Carroll says Wilson had ‘near perfect game’ in Super Bowl
Coach says in the scheme of Seahawks’ offensive plans, Russell Wilson played exactly as team needed to get to playoffs and win championship.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had a little cold on the day of the Super Bowl, coach Pete Carroll revealed Wednesday.
Carroll also confirmed that Wilson’s left shoulder was “sore’’ during a stretch of the midseason, something the team didn’t talk about much at the time.
But after addressing each ailment, Carroll quickly added of Wilson that “he’s fine.’’
And his play throughout the season and Super Bowl, Carroll said, was even better.
Carroll used the topic of Wilson’s health to add some thoughts of his own about the play of his quarterback, which he felt was unfairly maligned at times, especially during a late-season stretch when the Seahawks lost two of three games.
Specifically, Carroll thinks some observers didn’t take into account the way that Wilson’s play fits into the team’s overall philosophy, notably in taking care of the ball — Wilson threw just nine interceptions this year.
“There was a lot of concern about our offense and about Russell’s performance and all that,’’ Carroll said. “And I would continue to tell you that he was playing well within what we were expecting and needing in games. There’s always more production, there’s always more yards out there for us. But I thought his finish in the playoffs was just an exquisite effort by the quarterback.
“His play was perfectly fitted to our football team and the plans that we needed to win the games. And it couldn’t have been more obvious than in the Super Bowl — that was a near-perfect game.’’
Wilson was 18 of 25 in the Super Bowl for 206 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, as Seattle forced four turnovers while not losing any.
“Hanging on to the football allows us to win, and he was perfect at that,’’ Carroll said. “And distributing the ball as well as he did.
“So we go into this offseason with my hopes are that he is really going to take another big step forward.’’
Seahawks healthy heading into offseason
The Seahawks have few significant health issues entering the offseason, capping a year when Carroll said the team was as healthy as any he has been around.
In fact, he cited the team’s overall health as a reason for the 43-8 blowout of the Broncos.
“We were so fortunate that we were strong in the last game,’’ he said. “We were fast in the last game, we were strong and fit.’’
Carroll said left tackle Russell Okung may need another surgery on his toe, an injury that caused him to miss eight games during the regular season.
“He had a sore toe the whole time and played through it and did a great job,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll said safety Kam Chancellor had a hip issue that bothered him much of the year but was as healthy as at any time all season for the Super Bowl.
He also said defensive end Michael Bennett had his shoulders looked at but won’t need surgery.
“We had so few guys that are going to have to have surgeries,’’ he said. “There are always some things that will pop up but we end on a really good (level of health).’’
Rice recovering well
Carroll also said receiver Sidney Rice, who suffered an ACL injury at St. Louis on Oct. 28, is recovering quickly.
“He’s had an unbelievable recovery from his surgery,’’ Carroll said. “Within weeks he was back up with almost total reflection and extension and it’s just almost an unheard of type of recovery. It’s so far ahead of schedule, so that’s great for Sid. We’ll see how that turns out, but right off the bat we’ve never seen anybody (recover) like that.’’
Rice is due to make $9.7 million next season, leading to lots of speculation that the Seahawks may cut him, or ask him to restructure his contract.
• Carroll said cornerback Richard Sherman suffered a second-degree high ankle sprain in the Super Bowl that would have caused him to miss a few weeks if it happened during the season. Sherman was out of his walking boot on Monday.
• Carroll said players such as defensive end Greg Scruggs, defensive tackle Jesse Williams and linebacker Korey Toomer, who all missed the season with injuries, should be ready for Organized Team Activities in May.
• One player Carroll said still has a ways to go to recover is cornerback Tharold Simon, a rookie in 2013 who missed the season with injuries to both feet. Carroll said Simon recently had another surgery and “might be a little longer’’ in his recovery.
• Carroll said he has talked to President Obama and noted that the president appeared familiar with the team. He said the team has accepted an invitation to the White House, but no date has been set.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta