Richard Sherman had a little bit of fun yesterday talking about the Raiders and rookie quarterback Derek Carr; they will be in Seattle for Sunday's 1:25 p.m. game at CenturyLink Field.
Carr won Oakland's starting job by shredding the Seahawks' first- and second-team defenses Aug. 28 in the exhibition finale at the Oakland Coliseum. A backup to former Houston starter Matt Schaub at the time, the second-round draft choice from Fresno State completed 11 of 13 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns while playing the first quarter and one drive of the second period.
As Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said yesterday: "He tore us up. Came in boldly, and they didn’t just kind of dink it around; they showed that they had some belief that he could be a down-the-field guy."
"He's not afraid to take shots. He's a gunslinger," Sherman said.
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I asked the All-Pro cornerback yesterday if he was surprised that Carr went right at him and the NFL's top pass defense last season -- Seattle's 28 interceptions led the league -- in what was his first pro start.
"I'm not really surprised, at all. I mean, he doesn't know any better," Sherman said with a smile you can see on the video above.
Sherman said he expects Carr and Oakland to throw the ball down the field at him and his defensive secondary again Sunday.
"They've got nothing to lose -- obviously," Sherman said of the winless Raiders.
He seemed to wait for another laugh on that one.
--Here is my story that ran in today's News Tribune on how wowed the Seahawks players and coaches say they still are over the visit to team headquarters Tuesday of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School football team. The Tomahawks practiced at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Tuesday, four days after the shooting in that school's cafeteria killed three students and seriously wounded two others.
"It brought me joy,” Sherman said. “It brings you joy to see yourself being able to change someone’s day like that, to bring a smile to somebody’s day who has obviously been frowning and crying and having a lot of sadness. Just to be able to change the momentum of their day for a little bit, to make them smile, to make them happy, to bring them a little bit of joy.”
"It was incredibly unique. You can never picture yourself in that position. You can sympathize with them to a degree, but you’ve never been in their shoes,” Sherman said. “So at that point, you just want to do anything you can to help them forget about that moment, to help them kind of live in the present, live in this moment and experience a little joy — whatever you can do to help them feel a little bit of joy and to just zone out for a minute. Because when you have a tragedy like that, you want to do anything to get your mind off of it.”
--Today's Seahawks Notebook in the TNT leads with the new, 285-pound vanguard for Marshawn Lynch, fullback Will Tukuafu. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Tukuafu may play Sunday, and he has the potential to bring the Seahawks' offense back to being based on Lynch's power running. Heck, Seattle may even now get back to something called the I formation. Remember that relic?
The notebook story also details linebackers coach Ken Norton saying undrafted rookie Brock Coyle is readying to make his first NFL start Sunday against the Raiders at middle linebacker. Malcolm Smith's injury is forcing K.J. Wright, who has been filling in inside for injured Bobby Wagner, back outside this week. That is leaving Coyle with this shot to show again why he was, as Norton put it, "the surprise of the summer."
--Columnist Dave Boling caught up with former Seahawks Dave Wyman and Paul Johns to reminisce over the old Raiders-Seahawks AFC West rivalry that raged for 25 years, until Seattle moved to the NFC West for the 2002 season.
Do you still have a Raiders Buster T-shirt?
--My good friend Steve Corkran of the Bay Area News Group wrote about how Carr has been targeting other teams' top cornerbacks all season.
"If I were just to eliminate one side of a play or a progression, I'm hurting us," Carr told Corkran, "and I can't do that. I've got to be able to trust that our guys will make the plays against whoever is guarding them. But I promise you, I know where those guys are at all times as soon as I break the huddle."
--Here is the video of the start of Carroll's comments yesterday:
--Here is what Carroll and Sherman said yesterday, in printed form:Head Coach Pete Carroll
October 29, 2014
(Opening) We’ve been on the road for a while and it’s good to come home. It’s good to be coming home to CenturyLink so the guys are real tuned in today—ready to get this week going and try to continue to make a move to get better. Raiders coming in—this has been a team that has had a big transition with coaching change during this season, which is always a big deal, and they’ve played really hard and really tough and they’ve been in every game and we’ve seen them play really good against really good teams so we’re going to get loaded up for a really good ball game and expect their best. The emergence of Derek Carr throwing the football has really, I’m sure, sparked them—he’s looked terrific. He had a fantastic San Diego game and he threw about fifty or so times last week. So they’re really committed to him and you can see why. He’s really equipped—we saw him in preseason and he tore us up and they’ve got our attention surely back from preseason ball. We’re going to get ready for a big week and we’re excited about it.
(On what he saw from Derek Carr in the preseason game) He hit everything—he tore us up, came in boldly and they didn’t just kind of dink it around; they showed that they had some belief that he could be a down the field guy. They certainly have gone that way—their receivers have been on fire. We saw him move, we saw him throw the deep ball, we saw him throw some timing-quick stuff underneath, and he just show a lot of poise. He’s demonstrated that now—he’s got good numbers right now.
(On Zach Miller & Bobby Wagner injury status) What I can tell you is that Zach had a real good meeting back with the doctors back in North Carolina. I talked to him in the training room today—this is the best he’s ever felt by far. He made a big jump from the treatment that they did over the weekend. So that’s a real positive sign—the first really good positive sign that we’ve had and he was really encouraged by that. Bobby got a good report—he’s staging along and moving ahead but neither one of those guys are going to make it this week.
(On roster moves) We’ve moved up L.J. Fort and we signed Will Tukuafu to come in and play fullback for us—see how he does. L.J’s going to play on defense for us and he’s been a linebacker at Denver the last time we saw him on film and he was in a week ago—we liked what he did so with the necessity of Malcolm [Smith] being banged up, we thought we needed to do that.
(On Malcolm Smith being out) We don’t know that yet.
(On Byron Maxwell & Max Unger injury status) Max is going to practice today. We’ll see how far he goes and how he tolerates it so that’s real encouraging for him. He’s excited about it—he looked real good in the walk through stuff we’ve done. We won’t know until we get through the week and how he tolerates the work load as always but that’s positive. Byron is making big improvements—he’s really getting close and I don’t want to rule him out for this week; we’ll see how he does and we’ll see what happens. Those guys are going day to day right now—seeing how they can tolerate work.
(On traps of playing an 0-7 team) Anytime you play a team that’s been struggling, you can look at them and say, ‘ok they’re not playing good ball.’ The film doesn’t show that—they’ve had turnover problems that have caused their issues for the most part but they’ve played really tough on defense. They’re only allowing 3.7 a rush. With the front—it’s a tough, stout front. Teams have tried to rush the ball at them so they’ve done a good job there. They show real explosive, dynamic throwing game right now and we have to be ready for that. So hopefully all of that makes enough sense. However, that doesn’t really have anything to do with it—it’s really us getting ready. We have to take each week as a championship week and we have to prepare like that and we do that by doing it today. We take care of today and then we move to the next one. If we do that right, then we’ll be ready to play this game.
(On him using the Tampa Bay game from last year as a reference to the team) That example’s been a really big example for us. Not so much this week because we thought we woke up in terms of fundamental football and doing the basics of this game better than we had prior to that. So that was a big wake up call for us and we’ve utilized that so it’s been kind of a topical conversation for us to stay with the fundamentals and to stay with it and not lose our game so it was about this time, couple weeks from now—maybe a week from now, last year that we struggled in that game—that’s the only similarity. We’ve got to continue to find our fundamentals regardless of where it is and who it is—hopefully we can do that.
(On Kevin Pierre-Louis) He did really well—he played very well. He had some exciting plays—he’s real fast and he played real fast. He looked fast in the field, good in the open field—blitzed really well as we’ve said and he’ll be part of the plan if Malcolm [Smith] can’t go this week.
(On what Kevin Pierre-Louis needs to get better at) He’s just got to learn the game. He’s really a diligent kid. He really stays after it—it’s really important to him. He’s made very good strides—he was hampered by being banged up. That’s the only thing—it was just time. So he has to get out there and make sense of the game plan and make sense of the opponent’s style and fit things up right. So really it’s a matter of consistency right now—we really think he could play. We don’t have any question that he can be a factor and help us.
(On getting Kevin Pierre-Louis involved even if Malcolm Smith can play) We’re trying to get everyone rotated at this point. We want everyone that’s dressed to play if we can do it and that can do it and utilize the whole roster—so that applies to it too.
(On blitzing more) We’re trying to find our times to be effective pressuring—we probably pressured more than you think but sometimes it’s not as effective. It showed up—our pressure was really effective last week. We didn’t have to go after it a lot but also I think it freed us up with four man rush too—it helped us. I think they were looking for some things and we got a good jump, a good edge rush, and our guys made a difference in the game so hopefully we’ll get the right mix so we can continue to feel that.
(On Will Tukuafu jumping into fullback right away) We’ll find out—he hasn’t practiced with us yet. I don’t know—he’s a big man at 280 pounds playing fullback. It’s why we wanted to do it—I think it was an opportunity to get a physical addition to what we do on offense and I’m hoping that he’ll fit in.
(On Will Tukuafu playing defense at some point as well) Absolutely.
(On Richard Sherman doing punt returns) It depends—it depends on who’s available. Really, we were going to go with Doug [Baldwin] last week and Doug needed a break at the time and he jumped in to relieve to help us out. He’s not, in our minds, the guy that’s going back to return punts all the time but he is a guy that does a great job of all the situations and knows what’s happening. He’s as well schooled as any of the guys that haven’t been catching punts and he pulled it off last week.
(On how much does he lean towards the veteran guys with a young team) I don’t think any differently—our guys have been with us long enough. Our guys have been through all of the process and I don’t think we need to have anybody step into a leadership role that hasn’t been—I think we’re just asking our guys to continue. Our guys fit in—like I said, maybe it was Monday, our young guys feel like they’re part of it and they feel like we don’t have to look over our shoulders at these guys and see what these guys are doing—they’re in it or we wouldn’t be playing them. So the time that it’s taken to get to that point has been valuable and when they step in they play like the regulars.
(On Bryan Walters update) He’s practicing today so he’s back.
(On James Carpenter injury) He was out today—he feels ok so looks like he’s going to be alright.
(On Jeron Johnson) He’s got to go through the protocol so it’ll be all the way through the week until they make the determination.
(On decisions about punt return now that Bryan Walters is back) Yes—we’ll find out but it was great to see Paul Richardson get his couple shots at kickoff return and showed us something special. So he’s definitely in the running—I would not mind at all to have Paul back there and we’ll see how Bryan Walters makes it through the week.
(On risk-reward ratio of Paul Richardson returning punts) It’s really a factor that we factored into the decision of who’s going or not. When they’re giving us the football by kicking it to us, we want to make sure that we wind up with it—that’s huge. So that’s a big concern for us—more so to me than the yardage that you might be able to make with the return and that’s why Bryan has been such a great asset because he’s so sure handed and he knows all the situations and he’s gifted at it. When you develop a guy that you can trust, and he’s doing a good job back there handling the ball and he’s got special skills too—it’s going to be competitive. So we’re in a good situation right now back there.
(On playing more hurry up offense) It’s always in our conversation—it really is. We have done some good things there and we function well and it’s available to us anytime that we need it. There’s the kind of different modes to it—it’s when you’re in a desperation two minutes and you’re going as fast as you possibly can. When you have three or four minutes, then it’s a whole different situation on how you handle it. So even in those situations, [Darrell] Bevell and Russell [Wilson] are really working out the calls there. Russell has to call some of them, Bev can call when the opportunity is there—seems like it’s a good mode for us and we don’t hesitate to go to it.
(On Eric Pinkins) He’s been working real hard—he’s in great shape now since he’s been with us. He didn’t report in the greatest of shape and his conditioning has really elevated since he’s been with us; He’s stronger so he’s doing a good job—he’s getting a lot of work too so we’ll have a good evaluation. We have one more week to check him out.
(On Eric Pinkins playing corner or Safety) Safety.
(On the attributes of Paul Richardson) He’s really a natural athlete, natural catcher—he’s got real tremendous confidence in his own ability to make the catches. He’ll challenge to make every catch; low balls, high balls, and in trouble with the DB—he’s really good at it. He’s got fantastic speed and he’s got special agility too because he’s so light on his feet that he can get in and out of breaks really well. So he really has all of that stuff and he’s smart too—he’s gets the game and it makes sense to him. He’s a speed guy because he’s so elusive in and out of his breaks so he’s got a real style to him.
(On hosting Marysville-Pilchuck football team) That was an amazing experience—a bunch of our guys jumped up to come out and meet them and coaches were all there and people from the 3rd floor in the building went over to greet them. It was an amazing experience to feel their gratitude—they were most grateful for the opportunity to be here. Obviously the Seahawks are a big deal—to see them react to Richard Sherman coming out and they see Earl Thomas—see all those guys; Bobby Wagner—those guys all greet them; shaking hands and taking picture and having fun with them, it was tremendous. As always the case, both sides received a lot out of that kind of exchange. Our guys were really moved by their energy and their enthusiasm. They have a lot of responsibility on them and they’re kind of carrying the spirit for their area. They’re at somewhat of a rallying point I would think, and they’re really up for the challenge. Coach [Brandon] Carson seems to have those guys disciplined and tuned in—it was really exciting to see. I think, I know I said it but just to make the mention again, Oak Harbor’s making the gesture to recognize them, that opportunity and to make a great choice and give those guys the opportunity to stay in the playoff hunt—that was really tremendous. I think they’re going to come see us next week, which we’re thrilled to be able to exchange with those guys. It does speak to the power of sport and how it is such a unifying element in our culture and you can just see it. In this local community, I know that they’ll be a big factor in how everybody comes back to their normal life. So it was very powerful.
CB Richard Sherman
October 29, 2014
(On what he saw from Raiders QB Derek Carr when the Seahawks faced them in preseason and where he has progressed to now) Well he’s gotten a lot more reps. He’s got a lot more experience under his belt. He’s not afraid to take shots. He’s a gun slinger. They’ve made him throw the ball a little bit more in these past couple of games. Obviously, I don’t know if that has something to do with the score or schematically. But they’ve done a good job. He’s done a good job of taking care of the ball for the most part.
(On how surprised he was that rookie QB Derek Carr threw right at you and everybody else in the preseason season game) I’m not really surprised at all. I mean he doesn’t really know any better. If you don’t know any better, you don’t know better, you know.
(On if he expects that again Sunday from Derek Carr) Yeah, he’s been slinging the ball around. I mean, I don’t think he thinks about who’s guarding anybody or anything like that, he just slings it. He’s got nothing to lose, obviously.
(On Pete Carroll saying that the Raiders might be 0-7 but when you watch their film, it doesn’t look that way and if he agrees with that) Yeah, I agree with that. They have talent, they have talent. They’re in just about every game they’ve lost. If you look at the San Diego game and San Diego is a pretty good team, they had a good chance to win that game early on. The Cleveland game was a lot closer until they got a few late touchdowns. I think anytime a team is like that, anything can happen on any given Sunday.
(On if the similar situation with Tampa coming in last year is brought up a lot) No, it’s not brought up at all, truthfully. Pete hasn’t brought it up. It’s not something that you think about. You go out there and play the game. You prepare for every opponent. It’s another championship opportunity. Obviously what happened in the past, win, lose or draw, doesn’t matter in this game so that’s how we will treat it.
(On if there are any lessons that he takes from that Tampa game last year) Not really, I mean you play ball. Anything can happen on any given Sunday. Nothing can be taken from that that can’t be taken from any other game that we play, win, lose or draw. I think guys just have to go out there and execute like we always do.
(On what his thoughts are on where the team is at this point in the season) I think we’re fine. We are a confident bunch. I think we’re in the same spot we were last year and the year before. Guys treat it 1-0 every week. That’s all you’re trying to do. You’re trying to be 1-0 this week, 1-0 next week and not letting the past games influence how you play this game. I think that’s what guys are doing and that’s our mindset.
(On if after getting the win last week by coming back at the end there is any different feeling this week then there was a week ago because you didn’t get that) No, not at all. Not at all. Like I said, it’s a championship week and it’s 1-0 every week. Win, lose or draw in the previous week doesn’t affect the next outcome so guys don’t think about it. You don’t think, ‘Aw man, we came back, we had a good game, we won’. You just think, ‘We’re preparing for another great team and we will figure out what they do well and what they don’t do well and try to play to our strengths and win this one’.
(On if he thinks the defense is closer to syncing up now at this stage after last week’s game) I think we’re getting close to where we are. But I mean anytime you’re as banged up as we are, it’s going to be hard to have continuity. Guys are playing hard. Guys have been playing hard all season. Obviously, like I said before, the balls haven’t been bouncing our way. We haven’t gotten the breaks. We got a few more last week than we usually get but still, guys are playing hard and playing with great effort and letting the chips fall where they may.
(On at what point in the season he starts to look around at the division and see how everyone else is doing and look at the standings) At the end. At the end of the season. Like I said, the chips are going to fall the way they may and you’ll see who’s in and who’s out.
(On if he keeps an eye on Arizona and how they’re doing right now in the division) Not really, not really, I mean because it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter at this point. It doesn’t matter until the season is over. There have been teams that start 5-1 and end 1-6, 1-7 and don’t go to the playoffs. There are teams that start 1-3 and end up 13-3 or 12-4 and so at this point, it really doesn’t matter. Everybody can say what they want and watch this and watch that but at the end of the day, until the final week, standings don’t matter.
(On if he had any sort of reaction when he saw that six of the last seven games are against teams that finished with 10 wins or more last year) No, I didn’t really care. It doesn’t matter what happened last year. It doesn’t matter.
(On does having continuity on the field and on game day make a difference for the defense) Truthfully it doesn’t. You don’t really notice it until after the game. You go out there and you play hard. Guys fit in. You don’t notice guys are going until you go out there and look on the film and you see, ‘Oh man, he said that on that play because everybody is so locked in’.
(On with the depth issues, how he played on both sides of the field and what is the difference in that for him) It’s no real difference, truthfully. I mean you go to the other side of the field, you play the same coverages, doing the same things.
(On if there is any different footwork or if he stands different when he goes to the other side of the field) No, I stand up straight up in front of him. I mean you stand the same way and I’ve done it a few times throughout my career when we’ve needed it. I did it in 2012, I did it in 2013 and I’ve done it in 2014. Whenever we need it, I do what the team needs me to do and whatever helps us win games.
(On how much of an opportunity it is now to come home for two weeks before the stretch in November) Every opportunity is a good opportunity. You want to get on a run. You want to get some games under your belt, some wins, and I mean this is as good of an opportunity as any.
(On how the experience yesterday was with the Marysville-Pilchuck football team) It was incredibly unique. I mean you can never picture yourself in that position. You can sympathize with them to a degree. But you’ve never been in their shoes so at that point you want to do anything you can to help them forget about that moment, to help them live in the present, live in this moment and experience a little joy, whatever you can do to help them feel a little bit of joy and just zone out for a minute because when you have a tragedy like that, you want to do anything to get your mind off of it.
(On if they seemed like a football team mentally and emotionally) Well they were kind of shocked to see us a little bit. But they seemed like some excited kids. They seemed like for a moment in time they forgot about everything that happened and everything that was going on and were able to enjoy the moment and take pictures and smile and laugh and have a good time. Obviously, the reality of the situation is what it is and it’s going to be a tough road getting back to normality for them but I’m glad we could take a little stress off them.
(On what he was able to take away from the experience, seeing that kind of spirit) I think it brought me joy. It brings you joy just to see yourself being able to change someone’s day like that. To bring a smile to someone’s day who has obviously been frowning and crying and having a lot of sadness, just to be able to change the momentum of their day for a little bit – to make them smile, to make them happy, to bring them a little bit of joy.
(On Earl Thomas saying the team may have taken home field advantage for granted in the game against Dallas and how he feels about that and what he has learned from that coming back home) I don’t know about that. I don’t know how you take it for granted. But I mean guys played hard. Guys play hard, home or away and sometimes, like I said, the chips fall where they may. In that game, a few plays, 3rd & 27 or something like that and [Tony] Romo spins out and avoids a sack and tosses up a prayer and it’s answered. Plays like that happened in that game and I don’t think that had anything to do with taking it for granted, like I said, the ball just bounces that way sometimes.
(On if heard Earl Thomas lobbying for sack in last week’s game and if he still is talking about that) I didn’t hear it but I thought it was a sack. They announced as it as a sack. I was pretty happy for him. I was excited for him. It’s hard enough just tackling Cam [Newton], diagnosing run or pass. It looked like the receivers were kind of going out for routes, they weren’t blocking so I think there’s an argument to be had there and I’d love for him to get a sack and I think he deserves it. I don’t know if the NFL is watching. They’re not watching to see if we call sacks, they’re just watching to see if they can take any more of our money today. You know how that goes. They don’t care about stats.