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Seahawks vs. Panthers: Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman, Luke Willson presser notes; Injury update

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Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman, and Luke Willson spoke to the media on Wednesday after Seahawks' practice. I took notes.

Coach Carroll:

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  • This is really exciting, kick into this week in high gear. Realize the challenge the Panthers brings us is enormous.

  • Having Bobby Wagner back this time against Carolina means not only is Bobby back to play MIKE but it allows KJ to play WILL. Greg Olsen is a magnificent target, he can do everything and they know it. He is as good as the best guys in the game.

  • Would like to take a lot out of the success Olsen had Week 6.

  • Not a big deal, somebody is going to catch the football, we are a zone team so the TE does. Is not a big focus for us.

  • Marshawn Lynch is going to practice fully, going to go day-to-day. But Pete can feel he is encouraged to go for it again.

  • Have really appreciated Christine Michael's return. He has showed us nothing but good stuff, he has been dead on it. He played really solid last week again in the most challenging of conditions. He can play as a starter if we need him to.

  • Jimmy Graham had a huge game (Week 6 against Carolina) not only because Russell Wilson found him from the pocket in rhythm but also found him in a bunch of scrambles.

  • The Panthers' run game is the most diverse run game you will see in the NFL. Because the QB is such a dynamic part of it, he will run inside, outside, lead plays, powers, read stuff. This is the most difficult offense we will face. Nobody relies on the QB to run like they do.

  • Richard Sherman in particular had a great game tackling-wise last week. Has been a consistent hardball corner since he got here. Sherman is a legitimate part of our run-fits.

  • Earl Thomas is real critical to everything we do defensively. Because he is in the middle so much, that is the area that stops deep posts and seam routes. Saw him knock out a seam route last week. To do this game after game, year after year is a tremendous strength as a football team. Not to mention the tackles he makes when he comes up out of the backfield. Limiting explosive plays comes from him.

  • "We are just a bunch of hard working guys, no name type of guys I guess" -- in response to having the #1 scoring defense for the 4th straight year and yet have no 1st team All-Pro defenders.

  • Luke Willson will be full go today (concussion).

  • Will Tukuafu will not practice (hamstring).

  • Interestingly, when you play in the cold we came out of it very strong. Playing in the cold doesn't wear you down as much physically. Feel very fortunate to come into this week so well. (Also helped that the defensive snap count and offensive snap count were very balanced, no one side over-worked).

  • Thinks there are some hidden factors in how the defense limits teams to under 60 plays in a game. Sign you are playing good 3rd down defense, and are limiting the opposing offenses opportunities to make plays. (Sunday was 6th time defense has limited the opponent to less than 60 plays on offense).

  • Tyler Lockett was very conscious and showed very strong awareness in what he did returning and running after the catch in terms of ball security last week.

  • Pete got in trouble his second year in coaching when he would talk to players. He got ripped for listening to the players and not making all the decisions and choices for them.

  • Thinks the more you can engage the people you are dealing with, involve them in the process, you have a better chance of drawing in the best sides they can offer as well, you aren't suppressing what they have to offer. In the old military they'd take in the grunts and shave their heads and put them in the same uniform and want everybody to act within the guidelines so they can count on how they could act. But in that format you could only go so high and could only act so well because you are governed so strictly. Special Forces units aren't taught that way anymore, they aren't treated like that. They are treated to draw out all they have to offer in terms of their gut and ability to preserve, they are taught to bring out the special qualities that allow them to think clearly and engage creatively and do extraordinary things, think it is along those lines that we are looking for more from the players and draw more from them.

  • Criticism of Pete (that he is too loose, isn't strict enough with the players) is a distraction. Doesn't think of it that way, we have extremely ridged standards we operate by. To play like we play we have to have extraordinary discipline. The example of what we did last week against a great RB that we face was all about discipline, doing things right no matter how individualist you think this thing is. Thinks it is because of the buy in, because players have committed to one another, they are willing to do what it takes to give to the overall effort, even with them being accepted for who they are.

  • Don't think we are perceived as strict as we are to our style of play and how we handle this game. Doesn't know how we could be as consistently as we have been over a long period of time without really rigid standards and guidelines that people have to live within. Maybe the message is delivered different and that confuses them and that is why they don't understand.

  • This is about helping people be the best they can be. It doesn't have anything to do with sports to Pete. It has to do with parenting, mentoring, coaching, and leading. It is having the willingness to deeply look into the people you are dealing with so you can help them find a way to be their best. This comes from some science stuff, some experience stuff, started back in the '70s. This is about helping people find their way.

  • Will coach up the techniques of securing the tackle and attacking the football after that (in regards to Kam Chancellor's attempt to strip the TE instead of tackle).

  • Have been involved with Special Forces, visiting and consulting with them for as long as Pete can remember. Respects that they have to be at their very best, their training and planning and preparation is all so deep because it is life and death. They are the ones competing at the highest level.

  • Think Michael Bennett is in better shape with his toe (compared to pre-injection), he will be practicing today so that worked out for him.

  • Think the Rams move to LA is an exciting thing. Exciting for the people in Southern California. For us it is great, love that we are playing in the west, for all the California guys it is fun to have a chance to play down there in our division. Sounds like an incredible plan. Gonna be enormously valuable to the area. Sad for the St Louis fans.

  • Will be fun to go back to the coliseum. It won't feel at home being in the visitors locker-room.

Richard Sherman:

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  • Has thawed out, in some ways, the brain takes longer to thaw out.

  • Body didn't feel different after that game than any other game.

  • The Panthers are familiar. Just like playing a division game.

  • After a while you stop competing with other people and you start competing with yourself and history. Want to be a complete player. Just see how good you can get, how perfect you can play. It isn't about what other people think when you get to that point, it is about competing with the man in the mirror.

  • Panthers rushing attack all starts with Cam Newton. Have to be aware of Jonathan Stewart because he has been phenomenal this year. And Mike Tolbert can be involved in the pass game, screen game and run game.

  • Panthers rushing attack is the run diverse. No one really runs what they run besides college teams.

  • It's not odd that the defense that has lead the NFL in scoring defense for 4 straight years doesn't have any All-Pros. "Sometimes people get spoiled with greatness." Not surprised people said this is a bad year for our defense when we are #2 total defense and #1 scoring defense.

  • Defending the run starts in the middle, Brandon Mebane and Ahtyba Rubin, then it goes to Mike Bennett and Cliff Avril, Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Kam Chancellor, the safeties then outside to the corners. It starts with the DTs because if you can move them out of the way you can move the defense. They are closest to the ball. Anytime your two tackles can get pushed off the ball you can't stop anything. Big Rube has been running to the ball, who is faster is a pick'um.

  • Think Josh Norman has had a great year. Has played some tough matchups and done well.

  • Pete has made it sound like he has coached for every team, fired from eight or something. Definitely given the team tidbits of his story but not sure how much he has added to it. Has been through the ringer but has hid string of success.

  • Don't have to fly to St. Louis anymore with the move to LA. Don't have a time change, no 10AM games anymore.

  • Sherman's team growing up were the Oilers, fan of Warren Moon. Because of a black QB. Hoped he wins.

  • Thought "that was it, that moment when he loses it, I can pin-point it" when Pete tackled the white board. Thought he wouldn't be getting up. His form was phenomenal. Pete knows how to tackle. He lead with his head though, so the league might want to talk to him. Assume he was a physical safety with how he tackled the white board.

  • Deserve the right to celebrate when you get to the end zone, it's difficult. Has no problem with Cam celebrating. This is a game. He's enjoying it.

  • It is awesome to have the chance to correct the wrongs.

  • Thinks it's awesome how Cam and Russell are gonna be in a big game and it isn't even a point of attention that they are black. Cam is up for MVP, rhetoric of they can only run, they can't throw from the pocket, they can only do play-action is changing.

  • Earl is the lynch pin to this defense, just as MikeB is. They'd have to change how we approach things without those guys.

Luke Willson:

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  • Last week was tough, especially in the playoffs you want to be there for your team. But after talking to the doctors and feeling the symptoms it was the right decision.

  • Was watching, growing up in Canada having experience with cold weather, doesn't think he has been in weather that cold, especially with the wind. Can't really comment because he wasn't there.

  • Their LB's run very well. Gonna be a great matchup across the board. Thinks both teams are very similar in terms of speed and physicality.

  • Thinks this is the heavy-weight matchup of the season in the NFL.

Seahawks Injury Report:

Did Not Participate:

  • Will Tukuafu (hamstring)
  • Michael Bennett (toe)

Full Participation:

  • Luke Willson (concussion)
  • Marshawn Lynch (abdomen)

Relevant Tweets:

  • @Curtis_Crabtree Jon Ryan on his failed run: "I couldn't just press L2 and jump outside. I'm a middle aged white guy. It doesn't quite work that way."

  • @bcondotta Interesting nugget from Seattle punter/holder Jon Ryan on Minnesota's missed FG Sunday Ryan says snap to kick time is 1.3 seconds but Vikings were 1.17 on that kick. He thinks they quickened it due to Sherman's rush earlier.

  • @gbellseattle OC Darrell Bevell on Marshawn Lynch Weds "He looks good. Probably one of the best days he's had out there...more cuts, more tempo" #Seahawks

  • @bcondotta Darrell Bevell says Lynch had "probably one of the best days" he's had since returning. Says he "looked good."

My Thoughts:

  • I'm not believing any reports about Lynch until I see him active on game day. My expectation is for CMike to start and Beastmode to be inactive and if I am proven wrong then I will be happy, but I am not gonna play the "will Marshawn play?" game all week.

  • I realize we got some guys on IR, but damn we are healthy going into this game. Love it.