Seahawks Insider Blog

Carroll: 'It's a good start'

Here's everything Pete Carroll had to say Monday:


(On Chris Clemons...) “I saw just a little bit of rust. No, he looked good. He did a good job. I think we played him 13 plays or whatever and he got enough done to you know, he’s in. He’s playing. This week we will get more out of him and he’ll be close to just normal I would imagine. He’s still going to feel new out there and so we’ve made some good progress.”

(On the defense feeling disappointed after the Jaguars scoring 17 points...) “It’s good. Yeah, it’s good that their standards are set very high and they played really well for a long time and then Jacksonville was able to make some plays and move the ball down there. We gave them the ball on the two. That was a great challenge; to see if we could get out of there. We couldn’t get that done. We love the attitude of our guys. They’ve been together enough now, they know what they want to get done and how we’re trying to get it done and so they have very high expectations. That’s not really as important as how we’re playing and how we’re doing and getting wins and all that kind of stuff. But, that does show you where their heads are at. They want to do great stuff.”

(On handling the penalty issues...) “I think I did a really good job this week for the first time I’ve really got my act together. I don’t know. We’re trying. We’re trying everything we can think of; to get something… the awareness across to the guys and all of that. I would like to think it was our coaching sometimes but I don’t know. But, the emphasis is really obvious; our guys want to do right. They don’t want to put ourselves in to situations where we are helping our opponent and that’s what really is the biggest issue is for us. It’s hard enough to win, when you are doing everything right and you make mistakes and you just give them opportunities, it’s difficult to get that done. So we are trying to get better at it.”

(On Red Bryant...) “He’s fine. He’s got a sore back today and kind of stiff and all that. He got kind of in an awkward position and just tweaked it. So he’s got muscle spasms and usually those can get taken care of in about three or four days. So he should be alright.”

(On the defense setting a goal of having at least six turnovers...) “Yes it’s how we want to play. We want to play taking care of the football and we want to play getting after it and to us, it’s the biggest factor that determines winning and losing and so that’s why it’s the number one emphasis in our program.”

(On the personality of the defense on getting six turnovers...) “It’s the personality of a football team I think. I mean we have preached it, since the very first thing I’ve ever said to these guys, the first day I walk in here and they hear it every week, and with the constant, hopefully emphasis that makes the point, that you got to do great taking care of it and you got to go after it if you want to determine wins and it usually work out that way. Unfortunately, we gave them a couple of balls and they created that first one. It was a great rush and a great play to knock the ball and then we kind of made a mistake on the interception. But, we are trying to throw no hitters every time we go out with turning the football over. But it was really… it’s the deciding factor so often that we are just going to continue to champion that as our number one emphasis.”

(On Russell Wilson feeling comfortable taking more risks this year...) “No. He’s been like that. I think that’s Russell’s [Wilson] nature. You know, he’s called on the receivers to make plays and I’ve heard him say it that he’s going to give them chances. He knows that when he throws those balls up to the sidelines, it’s not because those guys are running wide open, he’s throwing the ball that they can make a play on. I mean look at [Jermaine] Kearse’s and Golden’s [Tate] were both those kinds and the other one to Golden [Tate] and Stevie [Stephen Williams] were all those kinds of balls that were playable balls. You got to go up and go get it. So Sidney’s [Rice] was just an extension of that. He understands that, I think, really well. But he also knows to throw the ball; to put our guys where they have the advantage and you’ll see him throw the ball particularly in spots where they can come back and go get it and it makes it very difficult for the defensive player. He totally understands that. I don’t think he’s more apt now to do that than before. I think that’s what I’ve seen in him all along.”

(On which young player stood out to Coach Carroll during the game...) “Yeah I thought Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie did very well and Christine Michael. Those are the three guys that really jumped out. They had enough plays… played most of the fourth quarter, if not all of the fourth quarter and had enough plays where you could see them and you could make some corrections and all. Both guys came off the ball really well they did fine in pass protection, a little raggedy at times in a couple of their sets in things, some of the small things. But they show that they have the ability to play and that’s all they’ve shown us throughout the preseason. So we are really excited about them coming up and concerned about the fact that they haven’t [played very much. Just the background isn’t there. But, physical; ability looks like it’s there.”

(On Jermaine Kearse...) “He was getting around pretty well today. From what I’ve heard leaving the stadium yesterday, he got rid of the boot and all that. So he was trying to show us that he was ready to go. So we’ll see what happens.”

(On Michael Bennett's versatility being more important as more defensive linemen become healthy to play...) “I don’t know if he’ll be more important, but he has demonstrated that he can do a lot of stuff. If you looked at the difference spots eh lined up yesterday, that was about everywhere that you could put a D-lineman and it’s just the way he comes off of the football and he attacks. He’s a very effective player. I think I said this morning, ‘he’s more than we thought he was.’ He’s got more variety to his game, it comes out of just the tenacity and the motor that he has. We are real excited about it. He had a great rush on the second sack that he was involved in. What a fantastic effort by him and the guys were roaring up field and he got there before the other guys. For years, we have been looking for an inside presence in the pass rush. I think that’s the best shot that we have right now. That’s not to mention the other guys are doing well too, but he has really jumped out.”

(On inside pass rushers being hard to find...) “Yeah. You got to find really fast big guys. That’s the fewest of… there’s fast little guys and lots of big guys. But the combination doesn’t exist. He’s got very, very good quickness and he’s strong enough… he’s not an overly big guy. You know, he’s 280, 280 something. But he definitely has that quickness and that burst. That really makes a difference.”

(On Michael Bennett's lighter weight being a factor of his versatility and success...) “He’s different. Yeah he’s a different guy. This is a classic example that I’ve tried to explain to you guys that we were looking for guys with special qualities and we’re not just looking for just cookie-cutter guys. We want guys to have something. He has something really unique bout him and it’s really… it’s like I’m saying, it’s his tenacity, that speed, that anticipation that makes him special. He’s not the fastest guy, but he plays with great quickness and what he gives up in some areas, because he’s not as big as the guys that we have, he’s not 325 [pounds] or something like that, he makes up in other ways. So that’s why you see him moving around, playing a lot of different spots because we think that we can put him in places where we can take advantage of what he’s good at it. So that’s a real classic example of a guy that we’ve brought into the program and we’ve tried to adjust to what he does.”

(On any other injuries, other than Kearse and Bryant, that had occurred during the game...) “Let’s see what else do we have. We had [Red] Bryant and [Jermaine] Kearse… Breno [Giacomini] is a little sore today. Sore knee today. A couple of the guys got knocked around but we will see how that goes. We can’t tell you. Nobody is having injuries yet but we got some guys that are banged up.”

(On if Max Unger was injured during the game...) “Max’s [Unger] left arm was bothering him a little bit.”

(On Breno Giacomini...) “We thought that he needed a break. Yeah, he was hobbling a little bit.”

(On Michael Bennett, O’Brien Schofield, Chris Clemons, and Cliff Avril’s performance ...) “Well that’s what we’re shooting for is to get those guys out there. We want to see all of the fast guys out there and see where we could best situate them and we’re learning. OB [O’Brien Schofield] had a really nice rush, standing up on the guard you know and got clean coming through. We know that the fast guys are going to… they’ll benefit from all of the activity we can get inside. The more attention that we can get them to focus on three inside guys, the space has worked to our advantage. Even when Clem [Chris Clemons] and they were good and steady… and we will continue to work with those combinations. We like to keep mixing those around.”

(On O'Brien Schofield's performance...) “He did fine. He did fine. He had a couple of plays that got away from him but all in all, he does a really nice job of setting the edge, he’s very physical, and he’s very comfortable playing there. That’s where he’s most comfortable playing there at is outside backer.”

(On Malcolm Smith…) “He’ll be ready to go. Malcolm could have gone this week, by the end of the week he made it back, but roster wise we just had situated for it to go the other way so we held him out one more day.”

(On the degree of preparedness in terms of limiting the amount of full padded practices…) “I think it’s relative you know. Everybody has got the same format. If you compare it to other years I do think it does have a factor, it does have a factor, at the line of scrimmage particularly just in pad level and the technique aspect of the game. You can’t work on some things because you don’t have your pads on, but we’re not griping about it because everybody has to do the same thing. So far I feel like we’re doing okay, I don’t know about everyone else, but we feel like we’re on it. We’re trying to maximize the choices that we have in how to practice. We have altered some things. We’re trying to change things and adjust as we go.”

(On summarizing the overall performance of the Seahawks…) “Well I think it’s a good start. Any way you can get to 3-0 is darn good. We have a lot of room to improve. We have obvious areas on offense just to get out of our own way. I think the running game is still growing. I don’t think we’re there yet with it being as precise as we will be. Defensively we’re off to a great start. I really like what’s going on. I can feel the difference in Dan’s emphasis, and it’s playing to the strengths of our players well. It’s a very consistent  three games for the defense. If you look at all of the numbers and the efficiency of the quarterback and the passing game, that’s been very much the same. The rushing yards has been basically the same, it feels about the same. We’ve played a lot of guys, we’ve experimented a bit with some different things and it’s worked out so far. Hopefully we can just continue to grow and really keep the rotations alive. We’ve learned that we can do that. Special teams have been pretty solid. We’re doing a really good job in a number of areas. One of the areas is that we only had one penalty in three games in special teams and that’s awesome. So we’re doing some good solid things, the main focus now is to continue to take care of the ball and get out of our own way, and get those penalties out of the game.”

(On Golden Tate's performance returning punts this season…) “I think he’s doing a tremendous job. He’s a tremendous catcher back there, so confident. Nobody mentioned about the diving catch he made a week ago on a short ball that could’ve gone another 25 yards or something. I feel very confident and secure. He still has some decisions to learn from, he hasn’t been in all of the situations, the backed up situations, although he’s practiced really well at it. I really trust him. He’s got an incredibly natural catching ability back there. The outfielder instincts he has on how to find the ball and all of that stuff really shows up, and he’s very good at it.”

(On Golden Tate gaining many yards in punt return…) “I think he’s just been a hair from breaking it. I think everyone of us there thought that anyone of those punts could’ve popped. That’s when you have the right guy back there. When everybody is in anticipation that something is going to happen, and we really think it will. There’s no question in my mind he’s going to return something, he’s going to score a couple of touchdowns, and he’s going to put us in great field position. I think we started two drives after punt returns inside of the fifty. That’s huge. However many yards you get, that’s a big play for us, and I’m really confident that he’s going to do a great job back there.”

(On Paul McQuistan…) “Paul did better. He played better. He played really solid, he took care of his responsibilities well, he had no break downs to speak of, and he showed his experience in understanding the system and all of that. We had a pretty good game called up front; he identified well and got things done, so he did a good job.”

(On fitting everyone together with the new roster moves and everything…) “I feel like we’re just getting started. I feel like we’re just warming up to what we can do. This is a unique group because we don’t have real big guys. We’re a very fast group and a couple of weeks from now we’re going to be flying, we’re going to be really fast when Bruce Irvin comes back. When we put all of that together we’re still going to be in a mode of still trying to find our way right now for a while. I don’t feel like we have it nailed yet, but it’s exciting, it’s fun for us, we like it, and we want to pressure and want to keep the heat on the quarterback primarily. That’s the number one thing we need to do upfront. We have some choices so we’ll try to take advantage of our matchups, and we’ll mix and match those guys and move them around. They all feel comfortable in those kinds of roles. So it’s a good adaptable group that should be really fun to watch as we grow. I think it’ll take seven or eight games before we really know what we’re doing.”

(On if having a good kickoff return man is important because of all of the touchbacks…) “It’s absolutely the emphasized because they kick the ball in the endzone all of the time. I know Percy Harvin has been kind of famous for returning balls as deep as he can get it, but he’s one of the best there is at doing it. Few guys can live that way. It just seems like a play that’s kind of somewhat taking out of the game I think. I don’t know if you guys feel like that, but it just seems like it’s a diminished emphasis because guys can kick the ball out of the endzone.”

(On Coach Carroll's thoughts of JJ Watt…) “We haven’t done a deep study on him yet, but we know he’s a great player. He has the great motor that we talk about. He’s just a relentless pursuit guy, he’s good at the point of attack, he chases the ball well, a very creative and disruptive pass rusher. He’s a great football player.”

(On the passing game…) “I think that we took advantage of everybody. Everybody did something yesterday. The tight ends did a great job, I think there was nine catches from the tight ends, and we got a couple of touchdowns there. We got to see Luke Willson catch and run a little bit. I just think the whole group contributed, and everybody made plays. Sidney Rice had his plays, Golden Tate had his plays. Golden I thought had a very, very good game. Unfortunately for Doug Baldwin he didn’t get a lot of chances, but he made the best play of the game. The whole group did a really good job and that’s just a good positive thought. Kellen Davis did nicely also with the couple of balls he caught. We’re really pleased with what’s going on. We think we have a good competitive group, we have different dimensional guys that we can mix in there and do things with, and we’re going to continue to grow with that.”

(On if there's a tug war between Russell Wilson and Coach Carroll when taking Russell out of the game…) “There’s no tug of war, he wants to play. He wants to be in there, he didn’t want to come out at all. I don’t think he took his helmet off until he got in the locker room; He kept hoping that he was going to get a chance to go back. It was a great chance; we started talking about it in the middle of the third quarter of when we could do it. We really wanted Tarvaris Jackson to get a chance to play. That was a tremendous boost for us to see him play again and do so well. he’s had a couple of games, one in the preseason and the one yesterday, where he’s had perfect quarterback rating. You say he can’t be perfect, well he was perfect, that’s as high as you can get. That’s a great, great acknowledgement for us and for him. His teammates love him, he’s a great guy in the locker room and everybody loves to see him do well. We’re fortunate that he got to play, but you know Russell does not want to come out at any time, he wanted to play every snap of that game, and that’s what we all understand about Russell.”

(On what Coach Carroll thought what he was getting after acquiring Michael Bennett…) “I thought we were going to get a good active pass rusher. He had shown versatility that he could play inside and outside, but I didn’t appreciate how constant he is effort wise. I didn’t have that sense about him watching him on film, but he is a relentless football player. You love guys like that, he’s going to get everything out of every play, he takes some chances, he’s a risk taker in his rushes, in his playmaking, and in the running game that with good guys around him and a good system of guys allows him to do that I think. He’ll make some mistakes at team, but he’s also going to make some huge plays. I think it’s the intensity that he brings, we were surprised at that. That shows up and that’s a great asset.”

(On Golden Tate's block…) “It just happened. That was not part of the play. He looked back to try to get to his blocking assignment, there the guy was, and he hit him really hard and I hope he is okay. It looked legal and all of that, but he got hammered pretty good.”