The question was a simple enough request for an update on the health of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who is playing through a core muscle injury.
And at first, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll obliged, providing a brief update on one of his team's top defensive players, but then Carroll delivered what amounted to a two-minute closing statement on the state of his team heading into the final three games of the season.
There wasn't a ton to like about the Seahawks' performance in a 28-12 loss to the Rams, but Sunday night's loss didn't change much for the Seahawks going forward. Win their final three games, and the Seahawks would be NFC West champs and get a first-round bye regardless of how things shake out. And that has been the message from Carroll and his players since Sunday night's loss—yes, that was an ugly one, but everything is still out there for the Seahawks if they get up off the mat and respond to the shot to the chin they took last night.
"For a lot of guys and for teams, these seasons are like a heavyweight championship match," Carroll said after a brief update on Clowney. "Each game is like another round. You try to go as many rounds as you can, if you lose a round, you try not to get knocked out, so that you can come back and battle. That's what it feels like. We've got a few rounds left in this season to go ahead and finish. We've got to come out slugging and going for it, making good choices, and playing smart. But it's all there for us. It's exciting for us, and for our fans, to follow this—I know it's not always easy and it certainly isn't perfect. Guys like Clowney, he's fighting through it. You saw (Cody) Barton, a rookie, fighting through it. You saw K.J. (Wright) come back in the game and his finger was crooked.
"The way these guys are going at it, it gives us a chance. I think the indication of how we came out after halftime on defense; we got a touchdown on defense, we get another pick, we block a field goal, we stop them again, force a punt. That gave us a chance to get back in this game and win ourselves a ball game. I think that's the same kind of mentality it's going to take to get it done here at the end. We've got to fight our way through this and go back on the road again. Here we go again, across the country and get it done, and then come back and see what's up next. It's an exciting time of the year, and it's a challenging time of the year. We're going to make our season here with how we do this. I'm really excited about it. As much as that was a mess last night, it's about dealing with it and moving on is what it's about here is what has to happen. So that's what's going on here in this building, and I'm looking forward to the challenge of it. So, we'll see how it goes."
So how do the Seahawks go about getting over what Carroll called "a really disappointing ball game" and get right for this week's game in Carolina? Getting over a loss starts with the same discipline that is needed to move forward after a good win—learn from what occurred in the past game, then put that behind you and focus on the task at hand this week.
"I think it's the discipline of the approach," Carroll said. "We like to stay with it. This has been enormously valuable to us over the years that we're able to do this. These guys are prepared to put something behind us one way or the other, win or lose. We have to be disciplined about that and not get dragged through it and taken back to whatever just happened. We need to take the lessons that we learn, move forward and be better off. We have to get turned into what's going on down the road here this next week. It's my discipline. It's the players' and the coaches' discipline to just do it. We know it's important and it's crucial. It's the ability to command your own focus and put it in the right spot. Hopefully, we'll do a good job of that."
And if the Seahawks can do that, if they can properly process Sunday's loss and respond with a good performance in Carolina, then do it again the next week and the week after that, well then they don't need to let their worst loss of the season be a knockout blow.
"This whole season is in the next few weeks here," Carroll said. "It starts with us going to Carolina. Regardless of what would've happened last night, we had to do the exact same thing we have to do this week, and the next week, and the next week. We're fortunate to be in that position. We're not waiting on anybody else. We've kind of been in this situation before and we've gotten through it. I'm hoping we can do this again. Again, it goes back to the discipline and staying focused on what's right at hand. The three games, we can't do anything about, but the one game, we can. That's what we really need to zero in on."
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 14 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.