There are plenty of things that can be said, and already have been, about the Seattle Seahawks. They don’t deserve a playoff spot, let alone a home game, after a 7-9 season. They were terrible down the stretch but found a way to make it in. They’ve, at times, had no rushing game, and to compound that their starting quarterback is hurt. Say what you will, but at the end of the day, first-year coach Pete Carroll has the Seahawks in the playoffs well ahead of schedule.
Is this like his days at USC, where they dominated on the way to a title game? No. Far from it. Will they probably get blown out by Drew Brees and the Saints? I tend to think yes. But if this is just the start of the Seahawks’ turnaround, they and the 12th Man are once again going to be hard to beat going forward. Pete Carroll joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Scott and BR to discuss clinching the playoff home game, doing so with Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback, if he thought about playing veteran Matt Hasselbeck, if he’ll consider Hasselbeck going forward and what it’s going to be like to host the defending Super Bowl champs.
On getting the victory to make the playoffs:
“We had a great time with it. We hadn’t been playing real good lately, so to be able to pull it together like that when we needed it most was really rewarding and a great accomplishment for our young team.”
On getting it done with backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst:
“I’m telling you, he had so much fun. He was so thrilled just to be part of that thing and also to pull it off. He did a really nice job, took care of the football. He avoided getting hit by those guys. That’s only the second time this year they didn’t get a sack.”
On whether he considered going with Matt Hasselbeck:
“Some of the guys on the staff were bringing it up, but I was pretty committed. I really felt like Matt was going to be vulnerable. It was just going to be a hard night for him. If we had to go with him and we weren’t getting anything done then we would’ve given him a chance.”
On whether he’ll use everyone bashing the 7-9 season as motivation:
“No (sarcastically). We won’t do that. We don’t want to use that underdog stuff. We won’t use that at all.”
On getting a chance to host the Super Bowl champs, who beat them earlier in the season:
“It is pretty cool. I wonder if they’re going to come walking out of the trees like they do [in the commercial]. … We played those guys and Drew [Brees] played particularly well against us. He ripped us up when we played them down there. The familiarity with that game and also that we’ve seen them play all our opponents from our division and stuff this year helps us have a feel for them.”
On whether he’s made up his mind to play Whitehurst against the Saints:
“No I didn’t say that at all. You’re reading between the lines. We’ll figure that out. If you look back, Matt played great against these guys … and he’s been in these situations. It’ll be an interesting decision.”
On surrounding himself with younger coaches:
“That’s really by design. There’s a couple reason. One of them, I like guys who are on the way up and will do anything that you put in front of them. I think the youthful part of that really shows up because these guys have to work really hard. You need a lot of juice and to not have been there 1,000 times before. I didn’t start out that way, but when I went to USC I really started to go the other way.”