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December 10, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Quotes from Seattle coach Pete Carroll

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

(Opening) This is right in the middle of the finish of this season and this is a really exciting time. Like I’ve said before, I really like how the schedule is—it just makes for so much interest. Coming home to CenturyLink, come home to the 12s, listening for the 12s this week, expecting to hear them to turn up. I know our players are really revved up to finish this season on a great note and they’re ready to turn up also so we’re looking forward to it.

(On Max Unger) Max is working, he’ll be out on the field today—not quite full speed yet so we’ll see what happens today and tomorrow and just keep going one day at a time. Coop [Cooper Helfet] is going to practice today, we’ll see how he does.

(On Demarcus Dobbs) He’s got a pretty severe ankle sprain—we’re not sure about the time line for getting him back at this time.

(On how different do the 49ers look from the last game) Well they can’t look that much different; they’re only a game old. We see it the same in essence, but we have our game to evaluate which is different—our game and the Raiders game so we’re diving right into it like we would regardless if we just played them or not. It’s really important that we take a really good approach in that manner.

(On the 49ers asking Colin Kaepernick to do more now than before) No they have everything available—they have all of their run game. It shows up and they have a diverse pass game. They probably spread out a little bit more because of their receivers that they have, but they’ve done that in the past also so it doesn’t look like they have a new notebook. They’re still loaded with stuff—they still give you a lot of problems because we have to prepare for so much.

(On preparing for a team that the Seahawks just played) We start all over again really—we’re starting all over again with the preparation and try to look at it like brand new. Of course we have more immediate information, but we’re going at it in the same fashion that we always would—two really important games to add to what we did before so we’ll see if that ends up a little bit differently so we’re adjusting to that.

(On Tharold Simon and if he’s been a surprise) If you go back and listen to us talk about him back in camp, we were really fired up about him. He had a great camp, great reps, got banged up and kind of got held back for a while, but in coming back from the year before, he made a big improvement. From OTAs, we could see it in all of that time so I don’t think we’re surprised now, I think we’ve been pleased that he’s able to go out there on the field, come through, make things happen, and play as a regular. He’s got tremendous talent—he’s a big kid just like we like, he understands our scheme, and technique wise, he’s really solid. He had a big offseason; he really did improve a tremendous amount so I don’t think it’s a surprise, not since OTAs—no.

(On Tharold Simon’s biggest strength) It starts with the reach that he has—he’s a real tall, long guy that makes for the problems our style of corners presents for your opponent. He’s got terrific speed and he’s got really good ball sense too so he’s got a lot of attributes that fit right in and he makes for a very competitive guy for playing time on our team. It’s a wonderful draft pick for us—he really fit in just right.

(On Tharold Simon’s technique change) I think he’s more poised now—he’s been in games, he’s been around. I think he was a little desperate at times; just trying to make things happen and not let anybody get away from him. His conscience is very turned on about it now and he’s really worked hard in practice to clean up that stuff, which always carries over to the game. He’s making progress—Sherm [Richard Sherman] has done a really good job working with him, Sherm’s really taken him under his wing. Sherm went through the same transition and his experience has helped. Tharold’s done a really good job of taking the information, listening, and allowing Sherm’s help to fit in.

(On playing young guys like Tharold Simon and Jordan Hill early being helpful) I think that’s a great example—that’s exactly the example of it. Even though he’s a second-year guy, he didn’t get anything done last year so he’s just like a redshirt freshman. He’s benefitted from it—right now is a great example. We’re talking about him, he’s a regular starter for us in the nickel, he can play on both sides, and he can play on early downs as well. We have no hesitation of playing him in the game. He’s accomplished that exact formula for us—Jordan is doing the same thing. So it’s just been a formula that’s worked out for us in the past and we’re seeing some examples of it now.

(On assessing what he said to Russell Wilson about the grounding penalties) Well those are difficult situations—that one in particular was tough on us because of the field goal opportunity lost. We just talked through it and generally it’s the conversation about what’s going on and to make sure that we’re clear, he’s on the same page as we were thinking. Sometimes you say, ‘ok we can’t take a sack here,’ and it happens sometimes. So he was trying to avoid taking the sack to lose the field goal opportunity so I don’t remember what exactly was said, but that’s the kind of conversation we would have right there.

(On the 49ers struggling) We don’t see this game any different—we see the same players, coaches, style, and we remember what’s going on and how they’ve been. They’re very close to being how they need to be at the end of the year and nobody knows how this story is going to be written at this point. We count on them being a very difficult team to play as always and nothing has changed.

(On Russell Wilson throwing more in the 2nd half of the Eagles game) I think it worked together really well with protection, the way the game had gone, we had ran the ball a lot, and really put ourselves in position where we could do a nice job in the throwing game—I think they were looking for the running game. We took advantage of it and I think it was really the sharpest we’ve looked in the segment of time. I really like the way that the pocket was set up—Russell was really affirmative, he was ripping the ball; guys were making their catches known. That complement to the emphasis that we pay in the running game should make us hard to deal with if we can keep that going. So we’re really hoping that we can continue to present that to our opponents, they’re going to have a tough time, and they don’t know where we’re coming with it.

(On was it the protection or Russell trusting him more) I think we definitely protected better—I think we felt better about where they were coming from. I think the run game had something to do with the way that the rush was coming and the emphasis of the calls they were making to present themselves for the run—all of that worked together; it’s just the factor that we liked to see. You don’t always see that early on in the game, you have to establish that you’re legit and we were. I think it worked together really well.

(On the timing to call a Russell Wilson bootleg) It’s a part of the game plan, I can’t tell you a whole lot about that one but it’s just part of the game plan and it fits in. Hopefully, in a timely fashion, he has to make good decisions. It’s a very difficult decision to make and it happens in a flash of an instance, but he’s really good at it so we give him chances and it depends on what goes on in the game.

(On Russell Wilson making the call to run a bootleg) No—we make the call when we’re thinking about doing it and then he has to read it and execute it.

(On Byron Maxwell) It’s good because of his style of play. When we play Jeremy [Lane] or Marcus [Burley] in there, they matched up differently with guys because they have a really big slot in [Jordan] Matthews last week and I thought it was a just a nice matchup for Maxy [Byron Maxwell]—not that he can’t hang with other guys, but I thought it was just a good one to see. It gives us tremendous flexibility and as we’re rounding in this week, we have everyone available back there—it gives us some choices. As receivers and teams change their style of guys, we have the flexibility to matchup in pretty good fashion right now.

(On Kam Chancellor) I think he feels really good about letting it rip and making all the plays he can make. I think there was a time where he was concerned about making sure he didn’t get out of position in case he couldn’t get out of his breaks as well as he needed too. Anything that’s like that that takes you into your mind about being concerned, that you’re not quite all there, can take away from your play. He’s been cutting it loose for a month now and really rolling. It shows up in every aspect of our game. It shows up in the locker room, it shows up on the practice field, and it shows up on the game field for certain and it’s wonderful to watch him cut loose and play his game.

(On how satisfying is it to be at this point in the season) Regardless of whatever happened in the beginning of this year, we would have liked to have been in this position right now with a chance to win our division and we are. We’re there—regardless of what happened. If we had won every game, we’d be in the same position right now wanting to figure out how we can finish this thing off right so we can win our division so I don’t think it feels any different. I think as we look back, when we talk about it after the fact, there will be some drama to the story. I think we would have overcome a lot, but right now we’re in the middle of it, having a blast, and looking forward to a great week.

(On the Seahawks defense) In general, guys understand what is asked of them so that they understand the scheme really well so they know what their responsibilities are—to the point of that they can go to the next level of what the offense is doing, the strategy, tactics that they’re deploying, and then take all of that information and make use of it. It takes a while—it takes experience, it takes enough confidence in the scheme so that they can go to the next level of concern. You can’t just play and line up in the right spot, then what’s the offense doing, what are the looks, what’s the style, and the down and distance. We’re an experienced defense, these guys have been around—they’ve played together a lot, they can communicate on a really high level, they can make sense of things with a glance or with a word of what to expect or the alerts that need to be done—that’s a tremendously valuable asset. It allows a team that plays a fairly basic scheme play really fast and if there is anything that you should have witnessed here in the last month is that our team speed picked up. You can see us playing faster as we’re going and that’s in the continuity, that’s in the communication, that’s in the confidence from being together and being out there. We’re hoping it can happen again one more time this week.

(On seeing more now than last year because of the defense’s chemistry) Well I think that last year, by the end of the season, we had found this tempo. We’re in that same portion of the schedule now and there’s a lot of time in the middle of last year that we were not right, we got our butt kicked a number of games and we weren’t on it, but we found it again and we have done it again this year at this point. It’s so fleeting—the past couple weeks. This week’s a whole new story and we’ve got to find it again and make sure that the preparation and planning allows our guys to play really fast and they’re ready to go and when they get there, then they make the hits that they make and we’re counting on it. We’re counting on these guys, their leadership, the coaching staff and myself all contribute to the right mind set so that we can play a really good football game here at CenturyLink again.

(On Bryan Walters’s status for the week) Good, his status is good—we’ll see; good status though.

(On fans wanting Seahawks to protest for Ferguson and Eric Garner) First off, we don’t know anything about that—it’s the first time I’ve ever heard about it, maybe it’s going on and I didn’t know about it. The fact that there is a call out around the country is totally in order. I think it’s totally in order—people have strong feelings about what’s going on, very well grounded feelings, and everybody wants to see change. Our guys are pretty out-spoken guys, and I trust that they speak on behalf of the feelings in their heart and they’ll make whatever decisions that they need to make and if we need to consult on that we will. At this point, I don’t think we need to but it’s a very powerful time right now. It’s a lot going on, and everybody needs to be tuned in to what’s happening and I know our guys are—they’re in the conversations. I hear them when we’re traveling and when we’re together—these guys are talking about what’s going on around the country. They’re concerned, they’re interested, and they’ve got people that are involved in some difficult places. So as the league recognizes our role, we have something to say, and people are listening—I think our guys are doing a pretty good job. I can’t say anything specific about it but we’ll see what happens—this is the first I’ve heard of that.

(On the NFL’s policy change) I don’t know much about what’s going on—I just saw it on the ticker, I don’t know what’s happened with it, but it’s absolutely in order to making this next step. We needed to and we’ll continue to need to in order to stay abreast of the changing times that have gone crazy right now and we just have to. The league has to do it for all of the right reasons so I don’t know how they acted on it but I’m sure they’re doing it with great interest and concern and all of that and it’s necessary.

(On Brandon Mebane’s replacements exceeding his expectations) Kevin Williams has done really well—I’m really fired up about what he’s done, he’s made the transition to somewhat of a new position for him and he’s been very effective. Like I’ve said before, his style is different, the make-up of his body is so much different, but he’s played really well. He’s a terrific football player and we’re lucky to have him on our team and I’m really thrilled at how he’s come through. Jordan [Hill] is really playing the best football he’s played for us—we have the opportunity to move him around some, he’s played a lot of third down stuff, he’s been very active, and really consistent. They’re totally different make-up and style players as well—so as we’ve always said, we have a way to tailor the play to the nature of the player and hopefully put them in the best light for them to do well and we’re coaching Kevin differently than we are Jordan and have expectations differently because of their make-up and the fact that their contributing—we’re very lucky right now.

(On coaching philosophy) We do whatever we think we need to do to get it done and if we’ve got to do it in combinations or in segments of the game, some of that is to figure out what’s the best way to go, sometimes we’re actually experimenting to see how the play goes, how a guy fits, how they handle their opportunities, and then we’ll tweak right away. I learned a long time ago not to try and make everybody the same—that’s not the way we go. We’re going to try to figure out what our guys can do and what they’re really good at, what we can help them with the most, and we need to be the one to make the adjustments to fit that. It’s basically always helped us in every position across the board with that thinking and it’s trying to bring out the best that the guys have. We’ve been through this quite a bit so usually it works out ok in time.

(On the Seahawks defense playing faster) We’ve found the game speed that’s indicative of the way we can play. And we were just off that—on a consistent basis, we weren’t quite right. We were thinking too much, trying to do some things instead of just playing football, and Dan Quinn has done a great job of just making these guys come together and really start to draw on their best abilities. The last three weeks is the kind of style we’d hoped we could play since the last couple years. It’s fleeting—it doesn’t always stay. We’re trying to maintain a tremendous level of consistency that’s uncommon. So it’s about playing fast, it’s about trusting the scheme, trusting each other, the great trust that the players have so they’re not thinking is the other guy in the right spot and they’re already a beat behind so it’s a lot that goes into that.

(On Kevin Williams playing a different position) He plays nose tackle—he hasn’t played a lot of that. He’s played a lot of three technique and five technique over the years. He’s always been moved around where he’s in there some, but now—where’s he’s really called on to be a nose tackle, that’s the shift. In his mentality, he’s had to shift gears a little bit: they box hit him a little differently, the timing of things were different—down and dirty, and it’s different than playing other spots. He’s such a cool kid—he just bought into it, dug in and figure out what we need and what we want, and find out how he could best present that to us and he’s done it.

(On how Kam Chancellor has become a force in the locker room) I think he’s done it perfectly naturally—just the way in his fashion that he’s capable. He’s always been a voice—he’s always been a guy that our guys look up too since he was back in his first year. He just commanded the respect because he was such a stud player and such a great kid. I think he felt really comfortable with moving ahead with what we needed at this time and been a great spokesperson—he’s not alone, but it’s been noticeable and it’s been a real thrill to watch it happen because we really believe in the kid and love him. So for him to just embrace what’s going on and I think that he and the 12 guys that we started with a couple weeks ago, have really been instrumental in spreading the word.

(On Doug Baldwin’s pass interference play) Doug is a savvy football player—he didn’t miss that opportunity, he knew exactly what he was in, he saw the flight of the ball, knew what was going on, and put himself in position. It was almost a no win opportunity for the corner—he was going to run into him, he was going to disrupt him, and I thought Doug played that perfectly.

(On 49ers linebacker Chris Borland) Wow, he’s really good—he’s an exciting football player to watch. I really have a lot of respect for his style of play. He reminds me of Lofa Tatupu—very similar in savvy and the instincts of playing the game—really good player.

(On the 2013 NFC Championship game) I thought it was a great football game, it was a great night at the stadium, memorable for the fans, the players, and the coaches because it was a perfect night of championship football and we’re fortunate to come out on the end. They were coming to down to try and take it away from us and we win the game. In that sense, just kind of as a fan, being part of it was a great football game and a great night.

(On limiting Frank Gore) We have to take care of him, he’s a terrific football player. We have never played a game against these guys in five years where we haven’t focused on him. He draws that much attention because he can run you out of a ball game and he’s done it to us. So when he’s in the game we have to play the running game and keep him to a minimal and it’s really difficult to do that because he’s such a fantastic player and they know how to get it to him too.




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