Quotes and locker room sound from the Seahawks following their 34-31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons during Week 11 on Monday Night Football.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening…) "There was a lot of football played tonight. It seemed like a lot of opportunities on both sides of the ball for things to happen. It seemed like a lot of big plays early. Unfortunately, the turnovers really gave them a great opportunity, and they took advantage of it, so we were playing from behind all night long. I thought it was a really good, hard fought game, both sides, both ways. As it does, it comes down to some critical situations, and we have to come through and make some plays, come through and make the conversion that we need, and we didn't quite get it done. I think the fight in these guys is just amazing, and you can count on it, and you know it's going to happen, you know we're going to be right back there battling. Russell did a phenomenal job to get us right back in it. The defense did a great job to give us that chance there at the end. We played a heck of a ballgame against a team that I think is a really good team. I don't know if you guys can see it, but they are a loaded football team. They were fortunate enough to get that win."
(On special teams…) "Special teams were phenomenal tonight. The guys were great. We had the one little return to start the game that gave them a great field, but other than that, the guys did an incredible job on the returns. Tyler did a fantastic job throughout. The coverage, other than the first one, was excellent. It gave us a real shot to keep staying in the game, and gave us the field position that gave us some short fields, so it was nice."
(On the fake field goal at the end of the first half ….)"It would have been a really good call if we would have made it. It was something we saw, that we wanted to do. It was a terrific opportunity, right where we wanted it. The defensive tackle made a better play. He wasn't supposed to be there."
(On the play of the secondary… )"I thought we had two 40 yard P.I.s that really made a difference in the game, and the field position. I don't know how the calls went and everything; I don't care about that. Those were big plays. It was like catching bombs on us. It was unfortunate, we needed to get through those plays without foul, and just let our good coverage play, because we made those plays. The guys were in great position on them. So, it was unfortunate."
(On third down conversions…) "They did a great job on third down tonight. For them, that was the difference. They were able to convert. We really controlled the running game pretty well. I think they were 12 for 16, or something like that, whatever the heck it was; it was a good night for them. We just have to get off the field. We had a number of opportunities to get that done. We weren't able to get to the quarterback like we thought we would. So, he had a good look at stuff, and they're really good, and they converted and did a nice job. I thought that was a real critical aspect of the game, was their third down ability. "
(On the impact of losing those timeouts….) "They always make a difference. You always like to have them. I thought it worked out as well as we could have worked it out with what we had at the end, there. We had plenty of time to get downfield and have a shot at it."
(On the decision to try the fake field goal…)"It was a chance to make a big play. We had a chance to make a touchdown, or get out of bounds. If that pops, he might walk in. We were prepared. We had worked on it, we saw something that we liked. We didn't expect the nose tackle to make the play. We felt we would get him knocked off and we didn't. So, it didn't work out. But, that was being aggressive and going for it, and trying to get a touchdown there."
(On the play of Russell Wilson…)"I thought he was all over the place, making things happen. He ran for a lot; he made a lot of yards running tonight. You always have to look at all those, and see what happened on those, and why he escaped, whether it was pressure, or we got covered, or he just took advantage of the rush. He was a huge factor in the game. He was all over the place."
(On Tyler Lockett's returns…)"It was great to see that. That was the whole unit, really, to be celebrated in our room, for coming through and blocking and making all those plays and staying away from penalties and all the things you have to do to make that happen. We know Lockett's a terrific returner. It's just been like the lid's been on it all year long, so to get him a chance tonight was great. He was pretty much controlling the field for us. It was a great job by him."
Safety Earl Thomas
(On what it was like out there without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor in tonight's game…) "Early on, we were trying to get things together, but we settled down. The thing that I took from it is that no matter who was out there, we always have a chance to win. Guys stepped up, but they [Atlanta] also made some big plays on us too. We have to keep our hands clean because the refs aren't going to let us play physical. They know Seattle is going to beat the receivers up and we're not going to really give them a chance to release like they want, and they're going to be watching us. We have to be better there."
(On how we're so used to seeing him, Chancellor and Sherman out there and what he learned from tonight that he can build off of playing without those guys going forward…) "It definitely made us stronger tonight. Matt Ryan is an MVP quarterback, but we still had a chance to win the game. He made some good throws on us, but that's going to happen. We really didn't have a chance to really see ourselves in live-action as far as everybody; the whole new group. All we can do is just get better."
Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett
(On kick returns tonight…) "I thought everyone did a phenomenal job. One thing that [special teams coach Brian Schneider] wanted me to work on was being able to go downhill and not worry about going sideline to sideline and sideways and stuff like that. We did phenomenal in the drill work and everybody brought it to the game. That's one of the things that we were able to do and hopefully it's not just a one-hit wonder type of game that we had in the returns. Hopefully it's something that we can continue to build off of and to continue to have a great return."
(On what he did differently tonight than in the other games…) "I just trusted it. The biggest thing is that you have to trust it and you have to hit it. One of the things that Schneider tells me is whenever you have people running downfield, it's so hard for people to run down and break to tackle you. So you often see a lot of returners hit it and you have guys that miss because they're running full speed. The only thing they can do is try and grab you to bring you down. Being able to know that and try to trust that helps you not run sideways. It's better to get north and south in this game because in this game, everybody's fast."
Cornerback Byron Maxwell
(On how critical it was that Atlanta was able to convert on third down…)"A couple times, we had penalties and [Matt Ryan] scrambled on a couple of third downs. Julio [Jones] made plays but that's going to happen. We really just have to get off the field. Penalties hurt and the one big one was when [Matt Ryan] ran. That was a big one too."
(On if coming back to Seattle feels really familiar…)"Yeah it feels familiar because the system is the same. We have some new faces but the system is the same. The measures are the same. How we go about practice is the same. It's pretty much the same as far as what I remember. It's just a matter of feeling comfortable in the defense again and going."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
(On the outcome of the game…)"It was definitely tough. You never want to give up easy things. It was unfortunate. But we played a great game, we kept battling. The game came down to the wire, 34-31 or whatever it was, I thought that we showed the character of our team. We kept hanging there, we kept answering back, we kept answering back, guys made some great plays tonight. Unfortunately, they made one more play than us."
(On how they will come back after a loss…)"I think we will respond in a great fashion. I think that we will respond in great fashion because we will go back to work. We knew we were playing a good team tonight. We knew it was going to be a battle. We knew it was potentially going to be a high scoring game, back and forth and everything else. I think for us, we move on to next week. We still have a lot of things ahead of us. We had a really good chance to be first in the NFC West tonight, and everything else, and unfortunately we didn't. But there's a lot more football to play, and a lot more challenges ahead of us, and we can't get discouraged now."
(On the touchdown pass to Baldwin…)"We got them to go offsides there, so we took a shot in the end zone. Sure enough, Doug always gets open, so it's always a good thing. We got the touchdown, and we got the 2-point conversion. The next thing you know, we got the ball back. Our defense did a great job of stopping there. That's a big, big deal. That shows how good our defense can really step up and play, and they did that tonight at the very end there. Then, we get the ball back. We get a chance right there. We moved the ball down the field very quickly, once again, and unfortunately the ball is a yard short, or two yards short, or whatever and we don't get to make the field goal there. But, we trust. We trust in what we can do. We have no fear. We just continue to believe in that."
(On being the team's leading rusher… )"I think that we have some very good running backs, we just need to fine tune some things here and there. We have a guy in Thomas Rawls, unfortunately he didn't get to dress tonight, but when you think about him, you go back to 2015. He's got it in him, it's in his blood. He's shown it before. We have a guy in Eddie Lacy who has been phenomenal in his past years and he still can be. We have a guy in Mike Davis who was a great flash tonight. You can see what he can do. He's physical, fast and quick. We have a guy in J.D. McKissic who can really do some special, special things. We have a guy in C.J. Prosise, too, that can do some great things. So, I don't think that it's a lack of talent at running back. We have some great running backs, we just have to do a little bit better, that's all."
(On the Seahawks O-Line play…)"I think they did a good job. They have a very good defensive line, but I thought we did a good job, pass protecting. They got me there on that one play, where they sacked me and the ball came out, or whatever. I thought I was down, but unfortunately not. I think that we made a lot of great plays. I thought our line did really good. There's going to be some times where they get to us. We're playing a good team. They make good plays, too. They get paid over there, and they've got great players, too. It doesn't just come down to them. I think that we're going to keep getting better, and that's the thing that we're looking forward to. Thank you guys. Go Hawks."
Tight End Luke Willson
(On the offense being able to move the ball...)"I thought we had a great game plan and executed pretty well. That's what we're capable of so we weren't surprised or anything."
(On the fake field goal…)"It was kind of a look that we were waiting for. It's something that they've done all year. I don't know why, but for this game they changed it up and it was a first time thing for them so obviously it didn't work. It is what it is I guess."
(On the difficulty of gaining momentum after the early Atlanta scores…) "It's tough. But for the guys in this room, we've been around here for a long time and we always preach that there's no quit around here and we saw that today being down 14-0 and having a chance to tie it up there late [in the game]. It's kind of what we pride ourselves on and that was pretty vintage us in the fourth quarter."
Defensive End Frank Clark
*(On Atlanta's offense...) *"You can see, you know, they allow Matt [Ryan] to get a lot of those passes out. The way their offense is designed, they do a lot of quick game, a lot of play action and stuff. They bring in extra tight ends to give them of the illusion of let's run looks, but, you know, just getting all the pop passes and different stuff like that. Utilizing Julio [Jones] when they could this week. Once again, they took advantage of some of the injuries we have. We got some younger players in there and they took advantage of that by throwing some stuff over the top. They knew we were a little weaker there. They took advantage of everything they had. That's credit to them, credit to their coaches. That's just something we have to go in and correct because we got a game to play next week."
Tackle Duane Brown
(On the silver lining from the game…) "We were able to make plays. We ran the ball well considering what their defense has been doing this year. I thought we played pretty good. We are banged up out here as well and we have to be able to battle through that. We put ourselves in the position to try to tie it up. That was a great effort. When you get down to that much time on the clock to come back and make those kind of plays. We just got to continue to do that."
(On if the resilience is different on this team…) "It's amazing. I think, you get down by that many with that much time on the clock, there was no sense of it being over. Guys go out and make plays. No panic at all and it's a great atmosphere to be in."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
(On Matt Ryan's ability to convert on third down…) "You don't want to take the credit away from them. They did a good job on third down. We hurt ourselves because we had a couple penalties on third down too to let them stay on the field. We've just got to be better. But he does a good job."
The Seahawks fall short 34-31 against the Falcons in Week 11 at CenturyLink Field.