Seattle Seahawks (4-3) head coach Pete Carroll met with the media Monday afternoon for his weekly press conference. After an impressive 28 to 14 win over the Detroit Lions and with his team riding a two-game winning streak, positive Pete was well downright extra positive with a capital P.
(On how the team looked as far as injuries following the game)
“Yeah, we’re in pretty good shape. A couple of guys we’ve got to wait and see just as they recover and all that, but we’re in good shape. K.J. (Wright) came back alright, Ed (Dickson) came back okay – those were the guys that were of concern going into the game. Dion Jordan as well, those guys all came back pretty good.”
(On if Sunday was one of the better games he’s seen Russell Wilson play)
“One of them, he’s played a lot of good games. You can’t be any more efficient than he was, 80 percent completion (rating) and three touchdowns. Third down was really good – we we’re cranking on third down until the fourth quarter. We missed a few in the fourth quarter, but we wound up at 50 percent, which is our goal every week. It was really complete and then he helped in the running game and he ran football.
It helped us, he made a first down run and then set-up another one. It was a really well-rounded game. It’s great to say that and he only threw the ball 17 times, he had that much effect on the game. It was one of the most complete games I guess you could say.”
(On if he’s been working with Russell on throwing to receivers even when they’re not open)
“Russell’s always trusted the receivers. He always wants to give them a chance to make a play. If you talk to him about it, he knows if he puts the ball up there, even in really tight coverage situations, that those guys can make plays – and it couldn’t have been more evident, three or four times yesterday. It’s a real good knack he has and he’s found spots. The throws aren’t always perfect, but those guys get a shot at it. I mean, just look at the play David (Moore) made on his touchdown and the other one he made in front of our sidelines – those were fantastic plays when really, their coverage was really good. Russell throws the ball with velocity to put our guys in the advantage. He does that because those guys can make those plays. Tyler’s (Lockett) play was a great separation just as the ball was coming in. Ed’s (Dickson) play took it right off the top of a guy’s helmet. You saw the ones from David, I don’t know how the heck that one happened, he tipped the ball up and all that. That’s something that he’s always believed in and he’s been really good at doing that.”
(On what sticks out the most about Chris Carson’s running style)
“Chris has got a big style. He can run in traffic, he looks good in the open field, he has a real aggressive nature to him in his style, and he’ll attack guys which is part of the run style that I always really liked – guys that will attack the defense, attack individual players and then also make them miss.
Chris does all of that. He’s got a real good balance about him. His feet are apart when he’s making his moves and he’s got real good lateral movement when he’s making his choices, and you’ll see him just bring it together and go tear somebody up when he gets a chance to so it’s a real nice style that he has, one that really showed up, I thought, pretty clear when we looked at him coming out and he’s never disappointed us in bringing that to life. You don’t know if a guy gets in the league and he’s going to still be a hard knock football player but he certainly has brought it.”
(On Chris Carson’s ability to get yardage without clean blocks)
“Yeah, historically, the really good running backs always have a knack for getting out of trouble and making something out of nothing and that’s sometimes penetration happening – somebody runs through, a guy slips on a block or whatever and the play starts all over for the running back.
Those guys that are creative and really quick and can respond, those guys are always the ones that seem to be consistently good. They keep you from trouble and they keep you from those minus (yardage situations). 2nd-and-11 is really hard and you make a 2nd-and-8 out of a play and it’s a big difference in how you approach it so he seemed to have a good knack for that.
PLAY OF THE DEFENSE
(On the run defense)
“It starts right with J. (Jarran) Reed and Shamar (Stephen), those guys in the middle. Those guys just controlled the line of scrimmage well and allowed Bobby (Wagner) and K.J. (Wright) to get in position to make their plays. Dion Jordan contributed well, they all did – Quinton (Jefferson) did a nice job too. If you noticed in some nickel situations that Bradley McDougald made some really nice plays fitting in too. What’s happening is we’re really comfortable with the scheme, the guys know what’s asked of them, they’re practicing really consistently. We’re finding good consistency where you can really count on guys to play the blocks the same way. The run defense is all about discipline and consistence, and our guys did a nice job scheme-wise.”
(On Jacob Martin getting involved in the pass rush)
“A couple of weeks ago, we just put him in there some more just to get his speed on the field and he did a nice job. I look in the Raider game, (he) had some effect there. He gives us activity and he’s also a good special teams guy, so we’re seeing more of him, we’re getting a better feel for him. He will continue to be in the mix.”
(On how important Justin Coleman’s interception was and what he’s meant to the defensive secondary)
“It was a big play for us. They were knocking on the door again and could have put us in a situation for onside kicks and all that kind of stuff, so it was a big play. It was a particularly good catch and a better job staying in bounds. He’s been doing a great job. He’s been matching up with a lot of really good players and he’s had a lot of good coverage outings. He’s had some tackles that have gotten away from him, some missed opportunities, but he’s working hard and making sure that that’s not going to be a factor. He’s a really good player.
I don’t know if you noticed, Akeem King had some nice tackles on punt coverage, but Justin had just as much play in that by forcing the other side of the coverage to make those opportunities available by just giving a great effort and flying down the field and doing things exactly right. He’s a real integral player for us and we’re loving what he’s doing.”
ON ALLOWING PLAYERS TO BE SELF EXPRESSED
(On why he likes his players to improvise)
“I don’t know if it developed in me as a coach, but when I was growing up, I grew up watching Willie Mays play baseball and if you guys ever had a chance to see what he was like — I watched him through all of his career in San Francisco — and the guy always played with the sense that he was looking to do something special if you gave him half an opportunity, and lots of times he just created it. I grew up thinking that’s the way you should play. He was my hero, he was everything to me as a kid and that’s the kind of play he would make.
He would see a situation and he would do something that nobody would every think you could possibly pull off, and he would. He didn’t always do it, but he did it enough where he was all-time. So as crazy as that connection sounds, I think I’ve always thought that way and I’ve always felt like that’s the way you should play the game and go for it and see if you can make stuff happen. I think that way, I’ve always encouraged the guys that I’ve coached to look for those kinds of opportunities and not be afraid of what they’re going to do wrong and the mistakes that they’re going to make. There’s always a line to be drawn, and there are certain guys you don’t let have that kind of freedom.
I said something to Mike (Michael Dickson) a couple of weeks ago about it, and the fact that he could put that together and utilize it at a time like that and make a play like that, it just shows you the kind of athlete and the kind of competitor he is. Had you not given him that chance, he might not have done that.”
(On if he played that way growing up)
“Yeah, I used to try to do everything. I did. It didn’t always work out, but I tried a little harder than most, I think. I was encouraged to do that by my big brother. So it feels comfortable, this isn’t something we made up, this is a real deal that is a real way of looking at how you play. I’ll give you another example: Bud Grant used to tell teams, one of the greatest plays in football is the lateral, and he would allow our guys, if you make an interception — you see what happened on the last play of the game? — to encourage guys and as long as you practiced those types of situations and it wasn’t unfamiliar to you, then he would OK it.
I’ve told you guys before, what a big influence he had on me when I got a chance to be around him in the Vikings days, and that made sense to me too. If you put guys through situations and you prepare them to do stuff, then you trust that they’re going to get it done. But you’ve got to draw the line sometimes, and it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes the great things don’t happen unless you give them a chance.
Can you imagine why I’m so comfortable with Russell Wilson? Look at Russell. He takes off on a naked (bootleg) and takes off the other way yesterday to set the opportunity up to whip that guy and get on back to the play side of the route so he could have a chance to throw the ball. He’s about 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage at one point and looking backwards and he comes out of it.
I love to see him do that kind of stuff. I know it’s not always going to work out, but most of the time it does, and we expect him to find really great plays in there, because he’s that kind of a guy. I’m surprised it doesn’t make sense to you guys, because we’re so far along that way and that’s how we think. But you never know. You’re going to get surprised. Michael surprised us a little bit. We didn’t know what we had. I don’t think Mike’s going to do it this week now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”