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What The Seahawks Said Following Their 20-17 Win Over The Titans

Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from the Seahawks' Week 16 20-17 win over the Titans at Nissan Stadium.


Featuring postgame quotes from the following:


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Head Coach Pete Carroll

Opening statement

Another dramatic finish for you guys. A sensational finish to get that done under all the circumstances. There's a lot of them. Monday night, coming off the road, early game, all that kind of stuff people usually talk about had nothing to do with it. I loved the way we finished this game, the focus of our guys throughout the 60 minutes was exactly as we needed. We went in at halftime and got serious about fixing things up. The defense fixed some stuff up, we obviously got better on offense, and we came out to execute enough to get a win. These wins are so hard. I thought a lot of guys did cool stuff. Look at Geno (Smith) coming back and playing. Last week it was Drew (Lock) taking us down field, today it was Geno taking us down the field. It has a lot to say what the system and the coaches on what they are getting done with these guys to communicate that well. The last sequence is a cool sequence. It was 1:51 or something like that left, and we got three timeouts and the two-minute warning, and we got four downs to make a first down. That's such a mindset mentality for our guys and they know it really well. We executed beautifully in that situation, where you've got to wait and be patient to make your plays. Geno did a great job and Shane (Waldron) did a great job to communicate it. Fantastic. I think the focus goes to the big guys up front. The pass-pro that whole time and just keep them off of him so he could make the plays and the guys can make the great catches and  the first downs and all that. Jaxon's (Smith-Njigba) big play, Tyler's (Lockett) big play and of course, Colby's (Parkinson) at the end was fantastic. So, it was a exciting win for us. The belief in this locker room is strong, that we can take on whatever we've got to take on. We'll have our wits together and we'll execute and function no matter how long it takes to get it. That's a powerful, powerful trait. So hopefully we can hold on to that.

You mentioned that the grind you went through to get to the end of this month really helped. How do you think that shown up on the last two drives in the last two games?

I think we've come out of those games because we didn't get screwed up from the losses, which we could have. We could have flipped out and lost our minds. We kept believing that we could get it done. And so the resolve stayed intact, and so that we can utilize all of those difficult experiences and the tough games, and the matchups, and the great personnel that we went against. And we're better because of it. So, we found a way and it was a slow start today. Kind of marred it, but we came in at halftime and we knew that it was our game to go win. And so, we got it done again.

To have that trio, all three receivers going like Tyler (Lockett), DK (Metcalf), and Jaxon (Smith-Njigba), what does that do for your offense?

I thought Geno (Smith) used everybody so well today and to go to Colby (Parkinson) at the end, it's something we've been looking forward to doing, working on. Everybody was watching him, and everybody knew it was going to him. And he came through with a great play, it was a great throw and also a great catch to win it right there. It gives us the kind of flexibility that we can really move the ball, but it doesn't happen unless the big guys protect like they did, and they did a great job.

What can you say about Geno Smith's four game winning drives this season?

You've got to be around him to appreciate the competitive mentality that he has. He's in such a good place. He believes so strongly that it's going to happen, and it's going to get done and his guys are going to come through for him. And that belief it transfers, translates to other guys, they feel him. So they go through and do what they're supposed to do, and it comes out well. He's having an enormous impact on these guys just because his mentality is so strong and so consistent.

What do you have to say about the seven sacks today?

We came in to the rush the passer, that was the focal point, and we got that done right from the beginning and all the way to the end. I think (Boye) Maye and Dre'Mont (Jones), on the last ride right there. But the guys worked hard all day long. If you look at the last two weeks, the formula has kind of been similar, not one that we are in love with, but it happened. Where they didn't throw the ball for a lot of yards, but they ran the ball pretty well. It's a little different, cockeyed from where we generally try to put ourselves in that position. But it's happened where they're not getting much in the throwing game, and we are doing a really nice to have on a back end and all that. Oh, almost forgot, the hit of a career half of the day for Riq (Woolen) and he hit the guy so hard, I think he thought he must be hurt. And so, he had to come back to his wits, and it popped up and he was ready to go again. But that hit right there, that ends the game because he knocked the guy back. It was a fantastic moment. Just as dramatic as Julian's (Love) interception last week, I thought. That was the game ending play right there, the walk-off play. I was really fired up for him to experience that. You realize you can hit somebody that hard and it's okay. He's fine.

Julian Love, to come back after not being here. The way he performed under those circumstances?

Anybody that's been through—has babies, you know. This was as challenging for Julian (Love) as could have been and took him days and days to get through the process. I know he wasn't well rested, but he got through it anyway and did a great job. There was not a guy in our locker room that would worry about him one bit, that he wouldn't be able to pull it off. He did a fantastic job.

How did Riq Woolen handle not starting last week, and then coming back today and starting and making a play at the end?

I'd need to look at film. I like that he is taking the challenge. 

Is Geno Smith physically back now?

Oh, no doubt, there's no doubt. Yeah, he got whacked a couple times today, but he made it through.

What happened with Jordyn Brooks?

He got his ankle twisted again, the same one, and so he's got a sore ankle. We will see what happens, I don't know what to tell you.

Did things change a little bit? It looked like you wanted to play Devin Bush?

Yes, we did but we had to change some stuff.

The drive where they scored, you guys had some penalties on that drive.

I don't know about the PI, I didn't get a second to look at it. So I don't know about that one, but they felt like we slid in front of the receiver. That's just the way they can call that. But the one down there—that we threw a punch or whatever, that's just wrong. We can't play like that.

What does it mean to score against the number one red zone defense?

I was well aware of that. We were talking our way through it, and to score two times in the red zone against one of the best red zone defenses in the NFL was a good deal. I mean, it was a good accomplishment for us. Give them credit, they were really good at it and we found a way.

DK Metcalf's touchdown catch, what was your view of that?

I had no thought other than it was a touchdown. I don't know. The rhythm of his feet hit—we could see it right down on the sideline. So, we were really clear that we had a real shot by challenging. But obviously it was in bound.

Did you see it from the sideline?

I saw it. I saw from the sidelines. And then Tater (Carl Smith) saw it upstairs to confirm it.

What the plan to go to Colby for the for the winning TD?

Yeah that's cool. It's cool because we've been working on it for a long time and to make that play down there, and he had a good match-up and Geno (Smith) threw a great ball, ripped it to him. It's been looking good in practice, so I love that we went to that right there because that was probably the last thing they thought would happen that we'd go to him in that situation. They won't think that anymore.

What happened with Damian Lewis?

I don't know. His knee was sore. I am not sure what he did, but he twisted his knee or something like that. 

What can you say about the defense?

Yeah, I thought we played way better in the second half and we improved with our fits, and we tackled better in the second half. We stopped a lot of runs. In the first half. we just got to overtrying a little bit and we were taking some shots and things we didn't execute as well as we had to. Clint (Hurtt) did a good job at halftime and got everybody squared away and we were right back to the basics of it. Yeah, it wasn't anything fancy they were doing. Derrick (Henry) is a great player, he's a great player. We had to stop him and we had to stop him by tackling him and we tackled way better in the second half.

Big picture, the playoff situation. If you win, you're in it appears with Minnesota losing.

That's a good thing. This week. That's all there is, this week.

QB Geno Smith

Geno, you take the field for the final drive. What's going through your head and do you even consider the stakes and the season's ramifications and all that.

I'm thinking just like last week. I feel like Drew (Lock) did a great job last week and we had a chance to match it this week. As I'm going out there, I'm not thinking about anything else besides the situation, knowing we got four downs. I think we had two or three timeouts left. So, we had a bunch of time, about three minutes. I was thinking about the situation and how we can get in the end zone. I thought Shane (Waldron) did a great job. I thought protection held up great. Obviously, receivers did a great job of getting open, and Colby (Parkinson) made a heck of a catch to seal the deal right there.

What can you tell us about that play? It sounds like you guys have been trying to get to that for a while now.

Yeah, we've been practicing it. I feel like we practiced it every day since the start of training camp. It's just that the situation hasn't come yet. But, at the right time, at the perfect time, coach called it, and we knew exactly what we were going to do. We've repped it so many times. Colby (Parkinson) knew exactly how the ball was going to come. Strong hands made that catch, got in the end zone, that was great.

The touchdown to DK (Metcalf) on the drive before, take us through that and what you saw there. What were your thoughts on the challenge?

Obviously, in those situations, a lot of teams like to double DK (Metcalf). They were playing a bunch of 77, which is double DK (Metcalf) or (Tyler) Lockett and sometimes they would double Jackson (Smith-Njigba). But that one particular time was one-on-one with DK (Metcalf). We had a double move on, the corner was sitting off, kind of inside, kind of bit on the first move. DK (Metcalf) did a great job and collisioned him, he fought through it. Once I saw the ball hit his hand, I saw him dragging his toe. Usually those are good when you put the ball in the area with a guy like DK Metcalf. So, I thought it was a great call, perfect call in the situation. They didn't double him, we read it right, and he made a heck of a catch. And that's what it was.

The final drive, the pass to (DK) Metcalf that became the pass interference. He's on the sideline the previous two plays. So in the back of your mind are you thinking this may be the guy I am going to go to here?

Yeah. Again, every down is a new situation. That's how you got to play the game. We had a play on where we had a post on that one and they actually went cover zero. I had to go and make a check at the line of scrimmage to get us into max protect. It was cover zero, so he was one-on-one again. I wish we would have got the touchdown on that, so that he could get the touchdown, but he fought through contact, again. The guy kind of hooked him and prevented him from getting the ball. And that was another play that helped us get down there in scoring position.

They had the number one red zone scoring defense coming into this game and you guys had the two real close misses in the first half. Did you feel like maybe there was a little bit of a timing issue early on with missing the last couple of games there? It seemed like he was just a tad late on those throws.

No, it wasn't late, it was just incomplete. That's how football goes, you don't get them all. You don't hit every pass, that's just football. But I felt like we did a great job of making sure we corrected those in the second half. And that's why there is two halves. I feel like we could always do a better job of trying to score every single time in the red zone. But again, we're facing a defense that's going to try to stop us. Those calls, those passes, were like an inch from being a touchdown. You got to kind of live with those at times. I wish I had thrown it sooner, like you said. I wish I would've thrown a little more flat ball to Jackson (Smith-Njigba). I thought I did a pretty good job to Colby (Parkinson). He got one foot in and wasn't able to get that second one down. But overall, you got to learn from those things. And I think we corrected those in the second half.

Geno, this is your fourth game winning drive of the season. What can you say about your mentality and your comfort in those situations?

It's preparation. Coach prepares us for these opportunities, for these moments in the VMAC (Virginia Mason Athletic Center). Every single day we go over two-minute, a bunch of different situations and scenarios. It helps when you get out there on the field, you're used to it, you know what to do. Guys are calm, they know their assignments, and you saw, it doesn't matter who the quarterback is. Coach prepares us to be in those situations and to make those plays and that's what we're about as Seahawks. We're going to fight to the finish and if the ball is in our hands as an offense, we want to make sure we close it out.

You've been on a few teams now, is that unusual? The emphasis on two-minute that (Pete) Carroll does is a little different?

I think we do a lot more than a lot of teams. Guys coming from other places, they mention that. I think there's a reason why we've been able to win games. I mean, just over the course of Coach Carroll's career here. We've been able to win games late in the fourth quarter in those game winning drives. So that speaks volumes to the preparation and the coaching. The players obviously got to go execute, but it feels like we've been in those situations a million times.

We see teams around the league where there's a clear-cut number one receiver gets the dominant share of the targets. As a quarterback, what does it do for you when you've got Jackson (Smith-Njigba), Tyler (Lockett), DK (Metcalf), all those guys you know you can go to any time?

I think it's big. You can add the tight ends and the running backs in that as well. I think it is huge for us as an offense to not be one dimensional in any aspect. Obviously, we got a guy like DK Metcalf who's going to draw so much attention, and he's a true alpha, a true number one. Every single team has a plan for him. They're going to try and double him. I love the patience that he shows, knowing that Jackson's (Smith-Njigba) going to have to get some targets, Tyler (Lockett) is going to have to get some of those targets, and the tight ends as well. Because he opens up the game for those guys, when they are doubling him, that's one less guy in coverage on the other side. When you've got guys like that, all those guys can make plays. You just drop back, read the field, and throw it to the open guy. That's the special part of this offense.

With Jackson (Smith-Njigba) in particular, he had the game winning touchdown last week and then this week, that third-and-14 play for him to come up, step up big there, get that 18-yard catch. What are you seeing from him with this emergence here in the second half?

I think he's getting better every single week. I love the way that he's preparing in practice. He's working extremely hard in practice. He's getting better every single day in practice. He's really getting more comfortable in the offense, just learning his assignments, the routes, the depths, all the things that we talked about him being great at. Obviously, he's a natural receiver when it comes to catching the football and making plays. I think the way that those guys are feeding off one another, the way that each guy steps up in different areas, it just makes our offense that much better.

How are you doing physically?

I'm okay. Got to get better. A lot better than a few weeks ago.

There was one play you kind of came up slow.

Yeah, it's football, man. You are going to get some bumps and bruises and you gotta keep fighting.

Big picture, you guys lose four in a row, having won two in a row, you control your own destiny to the playoffs. How do you feel about where this team is at?

I think we just got to take it one game at a time, one practice at a time. I love being around these guys. I feel like I never want this stuff to end. I know that we understand what's at stake, but we also know that we have to go and handle our business. So, just one practice at a time, and one game at a time, one rep at a time. That's all we can do is control that. And just to continue to fight to the end.

What's this last week been like for you, Geno? The kind of roller coaster on Monday night. And then you lead a game winning drive today to get your second straight win.

Typical week in the life of an NFL quarterback. I'm just appreciative of this team, this organization, all my teammates, all the fans, everybody. It's a great place. I think guys do things the right way around here. And it's been great. I'm part of this team, everyone's got each other's back and that's the special part about it.

NT Jarran Reed

How'd that one feel Jarran (Reed)?

Oh man it felt good. The game was very ugly in my opinion, but we showed a lot of grit and a lot of determinationdo right long.

Quick turnaround, obviously, in really emotional win Monday night. Was it hard to kind of take that off at all?

We went through that this whole season. I just think that shows the grit of our team, the resilience that we have as a team together. For a short turnaround, we knew this team was going to come in and they were going to do everything they could to try to stop us from getting the win, but we pulled it out.

You had a couple of sacks on the final drive. What did you see on those plays?

Oh, that was huge. We knew that if we could get them to third down, we could rush that we could get after them. I think they gave up those most sacks in the league. We showed tonight that we have a great rush, we have great rushers as well and we just ended the game, what we needed to do.

They found some success against you guys on the ground. Derrick Henry has had such a great career. How unique is he compared to everybody else you guys have played against and some of the challenges that he presents?

I mean, you don't see too many see 6'5", 250-pound running backs, that probably has zero percent body fat. I mean, he's a monster out there. They gave us every personnel that they could that we really didn't see during the season. They really didn't used tight ends. They used extra tackles, sometimes two extra tackles, 13-personnel, 13-T, those types of things. I was glad that we see it. Now we put it on film, we get to go back to the drawing board, when we get to work Tuesday and make the corrections that we need to.

What do you think the four-game stretch; Niners, Eagles, Cowboys, how's that benefiting you guys right now?

I think it made us a better team. I think the stretch that we had, that five-week stretch made us a better team. We had ups and downs, but we never give up. We got a great team. We have great guys in the locker room who always believe. That's all we can do. I think each game we got better. It made us better. We learned and we made some mistakes, but we learn from it and we grow from it, and we keep going.

Pete (Carrol) said we're supposed to ask you about your coverage on the last drive?

I tell them all the time, I played linebacker in high school, believe it or not. That's what I do. So, we came in, we had a call. They told me they were going to put me on the back and strapped him up. He wasn't getting the ball.

Is that the first time you've done that?

No, it was not my first time. We used to actually do it a lot back in the day when we had Kenny Norton as our defensive coordinator.

How about Riq (Woolen) putting the big hit on them at the end of the game?

That was good to see. I think he knocked the wind out of himself, but it's good to see Riq (Woolen) go up there and make that play. He's taken tremendous strides as a player is what he needed to do.

As a defensive line, is there anything more fun than closing out the game with two sacks to put the game on ice? That's all what we want to do. Of course, we want to close the game up front. That's what we did. I think it helped by me strapping the running back up, too.

Geno (Smith) had his fourth game winning drive for the season. It seems like he's been poised all season in those moments. What can you say about him?

Geno (Smith) is a great player. Me and Geno train in the off-season together at the same gym down in Florida. Like I told him before the game, I said this is the moment that we work for right here. We put in so much work and I watched him put in so much work in this. From the time we work out in the morning to field drills. When we were done with field drills, I was getting off because it was hot, but he was still going. So I try to remind him every time that the work we put in, it's time to put in and show it on the field. Preparation is key. When we prepare, we play good.

Julian Love had a pretty eventful week with the baby. He was away from the team and then flew separately. What do you make of all that?

Oh, man. tremendous player. A guy that's always accountable. A guy that's always in the right place, doing the right thing. I think he had a big hit early on putting number 11 out the game. Teams are going to see that. They are going to get alligator arms when they see how our DB's were hitting today. I think personally every hit was clean. Julian (Love) is a great player. He's really coming along right now. We need him. We need him to keep getting turnovers and keep being in the right spots, making big plays.

LB Boye Mafe

How does it feel to cap off a game that way with getting a couple of sacks to put the finishing touches on the win?

It feels great. It's one of those things that, we were working on definitely. I haven't had a sack in the last couple of weeks. Just getting back into the flow of things, getting back into who I feel I am as a player. It's one of those things where I need to see what I can do to get back into rhythm and know who I can be as a player.

You mentioned other teams have been putting more attention on you with chips, double teams, things like that. When you got that first one (sack), do you feel like it's a weight off your shoulders to get one?

Definitely. It's always something you're working toward, but at the end of the day, the big picture is getting the W. Making sure that I'm doing everything that I can in my manner to help the team.

This team lost four in a row. Things could have gone any number of directions. What about this team do you think has allowed you guys to comeback the way you have the last two weeks?

I feel like there's some resiliency. There is a lot of situations, a lot of things that happened throughout the season. We've had a lot of up and downs. The thing I love about this team is that we don't waver. Every situation that has hit us, there's no one batting an eye, there's no one turning the cheek. Everyone just looks at it and says, 'Alright, how do we get better from it?' The fact that we were able to turn it around and actually take accountability for everything that we did and have that conversation with each other and taking an action to it, is what's amazing about this team.

They ran the ball really well against you guys in the first half. The second half, (Derrick) Henry was held under three yards per carry. What did you see change in those last two quarters compared to what they were doing early in the game to you guys?

We had to have a conversation at halftime. We looked at each other and said, we got to know what we got to do. Especially up front as a front seven and a D-line, we said we have to do our job. We take a lot of pride in what we do, especially our run game defense. We take that personally as a D-line.

Jarran (Reed) mentioned that they were using a lot of different personnel groupings that you guys hadn't necessarily seen. Was that an adjustment that had to be made to win it at halftime, trying to deal with something you guys weren't expecting to see?

A lot of games you end up having what we call un-scouted looks, and you got to be prepared for those. We had to make adjustments on the fly at halftime, and when we have a chance, to talk on the sidelines. It's definitely something that you can't really prepare for, but when it does happen, you have to find a solution to it.

LB Bobby Wagner

Seven sacks today, good to get the pass rush going?

We knew that we got to go and get to this guy, and we were able to pack in the backfield a little bit. Some of those sacks kind of changed the game. We just got to do it consistently and do it more.

When Jarran (Reed) was in here, he was talking about them running some different personnel groupings than what you guys had seen previously. How much did that bear with the running success they had early? You guys have held (Derrick) Henry under three yards per carry in the second half.

Obviously, they were playing for pride. They were going to come out and throw everything at you. I know a couple of their guys were hurt, so it forced them to kind of throw some different personnel in there. Once we got a hang of it, we felt like we did a better job.

Big picture, Bobby, where do you feel like your defense is at after these last two wins?

I feel like we in a good place, but we need to be better with penalties, clean up the things in the run game. Obviously, continue the sacks. That's kind of where we're at. Eight-and-seven can't complain.

After losing four in a row, what do you think allowed this team to stay in it and come back the way you have these last two weeks.

I think the connection of the guys and I think the belief of the guys that we have and the coaches that we have. I think that's what allows us to keep our mind in it. We knew that we were going to have a tough stretch. But we control our own destiny, so we need to just take it one game at a time.

What did that stretch give you guys now from those four games and the gauntlet of the schedule? What's the benefit? What's the back side coming out of that? Do you think that's helping?

I think the biggest thing in my opinion that we learned is, when you play good teams like that, you can't shoot yourself in the foot. You can't have bad penalties, mistakes, things of that nature because they will capitalize on that. So, hopefully we can take that into the remainder of the season and to guide us in the playoffs.

You've seen a lot of game winning drives since you've been on this team. Geno's (Smith) got four this year, did it again today. What can you say about him in those situations?

It's just amazing to watch. His poise and his ability to give it to the guys. Obviously, DK (Metcalf) has some crucial catches, Lock (Tyler Lockett) always, the trust and belief in those guys. But the biggest thing with Geno (Smith) is just his poise. His poise when the pocket collapses, not panic, get the ball out and put it in the playmakers hands and make plays. He did a really, really good job today.

WR Tyler Lockett

What resolve do you guys think you have now after the gauntlet of a schedule you've pulled through?

Man, I think when you look at the gauntlet of the schedule that we had these last previous games, I think it really showed us who we were. Even though we were losing, I felt like, and the coaches were saying, 'It's hard to believe it when you're losing,' but we were actually getting better. Learning how to be able to play championship football, learning how to be able to get multiple first downs even if the drive isn't as successful as you want. But not being able to go three-and-out, not putting yourself in a hole. And I think it taught us how to be triumphant at the end, how to be able to win games on last-minute drives, stuff like that, even though we can still take care of business earlier in the game.

Geno Smith leading the game-winning touchdown drive. What's he like in the huddle in those situations?

I mean, I think the best thing about Geno (Smith) is he's super calm. He's not going to panic. He's reading his keys, he's doing everything right, going through his reads and he trusts every single person that's out there. I think when you watch us and we're running routes, he's literally putting the ball exactly where, as a receiver, you would want it to be. And everybody's making big-time catches, allowing us to be able to move the sticks. And when teams are trying to take away certain players, other players got to be able to step up. Each and every time we have a chance to do that, it only makes our offense grow and makes our offense a lot better.

Obviously, a lot of focus is always on the receivers. Is it cool to see Colby Parkinson come through in a big moment there at the end of the game?

Big-time play by Colby (Parkinson), man. That's just something that, we're on the other side so we don't really get to see it as much, but just being able to see him come down with that catch. Great placement, great focus and great being able to bring that ball all the way down as he hit the ground because nowadays you've got to be able to control it instead of just having your both of those feet down. So, big time moment. Super great, super happy for Colby and that was a big-time moment for us as a team as well.

Geno Smith was just talking about the growth of Jaxon Smith-Njigba and how he's getting better every week. He had that big third-and-14 catch today. What are you seeing, specifically from the receiver position, that has really changed for him the last few weeks.

I just think he's kind of getting the feel of our offense. He's super dynamic and you can tell the way that he makes certain cuts, the way that he's running his routes, he's finding open areas, the open zones, able to get open in man, making big-time catches. It's only a matter of time before we start to see what he can do with the ball as soon as he gets a little bit more space where he can maneuver around people and really go to distance. Just super happy for him. Watching him come in as a rookie, being able to get his opportunities, being able to make big-time plays, helping us win these games. He's really coming through, especially when we need him most.

Did it feel like a rollercoaster? You guys go down to score on the one to DK Metcalf, then they come down and score and you guys kind of have to go back out there and do it again to win on that.

I mean, it's football. The biggest thing was I think that was a big-time draw-out for us because the season is on the line, and you've got to be able to try to win out all these games if you want to be able to go to the playoffs. The Titans did a great job driving all the way down, controlling the play clock, being able to score. And I think Shane (Waldron) did a great job just allowing to put the game in Geno's (Smith) hands, being able to call great plays. He had a feel of what they were doing on defense, was calling great plays, getting guys open, big-time guys making big-time plays, and just being able to score a touchdown. Then it's big for the defense too, to be able to stop them even though the Titans had one timeout on the 50-yard line. A lot of things can happen, and they did a great job of just being able to put pressure on their quarterback and get some sacks.

Check out some of the best action shots from Week 16 at the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 24, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.

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