Otto Greule Jr
Seattle coach Pete Carroll and his players are having fun. Can the Rams kill the party?
I'm not the biggest Pete Carroll fan in the world. That's okay. I somehow doubt he wakes up in the morning thinking about winning my approval. Shocking, I know. Love him or hate him, Carroll's done a helluva job with the Seahawks. That's going to be one of the league's more competitive teams for years to come.
Carroll talked to the media at Rams Park on Wednesday, via conference call. Here's a transcript of the whole thing.
(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."