Here is the official transcript of what Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say today at his regular Wednesday press conference:
(Opening statement) Well this is a great challenging week, as we look at Kansas City we see a team that is very well equipped. It’s a really well balanced team. They play really good defense. They play really well on offense. They take care of the ball. It’s hard to get big plays on them. The special teams are loaded up and are as good as we’ve seen. Andy [Reid], he has got it together, knows what he’s doing. His quarterback is right under his wing, doing things the way he wants it so a really good challenge. And of course, playing there and all that just adds to it. It’s a big challenge for us and hopefully, we will be able to continue making progress. We are going to try to keep getting better and see if that will be good enough to get us a really big time opportunity here going against Kansas City so looking forward to this.
(On any similarities, if any, he sees between their running game and his) There are similarities, style. There’s a lot of zone running game and the quarterback can run too. There are some similarities there. The style of the running backs is much different. They’re really on different ends of the spectrum.
(On the severity of Brandon Mebane’s injury) Yeah, he tore his hamstring really drastically. It’s a big time injury for him so he’s going to miss the season. He will have to get fixed up.
(On if there is any concern beyond this year for Brandon Mebane) No, not at this point.
(On what exactly Brandon Mebane was doing so well) He seemed to be more consistent in being a factor, making plays, penetrating. It’s not always the tackles that he makes but it’s the plays that he forces because he has great penetration and the ball gets bounced around and other guys make tackles and all. He had a great offseason. He reported in probably the best shape he’s ever been in for us and it showed. He was very, very consistent. Really, really unfortunate injury. He was not under duress in any way, he was just in pursuit of a play so there’s no way you would ever anticipate or expect something to go wrong there so it’s unlucky.
(On if he still intends to just go with what he has to replace Brandon Mebane) Yes. We’re going to mix Tony [McDaniel] and Kevin [Williams] in at the tackle spots and Jordan Hill will play as well. Kevin will start there to start the week but we expect a real active rotation and we will move those guys in and out.
(On how many more snaps Kevin William’s can handle right now) He’s handled everything we’ve done fine. He hasn’t needed any extra attention in practice. He has no ailments coming up from the past or any wear down factors right now. For this late in the season, he’s in as good of shape as he has probably ever been and he’s a really good stout, tough football player. He will give us great play in there, it will be a little bit different style, much different makeup – size wise and all but he has great experience and he will adapt to this I think really well.
(On if it helps Kevin William that he was more limited in the rotation before if his work load increases) I think so, yeah, it should. At this time, he would have played 500 snaps or so on the normal pace he was on so he’s well into that now.
(On the reason behind bringing in TE RaShaun Allen) Well, the reason we did that is because Zach is going on IR. He’s going to have to have some more attention done to the ankle. It didn’t really respond the way we had hoped and so that’s going to take him off the roster for now so that’s why we went out and got the young guy back.
(On how disappointing that is for Zach Miller) I talked to him about it this morning. He’s pretty matter-of-fact about it – he doesn’t feel right. He’s not ready. It’s not like he’s close to getting back. It’s just been a long process, he had a nasty ankle and they were hoping to not have to do a really big surgery, that he would be able to respond from it, and to give him a chance to play this year and it just isn’t that way. He will have to do the final work there and get him set up for next year.
(On if Zach Miller’s injury was something that bothered him to an extent a little bit before this year) I don’t think then it was a big problem but I think he was aware of an ankle that was kind of funky at times. It never kept him out of stuff. It obviously caught up with him.
(On Luke Willson’s injury) Luke went through walk thru and looked very good. We weren’t sure he would be able to even do that today and he’s very encouraged that he will be able to play. He’ll have to show it by the end of the week here. He will go very light today. He has been an extremely fast healer in some other things so maybe he’s doing it again so we will keep you posted of that one.
(On if Tony Moeaki will be up to speed and available on Sunday) Yeah, Tony has to step up now and jump right in there. We kept him out last week because we thought it was too soon. It’s still early, still really quick to put a guy in there and expect him to do everything but he is a veteran. He does understand it and he’s picked things up really well. He’s had a very good 10 days with us so far. We will see how far he can take it but we’re counting on him to play.
(On if there was a setback with Zach Miller’s injury) It never really responded the way that they had hoped. It was really long. I kept telling you, ‘We’re not seeing anything to give you any hope throughout the process.’ He never really got passed that. He did get to the ground running and got that far along in the rehab in hopes that it would work itself out but it didn’t.
(On if Cooper Helfet will be okay to play this week) Yeah, he was in walk thru also today. Coop feels like he’s going to make it back. He got banged on the knee, it wasn’t a knee injury. It got a bruise on his knee so he’s got a good chance.
(On Malcolm Smith and Kam Chancellor playing this week) Both those guys were out there. They will both practice today.
(On after playing without Zach Miller for a while now, how does he feel Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet have blocked in the run game) Well, both guys had a lot of ground to makeup to catch up to Zach and both guys have improved with their play time. Luke has really done a very good job and he’s making really good progress. We’ve been able to run the ball with both the guys in there. There was a little time in the first couple weeks where we struggled a little bit but those guys started to add in and I think that helped us as well as Garry Gilliam jumping in there. Garry has done a really good job of blocking for us so that’s been a real positive in support of the need for a tight end.
(On if Bobby Wagner will do anything this week) He’s running and I think he’s doing some change of direction stuff today to find out how far along he is. He’s really excited about getting back. I don’t think if he can make it this week or not but it really sets him up if he gets through the process this week, he should be in good shape for a chance to get back next week.
(On if the tight end situation being so unsettled influences how he calls games) It’s not influencing our run-pass ratio. There’s some stuff. Zach was a very, very experienced player that did all kinds of things. He played fullback, he could lead on plays, he could block on the edge, we could split him out and do things. He had such great background in our system and knowledge and really command of so many different things. We could do more things with one guy. We are mixing guys to get that done but it’s not changing our emphasis of the running game. We’re emphasizing as much as we can and we’re trying to run the ball as much as we can every time we go out.
(On how in his career his teams have always tended to improve in the second half of the season and if he sees any reason for that) Well, I’ve watched that because going back, we have had tremendous success late in the season for all those years down in L.A and I tried to figure out why. We were really proud of it and it was a big staple in the program. We talked about it and anticipated it and all of that. We have seen pretty good finishes here too so the only really concrete reason that I have is that we play so many young guys early that by the time we get to midseason those guys are regular players for us and it’s helped our depth situation. It’s helped our roster as we get into the latter part of the season for two counts. One, that those guys are more ready to play as first line players and it’s also by the rotations, other guys have not had to play quite as much and they’re a bit stronger. We were so committed to playing young players, it’s not a very concrete thought, but that’s one thing I know that we’ve done with intent and we’ve seen and felt that. Like I told you a couple of weeks ago, we already felt like the receivers could play, we don’t have any concern about that; they can go in anytime and jump in there. [Justin] Britt did it. Guys have done that for us over the years so I don’t know if that’s it but that’s one concrete thing we’ve tried to do to help us. And is that a legit deal? I don’t know.
(On how he has thought his linebackers have looked the past couple weeks) Yeah, we’ve seen everybody. They’re doing a great job of filling the voids and jumping up and stepping in, to look at the practice field today and to see Malcolm [Smith] next to K.J. [Wright] next to Bruce [Irvin] next to Kam [Chancellor] feels like that’s way different than it’s been. I don’t know how long it’s been. It just seems like it’s a difference. We haven’t even seen Bobby’s return yet. The fact that we’ve been able to maintain, win some games and play pretty good defense and we’re playing really good against the run. Those guys have jumped in very effectively and they’ve done like exactly like we had hoped – that they would fill the spot and it wouldn’t be an issue. Brock [Coyle] played last week. Brock’s a little hampered right now. He played banged up last week and he made it through the game. It was fantastic effort for him to get through the game under those circumstances. He kind of had to and he did and he came through for us in that way as well as the other things he’s done in earlier games. Those guys have done a really good job to keep us going.
(On statistically that Russell Wilson has run more this year than last year and what are some of the reasons for that) It’s just been available and that’s all. We’re not trying to run him anymore. There’s no intent there to get him more carries. We’re just running the offense. Most of his stuff happens because it’s available and the read takes him there. It’s not because we’re designing running plays for him and he’s running the sweeps and stuff like that. It’s really just reading out the scheme. He had big games off the true nakeds a couple times here and there with a lot of yards in those games, Washington and last week, so but as long as he continues to avoid getting hit we’re fine and he’s done a very, very good job of that again. We really trust him in that regard.
(On if he’s surprised at all with how well Ron Parker is playing at Kansas City) Gosh, he’s had over 500 plays this year. That’s fantastic for Ron. He’s a great kid. He always was in the competition of everything we’ve done here. We knew he had a great future. We always tried to keep him around. We just had some really good guys battling with him. I’ve watched him closely and he’s playing really good football. He was a big factor in the end of that game just last week; he was all over the football so great for him.
(On if there is something in the defense schemes that is allowing Russell Wilson to run this year) We’re not trying to run him more. He’s taking what the defense gives him at times. I think if I was playing on the other side, Marshawn [Lynch] carrying the football up there will draw a lot of attention and he’s run so well and been such a factor for us that it’s hard to stop him and then that allows Russell some opportunities because they’re closing on the inside running game and the stuff that 24 does so hopefully that’s what’s going on. It fits off of one another and I don’t know if that will continue. We will just keep playing football and see what happens.
(On if he has added anyone yet to take Zach Miller’s spot) Well, RaShaun Allen is back with us. It depends how you look at it. Also, Allen Bradford has come back to us to play on the other side, to play defense.
(On Kansas City not allowing a rushing touchdown all season and what he sees in that) They do everything well. This is a team that has closed in on a lot of areas to execute really well. They’re really good on third-down. They’re really good in short down situations. They’re really good in the passing game. They’re the leading pass defense team in the NFL, they’re right there. They’re really well equipped. Usually, they’re really quick to load it up down there. They like to make it hard on you to run. They don’t care if you’re in goal line personnel or not, they’re going to send their big guys in so that tends to direct the offense a little bit differently but that’s a great accomplishment for this late in the season, for sure.