The Seahawks saw their 2016 season come to an end Saturday in a Divisional Round loss in Atlanta. It was a season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, in which the Seahawks couldn't quite capture the level of consistency they have found in past seasons.
"We never found the consistency of our execution throughout the course of the year, for a variety of reasons," Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday morning. "We were good enough to win a division, we were good enough to win enough games to get there and all of that, but we never got our roll going. There were reasons for that, but that's what we didn't have… We were not able to find the consistency of execution that gives you the chance to get the feel and momentum that we have seen in past years."
One of the reasons for that was a higher-than-usual number of injuries to key players, ranging from quarterback Russell Wilson to receiver Tyler Lockett to defensive end Michael Bennett to running back Thomas Rawls to safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Another injury that had not previously come to light before Monday was a knee injury that cornerback Richard Sherman played through for much of the season.
"He dealt with a significant knee the whole second half of the season, and it was stressful for him to try to get out there," Carroll said. "He had an MCL problem that he could play with, like Russell did. He had the same problem that Russell did and he made it through it, the same problem that Tyler had—you guys didn't even realize how hurt Tyler was early in the year—and they just made it through it."
Carroll noted that battling through that injury could have played into some of the frustration shown by Sherman on a couple of occasions this season.
"It was remarkable what those guys did, but that weighs on you, particularly when you're out there on the edge and know you're not quite at 100 percent. It fed into some of the stuff he had to deal with. I admire how hard he worked at this thing and how he tried to handle it, and also when he made his mistakes, he was burdened by that and had to work his way through it. He's a good man and he's trying to get everything right."
On Wilson, who battled through an MCL injury, a high-ankle sprain, then later a pectoral injury, Carroll said, "I can't tell you how hurt he was early in the year. Guys don't play with those things, but fortunately for his position and his ability to adapt his style, he could do it, and he did it. He willed it through and did some marvelous things. But he wasn't the only one, there were a lot of guys who did some extraordinary things—like other guys on other teams do as well, we're not unique to that—but there's stories within the stories. I'm most proud of these guys and thrilled to watch them battle the way they did.
"They're not making the choice to say, 'What's best for me?' They made the choice of what was necessary for the team, they guys they care for, and there was never a question, they never questioned it. It was like, 'I'm fine, I'm OK, I'm going to go.'"
The news on cornerback DeShawn Shead, who left Saturday's game with a knee injury, was unfortunately not positive.
"He got a really significant injury," Carroll said. "It's going to take him a long time. I don't want to put months on it, but it's a long time."
Carroll did not provide a timeline on Thomas and Lockett, who are both recovering from broken legs, but noted their recoveries will be different because Lockett's injury required surgery while Thomas' did not.
"Tyler had the big surgery and Earl didn't, so we'll see what happens," Carroll said. "Tyler, he's coming back fast already. He had the big surgery. So we'll have a great comparison to see how it works."
Action photos from the Seahawks Divisional playoff game vs the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.