PITTSBURGH—As the Seahawks celebrated in the visitors' locker room, Russell Wilson readied to present the game ball to head coach Pete Carroll, who on his 68th birthday recorded his 100th win with Seattle.
But before Wilson could say a few words about his coach, several teammates, led by linebacker Bobby Wagner, jumped in and drenched Carroll with bottles of water and Gatorade.
It was a moment of jubilation not just because the team improved to 2-0 with a 28-26 win over the Steelers, but because of what Carroll has meant to the team over the past decade.
"It's everything, his birthday, 100th win, who he is as a coach, his energy," Wagner said. "We just wanted to show him that we're thinking about him. We understand how much work he puts in to help us get where we want to be."
As for the impromptu shower, Wagner said, "He wasn't expecting it. That's the best thing to get him when he's not expecting it."
Wilson, who had a big hand in Carroll's 100th win, throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns, said, "It was awesome to see coach Carroll in there. It's his 68th birthday. He looks like he's 38. He runs around like he's 28. Just to have him as our coach, as our leader in terms of how he brings it every day. His competitive nature. His consistency on a daily basis. I have a lot of respect for who he is as a person, who he is as a coach, and what he's meant to this city, this football team throughout the years. To think about 100 wins with the Seattle Seahawks has been special."
Carroll often downplays personal accomplishments and milestones, saying he'll reflect on that whenever his coaching career comes to an end, but he had to admit that this day was special. As Carroll has said on a few occasions, having been fired twice by NFL teams earlier in his career, he never could have imagined coming to Seattle and becoming the franchise's longest-tenured head coach.
"It's pretty exciting, really, because I didn't know it was going to happen when we came here," he said. "But to be at 100 in year 10, and we've got a lot more games left to get this year, it's a proud statement to make that we're able to do that here. I love so much that we're doing it for the people and the fans that love us so much. I'm thrilled about it, just the staying power of it."
The fact that this was Carroll's 68th birthday is a little hard to accept for Seattle's players no matter what their coach's birth certificate says.
"If you watch him, he's 68 years old, he does not look it one bit, does not move around like it one bit," Wagner said. "… He doesn't act 68."
"He seems about 52," linebacker K.J. Wright added.
Said left tackle Duane Brown: "I can only hope I have that kind of energy he has (when I'm 68). He runs around like he's our age. He's always energetic every day, he's the same guy every day. So it's very, very surprising (that he's 68). But I'm glad we got the win for him today."
Of the celebration, Brown said, "Just a little something to let him know he means a lot to us. We're very happy for him, grateful for him, and we wanted to surprise him a little bit."
For as much fun as the Seahawks had celebrating with their coach, this win was big for a lot of other reasons as well. Most notably, the Seahawks are 2-0 for the first time since 2013, a record that after Sunday includes a tough road victory against a good opponent. And they are off to that 2-0 start feeling like they still have a lot of room to grow.
"Really fired up just about this start," Carroll said. "We have so much improvement. We have so many areas and ways we can get better. We're just getting warmed up.
"I like the way we played today, I liked the style that we played with… We are still growing, and we are not there yet."
The Seahawks lost the turnover battle on Sunday, they committed 10 penalties, some of them setting up Pittsburgh scores or costing Seattle points, yet they remain unbeaten anyway thanks to a gritty win.
"It's not easy to win at Heinz Field, especially their first home game," Brown said. "It's a very hostile environment. To be able to come in here and get this win, it wasn't always pretty—we did a lot of good things, but there's a lot of things we've got to clean up—but we're 2-0 right now, and that's all that matters."
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 2 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.