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January 29, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Full transcript of Pete Carroll’s Thursday press conference

Here’s the full transcript of Pete Carroll’s press conference on Thursday. He talked about Will Ferrell, the new signal for a eligible/ineligible receiving linemen,  John Schneider and more.



AP photo


(on his relationship with Will Ferrell and what Ferrell said when he spoke to the team)

“The last time he visited with the team was a while back at, I think it was a preseason game. He jumped in the meeting room, telling everybody he was an L5 and he was going to lead the kickoff team right down the middle. Nobody bought it. He’s been to a couple games and we’ve had a great time over the years doing stuff. We haven’t done too much this time. I think he’s going to be on the Jimmy Fallon show after the game or something, that’s why he’s in town. A little plug for the TV show.”

(on the origin of ‘Turnover Thursday,’ how it works for him and how important it is)

“Well, it is the No. 1 thing that we emphasize in the program because we think it is the biggest single factor that determines winning or losing. I think it’s a really interesting fact. I threw it out here the other day, that in the last three years, we’re plus-51 and so are the Patriots and we’re way ahead of everybody else in that regard. It’s a big commitment that goes across the board, all players on the team have to weigh into that. They obviously understand it like we do and it’s been very helpful. So, yeah, today is that day. Either the offense is going to win or the defense is going to win, depends on what happens with the ball today.”

(on New England’s use of eligible and ineligible receivers and what communications he has had with the officials on how he expects to be able to respond in those situations and how he has prepared his team for that)

Right from the beginning of the week last week, after the Indianapolis game, some things popped up so I went right to call them in to find out what is going to happen about the mechanics of stuff. There was a mistake made in that game that was on a touchdown play, when a player came in, reported eligible and then stayed on for the next play and didn’t get off the field and they scored a touchdown on that play – that shouldn’t have happened. That’s something that could happen. The Colts got fooled on that play. On the next player reporting eligible it was a different player, so it got confusing and they miscovered the guy. We don’t want that to happen if we can help it, so we called in and asked about that. They came back with a very clear response about that. They’re going to have a new signal that designates when a player with an ineligible number will be eligible – that’s the same. But, when an eligible number is now ineligible, they’re going to make a new declaration to the players on the field so that you’ll clearly identify that. I know the league is absolutely committed to getting that right and doing that well. The Patriots have brought that to the forefront because they’ve been using some stuff like that lately. We’ve been preparing for it every day because we don’t want to be caught in mishandling on our end. It’s really on us to see it. The officials do what they do, but we still have to find it because it could happen like it did to the Colts. We’re very much in tune with it. It has just been part of the preparation so it’s not a big deal to us now.”

(on what that new signal is)

“The new signal is the referee will point to the player that has the eligible number and he’ll signal that he is not eligible. That’s the new thing. They’ve never done that before.”

(on what linebacker Bobby Wagner is best at and how he has seen him grow into the role he holds now)

“Bobby is a tremendous athlete. He’s really fast. He was a 4.4 guy coming out and he has real natural abilities. Very adept quickness-wise. Hand-eye coordination is great. He’s really a very, very good athlete for the position. When Bobby came to us, a pretty raw player that came in the door and we threw him right in, in the middle, to see if he could take command of the huddle and the calls and all that and he’s never backed off of that. He has grown and become a tremendous leader on our team, noting the impact that he had when he came back after injury this year was a big factor for us. He’s an all-around player. He can cover really well. He can blitz well. He’s the best we have at going sideline to sideline and he’s a big factor for us.”

(on if he has any special strategy to defend New England in the Super Bowl)

“At this time late in the year, we’re committed to who we are and what we are pretty much. In that, we have a certain area of flexibility that we can adjust in a game, but for the most part we’re going to do what we always do and we’re going to do the things that we believe in and the things that make us strong. But with that, we have to have the flexibility to rush better than we have at times when he’s (New England quarterback Tom Brady) throwing the football, to cover in very good fashion because of the uniqueness of their receivers. The tight end (New England tight end Rob Gronkowski) is a fantastic player that we have to do some things within our package to take care of him. It’s going to be a combination of all of those things working together in the throwing game and we’re not neglecting at all their commitment to the run. Just a couple games ago, they ran the ball 40 times in a game which is a tremendous commitment. The next game they ran 14 times. We have to find out how they want to play it as we go through the game. But, we’re going to do the things that we do well and hopefully that will be good enough for us. Most importantly for us is we want to play with great speed. We want to play really, really fast and we want to chase the football and run all over the place and shorten those distances and make those yards after catch kept at a minimum and stay away from the big plays and all that. Those are the same things we always do. We hope to do that really well again this weekend.”

(on how he would define defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto’s responsibilities on the coaching staff and how he settled on that title for him)

“First off, Rocky Seto, he’s been a part of our staff since I arrived at USC (University of Southern California). He came on as a graduate assistant way back in the day. He had played at USC and been part of the administrative staff. So, I watched him grow up in our system. He has become really the keeper of the records. He’s got all the information. He knows everything we’ve ever done and how we’ve done it. He’s a tremendous resource for us to always stay in touch with the principles and the philosophy and all that. He’s been the passing game coordinator. He’s been a special confidant to me to maintain our language and our belief because he goes back the furthest with me. He’s been a great friend. He’s been a great coach for us. He’s been a very integral part of everything that we do. He has meetings with the team every day. He has something, a certain part of our meetings that he does and presentations and stuff. He’s a big factor for us. He’s a great football coach.”

(on a former coach saying that it is important to be the first team to use trick plays and if he finds that to be the case)

“First off, are you going to reveal the source so we know the depth that this runs?”

(on the source being Steve Mariucci)

“I don’t agree with him at all. Next question. (laughing) No, I don’t agree with the fact that you have to pull off the first trick play. I don’t know what that means. You’ve got to do it at the right time so you can execute it and you can have success with it whenever it is because there’s not – to me – and I’d like to talk to him about it, but this overall arching thought that once a trick play has happened that you can’t do another one. I don’t think that’s the way it is. We try to pull it off at the time when it works out right for us and we can take the most advantage of it and we always have to be on the lookout, we always have to be attentive to it. It really comes down to fundamentals on the defensive side for the most part and special teams, that you cover your bases and you know what’s coming so that you don’t get caught not seeing it coming. I don’t agree with that.”  

(on how important it was for him to have dual responsibility when he came to Seattle, both coaching and personnel and what the challenges are of assuming the personnel role in addition to coaching from a time management standpoint)

“It’s crucial to have the combination of expertise to do this and I’m so fortunate that I do this with General Manager John Schneider. John is a tremendous personnel guy. He’s a tremendous manager. I absolutely lean a thousand percent on John to do all of the stuff of generating information, collecting all that we need to know, making decisions of great depth and concern through all aspects of what we do personnel wise, as well as being my best friend and everything that we’re pulling off. I think it’s too big a job for one guy. I personally think it’s too big. There’s too much stuff going on. It’s a whole other season of work that’s being done while the football season is going on that a football coach just wouldn’t be able to handle properly. You can oversee, you can have an opinion and all that, but I’m very, very fortunate to have John as my partner in this and so we just work together and figure it all out and make the decisions as we go. During the football season I’ll help him with the football thoughts. During the personnel season he’ll help me with the personnel thoughts. We have made a tremendous commitment to each other to always bring out the best in one another and so that’s how we’ve done it. Without John we would be nowhere.”

(on if he has less time dedicated to coaching than in his previous stops with New England and the New York Jets based on his increased personnel role)

“No, it didn’t work out that way at all. If you do this right, you have to give it everything you have forever. That’s what we do football wise. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a guy that you can lean on that we’ve come together in our thoughts and what we’re looking for. If John (Schneider) is looking, it’s the same thing as if I’m looking is basically what it amounts to now. We’ve converged in that manner so that we could operate at a really high level. I don’t think it’s taken any football off of me at all. There is a good, substantial offseason where we have plenty of time to do this work, but it all has to be set up beautifully by his side of it for sure.”

(on what he remembers about New England defensive end Chandler Jones when he was scouting pass rushers in 2012 and what type of player he has developed into)

“We really liked him. The length that he has, the long arms and the reach, very similar to Aldon Smith and that kind of effect that a player can have. He’s a really good all-around athlete. He’s very gifted. He runs well enough to be a big factor. It was just really, the thing we were waiting to see is how he would develop physically. Would he get stronger and continue to grow and expand because he had all the natural stuff. We thought he was a really good player and we consider him with high regard as we have to defend now against him and what he brings. It’s a good challenge.”

(on if he agrees with what people are saying about his defense being as good as the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s)

“I don’t know that. Those kind of comparisons are for people in the media to do. It’s not for us because it doesn’t matter and we don’t really care about it. It’s a flattering to be considered in that conversation is really all it is. To gauge that, I can’t. Our players, anybody that does that, we really don’t know. It’s just talk, which is great for you guys. For us, it doesn’t figure in.”

(on what his earliest exposure was to the zone-read and how his zone-read package is similar or dissimilar to what other people do)

“You want to know everything I know about the zone-read games? No, I got you. It was back in the college days and the most obvious example of it was when we played the Oregon teams and we played them early on. (Former Oregon Head Coach/current Philadelphia Head Coach) Chip Kelly really had the big factor in bringing that to prominence, but he wasn’t the only one. The people running the ‘pistol’ up in Reno and there were a lot of people that were doing it in college football. But, that’s when we really started to pay attention to it and when we really had to mess with it. I think even back all the way to when we played Illinois in the Rose Bowl it was a big deal with those guys, the quarterback running. It’s been a big factor. Having to stop it and having to deal with it is also having to respect it and regard it in a manner that if we could incorporate it into our football we knew we would be creating more problems for our opponents. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the quarterback that doesn’t have the dynamics to make something of it. We fortunately do. Russell (Wilson) is a quarterback that wants to throw the football. He’ll run when he has to, but he understands how to utilize it. He’s a master at reading it. He’s phenomenal at doing it at the times when he’s not going to get hit, which is the only reason we keep doing it. If he was getting hit all the time we wouldn’t do it. We’ve just incorporated it in hopes, in compliment to the rest of the things we do. (Former NFL/College Head Coach) Bill Walsh said a long time ago, if you can do a lot of things really well, then you’re really hard to defend. We’d like to do a lot of things that make it really taxing for our opponent where they have to figure out how to focus on this and that. It makes us a difficult offense to deal with and Russell is right at the centerpiece of that.”

(on if he feels that this team is young enough and that the core will be there for a long time that no matter what happens with Russell Wilson’s contract so he will have a successful team for a long time to come)

“We’re hoping so. (General Manager) John (Schneider) has spent a tremendous amount of effort in long view, in looking down the road to see how we can continue to maintain the core of our club at the high level and with the guys that we have built it around. We’re in the process of doing that and I think it should be pretty obvious that we reward our own guys and those are the guys not only that we’ve sighted early that we thought were going to be good but we’ve been able to develop and really kind of guarantee where we’re going with them. That’s a big part of this. There is a fine balance in there and we saw the (Baltimore) Ravens a couple years ago, they had to have a big change in their football team because of the financial aspect of that. We don’t anticipate that. We think we’re structured in a way that we can hold on – that’s being optimistic and looking for the good stuff here, that’s how we’re seeing it. It brings us to very difficult decisions come the offseason. We’ll always have those and every team does. We’re hoping that being able to see and trust in what we’ve seen from our players now and we’ll be able to maintain that nucleus of the club that will allow us to keep the identity and keep the focus. There are a lot of guys that are a big part of that. (Running back) Marshawn (Lynch) is a big part of that. (Wide receiver) Doug Baldwin and (wide receiver) Jermaine (Kearse), those guys are a big part of that. Our linebackers are a big part of that. There are safeties right down the middle. There are so many of these guys that have become such big aspects of our team that we are working to keep them together and we’re going to try to do that in the best way possible. I know Russell wants to play on a really good team too and he understands that there is no better competitor with awareness about that makeup, so I’m sure that that’s part of his conscious as we go through this. We’ll figure it out in time. It’s going to be a big challenge. However, we do have a plan and John is, I think, he’s doing a wonderful job of carrying it out right now.”




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