Seattle Coach Pete Carroll's opening statement:
"Well, we had a blast tonight. It was just a great night for the Seahawks and the fans and all. The Seahawks set an all time record for the noise and all that as well. Just a really good night. I'm really proud that we came off the bye so well. You're concerned, you don't know how that's going to turn out, but we got great rest and we came back strong and you could tell all night long that we had our legs and guys were flying. All phases played well. In the first half, the movement of the ball with the offense was great. Our third down wins made a big difference so that we could get the ball back into the offense's hands. It was just a terrific night. I can't even point out all of the guys that contributed. I will say this: the defense to hold that quarterback, that coach and that team to that kind of a production night, that's an incredible night for our guys. The really cool thing is that we didn't do anything special, we did what we like doing and the way that we want to play. We matched our guys up the way we always match up. I thought it was obvious that K.J. Wright had a great football game and did stuff all night long and he had a lot of matchups and a lot of responsibility for the backs and the tight end. A bunch of guys played well, but he jumped out. Russell was fantastic again tonight; he just does it. He finds so many ways to make it hard on our opponent, that he's tough to defend, tough to deal with. Just a great night here, we're thrilled to do it Monday Night for our fans and for all of the people that are following us, and they had a blast, and so did we. We're ready to get going again, we have a big week coming up.
On big plays in the passing game: "We got them in a short yardage situation one time and I think that happened. They definitely played the run well tonight, we didn't run the ball as well as we'd like. It allowed us to hit a bunch of other stuff. I thought Darrell did a great job of adapting to the game and what was there and what he needed to take advantage of, and did. Some terrific calls. Really good execution, we did a Two Minute drill again, which was great. Just a lot of really exciting, cool things for us."
On the two new defensive backs: "Yeah, Maxwell played a great game for us. Max's been doing it, that's not a surprise. I tried to stand up for him, that he's going to do ok, he's shown us, and he's played enough football, we know that he can play the game, and he'll just get better with the terms and experience and all that. Jeremy Lane jumping out there for the first time, playing all that nickel stuff against some really good guys and good schemes, he did a terrific job. He's a great athlete in there, but he's still a pup playing in that situation; came through really well."
On the team being focused all week: "I liked the way they took it. Like I said, there was a lot of emotions that come to you when that happens, when you lose some of your guys. We're such a tight group, and we care so much about one another, that when you lose somebody, once you get through the initial thought of it, we felt bad for them, that they weren't able to stay with us and keep playing. It's really a compassionate response, because they're so close. That's what it was. As far as the football, it wasn't an issue. That was not the issue at all. The football thing is not the problem, because we know how to respond to that. We've prepared ourselves mentally for guys having to step out of the lineup and guys having to step up. That was exhibited again tonight. We handled it really well, and we did what we needed to, but we miss those guys not having a chance to be with us."
On the importance of the pass rush, and the impact of the crowd noise: "I talked to a couple of their guys coming off, and they mentioned it to me, I didn't bring it up. They said it was so loud that they had trouble getting off on the cadence. Without question, it was a factor tonight. Our guys take advantage of that, we have a very fast group of guys. We've really zeroed in on the rush responsibilities now, and they're giving us a real forceful group, that should be at its very best here. That's because of the 12th Man doing their thing, too. I know we worked together with the crowd once again."
On the choice by Russell Wilson on long pass to Doug Baldwin: "Oh, it was perfect. He did a perfect job. He saw it coming, and he checked off to it. Then, he changes the route and the protection and then makes the great throw, and we get the great catch, too. All of that had to happen. It was exactly what we hoped would happen when they came after us, and he did it, and they slowed down, and they didn't do it anymore. That's a real, real illustration of his maturity, and where he's come, and he'll just continue to get better, but that was exactly what we would hope would happen. He saw it, executed it absolutely perfectly, and we got a big play out of it."
On clinching a playoff spot: "I've been telling them that we haven't done nothing yet, because we really haven't accomplished anything, except having a nice record. Tonight we did, we accomplished something; we're a playoff team, which is great to know that. But that's not our goal, and we don't talk that way. You never hear these guys say, oh boy, we want to get into the playoffs. That's not the goal we set. We want to win this division, and that division gets us a chance to play at home, and that's what we're after. And then we'll talk about what comes next. That's why this is such a huge week coming up, and we're going to go after it with everything we've got, and it's going to be another championship matchup, and we're going to give it everything and see if we can get it done."
(On the play of the defensive secondary…) It's a phenomenal night. Just because Drew has thrown for 300 yards 8 or 9 times this year already. This is the most prolific guy ever. He threw for 6000 or whatever it was two years ago, whatever it is. He's a great football player and a great leader out there, and for us to hold up; they had to work to get over 100. It took them a long time to get to 100. That's an enormous accomplishment by the whole group. I'm glad you pointed it out; it is the whole seven and the rush involved. What we're really excited about is that we got to play the way we want to play; we didn't have to change anything, and that's important."
*On what it is about Russell Wilson that seems to endear the fans: *"It's everything about him. I get asked all the time and I really feel inadequate in trying to describe to you who he is and what he's all about, other than you just keep watching him. He's an extraordinary individual. It goes way beyond his football ability, he's an amazing person. We're just blessed that he's spending his time with us right now. The leadership, the discipline, the hard work, the competitiveness, the toughness that he has and demonstrates, and his uncanny ability to rise to the moment. Here he is playing against one of his favorite players ever; I asked him something about it, and he said, "I'm not playing Drew Brees. I'm playing the Saints." He had it nailed right from the get-go. I was going to tell him that, but he already knew it. He's just an extraordinary person and we're very fortunate, and they should keep coming out, and they should keep chanting his name and have fun with it while we can."
On Derrick Coleman getting his first touchdown: "It was a screwball play, it wasn't supposed to happen like that, obviously, but sometimes, it takes a little tip drill."
On Sarkesian going to USC: "I'm thrilled for him. This is a lifelong dream for him. He was a kid that grew up in southern California. There is no coach they could have hired that understands L.A. better and what that's all about. That's my opinion. He has a tremendous sense for the area and the schools and the coaches and the traditions and all of that. That's why it was such a big deal for him to get this opportunity. He had a great time here in Washington, he loved it, and did a great job with them, but it's just a chance to go home and do it at a great university. There's a number of guys that could have got the job and done a great job with it. I think Sark will do an extraordinary job. I'd like to say this, too: Eddie Orgeron did an incredible job. I thought it was one of the most incredible illustrations of leadership and direction and amazing ability to turn something like that. I'm so impressed with what he did. It's unfortunate that he doesn't get the job, but there's only one spot there. I'm sure Eddie is going to do something great, too. It's a great night for S.C. I think they're going to really benefit from him being there."
On any hope that Percy Harvin could play: "I held out hope, I'm one of those hopeless optimists, but he just couldn't quite get there. He felt a lot better today. He just has some stiffness that hasn't quite gone away, and we don't want to take a chance at this time. Here is another week, and we'll go day-to-day and as soon as he's ready to rock and roll, we're going to go. It will be fun to add him to it."
Receiver Doug Baldwin on what was the statement that the team made this week:"I'll say as a whole we feel like we don't get as much credit as we should, but that fuels our fire. So we want y'all to keep saying that we're not good up here in the Pacific Northwest, especially the receivers. We want y'all to keep telling us that we're just average because we want to keep proving y'all wrong week in and week out. So every time we get an opportunity to showcase our talents, whether it's on Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, or if it's Sunday at noon and nobody is watching, we're going to showcase our talents because that's what we do."
On what's going to motivate him now that they can't say that anymore:"They're going to keep saying it, I know they're going to keep saying it. There's always going to be an excuse on why the Seattle Seahawks are not as good as their record shows, but that's OK we like it like that."
On Russell Wilson:"Russell Wilson had one heck of a game. It showed in the huddle just his poise and his composure, the way he led us on the field was nice to see. Not that he doesn't do it every week, but it was a primetime game and he's still young so we were anticipating on him to do what he does best, and he definitely did that. He took it to the next level."
On if the lack of respect applies to Russell Wilson as well:"I think so. I can't speak for him and I don't want to ruffle too many feathers here, I've already said probably too much as it, but Russell Wilson is definitely a very talented quarterback as we saw that. I mean his numbers speak for themselves. I would encourage people to look at the stats with context and know how good he really is."
Quarterback RUSSELL WILSON on the win: "To come out on Monday night, against a great football team, the New Orleans Saints have a great defense. They have an unbelievable offense, and for us to come out in that fashion and win that game the way we did was pretty awesome. The fact that we were clicking on all cylinders, offensively, defensively, special teams. Our crowd was unbelievable tonight, they broke the world record again. The energy in the stadium, you can literally feel the ground shaking. It makes a huge difference. The way we prepared this week, I texted Coach Carroll yesterday and I said the way we practiced this week was the best week we've ever had. That preparation was big. I really think it showed up tonight."
On making big plays against Cover Zero: "We wanted to be great against the blitz. We knew that their defensive coordinator is a great defensive coordinator. We knew that they were going to bring some pressure. We like the sense of pressure, because there is a lot of green grass behind it, so if we can capitalize on those plays; Doug Baldwin came down with a huge catch; I'm not sure what the gain was, probably 50 or 60 yards, but that was a great play by him. Jermaine Kearse catching the football. Doug Baldwin catching the touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone. We had so many great plays tonight. The offensive line is truly doing a great job of protecting me right now. To have all of those guys back; to have Russell Okung back, our Pro Bowl left tackle; to have Max Unger back, or Pro Bowl center; to have Breno back too, to protect my right side, is a huge difference maker for us."
On the long pass to Zach Miller: "It was third and one I believe, Third and Two. We had a nice little motion going on, and I was able to look at Marshawn in the flat, and Zach Miller did a great job of breaking off his route and running to the corner. He made a great catch and took it all the way down to like the 5 yard line. His ability to be elusive. Zach's a true playmaker for us, he's so consistent, he has great knowledge of the game, he really understands what he's trying to do. We need those plays from him."
On the Wilson chant: "Our fans are unbelievable, the energy that they bring is unmatchable. They're the best fans in the National Football League. When we come out for the first possession of the game, I believe they chant Wilson, so that's kind of cool. But, it's about the team. That's the thing that our fans really understand. It's about our football team. They go crazy when our offense is out there, they go crazy when our defense is out there and our special teams, so you have to love playing here at CenturyLink."
On thinking about home field advantage throughout the playoffs: "We're just thinking about going 1 and 0. We know we have a tough challenge in front of us this week. To be able to clinch a playoff spot that's good for us, but that's not our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal that we're trying to focus on; to get there, you have to go 1 and 0 every week. That's our plan, that's our mindset. That's why we've done a great job so far this year, and we want to continue that. We're playing a great 49ers team that have an unbelievable defense, Colin Kaepernick is a great football player, so we know it's going to be a tough environment, so we're going to have to bring our A game."
On whether he was looking to run early on: "I'm never really looking to run. It's one of those things that naturally happens, I guess. I go through my progressions, I trust my reads, I trust my instincts, and just try to play. We made some big plays in the scramble game. We made some on-time throws, guys made some big time catches. The factor of me being able to run the football is a good thing for us. It makes it tough on their defense, and we were able to keep the chains moving that way."
On the game has perhaps slowed down for him after nearly 2 years in the NFL: "That's the biggest thing that I've tried to focus on. How can I slow down the game, and how can I make sure that I'm prepared in the best way possible. I think about my first year, coming in to my second year and I was able to learn how to study and what to look at and what to prepare for, all the situations, third down situations, third and 3 to 6, third and 7 to 10, 11 whatever. To go into the red zone situations, understand my footwork and the timing of everything that I do, there's a purpose to my training. I think that also there's a purpose to my film study. I believe that's really prepared me, and I've taken a huge leadership role in that fashion. That's what I believe I need to do. The guys just respond; it's not all me. It's my offensive coordinator, Coach Bevell does a tremendous job of preparing us, getting us ready, making it tough on the defense. I'm seeing things with my quarterback coach, Coach Carl Smith; he really gets me prepared, he keeps me relaxed. I'm the type that is really tense, really focused all week, making sure I'm looking at everything. Come gameday, there's no better day, so I trust my preparation, I trust my instincts, I trust what I do. The game has slowed down a lot, and there's still a lot more learning to do; I'm on that constant quest for knowledge. I want to be the best one day, but to get there is a long ways to go. I have a long ways to go. It's a journey, and I respect the process of learning. I respect the process of the game of football."
On the touchdown to Coleman: "We didn't work on that tipped pass during the week. Derrick Coleman made a great catch in there to stay in bounds, the footwork. When you think about Derrick Coleman, he's a guy that's a hybrid guy for us. He plays fullback, he plays running back, he does a great job on special teams, he's got a lot of ability. Obviously, Michael Robinson is huge for us too, he has so much leadership. He's been in the big games. To have those two guys to be able to make the plays that they make in, week in and week out, is a huge factor for us. Derrick Coleman's catch was pretty awesome. I get a little nervous when that ball bounces up in the air like that, those are never good. To make that catch and dive into the end zone, was big time."
On whether Darrell Bevell is opening up more things with the play calling: "No, I think that Coach Bevell has always kept it open for the most part. Starting off last year, it was little bit by little bit and once we really kind of opened it up, we have that attack mentality. We want to be the most explosive team in the National Football League, whether if it's running the football or throwing the football, and we've really done that this year. Our mentality is to stay in that attack mode. We have a great defense, we trust our defense to make plays for us. I have to be smart with my decisions and make sure that I'm making the right decisions, and trusting my reads. Every time I go up to the line of scrimmage I understand what my progression is and I go through my checklist and snap the ball and drop back and hopefully deliver an accurate football and facilitate the ball to the right guy at the right time. Coach Bevell has made it really hard on defense. You have to love what he does. He prepares the right way, he gets everybody ready. He's so poised out there; you like that a lot about him."
On how much effort he puts into thinking how he presents himself: "Tough question. For me, I just try to be the same guy every day. I try to be consistent in my approach off the field and on the field. I'm not perfect. I think that I have the right people surrounding me. I have a great coaching staff, the great players that love to play football just as much as I do. And the fans are just unbelievable. For me, I just to be consistent, no matter what it is, whether it's playing football, or just off the field."
On studying Drew Brees and whether he talked to him at all: "Drew Brees is a guy that I've watched over the past five or six years. I've really studied him, I've watched him a lot. I watch a lot of quarterbacks. I love the game of football. I watch guys from Tom Brady to Peyton Manning to Drew Brees, for a lot of different reasons. Drew's been the guy that I've really studied. He's a great leader, he's a great competitor. He seems to always be clutch. He's going to be a Hall of Famer, no doubt about it. At the Pro Bowl was the time I really met him for the first time and I remember meeting Drew. I don't normally get nervous, but meeting him for the first time was kind of an interesting moment for me. Just to be around him and kind of pick his brain, that's what I've been waiting for. Hey, what do you think on this play, what do you think on that, what are you trying to do with your footwork. One of the things that he always talked about was having a purpose to your preparation. That's something I've always believed in, but just hearing it from a guy that's done it for so long and done it in a great fashion and a great way, so you respect that about him. The other thing we talked about was working on your footwork, always having a purpose to your footwork and understand what you're trying to do and put your guys in the right position at the right time. Before the game I talked to Drew, and after the game, so just told him I'm praying for him and all that, and hope to see him down the road. I'm sure we'll face them again, most likely, I believe. They're a great football team, they do a lot of great things. Our defense really stepped up tonight and made a lot of great plays against them, which is hard to do. Drew is one of the best quarterbacks, if not the best, in the league right now. You understand what our defense did tonight, to be able to stop their offense, was a great effort."
Cornerback Richard Sherman on Maxwell playing like a starter: "Maxwell is a starter."
On Maxwell's performance: "He played great. He played great. He made all of the plays that were back there. He probably dropped a pick, but we're not going to talk about that. I mean he played great. He's a starter. He'd start for 32 teams in this league. He's that kind of a player. So is Jeremy Lane and that's why we have the utmost confidence in them. We have a 53-man, full roster of players that can play in this league."
On the Seahawks making a statement after beating the Saints: "I mean we just did what we've been doing man. I mean I don't think that we made any statement. We won a game we were supposed to win and that's how we play, that's how we treat it. Now, we're on to the next game, we've got to deal with San Francisco. We didn't think about this game like everybody else did. We got a lot of big time players. There's no big time games for big time players."
On Thomas: "He was having a good time. I mean was dancing and stuff. Did you see his dance? That was so smooth. He was having a good time, he was having a good time and I think our defense plays best when we're having a good time. When we're out there having fun, we're loose, we're jumping around, we're dancing because we all are silent sound. Our crowd was great tonight as they always are. They were disciplined, they were loud. I heard they broke the record. Congratulations to the 12th Man."