Check out what the Seahawks are saying about the Falcons before the two teams meet on Monday night at CenturyLink Field.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening…) "Ok we are very fortunate to be playing in the opportunity of Monday Night Football coming up against a terrific football team and I hope it's a great match up for us. With a lot of respect playing Danny [Quinn] and playing his crew and Arthur Blank and all that organization, it's just a good group to be going against. They've got a really nice team. They are balanced again. They come out of the shoots flying and got back on track here. They are really well situated on defense and on offense and their special teams are really good. Their kickers are good, their returner is good, so we know we have a really complete football team that we are going to be playing against and it's going to take a complete effort from us and a great week in preparation to get that done so it should be a terrific match up."
(On keeping Adrian Clayborn and Vic Beasley from terrorizing the offense…) "We are going to have to really mix our stuff and really work it with great respect, particularly after watching this past game. They were flying. We have to mix our stuff meaning all the protections and the actions and everything to keep them slowed down because they are really determined to cause havoc in the backfield and we can't let that happen."
(On if Atlanta's offense looks different under Sarkisian…) "It looks very similar. Very similar. There is always a little bit of stuff here and there that is a little bit different but no they are similar. I'm sure, same notebook, they are going with the same concepts and same principles and it still looks very dynamic."
(On how have you seen the Falcons defense grow since the last time you saw them…)"Yeah, I think they are more experienced in the system and all that. You can see it. They are playing really fast and they have a really good group of linebackers to complement the guys up front. They have just kind of grown into the system. The secondary is really staying on top really well and defending against the deep ball really well and just in general, it's just a good solid group and they are doing a lot of really good things and they are counting on their coverage a lot too, which you can see. Which means they are counting on a 4-man rush and they have a commitment that you can see there. It's maybe a little bit different. They are just growing with it."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
(On if Atlanta's offense looks any different to him this year with new their new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian…) "Not really. It's pretty much the same, pretty much. The only thing different is that they may run a little bit more eleven, twelve, and twenty-one personnel. It's pretty much the same, not that much different."
*(On if they don't have RB Devonta Freeman in the game Monday night due to injury and if that will make their offense different…) *"I mean, he's definitely a pretty good running back. I think he provides a spark; he brings a certain juice that I don't feel like a lot of other running backs have, but they have guys like [Derrick] Coleman and things like that who can fill that role and fill that void until he [Devonta Freeman] comes back healthy."
(On why he called last year's matchup with Atlanta's offense the 'Linebacker's Game'…) "Just because they're going to try to attack the outsides with Julio [Jones], but after that, a lot of the plays is going to be really in the hooks and checking down to the running back. If he [Matt Ryan] doesn't have anything down the field, he just checks it down to the running back. That's our world; those hooks and the intermediate routes is all us. Anything on the hooks, anything in the flat area, that's a linebacker's game. They have really good running backs and they're going to give them the ball, and that's what we do; we tackle running backs."
(On how dangerous Matt Ryan is at QB…) "He's really dangerous; especially when he gets going. He likes to get going with the checking-down to the running back, and get the ball out of his hands pretty fast, so when you have a guy like Julio [Jones], you can get hot really quick. We have to do whatever we can to get to him, make sure that he's not just sitting back there, and try to pick us apart."
(On what sort of challenges WR Julio Jones presents to a defense…) "He's just a very big receiver, not afraid to come across the middle, he's fast enough to get behind you, so he's just one of those guys that you need to know where he is at all times. They're going to move him around, they're going to put him in different positions, and those positions, they speak to you. If we can figure out where he is and what that means to us, I feel like we can stop him."
(On how having Dan Quinn coached him when he used to be with the Seahawks defensive coaching staff show up in the Falcon's offense when playing against them…) "I just think he knows how we play similar defenses and similar offenses. They just know how to attack; I think last year when we played them, they tried to flood our zones, make us have to move a little bit deeper down the field, so he knows us, and we know him. We just have to figure out how he wants to attack us. It's always a fun game when we play someone that used to be in the same room with."
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell
(On what is the biggest challenge with Atlanta's pass rush…)"Yeah, they do have a really nice rush. Obviously [Adrian] Clayborn coming off the game that he had and he is up to eight sacks now. [Vic] Beasley, they have a really nice front. I think they do a great job of containing the quarterback and really just compressing the pocket. I guess the really good thing for them is they don't always have to add extra rushers. They can do that with four. We know that we are going to have to block four rushers, obviously there is other times that they will be pressuring but most of the time they bring four and it's going to be on us to be able to handle those four with the tenacity that they bring, the crushing of the pocket that they like to do, so whoever we end up having up front that is going to be a challenge for."
(On how much of what Atlanta does is what Dan Quinn did with the Seahawks…)"Yeah, there is definitely similarities. I wouldn't say it's 100 percent of what we do. Obviously, he puts his flavor into things and Marquand [Manuel] who is leading it over there puts his flavor into it, but I think generally the scheme is our stuff. But they have some changes that they made."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
(On what he's seen from Atlanta's defense so far this season…) "Well, their defense looks great, really. They're coached really well, with Coach [Dan] Quinn and he really has those guys coached up really, really well. They're playing fast; they have a lot of fast guys. When you think about the cornerbacks, they're really running well and you think about their linebackers and how they run well, and their defensive linemen even, too. You look at [Vic] Beasley on film, he's running all over the place and making plays. A lot of that is that I think they're coached really well, but I also think that they have a lot of tremendous talent. For us, we just have to make our plays, be consistent, keep our drives alive, and find ways to run the football at an efficient rate. When we have our chance to make our game-altering plays, we have to make them."
(On if it looks like playing against himself in practice here with the similarities in Seattle's and Atlanta's defenses…) "Yeah, it's definitely very similar; they have some different nuances and everything else, but it's definitely very similar. Every game, every practice, everything dictates itself; sometimes you think you know what you're going to get, and you just play the play. You don't overthink it, you just trust your eyes, trust what you see, and play ball."
(On what it's like knowing that he's playing a game against a guy who just had six sacks for Atlanta…) "Yeah, I mean, I was watching the game, Atlanta versus Cowboys, and you see [Adrian] Clayborn making so many plays, and just the things that he was doing, he had a great game. That was one of the best games I've seen in a long time from a defensive lineman, so that was pretty fun to watch actually, just watching him make plays. Hopefully he doesn't do that against us."
(On what excites him the most about playing on Monday Night Football…) "It's just another game, you know. Every game is a good game, every game is exciting, but I think that for us, I thank God every day that I get to play the game. This is going to be another opportunity for us to go out and show what we can do, and every opportunity that you get is a good opportunity."