Many times, it seems like it takes forever to see a shift in the style of play in the NFL. Even recently, the trend toward a more pass-heavy offense seemed rather gradual. Now we’re seeing the rapid rise of young quarterbacks with a running element to their game. With high draft picks such as Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck, it’s a bit less surprising to see them succeed so early. Others, like San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick and Pete Carroll’s signal-caller, Russell Wilson, in Seattle, they seem to signify that the success is more than just about being highly rated, it’s about the style.
Pete Carroll joined The Mighty 1090 in San Diego with Scott and BR to discuss the Seattle Seahawks’ momentum, his team coming back from being down 14-0 early, quarterback Russell Wilson, how Wilson won his job, the play of Richard Sherman and the shift toward young, mobile quarterbacks for so many successful teams.
Are you feeling a wave of momentum at this point?:
“We do feel pretty good about the way we’re playing; we’re doing a lot of good things. … You’ve got a chance. So we’ve been feeling that for quite some time now. We’ve got a pretty good little run here, in terms of eight or nine or 10 weeks. It feels like we have a chance to control what we’re doing if we just keep playing sharp football.”
What was done or said when your team fell behind 14-0 early?:
“We had them right where we wanted them. (laughs) It just didn’t start right. I was a little concerned going in. We had worked so much on their option game to make sure that we had that nailed … that we just didn’t come out playing fast. We made a couple mistakes on the edges. They didn’t run any of their option stuff; they just ran the ball right down our throat. … From that point on, after their first two touchdowns, they only gained like 70 yards or something the rest of the game. So we had a great game as it turned out, we just started miserably.”
On quarterback Russell Wilson:
“He really is an exceptional kid. Forget the football, he’s just an amazing individual — strong and confident and articulate and just driven like you can’t imagine. And then he’s just got marvelous physical talent. He’s a great all-around athlete, can play any sport, do anything. … Then he has this football sense, too, about him, where he can do just about whatever he wants to do on the football field, and he’s done that. And this isn’t the first time he’s done it. He had a marvelous year at Wisconsin. … This is just who this kid is.”
Why didn’t you give Matt Flynn the benefit of the doubt after giving him so much money?:
“When I came here, I made the statement that I didn’t want to play guys based on being Pro Bowl guys or their experience or how much they were getting paid. … That’s how we went. When this came up, we thought Matt would be the answer for us and we went after him and that’s the price we had to pay in free agency. But that didn’t mean we were settled and satisfied with that. … We tailored it so we could see all three, and fortunately, it worked out great for Russell and it worked out great for us. Unfortunately for Matt, Matt’s a great player, too, and he just didn’t get his shot yet.”
Richard Sherman seems to be a budding star with his play and his charisma:
“He has a tremendous mentality and spirit about him. He’s had a fantastic two years of playing for us. He’s the No. 1 pass defender in the league. He had the most passes defended, had eight picks this year, matched up with the best guys when Brandon Browner wasn’t here.”
On the league changing rapidly with quarterbacks like Wilson, RG3 and Colin Kaepernick:
“Yeah, there’s no question. Really, the young quarterbacks performing started before these guys. It started back, I think, my marker would be Flacco and Ryan when they came him. … Well, then we see this big influx the last couple years of these young guys. I think it’s truly about the preparation … and it’s come well before we ever get them — way back into junior high and high school and everybody’s throwing the ball. … Now we’re seeing the really fast guys as well, that can play quarterback and have added the running element. … The league has shifted. In a league that changes so slowly, really, it is exciting to see there’s been a shift.”