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January 16, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Quotes and video: Seattle coach Pete Carroll

Seattle coach Pete Carroll talked to the media Friday about his team’s health (it’s pretty good), Russell Wilson, the homefield advantage, and more:

(On this week’s preparation) It’s been a week that’s been right on point—we have our routine that we go through and across the board we have an opportunity to have a really solid week again; preparation was the kind that we need and it makes us feel good going into the weekend—it’s what we hope to accomplish each week.

(On Justin Britt) He was limited today—we’re going to find out on game day. [Alvin] Bailey’s has taken a lot of snaps today.

(On a definition of a franchise quarterback) I don’t have a definition of a franchise quarterback—I’ve never used that phrase. I don’t have one.

(On a starting quarterback) I think it’s a guy that you’ve come to count on—you know how he serves the program, you know what kind of person he is, and what kind of leader he is. It’s a big job to be a quarterback in the NFL and it’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that. When you find a guy that takes hold of it and embraces all of those responsibilities and can do it successfully, then you got the real deal and you’re fortunate when you have that. It’s what we all cherished when we got him and they’re hard to find and hard to get.

(On Russell Wilson being a good combination quarterback) He’s well equipped to do everything that we ask him to do—he can get in the pocket and hang there. If he finds his receivers, he’s going to stay on rhythm. If it’s not to his liking, if the read doesn’t come out right, he’s going to take off and move to make something happen—sometimes he takes off, runs, scrambles, and gets out of the pocket and sometimes it’s just a subtle movement that quarterbacks need to do to move to find their receivers. He can move to do all of those things and I think what separates him is his sense for maximizing his opportunities what he gets out—to run and to pass. He looks to throw the football—he doesn’t want to run, but he’ll take that when he has too. The best part about all of that is when he does—he really protects the football, and protects himself like we want him too. So we encourage him to scramble—we have no hesitation at all. We want to make sure that he stays with his reads, but when he goes, we love what he does, and usually really good things happen. What I cherish about that is—that it’s the most difficult thing to defend. ‘Play starts, there’s a normal drop back pass, everyone defends that and when the quarterback can’t throw the ball and he moves—everything starts all over again.’ Sometimes it’s a draw, sometimes it’s a sweep, sometimes he’s getting out and rolling out and he’s making things happen. It’s as difficult as it can get for a defense so we’re very fortunate to have that.

(On coaches being more flexible with young quarterbacks’ style) Yes—I think we’ve seen that in the young guys that have come in. Really I go back to when Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco got into the league—that’s when, to me, when young quarterbacks started to blossom to me—they came in and they could do something and have an immediate impact—those guys were classic pocket guys, but since in the last five or six years, there has been all types of guys that come in and can have an assortment of abilities that go outside of the drop back, in the pocket type guy. I think we’ve seen teams have success with those guys and I think it’s opened up a lot of opportunities with those players. I think college football has added to that and their dynamic offenses that they run and the things that they ask their quarterbacks to do. We’re seeing guys with all kinds of abilities that maybe we would not have thought highly of in the past. So I think that’s happened—I think you’re on it to say that that’s really what’s going on right now.

(On when did the Seahawks buy into “championship opportunity”) It came up the first season—we talked just like that and every game was a game that was preparing to win the championship either at home or on the road. Every one of those games—we wanted to take those seriously so we would be prepared and sure enough, it’s come out at 7-9 and here we go—we win the division, we have a chance, and we’re going. I think maybe it was more profound then, because we struggled in that season, but we still found a way to win our division and put ourselves in playoff situation where we had our chance to move it and do something. So I think that would have been the most impacting—you’d have to ask them to know.

(On collaborating with John Schneider) I didn’t know anything about John at all—I really didn’t. I had been in the college world and I didn’t know him at all.

(On how John Schneider became GM) The organization had a list of guys that they brought up and I had a couple guys so they brought him in—so I didn’t have any foreshadowing there.

(On meeting John Schneider) When we met for the first time in the interview setting, it was really obvious for me that he was different than the other guys that we had talked too. He showed a mental agility, quickness, and wit about him that I immediately took too. We were have fun right off the bat, whatever it was, we were quipping back and forth on things and I was kind of checking it out the conversation and he was really impressive to me in that way. I had read all about him and done all of my homework, and knew that he had a tremendous background of great responsibility at an early age. He had a lot of responsibility when he was young—he could handle it, speak to it, play with it, roll with it, and he also could relate to what we had been through at USC. He knew our story and what had happened and that let me know that he had done his homework as well and it just seemed to mesh. It didn’t mesh fast enough for him to go back on the plane and go home though—we didn’t quite get that done, but by the time he had landed, we knew that we wanted to bring him back.

(On practicing for clutch situation) I don’t think it’s the way we practice, I think it’s the guys who are practicing—I think it’s the players. What I would point out to you is that we have tried to put our players in positions to do things that they’re really equipped to do. That’s an important as an evaluation as anything that we can do is to figure out who our guys are, what are they unique at, and what special knack do they have. Look at Doug Baldwin—he’s got his own style of play, he’s got extraordinary quickness, and we utilize that as much as we can. [Jermaine] Kearse has great catching range, he’s really good down field, and he’s a very good all-around player and he can do everything well—he blocks well, and he catches and runs well. So we’re trying to fit it together and if there is a better example of that, Russell [Wilson] is the epitome of that. We have placed him—we haven’t tried to make him something that he isn’t or something that we wish he would be. We tried to figure out what Russell was, and then adapt and adjust to make things really assemble to him that he’s well equip to carry out. So I really can’t stress that enough—that’s how we look at people in the program. We try to figure out there unique qualities, and then put them in situations where they can be successful utilizing those. We [coaches] need to be flexible—we’re not trying to make the players flexible in that regard. We’re trying to be flexible—look at Marshawn [Lynch], the way he runs, and the style of which we handle him—it’s unique to his special qualities that he has. So maybe that does put them in position to make qualities that they’re capable and comfortable with.

(On when Marshawn Lynch felt comfortable) I think it was a few weeks into our time being here. He had been in more of a man blocking scheme—powers, downhill stuff, leads, and counters, stuff like that. I don’t think that there are running backs that can’t adapt to that—they just have to get accustomed to the style. I think he was molded into a terrific zone runner and he still loves to run off tackle powers and man block plays, but he’s more equipped for it now, but I don’t think it took him very long for now.

(On Jermaine Kearse and Russell Wilson still coming together since their rookie season) There have been so many hours they’ve spent together—I don’t know. I think that Russell has found a groove with all of his guys that have been here. With the new guys you have to make it, but I don’t think it’s anything special about that with Jermaine.

(On Mike McCarthy) I think he’s done an amazing job—I think he has great command of the game and great command of his team. They’ve won a lot of games and done a lot of good stuff. It’s a championship team—you know you’re going to play a championship team when you know that they’re going to do everything across the board very well. They’re well balanced in all areas—you got problems with special teams, you have problems with Dom’s [Capers] defense—smart, intelligent team, Mike stands for all of that, and they’re tough too.

(On coaching against Mike McCarthy) I love coaching against Mike—I think he’s a great football coach. It doesn’t matter what I think—he is. He’s proved that—so the better that they are, the more I like being against it. So it makes it as hard as it can be and that’s what we’re faced with.

(On the 12th Man) I think we’re the loudest—and we’ll put them up against anybody and that’s because they care so much. They care so much that they give so much—they’re standing up and screaming when we need them to be up there and screaming—they’re doing it. They’re smart enough to understand to know when they need to help the offense out, they do that. The make-up of the people that are in this area, they really care about their teams. I noticed it when we were in college coming up here. In the old Kingdome—it was crazy in the Kingdome. Whatever it is, it’s something in the water here. We have great fans with a great heart.

(On Jeron Johnson) He made it through practice all week again and we’re going to keep going all the way through game time. We have enough flexibility in the area that he’s playing that we can wait and see how he does all the way up until Sunday.

(On the Packers offense) Yes—this is arguably the best offense in the NFL. The way that it has turned from a mid-season point, where they have development a consistency in the run game, it really makes them well balanced and hard to deal with. The quarterback in phenomenal and the receivers are extraordinary, and scheme wise—they’re taking advantage of all of that. They have big plays in them and they can hammer you with them ball—they can do all of that. I know Aaron [Rodgers] won’t be at his very best, but maybe he will be and we’re going to count on him doing everything that he always does and we’ll see what happens at game time, but you can’t get a more difficult team to deal with.

(On Justin Britt) He came out with a sore knee. He didn’t know it in the game and on Monday and Tuesday—it came up.

(On the players not buying Aaron Rodgers being injured) We’re just expecting them at their best. We would be remiss if we didn’t do that. We have to expect everybody to be at their very best and that means everybody can do everything and if it’s different than that, then we’ll adjust, but we’re not going to undercut that expectation.

(On having the same offensive coordinator) It’s hugely important—the continuity that you gain and the experience that you gain together—all of that stuff that you put in the bank is extremely important. It helps you to adjust, communicate, expand your thoughts, and to take advantage of all of the issues that we have to deal with—it’s really important. We’ve been very fortunate to have tremendous continuity so our guys have grown in the system and they’ve been able to use the system and we still have room to grow there. You can see it—it takes a long time for these guys to get it and feel it where they can improvise through the discipline of it. So we’re getting there.

(On quarterbacks protecting the ball) It’s conscience—I think it’s really the awareness that they have, the buy in, and the discipline too because they can have a great conscience, they can know they’re not supposed to do it, and then they can’t not throw that ball at the crucial time. Both of these guys are extremely well equipped—they’re really cerebral quarterbacks, understand that they represent the team, staff, and the philosophy exceedingly well and it makes them very unique.




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