The Seattle Seahawks meet the Washington Redskins Sunday in what is arguably the most intriguing matchup of wild-card weekend. The Seahawks have won six straight, but the ‘Skins have won seven in a row. Regardless of what happens this weekend, it’s probably safe to conclude that, with rookie quarterbacks leading the way and great coaches and complementary players in place, both teams will be very good for quite some time. Pete Carroll seems to realize that.
Pete Carroll joined Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN in Seattle to discuss the importance of playing a close game for once Sunday against St. Louis, his confidence in the offense, punter Jon Ryan being “sicker than a dog” over the weekend and the pistol offense. He also spoke about how good he feels this team “could have been” this year and their bright future and touched on the similarities between them and the Redskins on offense.
On if it was good to play a close game for once in Week 17:
“I don’t know if the players felt that as much as the coaches felt like it was good for us. It was hard-fought, we were behind at half, had to deal with the frustration of making mistakes and getting all those darn penalties called. And having to deal with all those situations: Come from behind, finish at the end on both sides of the ball, have to score to win, stop them to win. It was great. So that was really important for us.”
On becoming more confident in the offense as the season has progressed:
“We have so much more confidence in our ability to finish on offense now. Russell’s growth has just been instrumental in all of that, but also, we were all counting on it too. We were counting on it happening, and that’s real cool. That’s a cool feeling on the sidelines. Defense knew that — you could see it happening — we were gonna score fast enough that, ‘OK, you’ll have to go too.'”
On punter Jon Ryan being sick the week before the game:
“Jon was sicker than a dog, and he was in bed both the two days before the game. He was sick as a dog and just trying to make it through. That was not his best effort, but he did everything he could to kick. The ball wasn’t coming off like it normally does so we survived a couple low balls.”
On why they didn’t use the pistol offense against St. Louis:
“We put it on the shelf. … There’s a really good chance we’ll bust it out [for the Redskins game].”
On if he’s surprised at the success they’ve already had in his third year in Seattle:
“We’re frustrated that it took three years, to tell you the truth. I thought we could have made a much better run of it last year. We just stumbled so much early on and had troubles getting started. All of the reasons we always talked about — the lockout, new 0-line, all young guys. Just took us a long time to jell. And this year, it’s frustrating. We could have been so good this year. We were so close, and it was a little bit of the timing factor. Maybe I could have tweaked a little bit quicker than I did. But all in all we knew we had a really good team early. We could tell we had players in the right spots. We had guys that would run fast, play hard, do what we want them to do. It was just a matter of time, and fortunately we caught fire with enough time to put us in a position where we’re playing really good ball right now. The thing that all of us know — the players, the administration, everybody knows — we’re going to be good for a while. This is a young, aggressive, growing team, and we’re just gonna keep getting better hopefully.”
On the similarities between the two offenses in the Seattle-Washington matchup:
“There’s some similarities. There’s a lot more pistol in their attack. That’s the featured concept that’s different and unique. We’re somewhat unique in our style with the read stuff, but they are even more so. They’re more to it and more college-oriented. They made the huge commitment to get the guy and from Day 1 they knew what they were doing. So they started early and Kyle Shanahan’s done a fantastic job.”
Listen to Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN here (starts at 19:45)