Quotes and locker room sound from the Seahawks following their 26-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals during Week 17 at CenturyLink Field.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening…)"I think the first thing I want to say is that this has been a really challenging season for us. We saw a lot of things happen during this year that we needed to overcome and endure and get through. I think this game today was almost a microcosm of this season. The slow starts, the getting in our own way, making it hard on us at times when it wasn't about the opponent, it was about us. There is a lot of stuff that kind of showed up again today. Us roaring back in the second half and coming back, well, that doesn't surprise anybody. We know we can do that, not that it still isn't exemplary to do stuff like that, but it took that today, and our guys rallied, and we came roaring back and gave ourselves a chance to win the football game all the way to the last moment. That's not surprising. It's disappointing, though, that we weren't able to change the narrative of the way the games went. So, we looked terrible in the first half today. Then, we came roaring back, and it didn't even look like the same team. I would like to say it's the halftime speeches, but there's something about us. It's a good thing. The good thing is that we can come roaring back and we got it in us to play well. I'm happy, in a way, for Bruce. He's a had a terrific career. I don't know what he's going to do, but it kind of seemed like they were hugging it up like it was over. I don't know. We'll find out. It's more about moving ahead. I say it's a difficult year, and that's because of the guys that we were unable to keep with us. They were in the locker room today, but they couldn't help us. It's just unfortunate. We weren't quite there to get it all together the way we want to. I understand that Atlanta won today and we weren't going to have an opportunity to move on, but really that wasn't a factor at all in the way we played or the way we prepared. I'm so surprised that we played like we did today because we were so ready and we practiced so well and prepared so well. It just didn't come out right until the end. It's unfortunate. It's a difficult time for our fans. I'm disappointed for them, because they came out there ready to crank it up and win a big game today with the highest of hopes as we did, and we didn't synch it up the way we wanted to."
(On the message he gave to the team after the game …)"That the way that they showed the fight and the belief and the resolve to keep coming back despite everything and all the odds that we had stacked up against ourselves in the first half, and they turned it. They turned it and came right back and you could feel the energy and the juice and the change and all of that shift that happens so classically for us in this stadium, and the fans felt it, and we rode the energy and all that. I was really proud that it happened again. But, unhappy that at the end of it, we got in our way again and didn't finish the game like we wanted to."
(On whether he knew the score in Atlanta ….)"I did know, yeah. It was interesting how little impact it had. It had no impact at all. I knew, I don't know, after halftime or something like that. It had no impact. It meant nothing."
(On the penalties…)"I was so disappointed in the three penalties. They were all getting off the field, field position changes. We were in the scoring zone with Thomas' [play], but again that goes back, this is a year for whatever reason; we've been last in penalties before when we won world championships. We understand how that sometimes it effects them or it doesn't. In this season, with the margin of error we had, we weren't able to overcome that stuff. It's just an area of our football that has to change. I got to get that done. I got to get that changed."
(On the guys stepping up on defense despite the injuries…)"Of course there is. I hope I didn't leave you with that thought. Look at all the stuff that's happened. Look at the great play that we got from Shaq during this season, from Bradley McDougald in this season, and Frank Clark taking over for Cliff as the lead rush guy. All the guys that were able to step in and do wonderful things. Justin Coleman, playing great for us. On the defensive side in particular, that's where it showed up because that's where we took the biggest hits. These guys were stellar in the way that they stepped up. These are great players that they replaced, and they played like it and allowed us to still be there battling and clawing and scratching all the way throughout."
(On Baldwin's second touchdown…) "Doug just put an exclamation point on another great season. He's such a great player for us. Getting open on the corner route, that's one thing, and that was great execution by both guys, but the throw and the catch and the finish and staying in bounds was just extraordinary. It was exquisite football, against one of the best cover guys in the world. At the time, the moment; it was a perfect moment, but it's not surprising. He's capable of it. Those two guys are so connected and all, and you could see it in their look on the sidelines following that. It was really special."
(On Tyler Lockett….)"Tyler has done a remarkable job this season. I don't know if you know, he hasn't been able to be the same as he's been, physically. He has just had to endure it and make it through it, and every week has been a battle for him. He just keeps showing up and playing like crazy. I didn't know if he was going to have the jets to finish it off, and he outran a couple of great football players there on his kickoff return. He showed that he has all the speed that you need. He's a great player for us. I'm thrilled that he had a chance to keep us in the game. He really kept us in the game all through the first half. Without that touchdown it would have been really difficult."
(On his message to the players after the game…)"We talked about how we had found a way, again, to kind of be what we were in the season. It was kind of a microcosm of the year, that we started slow and had to battle back and come through in the end and make a big fourth quarter finish and all that. At the end of it, we made a couple mistakes with the penalties that happened to us and got in the way again. The margin of error has been too slight; it kept us from being a couple games ahead of where we are right now, where we'd be in great shape."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
(On having the talent on this team, but not being able to execute…) "I think it's not easy. It's not easy to be great. You have to do all of the little things perfectly right and just let them add up. I think that a couple times here and there throughout the season we have missed the mark, for whatever reason. There is so much into it. I think that we've also overcome a lot. I think that we've also shown the heart and the testament of who we are as players and as people. Just to be able to continue to fight. We knew tonight was going to be a tough game, we knew it was going to be a tough battle. There are a lot of great players on that side of the ball on defense and on offense, too. We had to find a way to overcome it. And we did, and then unfortunately we didn't get to win it. But, I think that has just been a part of our season. You embrace the journey, ,and you learn from it."
(On what changed for the offense in the second half….)"I think we really clicked. The biggest thing is we just stayed on schedule. Like I've been saying all year, when you're playing in the National Football League on third and super long, it's really hard. It's really, really tough. The odds of you getting first downs and everything else, it makes it tough. That's the first thing we did, we stayed on schedule and then we made some great plays. Guys like Doug Baldwin, cutting across the field. Doug Baldwin making that play down the field, too, in the right corner of the end zone. Laying out for that touchdown and making that play. I thought Mike Davis ran well. We made some cool plays in the second half. We kept battling. I thought the defense continued to battle. We battled as a team together. We had a chance to win it. It's just part of it."
(On the second touchdown pass to Baldwin…)"It was going against one of the best corners in the league, Patrick Peterson. Doug did a great job of stacking him and trying to make a play. It's just like all the times I've told Doug on the sideline, all the hard six years and practice and everything else, all that hard work that you put into it, it showed up right there. We have a great chemistry together. He's special. He's really, really special. There is nobody like him. He made a great catch. I just tried to give him a chance, and he made a great play."
(On the positives he can take away from this season…)"There are a lot of positives, obviously, in the sense of guys stepping in and stepping into roles they didn't even probably think they were going to be into, right away. Guys like Shaq Griffin, and guys like Mike Davis. There are so many people. Pocic stepping in; unfortunately he got hurt tonight. So many guys having to step in and make plays. I think about the guys who were overcoming significant injuries this year, too. Like I said, Dion Jordan, Tyler Lockett and Shead. There is a lot there that you can take home. I hate the fact that we had to take it on. That's the disappointing part. You don't get everything you want all the time. You just have to learn from it and grow from it. I'm grateful that I get to be around these guys every day."
(On leading the NFL in touchdown passes…)"No, that doesn't mean anything to me. I think, obviously, it's a testament to a lot of guys making a lot of great plays, in terms of guys catching the ball and making great plays all year. The only think I care about is winning. That's just in my blood. I just want to win. That's the only thing. You work every day, you wake up early in the mornings, all the off season, all during the season and everything else, to win. To win the whole thing. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that."
Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin
(On where he thinks they could play better…)"Offensively. I mean I play offense so that's my main concern, is offensively. When we go into a game or coming out of halftime, down 20-7, we have to take some responsibility for that. We can't put it all on the defense. We have to play better, simply put. We've been in those situations all year long. It's been the case for multiple years now, but we have always been able to lean on our defense to keep the opponent down, in terms of points. This year, like you said, we sustained a lot of injuries. Offenses got better. When you have that paired with not playing well offensively in the first half of games, we are always fighting against ourselves. We are always trying to dig ourselves out of a hole. Plus, we were terrible at penalties this year. That plays a big role as well."
(On how he thinks the playoffs got away from them…)"Yeah. I mean, if you look back at 2013, there was so many games where the ball just bounced our way. We had so many close games that we could've lost but we pulled them out somehow. Very similar to this year, it's just the ball didn't bounce our way. There was a lot of games that we could've played better, if the ball would've bounce our way we would've got the win. So, we need put ourselves in a better situation but for whatever reason it didn't happen. I guess, personally, I'm just frustrated because I know we could play better. We have more out there. But, that's football. A prime example of how life works."
(On how not making the playoffs doesn't happen very often…)"No. And on top of the fact that we have so much talent, we have expectations. We have a certain standard going into every season. The guys in our locker room work so hard. I think that's the biggest thing is that we work so hard throughout the course of the year and for it to end this way is really just disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for all the years that we have played in the playoffs, for getting 9 wins, I'm grateful for that. There's more out there. There's definitely more out there for us."
(On how he plans to do his self-reflection and his plan for his physically getting ready for next season…)"I haven't thought about that because I was planning on continuing to play. I haven't thought about that yet. The first thing is that I'll make sure my body is ready to go for the offseason and make sure that any injuries that I have I get taken care of, whatever it may be. I'll handle the mental side of it once I can."
Defensive Tackle Sheldon Richardson
(On this being the end of the season…)"It's tough. Guys work really hard and it came down the the very last second and it didn't pan out. It's just tough. We expected more out of ourselves but that's just the way it rolls."
(On if he views the season as a disappointment…)"When you don't make the playoffs, yeah. If you don't win a super bowl, it's pretty much a disappointment. That's what we do this for. That's what I do it for and I bet the whole team feels that way too. That's what it's about."
(On how they were able to bounce back after allowing some big runs early on…)"We made corrections and sideline adjustments. Some guys played outside their gap a little bit and tried to make plays but it happens. We just corrected it and stayed with our technique and fixed it."
Linebacker K.J. Wright
(On where the team goes from here…) "OTA's. We just have to go to OTA's, then the draft. We just have to rebuild, get some new guys in, draft some guys and sign some guys in free agency."
(On what Pete Carroll told them after the game…) "Of course he was positive. He was looking at the good side of it and he was saying that he was proud of what we did this year."
(On what he does and how long it takes him to recover from the season…)"Each guy is different. I'll take four weeks off and do some travelling and let the mind and body relax and heal from all the injuries. It'll be awhile and then I'll come back and get back to the grind. It's a new season and a new journey.
Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett
(On what it was like to get a 99-yard touchdown to end his season season…)"I mean it was pretty nice, I think that's something that we always emphasize was being able to do great on special teams and we played against some great special teams units, the Cardinals I think were at least maybe in the top five in kickoffs and so it was a challenge for us to be able to go out there and be able to play and I think that we did a great job. Everybody did good on their blocks. They did good with their leverages, the wedge did a great job with the hole was, you know wide open and so I did my part. I hit the hole and just went at it and just kind of run until you don't get caught."
(On if he believes his post injury speed is as good as before…)"I mean I didn't get caught, so I mean I think if there was any question that would have kind of let people know that he's still got it. I was running away from some fast people. Especially Pat P, he's like 4.2, so I had to make sure I didn't run and not get caught because you never want to get caught from behind. I mean athletic trainers did a great job in my recovery. Each and every day we went in, it was a long process, but I did everything that I could to make sure that I got back and it's a blessing to be able to play this game. Coming back from a broken leg, people forget that I even broke my leg. I broke my leg December 24 and had the opportunity to come back and never missed a game since. To me that says a lot, to me that's a blessing, to continue to play and still be able to play my role and do whatever it is that they would want me to be able to do on special teams and receiver. To me it's just a blessing to keep playing because you never know how long you can play."
Tackle Duane Brown
(On if it's a shock that the Seahawks didn't make the playoffs…)"Yeah and I mean we're still a playoff-caliber team. I don't have any regrets about anything that's played out. I love these guys and I love this group. I love the coaching staff and there's a lot of fight in this team. You also have to look at the adversity that this team has had to overcome. We lost three pro bowlers and all-pro guys on defense and we've been banged up on offense a lot throughout the season. That's no excuse, but that's a lot of the things that we've had to fight through. We just need to put four quarters together week in and week out, but I'm proud of the guys and I'm proud of the effort that we showed. We'll continue to do that."
(On gelling with the offensive line over the offseason…) "Line play is all about continuity. It's all about chemistry. For me to be here in the offseason with these guys and build; that is going to help myself a lot. I think for all of us together, it's going to help us as a unit. I think we're definitely trending upward."
Safety Earl Thomas
(On what everyone is feeling right now following the loss…)"It's hard to tell; Russell [Wilson] did a great job of just putting stuff in perspective, loving your teammates, and it could be the last time that we all play together. The most important thing was that he said about your family; you can't control what happened out there, you just try to play your butt off and give your team a chance to win."
(On how the standard here is so high and how not making the playoffs this year makes the mindset of the team right now…) "It's hard for me to judge from everybody. The thing that I take from is the young guys; they haven't gotten their experience [in the playoffs], and as a team, I just want them to have that experience of being in the playoffs and ultimately winning a Super Bowl."
(On what changes could be made during the offseason…) "We know that's coming off the top. It's not going to be the same look, there is going to be new pieces, and some guys that we love here might not be here. You never know."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
(On how he would characterize this season…)"I don't know; it's kind of hard to put into words right now. It's something that we have never experienced before, there were a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but you have to appreciate the moments, the good and the bad. Hopefully, we grow from there."
(On what Pete Carroll said to the team in the locker room…) "He just said that he appreciates us and wish it turned out differently, and to stay together and keep fighting."
(On if there was temptation to do too much in the first half especially not knowing what was happening with the Atlanta-Carolina game…) "I mean, maybe that was the case, I'm not sure. I haven't watched the film yet, but I think everybody had good intentions and everybody just wanted to make plays and we made the adjustments in the second half. We felt like we had to protect a little bit better."
The Seahawks fell short to the Arizona Cardinals with a final score of 26-24 to finish the 2017 season.