Check out what the Seahawks are saying about the Eagles leading up to the Week 13 game at CenturyLink Field.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
*(Opening statement…) *"Big Sunday night matchup; this is a heck of a good football game we have coming up. We're trying to take it one day at a time in preparation and put together a week that gives us a chance against a team that's just high-flying. Philadelphia is doing everything well; they're very well-balanced and their numbers are in the right places with turnovers, running the football, explosive plays, quarterback efficiency, and all of that stuff. Everything is really lining up great and they're having a fantastic year. We're going to have to have a great week in preparation to give us a chance."
(On what steps he has seen Eagles QB Carson Wentz make in his second year…) "More command; he just seems more in command of everything. He was good last year; I said some stuff about him last time around after we had seen him and in preparation for him, I thought he was really going to be a great player. He's just doing everything; he's protecting the football well, he's making big plays, they're very explosive, he has a rushing average, he's running the football, and they have a running game with him as well. He's really tough in the pocket, scrambles effectively, and has been really creative and resourceful with big plays. They have a ton of explosive plays and he's right in the middle of most of that."
(On how the Eagles running game is really solid this season and how the Seahawks have been really solid in their run-defense this year and what he sees from Philadelphia's run game…) "Well, there's good diversity to it, but what jumps out is the explosive plays. They're leading the NFL in explosive runs I believe, or they're right up there, and if you look at some of the averages, their guys across the board are all effective, and they use a lot of guys. They roll a bunch of guys through there, so the scheme is good, the quarterback threat is part of it, but their blocking and the principles of what they're doing is just working out great for them and they're complementing it really well with the play-action off of it. It's very difficult."
(On how the Seahawks played the Eagles last season and if any of that game from last year is relevant to this Sunday's matchup with them…) "Sure, yeah. I'm sure they do too; you always want to see what the matchups look like and the common players and stuff like that, so yes. The answer is yes."
(On one or two common denominators in the way Doug Pederson runs the Philadelphia offense and play design that makes them so effective…) "That is a really good question. They are on it right now. They have found their rhythm and they are maximizing their running game with all the different running backs, so that means that the choices that they are making for the calls and the schemes that fit their people and their linemen is really on it. What Carson [Wentz] is really good at it, he is really good at utilizing the system of the run pass stuff. He does a really nice job with that stuff he did in college and they have picked out things, I'm sure from his background that he is comfortable with that has accelerated his command of what is going on. So there is a lot of things they are hitting on. He has also found a really good way to use the variety of receivers. [Zach] Ertz is really good player in the offense and they are really maximizing his style in all of that. They have made a lot of really right choices. He is doing a fantastic job, so that makes it really hard."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
(On Philadelphia's running game…)"They have a lot of different schemes and a lot of different ways they try and attack you whether it's falling back with the Y and just different gap schemes but they got different bodies too. They got [LeGarrette] Blount, bigger back but they also have smaller backs. But I feel like we will be ready for them. They are going to come out and they are going to try to throw those little wrinkles out there but I feel like with a good film study we will be fine."
(On the thing about Carson Wentz that impresses him the most…) "I would have to say that he does not like to slide. I have seen a couple times him try and run somebody over which I think not to many quarterbacks do that, so I'm hoping he gives me an opportunity. That would be great."
(On what does he remember about last year's game against Philadelphia…)"We won. Nah, I remember it was a pretty good game. It was a fun game. I think I remember Kam [Chancellor] having a pick. I remember I think Cliff [Avril] had a sack that game too. It just was a fun game for the defense. We had a lot of TFLs [tackles for loss]. I feel like we had a lot of aggressive hits and it was just a fun game. I feel like at the end of the game we were happy with it."
(On if it's good to remember that the team has beaten Philadelphia recently going into Sunday's game…) "I mean it doesn't really matter. Last year is last year. I'm pretty sure they don't care what happened last year. They are 10-1 right now. We have to come in with the same mentality to do our job, fly around, hit them, and pull the win out. I feel like we are very confident that we can do that."
(On what looks different about Philadelphia's offense this year…)"I would probably say, obviously, Wentz. You know, he is definitely more confident, making more plays and you can tell he has a better grip of the offense and you know, they opened up the play book a little bit more for him. He is making really good decisions, whether he will hold onto the ball and run with it or get it out and he is finding open receivers and tight ends. Their run game looks really good. LeGarrette Blount adds a new element for their run game, so I think they complement the run game, pass game really well."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
(On what stands out the most about Philadelphia's defense…) "Well their front four is really, really talented. They can really rush. They got some great players and so it's going to be a great battle. We are looking forward to it. It's going to be a game where you have some of the best players in the National Football League on the field at one time so it's going to be exciting."
(On if Philadelphia looks different from year ago and what has changed…)"When you think about Coach [Doug] Pederson and everybody else and also Carson [Wentz] being in the system as well, their team has just really come together as one. Last year too, when we played them, I think they had a lot of the same guys on defense, especially. So it is going to be somewhat similar. But they are playing at the highest level in the National Football League right now, so it's going to be a tough challenge ahead."
(On if he has watched Carson Wentz much…) "Yeah, I love what Carson Wentz is doing. I love watching him. I've gotten to know him a little bit when he played out here last time and stuff. We stayed in touch a couple times, but I think that first of all, he is a man of God. I think second of all, he is a great football player. I think third of all, he is playing great football right now, so it's fun to watch him."
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell
(On what kind of challenges the Eagles defense presents…) "Yeah, it's a really good, really solid defense pretty much across the board. You really talk about their front-seven though; their front-seven is very skilled across the board, they're tenacious, they come hard, and they run fast. It's not really this crazy scheme; they get their guys, they play hard, they really get after the quarterback, and they can crush the pocket. They have great rushers, all four of the guys; their nose, their three-technique, all of them can rush, [Fletcher] Cox, and you can name them all really. Like is said, the linebackers, they run, they can pressure they can cover, so they just do a really nice job of putting pressure on the quarterback really just by rushing four guys. I think that says a lot for how good those guys are to be able to do that."
(On what looks different about the Eagles compared to last year when they played them…) "I'd probably say the biggest thing is confidence of course. Obviously, they start to put a couple wins together, then you start believing that you can do a lot of things, and I think they're playing really well. They're playing hard, like I said they're playing fast, they're making plays, they're getting turnovers, and you can look at really any statistic and they're in the top on the defensive side of the ball. It's going to be a great challenge for us, but obviously one that we will be ready for."
(On if he sees a lot in the Eagles that he saw from the Seahawks in 2013 in terms of their style and swagger…) "Well, for sure, yeah. I would say that that's kind of one of the things when you start putting wins together, you start getting that confidence, and you can see that confidence. You can definitely see a swagger, you can see them playing hard on defense, there is a little bit of extra-curricular with their defense as well in the excitement and demonstrations and all those kind of things, but they are playing hard. They're backing it up, they're making plays, and I don't really spend much time looking at their offense obviously, but I would say that it's probably pretty similar as well.
*(On what he has seen from Carson Wentz and what he thinks of him…) *"Yeah, I mean what stands out is that he's making plays and he can make plays with his arm, he can make plays with his feet, and he has a good sense about him in the pocket. He can throw from the pocket, he can make guys miss, and he has that scrambling ability as well to extend the play, but then if he needs to run and get yards, he can do that as well. He's progressing really nice."
Defensive End Michael Bennett
(On what challenges the Eagles running game presents…) "I think they just have really good running backs. I think LeGarrette Blount led the league in touchdowns last year as a running back, so he's very powerful. Jay Ajayi had three or four two-hundred-rushing yard games, so he's able to bust out of the pocket and bust out of there any moment. They have a lot of weapons; I think they just stay the course and they know they have a good vision when it comes to running the ball."
(On how he has seen Carson Wentz develop since they played the Eagles last season…) "I didn't get to play against him last year because I was injured, but seeing him out there, he's done a lot of great things. I think he's very poised in the pocket, he has an escape ability, I think a lot of times people in the Draft didn't understand that you're picking a guy from that D-1 college and this guy just has his escape ability and his uncanny ability to be able to throw under pressure. I think that he's a really good quarterback in his running ability and is something that I really like. I think it's really cool to see a quarterback move like that in the pocket and he's just a really good quarterback."
Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard
(On what about Philadelphia's rushing attack is hard to handle…)"Well they have a wide variety, gap trap, stretch, zone read, kind of everything you can see in football, they have it."
(On how much different and better is the Philadelphia offense since last season…) "It is the running attack. They got good backs. I mean, they have five on their roster that are capable of running the football. Like I said, it's a good scheme. They run plays that fit their guys and yeah, they are doing really well."
(On the challenges' presented by Zach Ertz and the way Philadelphia the tight end Zach Ertz…)"They split him open. They feature him. He [Zach Ertz] and 17 [Alshon Jeffrey] are essentially the top targeted guys on their team, so you got to know where they are on the field."
(On the key to disrupting Philadelphia's offensive success…)"Stop the run. Stop the run. That is first and foremost. Got to make sure we do a really good job of running with their stretch scheme, not getting cut off from the backside. Got to set great edges and then we have to fill up their gap trap schemes."
(On if the Eagles do anything really unique with TE Zach Ertz that is different than what other tight ends…) "Not really. You can see a little bit of the element of Carolina and how they use their tight end with the flex-options and things of that nature. It's a copy-cat league; whatever teams have had success with tight ends, you're kind of seeing that mixed in to what they're doing. Obviously again, it's a really good sign for coaching on offense because they want to do what works, so what works for this team, could easily work for him. They have the same type of athlete and things like that, so we have history against it, so we kind of understand how it's going to end up happening."
(On what challenges come with Philadelphia's running game and the multiple backs they can use…) "Well again, it's the style of the running back, the types of runs, and the obviously the quarterback being an element to it at any time. He can keep the ball and run whenever he pleases, obviously there are different reads that are going to dictate whether or not he does that, but then the change of pace running backs between [LeGarrette] Blount and between [Jay] Ajayi, 30 [Corey Clement] and 28 [Wendell Smallwood], they have a plethora of running backs that they kind of use in regards to different styles in what they want."