What The Seahawks Said Following Their Loss To The 49ers

HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL

(Opening comments)  “It’s interesting how these games take a turn sometimes and you have to look at the numbers and see what happened in the game. This was really a clear game and we just hurt ourselves so much with this penalty thing that it just took our chances away. We ran the football, we converted on third down, we held them on third down, time of possession, so many things we were plus in, the turnover ratio. There were so many things and that’s how we play. But, really uncharacteristically, we had 148 yards in penalties, 10 in the second half which is crazy. I don’t know how that could happen. But, that really kind of spelled it today because it was a good, close game. They played really well. They did a nice job. The offense did a nice job, particularly in the first half. We got better as the game went on defensively and all of that. But, there was just too much to overcome and that was a difficult game. It was obviously a really important championship opportunity for us and there’s some huge lessons for our team. We have to make sure we can’t hurt ourselves and when that happens, it’s hard to overcome and we didn’t today. So, hats off to those guys. It’s a big win for them. They did a nice job today.”

(Is there a silver lining at least in the sense that you know you will be able to get that playoff berth?) It’s just a matter of having to do it in the next few games*.
*“We’re well aware of that, but just not today. There’s no silver linings in this day today.”

(Is there disappointment in not getting that playoff berth against a team that you handled pretty well two weeks ago?) 
“We didn’t’ play the same. We did a lot of things the same, but in the areas that made a difference, we got so far behind the sticks with the penalties. We hit the big play that put us in the position to go kick the field goal at the end, but we got a big penalty in the end. So, it’s just a different game. They are never the same. It’s always a different game. It’s not because you did this, it’s going to go this way or that way. You have to go play and see what happens.”

(Seahawks RB Chris Carson had over 100 yards and that touchdown run.)  “Chris ran great today, really. We ran the ball well today and I thought the whole approach to what we tried to get done was there again and I don’t have any problems with it. I thought Chris looked great today. He was physical and tough and he busted out. He caught the ball well too and really had a big contribution.”

(With the penalty on Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin, did you have a good look on that?) “I did not. I can’t tell you, I don’t know. But, it surely happened right at the crucial times. The hold happens on the big play, that’s the big play for us to get out of there and it was unfortunate. But, that’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s not because we’re not trying. The guys are busting their tails to get it done, but it just went too far I guess.”

(Seahawks G Ethan Pocic obviously got called for a couple of holding penalties. What did you think?) “Well, he didn’t work out very well. He didn’t work out very well. I haven’t seen the calls or anything like that so I can’t tell you, but we have to be in position and keep our hands inside and not give them a chance to call it. [Seahawks G J.R.] Sweezy would say the same thing on a couple that he had. It’s just how it goes. Unfortunately, it kind of came right when we’d make a big play and bam, get knocked back. So, we got behind the sticks. I thought we handled that really well throughout to not get in trouble more. But, it’s just the kind of game it was. The margin of error was so slight that it didn’t work out for us.”

(A layman might look at this and see four wins in a row and you come in here against a 3-10 team. Maybe it was preparation or the intensity wasn’t there. What did you think about it?)
 “I don’t think any of that is what happened. I think we were sloppy with the penalties situation. All of the numbers match up to how we played. The running numbers, the third down numbers were the best we’ve had in quite a while. Defense kept the numbers down, played really well in the second half. So, we did a lot of good things like we normally do. Two of the last three weeks, we’ve had four penalties. So, we had 14 today for 148 yards, it’s really hard to overcome that and we weren’t able to in a close game.”

(Not playing without Seahawks FS Bradley McDougald for the second half, what did you think of how that went?
) “Well, we played okay in the second half. I think immediately following his departure from there, we were a little shaky. I don’t think we were as confident with our calls. I think we gave up some stuff that we wouldn’t normally give up. I think we settled down well and we kept it under wraps in the second half. Really, the second half defense was a good job.”

(The pass rush really got going the last couple series.)  “Yeah, those two drives in regulation, we got after it and really did what we needed to do. I thought you could feel the crescendo of the game, we were building up for a chance to set it up to win it. Obviously, we have to pass it better late.”

(Getting Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin going like you did in the first half--?) “Thank you for bringing that up. Doug played phenomenally today. That was a great game. Incredible plays and [Seahawks QB Russell Wilson] Russ found him well and hooked up with him. But, Doug was spectacular today.”

QB RUSSELL WILSON

(What was, you completed the long pass to Seattle Seahawks RB J.D. McKissic there, and it looks like it’s going to be good and then it gets called back, just--?
) “Yeah, I thought J.D. did a great job. It was a great call by [Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian] Schotte [Schottenheimer], and he made a great catch and just a huge play. Got the holding penalty and that was kind of the tail of the day, I guess. We had too many penalties. We have got to be sharper. We have got to be cleaner. It’s a disappointing loss, because we felt like we could have played better in that sense. The last few drives there, even in overtime, we were able to get some big plays and then, we got some penalty calls. It’s part of the game, but when it comes down to crunch time we have got to be great. We’ve got to be rock solid and we will be moving forward. I think that sometimes in a season, in life, or whatever it may be, you go through times to help prepare you for what’s to come. So, hopefully we can use this to prepare us to be that much sharper throughout the next game, and the game after that, and then we’ll see what happens. But, use as much as we can learn from this film and study it, and figure out as a collective effort where we can get better as a team. That’s the great challenge. That’s the challenge that you either look forward to or you don’t look forward to, and I think this team, I know this team looks forward to that. We will respond in the right way. The good thing is we get to go back home. We’re playing the Chiefs in a tough, tough game that’s going to be an exciting game, and the only thing we can look forward to is that next moment. We have high expectations of ourselves and I think that’s because of how we practice, how we prepare, just how many great character guys we have on our team and just the hard work that we put into everything. The only way is to respond the right way, and how we’re going to prepare for the next game.”

(Did the 49ers have an answer then for everything you guys did or would you say it was lack of preparation? How would you define why the Niners were able to win this game?) “I definitely think we prepared at a high level. I thought we played a really good game of back-and-forth. They played really well today. We played well. Just to be honest with you, all it really came down to were some penalties here and there, and we had some penalties that really kind of kicked us back, but it is what it is. We have got to be better. We have got to be sharper, and we’re going to do that as a team and we’re going to make sure we do everything we can to continue to tighten up and make sure that doesn’t happen.”

(Is it at all alarming that you have the playoffs at stake and get in to take care of business and have so many mistakes like you did today?) “I think that it’s a moment, and how do you use it is going to be the key, right? I think that for us, before today there’s still three games left. Where we want to go didn’t stop today, wasn’t going to stop next week or hopefully wasn’t going to stop the last week. Like I said, I think that what we can do, and what we’re going to do, is use everything that we’ve gone through throughout the season. And, if you really think about some of our losses, right? I mean, think about it. The thing that’s really kind of just kicked us in the butt is the long distances. When we get those, and we just got to eliminate that part of it. I think we move the ball really well. I think we run it when we need to. I think we make big plays. [Seattle Seahawks WR] Doug Baldwin was great tonight. Guys were making plays. I thought [Seattle Seahawks T] Duane Brown had that big block, when [Seattle Seahawks RB] Chris Carson gets in that end zone, that’s winning football. That’s championship football. Those are the things that are going to happen. We’ve just got to tweak a few things. There’s no panic mode. I think our heads are down and ready to work, and that was going to be our mentality either way, because that’s the way it has to be. Like I said, you got to give credit to the 49ers. I think they played a great game today. They made a lot of great plays on both sides of the ball and everything else. We made up with some great plays and it was a back-and-forth. I mean, we knew it was going to be like that and unfortunately, we weren’t able to pull through when we needed to.”

(You mentioned Doug. What kind of difference does he make when he’s out there?) “Yeah, he makes a huge difference. I mean, he’s a player and we’ve played so much ball together. He’s one of my favorite running backs to play with just because, he’s a competitor. He knows how to do everything right. He’s smart as it gets. He’s as talented as it gets. He’s been a joy to play with over my first six, seven years now. He’s special in that way any time he’s out there. You want your best players for sure to be out in the field. He makes a difference and his presence is out there. Like I said, I thought he had a great week of practice being able to battle through some things and be able to come out and have an unbelievable performance tonight.”

(Is there anything you can put your finger on that led to all those penalties today?)  “I’ve got to watch the film I think before anything else, but I think that we’ve just got to be great fundamentally. It really comes down to it. That’s usually when we get a penalty here and there, and like I said, when you’re playing tough, playing hard, we’re never going to mistake playing hard, but sometimes those things happen, right? That’s what makes the game of football so tough. When you’re going against some really good players on their defensive side upfront especially, some things will happen. So, we just have got to eliminate some of that and continue to just focus on what we can do to control the game.”

(On the third down in overtime, did you slip before you were trying to get rid of the ball? The one you ended up throwing with Seattle Seahawks WR David Moore outside on the sideline to complete.
) “I’m trying to remember which one. I don’t remember or recall. I don’t think I slipped. I mean, I may have a little bit but I don’t recall which play you’re talking about.”

(Is that the first place you wanted to go with the ball or did you happen to notice Doug down the slide?) “Yeah, we had kind of both options, trying to take a shot and counted third-and-long I think there, right? Yeah, so we were trying to take a shot, trying to get one of those guys a goal ball kind of thing, see if we could make a big play. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I thought Dave did a really good job fighting for it, almost making it. And, the next time we came out, I believe it was the next drive, we came out and then J.D. had that awesome play down the sideline, too. Like I said, we were right there and for the rest of the season every moment matters. Every play counts. It’s like that all year, but this is where great players show up. This is where great teams show up. This is where when you face a little bit of adversity, there is going to be adversity, and you got to be able to know how to respond to it. Maybe it was a great sense of, I don’t want to say wakeup call, but I think maybe it was a great sense of a lesson learned where we can get better, because if we want to go where we want to go we have got to be the best when it matters and I think that’s what we’re focused on. I believe we can do that for sure.”

WR DOUG BALDWIN

(Talk to us about your touchdown and how it felt to be out there and make that play?) “It felt good to be out there contributing. It felt like we were moving the ball pretty well. We were seeing a different defense than we saw two weeks ago. And so we had to make some adjustments. I tip my hat to the 49ers and to their coaching staff because they had a good game plan.”

(This was a tug-o-war, no doubt. What made it such a difficult match-up going up against them?) “We pride ourselves on running the ball and I think they really emphasized stopping the run. They forced us into situations where we had to play from behind the sticks. They played good coverage for the most part. We had miscues. Obviously, 14 penalties does not help you in that regard. There are a lot of things we can learn from and we will.”

(Physically how did you feel?) “I felt good. This has been a long time coming. We have been working diligently to get my body right. It has been a process. I’m finally feeling like my normal self. We figured out today, before the game, the last component to keeping my body healthy.”

(People will look at this team, bound for the playoffs, losing to a three win team, and wonder if the intensity and the preparation were what they needed to be. Do you feel like they were?) “I think anybody watching the game would think that. I personally don’t think that is the case. I know how hard these players work. I know how hard these coaches work and I can’t take anything away from the 49ers. They played an excellent game tonight. They battled hard. They fought back every time we threw a punch. I have to give them credit.”

C JUSTIN BRITT

(After what happened with Seattle Seahawks G Jordan Simmons, how did that change the O-line in your opinion?)
 “It didn’t at all. [Seattle Seahawks C/G Ethan Pocic] and I have worked together many times. It’s like he’s never left. We’ve had plenty of reps. Whether it’s [Seattle Seahawks G D.J. Fluker] or Jordan in there, whether Ethan’s in there, it doesn’t matter to us. We train together hard, we work together. It doesn’t matter. It’s the next guy in there. Ethan’s the guy, and he’s got the experience and the reps. We didn’t miss a beat.”

(The emotional roller coaster that this game was, take us through those final moments in the game and how it felt watching it.
) “The whole overtime, we didn’t have any doubt that we were going to win the game. Whenever something like that happens, it’s very unfortunate. It hurts. Until they actually kicked that kick and made it. We expected them to miss that kick. We were ready to go out there and give it a go a second time. Go out there and win the game for our team. We didn’t do that. We got the ball to start and we didn’t do that. The ownership is on us. We shouldn’t have put our defense out there.”

T DUANE BROWN

(So give me some of your thoughts about the game and the 49ers?) “They fought hard. They had a good answer for some of our run schemes, but the biggest factor was the penalties. Penalties stopped our drives, pushed us back and made us one-dimensional. We played into their hands. We’re at our best when we have a balanced attack. Sometimes, penalties just killed us.”

(Your penalties, 14 for 148 yards. Some big ones there, especially late in regulation. Those were just crushing.
) “You can’t have that, especially in critical situations. That’s just what it is. We just can’t have that. We did that the last time we played them, but we overcame it.”

(You guys knew the scenario coming in, win and you’re in the playoffs. Now you have work to do over the next two games.)
 “One week at a time. This is the NFL. We knew this one wouldn’t come easy. They’re [San Francisco 49ers] are a tough team and we’re playing them on the road. Even though their playoff chances are done, they were going to come out with a lot of energy. Now, we’ve got another huge game against another great team at home. We’ll go back to the drawing board, fix the things we messed up this week and get ready to go. Everyone’s committed to the postseason and knows what our dreams are. We just have to have a championship approach every day when we come to practice.”

(You know that the opponent isn’t in the playoffs, so this makes it like a playoff game. Did you sense that feeling from them?) 
“Definitely. We knew exactly what was going to happen. We knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy. They have really good, young players. I take my hat off to them. We kept ourselves in the game, but we shot ourselves in the foot a bunch of times. We had plenty of opportunity to take it over, but we set ourselves back. We have to find a way to fix it. It’s not going to get any easier. We have a really good team coming into our stadium next weekend.”

RB CHRIS CARSON

(Did you get the sense the San Francisco 49ers came in with a playoff atmosphere-like attitude and gave it their all?) “We knew that they wanted to spoil everything as they should do. They did a great job on defense in stopping the run in the first half. We shot ourselves in the foot with a lot of penalties, so we’ve got to get that cleaned up.”

(How disruptive was it with those penalties? You had so many chances just to move it down the field and they kept coming back.) “Like I said, we have to clean it up. It’s hard.”

(Any difference when Seattle Seahawks G Jordan Simmons went out to the flow of what you were trying to do?) “No, we trust everyone that goes in. Somebody gets hurt and someone steps in. That wasn’t the case. We’ve just got to play smart.”

(What’s the approach now with what you want to do with two games left?) “Finish up strong. Take it one game at a time.”

(On that touchdown run, where did the second effort come from?) “Just my playing style, I guess. I don’t want to be denied by one person. [Seattle Seahawks WR] Doug Baldwin was telling everybody to fight and don’t let anybody stop you from getting into the end zone. So, I took it personally.”

DE FRANK CLARK

(What was the difference today compared to the last game against the 49ers?) “They came to play some ball. That’s all. We didn’t execute. We gave them too much in penalties. We had, what, 150 yards in penalty yards? You see down the stretch the whole second half, we kept ourselves in check. Towards the end of the first half, we killed ourselves with penalties. On defense, we gave them too many pass interference calls. With special teams, we didn’t execute. We gave them some personal fouls. Even on offense, we gave them those holding calls late down the stretch. When you give up 50-plus yards on the last four drives, offense and defense, over 100 yards of penalties, the game is going to turn. We’re going to make it harder. We all know that shouldn’t have even been a game. At the end of the day, we made it a game by giving them those penalties.”

(Does it feel like a step back? You guys had won four straight, these guys are 3-10, and you guys come and lose with a playoff berth on the line?) “I don’t feel like it’s a step back. I just feel like everyone needs to wake up. I feel like I need to wake up, the rest of the team, the coaches, everyone needs to wake up. We want to finish this out strong, like we’ve been talking about. I feel like it has to be a joint effort. Everybody has to step up and be accountable. At the end of the day, the plays have to be called and the players have to make the plays. Period. If the plays aren’t being called like they need to be called, then someone has to be held accountable for it. If the player is not making the play, then the player needs to be held accountable for it. Someone has to be accountable at the end of the day.”

CB SHAQUILL GRIFFIN

(Why did this game look different from the game against San Francisco a couple of weeks ago?) “I think it looked different because of the refs. That’s just the honest answer. I feel like we haven’t had this many flags called against us since I’ve been here. It sucks that it happened, but I can’t blame it on them. We can’t put ourselves in that position. That’s completely on us.”

(Why did it seem chippier this time than compared to a couple of weeks ago?)“I feel like they had a chip on their shoulder, given the way that they lost the last time. We knew it was going to be a tough battle. We don’t take anything for granted. We knew it was going to be a tough fight. It always is when it’s a rivalry.”

(How did you see San Francisco 49ers QB Nick Mullens take more shots downfield compared to a couple of weeks ago?) “I felt like he was going to take shots and that he would feel confident about his game against us. He came in and had 400 passing yards on us, so I’m telling the defense that he’s going to feel confident about throwing against us. That’s something that we were going to continue to work to stop. They had a couple of big plays, but there was nothing that we couldn’t control.”

(How did losing SS Bradley McDougald change the secondary?) “I don’t think it changed the secondary. We’ve got guys who can step up and replace great guys like McDougald. That’s the reason why the defense is so good. We’ve got depth. We’ve got guys who can step up and make those same plays. [SS Delano Hill] came in and had a heck of a game. That’s something that we can count on. Guys can come in and step up.”

DT JARRAN REED

(Talk to us about those penalties because we haven’t seen a game like that this year.) “We have to play smarter ball, but we’re not going to dwell on this loss. It’s only 24 hours. We have to go back, get ready and get to work.”

(How much could you tell they have been able to adjust based on just having seen you a couple of weeks ago?
) “I really don’t know. We just have to play better as a team. We have to step our game up. We can’t come into a game and have as many penalties as we had.”

(How does the ending of this game motivate you guys for next week?) “It has to help. We feel battle-tested. We played hard for all four quarters. We just have to clean up the penalties.”

(Is that basically the message that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had for the team?) “Again, his message was that we have to clean up our play. We can’t have that many penalties. We cannot continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.”

Game action photos from the Seahawks' 26-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15 of the 2018 NFL season.

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