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February 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Pete Carroll: “What an incredible day”

Better late than never, here is all that Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say when he met with the media Wednesday following the parade:

(Opening…) “What an incredible day we had today. There’s just not enough words to describe the emotion and the exchange that was given from the fans and our players to the fans and the fans to the players. So it was just an amazing day. The consistency of the intensity of the fans through the parade was amazing and the frustrating part was that you couldn’t touch everybody and give everybody a chance to feel the gratitude that we have for this whole relationship. So it was extraordinary and I can’t imagine one better than that. That was just over the top. So beautiful day today, fun here at the stadium, and we were really proud to bring the Lombard Trophy home to the 12th Man, there’s no question and the whole Northwest. So proud of it. So what do you got?”

(On what it felt like to be in the parade…) “It was just constant intensity and fun. The thing that struck me so were the little kids, that would sit in the front row, and knowing that we would… and they were screaming and hollering and some of them were kind of intimidated by it, but to know that they had this moment and hopes that they’ll remember their connection with their parents and their families cheering for. But I think touching from the young to the old was a very, very unique opportunity that we’ve shared and it’s a great gift.”

(On going back to the Super Bowl has always been the goal for him…) “Let me say it even more specifically. It’s not repeating for me, we’re trying to do something really good for a really long time and we want to see how far we can go and someday, we look back and see what we accomplished.  In the middle of it, I don’t think it’s time to try to assess it but this year, in my mind; I never talked about the Super Bowl. I talked about trying to help these guys be the best they can possibly be and that’s what we’ll turn around, we’ll try to have the best offseason of their individual lives and as a team and then we’ll go through all of the stages of it to see how far we can take it. If we played really, really well again and find all those connections to our high level of performance, we will be right in the middle of all of this stuff and see where that takes. Yeah, it’s over a long period of time is what we’re trying to achieve.”

(On if there is one thing above all that he has learned this season…) “I don’t know if there is anything that stands out that way, I don’t know if I have a good answer for you there, but I had witness a team coming together and growing in great maturity and the kind of mentality that it takes to not be satisfied at any time, to not overlook stuff as they went through it, to have a very mature approach to it and demonstrate that all the way through. Everybody said, ‘How are you going to win the Super Bowl if you don’t have any experience?’ Well I don’t think they understand us and how we’re doing it. That was never even a question. We were ready to go perform like we were capable and we went out and showed that on game day. That’s really the mentality that we need. So I’ve watched that happen. This team has acquired that and it’s something really special.”

(On the Seahawks getting closer as a team when they traveled to New Jersey/New York…) “I think so. We had talked about that in the meeting the other day; I think it was Tuesday I guess, that we got better throughout the whole process. We got better in the first week of preparation and in the second week, it even got tighter. Even with all the distractions and all the issues that everybody thinks that’s going to throw you out of whack, we just seemed to zero it even better and when we did the work the meetings and on-the-field work, it was perfect, it was exactly the way it was supposed to go. So that’s a big accomplishment and we own that we’ve got to see if we can recapture it the next time around.”

(On what his number one priority is right now heading into the offseason…) “Well the priority for us is to get back to work and work really hard again. That’s going to be really important. It’s not something that’s going to be something from outside of us. We have what we need; we just need to get back to work when the time comes. With the right attitude and the right focus and that’s all I’m concerned about. We’ll have the opportunity to add some players to our team through the draft and all; we’ll take a good look at free agency. There are some very difficult decisions and things that we’ll have to make, as you always do at this time of year. I don’t see anything that we need to add, we just need to get better and these players know that they got better all the way ‘till the last game of the season. That’s always out there for us and that’s going to be our focus.”

(On how the Seahawks’ Super Bowl championship celebration compares to other Super Bowl championship celebrations…) “I’ve never seen it like this and it’s not because of any of the hype and the buildup about it, it’s about the people. The people in this area and the support that they have and the love in their heart to cheer for this football team is very, very special and is very unique and it’s been demonstrated throughout the seasons over many years. But in this opportunity to be a world championship club and all that, to share that back with them, it just brings out even more. Just the true connection and the energy and the love that they have, it’s just really hard to describe it other than it’s very real and it’s really cool to have.”

(On what he was told about the fans before he was hired as the head coach…) “All that I knew really was… I had been to the old dome and I saw that one, the Kingdome, I was there to play some games there. Knew what that was like. I didn’t attribute to the fans or attribute to the Dome. Then we came to play the Huskies up here, in an open stadium with a track and all and it was a spread out field. They were always, always very intense and I could never understand why it was like that. Well I found out it’s the people. It’s their heart that they bring; it’s their love to support and root for their teams. We put them in CenturyLink and it’s world class, it’s beyond. It’s a world record setting. So nobody could’ve explained that to me, nobody did to the extent that I’ve learned and come to appreciate it.”

(On the importance of Michael Bennett since he is a free agent…) “Well we want this team together, we want to see if we can keep this team together. Every decision is difficult that we have to face and guys that are at the end of their contracts, those are big issues for us. We love the guys, we love what they do and what they bring, and we’d like to keep together as best as we can. John [Schneider] will be faced with some really challenging discussions and things to get that done, but we’ll very much in concert on it and we want to get done and we’ll go about it one step at a time and it’ll take us a good while, always with our eye on what’s going on with the draft and all that and we’ll see if we put it together just right. Michael is one of those guys.”

(On how the team can get better after winning the Super Bowl…) “Oh we could be way better in so many ways. You can see the improvement that we’ve made defensively. At the end, our tackling was extraordinary in the championship game. The fundamentals of this game allow us to always be reaching to get better and across the board, we can. I think you’ll see us utilize our personnel better in time when we get to know our guys. It was half way through the year before we put our pass rush together, where we really had a sense and a plan for it. I think you’ll see Russell [Wilson] continue to grow. He’ll be more efficient, he’ll be better than ever because he will put in all of the work and time and he will just grow. I think that coming together to bring Percy into this offense and seeing how he can add to it, we’re just scratching the surface there. The growth of the young guys that have been contributing on the defensive side, still Bobby Wagner and KJ and all of those guys coming together, they will improve and get better. So there’s tons of ways. I don’t know how Hauschka can kick it a whole lot better or I don’t know if Jon Ryan can kick it a whole a lot better, but I know we could improve with our return game, you know the returning kickoff part of it and I think Golden, after a full year of doing it, will be a tremendous asset for us that we can get better. So there’s a ton of ways. We can also get rid of those penalties a little bit better than we did during this season. That will be a big factor for us.”

(On if has talked to the team on what will happen after today…) “Yeah we’re done. We disperse today. Yeah we did that on Tuesday.”

(On when he will see the team again…) “April 21. Yeah it seems like forever. April 21. So I think we walk out of here, totally arm and arm, with the thought that we’re going to have a great offseason and that means that the guys have to be really committed to having a great offseason because they have a lot of distractions and a lot of people pulling them in different directions. So we’ve addressed that… quite frankly, each guy has got to set his plan in  motion and not let the distractions get in the way of the hard work that it takes to put this thing back together. My language and my message to the guys wasn’t anything different. I didn’t surprise them with what I was talking about, but I think that it will be an extraordinary opportunity because it’s so difficult for teams to come back and play really well after winning the Super Bowl. We take that challenge on right nose-to-nose and we’ll go out there and see what we can do about it.”

(On if free agent restrictions are an example of distractions that comes along with success…) “Well I think that it’ll be so far out of our control and so far out of our messaging, that they’ll be on their own. That’s why we’ve asked them to stay connected to us as a staff, but just also to each other so that they can keep the language and all and that they make really good decisions and that they take care of themselves and work on their weaknesses and get stronger and all that kind of stuff. There will be a lot of guys around, but we just can’t do anything in an organized fashion. So I’m just hoping that the 24/7, our commitment to leaving no doubt, we’ll stand strong with our guys. I think it will.”

(On if there are any players that will go undergo surgery at this time…) “Well I’m glad that you gave me a chance to mention that. We came out of this season so tremendously healthy. We are so fortunate that we are… we were strong in the last game. I think we had by far the best effort in connection to keeping our health and the wellbeing of our football team throughout a season I’ve ever been around and we come out of this season stronger, we were fast in the fast game. In the last game, we were strong and fit and that means that we go into the offseason with that as well. So we have so few guys that will have to go through surgeries. There are some things that will pop up, but we enter in a really good level of conditioning so that it should help us take off from there when the work begins again. So I think Sam Ramsden did an extraordinary job of orchestrating the kind of new approach to it and it certainly paid off.”

(On how Percy felt after the Super Bowl…) “He’s felt great. He was frustrated that there wasn’t more that he could do, but he comes out of this season ready to have a great offseason. So we’re very fortunate for him as well.”

(On Richard Sherman’s injury status…) “Well he had a second degree sprain, a high ankle sprain, but you saw him today. He was getting around on it pretty well. He got out of the boot yesterday. So he’ll be okay. It’s going to take him some time. It’s going to take him a number of weeks before he’ll be back to full speed, but he looked better than we thought he might.”

(On if there was a challenge in playing this late that he hasn’t thought about the free agency issue…) “No. John [Schneider] is all over it. No not at all.”

(On Kam Chancellor’s hip…) “He felt stronger at the end of the year than he did in the middle of it. So he enters into the offseason. We’ll take a good look at him. There wasn’t nothing imminent right now that we needed to deal with, but we will really monitor that closely because it did nag through the season. But he did say that he felt the best that he’s felt all year. Coming out of the last game if you can imagine that. So there are a number of guys that stated that as well. So we feel very fortunate.”

(On the coaching staff staying intact for next year…) “It looks like that. I’m thrilled about that that we can maintain great continuity. We never know what’s going to happen at the combine. Stuff does happen and I appreciate again the opportunity. I think that Dan Quinn, coming into this situation did an extraordinary job. He put his stamp on it like he’s to you, but he did it in really historic fashion. We gave up fewer points this year. We set a new record for the franchise that we set this year that we set last year; we broke it this year, with fewer points than ever and that’s really the indicator and the response that he got from his players and the consistency and the buy in from the staff and all the guys did a great job. Kris Richard, Rocky [Seto], Kenny [Ken Norton Jr.], Robert Saleh and Travis Jones, who came with us this year. He had a fantastic year. We’re very, very fortunate again that we keep this crew together. Tom [Cable] and Darrell [Bevell] both guys had some interest. Some people talked about them for head coaching jobs. They’re going to be with us as it seems right now. We’re just going to get better. I’m really, really pleased with the work with the whole staff. Brian Schneider had another great year on special teams. We have a lot of real positive things we end this season on. Not just the winning part of it, but the health of our football team , the attitude of our football team, the approach that we have going into the offseason and then the continuity of the staff are really great benefits for us.”

(On if he ever heard back from the league about the sideline incident that happened with Jeremy Lane during the NFC Championship game…) “Yeah what we heard was what you reported today, I heard that on the radio today, they looked into it, they gave him a warning, and there was nothing beyond that. We can let it go. We can let it go. It’s no big deal.”

(On Russell Wilson toughening it out during the game with a sore shoulder…) “He did a fantastic job of toughening it out of a sore shoulder. It was his left side, but he’s fine. It had no bearing on how he played at all. Let me say something too while I have the chance. You won’t hear from me for a while. There was a lot of concern that you had about our offense and about Russell’s performance and all that and I would continue to tell you that he was playing well within what we were expecting that we needed in games. I thought that there was always more production, there’s always more yardage out there for us and all that, but I thought he demonstrated the finish in the playoffs. I thought it was just an exquisite effort by the quarterback. His play was perfectly fitted to our football team and the plans that we needed to win the games and it couldn’t have been more obvious than it was in the Super Bowl. That was a near perfect game for him. So hanging onto the football allows us to win and he was perfect at dealing with that and distributing the ball as well as he did. So we go into this next offseason, my hopes are that he’s really going to take another big step forward and he’ll continue to get better. He doesn’t give you the football anyway. You can’t get it away from him anyway now. He already understands that. His production, his use in the players and the system will even grow and it will allow us to do some really cool things. That’s another real positive that we go into this year with when he comes out healthy and all that.”

(On Russell being sick during the Super Bowl…) “No he was bothered a little bit with a cold or something it seemed like. He’s fine.”

(On the injury status of the players on IR…) “Yeah Jesse [Williams] is doing really well, Tharold [Simon] is doing well, I think he has to have his other toe operated on. He’s got a problem on both feet. Same thing. Korey Toomer looks to be on his way back, Scruggs will be back. All of those guys will be ready to go by the time we get to OTAs and stuff and really just in the offseason work. Tharold might be a little bit longer because he’s got some surgery to do. But we do have to take a look at Russell Okung and see how his toe is and see if he’s going to be alright. That’s still up in there air a little bit. But for the most part, we’re in pretty good shape. In this case, they should all be contributing and battling for spots.”

(On Sidney Rice’s injury status…) “Sidney has had an unbelievable recovery from his surgery. He within weeks, was back up with almost total inflection extension. It’s just almost unheard of type of recovery. It’s so far ahead of schedule. So that’s great for Sid. We’ll see how that turns out. But right off the bat, we’ve never seen anybody like that. So we’re all thrilled about it.”

(On if Russell Okung will undergo surgery for his toe…) “Yeah I don’t know… we’re talking about what’s necessary. So we’ll see. He’s had a sore toe this whole time and he played through and did a great job to contribute under those circumstances.”

(On if Michael Bennett needs to have surgery on his shoulder…) “No. He has already had his shoulders looked at and he’s fine.”

(On if he will have a new contract this year…) “I’m sitting in great shape. I’m in great shape.”

(On if he’s talked to anybody that has had impact on his life after the win…) “Yeah there has been hundreds of connections with all of our friends and people that we’ve worked with over the years, all of our coaches and all of the families have just been inundated with an outpouring of support and congratulations and all that. It’s a very hard thing to go through. You go through this and you want to take everybody with you and have everybody enjoy it and we’re so zeroed in, that we don’t get to share it as much as we would like. I’ve got tons of friends that came to the game and I didn’t get to see them. But it’s wonderful to hear from everyone and we’ll try to give back as we get the opportunities. Just like today, it’s frustrating that we can’t touch everybody and share it with every single person that you’d like to, but we’ll try to do the best we can and I know everybody will understand.”

(On getting a call from Barack Obama…) “Yeah that was really fun. That was really fun. He was great. He knew that our guys call Sherm [Richard Sherman] ‘Sherm’ and Russ [Russell Wilson], he would call him ‘Russ.’ He knew everybody. It’s like he’d been watching everybody. The invitation to go is openly accepted. We’ll figure it out when that time comes, but our players will be thrilled to do that and to visit w

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