Here’s what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say after a 19-3 win over the 49ers Thursday night:
“First off we all want to share in the gratitude about Thanksgiving and glad we could contribute to a beautiful day for the Northwest anyway. We’re very proud of coming in here and playing well. It was a really solid game across the board. Again, the defense has really taken a step forward with last week and coming back this week, that’s huge for us. I’m really proud of that. Very strong performance across the board, run and pass. Other than this game being a penalty game we pretty much did what we’re able to do so it was really good. It was great seeing [RB] Marshawn [Lynch] run so hard, he was hammering the football. The guys up front did a nice job against a tough defense. [QB] Russell [Wilson] played really well, exactly like what we’re hoping. Just play within the system and keep the ball moving, all the guys. Just taking care of it and not turning the ball over. Again, this was a very good turnover team and we didn’t give it up once and that’s a huge accomplishment. So, I just think it was a really great team win. Everyone did their part and that’s what we came in here to do. We couldn’t really do anything fancy, we wanted to play real, hardball football and it was really NFC West. We’re really proud to get that done.”
Could you talk a little about the job that K Steven Hauschka has done?
“Yeah Hauschka has been getting a lot of field goals the last few weeks. Some of those are good and some of those are because we didn’t move the ball in the red zone the way we needed to but he’s coming through great. Hauschka’s done fantastic for us. He came through in a big way.”
Is there something else going on with the defense besides getting guys back of why they’ve been playing so well?
“Absolutely. It’s not for talking about right here but these guys have really joined together and recaptured really what it was that we played with last year. It took us sometime to figure out but we have and it’s only as good as the next way out. There’s been question in the last two weeks that we have elevated our game. It’s come back from [SS] Kam [Chancellor] and [FS] Earl [Thomas] and [CB Richard Sherman] Sherm and all those guys, [LB] K.J. [Wright]. They’ve touched what it is, and the special attitude with intensity, the toughness that it takes and really it comes back to what they’re doing.”
Did Marshawn at the end of the game, it looked like he was getting tested for something.
“He’s okay, no injuries.”
Richard obviously had a great game.
“Yeah, he had a great game. At one point somebody said they threw at him five times and had two picks. He was all over it. I didn’t see the penalty like you guys saw it on the TV but that was the one time they got something on him but he played great. I’m really fired up for him because there’s been a lot of scrutiny and a lot of people watching how he was going to do this game. He went out and played really good, fundamental football like he’s been doing all season. It turned into those opportunities that he was used to. He had the chance for three picks but he took advantage of the opportunities he had.”
See that Russell was playing sort of what you wanted him to do within the scheme, although some of those, resourcefulness showed on some of those plays, especially the TE Tony Moeaki pass. It seemed extraordinaire, is it becoming a common place almost?
“It is normal for Russell to make those plays. It’s not normal for most people but it’s normal for Russell to find a way. We’ve come to that’s part of our offense and that’s how we play, and he did a fantastic job just finding all kinds of space for the receivers. [TE] Luke [Willson] had a really good game tonight, that did well again, but Russell’s creating space and opportunities and guys are coming through to make the plays. That’s just kind of how we play right now.”
Did you see any similarity between this game and the way your defense played against Arizona?
“Yeah, it was about the same. It was an extension of that, I think. 19-3, 19-3, the whole thing. Third downs were one off of the same thing last week, good pressure for sacks again, really tough run defense, so yeah. This is what we’re capable of doing and obviously we’ve been able to do it for a couple of weeks but we have to follow it up with one of the best teams in the league next time. We’ll see what happens. They have a great offense and all that so, we’ll see. This is just tonight and we’ll take that next step next week and see where we go.”
What about the penalty situation?
“The cavern between our penalties and their penalties, again. All I can tell you is we’re working at it. We’re playing really hard and really aggressive so it’s kind of like last year. We’re pretty good at leading and last year too in penalties. You’ve got to be first in something I guess, so that’s what it is. The only thing is I wish they called some penalties on the other guys. We’ve got our own problems on one side but I just wish they called some on the other guys. I think it was three or four tonight so again, the cavern grows wider.”
What about the pass interference in the end zone?
“Yeah we’re just running a slant route and he’s running a route. They’re in zero coverage and their two guys are covering a guy running the flat and one in the slant and a player runs right into him. They’re going to run into each other and that’s it. We wished the officials would see that it’s a route and they ran into each other as opposed to we were picking somebody because we weren’t picking somebody. But, that’s the way it goes, that’s the way it is.”
What’s been the biggest reason in the pass rush’s improvement in the last couple of weeks?
“Everything is better. We’ve just taken a step into what it’s like to play real defense and we were in and out. We were in and out, very consistent. We thought we were trying to get there, we were trying to get it done and we hadn’t captured the intensity that takes to play defense at this level. You’ve got to give it to Kam and all these guys, they’ve finally grabbed hold of it. It took us a notch higher and we’re playing like we’ve been capable of in the past. If we can keep going we have a chance to have a good finish. It’s an important time and it’s really cool. It’s exciting, the finish is always the important step and this is finish time. Hopefully we can kick into the fourth quarter and every game is a monster game we have. What better way could it go? This is as good as it gets so we’ll take in one shot at a time.”