HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL
(Opening…) It was a good, hard-fought win, and it was nice to finish like that in a tough situation, and actually come from behind to get it done. We had some games on the other end of that ledger for a while, so it doesn’t hurt us to have to struggle and fight like that. We didn’t play as well as we can, we made some mistakes that cost us in getting continuity. It would be wrong to not recognize that they are a very good football team. They played hard and tough and they were playing to win this game. I know they wanted a winning season. They played like it, and I’ll give them a lot of credit. They’ve won a lot of games lately, and you can tell why. It speaks to the division, it’s so darn tough. It was a terrific finish for us to get this win, to win 8 games at home; has anybody else done that in the league? That’s a tremendous asset to us, to move forward, to have a chance to be a championship team over the long period, you have to dominate at home. To come in here, we know, it’s difficult to come in and win. Our fans have never let us down in that regard, they’ve been great about it. It’s a fantastic edge that we have, and we hope to keep it. We were fighting today, hoping we could bring it home it again in the playoffs; that didn’t happen, but we did what we could to try to get that done at the end of the season. I think it was real important; I’m really proud of the way these guys finished. This is a big deal, to finish like that, to put these games in a row here, to get to the end of it, and we finished the regular season, and now we start it up again. We have a new season. We’re really excited about that; we’re looking forward to it. We feel strong, we got out of this game without one guy on the injury list today. We’re thrilled about that. We hope that we can hold up to that midweek. We’re ready to go. Russell- what a fantastic football game. We did not handle the pass rush well today. There’s a number of reasons why. To keep in there and fighting and plugging, and really the last sequence, it was really to make sure we got plenty of chances to see what he could do. He found ways, he came through and made the big play to Golden, it was a great play, and also he scrambled and made the touchdown to put us ahead. He’s an incredible kid, and he’s doing it, and we’re just lucky that we have him on our side, and he’s growing up with us. Pretty exciting. A good day for the defense all around. 13 points is a big deal. We’ll take that any day. It was great to see Sherm get a pick at the end. It was just a hard game, all the way throughout, it came all the way down to it, to make the last play to end it. That was good.
(On possibly changing focus for the playoffs… ) Our focus isn’t about the playoffs. Our focus will be to get back to work and do exactly what we’ve been doing. It happens to be the Redskins or Dallas, and we’ll figure that out later tonight, and we’ll go to work at it. In the playoffs, you don’t have to change your play. You have to continue to do the things that you’ve done to get there. Sometimes you can do that, and sometimes you can’t. We’ve been talking in this mode throughout; this whole season to get ready for this opportunity. We know what it takes to play really good, and win and be consistent, and now the games begin again. We’re going to take the next step and go right at it. That doesn’t mean that we got it all figured out, but that’s how we’re doing it. We’ll find out tonight who that is. I’ll say this: I’m really proud. I’m proud of the organization, I’m proud of the fans, I’m proud to be part of the movement that we made in the three years that we’ve been here. 11-5 is a good season, that’s a big season when you’re coaching in the NFL and playing in the NFL. John has done so many things to position us to get this done. To do it with him, I’m proud. It’s really something. We’ll see how far we go.
(On whether he knew the score of the 49ers game…) I heard the score a couple of times throughout the game. I checked in to see what it was. It was tight at halftime, and then they got out a little bit. I don’t know what the final score was.
(On Wilson’s scrambling…) He’s going to scramble. If you make him stop scrambling, he’s not going to be Russell Wilson. He’s going to scramble. I love every time he gets out there and does something. I have no problem with it. He does not want to be a scrambler. We don’t want him to be a scrambler, we just love that he is. We’ll try to figure that out. He’s a fantastic football player, he has a style… He’s going to turn around. He liked how he ran around and scored a touchdown. I liked how he ran around and threw the ball to Golden. He had 60 yards rushing. He did a great job.
(On the Rams pass rush….) We got covered a couple of times. They are a really good rushing team. They had 46 coming, and now they have 50-something. They have a real good pass rush. It seemed like we held the football a little bit, we got covered up a little bit, we missed a pickup a couple of times, so it’s just a little bit of everything. It wasn’t one thing.
(On Golden Tate…. ) I thought it was awesome that that’s the way it went. If we run the football too much, we don’t give him the opportunity, I think we would have missed that chance in the end zone. He got moved around, and did some things with him, and Russell made it happen. It was very, very important to get that fumble. It was a great dog pile recovery. My favorite play of the day was Golden coming up with that football right there, and we didn’t turn it over today.
(On whether he would prefer to play the Cowboys or Redskins…) We’ll just see what happens, and either way it’s going to be a great matchup. It really doesn’t matter to us.
(On the strong finish in the second half of the season…) I think the way that we have responded in the second half of the season; we were 7 of 8, or something like that? That’s exactly how we would like to finish, regardless of what happened in the first half. Get all those wins, stack it up and feel good. Be rolling at this part of the season and the playoffs. That’s a real good feeling. We feel fine. Our guys are strong, they’re ready to go. We’re not going to go crazy, we’re going to take care of business and see if we can throw a good football game at them.
(On containing Sam Bradford…) He did what he kind of wanted to. We kept the score down, and they didn’t hit any big balls on us. We didn’t pressure him too many times, we pressured a few times. We did a nice job against him.
(On whether the touchdown run by Russell Wilson was supposed to be a pass…) Yes, he deserved a chance to try to get it. We needed to get in the end zone one way or another. We thought it would be an easy way to get in, but they covered it, they did a nice job. So, he scrambled his way in. We were concerned about the clock right there. We’re talking about how could we stretch that clock down and not give them any time to come back, and still win. We didn’t want to do a field goal. We didn’t want to take a knee, and then try to make it in. We would have loved to get their time outs off the clock. It turned out that it worked out ok.
(On the play of young secondary…) I think they did fine. This is a month of playing with those guys. I think they’ve done a fantastic job. It’s a great boost to have all that play time behind us with those guys. It’s very competitive, they’re very calm about it, they’re poised about it. Kris and Rocky did a great job of preparing those guys, and Sherm did a good job of mentoring them through it. It’s going to be great to get BB back next week. I barely remember what he looks like, although I’ll never forget what his legs look like. It will be great to get him back in.
Happy New Year.