Hawks Head Coach Pete Carroll Talks About Week That Was And Up-Coming

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“Well, we’re back at it. Nice trip to Arizona. We didn’t enjoy the weather. We had a good game, got out of there. We’re back at it. Getting ready for this game that’s coming up. Dave [Pearson] just reminded me it’s a Thursday night game. So, we got to get going. He’s kind of been pushing me a little bit. It’s a good opportunity for us to get back to back division games and kind of get it mixed up right here early in the season. We love playing on Thursday night. Whenever we get those chances, we enjoy that. It’s great to be here with the fans and all. I think it’s worth noting that this is a special occasion celebrating Paul [Allen] and all that he stood for. For the Seahawks and the Northwest and all of that. There’s going to be a program for him before the game starts so we encourage the 12s to get there early and enjoy it and have some fun. I hear Jody [Allen] is raising the flag, which is great. I can’t wait to see that. It should be a big event, big night. It should be a lot of fun for everybody. It’s a really good football team that we are going to go up against. I don’t know, you guys maybe want me to talk about last game. I’m out of that one. I’ll go out with this one and you can take me back there. This is a really good football team we’re playing. We’re steeped into that right now. They’ve been great ever since Sean McVay got there. They’re off to a really good start again. They had a rough game yesterday, an unusual one for them. They got all kinds of firepower. They’re loaded and it’s going to be a great matchup. It’s going to take everything. It’s a game we need to play. We need to be involved in games like this. If you’re going to have a good season, you’ve got to be able to match up and play these kinds of games and do a good job. I’m looking forward to it.”

 

(On what he sees from Jared Goff this year that has changed since last year)  “It hasn’t been quite as explosive as it has been. He threw for 520 yesterday, so it’s pretty big. The games have been tough games that they’ve had. All their games have been fought hard to get the wins. Yesterday, they were fighting from behind the whole time so that was really unusual for them. He’s working hard, but the numbers aren’t there in support of how he finished last year. He was over 100 plus rated quarterback. It’s hard to get that done. Had a great couple years going into it. This year, they’re not quite there yet, but very, very dangerous football team. He leads a big-time attack.”

 

(On how important it is to establish the home field advantage since the Rams have won here in the past)  “If you’re going to have a good season, you’ve got to be good at home. These games are going to come with big challenges, and we’ve got to come through. This is a big deal. Every one of them is. This is a championship match up and we’re going to try to rise to that and make sure that that’s where we are. Championship football.”

 

(On having Luke Willson back on the team)  “Luke came in Tuesday night and got here, showed up late to get signed up and all. The coaches came out of the offices to meet him in the hallway. It was like a celebration. Rarely is it every like that. This is an unusual player. A gifted personality and spirit. Bringing him back to the program was exactly like you said, we didn’t miss a step. The coaches were thrilled to get him back. The players that knew him, same. The guys that don’t know him are kind of wondering, what the heck is going on with this guy because they can’t understand why it’s so obvious to the rest of us. It’s great to have him on the team. He had a fantastic week. He didn’t skip a beat in terms of installation that was going on for the game plan. He went out and played the football game and played well. Made a couple big plays. Just added to it all. We were very fortunate that we were able to replace that loss with a guy like Luke. He’s one of a kind.”

 

(On if Luke is one of the more unique personalities he’s coached)  “He’s on my all-time team. He would definitely be there. He’s just so valuable as a spirit on your team because he’s so upbeat and been so tough. Unbelievably durable and overcame stuff. He’s a good performer. He runs fast. He’s in great shape. He’s done a great job of staying in shape. His hair is back and all of that. He looks good.”

 

(On where he sees the team after four games)  “It’s a solid start. It’s a solid start. There are a lot of teams in the same position we’re in. We aren’t separated from anybody, which is hard to do anyway at this time. It’s a good solid start with one lousing outing the week we gave the game away to a really good team as we see. I like where we are at this point and with this chance. I like this matchup right now kicking into the second quarter of the season and here we go. We’ll see what happens.”

 

(On what Paul Allen said or did to him that made him stand out against previous team owners)  “The messaging really started with Tod Leiweke He was the guy I was dealing with for the most part. Paul kind of came in to close in and support the offering, what they were talking about and the role of this position and all that. I was easily convinced of what he was saying. I had not been easily convinced in that same discussion with other clubs over the years. Everything he said came true. Everything he stood for was real. Tod had assured me that it would be and all that. After talking to Paul, I just had no doubt. It was a very difficult decision to leave where I was coming from. I was really excited about the chance because the challenge of it all. Basically, because of his support, I came here because of him. I came here because he said, it’ll be like this. You can have this opportunity of being in charge and on and on.”

 

(On how Paul said these things to truly convince him)  “I don’t know. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Tod. The combination of Tod building it up and making it really clear. He well understood what we were talking about. Paul hit all the marks. I had people who had been around the organization before and just knowing of him for years. I don’t know, it just seemed to click just right. It just made sense. We just feel very fortunate that this ever happened, and it happened in the way that it did, and it turned out the way it has. It’s exactly what they had presented from the start.”

 

(On the strong record that the Seahawks have for Primetime games and if he thinks they approach those games differently)  “I don’t know that. There’s something going on. Something is in the water. I don’t know to try to speak to that very specifically. I would like to think that we got a beat on it. We’re going to go for it again. Count on the way we do it and present it to the players, how we do our work in the week set up to this kind of thing. It hadn’t just been Thursdays. It’s been Mondays and Sunday nights too. I think there’s something to it. I’m going to leave it at that.”

 

(On if he’s learned over the years how to best prepare for a Thursday night game)  “We have. We definitely have a routine and a real clear process to go through to help the players be ready, and to recover from the Sunday game to get ready to play football. I don’t know how other teams do it. I know the way we’ve developed it and we feel real confident. We’ve had success, so I think there’s real specific stuff that you’ve got to do to get it done.”

 

(On if the team practiced today)  “Not yet. We haven’t even met with the team yet. We’ll be together today after we’re done here, depending on how long this goes.”

 

(On the difference between these practices and the practices during a normal week)  “Well, they are different. On this day, we’re still in recovery mode. You have to try to maximize recovery and get your guys ready to go. I don’t think I need to share all the stuff that we do, so I’m not going to. We do look after them. You can’t practice much. You can’t practice in the same fashion that you normally do because it’s the day before the game before you know it. It’s really important to look after the recovery aspect of this so that they can be at their best and they can play and get ready and everything. They have to still learn the stuff. There’s still practice. You’ve got to still go through reps and all that kind of stuff. You’ve got to find your way to do that.”

 

(On how Chris Carson made it out of the game on Sunday)  “He’s fine. He played a great football game.”

 

(On how Sean McVay has committed to his philosophies and sticking to who he is and if that is rare for a young coach)  “I think it’s kind of rare. I think it’s rare. There’s a lot of young guys that are trying. We’ll watch and we’ll see what happens. We’re rooting for them and all that. I think he’s been a rare example of a guy who’s been clear in what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it. Did not try to do it like other people in many ways. Had his own thoughts about it, which I totally admire. Now, as guys get started, it’s okay, you can get off to a good start. Then you’ve got to sustain. You’ve got to figure out how to adapt and all that. He’s in year three, so he’s working at it. Fortunately for him and his program, they’ve been operating at the top end of it. They’ve been winning and getting out in front of it and all that. Here they go again. I think it’s unusual. He’s opened the doors for a lot of young coaches which is great. A lot of guys are getting chances in hopes that they can pull off what he did. I don’t think it has to do with how old you are. I think it has to do more with who you are and what you’re all about, your experiences and all of that. Can you put it together? Can you hold it together? It’s hard. It’s hard to do this.”

 

(On how he views the pass rush and how Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney have contributed to it)  “I don’t feel like we’re anywhere near where we’re going to get to. I think we can be a formidable rush and effect and our defense. We’re still working to bring it together. I think the guys did better this week than last week. They were more forceful and more active and more involved. We’ll see how we go. I’m really counting on those guys. I’m feeling better. Game three for them. It’s the third game of the preseason. They’re doing the best they can. The guys have been great attitude wise, work habits, practice habits. They’ve really done everything they can do with the moments and the opportunities that they’ve had. We’re getting there.”

 

(On if there is a magic number of games for those guys to get on the same page)  “I wish I knew that. I don’t have that. It just depends on how things role and how it happens. I don’t think we’re off to a fast start. I think we’re just getting going. I don’t know how much longer I can keep telling you guys that. I feel like I have been for a while, but it does feel like that. It feels like we knew. Mychal Kendricks had two sacks yesterday. Should’ve had three. Where’d that come from? We’re just getting going. That adds to everybody’s play. It was great to see Mychal have an active game. Ziggy got his sack and obviously, JD had a big impact in the game. Glimpses. We’re seeing glimpses here that take us to a place that we’ll really be excited about.”

 

(On how he felt about L.J. Collier’s performance)  “He did fine, he did fine. He played about 20 plays and was active. Had a couple of nice plays; a nice tackle on a draw. Some good stuff.”

 

(On what he thought about Tedric Thompson’s hit)  “I think it’s the call that guys are making, the timing of it. P did a good job to get out and not hit with his head, and not hit the receiver high, -as we’re supposed to avoid- in the strike zone. I think that in that decision, if you could avoid it, you should. That’s kind of how they look at it. If they think you could’ve avoided it, they’re throwing the flag. More importantly, technically, had he made the hit with his other shoulder -his left shoulder- I think it would have been more acceptable. It happened so fast you can’t tell if it’s helmet to helmet or not, which I don’t think it was. He totally threw his body to get out of it. He knew he was in one of those hits, so he tried to get out of it with his head; which he did a good job. But it still was bang-bang, and they saw it that way. I don’t have the explanation yet but, I won’t be surprised if they support the call because we’re trying to take care of guys. That was a big hit.”

 

(On why he had Lano Hill in the game instead of Tedric Thompson)  “He deserves to play. I wish he would’ve played more. He’s played well in the last couple of weeks. Just because a guy comes back doesn’t mean he doesn’t play at all, and they’re still competing. I want to keep it competitive. I wish it would have been a little bit more balanced for Lano’s [Hill] opportunity to show what he can do too. It just makes us stronger and better going down the road. I thought Tedric [Thompson] played a really nice game, guys did a really nice job on the back end yesterday -to order some special plays, and bombs, and fakes, things that they tried to get them to on- they did a nice job on that. Kept the ball underneath us all day long and really controlled what otherwise, could really be an explosive passing game.”

 

(On what Marquis Blair needs to do to become involved in the secondary rotation)  “It’s hard. He’s just got to keep battling; he’s just got to keep battling. The reps and the available opportunities aren’t very apparent. He’s got to work it out through practice, got to work it out through special teams in every way that you can. It gets down to numbers, now that Lano and Tedric are back- where does he fit? He’s got a chance to be as good as anybody we have, and he’s shown that already. But the time and opportunities are really rare and minimized right now. I’s love to see him play, you guys have seen him too. He’s got a flash to him that we’d love to have on the field. So, he’s going to have to keep working, we’ll keep the competition open and give him as many chances as we can.”

 

(On how Bobby Wagner’s first four games have been a little more quieter than we’re used to seeing)  “How many tackles does he have? He’s averaging 10 a game. I think he’s doing great. He’s leading the whole crew, and everything is going fine. Maybe the big plays, explosive plays haven’t happened yet, but he’s out there thumping. I think he’s doing great.”

 

(On what he needs to see from Rashaad Penny in order for him to play)  “Now it’s just about time. He looked ready to play, he looked like he could have gone. It was just kind of defined, the time frame for a hamstring to be ready in eight days, of the severity that it was. So, he will do running, he’ll do more running than other guys because he didn’t play and all. Well be able to test him, but in the actual practice reps, there won’t be many opportunities for him to show more. We are anticipating that he’s healthy, unless there’s reason to think otherwise.”

 

(On if there is any defense player he has to game plan for more than Aaron Donald)  “No, he’s as dominant a factor as you can get. He’s right in the middle of the formation, he can make plays in the run and the pass. His explosive style, he’s so faster than almost anybody. It shows up in the explosive quickness that he uses, and he knows all of the tricks too. He’s an extraordinary factor, and we have to pay full attention to him.”

 

(On the strides that Shaquill Griffin has made)  “He looks good. He looks really active; he’s made consistent plays. You’ve seen him knock balls down kind of in consistent fashion almost week in and week out. Doing a good job on top, on the deep balls. He’s playing great football I think, he’s doing great.”

 

(On Russell Wilson through his first four games)  “I think he’s off to his best start ever. I don’t know what it looks like numbers wise, but I think it is. I don’t think he’s ever been more accurate than he’s been, and more consistent, and in command of everything. I think he’s off to a great start. I don’t care how big the numbers are, I’m not talking about how many yards or whatever, just his play has been really, really sharp.”

 

(On what he has seen from Travis Homer)  “He’s been just exactly what you wan out of a rookie guy; that makes the team, a lower pick, battles his way through camp, shows good stuff. He’s the leading effort guy in the special teams group. He just seems so consistently on, and it’s not all the tackles. Just his chase, and willingness. He’s doing a great job.”

 

(On why he thinks Cooper Kupp being Jared Goff’s favorite target)  “I think he missed him so much that they’re getting back trying to make up for it. He’s just doing everything. He’s just a fantastic player, he just his. You guys might not recognize how much he blocks, and what a contributor he is in other ways to go along with the catches, and the catch and run. He’s a fantastic player; touchdowns, most catches, and all that stuff. He’s always on the field, he’s always out there somewhere doing something, and you have to always be weary of him because he just seems to have the knack for getting things done. They know it, and they use the heck out of him.”

 

(On what happened to Ethan Pocic)  “It’s something in his neck that bothered him. I can’t remember what those are called. The sets or something like that, it maybe the facets, he has a little something going on there that was real painful. Really discomforting. He tried getting back last week, and he couldn’t use it. So, we just have to wait, we don’t know if he’ll make it by Thursday either. I’m not sure.”

 

(On what he has seen that he didn’t expect from playing a base 4-3 defense)  “No it went the other way, I was anticipating that it was going to be really good. I was really excited about this. Because of the overall package of each guy, so just aware of the game in broad sense. They understand principles, approaches, technique, and philosophy; all of the stuff. They’re all playmakers. They’re all mobile, versatile athletes. To have those guys on the field, I like the power that they bring, the hitting that they bring, the magnitude in the stops that they make as opposed to smaller guys that can be out there running around. You think of the game as, turned into all these little fast guys. Maybe it has, maybe we’re missing it. But, right now I like the way these guys are playing. I thought as they would develop together, the mental side of it; the chemistry and comradery of it, could give us something unique. So, we’re off to a pretty good start, and well see how it goes. We’ve got to have a lot of packages available this week, we’ve got all kinds of problems with these guys. So, we’ll see some of that but, we’ll have to wait.”

 

(On if he has ever used a base defense this much in his coaching career)  “Back in San Francisco. When we were at San Francisco with the Niners. Predominantly the first year of the two years I was there. We played it a lot. We had some really good players and didn’t have to take guys off the field. It’s not the first time.”

 

(On if Ken Norton Jr. was on that team)  “Yeah. Lee Woodall, Gary Plummer, Tim McDonald, and Merton Hanks, good group down there. Davis and Marquis Pope, Dana Stubblefield, a bunch of guys. Dennis Brown.”

 

(On Mychal Kendricks is used more as a push rusher than anticipated)  “As soon as we took a look at him, we saw that he was guy with a really unique style about his play. He’s really fast, and he’s really explosive, and he’s got unbelievable flexibility. He showed us that in the blitz things that we saw right off the bat. He ran a 4.4, so it’s not like he’s a lumbering linebacker out there, our guys can fly. It shows up, he had three great rushes and two sacks out of them. He airballed one of them, but it’s kind of fun to watch him do it.”

 

(On how encouraged he is seeing Ziggy work through his back injury)  “He’s a tough dude. He’s tough and he shows it. He had some great chase plays yesterday. He came out stacked. He made a couple hits down the field and out of the perimeter. It’s the stuff that we saw in the film when he played in the early part of last year that really was attracting to us. For a big old great looking athlete, he’s tough and physical and looking to hit somebody. He showed that. It kind of came to life more than the first game. It was great to see. Even like with, I know somebody mentioned it, he was questionable going in. He’s a tough guy that really adds to our team.”

 

(On what it shows him about a defensive lineman’s effort when they are making tackles down the field)  “That’s one of my favorite parts of ball is when big guys run. They run and they make stuff happen. We make a big deal about it around here. It’s the first highlight I’m looking to show. I can’t get enough of Al Woods chasing the football. It’s a big part of team defense. It’s everybody giving great effort all the time, every chance you get. For whatever reason, for all the natural aspect of really big guys don’t like to run that far. When they do, it just adds to the whole spirit of what you’re doing on defense.”

 

(On Neiko Thorpe)  Neiko should be ready to go. “He worked out really well last week. It was really close. Like with Rashaad [Penny]. He’ll get some extra running in to make sure he’s ready to go. I think he’s got a chance to play this week.”

 

(On if playing against a team that was in the Super Bowl last year is a testament to where his team is right now)  “No. I wouldn’t say testament. It’s a great match up. It’s a great opportunity to play on Thursday night to play against a division team and all that. It was a nice championship match up in the division on the road last week. To us, every one of these games is everything we possibly can muster in every aspect of everything we’re doing. It doesn’t happen to matter that they’re from L.A. They just happen to be a great football team and it’s going to call for us to really play great football to have a chance to match it up. That’s what these games are for. We’re learning how to play championship style football and see if we can pull it together.”