Seahawks All-Pro Safety Jamal Adams will be a game time decision according to Carroll. Adams health status for Saturday Wild Card Playoff game against the LA Rams was question one. Adams finished the Seahawks 26-23 win over San Francisco due to shoulder injury.
Q. What can you tell us or what can you share about Jamal Adams’ status for Saturday?
PETE CARROLL: Well, he’s going to work through the week and see what he can get done and see if he’s okay. We’ll have to wait all the way up until game day to figure that out.
Q. Are you more or less positive that he would be available following your conversations in the last day?
PETE CARROLL: Well, just judging from my general outlook, I’m positive. More positive than not.
Q. You’ve reiterated a number of times that you’re not worried about the offense. I was wondering in what ways do you maybe see similarities or shared characteristics between what the offense is now versus what it was at the beginning of the season, even though the offensive product looks different?
PETE CARROLL: Well, generally I’m not a worrier, so it doesn’t really apply. But you know, if you look at who we’ve been playing the last three weeks, these guys are really good. They’ve made a difference. I don’t think the defenses early in the year were playing to this level, and so it’s a different set of circumstances we’re up against.
These guys, here we go with the Rams, the Rams are the best in the NFL. These guys are really, really tough in all phases. I’m not sure about answering your question about — but we’re getting ready to go put together a game plan and execute the things we can do. We’re going to mix our game, do the things that we like doing, and see if we can find a way to get enough points to win the game. Whatever it is, it is. I don’t care about the numbers before or the stats or any of that stuff. It doesn’t matter. All that stuff is gone. It doesn’t matter at all right now. It’s what happens now that counts.
We couldn’t be more fired up to go to this game and see if we can find a way to win.
Q. Having Mike Iupati and Brandon Shell back, what does that do for the offense?
PETE CARROLL: Stability. Stability really. Both those guys have been solid performers for us. They have the most experience over the guys that have been playing. That should help the guys next to them. Both those guys are starters for a reason, so we’re happy to have them back. Looks great to see those guys in the huddle.
Q. With Jamal’s status up in the air for this week, Ryan Neal was one of the bright spots for your defense, even when the unit was struggling the first half of the season. How big of a deal is it now looking back that he got all those significant snaps early in the season, especially for a player that hasn’t played any defensive snaps in playoff games?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, we have a lot of confidence in Ryan because of the way he played and what he does. He showed us. He showed us he plays really hard. He’s tough. He’s a playmaker. He’s very aggressive in his style of play. In the position he’s playing and the makeup of that spot, when he comes off the bench to play for Jamal, you saw us last week, he came in and he was pressuring right off the bat because that’s what we think of him. We think of him in the same mold.
He’ll be ready to go if we need him, and we’ll be happy to play him. Like you said, he had a really good statement that he was able to make in the games he played, and we’re happy to have him out there.
Q. You’ve talked about the good mixture on your team. How does that play out in terms of the veterans and the young guys going into a playoff game? How advantageous is that?
PETE CARROLL: Well, you’re talking about experienced players and the young guys and all that. I think it really helps just because in typical fashion, young guys look up and they watch and they listen to the guys that are the who sayers. It helps to have guys that have been there, whether it would be helping to settle nerves or concerns or to watch how they aren’t going to change their preparation and their process or their mentality. Our guys have been around and they know. They know we have to stick to the stuff that we do to put out a championship performance, and they’ll see that and I’ll point it out, too, as we’re going and all of that combined, it helps. It’s good to have the young excitement about it.
This game calls for juice, and so everybody needs to get fired up, as we always do, and the young guys will certainly be there for them. I think both sides have something to offer.
Q. After the Buffalo game when you gave up 44 points and the sky was falling, you expressed confidence that things were going to turn around. What exactly gave you that confidence and did you think the turnaround was going to be that dramatic with the defense?
PETE CARROLL: Well, that’s a big question kind of. What gave me the confidence to hold on to that is years of coaching, you know, and watching guys do stuff and knowing that what you see isn’t always what you’re going to get. We had a lot of things to put together that hadn’t yet been coalesced, so it was going to take some time. Confidence in the coaches, confidence in the players, the playing ability of the guys, being able to see them but not seeing them play well together yet, it just took us some time, maybe longer than normal. But I had never seen us be that bad, and so I knew that that wasn’t the way it was going to be.
That’s why I was confident. That’s why I believed, and these guys gave me every reason to believe by the way they were going about it. Kenny did a great job keeping these guys together, and if we turn a great corner — we’ve still got a lot of improvement to make. It’s been an exciting challenge this year, and hopefully we can make some noise here.
Q. This week is 10 years since your first playoff game here and pretty memorable one. The famous Marshawn Lynch run, what do you remember of that as that moment was unfolding, just being on the sidelines, seeing that happen?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, that was a breathtaking moment. It really was. That’s why it’s so memorable, and it’s been a historic moment, an historic moment for our area and even the league, too.
I mean, nobody else could have made that run the way he made it and the way he finished it than Marshawn. I think the exhilaration that came from that was also because we were up against odds and everybody had been chirping at us all the way through the preparation for the playoffs and all of that and world champs, everything was going — it was just a moment in time that was kind of frozen. I’m glad we could capture it and see Hasselbeck try to lay a block downfield and all that kind of stuff. It was pretty special.
Q. For you that was your first playoff game with this team. This weekend will be your 18th. Could you have imagined 10 years ago you’d still be around coaching your 18th playoff game?
PETE CARROLL: No, I didn’t think you guys would keep me around here for three or four years at the time. That’s way beyond what I thought could happen.
Q. Do you have any update on Jarran Reed? And then also I was wondering how the pick of Damien Lewis and his ability to step right in this year, how critical was that for kind of the way the offense line came together?
PETE CARROLL: He has an oblique strain is what he has, but I think it came out as something else. But we’re going to be real careful with him during the week and see how he goes day-to-day. He’s much better than he was on the weekend, so there’s cause for optimism there.
And then D-Lew, you know, I go back to — he’s had a great season. I mean, he’s had a great season. He’s got to be an all-rookie guy. He just has to be, the way he played and contributed and competed and overcame the bumps and the bruises during the season. His mentality was great. His competitiveness was obvious, and he’s talented and tough and all that stuff.
I go back to what Eddie Orgeron had said, that you’re going to like this guy from the day he walks in and he’s going to be play to play from the day he walks in. I didn’t know. He was a junior college transfer and all that and he had done extremely well there, but I don’t know. I just was ready for him to be really good, because of what Eddie said, and I believe in him and trust in what he thought. And he has done nothing but continued to express that he fits and belongs and he’s the real deal, and he could play center someday if we needed him to. He’s a marvelous draft pick for us, part of this team.
Q. You’ve only got one game’s worth of film to look at the Rams’ backup quarterback Wolford, but does he look like the next Colt McCoy?
PETE CARROLL: Well, it’s interesting you would say that. He’s about the same size and all that. He had a really good game. To bounce back from his first throw he makes, gets picked off and he bounced right back and had a really winning football game, and I’m sure they were just really excited about it. They didn’t protect him to be safe with him at all. He threw the ball all over the yard and made some big throws down the field and spread the formations and all that. It was really impressive, and he ran well, too.
I could see that if that’s the way they’re going that they would have a high level of excitement about his ability to throw together another good game. He did really well.
Q. How different did that offense look with him rather than Goff and how does that change your preparation?
PETE CARROLL: Not much different. He was a little quicker to take off maybe and use his legs to make some — a couple 1st downs. He did a nice job on 3rd down, had good 3rd down numbers for the day and he ran for a couple of them himself.
A little different, but the plays were basically the same and the style of play, and it’s 16, 17 games now. They’re going to do the same stuff that they’ve got to do. But he was impressive.
Q. And is it now a foregone conclusion for you guys that you’re not going to have Josh Gordon? What are you sensing on that situation?
PETE CARROLL: We’ve had no — I have nothing to report. We’ve heard nothing from the league about him being available.
Q. Obviously Tyler and DK coming off record regular seasons for you guys. Obviously these guys stand out individually. How much do they complement each other on the field, though, and just help each other out in that respect?
PETE CARROLL: You mean in the way they play or the way they talk to one another?
Q. The way they play.
PETE CARROLL: You know, they’re so uniquely different. They’re just uniquely different in style and all. The result is you throw it to them and they catch it and they make plays and they make big plays and the consistency is what jumps out. Tyler has been doing it for years. Think about how long he’s been good. Just continues to be unique and special, and he had as good as game as he’s ever had in this last one.
DK just continues to be impressive in a totally different fashion. They get along well. They learn from each other. They help each other, good relationship and all that, and I think that’s always helped with our young guys, that the older guys will take them under their wing kind of. Tyler has been like that with DK the whole time.
Q. We saw Brandon Shell came off the reserve list for you guys. How nice will it be to get him back from the ankle, as well, and get him in the lineup for you guys this week? And then a quick aside on that, how much different does Alex Collins look to you compared to the guy you had as a rookie?
PETE CARROLL: First off, exercising all the caution, we looked after Brandon, and he had no — really he never did catch the virus and all that. He bounces right back, comes to us, and we’re really happy about that.
Just coming back to make sure that his ankle is as good as it can be, this week would have helped him to get one more, so he looks great, should be full speed and ready, and we love having him back out there.
And the other one was Alex Collins. Alex was a really good player — he was an excellent player coming out of college. You remember that he was the guy that had rushed for 1,000 yards three years in a row in the SEC — you know which other — there’s only one other back in history that did that, right, in the SEC. Do you know who that is?
Q. Is that Herschel Walker?
PETE CARROLL: You got it right under the buzzer. Yeah, Herschel Walker. My point is this guy has carried the football a ton, and he’s so experienced and savvy and all, when he went in the game there, I remember somebody saying, hey, make sure he covers it up and takes care of the football, and I said, hey — I jumped at him, he’ll get it done. He’s an excellent football player.
He looks quicker than ever. He looks quicker than ever, and for him to go in there and finish that drive off, it was perfect, and I was really fired up for him and for us, of course. But he’s a good ball player, and love having him around.
Q. With Ken Norton, Jr., you’ve said before he’s one of your favorite people you’ve ever worked with in the NFL. Why is that?
PETE CARROLL: Because of really I go all the way back to the player that he was. I had a chance to coach Kenny near the end of his career in San Francisco, and I got to know him as a leader of a world championship team. He had history, and even though he was a Bruin, there was something — there’s always been something special about Kenny. His fire, his creativity and his brain and the way he thinks and operates and works and manages with people and all. His goal when I talked him into coming into coaching back at SC as a GA, I had done an interview at the network, and he was doing interviews down there and I asked him to come on out in the parking lot with me when I was leaving, and I said, Have you ever thought about coaching? So we started talking about it right then.
I remember saying to him, Kenny, this NFL league, they need you. They need you in positions of leadership around here. If you come, it’s going to work out; you’re going to do great. Because of who he is and his makeup and his competitiveness and his toughness and his way.
He was such a figure in San Francisco with all those stars. They all ducked and dodged when he came around. He had command of the whole place, and he would call anybody out from the offense, the defense and he was loud and boisterous and out there, and just the epitome of a leader.
That’s all the background of it. And so in college I wanted him to get around our young kids because he had so much to share with them and so much vision in the background with his pops and all the stuff he went through growing up and all that, he just has such unbelievable perspective, and he’s carried it over here.
One other thing. The one thing Kenny said a while back, once he had been coaching and he was interviewed or something like that, he said, Really all I want to do is coach and show guys what I was able to experience when I was playing. He didn’t care about being a head coach or being a coordinator or any of that kind of — he just wanted to share his experience with others so they could enjoy it and have the benefit of what he’d been through.
I always loved that about him. It was such humility after all he had done and all. Thanks for giving me a chance to talk to him.
Q. You talked about a month ago when Jamal was going to face the Jets about just pulling him aside and having conversations about facing a former team. Do you have similar conversations with guys when they’re going into their first postseason game like in Jamal’s case this year or even a guy like Carlos who hasn’t been in the playoffs in five years and is going through it for the first time with you guys?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, I would like to think that I’m on the lookout constantly for who might need a little something or I might be curious about where they are or where they’re coming from or how they’re seeing it and experiencing it. So I’m working it.
So I can’t say that I get to every guy to talk about that specific topic, but I do address the topic with all of them, and then I’m looking and listening and coaching, trying to — if I can help somebody perspective-wise so that they can be at their best, then I’m on that the whole time.
It doesn’t mean it’s always just the young guys, like you’re saying. It can be the guys that have never had it before, and now they’ve been dreaming about it, and now it’s this monstrous opportunity and ordeal and they don’t play like they’re capable because they make it into something it isn’t. It’s just football, and they need to be reminded of that. It doesn’t mean it isn’t the best experience of your life and the most fun you ever had and all that kind of stuff, but they’ve got to remember to keep the perspective in the proper place, and that’s my job.
Q. Off topic, is Carlos Hyde back this week?
PETE CARROLL: Yes, he’s ready to go, fresh legs. He’s cranking and ready.
Q. When did you get a good handle for this part — I don’t know if you think you’re good at it, but when did you get a handle for this part of your job, and was there some trial and error along the way that helped you navigate it, the media part, the part you’re doing right now?
PETE CARROLL: Oh, I appreciate that. When I was first — I think it might have been at the Jets. I went to a league meeting, and there had been — a few things. We’ve got nothing but time here, right? Okay, real quick, there was a league meeting and they had a speaker. A woman addressed us and she talked to the head coaches about kind of the pitfalls and how you deal with the media and all that, and she said about five or six bullet points that just have made sense to me ever since. I can’t remember who she was. I can’t remember her name.
But that was extremely significant coming along, and I’ve really kind of stayed with it.
What I’ll tell you, to me we have a relationship that we have to orchestrate between myself and the media, and you guys got a job and you don’t always write what I like you to write or see things the way you see it, but you’ve got a job, so I’m here to help you do whatever. That’s why I try to give you as much information as I can when I can so you guys go out and do your thing.
Treating the media with respect I think is hugely important. Even though I may try to call out Brady right there, it’s hugely important because you deserve it. That’s it.
I’ve got to get out of here because I’m running late here.