The second question is me asking what he told the Seahawks in the huddle at the start of his game-winning drive today here in Charlotte, N.C.
But the Panthers’ defense wasn’t the only issue Russell Wilson met head-on Sunday.
Of all the unsubstantiated reports and innuendo floating around the Seahawks the last two weeks – including one report by ESPN and another by NFL.com Sunday morning that cited anonymous sources saying the Seahawks are tired of Marshawn Lynch’s act and the running back is on his way out of Seattle after this season -- none was more startling than a Bleacher Report article by veteran national writer Mike Freeman last week.
It claimed some Seahawks don’t think their quarterback is “black enough.”
That, to Wilson, was most puzzling.
“In terms of me, ‘not black enough’ thing, I don’t even know what that means,” Wilson said moments after he led the 80-yard drive that ended with his 23-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson that beat Carolina 13-9.
“I believe that I am an educated young male that is not perfect, that tries to do things right. That just tries to lead and tries to help other and tries to win games for this football team, for this franchise.
“And that’s all I focus on. … I think, for us, there are no distractions at all. I think it was people trying to find ways to knock us down.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll agreed all the “noise,” as Wilson calls it, has remained on the outside of the team – and thus doesn’t matter to it.
“We have no problem. No problem,” Carroll said. “Whatever the conversation is, that’s the job of the media to try to figure stuff out. That’s not what’s going on here. I have no problem. It was not a distraction at all. Our guys don’t care about what’s being said.
Asked what he thinks the level of support is for Wilson in the locker room, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said: "We support him. He has done his job."
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin did acknowledge the Seahawks’ players have ears and eyes -- and thus did see and hear the reports.
“Obviously we are human. But as true competitors we have the ability to block out most of that and overcome it,” Baldwin said. “We are human. We are affected emotionally … in different ways. Obviously, those things said may creep into the ears of guys in this locker room. But we have resiliency and a competitive nature, to go out there no matter what’s being said, to go out and fight.
“It’s not so much trying to prove everyone else wrong. It’s trying to prove ourselves right.”
--Very impressive of the Panthers to have a moment of silence just before today's National Anthem to remember Friday’s shootings at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. That was all class.
--Here's all of what Carroll had to say after the Seahawks improved to 4-3 heading into home games against Oakland (0-7) and the New York Giants (3-4) the next two weekends:RE: On the win
Really good tough win today. Really happy for everybody.Hard fought game. Had to wait it out, be patient, keep just clawing and scratching, but when it came down to the pitch of it both sides had to get it done. Offense goes 80 yards in nine plays and puts up the score that we’ve been waiting on all day and then when the defense had to do it at the end they just rose to the occasion. A beautiful job of rushing the passer and really just elevated to the moment. We needed a good tough game like this, a tough win. It’s just good for us. We’re proud to get this one and go back home and get started this week.
RE: Winning games with defense
We don’t have any problems playing games like that with our defense, quality-wise. They’re just good and patient and strong about it. They stayed with it – stayed with the game plan and just waited it out. It’s not a big deal
RE: Thinking field goal on final drive?
We were talking touchdown the whole time. We hoped we could go for it if we got the chance and even thinking about we were in four down mode as we were getting there. We weren’t thinking about kicking the ball and waiting it out or anything like that. We were going to try to see if we could find a way to win. It was a great job. A great call on the sidelines for the winning touchdown and a great execution by Russell (Wilson) to make that play and get the score.
RE: On the pass rush on the final drive
It was a great finish. That’s why I’m so proud of my defense because the finish was my surge and that’s how we like to see it and when the opportunity is there to win the football game and the pass rush is unstoppable that’s a beautiful thing to see.
RE: What was different about the touchdown?
I don’t know if it was different. We started moving the ball and went down and turned the ball over on 3rd and 1, messed up the exchange and we’d moved the ball. Felt OK about moving it so we weren’t surprised by it.
RE: On Kevin Norwood’s catch
I don’t know how he caught the football. I mean the timing on the rush was so on and the timing – Kevin was just a hair behind it, but somehow the ball stuck on him which was a really cool play, but those guys have been practicing with us long enough we don’t think of them as young guys. Here we are mid-season and those guys are playing kind of like that. I was hoping that’s how it would turn our for us.
RE: Concerning chemistry in the locker room
The things that have been said have been said on the outside. We have no problem. No problem. Whatever the conversation is that’s the job of the media to try to figure stuff out. That’s not what’s going on here. I have no problem. It was not a distraction at all. Our guys don’t care about what’s being said. We’ve been prepared all year that there would be stuff like this, there would be controversy, there would be storylines that would try to get in between us. We’re fine. That isn’t the adversity. The adversity is we’re 3-3. That’s the adversity. We haven’t played as well as we wanted to. We had three really close games that we didn’t finish and we needed to finish a football game. Again, that’s why we’re so proud to take this one on the road today.
RE: Robert Turbin’s play
Robert had a really nice day in a couple of different areas. It was great to see Christine Michael jump in there too. Marshawn (Lynch) really ran hard, but it was a mixture of all those guys that got it done. The catch and the really cool play by Russell to flip the ball to Tharold (Simon) that turned into a big play. You know that’s just guys playing together and feeling comfortable. Sometimes stuff happens in practice and it looks like how will we ever do that. We’ve done that a lot of times before. But really I just thought all those guys played like they’ve been playing and did really well.
RE: Alvin Bailey
It looked a little shaky when both guards went down, but everybody jumped back up. Tom (Cable) was kind of making it up and drawing it in the dirt for a second there. Sweez (J.R. Sweezy) came back and helped us out. It was great to see Alvin get his play time
RE: Malcolm Smith injury
Malcolm tugged his groin or something. Might have had a cramp because he came back and played. I thought Kevin Pierre-Louis did some really cool things today. Really kind of the first time and I don’t know all of it, but he flashed to me two or three times and showed the great speed on open field tackle that he made, blitzed really well a couple of times too, so that was great to see that.
RE: How did you keep Cam Newton under wraps?
I think our guys…Dan Quinn does a great job scheme-wise to make sure it doesn’t become easy for them because sometimes their plays can look so easy, there can be so much space on the QB reads and stuff like that. Our guys stayed right with it and for the most part kept that under wraps so that didn’t become an issue. We’ve been able to do that consistently and that’s really Dan getting the guys ready and having a real good mindset on how to do that, but if you think we kept him under wraps I thought he was all over the place today. Some phenomenal plays by him. We had the sack for the safety and you could win the game by two points right there, but he’s just a monster of an athlete and got out of there and makes things happen. We’re very, very impressed with his play again today. As always, we couldn’t respect the guy more than we do.
RE: On the fumbled exchange
Unfortunately, we did a little something on the snap and made a bad decision on how we did the snap and gave them the football. I couldn’t tell. It looked like he kind of jammed the ball in a little bit, really hustled the ball into Marshawn (Lynch) too hard for him to probably catch it. That was unfortunate because there was more scores on the board so that game became a very close football game because we couldn’t capitalize there.
RE: Defense early
To keep the score at six all day long, they did the same thing, but for us it was huge. To make a field goal from 58 yards and feel like you’re back in the game, you know that’s what happened because we had played so well on defense and kept them from scoring. We can play better. We’ll do better. This team is still growing in this season and hopefully we’ll show that as we turn the corner at the halfway point.
RE: Wilson in 4th quarter
He truly is an extraordinary player in the 4th quarter. He finds a way to make the play that we need to make, the couple of runs he made were huge. That’s just Russell. He’s utilizing a lot of guys. A lot of guys contributed. He got the ball to Cooper right off the bat and he makes a first down. Then he goes to Norwood and he makes a first down. The ball was spread all over the place. He’s able to be the point guard and he’s doing a great job of that.
RE: Luke Willson scoring play
I didn’t get to see that hit but I heard he got crunched by (Luke) Kuechly. I don’t know about that one. It was great that he had the opportunity to make the play and came through for a big catch. Luke (Willson) has done a nice job stepping in for Zach (Miller). It’s hard to take a guy who’s such a stellar pro in Zach and miss him for this time but Luke has jumped at the opportunity and played first rate football. We’re going to continue to go to him. He’s a really good player.
RE: Going into locker room with a win
It felt pretty good. I particularly like the way we did it. We fought so hard in so many areas and came through across the board and share the feeling of the accomplishment against a good football team in a tough situation. We were up against it all day long. We didn’t leave until we got it done at the end. It was great. If you think there’s distractions, you’re wrong. You’re wrong. We’re playing football. We’re in it and we’re going for it.