[caption id="attachment_9570" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at Qwest Field in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. Ingrid Barrentine/Staff photographer"][/caption]HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
(Opening… ) This was a day to remember. The opportunity to play against the world champs like that, it was an extraordinary opportunity for us. Today was just unbelievably energetic, electric day in the stadium; I’m sure around the town, too. Our fans and our players played together today in a way that gave us a chance to beat a championship club. Even though the score wasn’t as much where we would like it, it was a great football game, and a game that was highlighted by guys that believed. It was 10-0, and that’s a tough crew over there. And it was 17-7. There were so many chances to just say, ‘ah ok, not today, we’re just lucky to be here,’ and all that kind of stuff. For whatever reason, our football team, two weeks ago, has believed that we’re going to win a game that we were anticipating, and they believed that we were going to win today. It didn’t matter what I said to them, or what was said outside, and all of the story lines, and all that, they just did not buy it. Where that came from? If I knew that, we’d have something special here. It came out of an attitude and it came out of a faith in one another. We put together a great day today. I thought that Matt Hasselbeck was ridiculously good today. I’m so proud of him coming back like that, and playing just incredible football. Throw after throw, so many big throws and big catches and runs, the whole thing. This day was just a marvelous day of football, it just jumped out. The guys protected up front great, we ran the football today, we had balance, we threw for 270-something, we rushed for what, 150 or whatever the heck it was. Fantastic balance, like we liked to see, like we needed in a game like this. I think Marshawn’s run reminded me of Steve Young’s run against the Vikings years ago. I don’t know, maybe I got it a little overrated there, but it was one of the greatest runs I ever saw. At the time when you needed it most, it was just an incredible play. I’m sure that everybody will remember that run forever; for people who were at that game, it was one of those moments. So, we’re thrilled about that. On defense, we just didn’t want them to beat us up top and score fast, so we rope-a-doped all day long today, and held on to it, and knowing they had a running back situations, we knew they were going to throw the ball a lot, and we just tried to keep it in front of us as much as we could. Drew had a great game, he threw for a ton and all that, but we played good redzone defense, we forced a couple of field goals when we had to, and it made a difference in the football game. We were fortunate that we ran the clock after they didn’t get the ball back. A lot of great stuff. It’s funny, I’m so calm about this. You’d all think that I’d be all pumped up and jacked up, but there’s just a calm about it, I’m just so proud to be part of this thing and see these guys come through like this and we’re done; we’re talking about next week already. It’s very exciting, and we’re thrilled about it. We had a couple of injuries. Ben Obomanu dislocated his shoulder; he came back and played. How he did that I have no idea, and he played well when he came back. And then Lofa got hit in the head, and he has a concussion and we’ll have to deal with that. But other than that, we made it out ok. So, we’ll check on those guys.
(On what he said to Hasselbeck after the interception…) I thought because it’s happened before and we’ve been on the subject of it and the topic, when I got to him on the sidelines, I just said, ‘we’re down a little bit, and we don’t have to do anything special.’ And he was like ‘I got it, I know. I gotcha.’ We’ve been through it so much. There was so much game left, we wanted to just stay within it and see if we could find a rhythm, which we did. It was a great example for us and illustration of how you do it, and the belief that we could get it done, his own self, without trying too hard. It’s really been when he’s pressed and pushed to bring the game back outside of the lines. He’s just done a marvelous job of staying within himself today and he threw the ball great and he ran the club and did everything we needed to do.
(On the play of the offense…) I just thought that we matched up ok, and we felt very good about the matchups that we were going to face, even though they are so loaded. We just felt like we had a chance, and we did. The fact that we were able to run the ball as well; we’ve gotten better the last couple of weeks. Maybe it’s Tyler coming in, or whatever. I don’t know what changed. I know that Russell has played better, I know that. It was really a matchup game, where we thought we were okay, and it turned out alright. I was thinking about shootouts, or that we could do this or that. We were just going to go play football and see what happens.
(On the passing game by the offense…) Our guys had no hesitation that we could pass pro. Matt did it pretty good last time, so we believed in that. It’s a different game; you don’t know. It’s just a combination of things that have come together at a time that this team has fought to believe, and it just didn’t matter. We felt we could move it, we felt we could stop them, and if we could keep them from scoring fast we’d have a chance in the game, and that’s kind of what happened.
(On Raheem Brock…) I think his experience is really paying off. He’s a tremendous high-motor player, and he just keeps bringing great effort, and when you do that good things happen. He’s got Clem on the other side so you can’t really zero in on one guy. I don’t know what his numbers were today, but he plays with such great intensity. He exemplifies the type of effort that we want our guys to play with, and good things happen when you play that hard.
(On getting the ball with 4 minutes left…) The whole game, it just felt like we were going to win it. I know it didn’t look like that, but I felt we could make the right choice and the right decision. I messed up the field goal thing because I was so hot about the pass interference no-call, that I missed that up and we had to punt the ball there. The whole game, it was kind of a calm, poised approach by the whole crew. I think that everybody felt good, and that comes from confidence. You may wonder where do we get that confidence after the season we put up, but they’re feeling it, and they understand it right now, and they know what it takes to play good football, and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing right now. It just doesn’t, so it’s very exciting.
(On having confidence in Marshawn Lynch…) He missed some of the lessons that we hammered at home during camp and all that. He was fighting against the pull of the football, and it really didn’t come up today. There was one in front of our bench that he did a nice job of. But, we have great confidence in him. Those are the situations, I understand how it happened, it wasn’t like it was something that was going to happen again. I think he learned. What a marvelous day he had, just fighting every inch of the way. He had terrific runs today; he hit the big power play, it was really cool. His finish. Even at the end of the game, we were just running off tackle to use all the time up, and he was making yards there, too. He had to protect the ball there, and he was perfect about doing that as well. He has good command and control with what we’re trying to do with the football.
(On his motivation approach this week, did he mention that people said the team didn’t belong…) I never mentioned that one time. That just doesn’t fit in the way we talk. If we used that kind of a motivational vehicle, then what would we use next week, and what would we use the week after that? Then you’re talking about this coach, or this player, or the matchup or the 10 year history. I don’t do any of that. It’s really important for us to understand that we’re the ones we’re dealing with. We have to control what we do. It doesn’t matter what’s going on out there; if anything, I don’t want to talk about any of that. I did say to them, that this is going to be the story line. This is what you’re going to hear. I saw Drew interviewed today, and he mentioned all of the things about the travel and all that stuff. That was the story line of this game, but our guys, they couldn’t even tell you all that stuff. Because, we don’t want to use outside things to motivate us. We’re motivated to perform really well and playing the way we’re capable of playing, and that is a great standard to live by, and it is what allows us to deal with all the stuff going on. We are not going to be intimidated by whomever we play or wherever we go. I promise you we’re not, it’s not going to happen. These guys understand better than that that that’s not the factors. We’re not going to be motivated to set some record, or whatever. It’s just going to be about this week. It takes a long time to get into their heads and their mentalities so they buy in. It’s funny that when we needed it the very most, it seems like we’re just as together as we could be. I don’t care how it got there, the fact that it’s there is cool and we’re going to go on and take on the next one and see what happens.
(On the reaction after falling behind 10-0…) We’ve been preaching all along that it doesn’t matter how you start, and everybody wants to start fast and all that, but it doesn’t matter how you start. Last week we scored first and the game went on, there was a bunch of plays after that. It did not phase us in the slightest. That’s why I went right to Matt to make sure he was clear about it, and he was perfect about it and we just went back to work and there was a lot of game left. You would think that when it was 10-0, and then they came back and made it 17-7, oh shoot, okay, that was a nice start and you got a touchdown but now they’re going to go and roll on you, but that’s not what anybody was thinking. We’re very clear about that, and we stayed very poised and composed about it and just kept playing football.
(On when it was 17-7, and you stopped them 3 and out, did something change on defense…) No, we finally stopped them. We couldn’t stop them the first few times they had the football. They are a notorious start-fast team. I did mention that to those guys once, that they are pretty good in starting games, they’re pretty famous for. But, we already had that in our mindsets, it was not part of our thinking, and we just kept playing football.
(On the team’s attitude…) I think what’s clear to me is that we have a bunch of guys that are really together on how we think and how we approach our opportunities, and they realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with what’s outside. It has to do with what we do. The lessons in the last two weeks are so clear about that. They way we performed last week and the way came back this week, that they’re starting to own it, and that’s what makes you powerful. I’ve said to these guys since the first day we ever got here, we want to own the NFC West. Look how powerful it is to be a division champion; you play at home on this day. It gives you that opportunity to capitalize on it. The fact that we’re all together on it, has really given us a belief and a confidence that you’re all on the outside are surprised out. But, these guys in this locker room, it’s all the points that really matter right now.
(On trying to establish a mindset…) It’s about how you finish. One of the greatest lessons for us in sports is that it’s about how you finish, and ain’t about how you start. As you look at our season, we’re in the finish, now. This is finish time, and how are we doing. It’s coming through. It’s coming to life for us. The more that happens good, the more that they feel it, the stronger we get. I don’t know where we’re playing next, but I can’t wait to get there.
(On whether it matters to the team who they play next week…) They don’t even know the scenarios, we never even mentioned it. They don’t need to know, it doesn’t matter. I told them that they have the day off tomorrow, watch TV and we’ll see you on Monday, and we’ll find out what’s up. They’ll tell us what’s going on.
(On whether it matters to him who they play next…) No, I could care less. I don’t even know the scenarios, and I know you think that’s crazy, but I don’t know what’s going on. And, it doesn’t matter. I just know that we show up on Monday, and we’ll figure out where we’re going.
(On the importance of home field advantage, and the talk about changing the playoff seeding…) I can’t help you.