Postgame quotes from the following:
PETE CARROLL: Really pleased to come this way and get a win, finish off the first quarter of the season as we have. So that's a good accomplishment for us. Really fired up about that. Probably most pleased after it's all over everybody got out of there pretty fit and all that. We didn't get anybody banged up today which is good and we get to move our way into the next game with everybody that was playing today. That's a good thing. It was a game we played off each other really well. We got turnovers, we got turnovers, we scored touchdowns. The two-minute work by the offense was beautiful. And on-side catch by Jake. Great play to make. Looked like Willie Mays making that catch right there. Really good solid football game, and really pleased to get the win and get the heck out of here.
Q. Coach, the way your defense kept more stuff in front of them this game, making the big plays, did you see some progress there?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah. We definitely did. Really, we kept them in front of us all day long and made them run their way down. I don't think they had a touchdown today, must have been pretty good in the red zone, keeping them out of the end zone. Really played well, backed up and got the job done, other than the one time I guess we scrambled in. Yeah, that's an improvement. Played some new guys that came through, did a nice job for us. Cody played today for the first time, got a full start for himself for the first time, and guys held up well.
Q. Pete, what does it say about Chris Carson to come back from that grueling-looking knee injury last week and to also get knocked out of this game in the middle of a contract year and just keep coming back and fighting for this football team?
PETE CARROLL: Everything was great on that question until you get to the contract year. I'm sure that makes a difference for you. Chris is a stud football player, and the man never backed down from anything. He told us when we got back on Wednesday, he said, I think I'm okay. I'm going to make it. We took it easy on him the first couple days and got him through the week and he looked great. It really helped us because Carlos couldn't go with a sore shoulder, and Chris ran really well today. It was 80 yards worth of good running. He's such a tough football player and a great competitor that that's not a surprise to us that he would bounce back and get back up. He took a hell of a shot and got back up and got right after it again. So he's a terrific football player.
Q. Pete, it looked like you guys scaled back the pressure a little bit this week with Jamal not being there. How did you see that play out with the way you wanted to work the back end as well and the way you guys kind of performed across the board with that?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah, this was just this game and this plan and what we needed to do to in keep front of us and all that, and it worked out fine. When you have Jamal on your team, he is such an extraordinary football player that you have to use his talents. And so just because (indiscernible) gets in that position doesn't mean it's going to happen. We just adjusted a little bit today. I thought we did a nice job. Cane did a really good job of putting it together so we could play a good winning football game.
Q. Can you describe what happened to Carson when he got knocked down and went into the injury tent and came back out?
PETE CARROLL: He was kind of getting over a guy and a guy really him really flush, hit him right in the chest and it was just a hell of a hit. And they didn't know whether he got his head hit or not, and so they went to check that out and that was all and it was a precautionary and he was okay. Both guys that went to the tent were released to come back to the game.
Q. The two plays Shaquill Griffin given made in the fourth quarter, the one in the end zone breaking up the pass and then the interception, that's the aggressiveness you've been looking for from the secondary, no?
PETE CARROLL: Yeah. He's been playing like that all along. He had a couple of plays in the first four games that weren't, but he's been playing really hard and aggressive and making his plays and going for the football and all that. That was a gorgeous play down there behind the goal line, and he's playing good ball now. He's doing a really good job. Two picks back to back? Come on.
Q. Pete, what did you see on that drive late in the first half when you guys kept the foot on the gas pedal and got that touchdown right before the half?
PETE CARROLL: That was a really good job by the offensive coaches wanting to go for it with 24 seconds left and 80 yards away or something like that. They were sold, that let's go give our guys a shot. Had a couple timeouts there; and has to happen in that drive, you have to hit something, and Russ found David up the side. It was a great play. He almost scored on it. And I really loved the opportunity we had the second, right there at the end of the half to get the plays we needed to get a touchdown. Fantastic. We work on that stuff a lot, and it's exactly the situations that we'd like to feel really comfortable in, and composed and rusted it beautifully and finished up with the ball to Homer. Also, I thought Russ played really good today. We dropped a couple of balls for whatever reason. I don't know why the balls got away from us. D.K. got one blasted out, and I think Tyler might have had one that he should have caught. Seemed like there was a couple, I don't know. But I thought Russ played great. And he handled the drive going down in there when the headset went out. He took the drive down and scored a touchdown, did a great job controlling the club there. He's just playing great football.
Q. What do you make of K.J.'s day? I know he's probably going to be bummed with himself that he didn't come away within interception, but he blew up a couple of screens, got his hands on a bunch of football, seemed like he was everywhere.
PETE CARROLL: Again, he had a really good game. He really had two picks in his hands, you know. And that's what will kill him because he knew he had the ball a couple times. But he's playing really good football. He shows you what instinct and savvy is all about. It's just remarkable and obvious that he's making plays on the other side of the field because he sees it happening, and he's making plays way in the back field on the screens and things, and it's really hard to get him on any of that stuff. That's experience, and he's just a great ball player.
Q. I wanted to talk about the first quarter of the season here. Can you talk about the rapport between Russ and D.K. and why that has been so successful right now?
PETE CARROLL: Well, yeah, first off, to get off 4 and 0 it's a great start for us and we're thrilled about that; as good as we could have done, and we still have a lot of good football to get better at. We all know that, and the players know that, and we're still working on improving and getting our game cleaner. About that, one of the things that's been really rock solid has been special teams. You just haven't seen a play there that hasn't been where it's supposed to be, how it's supposed to be played or handled, kicked deep, make our kicks and all of that stuff. It's been a fantastic start. Real steady part of our game right now. It's helping us stay consistent. That's important coming out of the first quarter. Russ has played spectacular. His work with D.K. really is a result of last season's experience, but then going into the summertime knowing -- both of them knowing what the potential was there for this relationship, and they went for it. I think D.K. lived with Russ for a month in the summertime. They kept sending us videos of them throwing and stuff like that what they were doing. And it just made so much sense to see them come back and just be on point because they worked so hard at it. So D.K. is an incredible football player, and so is Russell. And you put them together with Tyler, another get football player, and stuff just happens. You know, stuff happens. And it's because they're really good, and I think Schotty is doing a great job of utilizing our guys, and we're real pleased with what's happening so far.
(To be 4-0, first time you guys have been 4-0 since your second season. How do you feel about what this team has accomplished so far?)
Obviously for us to be 4-0, it's a huge thing, just keep winning one game at a time, and that's what's really important to us is making sure we're staying on schedule, making sure we keep doing what we're doing. It was a tough day today. It was a battle out there. It was a tough day just because it was so hot out there, us being from the Pacific Northwest. Guys just kept battling, ran the ball really well. We threw the ball well. We had that one funky play, but other than that, we were pretty much lights out on all the things we wanted to do, which was great."
(What can you say about RB Chris Carson? Had that kind of scary knee injury last week, and then comes back this week, scores a couple of touchdowns, physical as ever.)
"Yeah, I thought Chris was really exceptional today. He had some unbelievable runs. He was physical. He made great plays. He caught the ball well. He's just been tremendous for us in so many different ways, and I think he's been on it since the moment he got back to Seattle. He's a special player, and we're glad that he's on our team, that's for sure."
(Can you talk about WR DK Metcalf? You lived with him a little bit this off season. Can you talk about the connection, how you've built it and where he fits in in the past compared with guys you've played with before? What kind of potential does this guy have?)
"I think DK has been great all year. First of all, he lived with me. I didn't live with him. I got three kids at home. So, you know, he stayed in the crib, but, no, I'm just messing with you. We had a great time, obviously. I think all the time that we got together and just spent together, it's shown up in so many different ways. He was exceptional once again today. He's been on his stuff. You know, he's a special player. I'm glad he's on our team, for sure. All the receivers have been making plays, and he's definitely helping lead the pack in that sense."
(What is it about WR David Moore making pretty ridiculous catches? Does it get to where you now know you can almost throw it anywhere and he's going to find a way to come down with it?)
"Yeah. He just knows how to make plays. He's got tremendous athleticism. He's one of the best athletes on our team. You saw the play that he ran, that little juke move he did and then ran out the field, jumped over a guy. The play he had down the field where he … Obviously the touchdown drive, where … You know, the headsets went out, so we were rolling and I was just calling plays. And I saw an opportunity to get the ball to 'D. Mo', and sure enough he wins the one-on-one match up and makes a great play in the back corner of the end zone, which was pretty special."
(The headsets coming out, I've been in Miami for 20 years and this has been an issue. Did you prepare for that coming in? And which drive was that?)
"It was the drive that we … I hit Tyler (Ott) on the cross. We ran one the first one. We hit Tyler across the field. I think DeeJay (Dallas) had a nice play, and they were substituting, and I caught them in the substitute. We went down the field and I hit 'D. Mo' (David Moore) on the go ball. That was that drive. I think I'm always prepared for those moments, obviously. Just knowing the game plan, knowing the plays, being ready to call two-minute situations, two-minute plays, all that stuff. I've kind of always been prepared in that sense and 'Schotty' (Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) and (Quarterbacks Coach) Austin (Davis) and I always prepare. But just in general, I just know the game plan, I know where we want to go and how we want to attack them and try to mix it up and try to keep the tempo going still and be versatile, still run it, still throw it, do it all. Get the ball down the field when we can."
(Did it happen during the drive or before the drive?)
"It happened on the first play. So the first play of the drive it just went out, I couldn't hear anything. So then I just started calling the plays on those."
(I was actually going to ask you about that. Is that something that you're way more prepared to deal with now just being in your ninth year in the NFL, you know, when something like that happens and you just sort of take control yourself on the field?)
"Yeah, I definitely think so. I think that the reality is I've kind of always called a lot of two-minute situations, two-minute plays and stuff like that, at halfs and end of games. But I think in those situations where headsets go out, you don't freak out. You just know what we want to do and how we want to attack them, and you go do it. So I have great confidence in calling plays, obviously. Obviously 'Schotty' (Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) has done a tremendous job all year which has been awesome. We have that great relationship in that way. So something goes wrong, he doesn't worry, nobody stresses out. And we know we're going to get the ball down the field and running it and throwing it and doing all the things we want to do and mixing it up. And that's what we were able to do on that drive and then obviously we catch them rotating and everything else and go throw a touchdown. It was a great drive in that sense that we were on our stuff, dialed in. It was never any panic there. But, yes, definitely in year nine you know so much of the game, so much of what they're trying to do and how they're trying to disguise and all that stuff and just take advantage of the looks."
(The drive right before the half, very little time. What went into making that drive work?)
"The drive right before the half we wanted to have one positive play. Once we had that one to Greg (Olsen), which he made a great catch on that, we just kept the tempo going, and I kind of scampered outside the pocket. Wasn't set up that way, but I did just because of how the rush was. So I got outside the pocket and kind of looked inside and kind of looked him off, and the next thing I know 'D. Mo' (David Moore) was running down the field. So we threw the ball deep down the field to him. He made a great play, gets all the way down to whatever yard line he was on. We went up tempo; they called timeout, we forced their timeout, and then we got in that situation, and we hit Greg. We knew we had one more timeout. And then it was six seconds left on the clock, so we tried to take a look into the end zone. It wasn't there right away. We've done that drill so many times, just practicing on different things and different ways of doing different plays and all that kind of stuff, on that particular play they took my first read away. Didn't panic, just knew the clock was running down and just tried to whistle in to (Travis) Homer, which he made a great play, his first touchdown. So that was huge for Homer to get his first NFL touchdown, which is pretty special. That was awesome. That was a huge touchdown. And we only had 28 seconds left on the clock. So for us to be able to make those plays like that that fast and be able to convert in those situations was really big for us."
(That fourth-and-3 situation late in the second quarter, obviously you guys didn't get that, but then you come back and you get that scoring drive right before halftime. How much of a year does kind of this aggressive play calling, aggressive offensive approach, how much does that kind of aggressiveness kind of open up everything that you hope to do with this offense?)
"I think with the players that we have, from the running backs that we have, you saw obviously Chris Carson being one of the best running backs in the game. You have (Travis) Homer, who scores his first touchdown but has been great for us in every way as a teammate and as a player. You have DeeJay Dallas, who gets the first time really getting in the game, in the mix, and he had some great plays today coming back home, both with Homer and DeeJay coming back to Miami. But then you think about all the receivers we have, from Tyler (Lockett) to DK. DK. had another 100-plus day. Tyler has been making plays for years, and David Moore, and (Freddie) Swain had a couple of great plays, and then obviously our tight ends. (Will) Dissly made a nice catch or two, and then you have Greg (Olsen) obviously just keeps showing up in crucial situations, (Jacob) Hollister has been … So when you have that versatility and everything else, and then with our line blocking as good as they're blocking, they're giving me enough time to make decisions and make all the throws, it's a credit to those guys up front which creates all the opportunities in those situations. And so that's why we have all the confidence in the world in them. I think we have some of the best players in the world, and I think we want to be able to utilize our guys that we have."
(The pick that you did throw there, how bummed were you by that one that you just couldn't quite get that in there? And was it just being off balance and not being able to get quite enough on it?)
"Yeah. We almost had that one. I thought that was going to be a touchdown when I threw it. He made a good play on it. That was the one bad play we had. Other than that, I thought it was a great day. It was a great game. We knew it was going to be a tough battle throughout the whole day, and we just kept making plays. And you know, it's part of the game. You just keep shooting, you know, and sure enough, we were able to make some huge plays when we needed to."
(Last week you weren't very happy with the defense, with the way you played. To bounce back with the game you guys had and for you to get the pick and a couple of pass break-ups, how do you feel it went like this week compared to last?)
"Today I feel like we just proved that we can be that defense, that secondary, that everybody is looking forward to seeing. I know the last couple of weeks, we've been giving up a lot of yards, and I felt like it came from us just playing soft. I felt like, like I said before, the offense has been playing an amazing job. They've been doing so amazing that we got to a point where I feel like we were getting comfortable. We started playing more soft in coverage, and I feel like that's not us as a defense. So the main thing, the main objective, was to come and show we can play from the first play all the way to the end and be as aggressive as we were in the beginning. I feel like that showed today. I feel like we had one big play that we gave up, and that's something we gotta continue to build off. We're talking about going from between 10 and 12 big plays in the past game to one. So that's something we gotta continue to build off of. We're definitely not where we want to be at yet, but I feel like we're making progress."
(What do you attribute that progress to throughout the week that you think this defense is consistently getting better and better?)
"I feel like we didn't change anything in practice. I feel like we continued to go for the ball, we continued to compete. But that same attitude we gotta take in the game. I feel like in the beginning of each game that we have played this year, we've been very aggressive and played very well. It was always forwards the end of the game. You go in the fourth quarter and you start giving up between 100 and 200 yards in passing, it's tough to give up that much in the last quarter. It's going to add up. So I feel like the only thing we did differently, we continued to compete. I feel like we just compete as hard as we can each play, one play at a time, I feel like no one can stop us. I feel like that's what we focus on. One thing Bobby (Wagner) said between the play was, don't change anything. Be aggressive. I know we're up two scores, just be aggressive. Don't change anything. That's something we gotta build off of and understand that we have to do that from the first play till the end." (That was a pretty good chuck into the stands after the interception. Was that your family and friends up there? Who were you throwing to?)
"No. (laughter) It wasn't my family and friends. My family was actually on the third level."
(Yeah, that would have been too far.)
"Yeah. I can't throw that far. (laughter) And I actually wish I would have kept the football, because my nephew, actually before the game, he said, 'Uncle, can you bring me a football back?' I said 'I'll bring you one back if you bring me one back.' He said, 'well, we can't take the football in Pop Warner.' I said, 'yes, you can, just tell your dad to just buy another football for the actual team. And I want the football that you caught. So you catch one, I catch one.' And I threw it, and I didn't think about it. I was kind of caught in the moment, and I wish I could get that back, but it's okay. Merry Christmas."
(The play you made in the end zone on TE Mike Gesicki, walk us through that. And is that a risky move to come over the top of a receiver in the end zone, knowing how much they call pass interference in this league?)
"Yeah. Very risky, but I feel like that's something I've been pretty good at, diving and pushing the bull out and moving out the way. It's very risky, but it's something that had to happen. The type of coverage we were in, I know I had to take the inside seam, and I know it's kind of tough for the safety to play back side and help me on the play. So I was kind of assuming that he was going to bend away from me or run away since I'm playing outside leverage. But I know sometimes on those plays, I have to dive, so I try to be smart where I put my hands at and my placement. So I try to jump first, and then I kind of guide myself so I don't mess up the receiver for him trying to catch the ball and trying to make a clean play. So that's something that I've been focusing on. I did it a couple times now this year. So, that's something that I just gotta be smart with, clean hands. I'm still focused on that, just playing clean ball."
(Because the offense had been playing so well, did the defense kind of take it personally to like hold up your end of the bargain, so to speak? You know what I mean?)
"Yeah. I feel like that's what we came in and had to do this week. I feel like the way they've been playing, I feel like it's time for us to step up. Everybody understands in Seattle, it's been a defensive team. It's always been that way. And that's something that we gotta continue to take pride in and understand that. We still gotta be those guys. Personally, I feel like it starts in the secondary. I feel like when the secondary plays well, I feel it kind of trickles down to the linebackers, the d-line. It starts with us. That's something that I preached today right before we started doing pregame. I said, 'just be us. Let's just be great and do what we gotta do. Start with us.' I feel like if we play a good game, everybody else is going to kind of follow along. That's something we've been focusing on. The offense is playing great, and now it's time for us to step up, and I feel like we're on the right track and making great progress after this game."
(How many friends and family did you have here today?)
"Twelve. About 12. Socially distanced. They did really well. I saw them."
(Coming out of last week's game, I know Head Coach Pete Carroll talked about not letting balls get behind you guys. How big of a focus point was that for you guys this week, and to go out there and see it come to fruition without you guys letting anything deep. How big of a step is that for you guys?)
"It was huge. It was a huge step for us. I feel like today we came in and we believed more in each other, so we had hook droppers, (inaudible). I feel like one thing the DBs had to do was just play their coverage. I know there's always some plays where you feel like you want to make a play, jump something, and I feel like I have to do better with that because I had, I think, two plays where I felt like they were starting to come back and I got double moved, so I have to be smart. Sometimes the play is not there for you to make, so you just gotta do your job. It wasn't perfect. Some of the stuff I still have to work on. But that was the main emphasis, just going ahead and trusting the people that's going to be there in those coverages, and then when it comes to man-to-man, you gotta win your one-on-ones and stay on top. There's going to be times where people catch a five- to six-yard comeback, but they don't win games that way. There's a deep ball and the explosive plays that turn into touchdowns that leads to wins. That was the main focus point, and that's something we gotta carry on for the rest of the season where we keep everything in front of us, make our tackles, take away the deep ball and continue to win games."
(What changed in the fourth quarter for you guys offensively? Seemed like a slog up until that point.)
"Yeah. I would say we just kept going out there and trying to execute something, trying to get something started. And once it started, it's hard to stop."
(Just take us through the touchdown grab. That's the second one this year for you that looked like a pretty high degree of difficulty catch.)
"One of the plays we're supposed to try to get space to everybody, so I just had to lineup on the redline. They told me, 23, he likes to sit there and he'll squat, so be powerful and run through his little hand, stay wide and be ready for the touchdown. And sure enough, Russ put it back in the back of the end zone, had to go make a catch."
(How nice is it to be 4-0? I know it wasn't maybe perfect today, but never can take a road win for granted. And now you get to come back home through the first quarter of the season unbeaten.)
"It's lovely, for sure. Very lovely. I would say starting off 4-0 is something that I would think everybody wants to do. It's hard to get a win in the league, so the fact that we got four of them, it's a blessing, and it's … It makes us happy, for sure, so the fact that we're 4-0, we got to just keep on. We're taking it one game at a time like it's the first game every game and go out there and execute and just play, have fun."
(What was it like to hear a Seahawks chant for the first time this year and hear it away from home at that?)
"Hey, man, it was lovely. We always love to hear the 12s and the fact that they were in the stands today, it was just … It felt like it was normal a little bit, just not as loud, but a little bit normal. You heard "Sea, Hawks!" It's lovely to always hear that. That was good to hear."
(Right there before the half when you guys were able to zip down there and get the touchdown, how big was that for you guys and then all of a sudden finding yourself uncovered 30 yards down the field on that play. Can you take us a little bit through that, too?)
"We go over stuff like that every day in practice. We work the situations like that. So we called a play where we knew for a fact if stuff was going to be busted, it would be busted to the three-receiver side, and Greg (Olsen) ran a great route, and my corner, the corner that was on me bet off of that, thought the ball was going there and just busted his whole coverage. And I was just left on the sideline all alone. Russ scrambled a little bit and found me down the sideline, and (Travis) Homer did the rest."
(On that touchdown drive there before the end of the half, did you guys have any doubt that they would let you guys actually try to drive the ball down the field there? And what does that mean that the coaching staff showed that faith in you not only on that drive but also on the four-and-3 play earlier.)
"We got faith in everybody that plays. We know everybody knows their job and know how to go out there, all they got to do is just go out there and believe in it. And that's one thing that Russ always said is "Believe, believe." And the fact that we work situations like that in practice and stuff, it's like going out there, it's like secondhand, second nature. So it's like you're really just doing it to have fun and … The fact that we do those situations, man, it makes you go out there, you go and play in the game it makes it easy. It's like there's nothing to it. You just go out there and just keep believing."
(The catch and run down the sideline where you made a couple of guys miss, that was part of the sequence where you guys looked like you really took control. How big were those few moments, the touchdown, the turnover, getting back in the end zone again?)
"I mean, after D. Mo's (David Moore) touchdown, we knew we had control of the game. We had all the momentum, especially after Shaq (Griffin) caught the interception, we knew we had a chance to put the game away, and that's what we did."
(A week ago at this time it didn't look like RB Chris Carson was going to be able to play at all, and then he gets knocked out of the game again, and he comes back and gets 80 yards. I just wondered what your take was on his contribution.)
"Chris Carson is an animal, as you all have seen the past two weeks. We got backs for days, in my opinion. I think DeeJay Dallas really stepped in and showed up. (Travis) Homer got his first touchdown of his career. I mean we've got a lot of great backs who can just roll in at any time, who are going to run the ball hard. I mean, Chris Carson is leading the room. He's got a lot of arsenal behind him. I mean he's an animal and he's teaching these young guys how to do just that."
(I wanted to know about your start to the season here. I heard that you lived with QB Russell Wilson over the off season a little bit. Can you just talk about what's the biggest thing you learned about that relationship is and why that's paying off so quickly this season?)
"Yeah, we got a lot of work in during the offseason. I actually lived with him for like a month during the quarantine, so it was just a good experience just to be around a future Hall of Famer. Russ for MVP 2020, by the way. It's just been a great experience just learning from him the game, about life, and just everything else, just trying to soak up all the knowledge I can."
(What was it like to have fans at a game this year, and did you have any family or anyone in the audience?)
"I mean it was a little different to have fans just scattered around the stadium. But, it really didn't make a difference. No, I really didn't even know they were going to have fans until yesterday. It really didn't make a difference to us. We were still going to do our job and try to dominate every play."
(Could you guys hear them like shouting "Seahawks" after big plays and stuff?)
"Yeah. I did hear them shouting 'Seahawks.'"
(You just stated the case for QB Russell Wilson as MVP. For people who haven't been paying close attention to the Seahawks, could you elaborate on the case he's made so far?)
"I mean, just look at his stats. He's thrown for 300-plus yards, I think, in every game. He has a boatload of touchdowns. Only threw two picks. I'm sorry for one of them that he threw today. I mean, his stats speak for themselves. He's a great leader, a great role model. Any fourth quarter comeback, when he's our quarterback, there's not a doubt that we're going to win. I mean, just look at his track record. It's going to speak for itself, so I'm putting out Russ for MVP this year."
(You said you were sorry for the interception. It looked like you fell down. What happened on that play?)
"I didn't fall down. I was trying to go low for the ball and forgot where the DB was."
(So you're saying you lost track of the DB in that play?)
(You talked about you have running backs for days, but what can you say about the wide receivers? WR Tyler Lockett – what can you say about your guys?)
"Tyler Lockett, All Pro. D. Mo, (David Moore), he made some big plays today. Freddie Swain has been making plays every week. Penny (Hart) is flashing at practice. I'm just waiting on him to get his opportunity in the game. They can't just pick and choose who they're going to guard. They've got to honor all of us, and when that happens, as you can see, D. Mo makes plays, Freddie is going to make a play. So we've got playmakers all over the field.
(Not your first game, but your first touches in the NFL, to be in that stadium, back in Miami, what was that like for you?)
"Just kind of came back around full circle. I remember scoring my first touchdown as a Hurricane in Hard Rock, and today I got my first carry as a Seahawk in Hard Rock. So it came back around full circle."
(I'm curious what kind of tone RB Chris Carson sets for all the running backs. Coming off a knee sprain last week, he's in the lineup, leaves the game briefly, comes back, scores a couple of touchdowns. He was a monster today. I'm curious if you guys feed off that as running backs.)
"Oh, yeah. No doubt. When I came in, I told Chris, 'We're here to help you, bro. We're here to help you.' So he's the lead horse and we go how he goes. So today he was balling, man, and it just amped me and Travis (Horner) up just to ball a little bit harder. Yeah, he does come in and set the tone. He's a warrior, man. The boy just had some crazy stuff happen to him against Dallas, but he came back out and showed that he was a warrior. Hat's off to him."
(What has it been like to be a part of this offense through four weeks and seeing what it's doing and then get a chance to get out there and actually be a part of it a little bit more so today?)
"We're explosive, man, but we haven't tapped into our full potential, I feel like. I feel like we still miss a little slight bit of opportunities, and we still aren't playing our best ball right now. I feel like we still got a lot of ball that we can improve on, and I feel like that all the guys would say this, too, but yeah, I feel like we can put up more points."
(You just kicked the rookie off the podium there, K.J.?)
"Yeah. I said 'get up out of here.' (laughter)"
(For you I'm sure you wish you had the interception in this game, but other than that, how do you feel like you played today with all the screens you blew up and the pass defense and all that? How did today go for you?)
"Yeah, it was fun. My mission is always to come out, play hard. A lot of effort, get those hustle plays and just do everything I can to help this defense win. Everything was outstanding in my eyes. I thought we tackled decent. We didn't get those long balls that we were seeing in the first three weeks. So I was tremendously happy with that. This was a really good start to showing how good this defense can be, and we've just got to come out, build off of this game, build off of this win and go do it again next week."
(How much are you going to beat yourself up about the interceptions you didn't get?)
"You know, I've got to catch them, but you know, we have, what, 14 more games? 12 more games? I'm going to get them. I'm going to get them. My goal is to get five this year, so I'm going to make it up. It's all good."
(Big picture, when they gave you the two-year deal, you told us it's really only one year because I've got to earn my second one. How happy or proud are you that you've answered the bell here the last two years and still show where you are in your career?)
"That's a good question. I believe that when I look back at my career I'm going to be very happy. I believe in my tenth year, to look the way I'm looking is, I'm truly thankful. I look excellent. I look great. And I'm thankful that I'm healthy, still balling and to play ten years in this league, to play ten years with the Seahawks and to look this good, I couldn't ask for a better career. I'm just getting started. We got a long ways to go, and I've got to make sure I finish strong."
(I know 2013 is a long time ago, but that's the only other time you guys have started 4-0. If you remember back that far, how does this start feel different than maybe that season did?)
"Yeah, that was a while ago. No, whenever you win, it feels good. I guess it's kind of been flipped. Defense was really balling and shutting teams down. And now offense is looking unstoppable. So when we're able to bring both of those together, just offense and defense balling, we're going to be really hard to beat. We're going to take it one game at a time. I know it's early. I know it's fun, but our mission is still to win the (NFC) West and we haven't played any of those guys yet. And so long season. We've got a tough schedule, so we've just got to be sure we take it one game at a time and finish."
(On the flip side, on the offensive side of the ball, looking at RB Chris Carson, what stands out to you about how resilient he is? Obviously he got his leg all twisted up. I know you were pissed about that. And then in the game today gets knocked out briefly, comes back, over 80 yards, two touchdowns. Just what have you seen from him and how much of a dog he is for the offense?)
"Like you said, Chris (Carson) is a monster. He's a dog, man. I'm so glad that I don't got to talk to anybody in the league like him because I don't believe there's anybody that has his running style. And I can't wait till he gets paid, whether it's here or somewhere else, but he's definitely top five in my eyes because I've seen a lot of running backs. There's nobody like him. I'm proud that he's on our team. He's good out of the back field. Whenever there's a short yardage play, you know he's getting in, down in the end zone, he's getting in. So top five running back in my eyes."
(It looked like those linebacker drops were a little deeper today than maybe in the past few weeks. How much of that was an adjustment made to clean up those leaky yards?)
"We knew that balls can't get over our head this week. We know we've got to sync back, keep everything in front of us, and I believe we accomplished that goal today. So you get what you emphasize, and the coaches really harped on that. We've got to buzz to the flats. We've got to get back in our hood drops because they like to throw to No. 88, and I think we did a good job of stopping them today. Tremendous game plan, great job by – Bobby (Wagner) told us today, 'fellas, just execute what the coaches ask us to do and we'll win this game.' And so we made it happen today."
(Just the last couple of weeks, how has this been being a veteran, and you and Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner have been part of the great defenses for so long and now you're kind of with a rebuilding group and you've had a lot of injuries and things like that and given up points that you guys haven't been expecting in past years anyway? How have you guys sort of handled that in the last few weeks and got to the point of improving today?)
"Yeah. You know, anytime you win, that's amazing. However, you just want to win in just dominant fashion. You don't want to win giving up 30-plus points, you know. That's not good and all those passing yards. So we've had some ups and downs this season, but today I believe that when we get in there and watch the film, we're going to like what we see. And so great start by this defense, really picking it up, getting all those turnovers that we did today, and like I said, we've got to build off this win and make sure that offense looks great, defense looks great and special teams."
(When Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin was in here, he said that Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner came up into the huddle when you guys were up two scores and said "don't change anything." How critical was that today to make sure that you kept the pedal to the metal for all four quarters?)
"Yeah. I agree totally. Like you saw in the past, we would get up and we would get conservative. We would get soft. You know, we just made sure we stayed aggressive, and I believe that drive, that's when 'Shaq' (Shaquill Griffin) got that pick. So we've got to make sure that we get more aggressive when we get up. Our mentality got to get even more hungry. We can't get conservative, can't just give up big plays. That's what we were struggling with in those first few games, but I think we got the understanding that when we're up, we've got to stay up. Guys responded, and we got it done today."
The best photos from Week 4's Seahawks-Dolphins game at Hard Rock Stadium. Presented by Nesquik.