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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



December 11, 2012 at 9:03 AM

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What Pete Carroll said/What Pete Carroll meant

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reporter Danny O'Neil insists he has patented a PETE CARROLL TRANSLATOR to decipher just what Seattle's coach actually means. We're not so sure and suggest you take his translation as not so much a literal description of the coach's meaning, but a humorous interpretation.

What Carroll said: "What's up?"

What Carroll meant: How you like them apples?

What Carroll said: "We had a great film to look at today for the coaches to figure stuff out and see what happened and all. Just so many things went right. So many opportunities were there that we took advantage of it just really worked out to be a one-sided game for us. It was really a great opportunity for us to get a lot of guys playing time. To have everybody contribute, and to give use a chance, one to coach guys off the film that don't normally get to play, that's always good, and (two) just to get a good feel of everybody in the locker room. That was good."

What Carroll meant: Usually Monday is either the day where reporters ask me to distribute credit after a victory or assign blame after a defeat. Well, that game was so golden that you're not going to have much to ask about, huh? The rookie quarterback everyone loves talking about threw only 13 passes. Our rookie running back Robert Turbin had almost as many yards as our workhorse, Marshawn Lynch. This was like a youth soccer game because everyone got to play.

Q: Marshawn has had his best rushing yardage total and his best per-rush average. Can you talk a little bit about his season?

What Carroll said: "Yeah, I think the thing that comes to mind is his consistency. He has been very consistent with his output and his effort and his style. Everything has been there every single game. He has been healthy. We have managed him well during the week, and he has come out fast and sharp really every single time we've shown up. I don't know if other years, other places how he was with his health, that has been a great boost for him this year."

What Carroll meant: Well, I don't want to pour any salt in anyone's wounds, but the man has scored 27 rushing touchdowns since we traded for him while the team that traded him -- the one we just so happen to be playing this week -- has rushed for 26 touchdowns as a team since that deal.

Q: You had a schedule change with the league moving your game Sunday night

What Carroll said: "We're going to play them this Sunday?"

What Carroll meant: Ever heard of one game at a time? Because if you think I'm going to talk about a game two weeks from now, you probably haven't interviewed many football coachs.

Q: No. You're not playing them this week.

What Carroll said: "Oh, I thought maybe back-to-back. Yeah, whatever. It's moved back a little bit. That's two weeks from now."

What Carroll meant: Seriously, due. One. Game. At. A. Time. Especially since that game won't mean nearly as much if we don't win Sunday playing at Buffalo in Toronto or whatever international import-export deal has been arranged for Sunday.

Q: Can't get you to talk about the excitement of playing San Francisco in prime time?

What Carroll said: "Nah, there's nothing to talk about. What does that mean. We'll just stay in the hotel a little bit longer and then go play."

What Carroll meant: Look, I don't care if it is Jim Harbaugh's 49th birthday (which it is) and he's planning to drink Bacardi like it's his birthday (which he won't), I'm not talking about it.

Q: How does it change what you look at after a game like that where you beat a team 58-0? Usually, you have points you can look at in a game, certain plays that turn things. When it's that wide of a margin, how different is it to go back and look at the tape?

What Carroll said: "You didn't say difficult, you said how different? It's not much different, really. We look at every play. We look at every guy on every play and what his assignment was and what he was supposed to do. In that process, you get lost in the small part of that, trying to figure it out and the big part of the game doesn't figure in. So it wasn't any different. It's really the same. In the back of your mind, you know the outcome, so it's a little more fun watching it than when the outcome goes the other way, but really, we have to do a really consistent job of making sure we do dig into everything so we don't miss something from one week to the next."

What Carroll meant: Coaches love to watch tape. It's like our binky or security blanket. We watch the tape, and we go through every play and try and find some nits to pick and something to worry about, but in the back of our mind, even crusty old coaches like us know that the final score was 58 to nothing.

Q: How do you handle blowouts like this late in games?

What Carroll said: "With good fortune, I've been around a lot of those games, and I really think there is a way to do it.

"First, you've got to win the game. That's the primary purpose. Then there's a lot of sensitivity here to what's going on. You have an opportunity to play young guys, get 'em out there. We want to do that for sure. You want to make sure that you get your guys the sensitivity of getting your guys out so they don't get banged up. They don't get extra hits late in the game when maybe a younger guy who could be out there battling for them.

"You have the other side, the other team. It's an obvious sensitivity, particularly as it gets as lopsided as it does, and you still want to keep making progress. You want to play good and finish the game playing well, and then sometimes you have special considerations that come up like we did yesterday with Matt (Flynn).

"This was the first time Matt has gotten in the game. We just haven't had the opportunity. He needs to play. He needs to get ready because he's one play away from leading this football team. In that instance -- and this is for years -- I've always taken a look at what our special needs are. He needed to throw the ball a little bit. So he threw it nine times. We threw it 22 times in the game so it was nothing. And if you noticed, he threw a variety of things just so he got a chance to get some stuff on film and get his feet wet.

"All of those things taken into consideration, that's what's going on, and I'm very clear about how you do it, and have done it a lot. I've been in games where we're taking a knee in the second quarter to get the clock run out. It's a sensitive situation, I understand that, but we have a very clear way that we go about it, and we're trying to accomplish a lot of stuff in that situation as well as just finishing the football game."

What Carroll meant: I did mention that we only threw it 22 times, right? Because we only threw it 22 times, and nine of those were by the backup quarterback who's new to the team and hasn't had a chance to play yet and someone we'd like to get some throws on tape so perhaps other teams will remember he's a darn good prospect.

All of our backups were in by the end. All of them. We ran the ball 42 times, and anyone who thinks I have a tendency to run up the score like other coaches (cough, cough Brett Bielema cough, cough) should go look back to 2008 when my USC team took a knee in the second quarter against Washington State to avoid scoring before halftime.

Is 58 points a lot? Heck, yeah, but if we had wanted to score 60 on Sunday, we could have.


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