Check out what the Seahawks are saying about the Rams leading up to the Week 15 game at CenturyLink Field.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening statement…) "We have a heck of a matchup coming up against a team that has been playing great football. They've really turned everything around and have been enjoying a fantastic season. We saw a great matchup with the Rams playing Philadelphia last week; two really big-time teams battling. It was a heck of a football game, so we have good stuff to look at, but man, we have a lot of respect for what they're doing in all phases. This is probably as well-rounded a team, and I've said that the last couple of weeks because we've been facing teams that just have their act together. These guys are great in special teams, they're playing terrific defense, and their offense is way out there averaging over thirty points a game. we just have to do everything right to have a chance and that's what we're preparing to do."
*(On how much he can take from the last game against the Rams considering how much the personnel has changed on the defensive side of the ball…) *"They've been able to kind of do what they do throughout the year, and they have a really nice notebook and the scope of what they're doing on offense and defense, they've really stayed in that kind of. They have a real philosophy and a real commitment to it that is real obvious, and it's why they're so successful. They're going to go play their game pretty much; we have seen them, as far as the personnel, their personnel is pretty much the same with what we're seeing. Some of it on defense is a little different, but we have seen them enough. We see them all throughout the division all year, so we have really been able to keep track of them. It doesn't seem like it's going to be that much different."
*(On how they did a good job defensively against Todd Gurley last time they played and how big of a factor he has been for the Rams this season…) *"The offense I think is clearly built around his ability and the dynamics of what he offers. He's a terrific outside runner and inside runner, he's great with the ball in his hands coming out of the backfield, and he can do everything and the remarkable thing about Todd is he is so durable and so consistent. He's given them a real, obvious positive factor throughout, and they know it; they're going to him, coaches talk about it, and it's in the stats. There's no denying it. He's really the centerpiece."
(On how different is the offensive efficiency form the first time they played the Rams in October…) "We're further along now; there's no question. We have much more continuity than we had at the time, and up front, our matchups are going to be ok. They're a very difficult front, but our matchups are going to be ok. It's great to see Duane [Brown] on the left side protecting Russell's [Wilson] back-side. I think our communication is better than it's been at any time, so I think we are much further along."
(On what the biggest difference is of Jarred Goff between this year and last year…) "It's a big difference, it really is. He is playing to his potential; you can see him game-in and game-out making great throws, he's in command of the offense, he's creative with the plays that he makes, and he is utilizing his players really well. He was more in the survival-mode I think in his first year, and he is not there at all; form early on when we played him, he had already started well. He was playing good football and he has just continued to show that consistency, which is a fantastic attribute. His numbers are great, their offense is doing awesome, and he has really grown."
*(On the emergence of the Rams' Cooper Kupp and what he has seen from him…) *"He's really good, he's really good. He really fits into their offense in a way that they know how to use him, he's been a factor in a lot of games, and he made big plays last week against Philly. He's just a go-to guy and he does a lot of special things; getting open in tough situations, coming through in big opportunities, he makes the plays, and he runs well with the football. He's doing a good job and has had a great year."
Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin
(On what is it about the Rams that makes them so tough to play…)"A number of different things. First and foremost, they play a very physical style of football, brand of football, which we are obviously very familiar with but that is one of the responses that a physical team needs in order to have trouble with or trouble against. So when you put two physical-minded teams together, you typically get a good football game. That has always been the case. It's been the case since I have been here. They have done a phenomenal job and obviously have had extreme success with it this year."
(On how has the Seahawks offense evolved since the first meeting with the Rams…)"We are more versatile in game plan, game structure, game design. The way we play off of each other, as you can see, Paul Richardson has become a huge factor in our passing game. We've brought in Mike Davis, so he is kind of solidifying our running game when he is in there. So we have improved, but we still have a lot of work to do, so obviously we will continue to do that."
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell
*(On Wade Phillips' defensive scheme with the Rams and if it has changed how players like Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald produce…) *"There's a little bit; the guys are the same, but a little bit different scheme that he plays. Obviously, when you have an Aaron Donald, that guy can make plays in any scheme. He's a guy to be reckoned with, and we have to make sure that we take care of him and account for him all the time. Obviously, Robert Quinn as well, and both of those two guys can really wreck a game, and that doesn't mean that I want to diminish the other guys because they've had depth for a lot of years since we've been playing them. There's a lot of solid players there; their linebackers are really good, and you could go on and on."
(On the continuity on the offensive line and if he feels like this unit of the offensive line is better prepared going into his game against the Rams than they were before…) "Well, we have different pieces. I know our left tackle, we have one of the better left tackles in the game [in Duane Brown], so that's a huge upgrade for us. Ethan [Pocic] is at a different spot, but he has gotten a lot of games under his belt, so he's more seasoned and he's been playing with Germain [Ifedi] on that side a game or two here, so they're starting to feel it. Luke [Joeckel] has been back and they're starting to feel it, so I think it's definitely a better offensive line as a whole and the time that they have had together is only helping them."
(On how this offense as a whole has evolved since they last played the Rams in Week 5…) "It's a different offense I believe. We've come a long way; they've come a long way, and we have come a long way. That's a long time ago that game, we've evolved in a lot of ways passing game-wise, we've also been trying to find the running game, and you can see it kind of starting to come together with what we just talked about in the continuity that we have. I like the direction that's heading in as well."
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable
(On if he sees a lot of difference now whether in personnel or scheme…) "Yeah, I think we are better. I think we have a runner who has been productive, I think we're better up front in terms of playing together, and being on the same page. I would expect that not to be the case [referring to the last matchup's running performance]."
(On how the first time they played the Rams in October they had 62 yards rushing on 25 carries and what might be different this time around…) "I think, really, eliminating the negative runs. Back in that month of October, particularly coming out of September, we had three-four-week phase where we were getting five, six, or seven negative runs in a game. They kills those numbers."
*(On how differently they are using Aaron Donald in Wade Phillips' scheme…) *"You know where he is at. He's a three-technique most of the time, you can move the front on him and some things like that and move him places, but predominantly, he's the three-technique."
*(On facing someone like Aaron Donald in a guy that can wreck things on defense and how important it is avoiding those big negative plays when they're in the backfield…) *"That's a really good point, that is Aaron's [Donald] game; he's a disruptive guy, he's been disruptive, it doesn't matter who they play, so you want to minimize that as best you can. That's your target, is to try and not have those negative plays."
(On having this offensive line group together going into their fourth game together and if he thinks they are better prepared to face the Rams' defensive front than the first time in October…) "Well, I think so. I think they understand it; the Rams are who they have been all year. They've been a really good team with some really good players, so to have us kind of be intact and together having a few battles under our belt now against some good groups just gets you excited about what is in front of us."
Safety Bradley McDougald
(On is the Rams' multiple wide receiver threat different than the first time the Seahawks saw them…) "I just think that goes as a testament to the quarterback play. He looks much more comfortable back there. He is going through his reads more, first receiver, second receiver, those type of things and the receivers are getting open."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
(On if he ignores the magnitude of this game…) "I've been in some big games before. This is a great football team that we're playing; we have tremendous respect for them because it's been fun watching them all season, honestly. It's been pretty cool to see guys like Jarred Goff playing as well as he is, and their defense has always been great for years. We know this is a challenge; we're looking forward to the challenge. NFC West battle, it's a great game, and they have great players. Every game I look forward to; every game I get to go out on the field and just honor God and play the game that I love the most, it's a great game."
(On Tom Cable saying that they need to eliminate negative plays particularly against this Rams defense and of there is one thing that he looks at as the one key to making sure they don't get momentum…) "Well, I think it always starts with the football. We want to score touchdowns, and we want to be great on third-down. We want to be great in the red-zone, and those are the keys to every football game that you play. That's always the case; and I think that obviously, we want to hold onto the football and have the possession of the ball for a while, so I think it starts with those core elements. I think it's just, when it comes to these types of games in the National Football League, it comes down to one-on-one matchups and we're looking forward to that challenge. Like I said, they have some great players, so it's going to be a tough battle but we're looking forward to it."
(On how he feels this offense has improved since Week 5 when they last played the Rams…) "Well, it's been impressive just to see how far we have really come and grown since the last time we played them. Their team has grown a lot too as well, but in terms of us on offense, I think we have so many explosive players. It starts with a guy like Jimmy Graham; who has had an unbelievable season this year and has made so many great catches and done so many things getting into the end zone and making great plays for us, and he continues to do that. Doug Baldwin is having another great year, Tyler Lockett is really coming on right now, which is exciting to see, and he's an explosive player. Paul Richardson has had a phenomenal, phenomenal year, and down the line. To see guys like J.D. McKissic step in; we knew that they were going to be great, but a lot of people didn't. A guy like J.D. McKissic has been phenomenal all year, and then you have a guy like Mike Davis who has stepped up recently and he's been an exciting player for us, so I think the evolution of our offense has been really, really exciting. It's been an explosive offense, it's been fast-paced, it's been pretty high scoring, especially as of late and stuff. That's been great; and then I think also too, it's been exciting with the offensive line with those guys really molding and meshing together. I think with the acquisition of Duane Brown; it's been exciting just to have a guy like that. He's a Pro Bowl, All-Pro type of player, and has done some amazing things in his career, and to lead the way he does at left tackle. Luke Joeckel and Justin Britt, and even [Ethan] Pocic stepping in and playing guard and [Germain] Ifedi too as well, all of those guys all molding together as one has been a great thing, and to see and be a part of it too as well."
(On how he would describe playing against Aaron Donald…) "When I think about Aaron Donald, he's probably in my opinion, the best defensive player I've ever played against in terms of actually playing in a game against. That's a pretty big statement; I've played against some really good guys. I think back to my rookie year and my second year when I played against guys like [Navarro] Bowman and [Patrick] Willis and all of those guys are in my head, the top guys I've ever played. I think about a guy like Aaron Donald, he's definitely there too as well, so I have tremendous respect for how he plays the game. he's really, really tough, he's really quick, and he's pretty special. You look forward to those matchups just because those are things that you'll remember and those are the things that you'll tell your kids one day; 'I played against this guy,' and those are fun things. He's definitely one of those guys that will probably be a Hall of Famer no doubt."
(On what kind of impact Johnny Hekker has made over the years at punter…) "Well, he's a Washington guy first. I'm not sure if he's actually from Seattle, I know he's from Washington, but Hecker has done an amazing job over the years and has done some really incredible things, but heartbreaking things for us. He has a great arm, he's fast, he's a great athlete, and can really boom the football. To watch guys, and this may not happen to the common fan of the Seahawks or Rams, but to watch terrific punters, to watch Jon Ryan punt the ball the way he does and all of the things he can do, he can put the ball wherever he wants to, to watch a guy like Hekker too as well, it's actually something fun to watch for me as a player and an athlete. It's like 'Where are they going to put this one right here,' and hopefully he doesn't do any tricks this time."
(On the offensive line having that continuity there for a handful of games and how important it is going into this game against the Rams…) "Well, to have like I said Duane Brown and the guys that we've had who are playing great in Justin and Luke and Pocic has been stepping up at a high level for us as a young rookie, and then Ifedi too as well, it's great. Honestly, it's key; it's key to offense really, honestly. It's key to have that continuity, it's just like the receiver-tight end-quarterback relationship. It's really that chemistry; it's really vital to the success of the offense in my opinion. To have that chemistry, to have that flow, it's been great to have and it's really critical to the offense and how we can score and do things when we need to and want to. That's just going to continue to build and continue to grow."
Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard
(On what kind of challenge it will be for him if it ends up being 5 defensive starters injured for Sunday's game…) "Business as usual; just another day at the office. In all seriousness, it's an awesome challenge, and again, it's the reason why we are professionals, it's about the next man being up regardless of who's up, who's down, who's in, or who's out. You always have to be prepared to play because the next man is one play away."
(On what challenges LA provides with the wide receivers with so many skill sets…) "Again, they do. They have a lot of wide receivers that are extremely talented. Again, high draft choices, things of that nature. It's what we do. We go out there and you see these type of consistent athletes on a week to week basis and really it's just going to come down to us being focused in on our technique being in position and really not being surprised when the ball comes. That is kind of what it is. We have disciplined eyes and we have ourselves in position to give ourselves a chance."
(On Cooper Kupp…)"Consistency. Doing things right. I think that is one of the things that goes unheard of or not talked about enough is you take a look and you see a lot of spectacular things happening out there and great athletes, that is all really cool but I think his level of consistency is what is kind of leading him to becoming a really good player, really fast. He does things right, he is where he is supposed to be and he catches the football when it comes to him. All of that being said, that essentially what leads to greatness is doing things really ordinary. If you can do the ordinary perfect, then that is how you become champions."
(On Aaron Donald…)"Oh, he is phenomenal. Obviously again, with the cross over tape and things like that, if we are able to watch him. He is just an explosive athlete, really good football player. Again, has the ability to dominate but again, it really comes down to his timing of the snap count and things like that and just being a really explosive athlete is what kind of propels him to that upper echelon."
(On what the defense did well against Todd Gurley in the earlier match up…) "Tackling. It's tackling. It's being consistent in our fits, understanding, essentially how they are going to try to attack us with their run scheme and then being consistent with tackling."