Here’s a few notes and quotes from Pete Carroll’s weekly Wednesday press conference …
On the injury front …
OG John Moffit (knee), DT Jay Howard (foot), DT Clinton McDonald (groin), C Max Unger (hip) will not practice today. Carroll called it “a hip deal” for Unger, but said he didn’t think it would keep him out for Sunday’s game. If Unger somehow couldn’t go on Sunday, Lemuel JeanPierre would be the starting center. Jean-Pierre vs. Vince Wilfork …. in a word: Yikes!
On the bright side, Carroll said cornerback Walter Thurmond is “one week away.”
“He’s ready to go when the PUP status is lifted,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how that works out. Tha’ts accoridng to Walter. He’s really cranked up and ready to go. We really encouraged him to work really hard in his rehab so when he gets back he’s ready to play. It would be a big boost to us.”
There was a lot of talk about the uptempo, no-huddle offense of the Patriots.
“We really have a very difficult challenge here,” Carroll said. “All the experience in the world you could want on their side, shows. They are doing some really cool things on offense. Tom Brady is as good as you get. So it’s an exciting opportunity for us. I feel a little like Felix Baumgartner hanging on the edge of the capsule.”
Don’t know who Felix Baumgartner is? Well, here you go.
But back to New England’s tempo …. obviously Eric linked to the story about Oregon coach Chip Kelly hanging out with Belichik and working on this aspect of the offense.
“They’re not modeling after a college offense, they’re modeling after a college tempo,” Carroll said. “They’re doing their own offense, but they are featuring the tempo – the philosophical approach of playing with that kind of speed. It’s very common in college. It’s not in the league. No-huddle offenses so often are talked about, but they’v never been a factor to me until they go into this kind of time span where they snap plays every 15 to 17 seconds. They’ve been ahead of the curve. It’s been really hard on their opponents.”
One of the things that is an issue is player fatigue and subbing in different packages defensively. There are rules to it.
“There are some restrictions,” Carroll said. “We are allowed to substitute when they substitute, and we are allowed to get our guys on the field. We’ll see what that means. It’s not as easy as that sounds. We understand how that works. We are planning accordingly.”
And then there is this …
“If you stop team, they didn’t spent very much time on the field … literally. These guys have had 2 three and outs in five games. That will be a major accomplishment if we get them out fo there on three plays. I don’t know how that’s going to happen cause nobody else can do it. I think they have 101 first downs in the last three weeks which is an all time record in a three week span. I don’t even know what you asked because I kind of lost my mind thinking about it.”
Can Pete draw anything from playing Oregon in the past?
“Certainly there is, preparing for that was most challenging,” Carroll said. “The fact that they’ve studied with Chip and he’s helped out – I’m still kind of pissed at (kidding). You have to experience what this is like to adapt well. I think that’s why coaches that have been in the league that haven’t been in college and seen this kind of tempo. You find out the hard way. We’ll find out. We know what it is. We know what they are going to do and how they are going to do it when they speed it up. We’ll see if we can match it. If we can, we’ll have a chance to play pretty good. The point is, we can’t let their tempo, dictate our play.”
Other nuggets …
What makes Tom Brady so good?
“He’s won a lot of Super Bowls,” Carroll said.
On the process he went through after being fired by the Pats?
Yeah, great I love to talk about that. I think five days later I was in Disney World. That’s always been my mode when something like that occurs. That was a time in the franchise when they needed to make a big pitch to build a stadium and all that stuff. They needed momentum and they made a great pick in Bill (Parcells). As far as I’m concerned, it was hard. I wasn’t really knocked down about it. I was embarrassed.”
“What I learned from that situation, is to be a really successful head coach,you need to have control otherwise it’s someone else’s job you are dealing with,” he said. “That’s why everything that came out of that experience changed me. I’ve never been the same since. It took me 10 or 11 months before I got giong on the next job. During that time, everything that now is the philosophy, the approach, the mentality, everything, the language, everything came out of that experience. It is one classically one of those deals where you get kicked in the tail and you come out better. I hate to learn the hard way.”
“Fortunately, at SC because of the auton0my, I got to do everything – general manager, coach, the whole thing, you did it all. That’s why I never thought I would ever leave there because I would never thought I would get another opportunity that was like that. I wasn’t leaving unless I did. I wasn’t looking leave. I just thought I would never a chance in the league to do that, until this opportunity presented itself.”