GREEN BAY, Wisc.—The final attempt at a game winning drive came up short for the Seahawks, as rookie quarterback Holten Ahlers was intercepted in the end zone after driving the team to the 12-yard line in the final two minutes.
But despite the disappointing ending to the game, a 19-15 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was thrilled with what he has seen from his team over the past three weeks as they prepare for the regular season.
"This was a really good final game for us, taxing, making the trip, first chance on the road," Carroll said. "We really tried to emphasize that to our guys just so that we could start the process because we are playing so many games on the road coming up and we've got to know how to do it. Coming here is a special place. Good crowd and all that kind of stuff, so we had to do silent count and all the things you do on the road. And it was our young guys handled it."
Part of what Carroll likes about the performance was how his team held up early in the game when the Packers had most of their starters on the field while the Seahawks were playing their reserves.
"What I was really pleased about and what I love about these guys is that it doesn't matter who is out there; they play their tails off," Carroll said. "We get terrific effort up front on offense, up front on defense from our guys regardless of who is out there. We fight all the way throughout, whatever the opportunity presents to us. Holton is trying to bring us down and win a football game there at the end. We were all thinking we were going to win. The mentality of that and this locker room is special, it is strong, it is together, and I couldn't be more pleased with it."
The unfortunate reality of the NFL is that the special, strong locker room will look a little different after Tuesday when teams must trim their rosters from 90 to 53 players. But with a 16-player practice squad, the Seahawks will still have the majority of the players who are on the roster now still on the team next week in some capacity, and based off of what he has seen from his team so far this preseason, Carroll is excited to keep as many players currently on the team as possible.
"As we get to this weekend, you think about it, OK, here comes the change in the roster and all of that," Carroll said. "Sixty-nine of these players are going to be with us, and that is a bunch of guys in this locker room right here that are going to stay with us. There will be some changes, there are always some, but the bulk of these guys are going to be with us, and I love that because these guys are connected and they know how we play, what we expect, how we prepare, how we talk about our challenges and all of that. And that's only going to make us better as we go through the start of the season coming up.
"I feel really good where we are right now. We've had a great camp. I would have loved to have gotten that touchdown right there. I would be screaming about, 'You can win the game in the fourth quarter' and all that kind of stuff and having fun with it, but we didn't get that. But all the rest of it we did, and so I am really pleased with all the work that is being done here."
Reiterating that point later in his press conference, Carroll said, "I would love to keep this group, I would love this group to be together. We are going to try to do that if we can, we'll see how it goes. We will have some challenges about that. Right now, there are a bunch of guys that know how they fit on this team and their role and all that kind of stuff; I'd like to keep it as solid as we can. It's probably not possible to get it all, but I want those guys to know we want them in our locker room… I want to keep that going as best as we can because we have a chance to have a really good club."
Check out some of the best action shots from Preseason Week 3 vs. the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 26, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.