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710 ESPN Seattle Audio: Pete Carroll talks NFC Championship win with "Brock and Danny"
Early Monday, following the Seahawks 23-17 NFC Championship win over the San Francisco 49ers, head coach Pete Carroll joined the team's flagship radio station 710 ESPN Seattle for his weekly conversation with Brock Huard and Danny O'Neil.
"Whenever they throw the ball deep at Richard [Sherman], I always feel like he's going to get it," Carroll said of Sherman's game-saving tip of a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the corner end zone with less than 30 seconds to play.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith was in position for the interception off Sherman's tip, as the Seahawks recorded three takeaways in the fourth quarter to secure the victory and send the club to Super Bowl XLVIII. Earlier in the quarter, defensive end Cliff Avril accounted for a fumble-forcing sack of Kaepernick that was picked up by fellow edge-rusher Michael Bennett and strong safety Kam Chancellor made a leaping grab on a sideline ball intended for wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
"When it happens that you're going [to the Super Bowl}, you can't fathom it," Carroll said. "You can't hold the thought almost."
After trailing 10-3 at halftime, the Seahawks scored 20 second-half points behind big days from running back Marshawn Lynch - who ripped off a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter, wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse - who combined for 150 yards and a touchdown through the air, and quarterback Russell Wilson - who finished 16-of-25 for 215 yards and a 104.6 QB rating.
"We don't have enough words, enough descriptions," Carroll said of the second Super Bowl berth in franchise history, where they'll meet the AFC Champion Denver Broncos on Feb. 2 at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium. "It was just really, really unique and you get outside of yourself for a bit there.
"Let's go, get cranked up. We've got another game."
Below are a few more nuggets from Carroll's Monday conversation with "Brock and Danny":
- Carroll said wide receiver Percy Harvin "should be fine" for the team's meeting with the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Harvin suffered a concussion in the team's divisional-round game against the New Orleans Saints and did not clear NFL concussion protocol in time for yesterday's NFC Championship.
- "The way he played [on Sunday] leads us to championships." Carroll, on the play of quarterback Russell Wilson. On his 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse that came on a 4th-and-7 play in the fourth quarter, Carroll said Wilson alerted the huddle he would go with a hard-count to try and lure the defense offside. If the 49ers jumped, the Seahawks had a free play to go deep. "He caught them, did it, threw it and we caught it. It was marvelous execution by the guys to get that done."
- Carroll said he and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable picked out the 6-foot-3, 320-pound rookie offensive lineman Alvin Bailey to matchup against the 49ers fast and physical linebacking corps of Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Ahmad Brooks and NaVorro Bowman. "Their outside backers are monsters," Carroll said. "We wanted to see if we could neutralize one of those matchups with one of our guys."
- "He played a fantastic football game for them and kept them alive when they wouldn't have had a chance otherwise." Carroll, on the play of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who finished 14-of-24 for 153 yards, a TD, two picks, and a fumble lost, and who piled up 130 yards on 11 carries.
- "He brings out the best in us. He brings out the best in me." Carroll, on what it's like to go against 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who has led his club to three straight NFC Championship games.