Seahawks Insider

Carroll on Arizona: ‘They’re just cleaner, sharper, better at everything’

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Dec. 19, 2013 at 10:25 am with 28 Comments »
December 19, 2013 10:25 am

Here’s most of what Pete Carroll had to say Wednesday:

(Opening…) “Well we’re winding down here. Fourth quarter of the season is coming down to it now and boy, our guys are tuned in. It’s a great opportunity coming up, playing the Cardinals in the division and all that coming home. We can’t wait to get through this practice today and see if we’re back on track and putting together the kind of week that we need. The Cardinals have been playing great football. They really have been playing very, very well and it’s obvious that they’re coming in here, trying to get something done here. They’ve got a big playoff opportunity too. So it should be a great match up for us and it’s fun coming back to CenturyLink. So we’re all pumped up about it. I’m sure you are too.”

(On how important it is to clinch the number seed in the NFC West…) “That’s the only chance we got and we’re going to go for it this week. It hasn’t to do with next week. This is a championship match up and we’re going to do everything we can to go get it done.”

(On how much the depth at the cornerback position has to do with scouting…) “Yes. We’ve done a really nice job of picking up guys that fit and then we’ve done a nice job of coaching. I think Kris Richard and Rocky [Seto] that take care of those guys, have done a nice job of molding those guys into the kind of style that we like. So it’s a joint venture to get that done, but the guys have come through in great fashion though.”

(On the differences between the Cardinals the last time the Seahawks played against them and the Cardinals currently…) “They’re just cleaner, sharper, better at everything. Their run game on defense is the best in the league. They’ve always had really good, talented guys up front and they’re just getting after it. Carson [Palmer] is really hitting. They really have come together. You can see how efficient he’s been in the last couple of months. They’ve just gotten better. So Bruce [Arians] is doing a great job. You can see his imprint on this whole thing, their style, their attitude and all that. So they just have made a big improvement and they’ve given themselves a great chance to have a heck of a season.”

(On how they approach choosing corners in the draft…) “I would like to think that we have a real good style about us and the way we’re coaching and what we’ve done. We’ve done this for years and you look back, there’s been a lot of corners that we’ve coached over the years that have done real well and they’re all getting coached the exactly the same way that they were years ago. So there’s a real formula to it and fortunately, we’ve drafted guys or acquired guys that could take to it and Kris [Richard] and Rock [Rocky Seto] and I, we’ve been working on this for a long time. I’m not surprised by it, I’m just thrilled that we have the kind of depth that we have and the guys, when the challenge that have been faced was there, they nailed it. So hopefully we can keep going with it.”

(On how much the NFC West has changed since he’s been the head coach…) “Yeah it’s come a tremendous distance to have to put up with kind of the yucks about being 7 and 9 and winning the division years ago and you know, who’s laughing now? It’s a pretty tough division right now and the coaches have come through and everybody has done. That takes all phases, the acquisition of the personnel and then the style and there’s also kind of an attitude about or division too; a very physical and tough and kind of pride of that to see that change. It’s been kind of fun to watch it.”

(On if holding offenses to field goals instead of touchdowns is the mark of a good defense…)
“It’s one aspect. That’s one of the aspects that you look for. Their attitude is right when they’re challenged and they come through well and we take a lot of pride in that. That’s an opportunity to make a statement in that game that you’re right and you can respond to the change of the momentum and all of that and try to recapture it. Last week, we had a great one. We turned the ball over and we went back out there and turned it back. So that’s the ultimate that you try to get done. We’ve been pretty good over the years here. I think it has a lot to do with your approach and attitude to that and the guys got it.”

(On if he has different plans with Percy Harvin since he has not been cleared to play…) “Not at this moment. Not at this moment nothing has changed. We’re just trying to see if we can get back out to work and get him on the field.”

(On the Cardinals’ defense…) “Well their front, they’re really talented. We’ve seen Darnell [Dockett] and Calais Campbell for years. Those guys have always been a problem. They’re loaded. Those guys are tough and it starts right in the middle. Daryl Washington is a terrific football player; Karlos Dansby is a terrific football player. They have all of the right ingredients for a good defense and they’re playing really tight right now. Todd Bowles has got them going. They’re aggressive and physical and all that. So they’ve turned the ball over they’ve been tough against the run, they’ve just been a problem for anybody that they play. So they’ve always been kind of like that to us. We had a game against them when it wasn’t like that a couple of years ago but in general, they’re always very physical and because it starts right there in the middle with those guys.”

(On if he believes in the challenge of strength versus strength…) “First, they’re not the same as they were. They’ve grown. They’re a tremendous front right now and that just takes time and it showed that it took them some games to get going. We got them early. They’re different right now and they’re just better. We’re going to run the football. So matching strength with strength, if that’s what you’re asking me, that’s what we do. We’re not changing depending on the team that we’re playing. So we’re going to come out running the ball and try to get our running game going. Because there was success earlier, doesn’t mean that you have it now. So it’s a whole new challenge and it’s really important, through the overall game plan, that we stick to that and try to make that happen.”

(On Carson Palmer…) “Yeah I think he’s playing like you could always imagine him to play. He’s had a lot of good stretches; he’s put up a lot of yards over the years in those different situations. I think this is… it looks to be kind of a culmination of his career. He’s really sharp, he’s making good choices, he’s got pretty good protection, he’s got terrific receivers to go to and all of that is fitting together really well. Bruce [Arians] has always had good quarterback play and he’s getting it again.”

(On Brandon Mebane…) “I think Brandon [Mebane] continues to play like he has. He’s been really consistent over the years; he’s been a great player for us. I think the guys around him have contributed to his play and I think just the three-technique play and Mike Bennett being a factor as an inside rusher, Tony [McDaniel] has done a nice job too, as has Clinton McDonald. I think that’s all fit together and it’s just bringing out the best aspects of all of those guys. So it’s kind of the chemistry of them.”

(On if he believes if the game has become more specialized in terms of match ups…) “No I think that’s been going on for a long time. I think it’s just depending on your personnel and some of the defensive coordinators. A lot of year’s guys have done a lot of change in the personnel for situational play. We’ve been doing it for a long time. I think you guys our tuned in like we’re rotating more now, maybe, but I don’t think that’s a trend or anything. I think that’s just kind of the status of our defensive line depth and all of that. I think it’s been going on for quite a while now, I don’t think it’s changed much.

(On was there a point in his career where he knew play action pass would be a big part of his offense…) “Yeah it was after the first year at USC. The first year at USC we were a drop back team and we were terrible. We were getting sacked like crazy and the running game was nothing. To me that was the most important year that I had in coaching. It was the year between year one and year two there because of what we’ve changed and kind of sculpted on the offensive side of the ball and how we wanted the whole thing to fit together. We’ve been really the same sense, and the mixture of that really was Carson Palmer senior year when he won the Heisman. From his junior year to senior year we changed drastically, and at that time we committed to the zone running game and then fit everything off of that. All of the naked bootlegs and all of the play passes. We moved the quarterback, quickened up the rhythm of the style of throws all to give the quarterback the best chance to be at his highest level. We’re no different than we were then; we have a quarterback that really makes it hard on you because he moves so well. This is the best mobility that we’ve had at the spot in this offense. We try to utilize that as much as we could.”

(On how important it is for a coach/scout to have that knack for knowing where a player would fit on a team…) “I think we have told that story every year in the draft. I think that goes to John Schneider and his guys and there ability. Everybody can identify the talent, but where it fits and where the availability shows, that’s a real knack, and there is no question that we have great strength there. John has a tremendous feel for that. Anyone you want to pick of our draft picks it seems like that because our picks have been challenged a lot by people on the outside or other opinions. I think the truth has come through a lot and a bunch in support of how we do it and all. I think there’s a lot to that.”

(On if Breno Giacomini and Russell Okung are back to full strength…) “No they’re fine. I think they’re playing back to full strength. It’s taken a little while, but they’re very comfortable now, they’re both feeling pretty good and we’re counting on them just like we have in the past.”

(On where he came up with Brandon Mebane coming angled stance…) “It’s really been around more than you noticed. It’s just a style of play. Some guys are better playing square shouldered, and some guys can play cocked like that. Brandon has a good feel for that and he utilizes it really well. it’s really a style of player and our coaching is looking for what guys do well. If he wasn’t that way our scheme wouldn’t show that we play the guy squared up, and at times we do with other guys.”

(On if it was Brandon Mebane’s decision to line up in an angled stance…) “Yes. We know that’s one of the choices that you have and we try to adapt the style of play to the player. Brand does a really good job when he’s offset like that.”

(On Tony McDaniel’s injury status…) “Yes. He’s fine, full strength.”

(On Malcolm Smith…) “I think we’re very fortunate.  I was thinking about it today when I was correcting something with Mike Morgan, we’ve been coaching him since he was 18 years old, and Malcolm is the same. Those guys have been in our system for such a long time I don’t even know how old these guys are or how many years they’ve been around, but it seems like forever. Malcolm totally understands what we ask of the position. He has the style that is kind of unique. He’s a great athlete, a great speed guy; he’s really the best he’s ever been at diagnosing and attacking the line of scrimmage. We know we have a great coverage guy in him, and he blitzes well so when he gets in there he has strengths, and he can play to the system. Even though it’s not even close to the same packages you would see with K.J. Wright, but we still can get affective play out of him. We’re very fortunate that we have that kind of depth and that kind of quality that can jump in. It’s a good note that he did play really well for us in games that we have performed some of our better outings. We’re very confident at putting him in, we don’t hesitate and we’re lucky to have him.”

(On seeing enough of Tharold Simon…) “Yeah we did. I think we did. We’re really encouraged about it. Unfortunately he’s had a toe situation; he’s had both great toe issues here. I don’t know how that can happen, but he did. He did show us enough. We got him in competitive situations out there and he just got reinjured and he actually injured the other foot. That’s a concern, that’s a concern to us, we don’t know what that means as we go into the offseason, but he did show that he could be competitive. He’s really long and he has the kind of wing span that we like at that spot.”

Leave a comment Comments → 28
  1. yankinta says:

    No Worries,, Bruce Arians is an Overrated Coach. He still thinks we’re a Read Option Team. He doesn’t realize RW is Much more than that. RW can and will kill this Top 5 Defense. It will be a blow out. I predict 35 to 9 easy win. :)

  2. So has Browner been replaced on the 53 man roster yet?

  3. Worried about the Cardinals game…… it will be a good test of our ability to dominate at home.

  4. FleaFlicker says:


    just wondering your take on Browner. Does a year suspension translate to 2 games this year and 14 next? Or just all of next season? In hindsight, looks like he should have taken that 8 game deal a number of weeks ago. But maybe there’s a pride or “this is a raw deal” aspect to the situation which makes it much more different than our view from the outside.


  5. Disappointed there’s no reference to the passing of Ken Hutcherson on the Seahawks website. He was an original Seahawk and a great role model and pastor.

  6. I hope more players work on building ‘their’ brand and their alternate multiple streams of income (through endorsements, etc)…

    And when it comes time to re-up their contracts, they give the Seahawks a hometown discount so these tremendous young athletes define their legacies by winning instead of personal achievements.

    It’s probably just wishful thinking on my part, but I really do hope the core of this team stays in tact for many, many years to come.


  7. mindnbrad says:

    “…I really do hope the core of this team stays in tact for many, many years to come.”

    I second this, but also wonder/assume it is too good to be true…

  8. EzraMelech says:

    Before I type this comment, let me preface it by saying the info I’m getting from a friend could be BS. I trust him, however I tend to take insider information with a grain of salt.

    I have a friend who works at VMAC. He told me that he heard through the rumor mill at work that PC decided 3 weeks ago to shut Percy down till playoffs. That Percy showed he can make such a big difference in how defenses approach the game, that Pete decided it was better for #1 Percy to be FULLY healed and ready to go. #2 to save some additional weapons for the playoffs.

    Apparently this still depends on how PH continues to respond to rehab, but that PC is keeping his cards to his chest purposely in regards when and if PH will play again. (Again take this with grain of salt)

    But figured I would pass on the rumor I heard…..

  9. Carroll and Schneider are probably more crucial to continued success than the “core” of the team. They have built this squad in the manner that was available to them but it will have to change within a year or two…as always in the NFL. They get the benefit of a QB on the cheap and some other superstars on the cheap as well. They will need to build the team differently in the future as those options will not be available to them. They will undoubtedly keep a “core” of sorts intact – a few young stars with years ahead along with the franchise QB. But the rest of the roster will have to be constructed in a different manner than this year’s roster. That is why the continued efforts – and drive for success – of the braintrust will be more important to the future of the franchise than even that “core” of players.

  10. yankinta says:

    Vegas56,, Yup Yup… Totally agree!! The hardest job for Carroll and Schneider is to find a Top 10 QB. They found a Top 3 QB for the next 10 years… The rest of the squad is expendable. I feel totally attached to Earl, Richard and Marshawn and a few others but the reality is having a top 3 QB can make up for the rest of the team. Having said that, I hope we keep Earl, Richard and Marshawn too. :)

  11. chuck_easton says:


    Your comment is exactly why I root for the Jersey and not the players inside the Jersey.

    Of course while certain players are wearing the Jersey I will love them, follow their every word, get mad at them, forgive them…

    But in 5 to 10 years pretty much every player that is wearing the Jersey today will have either moved on to another team or will have just moved on.

    But 5 to 10 years from now I will be in my 43 to 48th year of chearing for the Jersey. Well, chearing for the three different Jerseys that have represented the Seahawks.

  12. RDPoulsbo says:

    There will be more churning of the roster, no doubt. They won’t be able to throw money around like the past couple years for contracts like Rice, Miller or Harvin. But as we’ve seen, there are guys already on the team with varying degrees of starting ability from Malcolm Smith, Maxwell, Lane and even Bowie or Bailey. As long as they keep having good drafts, they should continue to have success. Now if they could hit on more 1st round picks, that would be great too.

  13. montanamike2 says:

    EzraMelech, that’s the pipe dream i’ve been hoping for, as Pete likes to have something up his sleeve and no team would be ready to prepare for Harvin. But there’s also the realization that i’m a dreamer and it probably wouldn’t happen.

  14. Ezra let’s hope PH is able to contribute to our title run.

    Isn’t it nice not to have to look down the road for a change? No longer do we have to worry about next year, 3, 5 or 10 years from now. We are finally all in the moment with the best team in the league. Let’s get’er dun and then I can finally rest in peace.

  15. thursday says:

    Interesting rumor, Ezra. I’ve kinda been suspecting that myself tbh. It makes sense and I totally don’t put it past PC to play things that way.

  16. trout_hound says:

    Galena, my sentiments exactly. How long long its been, how long we have suffered as Hawk fans. Its our year. Its our time. Now. Enjoy it while we can, folks. Go Hawks! And yeah, why get Percy injured during meaningless games. Unleash him in the playoffs healthy and ready to rock.

  17. chuck_easton says:

    meaningless games? Not that this has anything to with the man, the myth, the enigma.

    Seattle hasn’t clinched anything but a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.

    If they win on Sunday then the Rams game is indeed meaningless. If they manage to lose this weekend the Rams is a must win or no home playoff games.

    So I don’t consider this Sunday meaningless and the importance of the Rams game is yet to be determined.

  18. CDHawkFan says:

    While I am sure NFL teams lie about it, it is risky to lie about a players health in regard to the injury report. Didn’t the NFL change a few things a few years ago to stop teams abusing the system? I think there were threats of a loss of draft picks/hefty fines.

    If he is okay to play health wise, why not just say he is okay on the report, but not playing him to prevent further injury? Why not tell the truth and limit the draft pick/fine issue of living about a player health?

  19. montanamike2 says:

    I think he’s playing head games with our opponent coaches.

  20. yakimahawk says:

    I have a friend who works at VMAC. He told me that he heard through the rumor mill at work that PC decided 3 weeks ago to shut Percy down till playoffs. That Percy showed he can make such a big difference in how defenses approach the game, that Pete decided it was better for #1 Percy to be FULLY healed and ready to go. #2 to save some additional weapons for the playoffs.

    Above fron Ezra…

    John Clayton was chatting about this last week and would be a very smart move. There would virtually be zero game film on him w the Hawks. He is at game speed in his sleep and most of the patterns he runs are NOT timing based so it really would not be an issue to RW.

  21. CDHawkFan says:

    Wouldn’t it be more of a head game to say the guy is cleared to play? Would mean they might have to waste time (more time) during the week planning for him to be on the field.

  22. I don’t think Carroll is lying about Harvin…he’s set a certain, if undefined, bar for Harvin to reach in order to play again. He is being circumspect but it is, after all, a judgment call. When is he healthy enough to contribute – he has after all had surgery for a major injury issue. So I don’t think there can be any accusation of lying. Carroll is simply not telling anyone in precise detail in advance when Harvin will be ready in Carroll’s judgment.

    Now maybe that is playing a bit loose – but it is certainly not something that could be considered lying about the health of a player. He is perhaps not being an entirely open book about Harvin’s condition but he has that luxury here because Harvin did have surgery and a major injury to begin with.

  23. yankinta says:

    I really hope PH will play a few snaps against the RAMS… needs a quick tuneup before the playoffs…. :)

  24. chuck_easton says:

    Don’t really care about Harvin. He will play when he plays and not until he plays.

    More concerned about this weekend. Seattle still is in must win territory.

    I want to watch them wrap up the Division, 1st round Bye, the #1 Seed and HFA all in one grand afternoon.

    Get er done men!


  25. As much as we all want them to win, this weekend is certainly not a must-win game. Now, if they do lose, the following weekend against the Rams will be a must-win game (unless hell freezes over and SF loses to Atlanta at home, in which case we can lose out and still have HFA).

  26. That Harvin rumor is a fun one – and has that little logical gleam of truth that makes you want to believe it. The flipside of course, is that you would figure a guy would like to get in at least a little game speed time to be ready to go full out in a playoff level game.

    who knows at this point . . anything we get from him is a bonus, but not something we can count on.

  27. While I want the team to win every game by huge scores forever, and certainly appreciate the advantage of HFA, all I really care about is that we are in the playoffs. While it would obviously be a tougher road to the SB, I believe we would have a great chance to win it all anyway. And it would shut up all those “experts” who say we only win because we are unfairly loud at home.

  28. ChrisHolmes says:

    At this point, it doesn’t really matter if Harvin plays or not. He’d be a nice bonus, but he’s not going to be the difference in these next two games.

    He has a good rapport with Wilson. I trust that if Harvin makes it into a game in the playoffs, he will have an impact like he did in Minny. Just lining up, he attracts a defense and causes concern. And if teams don’t account for him, he’ll make ‘em pay.

    We’re at home the next two weeks and we’re a strong team in our own house. We need one of these two games. Here’s hoping it happens Sunday.

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