Featuring postgame quotes from the following:
Head Coach Pete Carroll
"We did everything we could to make this as much of a finish to the season that we could possibly do. Our guys just came through the last couple weeks of the season to go ahead and capture that moment when it doesn't even really exist outside of your imagination. To see our guys play this well to finish the season and do so many cool things, it's really, really rewarding. I don't think they're going to schedule a parade (in reference to his claims the team was treating Week 18 as their Super Bowl) in Seattle. I don't think there's going to be a parade. Right now, we kind of don't care about that. It was putting it together, playing like we're capable, so that we could see the future. It was a fun football game. It was a hard game, too. Behind it from the start. We had a terrible play where they get ahead and all that - that didn't matter. We get behind in the third quarter – that didn't matter. These guys just were not going to let it happen today. There's so many things to talk about. It was a big finish for us, I'm really fired up about that. I don't know where you start, but I'm going to start up front. Offensive linemen – I don't know what you guys have been thinking or talking about – these guys can freaking block. They've been doing it and we finally found them and discovered how efficient they were. You saw (Seahawks RB) Rashaad Penny just take off this last month of the season and just be incredibly effective.
I'm so fired up that they get to know that. Rush for a couple hundred yards in back-to-back games. When does that happen in our league? That doesn't happen. It's all of them, they all did it. From Duane (Seahawks T Duane Brown) on the left side and across the board. Even different guys, which tells you that the guys that are doing the coaching are coaching these guys up. We had guys banged up. We didn't have Gabe (Seahawks G Gabe Jackson) today. 'D. Lew' (Seahawks G Damien Lewis) had missed two weeks and he came in and played good. Pocic (Seahawks C/G Ethan Pocic), a terrific job. How about (Seahawks OT) Jake Curhan again, man. That's great stuff, and without 'Diss' (Seahawks TE Will Dissly), which was a big factor for us. I'm just really fired up about those guys and want to recognize them. Also, it brings you to Rashaad Penny. You can't tackle him. I think he tied for the most 25 plus yard gains in the season this year with (Colts RB) Jonathan Taylor, who's up for MVP and all that kind of stuff. I think he has got eight of them. If he had a little bit of a longer field a couple of times, he would have had that. He did it in a third of as many attempts (as Taylor). That's crazy stuff and it just validates how effective he's been.
Russell (Seahawks QB Russell Wilson) had a huge finish these last couple of games to get it done. He set the all-time mark today for wins for a guy starting his career. He was tied with Peyton (Manning) going into the game today and to come out of that as the winningest guy to start his career, that's famous, cool stuff. 'Wags' (Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner) was with him all along the way. I don't know if anybody keeps track of linebackers, but he was with him along the way, as well. That's a fantastic accomplishment. You all that have been with us, you've watched it and you've seen. He's just had a fabulous start to his career. I think three touchdowns today. A nice, efficient day. He had one pass that he threw the pick on, but another excellent day coming through. Big day on third down for us, I think 8-out-of-12. It just shows you how you can be successful when you convert (third downs). The guys came through in a lot of really cool situations. There's just so many things that were fun. (Seahawks LB) Jordyn Brooks had 20 tackles today and sets an all-time franchise record. Shoot man, what a great start to the early part of his career. He's just a baller. It's too bad Bobby (Wagner) wasn't out here to battle him for it because I would have loved to see those two guys go neck-and-neck during the course of the game. And then he had a big recovery, too, on the onside kick."
On the injury status of Seahawks FS Quandre Diggs:
"He dislocated his ankle on the field, and they put it back. He's going to stay in town and get it fixed up here. (Seahawks WR) Tyler Lockett is going to stay with him, a couple of our people are going to stay with him because he can't get back out today. Just a heartbreaker. Everybody loves this guy so much because of who he is. He is such an embedded leader, character, the toughness, all of the stuff that he stands for. The guys just love this guy. It crushed everybody, and it was ignored in the way that they finished. They finished for him. My heart is broken for him getting hurt like that. He'll be back, he'll make it back. There's some months in here but he'll get back for the season next year. That's the positive side … He dislocated his ankle, and he broke his fibula. I don't know the details, that's probably more than I should have said. I don't know anything at this time."
On the team being visibly upset on the field following the injury to Diggs:
"How do you come back from that? But they did. It just showed you the resolve, also the commitment to 'Q' (Diggs) and how much they love him, and they weren't going to let this thing get away. Huge finish to this game, huge finish. Pass rush at the finish, running the football to run the clock out to win the game. All of the stuff that we were able to do, it just doesn't look like a team that has the record that we got."
On the team celebration in the locker room following the win:
"We had a blast. Save the recognition about Quandre (Diggs), we had a blast in there. Talk about winning in the fourth quarter, that's what we did today. We really hadn't had that moment, so I kind of hammed it up with the fellas. I told them last night that when you win the Super Bowl you stay up all night and you party all night long and you don't wuss out and not show up for the six-a.m. party at the hotel pool when you're there. Knowing we weren't staying here, I told them I would meet them at the hot tub at the VMAC (Virginia Mason Athletic Center) at six-a.m. with your terrycloth robe from the hotel. We saw right through this opportunity and saw through the finish that we wanted and the intention that we had set out there was clear to go get this game (in reference to treating Week 17 as the NFC Championship Game and Week 18 as the Super Bowl). That's exactly how we do it when you play in championship-situations."
On how the momentum of multiple wins to end the year will carry into the 2022 season:
"It's really important. It's an important step. We needed to respond and feel right about it. Our guys know how we can play, it just took too long, unfortunately."
On what contributed to the team's success late this season:
"Just run the football. Run the football. We started to convert on third downs, and we were able to take advantage of the good, solid play that we were getting out of our defense. Our kicking game was extraordinary all year long. We just put the elements together and you can see how it works. You don't have to throw for 400 yards to win football games. You've got to be able to mix it and control the ball and be dominant at the line of scrimmage. Our guys were able to find that. I don't know how many games it is, but we've been averaging 160 yards a game rushing, or something like that, for five or six weeks. That's just a winning formula."
On the team's success on third down:
"He (Seahawks QB Russell Wilson) did a couple of scrambles and worked around and found an extra shot a couple of times. We executed pretty well throughout. The guys made the plays and made the catches, too."
On treating Week 17 as the NFC Championship Game and Week 18 as the Super Bowl:
"I just didn't face that. I didn't face the reality of that (the team did not earn a playoff berth). This totally was selfish for me that we were playing these two games to win the NFC Championship Game against Detroit last week and then go win the Super Bowl here in Arizona. I just wanted to have some way of dealing with it. That's why I threw it out to these guys, and they had fun with it. It's a good way to finish. I don't ever want to do that again."
On if he has any cause for concern with his status with the team:
"No. I'm in great shape."
On what his future conversations with Chair, Seahawks; Trustee of Paul G. Allen Trust Jody Allen will entail:
"Like we've always had. Really pointed, figuring things out. She's very analytical and she wants to make sure that we're doing everything we can possibly do to get everything right. She's a terrifically competitive person in that regard and she doesn't want any stone unturned. Exactly the way I look at it. I just feel so connected to that thought that that's what we do. To have your owner talk that same way, that's a competitive perspective and it goes back to the old line we used to have: 'We're in a relentless pursuit of finding the competitive edge in everything that we are doing.' That's what it is, that's what she represents. We'll try to do a great job of exchanging the information and setting course for making sure that we give ourselves the best chance to be champions."
On Jody Allen's opinion of the 2021 season:
"She can speak for herself. She's been with us the whole time. She's been awesome. I'm not going to give you any inside scoop, so don't ask."
On if he expects to have key players return for the 2022 season:
"This time of year, there's a lot of stuff, a lot of tough decisions to make, always. There's huge decisions to make in all directions, and that's what you do when you're competing. You figure it out. We're going to do what we'll always do. This year is no different. We're just at this topic sooner."
On Seahawks QB Russell Wilson's performance:
"I thought he played a terrific game today. He made the plays we needed to win the football game, the run on the goal line, holy cow. He went against one of the best tacklers in the NFL, and he was swashbuckling in the endzone. He did a great job."
On suffering multiple close losses throughout the 2021 season:
"We've been so close throughout the whole season. The biggest difference that everyone had to suffer through was the close games that we didn't win because we've been winning those games for years. I think we were 7-1 in similar score situations at the end of the game last year, and we were 0-5 in something like that. That's the whole season, that's it. You can look at all the millions of things, criticize this and that. That's where it really went to, and there's reasons why. It's clear, we just didn't finish the game when we needed to, and it's always been such a huge point of emphasis to show that we understand how to get that done. It was really frustrating this year with one game, then another game, and another one. Look at the teams like the Titans. Look at the schedule, these games were so close, but that's the league, and if we make our kicks. Let's go a little farther. Last year we didn't miss a field goal. Had we missed a few field goals last year, it might not have been 12-4, that's how close it is. We forget but that's the truth, and everyone misses field goals. How can you expect a guy to never miss? You can't. We had a phenomenal season last year and 'J' (Jason Myers) did a terrific job finishing up this year and getting on point down the stretch, beautiful comeback for him. That's one way you could have changed the outcomes and adjust some."
On Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett's performance:
"I thought he played a beautiful game again, fantastic win on the third down for the touchdown, both times down there. He had a great catch, a low-ball catch, another big conversion. Russell was on the move on that one, so what's new about that, finding Tyler on the move. He had a great football season and thankfully he had the healthiest season he had in a long time. He was really able to go week-in and week-out, practice every day, I don't know if he missed a practice all year long. We may have given him a rest somewhere. He goes into the offseason with that, for our guys it's so crucial to go into the offseason and feel healthy and not have to be facing surgeries and recoveries or any of that stuff. Many of our guys made it through, not everybody, but grateful for all the guys that do have that opportunity."
On the team's punt coverage during the Cardinals P Andy Lee fumbled attempt:
"I'll never tell. Cody (Barton) had a chance to recover the fumble, and (Travis) Homer was there. I don't think he kicked it so that become a fumble, and a turnover on the regard. We were talking about it all game that we had a shot, a lot of guys were fired up because we knew they had a shot, they got close a couple times, and so that was a beautiful execution and a huge moment for the game to get that done. Josh Jones, just to make it through the game. Josh and I sat down last night after everything was done, and we talked about his history. I knew some of it because we wanted to draft him way back when, but I went through all of the teams he's been through, and I just wanted to get him clear because I knew he had to play a lot, we just wanted to get him relaxed and not trying too hard or do too much and we kept telling him, 'It's just football, it's just football.' I wanted him to be calm and come through for us, he did a great job today. He made a couple plays and all the sudden he's out there with Nigel and those two guys were trying to figure it out. I'm just really happy for him. He's going to be in the mix coming back around. This guy's a second-round draft pick and we loved him coming out and having him in this program is a real positive."
On the injury status of Seahawks WR DK Metcalf:
"We have to figure it out because it's bothered him all year, and that's why he couldn't practice. We had to just gauge it. We had to put in one day a week to work hard to get his timing down, but it wasn't enough for a young guy moving up and going with the throwing game, to get everything he could out of the season. He had a fantastic year, a bunch of touchdowns, a bunch of big plays, but we'll find out. We don't know the answer to that yet, but we'll look at it hard. He did a marvelous job fighting through it and never missing a game and all that, so I'm really proud of him. He's got a spur in the wrong place. That's really aggravated, but I'm not exactly sure what they do about that."
On if WR Tyler Lockett will be the only player staying behind with the injured Seahawks FS Quandre Diggs:
"He came to me to ask me if that's alright, that's the only guy I know."
On Seahawks FS Ugo Amadi's performance:
"He did fine. I need to look at the film on that one because I didn't see all the play. He had a chance at. We didn't tackle as well as we need to, I thought we were sloppy at tackling in our secondary, but it was a really nice job of him, and he played the whole game which is the first time he's had a chance to do that, and he came through."
Quarterback Russell Wilson
On the strong ending to the season:
"I thought we ended the season the right way. We kept battling. We were able to get several wins along the way. Obviously, not going to the playoffs always hurts because we have such a great team and we can battle with anyone, but I think the cool part about everything was that in the midst of the storm we were able to stay the course. We were able to stay consistent in our approach, and in my opinion, get even better. The way we practiced and the way we went to another level of how we practice, we zoned in that much more. I think that shows the character of the guys that we have in the locker room because you hear about teams who just give up and give in, and we didn't do that. I think tonight was a testament of our season. It's been a battle. It's been a journey. To be able to leave it all out on the field every play and every moment…I think that we definitely did that. I know that was important for me, just to give everything I had every play. We definitely did that tonight. It was a special game. A good football team on the other side, and we did a great job."
On RB Rashaad Penny's success:
"It's been awesome to see Penny run the ball the way he's been running the ball. It starts with the offensive line, and the tight ends, and receivers blocking too. Those guys up front have been doing a great job of moving those guys around and battling. Rashaad has seen every hole, and hit every one of them and he's done an amazing job of making decisive decisions and running through tackles, and he's tough to tackle. He has that speed once he gets going and he's out of there, so I think it has been exceptional to see his growth. We had a cool talk in the locker room afterwards just about the journey. Every day, the more success you have, the harder it gets. I know that he's going to put in the work and continue to get better as a player and continue to grow. So, this is huge for him… in knowing that he can do it and he definitely showed that."
On the future of the team:
"First of all, with the guys that we have in this locker room, the effort that they put in every day is special. It's very unique. It is really one of a kind. I think anything is possible. The reality with our team is that we've had some severe injuries, we've gone through a lot and thinking about Diggs too, that one hurt tonight. He's put all the effort in every day and he's been such a tremendous leader. Such a tremendous teammate. Such a person of high character and big spirit, and we have a lot of guys in that locker room like that. I think the thing is that we have to continue to figure out where we can get better because obviously not going to the playoffs isn't good enough. We have to give ourselves the best chance possible to be great, and we have to figure out where that is."
On third downs working in the last few games:
"I think just execution across the board. We were able to really identify some key moments. I have been saying to you guys, it takes two more third down conversions. That's really what it is, and a lot of times we can make things so complicated sometimes. It's just finding a way. I think the line did a tremendous job of blocking those past several weeks of those third downs in particular, and just being able to move and find guys. Those guys have been making such great catches, and they've been making me look halfway decent out there. So, it's been cool just to see those guys make those plays. I think that's what third down's all about. It's about playmakers, and plays, converting, and finding a way. When it's down the redzone, you have to get the ball in the endzone, find a way to get the ball in the endzone. Those kinds of things. We were able to do that tonight."
On the simplicity of making the third downs:
"I always go back to the first game. I use that as an example because we went through training camp, we were all together, we were all clicking and working and everything else and we came out against a really good football team in the Colts and we played great football that game. First quarter. Second quarter. Third quarter. Fourth quarter. We played Tennessee the next week, and we had a really good game and then we just didn't finish it the way we wanted it to. We were up pretty good against those guys, and it was just a battle. I think the battles, and the injuries, and the things we've had have been tough. It's been tough this season. I think that comes down to making plays in these key moments, so that's important."
On the early fumble and the mood:
"The first series of the game, they knocked the ball out of my hand and that's my fault. I tried to move and (Cardinals LB) Chandler (Jones) is coming off the edge and I'm like, 'Oh shoot. That's not good.' That's never good when you see 55 come off the edge, so I tried to move and tried to get away from him and spin out of it and he hit me just right on time. He's such a great player, so the mentality more than everything else is to remain neutral and not get high and not get low. I tell you guys that all the time, but it wasn't going to bother me. It was going to be one of those things that the next play is the most important play. I think that we were able to do that several times throughout the game. The other ugly play that I had trying to get down to Homer, it just popped up a little bit too high and they hit me and they made a play on it. I put us in a bad position there, but we were able to answer back. We were able to make plays. We were able to score, and (WR) Freddie Swain get in the endzone. That's just the testament of our team and just remaining neutral and remaining focused on the task on the next play."
On the confidence heading into the offseason:
"I think we know what we're capable of. I think that's the biggest thing we've known all year. I think that has also been the disappointing part of the year, too. I think everybody has high standards, and I think this organization, our expectation as players, this team and everything else is to be at the highest level and be playing for the highest game and the biggest game there is in the world and we've been there before. We have to figure out how to get back to that. That level of standard of excellence I mentioned before, and how we get there. It's always huge though, when you win your last game it's always a great feeling to be able to overcome all the obstacles to be able to play a great football team in Arizona. Our fans here, it's so special always playing down here in Arizona. Their fans are amazing. Their fans were loud. It's such a battle, and to be able to run around the field and high five all the fans and everything else, and just to come up with that huge win, and everybody celebrating in the end zone. Guys ran in the endzone, guys making plays on defense, it felt right in the sense of how we were celebrating together and despite the circumstance of where we are at this year I think that's a huge high note for us."
On his future in Seattle:
"You guys keep asking me the same question, but I think maybe you guys know something that I don't know. I think the biggest thing is that I love playing here. I love being here and everything else. I also love winning. We also have to do whatever it takes to make sure that we're doing that, and that's the standard, and that's what I believe in, so I have to do my part. It starts with me first, and the rest of the guys and all of us together, collectively what we can do better. Obviously, I love this city, and that's my hope and prayer."
On sitting down with Head Coach Pete Carroll:
"Maybe I'll fly to Hawaii and sit down with Pete there. Maybe I'll catch the flight with him or something like that. Yeah, of course. Pete and I obviously have a great relationship, so I will definitely talk to him and John and all that stuff too, and we will chop it up and have some good times together."
On feeling like he's on the same page with Carroll:
"Yeah. I think we have always been on the same page, and that same page is to do whatever it takes to win. That's been our focus. It's always been our focus since I got here. I remember coach calling me up on draft day, the day they drafted me, and said 'Hey, you're going to compete for this thing now,' and I just always remember that. So that's what we're all competing for to try to be better and that's our focus."
On his hand injury:
"I think my hand is doing pretty good. I think that it was disappointing just to have my finger broken in several different places. It was a tough challenge. But you know what it was, it challenged me in new ways that I had never had before. I have had a lot of dings and things that have slowed me down here or there, and I've fought through them but this one I couldn't. What I did was I looked at it as, 'How do I find the next win?' Meaning how do I prepare mentally that every day I am going to get better and every day I'm going to challenge myself. Everyday I'm going to keep working, every day I'm going to keep studying, every day I am going to keep visualizing success. I think to not waiver on my confidence and not waiver on what I know I'm capable of and knowing that I feel 100 percent, knowing that people are going to say this or that and you may miss one every once in a while, just like pitchers throw a ball every once in a while. Hitters, sometimes they swing and miss, and sometimes great free throw shooter miss too. So for me, I just knew that I am going to keep shooting, and I am going to keep playing. I am going to do everything that I can to get better. And my best days are ahead."
On lowering his shoulder on his touchdown run:
"Well it was a key third down, and we covered it up really well. They did a really good job. They were kind of double teaming DK (Metcalf) in a split second, and then had different guys moving around the line. Did a great job blocking, and kind of stepped up and stood to the left to shoot it to Tyler (Lockett), but they were closing on Tyler pretty quickly. And so, I saw a chance to run it and just took off. The next thing you know, when you see Budda Baker running at you full speed, it's never a good thing usually because he knows how to smack some guys. He's such a great player. I just decided the goal line is right there, and we need this win, so I switched the ball to my left hand and said, 'Alright, let's put the foot in the ground, let's go,' and I was able to get in the end zone and get in there. That was a key play for us."
On how he will spend his offseason, and if he will have any surgery:
"Surgery? No, I feel great man. I may play baseball. Maybe I'll go to tri-city, maybe I'll go to the Yankees. I'll go somewhere. I'll do something. I think just focusing on my kids as much as possible. Being around them, that's the cool part. The unfortunate part is that we don't get to keep playing, but the cool part that I get to spend more time because dad's working out and working pretty hard and gone all day. I'm going to drive them to school, maybe a few times a week, maybe every day for the first couple weeks. But, I'm going to get back to work. Come tomorrow, watch the film from tonight. It's time to go. 2022 starts tonight, that's just how my mind has always been and always will be."
On FS Quandre Diggs being carted off the field due to injury:
"Yeah, I got to talk to him. I was there. Just to see the pain and the hurt is heavy because I know he's played at such a high level all year. He's been the MVP of our season just on how he's played. I don't think anyone has played any better across the league at that position. I know he's a guy that deserves to get paid the right way. He's a guy that deserves to get all the accolades. He's gotten all the Pro Bowl and all that stuff there. The thing about Quandre was throughout this offseason and stuff like that, and all the negotiations and stuff like that I know that's challenging on an individual because I know he's worked his butt off every day for it. The other thing is he didn't change in the sense of his work ethic. He committed to what was going to be and he said, 'OK, alright I'm going to focus on the season, and we'll see what happens at the end of the year.' I think that he brought it every day, and I know that this one hurts for him, but he will be back. I think he will be back better than ever. If anyone will be back, it will be him. He will kick butt in recovery. His faith is super strong, and he's got great guys around him, great people and family and all that. I'm just praying for him, and I know he'll be better than he was ever before."
On getting the team to where he wants it to be:
"That's not on me to decide that stuff. I think. Just to focus on getting better individually. I think just each individual, and collective groups and all that. I don't know those answers though."
On WR DK Metcalf's season:
"I thought what DK was so special at was he showed his warrior spirit. Just to be able to play with an injured foot. Think about how fast this guy runs. He's 235 (pound) or whatever, and he runs a 4.2-(second 40-yard dash). The guy can absolutely fly, and to play through all the injury and the foot and everything else, and to overcome it all and battle we had a special season. I know me and him both wanted more. But I think God's an on time God, and he's going to be amazing, amazing player. He's going to be the best to ever do it. With the right mind set and work ethic, and he really showed that in the midst of the storm. Him and Tyler (Lockett) both and just how they practice every day and how they went after it every day. You saw some great plays from him tonight. You got to watch out for DK Metcalf, he's going to be really special, and he's going to keep getting better too."