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Seahawks Coach Carroll Talks to Bay Area Media


Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll. AP Photo

Q: Do teams play you differently as Super Bowl champions than they did in the past?

Coach Carroll:"Well, there are some differences, yeah. I'm not going to tell you all of them. (laughing) Let me tell you this, there are some differences and people are trying to look at the way that they think they can best hold the score down and get after us, so I think there is something to it and we've recognized that, really since preseason it kind of started."

Q: How much of a help has coach Tom Cable been there?

Coach Carroll:"He's extraordinarily valuable. He's been in the middle of everything, assistant head coach and really leading the show with [offensive coordinator] Darrell Bevell on offense. He's been instrumental to everything that we've done. I think the world of his coaching and of his leadership and also the impact he's had with our players too. He's done a great job."

Q: Having coached the Raiders, is there any sense that this game means more to Coach Cable than others?

Coach Carroll:"Well, you've got to ask him about that, but we all have stuff that we carry over the years and we try to play it down always. I've never seen him respond in any way that would indicate that, but he's a great competitor and we remember. I can't speak for him on that, you have to ask him about that."

Q: Your preseason game against the Oakland Raiders won Derek Carr the job. What were your impressions that day and also now watching him on film?

Coach Carroll:"He played great against us and we've seen nothing but that, really since [Raiders Interim Head Coach] Tony [Sparano] took over, just the emphasis of really trusting him, believing in him, giving him a chance to win the games. He's done a lot of marvelous stuff. I can see why they're excited about him and they've demonstrated so much trust and confidence in him by just the nature of the style of offense that they're willing to throw. He's shown touch, he's shown strong arm stuff, he's shown way down the field stuff, he's moving well and he looks very comfortable. He looks like a terrific prospect for the years to come and he's on it right now, he's got great numbers for the situation and I'm thinking he's darn good."

Q: You were willing to trust a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson and the Raiders are doing that now with Derek Carr. Do you think that's more of a trend or that these two guys are so mature that they are different in that regard?

Coach Carroll:"No, I think it's definitely the new way. I think that the guys, and I've been asked this quite a bit in last few years, I really believe that the quarterbacks have been raised much better. They're much more advanced at the time when they come out of college now. They've thrown the football so much more. The sophistication of the offenses that they've been around, the background that they've had through all of the preparation, the Elite 11, the quarterback camps and all that stuff, has just brought them to a different level. I go back to when [Joe] Flacco and Matt came in at Atlanta. When those guys came in, I think that's kind of when the thing turned. If you look back, those guys started and they did well and when they did, they really, things have changed since then. We could tell in Russell that he was just as precocious as a guy could be and ready to play football and we just needed to step aside and let him go, and I think the Raiders have seen the same thing."

Q: Marshawn Lynch has got 42 carries the last three games. What has been the deal in the last three weeks?

Coach Carroll:"We love running the football, we've run it more than anybody in the last couple of years and by the time this thing is over, we'll have run it a ton again. There have been a few games in here that got away from us, time of possession, third-down situations and things like that where we didn't run the ball as much as we'd like to. For the most part, we're running the ball 35 times or more in the games that we play well and that's kind of how we would like it to be. We're not always fortunate to get that done, but we want Marshawn to carry the ball a ton."

Q: When you're looking for guys that can play cornerback in the slot, what attributes are you looking for and how is it different than when you're looking for a guy on the outside?

Coach Carroll:"That's a position where there's a lot of things asked of that guy: He has to play man-to-man; he's got to play zone; he has a chance to blitz; he's got to make tackles. I think it really calls for a really diversified athlete that has a good all-around sense, because there's a variety of things that they're asked to do. So that doesn't always fit the same mold that we put our corners in, our outside guys. We're looking for long guys with good arm length and real good downfield speed and the ball skills that can allow them to play the fades and the deep ball. We have our guys, the guys that have played for us – we had Walter Thurmond play last year; Jeremy Lane has played this year; and now Marcus Burley is playing for us. All of those guys are more of the quick, all-around athletes – really good in the short area, small area, and really good all-around football players. They have to have a real general sense about it. I think that's a pretty typical thought for around the league."

Q: Khalil Mack is still waiting for his first sack, but he has pretty much shown up everywhere else. What are your observations of him on film?

Coach Carroll:"I think he's really good. He jumps off the film. Every one of our coaches, when they break up and start looking at the Raiders and taking seriously what they're doing well, everybody comes back talking about him. He's almost unblockable and he's got a great motor. He's fast, he's tough, he's instinctive. We think he's an obvious factor."

Q: There has been talk about your team and your locker room function and chemistry. Regardless of whether that's right, wrong or indifferent, how has your team dealt with all of that outside distraction?

Coach Carroll:"It has been no factor here at all. This is the first time this week somebody has brought it up and I think it's gone, because there's no facts to it. The fact we had to make a trade a couple of weeks ago stirred things up and everybody wanted to know why and all that, so that kind of got people asking questions. But we're in great shape. This is a very close team. These guys have grown up together, they've played together. The big nucleus of this team have grown up here as Seahawks and have great love for one another, and our locker room is really strong. The fact that somebody said something or said that they said something, we can understand that. But that's not even a factor here at all."

Q: Benson Mayowa showed up on defense the last few weeks. Did he show signs of being a good defensive player this summer?

Coach Carroll:"Sure. We've had him for a couple of years. We think he's a really good, good prospect. It's not surprising at all to us that he's playing good football. We just got stuck with some numbers and couldn't keep him. We have a high regard for him. He's a good ballplayer and he's young and learning and scrapping. It's cool to see him playing so well."

Q: You guys are playing the only winless team in the league. Do you spend more time talking about letdowns and trying to avoid that kind of situation?

Coach Carroll:"No, we really don't. We have a way that we talk about every upcoming game and we put it in the same light whether a team has won every game or not. We don't really factor in who we're playing; we factor in how we prepare so that we have a steady approach and a consistent outlook on all of the matchups that we have during the course of a year, whether they're division or out of the division or whatever. So that's just the way we operate. It hasn't come up – only in normal fashion."

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