In an NFL season that has been chock full of shocking results each week, the Seattle Seahawks provided another on Sunday. Coming into their Week 10 home matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, the Seahawks had just two victories on the season while the Ravens appeared to be amongst the best in the AFC coming off their Week 9 win against the Steelers. Seattle, however, rode Marshawn Lynch’s 109 yards rushing and relentless defense against Joe Flacco & Co. to pull off the stunner, 22-17.
It’s got some folks in Seattle questioning whether the victory was such a good move, however. With plenty of fans’ eyes around the country on the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes, which hinges around teams battling to be the worst so they can secure an early pick and get Heisman Trophy winner Andrew Luck or another solid first-round pick, they’re wondering if Seattle did itself a disservice. Coach Pete Carroll isn’t buying that.
Pete Carroll joined 710 ESPN Seattle with Brock and Mike to discuss the victory over Baltimore, Marshawn Lynch’s gritty performance against the hard-hitting Ravens defense, playing run-first hard-nosed football against a physical Baltimore squad, if the mentality in the NFL is changing a bit once again, why he’s not buying fans’ questions of whether the Seahawks victory was actually detrimental, and why following Lynch would make a great reality show.
What was the key to the big victory over Baltimore on Sunday?:
“First off, they played really hard. You might think that they didn’t have it that day, but, gosh, they were trying to get after it. It was a very physical football game. What happened was we were able to play a style that we’ve been hoping to find. We did it last week running the football and we did it this week against a really, really good group.”
Did Marshawn Lynch give Ray Lewis his jock back yet?:
“I don’t know about that. Marshawn was pretty animated in the locker room after the game and really excited about it all. He made some comments about some stuff. … He made one of the great fakes. That was an incredible move.”
Where does this run-first, hit-you-in-the-mouth mentality and attitude come from?:
“It’s finally coming around. I give a lot of credit to Tom Cable. He’s doing a great job of leading these young guys. He’s really fighting for the mentality. … He’s brought us a real attitude that we really needed. A couple weeks ago, we said, ‘It’s time to take a step back and get back to this running game and see if we can’t now capture these young guys.’ They’re moving in the right direction. We can get so much better … but the attitude and the way they came off the football made things happen.”
Is the NFL changing back to a more run-oriented style again?:
“There’s always room in good football to play in this mode. This is the all-time best way to do it in the history of the game, but there’s other ways to do it as well. This is the way that we would like to build this … this mentality of being physical, being tough and setting that tempo. It kind of bleeds into the whole football team. When you run the football, it helps you pass-protection wise, it helps you with your play-action game. But also, it just sends a message. … We’re going to stick with it and keep pounding away, keep drafting accordingly and make efforts to bring in guys who can contribute to that.”
With some good quarterbacks set to go in the draft, some fans wonder if winning games like you did Saturday is really the best approach:
“I love that they’re thinking this way in that they’re competing. They want to get better, they want to win games and all that. So that’s where that comes from. … There’s a lot of wins out there and we’re going to go for it. We don’t know any other way. This is so important for us to build our mentality, to build our style of play, to get better as individual players and groups on this team. There’s just so much out there for us to gain. … We’re going to find guys and get guys that fit with us and they’re going to contribute. Wherever we pick in the first round, it’s going to be a guy that’s going to play.”
Which Seahawks player would have the best reality show?:
“Without hesitation, it’s Marshawn Lynch. It’s a reality show daily here. It’s already happening. He’s an amazing character. These guys love him and I love him. … He’s a terrific player. What a game he had, too. … It would be a show for the ages and he’s happening just around the corner.”
Did you know he was that weird when you traded him?:
“He’s not weird, he’s just Marshawn.”
Was he this way when you recruited him at USC?:
“No, no. He’s matured. He’s a heckuva guy.”
Listen to Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN Seattle here (Interview begins at 32:30)