A day after All-Pro defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas vowed to play in the Super Bowl despite elbow and shoulder injuries, respectively, both stars got magnetic resonance imaging exams.
Carroll didn’t have the results of those Monday afternoon, and we didn't get access to players today. ESPN later reported Sherman has a sprained elbow.
Both Sherman and Thomas are expected to play in the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks didn't practice Monday. They are off Tuesday then practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The team leaves for Arizona on Sunday, arriving early that afternoon.
Sherman got whacked in the left arm extremely hard -- the only way Kam Chancellor hits – when his teammate was trying to nail Packers running back James Starks near the sideline on the first play of the fourth quarter but got Sherman instead. Sherman stayed in the game but winced and braced his arm into his torso between and sometimes even during plays.
Thomas’s shoulder popped out of its socket and had to be popped back in. He briefly went into the locker room, missed three defensive snaps then returned to play with brace on shoulder.
"Both those guys were in dire straits if they could play (against Green Bay) and they didn't flinch. Not for a second," Carroll said Monday. "Their courage and heart couldn't have been more evident. Their willingness to throw their body out there was so impressive. Earl had a brace on his shoulder, and Richard couldn't straighten his arm out.”
Sherman said Sunday following the game X-rays were negative.
“I will 100 percent be able to play (in the Super Bowl),” Sherman said.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
January 19, 2015
(On his thoughts on the game) Well, we’re really proud to be part of that event because it was really an event, as it turned out. Few of us have anything to compare to that. Sherman Smith has one – ‘the miracle’ – whatever that one was. He’s had one that was as good. I think we’re all real grateful that we were a part of it and that we had the opportunity to be faced with so much adversity and so much of a challenge and then see guys really play through it and come through and it wasn’t just like a one play thing – a lot of stuff had to happen. The defense did some great stuff throughout this game but they did stop them the last couple times they had the ball. Special teams can through as we needed them to. Offense came through in great fashion. We used the clock well. Russell [Wilson] had four interceptions and then he’s six for seven after that and then a touchdown. Marshawn [Lynch] rushes for 120 [yards] in the second half. Their QB throws for 60 yards in the second half. They are one for seven on third-down. Those are all things that are indicative that it took a while. There was a lot of stuff had to happen to put those kind of numbers together. We out score them – whatever like crazy – from the time we’re down 16-0 and that’s 28-6 or something like that. But all through that it didn’t feel great. Really to me it didn’t feel great until he caught the ball. When [Jermaine] Kearse catches the ball – that’s when it felt right. ‘Okay, it’s done.’ But that was a great game to be a part of – a great event to be a part of.
(On if he had the feeling when he was scouting Russell Wilson that he could be a clutch, comeback player) This will go back to John [Schneider] because I didn’t know all the history of him but John had talked about that he had been able to pull off all of the heroics and stuff. I think he was player of the year in his conference as a freshman. So you say, ‘Where did it come from?’ Well, he already had it then too. Russell is an extraordinary young man and with this great belief that he has in himself and that he instills and feeds off of the people around him – makes him a really powerful competitor and there’s nothing he can’t come through with. There’s nothing that he can’t do – there’s no lead, there’s no situation that he doesn’t have a chance to make it happen the way you want it to happen and there was evidence again yesterday.
(On Russell Wilson’s four interceptions) Well, there were two of them where they go off us – nothing he can do about those. He challenged them on the deep ball down the middle and really underestimated the wind. It was a ball that was going to be challenged from the start – both guys were covered. He went and took a shot to Jermaine [Kearse] because that’s what we do but the ball didn’t travel like he’d hoped. It kind of happened on the one up the sidelines too to Jermaine – the ball didn’t travel as well as he had hoped it would. They both became underthrows by a hair. They were both aggressive plays but going after it – they made nice plays on the ball. It was a great play but their free safety – he had a great game against us – to make the catch. So it wasn’t anything, it wasn’t any slight – we didn’t practice something during the week or if we would have had more reps. It was a couple things that tipped off us and then it was going for it in an aggressive way and they made good plays. That’s why they’re in that game right there – they have that ability to make that kind of stuff happen. They’re the number one turnover team in the NFL going in. They did what they do well and almost had the chance to take full advantage of it.
(On the importance of the two stops early on in the game) Yeah, we had five sudden changes in the game and they got six points. That’s phenomenal football. It didn’t seem like the defense was at their best as you watch it – I felt that too – but you look afterwards – a great quarterback throws for 170-something yards and as good as Eddie Lacy did – he rushed for 70 yards. They were 3 for 14 or something on third-downs and 0-5 on sudden changes is the way we look at it. It was a fantastic night of football for the defense. But the stops early were weighed huge later on. We weren’t sure what that was going to mean but they were huge stops – they were on the two-inch line. The fellas made a tackle to keep them out of there and knocked them out a couple times so the defense had a great day again.
(On how personally gratifying it is to hear the players say after the game that without the beliefs and intangibles that he instills they wouldn’t have won) It is for all of us on the staff – we work together with our messaging. We feel really good about this and we felt good about it for some time now – when we saw the thing turnaround and get going. We saw the potential that we had to play the game like we like to show up and then we did it week after week for a while and really got going. Now the challenge is keeping it alive and what a tremendous illustration this was. Really, we’re standing on the sidelines there prior to overtime talking about that – ‘Look what you’ve done, look what you’ve accomplished to get to this point. Let’s go finish this thing and believe that we can.’ That’s how this messaging has been throughout. It feels great. It feels great to share this with these guys but most importantly it’s great to see them embrace it and go and take hold of it.
(On undrafted players making the big plays) Sure. That’s kind of how it’s been. We kind of numb to that right now but it’s the facts and that’s why – we’re talking about the work that John [Schneider] and his guys have done – it’s illustrated so many times with so many great examples of finding guys and getting them into the system and then they play winning football for us.
(On who on the coaching staff gets most excited about doing unorthodox things on special teams) Well, Brian Schneider really takes the lead on that – Nick Sorensen and Chad Morton – those guys are all in there together – they come up with the ideas. Rarely would it be somebody other than the special teams guys for the special teams. Each coach has his own way and his own style and they bring different things to make up this terrific staff we have. Sometimes the ideas pop when you’re driving in, when you’re going to bed. Here, we’re wide open to whatever – there are no boundaries to what we would be willing to do if we feel like it’s going to work. The guys are in a good environment for ideas and for free thinking and all that. But really in the special teams area, you have to give the credit to Brian Schneider. He does a fantastic job. He’s been terribly consistent throughout the time he’s been here. Really that was their doings – totally.
(On Marshawn Lynch) He had a great game. He had a great game. We rushed for 143 yards in the second half. He had 120 [yards in the second half] and he was just alive – ripping. He had a couple catches too. It’s been an extraordinary season that he’s put out here because he’s been so consistent for so long and he’s been so physically right for so long. He looked explosive again. He looked fast. His attitude is always there. He was able to take advantage of space and sometimes no space. Somebody had a stat – I don’t know these numbers – yardage after initial contact in this game was really high. No kidding, look at the film – he just would not go down and there were a couple great team finishes on plays too when he’s driving his legs and those guys jump up off the ground and knock the pile forward and get us four or five more yards sends a message of his style. He played fantastic again.
(On the injuries to Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman) It’s worth mentioning again the effort that those guys put out—we don’t even know what happened to them yet. We don’t even know the result of the injuries. Both of those guys were in dire straits of ‘could they play?’ They played their hearts out. Their courage and toughness and standing up for who they are and what they mean to this team to try to finish this game and not allow it to be any other way—it was so impressive, it really was. There are a lot of guys who do that, it was just really symbolic—Earl with the big brace on his shoulder back out there playing and Richard, who couldn’t straighten his arm out. We’ll see what happens, I don’t know.
(On the Patriots’ scheme of eligible receivers and tackles eligible) I think it’s great ball. It’s within rules—it’s great ball, they are figuring out a way to get an advantage. The thing they did last week with getting an extra eligible in the game and all that, it’s a good tactic. It’s happened in college a little more, so they must have picked up something that’s coming into the college game. It makes you stay on your toes—I think it’s really good coaching.
(On the extra week off) I think it’s beneficial any time—an extra week to prepare really helps.
(On the last matchup against New England) It was raining really hard, it was raining really hard. Tom Brady and somebody were yelling back and forth a little bit, those guys were having some fun. Everybody was into it—it was a huge game, it felt like a championship game against a great team.
(On Russell Wilson taking a big hit) Same stuff that takes Earl and Richard to get back out there—we talked about his toughness a few weeks ago. He got hit pretty good, and he didn’t even bat an eye.
(On Sherman’s growth) I think Richard is just evolving, he is evolving in this station of his life. He sees things differently than he did before because he’s grown. He’s experienced a lot and has been through a lot. He is a lot responsibility and he’s gained a lot of responsibility through his notoriety and I think he’s handling it beautifully.
(On his coaching stint with the Patriots) It was a real challenge. It’s a great place to be in sports—a great town, a great following, much like it is here. Just tremendous support and all, really heartfelt, that was the old days and all of the old facilities; it wasn’t quite as nice as it now I am sure, still the whole setup was really exciting to be around they had such history. It didn’t work out—we did some good stuff while we were there, but it didn’t work out and time to move on. All of a sudden I sound like Bill.
(On the growth of the team) We’ve done a lot of stuff. We’ve had a lot of stuff come through—most of it has been team-oriented, messaging to and for our team. I have watched tremendous growth in a lot of guys. They have come out of being the young guys—they have always been leaders—but they are maturing into that sense of responsibility that is bestowed upon them. They are handling it really well. You see Kam [Chancellor] and Earl [Thomas], these guys are all growing and it’s fun watching them grow up, they are doing a really good job at it. I am proud of them at the way they are handling it. There’s a lot going on for these guys——yeah they have big contracts, but they have a lot going on—they are able to do a lot in their communities and they are doing tremendous work around here and back home. You couldn’t ask for better, well-rounded guys, they are really exciting to watch.
(On there was much decision that went into calling for an onside kick in that situation) It was all about timing, and how much time was left, and we were looking at it when we scored. We had a really good opportunity to talk it through and we talked it all the way through and we felt really good about going for the onside kick. We felt like going for it and taking a shot at it—even if you take that shot and don’t get it, you still have to stop them, just a field position shift. We’re figuring we’re going stop them no matter what. If you stop them at midfield or maybe at the 25 on the other end, that chance you weigh on whether or not you get the kick.
(On practicing the onside kick) Every week, we do it numerous times every week. There is a portion during the week when we do that.
(On Marshawn Lynch going for the touchdown and not taking a knee at the one yard line to run more time off the clock) I think he did exactly the right thing—it flashed through my mind as he broke the line of scrimmage. That’s one of those chances when you can think of it. The player should never have that conscience—he’s got to score and try to win the game to get ahead. The right thing to do is try to score. If you have a chance to win the game, you have a chance to win the game. That’s our chance and it goes to the next phase.
(On Wilson and Brady being late draft picks) Anyway, it is pretty interesting. Tom (Brady)’s past history has been so widely known and understood that what an extraordinary pick he has become, the all-time championship guy. It will be interesting in the next couple weeks—they have the commonality of being two guys that are great winners. Russell and Tom are great winners. Tom has had a long time to prove that, Russell is at the early stages of proving that to the world, but I think he’s got a chance to be similar.
(On Kam Chancellor as a leader) Kam has recognized his responsibility to be the leader. There was a time, coming out of his first year, where he played behind Lawyer Milloy, and we did that by design. Kam did a great job for us on special teams—he really almost made the fight to put him in then. After his first year we were really calling on him to take over, and he said, ‘I haven’t done anything yet. I am not worthy of using my voice.’ He has earned his way to become a tremendous aspect to this team and one that everyone looks up to and leans on—that’s the difference that I see.
(On Chancellor’s stepping into a leadership role) I am trying to get you a good answer here—I think it took some time. It has taken years of him feeling right about himself and of his position and he really wanted it to naturally evolve, and he did. He did exactly perfect; I was way ahead at the time, I was wrong, he was right.
(On Russell Wilson’s leadership) It takes a while to earn your stripes, and even in three years’ time that’s a lot to ask. He’s grown up with these guys, he’s one of the younger guys. It just takes time. I go back to the Chicago game as the most significant game he’s ever had. In our eyes as a staff, that’s when we shifted gears. That was certainly a tremendous finish in a difficult situation.
(On Dan Quinn’s candidacy for head coach positions) It comes along with good fortune, when guys get good opportunities like that. I am pretty wide open and flexible in hoping that it works out, and that it won’t be a distraction. There will be questions and stuff like that, but we have such a big mission that we are on and Dan wants nothing more than doing exactly right for what we have to do these next couple of days and the next week. He has no intention other than that, and he is dead solid on that, and that’s what we will get, but lots of questions will come out.
(On Russell Wilson’s confidence) It comes from great belief in himself… He has great confidence, and he trusts that, and he’s not going to let anything change that. His language in the fourth quarter, and on the sidelines, and in the huddle—he couldn’t be in a better place. He will tell you something about Hank Aaron, ‘I went 0-4 but I am thinking I went 4-4.’ He understands he has an inner conversation that only something good is going to happen, and he did exactly what he knew he needed to do. It wasn’t just Russell, but he did his part to make it happen.
(On the status of Justin Britt) We’ll find out. He practiced last week; he was really close. We could have dressed him for the game, but it just felt like the right thing to do, he should be fine but we will find out as we go through the practices this week.
(On the status of Jeron Johnson) He practiced as well. We felt we needed to wait—for both of those guys it should just get better for them.
(On Dan Quinn) Dan has tremendous character—he has great leadership qualities, he is an excellent communicator, he has great experience behind him, he has worked with a lot of guys who have influenced him and helped him along the way. He’s got a competitive nature that I think he conveys—look at what he’s done to our guys. He has been a fantastic guy on our staff; he works well at this level. The players totally believe him and understand what he wants—he conveys the message. I think it will be a great step for him when the time comes.
(On Marshawn Lynch getting more receptions) He’s got great hands—he’s a great natural catcher, he really is. He can catch and throw and do everything, he is just a natural athlete. Really, we have just grown in our ways of getting the ball to him more.
(On Chris Matthews) The first time he participated in special teams he really showed he was a factor. He could really be unique—he is so big for a receiver, he crossed over in some really areas that made him more valuable to us.