “Kam has really, really complied. He’s taken it to heart. The early fines got his attention, but really he just wanted to be able to find a way to play the game really well and he was willing. He wasn’t hard headed about it at all. He went about it with kind of a sense that I’m kind of going to really adjust so that I can do this well and do it right and he’s done all of that and the exciting part of it is he’s maintained his physical style and he’s a great hitter and he’s always looking for big opportunities. He’s been able to do that, just like he did last week. Again, create the big hits and do it legally and do it properly. A number of guys are working hard at this, but he’s one of the guys that’s really at the cutting edge of understanding the new format and thankful. I’m really proud of him for figuring it out.”

(On Byron Maxwell’s progression…) “Well Byron was a really good player. He was a good player in college. Really active and did a lot of stuff. So what he’s taken from… a natural football player, a real savvy, tough guy. He’s been given a real package technically. The style that our guys play is one that you really have to work at it and kind of master what’s going on and he’s done that beautifully. He’s really, really clean technique-wise. So he’s just given himself to the program and with all of the background, he was always a really good player. We were just lucky to get him and we appreciate him a little bit more than some other teams I guess, because of what we saw in him.”

(On what about the Seattle Seahawks organization gave him the confidence to have full roster control…) “Yeah honestly, I was in that conversation a few times and it was really Tod Leiweke that was really the direct influence and he represented Paul [Allen] and what they wanted to do and as we spelled it out, I just trusted him and trusted what he was saying and believed it was going to come out. It’s better than I ever could’ve imagined it. Paul has been extraordinarily effective for us in helping us and supporting us in every turn. He’s given us every chance to win and to be at the cutting edge of it and really has given John [Schneider] a great boost all the way throughout all of the tough decisions that he’s made and creating this thing for us. It’s just better than I could’ve imagined. So I’m very fortunate, but really it came down to trusting those guys and to work for Paul Allen through Tod.”

(On the psychology of not having any players have any Super Bowl experience…) “Well Ricardo Lockette is our one experienced player from what I understand (San Francisco’s practice squad last season). But, it’s a long process to get to here. It isn’t like we can talk him into it this week. I think had we not been in this conversation in preparing for this moment throughout for the coupe, of years that guys have been together, it might be difficult. But right now, we’re taking it I think in stride exactly the way we need to so we don’t let other things outside control our mindset and distract us. So we’ll see what happens. You never know. I say that every week at the game, we’ll find out if the guys can handle it, but I can’t imagine us not. It’s expecting it to be is a big part of it. So we’re going to handle it, we’re trying to be really comfortable with it. There will be some things next week that we’ll adjust to and have to adapt to, but we’ll do it with the mindset that we’re at the right place at the right time and we’re going to try to maximize this thing.”

(On the thought of them moving the game back or up a day due to weather concerns and has he put in any contingency plans if that were to happen…) “Yeah, very in depth, thorough contingency planning is in hand right now since you brought that up. The weather is going to be good. It’s going to be clear and cold, it’s going to be nice.”

(On if he has any concerns about his guys after midnight next week…) “Yeah, yeah.  We have always had concerns about our guys doing the right thing and staying in. These guys know, they understand, they have been fantastic, but I’m always concerned. I’m just always on alert, our whole crew is, and we’re going to try to keep a very secure setting and a real lock down opportunity for our guys so that they can stay focus and do what we’ve come here to do.”

(On how strict is the curfew schedule…) “I don’t know I’m not sure what kind of life you live John, I’m not sure. You live in Seattle, you’re on the same curfew everybody is going with.”

(On Bobby Wagner playing at a high level as of late…) “I think the guys have just grown. It’s taken a couple of years for it all to come together. We’re still improving, we have so many things to improve and to get better at right now that it does show that guys are further along than they have been. Bobby has really played well since the second half of the season. I think he has just jumped on board of all of the command of the defense and the calls and the adjustments that he has to make, and he’s really playing fast. I think it’s just a natural process with all of the guys feeling comfortable.”

(On him being a good piano player…) “I play a little fat finger stuff, I get around a little bit, but not much. There’s not much to say about that.”

(On if he has been to the Super Bowl before…) “Never. I really had the thought a long time ago that I’m not going until we’re playing in it. Fortunately we’re finally going.”

(On how Richard Sherman has handled everything this…) “I think he’s handled it really well. I think after an explosive moment, there was an opportunity for him to kind of collect himself and see what’s going to happen next. I think he’s done a magnificent job. I think he’s shown the spectrum of the individual that he is, and he’s been very open to talk and interact and all of that because he’s a confident, very well-mannered thoughtful guy. He had a moment that came out. I think it was enlightening for a lot of people, and I think it opened up the eyes to the intensity, and the passion that goes into this game. I think it couldn’t have been more visible than that moment. Then you also saw how a guy can handle that situation on the biggest of stages. I’m really proud of him, I think he did a great job and I know it was a regrettable kind of occurrence, but I think he’s been excellent in handling the whole thing. Hopefully a lot of people have come to understand, not just Richard, but just big time athletes and big time performers a little bit more so.”

(On if he ever heard anything back on the Jeremy Lane deal on the sidelines…) “I didn’t get the final word on that. I know they’re on it, and I did call in two days ago, and didn’t hear back yet, so I don’t have the final word on that yet. I know the league was very focused on making sure they understood what happened and who it was and all of that. They did not have great looks at it, I do know that.”

(On until last Sunday Richard Sherman having a quiet season and if that is something that they talked about…) “Just kind of your run of the mill, all pro, top notch corner. I think you can see, you all have been around, you see Richard grow into this opportunity of a lifetime really. He’s on top of his game, and I think we just witnessed a moment. We witnessed maybe 20 seconds or something of a passionate outburst. He’s had a very strong season, and everyone around here will tell you how much we trust him and love him as a teammate and a member and a leader and all of that stuff because that is exactly what he is in this program.”

(On how confident is he about Russell Wilson’s ability to handle this moment…) “I don’t know how anybody could handle it, or be better prepared to handle it. That’s preparation that came way before he ever got to us. He’s a tremendous kid, and I think he’ll be at his best just like he has been in every other opportunity that we’ve faced. He’ll take care of his business.”

(On his first job with the NY Jets…) “Well that was all but an interim type of situation. Most of the staff stayed, it was kind of like just taking over, and it happened very suddenly without any preparation for that to occur. Sometimes I think I can kind of look like that. We were on it for a while, we were in first place for a while there when we were playing the Dolphins, and then Dan Marino did the fake spike thing and we loss every game after that. It was an interesting experience, and it was an early time for me. If I look back at it I could’ve done some things quite a bit differently.”

(On what would he have done differently…) “It’s too long to tell you. I’d do what I’m doing now.”

(On the left guard position…) “I don’t play much left guard; I’m kind of a skill player myself. You’ll wait and see as we turn it out. Guys have been competing at it, we like the way it went last week, so it’s more likely to be like that than it was a couple of weeks ago.”

(On if they will have to wait and see at the linebacker position as well…) “K.J. Wright is going to play if he’s fine through the week and all of that, he’ll play. He’ll start in this game.”

(On Brandon Mebane…) “He’s fine, he practiced this week.

(On what has changed about Earl Thomas…) “I think we’re asking questions about the same kind of growth and development from our guys. These guys have been with us, and they have been through it, and they’re just maturing. They’re just growing up. Earl is as serious a competitor as you could ever hope to be around. He is in it, and he’s on it and dialed in, and always. Off the field in taking care of himself, on the field his practice and of course his play. They have just grown, and we’ve all kind of grown together. These guys have kind of played together for a while and we benefit from that, but he’s just at the top of his game and we count on him in that fashion and he’s not going to disappoint you.”

(On how do you let everyone be themselves and still have discipline…) “I appreciate that you recognize that there is a tremendous amount of discipline that goes into doing what we’re doing. To play the game that we play and the style and the level and all of that, it all stems from that. That’s from buying from the players that they’re willing to go ahead and follow the direction of the thing and stay with it, and give it everything they have. Not just on the football field, I’m talking about the mental side of ti and preparing and all of that. I think that there is a lot of respect around here. We respect the guys, they understand that, but they have to toe the line. We’ve made enough statements that if you’re not right, you don’t fit here and you’re out. I think we’ve been able to do it with a really firm hand, and direct the thing and ask for these guys to understand why things work, and tell him what we expect from them, and then demand that they carry I out. They have very, very high standards for their performance, very high standards for their involvement and the input. Going along with this we found that if you resect people and you look after them and you take care of them, you can ask everything that they have to give and they’ll give it to you.”

(On how good is K.J. Wright in pass coverage…) “He’s a fantastic coverage guy. He has great instincts, he’s got great sense, he studies really hard, he’s got tremendous range because he is so long, he runs really well, he’s a fast guy too, and he’s got a good attitude about challenging. We’ve put him up against a lot of really good players and he’s matched up with all of them so we have no problem continuing to count on that. He’s got really all of the tools, and he has the addition of having the real good length. His arm length is really a factor in how he covers guys.”

(On if Malcolm Smith has surprised him at all…) “No Malcolm hasn’t surprised me; I’ve known him since he was about ten it seems like. Coming out of fifth grade or something. He has tremendous skills and he’s really fast, and he’s fast like a defensive back or running back, and he’s a natural athlete as well so it comes really easy to him. He’s really grown in his toughness and his tackling and his aggressiveness playing block protection and all of that stuff. He’s always been a great athlete, speed athlete, quickness and all of that.”

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