Seahawks Pete Carroll on team unity and run defense adjustments

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Caroll met with the media Monday afternoon and discussed how much fun he is having coaching the team and some of the adjustments the team will make in its run defense after Sundays last second 30-27 win over the Carolina Panthers.

(On the win over the Carolina Panthers)

“We had good meetings today. Took a look at the game and learned what we could learn. There’s a lot of stuff that we need to take out of this game in a lot of areas. We saw it as a real great matchup and battle. We like the win because we respect Carolina and the way that they play and their style and the way that they’ve been playing at home and all of that – it allows us to take a look at this game. We knew that they were good. We were fortunate to get a win and get out of there. It’s just another one for the books for us in Carolina and all that. We were frustrated by – we had some great opportunities to get the ball away from them and could’ve changed the game. The ball was all over the ground, we just couldn’t come up with it.

We like the attempts that we were making, but we just couldn’t get the football. So, it came down to who was going to get the ball last and have a chance to do something with it and fortunately we were in that spot and the offense came through. It was a really good burst at the end of the game for the offense and the consistency on the last four or five drives really showed up and gave us a chance to win. The defense rose up when we need them to and gave us enough ops (opportunities) and we got the good kick when we needed it. It was a good win and on we go.”

 On if recovering fumbles is just a matter of being lucky)

“There’s some teaching in there. There’s definitely some teaching in there, particularly in the piles and all that. We critiqued every one of them, if there was an opportunity here or there. They got a couple of fortuitous bounces. They got some pretty good hops and so they were fortunate.”

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(On how Doug Baldwin’s groin felt after the Carolina game)

Yeah. I can’t imagine that he’s not sore. It’s extraordinary that he played. He had a groin pull that was legit and he just managed it and made it through the week. I don’t know anybody that’s played with a pull like that and he just could do it. You’ve got to treat each guy and he’s an extraordinary competitor.”

(On if there will be any changes to the run defense going forward)

We made a lot of errors. It’s concerning because we’re not a real complex system. I talked a lot about the discipline of it. It’s experience, you know. Playing this system without K.J. (Wright) in the lineup – K.J.’s played these guys (Carolina) a lot and he and Bobby (Wagner), they really have intricate roles and it showed up. There were some errors and some misreads and stuff like that that hasn’t happened in years past, but I don’t want to take anything away from (the Panthers). Those guys were on it. It was a beautiful game plan they had – a nice job with their quarterback and (Christian) McCaffrey. They did a great job.”

(On Christian McCaffrey)

“He’s tremendous in space. Every step he takes it just full-speed, full-go. If you give him some room, he can hurt you just with the smallest of plays – just dump-offs and little passes in the flat and stuff like that, he maximized every one of them. He’s very sudden, very assure that he’s doing the right thing and he makes things happen. In traffic, we handled him inside for the most part, but he made it through on a couple of big plays too. You’ve got to give him a lot of credit, he’s a fantastic competitor and player.”

(On the inability to pass rush Cam Newton)

“Attention to the running game. Most of the stuff was play-passes and they did a nice job changing their actions. We were really trying to hang in and do things right in the running game – kept us focused there more than the transition into the pass rush. The variety of things they did was just really well done.”

(On pass protection in the second half against the Panthers)

“He (Russell Wilson) had really good protection throughout. They caught us with a couple pressures and we missed a couple – we tried to do something we shouldn’t have done and we got caught. They pressure a lot. They’re one of the more committed teams in terms of numbers, so they’re going to hit some once in a while. Their guys are really good, so they make good use of the heat they bring. Really, we could’ve had a really good game pass (protecting) if we (didn’t make) the couple mistakes that we made. They (Carolina Panthers) make that happen too, that’s a good team that makes that happen to you.”

(On how much he considering holding out Doug Baldwin to ensure having him long-term)

We went right up to the nub, he was convinced he could do it. He worked out really hard in pre-game to show that he was ready. He felt fine throughout – I checked with him a couple of times during the game, he didn’t have any issues at all. He did well.”

(On if Doug Baldwin was on a pitch count against the Panthers)

“Nate (Carroll) took care of that. He was playing according to how he was doing and all that and just rotated him. We kept somewhat of a rotation, but he played a lot.”

(On My Cause My Cleats)

“It’s a fun aspect to the game, players have fun with it. You can see how much fun the players are having with demonstrations and stuff. It’s a good lively part of the game. I haven’t declared what I’m doing yet in case you were wondering. No one really cares, but –”

(On the explosive plays)

“Yeah, those were huge plays and Russ (Wilson) has got some pretty good numbers there – fourth quarter numbers and numbers when they’re pressuring him if you guys want to check into that and see how he’s been effective. He’s performed really well in difficult situations and it has a lot to do with the guys up front giving him a chance.

The pocket was so clean on a couple of those plays. He was able to maneuver and stay with his eyes downfield and didn’t have to take off. It was really a tribute to the protection. There was a number of plays like that in the game on the big plays, where the guys really came through. The touchdown to Tyler (Lockett), the big play to David (Moore) early in the game, David on the other one and then on the final play that he made to Tyler again – those were all really spaced out well for him and he was able to move and find the area to make the play. It was really well done.”

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