Conference Call: Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and QB Russell Wilson

Posted Dec 26, 2012

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll - Conference Call - December 26, 2012
(On if it is tough to celebrate Christmas when the team is in the middle of exciting football)
“Well, if Christmas has to hit during the season, to hit on a Tuesday is a great time to come. We got a chance to enjoy a little bit. All the guys got out of here for a little bit of time, and we had the grandkids in, so it was fun to get Christmas morning with them.”
(On QB Russell Wilson and his development)
“Well, he’s had a great rise. He’s worked as hard as a guy can work. He’s focused as well as you can focus and he’s getting everything out of himself right now. He’s playing at a high level and giving us a lot of fun play. He’s creative and he causes problems and he’s just getting started. We’re real excited about him. It’s worked out well. We have a running game that he can play behind and he gets to do his thing, so we’re just kind of figuring it out as we go here. We’ve had some good weeks here. I think the Chicago game kind of lit us up a little bit and we’ve kind of been moving forward since then.”
(On if the Chicago game was a turning point for Wilson)
“Yeah, it really was. It was really a turning point – really – for me to just let him go. He’s really capable of handling everything we want to throw at him. There was going to have to come a time when you were going to make that decision or not make that decision, and that was really game when it just became so apparent that he’s just fine - everything’s fine. He can play. And he can play ball at a high level with a lot of tools, so we just opened it up and let him go ahead and do what he can do and things have really shifted into high gear.”
(On how the receivers have developed over the season)
“Some time in those few weeks after we played you guys, the first time around, we made a declaration to really feature (WR) Golden (Tate) and (WR) Sidney (Rice). We were rotating guys through and letting everybody play and it just seemed like we weren’t going to move along fast enough if we didn’t really zero in for Russell’s development as well as those guys development, and it’s worked out well for us. Both Golden and Sidney have had very productive years and they’ve made a lot of big plays for us. And we still don’t throw the ball a ton, but they’ve been very effective. I think that was a real turning point for Russell to dig in with those guys. It was hard to spread it around and get continuity and chemistry and so we helped that out a little bit and it’s worked out good for us.”
(On how they score 50-plus points when they only complete seven passes)
“It’s really a whole team’s play because you have to have the turnovers and you need the field position. And, of course, when that’s the case, the running game has to be the focal point, which we’ve always put it that way. But, it really goes back to when you get ahead, then you take advantage of that opportunity. You turn the ball around and you get your turnovers and you score a touchdown or two, teams are in on defense, and then the score can kind of get going and before you know it, you’ve got a big game.”
(On how formidable the Rams pass rush is and the problems it creates)
“Well, they’ve got 46 sacks. They’re tearing it up. They cause all kinds of problems. We’ve recognized how much more committed they have been to the pressure game and they’re so athletic that they play off it really well, they make plays, they don’t get in bad positions. Their playmakers have jumped up. It’s a very difficult defense to mess with. Both (DE) Chris (Long) outside and (DE) Robert (Quinn) on the other side, those guys, it kind of starts with the edge rushers, but (DT Michael) Brockers is coming on – all their guys. They’re just getting better as they go. The pressure is really the issue, and so you’ve got to handle it and if you don’t, they’ll kick your butt.”
(On if he will pay attention to score of the 49ers game on Sunday)
“It really doesn’t have any bearing on that day, what we’re doing. I would imagine the score will pop and then we might know. But, it doesn’t matter. We have to take care of business and try to play a good football game. When we get back to the locker room and if we were lucky enough to come out with a win, then there will be something to be said about all that, but we’ll see what happens.”
(On if Russell Wilson has made a case for offensive rookie of the year)
“I don’t think there’s any question. I don’t know who does this voting for it or whatever, where it comes from, but he’s had a fantastic season in every category and everything you can look at. And let me say this, too: I think (Colts QB) Andrew (Luck) and (Redskins QB Robert Griffin III) ‘RGIII’ have played great football. They’ve had phenomenal impacts on their teams, as Russell has. But I don’t think it has anything to do with where a guy’s drafted, you know, whether he should be in consideration or not. I think it’s just the game and the season that they play and put together and the numbers and all of that, and impact on their teams’ winning. But I think in that case, heck yeah he should be in the discussion. Whether or not he gets it or not, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter to me. But, I just think the work is there. It’s down there. He’s done a great job for us, and so have those other guys. They’ve been phenomenal.”
(On if there is any way a defense can stop them right now or do they need to stop themselves)
“No, I think we’ve been very fortunate. Played a great mix this last month, and it’s been great and we’re hopefully going to keep it going. But we go into every game hoping we can score a touchdown and then we just try to get another one if we do. I don’t have any big claims. If you want me to make a claim about how we can’t be stopped, I can’t do that because we don’t have a clue about that one. We’re just going to try to make a first down and get in the end zone once and try to get there again.”
(On how it changes the locker room dynamic when they are scoring a lot of points)
“Well, football is really fun when you’re doing that. We had a lot of years at SC that it was kind of… when you score those points, you know what that means: that means other guys get to play and everybody gets to get involved and the whole locker room contributes and that’s really a great thing for a team. It strengthens you and it makes you better because guys are getting playing time and all that. We’ve had good fortune that we’re able to do that the last few weeks. But we don’t ever plan on that or look for that, that’s the way we’re going. We’re just going to try to win the game and do the best we can do that, and we’ll see what happens.”
(On RB Robert Turbin being similar to RB Marshawn Lynch)
“Robert Turbin has been a really good plus for us. We really drafted him to be exactly in this role, to be the back-up running back to him and hopefully to push Marshawn. He’s a catcher, he’s a blocker, he runs well with the football after contact. He’s really fast. He’s just been a real positive on special teams and everything he’s done, so that’s worked out great for us. We don’t hesitate, Robert can get in first drive, first quarter – we don’t care. He’s just part of the mix now. Really for us, he’s an experienced player now.”
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson – Conference Call – December 26, 2012
(On how much has changed for him personally since he faced the Rams in Week 4)
“I’ve grown a lot and I’ve learned a lot. I’m on that constant quest for knowledge and just trying to learn as much as I can. That experience really helps. Those game reps and those practice reps, you really just dive into those. It’s been a great season so far. There’s a lot more to accomplish and we’re just taking one game at a time and looking forward to this game.”
(On if there has been a moment or moments he’s considered turning points in the season)
“There’s been several moments. Obviously when we played the Patriots, that was a big turning moment for our offense. I think as you go on though, you take them all in stride. You just learn from them all and just continue to take copious notes and just try to figure out what can I do better. My goal is to every day, if I can find two to three things to help myself and our football team get better, that’s the way to go.”
(On if the coaching staff has trusted him more and opened the playbook up more as the season has gone along)
“I definitely think so, and it’s helping out a lot. I think our offense is doing a great job. It all starts with the offensive line and them having great communication up front and them doing a tremendous job of blocking and giving me enough time to make the right decisions at the right time. They’re doing a great job for (RB) Marshawn Lynch to run the football as well and the receivers and tight ends and running backs are doing a great job of catching the football as well. Everything is clicking right now. I think the biggest thing is can you continue? Can you continue to learn as much as you can and continue to grow from week to week?”
(On if he has ever been part of a team that has been on a roll like the Seahawks have the last few weeks)
“I’ve been on a couple teams, but you really feel it here, that’s for sure. Our fans are tremendous here, for the 12th man in CenturyLink, no matter where we go, if we’re playing home or away. We’re so tight in that locker room and the coaching staff as well. So, it’s really awesome, really special team. I think there’s a lot to come, but the only thing you can look forward to is the next game, the next opportunity.”
(On scoring so many points the last few weeks on a relatively low number of pass attempts)
“The key is for a lot of things to go right. I think that’s the biggest thing and guys executing one play at a time. That’s kind of what I’ve been preaching to the guys a lot. We’ve got to be one play at a time, defense doing a tremendous job of attacking the offensive side of the ball. Our defense is doing a tremendous job of getting some turnovers and making some big time plays and our special teams coming up with some big time plays, and Leon Washington to come up with kick returns and punt returns and obviously some touchdowns on special teams as well. Obviously our offense is clicking on third downs and in the red zone. That’s the key. To be a great offense, you have to do a great job in third down situations and red zone situations and in two minute situations, which we’ve done a pretty good job of all season.”
(On a couple areas where he feels he’s made the most progress this season)
“I think the biggest thing - as I was just talking about - is third down and red zone. Great quarterbacks are tremendous in third down and red zone and I think in two minute situations as well. I thrive for those moments. I can’t wait for those moments. That’s when you want to play the quarterback position. I think we’ve done a great job of really harping on those situations and doing an excellent job of late of capitalizing on our opportunities. Like I said earlier, this conversation all starts with the offensive line doing a great job.”
(On if the game has slowed down for him as the season has gone along)
“It’s slowed down exponentially. I think that the more experience you get, the more understanding of the offense that you have and the timing of everything, the slower it gets. I think that’s a tribute to my coaching staff and just my offensive line and the guys I’m playing with. They’ve really helped me out a lot, tremendously, just learning and helping me out throughout practice and the games.”
(On his scrambling ability)
“God gave me that gift, and I think the key is just keeping my eyes down field and being smart, too, when you’re scrambling. Don’t take any unnecessary shots. The key is getting down and being smart with the football or throwing it away. You try to make something great happen but you don’t have to make something great happen that play. The key is just salvaging the play if it’s not there, and obviously if you can get something positive out of it, go ahead and be smart with the football, whether if it’s throwing it down field or running with it.”
(On what it would mean to him to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year)
“It would mean a lot. I think it would be a tribute to my football team and what we’ve done this year. It’s not all me. Obviously, it’d be blessed and I thank the Lord for giving me that opportunity, but it also… a lot of it goes to my football team and my teammates and coaching staff and what they’ve done and the 12th man. Obviously, that would be a great award to win, but I think the biggest thing is we’re looking forward to this next game and we treat every game like a championship game. We want to go 1-0 every week.”
(On the Rams’ defense against him earlier in the season)
“They’ve done a great job all season. That game, in particular, they made some great plays. Throughout the rest of the season, as I’ve watched the film, they’ve done a tremendous job and they’re on a streak right now of playing really well. So, we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game, that’s for sure. We know that they’re coached extremely well. Their head coach, Coach Fisher, does a tremendous job of getting those guys ready and they’re ready to play every time. They’ve got a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball and special teams as well. So, we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game throughout the whole entire game in every phase.”
(On the Rams’ pass rush)
“They’re doing a tremendous job. They’re so athletic up front, from the front seven and the defensive linemen. Just in general, they do a great job of getting to the quarterback and making things happen. They have so much speed. I’ve played against several of those guys in college as well, and so I know some of them. They’re tremendous athletes and they make a lot of plays.”
(On if people have recognized and asked him for more autographs lately)
“Yeah, I guess so. But, I try to lay low as much as possible and just relax as much as possible.”
(On if he runs many errands)
“Not too much.”