Some of the newsier things came after against a side wall of Lucas Oil Stadium, but here is all that Pete Carroll said on day three of the league's scouting combine here in Indianapolis:
On all the letters of support he got that he showed on Twitter the other day and whether that pile was bigger than the hate mail sent to Darrell Bevell: “That was really to all of the people, it’s so hard to get back to everybody and let them know that we attempt to respond and we’ve just been overwhelmed by all of this stuff. It’s been an extraordinary outpouring and people love their team and they’ve just jumped at the opportunity to support very openly and we’ve just been kind of swamped and we can’t get back to everybody so we thought that would be the best way to communicate.’’
On the promotion of Kris Richard to defensive coordinator while also causing some aging fans to wonder if there wasn’t a role for Mick Jagger as well: “This has been a process. We’ve had a number of years together, Kris Richard, Rocky Seto, along with Kenny (Norton) before he took off --- we’ve been together a long time and been through a lot and those guys have just grown up in our system. So the opportunity to make Kris Richard the defensive coordinator and Rocky the assistant head coach on dense is really a natural progression for those guys in my view. They have been so instrumental for such a long time. As we came here to Seattle with Gus and then as Danny came back to us they helped Dan and I think in the eyes of, certainly the organization and also our players, too, they know why we would make a move like this. They are really in a great position to help us as we move forward.’’
On if they still need to hire a defensive backs coach of if you’ll just let Richard Sherman do it: “We still need to hire a couple of spots on defense here at the combine as a matter of fact so we are kind of swamped with it. But we really wanted to be open with people and give guys a chance so there are a couple of spots depending on who the guys re and how we figure it out. It will be determined down the road.’’
On what the Raiders are getting in Ken Norton Jr.: “They are getting a tremendous, tremendous leader. Kenny is a guy that I had a chance to coach back in San Francisco and he was really a pain in the butt when I was coaching him but I love him We had an opportunity at SC to get him out of the network and go to real football coaching and he jumped at it. I asked Kenny at the time that I know who you were as a player I want you to be as a coach on the staff to be exactly who you are and the person you have always been and you can see the coach he has become. He did a fantastic job here and has always had an extraordinary affect on the young men that he works with. A tremendous leader, just one of my favorites of all time. So I am really thrilled for him to have this opportunity to go to a new place and start fresh and really have a chance to impact on a bunch of people I think Jack saw that. I hate to lose him because I love him so much and we have been so close for so long. Been together 16-18 years or something so that’s a long time. But we couldn’t wish him the best in any grater fashion than we do. This is going to be a great opportunity.’’
On finding pass rushers out of hybrid linebackers or something like that: “I think that started quite a ways back. The Niners some of the great coaches in the past, George Seifert and those guys created that position and kind of took it out of what was going on in New York with LT and all of that. But it has become a position of prominence. It’s really an outside backer position and a rusher that can also drop. It is a hybrid spot that’s really suited for guys in that 250-pound range with speed and athleticism who can do a little bit of everything. We’ve always looked for it. You can go back to our college days when we had Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews, that’s the epitome of what you are looking for on this level too. It’s become a big part of the game, the flexibility that those players bring to the passing game as well as the rush game is what makes it so unique.’’
On how they replenish their assistant coaching staff after the massive losses of the last two years: “Well hopefully we replenish it really well. It’s been something that’s really been dear to my heart for a long time. I feel like we are really growing our own for a long time and this is a clear illustration of that when you see Kris and Rocky take over and Kenny take off. These guys have grown in our system. It’s always a challenge but we are always planning for this and with that thought in mind it’s those guys’ time to step up and that’s how we do it and we have a philosophy and system that’s intact and one that we have really committed to and had great success with and we will continue to do that. But as the new guys step into their roles they do bring uniqueness because they are different so they will bring some special qualities that we didn’t have before and we will look forward to that growth and the evolution that always happens. That’s always an ongoing process but there is always a foundation of who we are and what we are all about on defense and hopefully we will be able to continue that. These guys will do a great job.’’
On projecting pass rushers from college to the NFL and the challenge to use the phrase “well-equipped’’ as often as possible: “The level of sophistication from the offensive side if what makes it so challenging, not just the development of the linemen that they go against but the schemes that they go against, the variations that they have to face, the change at a moment’s notice as the protection changes, calls for a tremendous array of tools to rush the passer if you are just talking about individual one-on-one matchups there is a natural knack but most guys have to learn and there’s a lot to learn. The college game is much less sophisticated so it’s not as necessary to be well-equipped to be effective. You just need to be a good fast guy coming off the edge with intensity and you can get there most of the time. It’s a great arc that our guys go through the process of learning and we take great care in it. And it’s the most difficult position to fill, a unique qualified spot to be a physical natured kid who can also bring the heat and the rush and the finesse and the power an the speed and all of that stuff is very, very rare and there are very few guys that come along who are really special and the young guys it takes them time. Bruce Irvin is a great example for us. Bruce is really coming into his own as a rusher now, it’s taken a few years and he is adapting beautifully and he’s going to be a big factor. We saw him from the second half of this year on. It’s just a process. He was as well-equipped athletically as anybody that you could hope for so we really had great expectations for Bruce going ahead.’’
On the challenge of overcoming DARRELL BEVELL’S decision to throw it on second and one: “We so hard charging at it right now. The players aren’t going along with us at this time, they are on their own. But as an organization well before the last game we were on the way to this process. So as we have been since the moment we got here we are competing and battling and clawing and scratching to find a competitive edge in everything we are doing and here it is draft time now and the free agency thing is up and the cap business is all up and there are a lot of challenging very difficult decisions as there always are at this time of the year. So we are forging on. I think we are in a situation that is notable because of the way our game finished coming off the Super Bowl and all those other things. There is a lot going on here for us to grow from and learn from and we shared the experience with the world and in that I feel like there is a responsibility for us to really send a message of accountability and that’s getting to the truth of what happened and then being prepared to move on constructively and productively as immediately as we can. We are not into this world of blaming and fixing blame and trying to figure out what went wrong. That’s already been dealt with and now it’s time to move, so we are moving. We are working on continuing to make this the most competitive roster in the NFL and we are continuing to do that and whether we do that we’ll wait and see but that’s what’s at hand right now moving forward. It’s a very competitive opportunity for our club in the future and we feel like we are just in the middle of everything and this is not a station in our life, this is just a moment that we have gone through and it’s time to keep moving and move forward. It’s a really, really exciting time. We have a really exciting football team, a very young crowd of guys and really can’t wait to get back to work. So we are doing the things we can now and as the stages come up we will we will jump into them and Georgia wide receiver Christina Conley at table one, Georgia wide receiver Christian Conley at table one.’’
On getting Marshawn Lynch back --- have you tried giving him ownership of the Skittles company?
“I have not talked to Marshawn but we have been in earnest a great deal of time now negotiating to get Marshawn back with us in every way that we can. It’s been an ongoing, long process and we have had big offers out and we continue to work with that and we are excited about the future. He has been an integral part of our program for five years and loved the contribution he has brought. He has been a great character in our program and all of that so we are excited to move ahead. We would really like to move at that swiftly its such a big deal as it has always been to get our lead players intact so we are working at that now.’’
On Bill Belichick defending Carroll's final play call of the Super Bowl: "It is important. I care. We all care about that. And Bill is an extraordinary coach; anything he says people should listen to. In this case, he's just respecting coaching. He understands the game. He knows what was going on, exactly. They were in their sequence on the 6-yard line, when they scored they ran the ball for a few yards and then threw for a touchdown on second day. And it was a great play, a great concept and all that. We were in a similar kind of mode. It helps. He gets it. I have always respected the work that Bill has done, the accomplishments and the achievements. For him to take the moment to do that, it's very gracious of him. I think it's -- as we all do, we care a lot as coaches. I think he made a statement, just to try to let people know, if they are curious, what he feels about that. I appreciate it."
Your guy Cliff Avril left the Super Bowl with a concussion. Many thought Julian Edelman of the Patriots should have been checked for one but wasn't. Do you think the game-day concussion protocol on the sidelines with an independent doctor needs an overhaul?
"I think these areas, as we grow, these are new areas for us, we have to continue to find the right ways and the right consistency. I don't know all that happened with that on our sidelines, or on their sidelines. Our doctors took care of it the way they are supposed to, and I'm sure their doctors did the same thing; I don't know what happened. There's always room for improvement. This is about player safety and doing the right things -- and also the competitive aspect of it for both teams and across the landscape of the league. Yeah, I think we will continue to grow and continue to work at it, and hopefully we will expand the awareness and the judgments. And hopefully we can take care of our guys the best way possible."
Given the complexity of NFL defenses, watching DL draft prospects is it more important they play multiple positions or multiple gap assignments?
"It is if it is, you know. It depends on the player. Some guys can, some guys can't. Depends on their makeup. It's hard to throw a blanket over that like that. The more versatility, of course, the added value. But some guys are so good at what they you only want them to do that. So it depends. But we are always looking for those kinds of makeups of players, that do have unique kind of makeup that would allow them to do multiple things, of course. But that is not the standard. It's just kind of what happens when you get one of those uniquely qualified players."
How are you getting through this Super Bowl loss? "I told you guys last year that one of the great challenges of my coaching career was to come back off last season. I don't feel any different this year. As soon as the games are over, regardless of what the outcome was, we go back to the business and work that we do. And what we hope to do is not let what just happened affect our ability to produce at a really high level as we move forward -- whether it was a win or whether it was a loss. I've been saying that for year. We always want to know how to deal with that. So these is one of those challenges. We are a really unique team right now for people to watch. You saw us win it all, and you saw us go all the way to the last moment and not get what you want. And what do you then? What we are going to do now, wait and see. But that's not different from the way we always do. We have a very strong philosophy and approach to how we are going to use the mentality it takes to keep pushing and keep getting better. That's what it takes. That's exactly what we are going to do. We always have. There is no other way. How we respond? We'll find out. I've watched this all year -- how are they responding? Early on it was 'Oh, not very well. 3-3 and we're struggling.' But we made it through all that. We regained our swagger and stride and became an extraordinarily quick football team at the end of last season. And we are going to work at it again. I don't want to always start out like that. But I know how we are going to go about it, with great commitment and great enthusiasm about the future. This is an exciting and wonderful time for us. So we are going to make the very most of it and do all that we can."
On having a mental conditioning coach:
"It's a bigger philosophy than that. Our approach is to make our players the very best they can be. And we will tirelessly, relentlessly pursue finding those ways to help our guys. To ignore the mental side there is really remiss. You miss a major part of what's going on and in their future and potential development of our players. So it is a big part. It is one of the parts. If you look at this in a holistic sense, we are working to do everything we can do to help our guys so that they can be the very best as they go along. This has become a very big part of it. A we all learn and go we continue to find ways for our guys. This is just one aspect of it, but it is a crucial aspect."
What do you see in Ken Norton Jr. to be a defensive coordinator?
"Oh, he is a born leader. This guy has done so much in his career. He stands for leadership. He stands for players, and toughness and the willingness to step in front and take on whatever's out there. He's been that kind of a person. His father raised him in that manner. He's been blessed with a tremendous backup system. He's had a great father. And Kenny has taken those lessons and moved ahead. What's marvelous is, he's the only guy in history that's won three straight world championships (as a LB with the 49ers and Cowboys); how can you do that? He did it with two different clubs. And he was a leader in each one of those seasons. He takes all of it. I think he does a marvelous job with players. Just look at the guys he's coached and what they've done over the years, back to college and all. I think he will have the same kind of success in the future. And I think he's crucial to young men. He's a great guy to have around, for what he stands for. I'm thrilled for this opportunity for him."
Will you miss coaching against Jim Harbaugh?
"Yes, as a matter of fact I will. I thought he was a great competitor. I thought he did a tremendous job conveying his message to the game. He brought the best of us. I think the world of his coaching ability and what he's done. I like it when it's tough, and he can make it that way. We had some great games, and I wish him the best. I think he's going to kick butt at Michigan and do a great job. Really anxious to watch it happen."