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What The Seahawks Are Saying About The 49ers

HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL

(Opening Statement) “We’re battling to get ready. We’ve got a good matchup coming home. This is kind of a segment of the schedule that would be something that we need to really cash in on – playing at home. It seems like it’s been rare for us this year. It’s our first time coming back, it’s a big deal we get started on the right foot and do a good job. We’re worried always about a Kyle Shanahan team. He’s a fantastic coach and does a great job with his offense. We’ve watched him for years and years and gone against him for years in different places and always have had great respect. They can run it, they’ve got a really good scheme to get the quarterback out of the pocket. They do all kinds of really good things and it’s going to be a big challenge for us there. It’s always important for us to run it and hopefully we can do a good job. If you look at their (49ers) stats, you’ll see they’re giving up a hundred yards a game rushing which is really good and really solid. Robert Saleh (49ers defensive coordinator) is doing a good job with those guys on defense. We have a big matchup. We have to take this opportunity really serious and do a good job with the week.”

(On Nick Mullens) “He’s been efficient. He gets the ball out. They move him a lot in the play action game. If you look at it, it’s been hard to get to him. He’s only been sacked four times in about 100 throws – he’s done a real nice job there. He makes quick decisions, that’s why he’s getting rid of the football well. They’ve mixed him in to matchup with the running game quite well.”

(On what he thinks Richard Sherman’s legacy is in Seattle) “It’s consistent with playing great football. He did it over a long period of time. Hit the scene with kind of a big splash early on and it was probably through year two when he kind of showed up and everybody knew he was out there. He just kept doing it year after year after year.”

(On how the Seahawks have found such recent success in recent years against the 49ers) “I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe because I was born in San Francisco (laughs). I don’t know, I have no idea. It’s just every week is a new week when we play them. The games before don’t have anything to do with what’s going on now.”

(On if there was a rivalry in years past with the 49ers) “Not any different than anybody else. Every team we play is the toughest team and the most important team. I’ve told you that for years, I ain’t changing because that’s the way I have to think to help us focus the way we need to focus. I understand that because we’ve played against each other (Jim Harbaugh at Stanford) in college and all that kind of stuff, you see all that. If you give me chance, I thought Jim (Harbaugh) was a great coach and he is. He’s a great coach. That just brought out the best in us to try to matchup with whatever he can put out there. We had some great battles over the years and all that if that’s what you guys want to call a rivalry. I’m not trying to minimize that part, it’s just that isn’t the way I talk and act and think about it. The better the other team is, the more it brings out the best you have and I love that. That’s why I like playing against guys like Sherm (Richard Sherman) and guys that we’ve had in the past that were great players – it just makes us have to find our best and that’s a really cool thing.”

(On the tight end play of the 49ers) “George Kittle is really good. He was a really good prospect coming out. He’s a really talented player. He’s a good blocker as well. I think you go to the coaching, recognize that and put him in the positions too, so it’s all of that. He’s a really good player.”

(On how the 49ers have had to change their offense due to injuries) “They are a run first team. Kyle’s (Shanahan) always been that way, so that’s not that much different. It’s really, the subtleties are – there’s some but not worth mentioning. It’s pretty much their offense. The style looks the same.”

(On the differences and similarities between Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay) “One thing, they both kind of grew up under the Mike Shanahan kind of thing – you know, Kyle was in the house. They kind of grew up together. The systems, there is a lot of carry over there. There foundations of the running game is the same and so there is a lot of commonalities throughout. It’s really fascinating to see Kyle go this way and Sean go this way with their stuff because the offense doesn’t look the same now, but when you know them as well as we do, you can see all the commonality that’s there that’s part of the foundation of what they are doing. They’re just different. They’re both exceptional – they’re savant, young guys. They’re just way out there with what they do and how they challenge you. It’s really for a ball coach, it’s really exciting to see how different they’ve become when they started kind of in a similar place. It’s just a tribute to the uniqueness of the two individuals.”

(On comparing Tre Flowers to Richard Sherman at this point in their careers) “Let me wait until the end on that one and I’ll get you some real good evaluations. He’s doing a really nice job. What Tre has done kind of independently from when you look at Sherm and you look at Shaq (Shaquill Griffin) last year in his first year. He has been more effective attacking the football. He’s been really good at getting the ball out from guys and he’s got a chance to be really unique that way if it keeps happening – the focus is there. It’s kind of his toughness about being a safety and being a hitter and all that coming up that he’s carried it over to the physical side of the game and he’s been very disruptive at the football. It’s a special part. There’s some similarities in their games. I’m going to wait to – I did a big, deep study last year on Shaq and Sherm in his first year just to see what happens. I’ll do that again. I’ll let you know later.”

(On Matt Breida) “He’s really quick. First, they’re an outside zone running team. (The 49ers) stretch the defense and he has a great burst. He’s really fast and it shows up all the time – not just when the ball gets on the perimeter and bounces, but when he makes his cutbacks and all. His suddenness is really special and he’s tough. He runs tough and is very consistent too.”

(On the similarities of the Seahawks and 49ers defenses) “It’s very similar. It’s very similar. We do a lot of the same stuff and conceptually, at the core of it, it’s very much the same. Robert (Saleh) has got his own little things that he does here and there in the pressures and the different looks and stuff like that, disguises and things but at the core of it, it’s very similar.”

(On if Doug Baldwin or Richard Sherman will hold the advantage on Sunday, having never played against one another) “It’s an interesting matchup to watch. We’ll see how it goes. They’ve competed as hard as they could compete for a lot of years, whether this game shows that or not. They’ve already been to the top of that mountain. I’m sure there will be times when they’re lining up with each other.”

LB BOBBY WAGNER

(On what he’s expecting from Richard Sherman) “Probably a lot of trash talk. He’s not going to get a pick. I won’t let him get a pick. If he gets a pick, he’s going to definitely say something. If I get a pick on the sideline, I’m going to say something to him. It’s just going to be fun. I think it’s going to be cool to see him. He’s a guy that we’ve been fighting with for a long time so it’s going to be cool to kind of be back on the same field, per say.”

(On if he has any regrets about the end of Richard Sherman’s tenure) “Obviously, I was hoping – you hope that you’re able to play a long time with the people that you came into this game with. I think for me, it was kind of like a cool situation for him because he ended up in San Francisco, where he went to college at and was still in California, where his family is close. He still has his house in Seattle so it’s not like I’m not ever going to ever see him ever again in life. From that standpoint, it was all love. You understand it’s a business and the team’s going to make the best decision for themselves and he’s going to make the best decision for him. Sometimes, it means parting ways. I don’t really have any regret or anything like that. For me, as a friend, it’s just being supportive and making sure at the end of the day, he’s happy.”

(On how he’s not going to let Richard Sherman get an interception) “Yeah. If he catches or is about to catch one, I’m just going to come in and just check in real quick and see if I can swipe it. Hopefully, he’s making it on my sideline. Maybe I’ll just step in on accident and get in there.”

(On the change in leadership after Richard Sherman’s departure) “Obviously, it’s a very opinionated voice in the locker room and he’s going to definitely challenge you mentally. I know you guys watched him after practice taking a lot of DBs under his wings and he’s been through a lot so he had a lot of knowledge to pass down to a lot of the younger guys and most people don’t do that. Most people don’t take the time to pass knowledge that they’ve been able to learn throughout this process and he was one of those guys that just loved to give knowledge and loved to try to make the people around him better so obviously, when he walks away from the team, you’re definitely going to miss that.”

(On his favorite on-field moment with Richard Sherman) “For me, I don’t know if it was a moment. It was just like, us playing together. We would always at some point in the game talk about something that had nothing to do with what was going on in the game. Whether it was a TV show or something, and it was kind of like a way to not take the game so seriously. Make sure you’re just having fun and things of that nature. We would make fun of each other when we hit each other. He was notorious for hitting me on accident because he closed his eyes – and let him know I told him that. But, it was just like the fun you had together. It was fun playing together, the trash talk, he knew how to get a person going so that’s probably like my moments that I’ll have.”

(On what will happen if Doug Baldwin lines up across from Richard Sherman) “I don’t know. They’re a lot older now so you want to say they’re mature, right? You want to. Yeah, you want to but you probably won’t. I don’t know. Hopefully, something fun.”

(On Matt Breida) “He’s really fast and he likes to get on the edge. Our edge is definitely going to be tested. They’re going to try to run outside. They have a lot of good runs to complement (and) have us thinking it’s going to be an outside run and then it cuts back. It’s definitely going to be a discipline game. It’s going to be a game that we need to make sure we’re on our fits, but from him it’s kind of like he’s going to be a fast guy. They’re going to try to get him on the edge, they’re going to run a lot of stretch plays to see if they can find a crease in the defense and make it a track game. We’re fast too, though.”

(On Nick Mullens) “They’re going to get it out quick. He seems like the type of guy that, once he completes a couple of passes, he gets his confidence in and they’re going to definitely have the run game. The run game helps him out a lot. They’re going to get him on a lot of play actions and all those different things. We’ve just got to make sure he doesn’t leave that pocket and make sure we try to (make him) beat us with his arm and make our plays and make our hits. He’s a good quarterback but he’s a guy we feel that we can get after.”

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BRIAN SCHOTTENHEIMER

(On the biggest challenge of facing Kyle Shanahan’s offense) “The 21-personnel stuff is different, not a lot of people do that. A good mix of run and play-pass. I think they just keep people off balance. The fullback that they have, a lot of respect for him – he’s a good football player. Kyle is a really good coach. We both kind of came in around the same time, both have fathers (who coached in the NFL). So, a lot of respect for what he’s done. They make it hard on teams.”

(On if anything has changed about Richard Sherman’s game since going to San Francisco) “I still see a really good football player. I still see a guy that dissects things really well. I think his ability to pattern read and recognize things is uncanny. I still see a guy playing at a high level. It’s been cool to be around the guys that know him, they certainly know him way better than I do. I think it’s interesting because they know him, he knows us, and so that’s what’s going to make for a fun matchup on Sunday.”

(On if he designs plays differently because of Richard Sherman) “No. I think we just study the film. It’s not us playing Richard, it’s obviously the Seahawks playing the 49ers. We got our concepts that we like and the ones that we think are going to work well against them. As Russ (Wilson) knows, every time you go to throw over there, really to anybody, you’ve just got to make sure you got a good line of site and you see what’s happening because he sees things really well.”

(On what stands out about the 49ers defense) “The front four is really good. One of the best groups I think we’ve played. They probably don’t get as much credit maybe as they deserve. From top to bottom, (Solomon) Thomas and (Arik) Armstead and (DeForest) Buckner, all those guys. They’re really a really good front. They’re powerful, they’re big, they’re strong, great motor. There is some carryover from the things that we do here. I think everybody that’s ever been here, they think it’s all the same defense – it’s not. When we played the Chargers, it’s not exactly the same, everybody has their own fingerprint. Really good group. They’re beat up a little bit, they’ve had some injuries which has forced them to play some young players. If you look at them statistically, I think they’re top 10, top 15 in mostly every category. It’s a good defense.”

(On the problems DeForest Bucker causes) “I think it’s multiple. His size is a problem. Both his ability to use his hands and his length and knock people back. His ability to get in the throwing lane, so we have to do a good job of keeping the pocket clean. (He has an) Unbelievable motor, they move him around. Some of the games, they run a lot of games, so they’ll switch and stunt. He’s really good with those, so he can accelerate for a big man. Have not watched him much in years past. Really a good football player. (I have) a lot of respect for him.”

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR KEN NORTON JR.

(On how the 49ers have used their run game differently with Matt Breida) “There should be some similarities. They’re both really good players, they’re both really fast, they’re both can run inside as well as outside and so you see a lot of similarities in the way they run the ball on the perimeter.”

(On if it has been assignment gaps in the run defense that has affected the Seahawks) “Well, run defense is connected to everybody. I think that anytime that anybody runs the ball, everybody has a responsibility on the defense and it comes down to discipline, gap control, effort, attitude – all these things have to work together to have a successful play.”

(On what he remembers about coaching Richard Sherman with the Seahawks) “It’s funny watching Richard come in as a youngster and grow coming as a lower round draft pick and really work himself up to the great player that he’s become. It’s amazing how you see that in our players here. You see a lot of young players here that come in looking just like Richard and they go on through the developmental process of trying to become a really good player trying to understand the things that the good players do. Watching Richard grow and become who he is has been a great example for us to pass on to these younger players that we have here. He’s been a great example for us pass on the things that we saw out of him.”

(On what it’s like as a player playing against a rival) “Every game is important. Every game is a championship game how we talk about it here. At the same time, the team that you spend a lot of time with, the team that drafted you always has a certain special place in your heart, so I don’t see it any different with Richard (Sherman). I know he has a special place in his heart for Seattle. How he handles that, that’s all personal. He’ll decide how he handles that.”

(On having guys like Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor to use as examples for young players still developing) “They were all here with these guys. The last year they were here with all these young guys, they were all able to touch them. It’s important that again of the guys who played with that L.O.B (Legion of Boom) team, the guys who were able to watch them from college, all of those coaches who coached them at the same time. All those things are important as we continue to pass on and spread the message of Seahawks ball. We were able to give that message to those players, but that’s just the Seahawks way – the way we play defense, the way we develop our players. As we go through the process, we like to create more of those type of players.”

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