Despite Weekend of Troubles, Pete Carroll Remains Optimistic About Seattle’s Playoff Hopes

November 27, 2012 – 9:15 am by Eric Schmoldt

The Seattle Seahawks’ playoff chances took a hit when they lost another tight game on the road, this time in Miami. Still, based on tiebreakers, they’d be the sixth seed in the NFC if the season ended right now. With road games remaining at Chicago and Buffalo and home tilts with St. Louis, Arizona and San Francisco, coach Pete Carroll believes the team still has plenty of opportunity ahead.

That said, the team is waiting to find out if and when they’ll be without cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, who could be suspended by the league for four games for performance-enhancing drugs. Reports are that the cornerbacks’ appeals won’t be heard this week, so the two could play this weekend, but that still leaves plenty up in the air.

Pete Carroll joined 710 ESPN Seattle with Brock and Salk to discuss Seattle’s collapse in the fourth quarter at Miami, the Seahawks’ struggles to stop the run and to run the ball themselves, why he puts the blame on his shoulders, the potential loss of two cornerbacks and what that would mean for the team and Seattle’s sense of urgency.

What happened in the fourth quarter in Miami?:

“They got going and we had our chances to stop them. We had our chances to put the game [away], and we didn’t do that. … They went up and down the field. They had 200 yards at that 12-minute mark, and so we had done enough things to keep us in control of the game, but then when it came down to it, we gave them a lot of opportunities. Then we go back and have that ball on the 40-yard line … and we went backwards three plays in a row. … We had the game in hand on both sides of it, and weren’t able to finish.”

You guys gave up 189 yards rushing. What was the issue?:

“We made mistakes and we made enough errors on just fundamental stuff, letting the ball bounce around a couple times … and we weren’t as sharp as we have been and need to be. That’s a little bit of theme here for us. We have not been as sharp. We’re making mistakes that are killing us, and they’re just fundamental things. … It’s really frustrating. And, at times, it basically comes down to guys trying to do too much.”

You put a lot of the blame on your shoulders after the game. What does that mean?:

“Here’s what I looked at: For us to go out there and have seven penalties in the early part of the game … we were sloppy. … We’ve been playing really clean — giving penalties up — and I felt like we were physically fit. Guys felt great because we had the week off and we had a very spirited week of work, but it wasn’t sharp enough. The sharpness wasn’t there. … It was across the board. That’s me; I’ve got to make sure that we capture these guys.”

What did Miami do to slow down Marshawn Lynch and your rushing attack?:

“They handled us inside pretty well. They did a nice job of just owning the line of scrimmage, inside out. Because of that, we couldn’t get started. This was the first time we really didn’t run the football. I felt like all other games, we found a running game enough. We found, for the most part, enough movement in there to get the thing going. … We can do better than that. … I felt like that was the difference for us in the game.”

On the potential suspensions of Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman:

“We can’t talk about it at all, so that’s really up to the league and their representation and all that stuff.”

What about the guys behind them that would have to step up and play if they’re out?:

“We’re fortunate. We really are fortunate that we’ve got four guys available to play for us if we need it. … They’re all talented football players and we’re excited about them, when the time comes.”

Does this team feel a sense of urgency that is now off the charts?:

“We’ll find out. We sat on the plane and everybody was pretty quiet, to tell you the truth. … We’re going to be fine. We’ve got a tremendous opportunity ahead of us. We’ve got a schedule that gives us a chance to do some really exciting things here as we finish. We have finished well in the past couple years; we’re anticipating that’s going to happen. … It’s so darn close.”

Listen to Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN Seattle here (Interview begins at 19:30)

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