Here's what Pete Carroll had to say after the game:Opening…)
(On getting the running game going…) It kind of happened like we thought it would. These guys have really played tough against the run for the better part of this year, so we thought it would be hard, we knew it was hard last time we played them, and we needed to just keep plugging away. I thought Darrell and Tom did a great job of just staying with the plan and working it out and making the adjustments so that we could make some yards. I thought that Marshawn was really aggressive today, really tough today. I don’t know how many carries he got, but he was close to 100. He just fought it out the whole way and just the way we like. Russell was real efficient, he got it done. It was hard on us early, not as good as we wanted on third down but he played really well. He played a really good football game, and kept talking about that it was a championship game, let’s make sure we’re making great decisions, and taking care of all of the issues, and he did a beautiful job of that, and played off the defense today.
(On what changed from the prior St. Louis game, when they rushed for 200 yards… ) At the time, it wasn’t something we were accepting, as though here we are now, this is what we are all about. We knew we had given a game away in that regard. For the last month, whatever, for a long time, we’ve been much, much better. The guys took a lot of pride in that they didn’t want that to happen again, and I thought that the running game was as good as you could play it. You can’t play the running game better than that, throughout the day, whatever it was, 13 yards or something like that. So many great fits. I thought that Bobby Wagner played a great football game, and that’s without looking at the film. For us, the things that he needed to do in this game, to fit in and read the variety of runs that they hammered at us. And he hit so many of them at the line of scrimmage or in that backfield. That was a fantastic game for him. But, everybody played well up front, and we did a great job on the defense. It was a complete day for the defense. (On Malcolm Smith…) That was great. This one he knocked in. The difference between this week and last week, you knock that one in. Last week it might have been all the difference. Our guys were really determined to not have one of those plays end up like that. We worked really hard on our returns this week, again. Malcolm continues to come through. He’s been a great asset to us, whatever we’ve asked him to do, he’s done well, and stepping up like this to play again another really good defensive day for our group in place of K.J. A terrific illustration of him and the kind of expectations we have for guys that jump in.
(On trying to not get involved in the chippy play…) We wanted to make sure that we played with championship poise today. Great decisions and protect our team throughout the game and make the right choices and I thought we did. There was one moment in there, a really significant moment, when we got a penalty on us when they had three on them on that one play. It was too bad, but other than that, I thought the guys did a really good job, and dealt with it fine. They [the Rams] get to do whatever they want to do, but we handled it the way we wanted to today.
(On Luke Willson… ) We heard that he did not break his ankle. That’s really good news we didn’t know. So, he has a high ankle sprain is what we think we know right now.
(On the play of Byron Maxwell…) He’s been incredibly good for us. He’s earned the right to stay out there and play. Walter, who’s a really good player too, has done so many good things. Maybe more than that, he’s played so consistently across the board in all situations. He’s just been great for us, and it’s a great success story of this season, a big part of it.
(On the overall play of the offense….) I think it was hard. It was hard on us today. We were ahead, and we were up 10, and so I wasn’t really concerned about it because I could feel what the defensive day was turning out like. So, we just needed to keep at it, and stay at it and see if we could create some things. We got a couple of nice drives in there; we didn’t finish in the red zone like we’d like to. We give them respect. They’re a good defense and they’re playing really tough football. They’re allowing 3.7 a rush, and they have a great pass rush. They have the best pass rusher in the league right now. All of that, taken into account, it was a good solid day. When we run at them, and take care of the football, and play off of our D, we’re going to be a pretty good team, and that’s kind of what might take us right into these playoffs.
(On why the officials blew the play dead, before Luke Willson got hurt…) There must have been contact that was made when they came across. I don’t know that, I didn’t see it. But, that’s something we were trying to take advantage of. The throw was so cool and the catch was so cool. It would have been awesome to hit that one, but they blew it dead.
(On Brandon Mebane’s injury…) Groin. He strained his groin a little bit. It wasn’t bad, but he’ll be able to use this week to get back.
(On Jeremy Lane’s injury….) He had a shoulder, but he came back and I think he’s fine. He was not on the injury list.
(On what happened to Richard Sherman…) How about that play; it looked like piranha going after the football. He got hit in the hip, but he came back and played, so he’s OK.
(On whether he prefers to have one guy call for the ball in that situation…) No, no, we don’t do that. Everybody just goes for it, it’s a total free for all. Unfortunately, we didn’t come down with it. It would have been a great pick at the time, too, taking the points off the board.
(On Golden Tate…) He played a great football game today. I think it was one of his best games statistically. I think he had 8 catches and a bunch of yards. It was really an exciting day for us to see him come up like that and play so well. Jermaine couldn’t play today. We had him dressed up and could have used him in an emergency situation, but we were fortunate in that we didn’t have to play him. He just stepped up when he had the opportunity. I wish they had kicked him the punt that last time, everybody in the stadium was waiting for him to get that football in his hands. He’s been a magnificent player for us. He has really been a big play guy. The excitement is all around him, any time he touches the ball. He ran so well with the ball after the catch today, again, which we count on. He’s just been a great come-through guy, it was a fantastic touchdown play to finish the game off. He played a great game today.
(On Tate not taunting today…) He did a great job. He was alerted to that a couple of times during the course of the day.
Thanks a lot, Happy New Year to everybody.