Here's what Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell had to say on Wednesday.
(Opening) Big week for us to get back on track entering in the division now; first chance for us-we know how exciting these matchups have been and how tough they've been. So we have to get our game right, we have to get ready to go on the road, and do a really nice job. So our guys are determined to do that and it'll all start with the walk-thru just now and practice coming up.
I'll expect we'll jump right at it-Competition Wednesday, today it'll be a good one to get us on the track we want to go on. We will miss a couple guys in this game: Zach [Miller] and Max [Unger] won't make it back at this time. We'll keep working those guys to see how long it's going to take to get them there. It's tough for those guys; they're dying that they can't contribute and get back out with us but we'll keep moving forward and see if we can put together a heck of a game plan and get ready to roll.
(On Bobby Wagner's injury) He's really sore and it looks like it's going to be a while for him.
(On Byron Maxwell) He's made a big jump and we'll see. We're going day-to-day with him to see what happens. It's an unusual strain that he has but he has shocked the guys that he's back as quick as he is to this point. We don't know what that means by the weekend so we'll have to wait and see.
(On does Bobby Wagner's injury needing surgery) No.
(On how Australian rugby player Jarryd Haynes would transition to the NFL and what position he would play) I don't think I'm able to talk about him as far as I know. We couldn't talk about another player on another team-we just want to make sure we don't mess it up so as soon as we're free and I know what the rulings are; I'll give you some scoop on it. It's a pretty exciting thought; I've always thought it'd be cool to recruit down there because there are some great players and it's a great game and it's a very physical demanding game and those guys have all the same kind of stuff that we're looking for in our guys, but I'll stay real general on it if it's okay.
(On St. Louis Rams) They're a really aggressive team, Jeff [Fisher] has always coached a really physical team and an aggressive style of play and they've always been tough on us when we go there and here too. We‘re expecting the same; they're loaded with speed, they're the youngest football team in the league, but they're loaded with a bunch of guys that can fly in a lot of positions, and it really shows up on special teams where they have such great athleticism there-returners, all across the board. They are always an aggressive disruptive type of team; that's how they play.
(On Rams' QB Austin Davis) He's done very well. I think maybe he surprised them some and he's been very efficient and done a nice job with seven touchdowns and four picks, almost 64% completion. He's got good numbers and he's throwing a lot of different stuff-he's a pretty good athlete too; he runs well. So he can stay out of trouble so when you mix it with their running game, which is a very elaborate running game, he's done some nice stuff and I'm sure they're excited that he's done well so far.
(On reasons for offensive third down deficiency) It's always harder on those third and longs. We've had our share of penalties that have forced those issues and we've been behind the sticks some there, but we're always going to keep looking towards the execution part of it and getting the ball to the right guys at the right time. We need to pick up some momentum there-we don't have that right now; we're not on it yet. It took us to the second half of last year, I think, before we got going and I hate to think that we have to wait that long, but we're not on it right now and we just need to be better. That's really on both sides on the ball; we're not as good as we expect to be.
(On effect of not sustaining drives) It's all connected; how we're playing defense, how we're running the football, and how we're converting on third down on both sides of the football has a lot to say about what happens. In the games that we've won, we've almost average thirty-seven carries a game and the passing has been between twenty-six to twenty-eight and in the games that we've lost, we've passed the ball about twenty-five to twenty-eight times-right in there too, but we've ran it way less.
You can see where we're losing our attempts is because we're not converting or we have three plays in the second quarter-those kinds of quarters can take the ball out of the offenses hands. So it's not an alarming situation to me, it's unfortunate that we've had to suffer through two tough losses that way and the games have gone in kind of the same pattern-we need to keep that from happening and not let the game go that way. It's not just a question of calling more runs though; we have to make our first downs. So it really is connected and we have to play better across the board to stay out of those situations.
(On who is going to play middle linebacker if Wagner can't go) Well K.J. [Wright]'s obviously the guy that's always been ready to do that and you'd see K.J, Malcolm [Smith], and Bruce [Irvin] play.
(On does having depth at linebacker help) Yes, we're so fortunate to have those guys because Malcolm [Smith] is a legitimate starter on our team and Bruce [Irvin] has really come back raring to go and is playing good football. K.J. is one of our favorite guys because of all his versatility that he has so we maintain leadership and a voice in the huddle. So we're very fortunate that we have this depth and Ken [Norton] has done a great job to keep these guys all rotating so in the event that you have to do something, we have really classy guy stepping in that really knows what he's doing.
We feel good about the guys that back up those guys too so we're in okay shape at this position. We hate to lose Bobby [Wagner]; he's been a great player for us and a great leader and has been a big factor in everything that we've done. He's a tremendous football player and so you never get all that back but we're fortunate that we're able to make the move as we can.
(On Tharold Simon playing) He's going today, he ran really well yesterday, and he's going today in practice, and then we'll just take it one day at a time. Our hopes are surely he'll be able to get back out there-we're very excited about him coming along through camp. He's gives us a real formidable guy out there-he plays our style and really can be a factor; shown us nothing but that in the time that he's played. So we'll see though-we'll really take it one day at a time, see how he recovers from today, and go all the way to the weekend.
(On adding depth to cornerback position if Simon can't play) We'll address that when we get there.
(On what the defense needs to do to get back dominant) Well really, the focus to me goes to hitting the quarterback and it's caused by good coverage, it's caused by good rush, and we just need to complement better-teams have done a nice job, we've faced the best of the best so far and they've been able to hold us off a little bit. We haven't been quite as effective; I would think it is going to turn-we keep working at it, we're doing a lot of the same stuff with a lot of the same people, and they're trying really hard, and working at it and studying really hard.
So I'm hoping that the results will change but really affecting the quarterback is what you want to do and that's where all of the good things happen for the defense.
(On evaluating the pass rush) I don't think we've been as effective-no, but I don't think it's just because of the guys rushing, I think it's on both sides; we have to do a better job. They're completing a pretty good percentage against us right now, which again, it all fits back and forth. So it's not one area that I'm pointing at, I think we all have to keep working to play better.
(On leaving something on the table with Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood being inactive) Yes, we'd love to have those guys playing. They practice like starters-they really do and they're really top notch guys and it kills me; like last week, we had to sit both those guys down because of other positions because they're worth of playing and being out there.
(On changes to punt return in order to fit Kevin Norwood or Paul Richardson) We're going to keep moving like we're moving. I like the way things are going with the exception of them not being available to us so we'll keep looking-each week it's a battle all the way to the end of who's going to go up and down. We'll see what happens here.
(On is he seeing anything different from opposing defenses) Well we didn't connect on the perimeter stuff this week in particular. I thought Dallas did a great job of keeping Percy [Harvin] under wraps with stuff they did. They were very effective out there-they're fortunate in how they hit some things when we made our calls, but we couldn't get much spacing out there like we like. So they did a good job there, they had to compensate to do it. Unfortunately, we didn't take advantage of that in other areas but that happens and it's a credit to them.
(On recommitting to the run) We don't have any recommitment-we've not changed not one iota about what we think, what we feel is the right thing to do. We just had games that we've fallen prey to kind of the situation of the game and we didn't get what we want done-that starts with me and trying to coordinate it so that we have our opportunities really because I don't look at it like the problem is right here...This whole other factor; we're on the other side of the ball, and the third down stuff that happened and all of that. We're getting a lot of great field position work from our special teams, but that not factoring in. It's really the conversions that are the issues right now.
(On exploring other ways to get Percy Harvin the ball) Sure, there's other stuff. There's still stuff that we have and that we practice that we don't call in games at all. We know it's just a matter of time before we use this stuff.
(On the Rams pass rush) They're very committed to pressuring first-they'll pressure you on early downs and come after you. Gregg Williams is notorious for being very aggressive and very bold with his calls and he's willing to take his shots at you and he's really good at what he does-he knows when to and when not to and he's more aggressive than most coaches are in calling defenses and how they present their issues for you.
(On Kam Chancellor practicing this week) Yes, we'll see what happens today but yes.
(On how Marshawn Lynch's feels) Just competitive; as he should be. He just wants to be a part and help out as much as he can. He's in great shape, his mind is right, he's ready to go again this week, but he's not any different than I am about it. We want to get the running game going, we want him to be a big factor, and we want you to have to deal with that running game that number 24 brings us and when we're not, we're not quite the same and we don't want it to be that way.
(On rugby players having similar styles that translate in the NFL) Yes, because they're great athletes-they run fast, they hit hard, and can handle the ball. The style of throwing and catching things is different; running routes is different than whipping it out there to them. So there's different stuff, but we're looking for great athletes to make the transition because our guys on our level are fantastic athletes. I'm sure our guys can crossover too once they figure out how to lateral it all the time, kicking it on the run-we'd be miserable at that I'm sure. It is a lot of general carry over, cause it's running, making people miss, tackling, and hitting, being tough and physical. Those things are pretty common.
(On difficulty of transitioning having never played in the NFL) I think it'd be really hard. It'd be a tremendous challenge and only certain few could do it. It'd need to be a lot of patience from the club that goes for it if you do it. It isn't the kind of thing, I don't think unless we're writing a great script here, that a guy could come in the middle of the season and all of a sudden present a starting role for that team. I don't think that's going to happen; I think it's going to take more time than that, but we've seen guys over the years, that have made transitions from other sports-basketball players doing it and so it can happen certainly.
(On did he meet Jarryd Haynes on his visit) No I didn't.
(On Percy Harvin having short and quick passes rather than down the field routes) He was out there a couple times this week and we didn't see him. We got flushed and didn't catch him. He was behind the defense one time way back there and Russ [Russell Wilson] got pushed the other way and couldn't find him. He's too fast not to use deep and that's part of the thinking.
(On evaluating RB Christine Michael) He's kind of in the same boat as Kevin [Norwood] and Paul [Richardson]. We'd love to get him out there. Everything has just stayed so static for us in a sense with guys being healthy and all that, that he hasn't had the opportunity yet. He's practiced really well. He's working really hard at it. He's frustrated and he wants to get out there and help his team too and play ball. And we are too. We love to see him get out there. This is a good time to make the connection. Why do we have a limited number of guys dressing every week?
These guys are fantastic players that work their tail off. Why can't we have 53 guys dress and get them all out there? Everybody could do that; we're paying them, their practicing, and their ready. If for nothing else, to help other guys stay healthy longer. Get more rotation so that guys can stay healthy and contribute. I wish they could. Those are three great guys, and there are a couple other guys who are ready to play football for us right now. They would be in games, they'd be getting the chance to catch the ball, cover kick, carry the football, but because of the restrictions of the numbers we can't do that. John [Schneider] and I get to address this in the offseason but you're speaking to the reasons why. These guys are capable and ready and hungry to play and they're missing out in part of their career because of it.
(On if he has voiced this to the league before) Not officially, no. But, we will.
(On dressing out 52 where another team does 48) Yeah I think it would be really cool to pull guys off the practice squad to fill those spots for that day. Imagine those kids-how they would feel about being able to contribute to the team. They wouldn't care about getting paid more, they just want to play.
(On having talked with other coaches on that) No. Anybody who has ever been in that conversation feels like they should. I've never heard anybody say otherwise.
(On what the film study was like after WR Doug Baldwin's comments) We took a great look at everything you know. And making sure we get to the truth. That's always what that is about is getting to the truth. And that's when you say BS you're talking about avoiding the truth. He was just frustrated. He wasn't directing that at anybody. He was just venting the feeling that we have to make sure and we have to cross all the T's and dot all the I's and get it right. He feels a sense of urgency like we all do. If we're doing that anyway, we're just going to try and do it better and be more consistent and get better results. He's right in the middle of that and I'm sure he'll be practicing his tail off this week to prove that what he said he wants to back up.
(On if DeShawn Shead still in the mix at Corner) Sure. Yeah he has been all along. He's been getting reps there in practice all the time. He is an option for us and he's done a nice job and had a lot of work with us there. So we feel confident he can play.
(On the offense getting going at the second half last season and if that is the case this season) I feel we got better at third down in the second half is what I thought. No, I feel like we ran up against a couple games that we weren't on it the way we needed to be to beat the opponent. I go back again, we needed to finish that game, we were there. We were there. It started in twenty and we had a sack to make it fourth and thirty and he got away with all the magic. We did everything we could do Bruce [Irvin] tried to get it done and Tony [Romo] was better on that play and that lead to their explosion at the end and got them the game.
San Diego we had the ball in our hands at three minutes to go, or whatever it was, you have to go down and win. All these games are like that around the league. We had I think five games last year, we lost three games and there are five other games that could have gone either way just like that. Rams game was one of those last year if you remember and the balance is that fine and so we have to not get out of whack because the result in the finish of the game. We got to get back on track and keep playing and play good ball and make these opportunities come to life on the positive side. Sometimes they do sometimes they don't. That messaging is really important to our players that we understand how close it was even though we didn't like the way we played. There's games like that sometimes.
(On if he knew how versatile LB K.J. Wright was when he brought him in here) Yes. I had it nailed. I knew it from the start. Next question. No we didn't know that. Matter of fact, I can remember getting up one morning after we had seen him in the first mini-camp and going to Kenny [Ken Norton] could you imagine, because we kind of pictured him as an outside linebacker because he's so long and all, that if he was ever a mike linebacker that he would be such a monster in there.
Kenny [Ken Norton] asked him, you probably would think we asked him sooner, but the pointed question was where would you be more comfortable, inside our outside. He said I'd rather play inside, play mike. You know at the time that was when here was here a couple of days. We threw him in there. He has great instincts. He has an unusual body type for that position. But his mind and savvy instincts are well beyond any kind of restrictions. He can play everywhere. In our minds we thought he would be an outside guy. And he does fine out there too, he's a good player there.
(On if LB Malcolm Smith is back) Yeah he played really well in this past game. He had some big plays, some big coverage opportunities and did some nice stuff. Had a couple nice tackles. He's ready to go.
(On if Jeremy Lane is on track to come back) Yeah he's on schedule for when the restriction allows him to come back which he'll start practicing next week and I think it's two more weeks before he can come back.
(On getting RB Marshawn Lynch the ball) Yes, that definitely goes hand in hand; there are a lot of things that go into it. You can think just back to our first drive; we had a nice drive, moved the ball, got it in the red zone, we had two nice third down conversions we don't convert the one in the red zone and end up kicking a field goal. I think the next five third downs, we didn't convert. So that's where you start having issues of not getting enough plays and then long drives on the other side so the clocks running. So it all kind of goes hand in hand. It's not just one thing that ends up with 10 attempts to Marshawn [Lynch].
(On the most disappointing aspect of the offense's performance from last week) Well, there are a lot of things; obviously not scoring enough points to win the game-that's the bottom line for us on offense. The biggest thing was just our overall execution. Again, I know it sounds too simple but there are a lot of things for us that we didn't do well enough; whether it was throwing the ball on time, he said he was off a little bit, there are a couple of times we could catch the ball for him, protection was off. There was a couple times in the run game; somebody goes the wrong way. On offense if you don't have all 11 guys working as one, and everybody doing the right thing and the right time you can have some negative plays and you can have plays that don't go anywhere and that starts to set you back. Then, third down we didn't convert on those and that was kind of the story.
(On shutting down WR Percy Harvin) Yes, I think it was our overall execution. You can talk about the first bubble throw we threw to him, you know Jermaine [Kearse] has a decent block there on the edge trying to cut the guy but the ball ends up being behind him on the throw so he has to spin around, takes his eyes away, and runs right into the block-for examples of that. A couple things in the run game here and there, and then they just make for plays that didn't look very good. You can go back weeks before and they were great plays. It's overall execution. There's not one thing. I can do a better job; I can get us into some better situations-we can run the ball more like everyone's asking. I mean all those things, but overall execution is what it comes down to.
(On WR Percy Harvin's strengths as a receiver) Well we know he's got speed and we know he can go down the field with speed. He's got great quickness so we can use him in that. The test always is, is to make sure some of those guys get the ball in their hands. They're such game breakers; whether it's Marshawn [Lynch], whether it's him [Percy Harvin], and some of those plays make it easier to get him the ball and make sure they're in the stats sheet, he had a play that can impact a game. Sometimes you put a guy just at wide out. I'm watching the Rams play Dallas and there's two guys standing over the top of Dez [Bryant] they're just going to take him away and that can happen. To ensure that doesn't happen, we try to do some things to make sure we can get the guy his touches.
(On using WR Percy Harvin more down the field) Yes, I want to use all our guys. You can go to the three games you win, you're up in the 60 plays, the two games you lose you're in the 40 plays-just not enough. All our guys are very talented and we want to have all of them involved. I hate to get out of the game and some guys have a zero on the stats sheet. Sometimes that's the way it goes. All those guys are very talented-we can use any of them. Do we want Percy [Harvin] to get the ball in every way we possibly can, I think it's obvious because we're trying to do things to get him the ball. We've run him down the field on the play for the touchdown it got called back. But the same thing with a lot of other guys; with Doug [Baldwin], Jermaine [Kearse], and Luke [Willson]-we thought Luke [Willson] could have a nice opportunity as well and Marshawn [Lynch], usually that's the easiest way to get it to him is to turn around and hand it and we didn't do it enough.
(On if it is hard getting everybody the ball) Yes, it's a tough orchestration of the whole thing; you're really not trying to keep everyone happy-when we're happy, it's because we've won. That's where the bottom line is, that's where every guy is going to be happy and understand, but there are so many guys with so much talent, we're trying to use them the best way that we can. We do want to get them all involved in some way or another but I've said it before, we've come out of games where a guy has zero and the next game he has seven. We just kind of have to roll with that, and sometimes that's just the way it goes with how the defense is playing us and where the ball goes at times.
(On him feeling the team's unbalance as a play caller) Yes, I can feel it and I know exactly how many runs we have. You take all the third down plays out, we were really balanced, just in run-pass and that's just if you put every single situation in there. If you start taking some of the two minutes out, we had a couple more runs than we did passes. We just didn't have enough-there are just not enough plays. Now some of those runs, some of them were Percy's [Harvin] run, where they end up being a pass as it's built in, but I keep track of how many times we've run the ball and we know most of the time they're Marshawn [Lynch] but not all of them are so I have a good feel of that.