Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll met with the media Tuesday afternoon to wrap up the disappointing 2017 season. While Carroll was direct and to the point regarding the team’s failure to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and other team goals, he was quick to point out that this was an opportunity for the team to take time to process what happened and move forward.
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
“There was issues during the season that I think the big ones I would like to address for you is that we have a real formula of how we win and we have been unable the last two years to incorporate a major aspect of that and it’s running the football the way we want to run it. I think you see tremendous examples around the league of teams who have turned their fortunes around and they have turned it around in a formula that I think should sound familiar to you.
But teams running the football. Teams playing good defense and doing the kicking game thing. That is the formula that has proven historically the best in this game. We have been committed to that from the start but unfortunately we have not been able to recapture it the way that we have in years past. Last year, Russell [Wilson] was banged up all year long and couldn’t contribute the way he normally did. Look what he did this year. He ran for 500 yards and was a huge factor throughout the year. We needed that 500 last year to go along with what we had.
We might have had different fortunes. This year we weren’t able to complement the other end of it the way we want to for some obvious reasons, but also just disappointed that we weren’t able to pull it off. So that’s really kind of what we are dealing with. We’ve got personnel issues. We’ve got contract and cap issues that we will deal with, which we always tell you that there’s not much we can talk to you about that stuff but those are difficult challenges that involved people and I like I said, families, and people that we’ve been with for a long time, some people we’ve been with for a short time.
DID THE TEAM GO FOR BROKE WITH NO EYE ON THE FUTURE
“I know, also, that you looked at this season and I know you guys have questioned this season about did we take our shot because of the status of our roster at all. Did we make drastic measures to go get guys outside of our roster during the season because this was our shot and all that? No, we were competing. We had some really clear thoughts about how our roster was going to come together and one of our guys that we drafted very high wasn’t able to play so we made a big move and found a fairly young guy in Sheldon Richardson. I don’t know, he’s 26 or something years old or whatever he is and were able to attract him to our club to fill that void right there. George Fant went down.
We expected George to make extraordinary progress and when we lost George, we got a little bit out of balance and John [Schneider] immediately went after and found a guy that we think is going to be an instrumental factor, not just in what he’s affected by already in a short time but the leadership and the expertise that Duane Brown brings to us is extraordinary and we need it. We think it’s going to be a positive for the future but those were moves that were made weren’t any more drastic than the moves we’re going to make this year. We’re trying to go for it every time we go. There’s not a year we say, ‘OK, let’s sit back and wait until next year.’
There’s not a week, there’s not a day, there’s not a moment that we think like that so I want to make sure and share some thoughts with you guys because I know you have other questions and stuff that you want to ask but we’re fired up about what’s coming up and it isn’t going to be easy. It’s hard. It’s hard. Look at our divisions has shifted. The new clubs that have come in and they’ve done a nice job.
The Niners finishing strong and the Rams doing a great job and turning their thing around and the Cardinals are going to be a whole new thing. We don’t know what that’s going to be, but the division is going to be as challenging as ever and we’re going to have to be up to the task and so I’m fired up about it. I’m ready to go.
Any of those other conversations that you guys heard or wanted to ask questions about, you don’t even have to ask them. I ain’t going anywhere. I’m fired up to be here and can’t wait to get going. I feel great. I’m pumped and I need to translate that and transfer that into the rest of the program so everybody’s ready to go. We need you guys to be jacked up too. You know, you’re going to kick back and take it easy now? You’re going to do your work and bust it and see what you can uncover.
You know everybody’s in it and so I couldn’t be more fired about that. Unfortunately, it’s just too soon and the frustrations of that, they dig deep and sometimes, you know as much as I hate to learn the hard way, you’ve heard me say it before, I hate to learn the hard way, but sometimes you got to.
“Another one, I would address for you, a major issue, probably my biggest regret this season is how the penalties factored into our season and we’ve been in this situation before and we’ve been able to overcome the issues and our style of play, it didn’t affect us dramatically, but this year was more of a factor and our margin wasn’t as such that we could endure it as well and that’s a major aspect of us to change.
I’m clear on how I’m going to go about that and it’s going to start way back to the first day, April 16th, and we’ll make a change there and it has to happen because I don’t know that our margins are going to be as big as they’ve been in years past. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. The return of guys to our team is going to be really crucial as we watch what happens. The critical guys, I think, is the runners.
RETURNING RUNNING BACKS
I think the runners to come back to life to us and that’s Chris Carson and CJ [Prosise] and Mike [Davis] coming back and whoever else can be a part of that thing. J.D. [McKissic] was a really good positive aspect of our team this year and we need to make that position more competitive. That’s going to be one that we’re focused on because of the durability issue that we faced for the last two seasons. It’s been really trying for us but those are tremendous candidates to be battling at it and I’m hoping that that’ll make a difference.
The growth to the offensive line is huge. We made strides, I think. I’m so excited to have the leadership that Duane brings. It’s something that we haven’t had and the guy has been around and has been through it all. He’s tough, smart, physical, the whole thing. He’ll be a big factor and he’ll take on a lot of responsibility and was not able to really shoulder that this time.
He was just scrambling to just catch up with us this year but I think through an offseason and all that, he will have a big impact on Justin [Britt] and other guys, [Germain] Ifedi and those guys as we return. Defensively, it’s going to be really interesting to see.
We’ve got a bunch of guys on the defensive line that I’m excited about. We had big rotations going. Dion Jordan and these are issues that we have with guys who don’t have contracts. We’ve got issues to try and return guys but Dion Jordan had a marvelous turnaround and showed an impact that could be really instrumental. Naz Jones who missed a bunch of the year, but really showed us a lot of good stuff.
Jarran Reed is a leader in this group, is a fantastic competitor and tough dude. If we could be fortunate enough to get Sheldon [Richardson] back, that would be huge for us. Frankie [Clark] coming back. Frankie had his first real year of really being in it the whole time and had a nice solid season for us and a lot of upside there.
So there’s a lot of positives when you build it around Bobby [Wagner] and KJ [Wright] and Earl [Thomas] and some of the guys that have been with us for some time. We got to get some guys back from injuries. We’ll see how that goes.
So anyway, I wanted to make sure and just give you some time and talk at you a little bit so that you can hear me and because I think that is what this time of year calls for and I’m sure you got some stuff you want to ask.
I’ll see if I can answer them. Some I will, some I won’t. I’m fired up about it. I leave you with that thought. I’m fired up about all the challenges. It’s going to be hard. It’s always going to be hard. It’s never not and we’re ready for it.”
Important Off Season Dates:
January 27: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
February 20: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
February 27-March 5: NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.Read
March 6: Prior to 1 p.m. PT, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 14: The 2018 league year, free agency period, and trading period begins at 1 p.m. PT.
March 25-28: Annual League Meeting, Orlando, Florida.Read
April 16: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
May 4-7 or May 11-14:: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 14: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 17-20: NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited Rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
May 21-23: Spring League Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.Read
Late-June: Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all rookies.Read
July 16: At 1 p.m. PT, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2018 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.
Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for Veteran players.
Late-July or Early-August: Training camp opens.Read
Late-July or Early-August: Training camp opens.
August 2: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.
September 1: Prior to 1 p.m. PT, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players.
September 2: Clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players.
September 6, 9-10: Regular season opens. The exact dates and times of each game will be released in the spring, but the Seahawks’ 2018 home and road opponents are already set.