Pete Carroll on building a big defense, Bill Belichick and Russell Wilson
|10.10.12 at 7:26 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When it comes to the Seahawks, size matters.
Seattle has a big team, particularly in the secondary where they feature cornerbacks Richard Sherman (6-foot-2½) and Brandon Browner (6-foot-3½) and safeties Kam Chancellor (6-foot-3) and Earl Thomas (5-foot-10). According to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, he didn’t necessarily start out trying to build a big defense.
“Throughout my coaching days, defensively I’ve always wanted to have really fast guys. If I had my way, I’d have really fast big guys,” he said on a conference call with the New England media on Wednesday. “We’ve just been able to accumulate some guys — we actually hit it early on with guys that were in the program up front with Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane, having some real big kids up there – not comparable to how big the Patriots are, those guys are enormous.
“We added to it with K.J. Wright, who is a big kid playing linebacker and then we started to just peck away with the secondary. The two corners are as tall as you can get and Kam Chancellor is an enormous safety at 6-3, 237 pounds or something. When you add all that together, you have a lot of long guys with big reaches and a lot of speed; everybody can run. It gives us a chance to have a group…we’re always looking for this, but you don’t always get it so we’re fortunate. I think John Schneider has done a great job getting the kinds of guys that we like to coach and we’re just growing. We’re so young and so new, we’re just getting started.”
It’s been awhile since you’ve prepared to face a Bill Belichick team. Do you see any common threads as you do that this week to what it was like in the ‘90s when you were going up against his Jets defenses or even before that?
“Certainly there’s all kinds of stuff, particularly defensively. They’ve grown and adjusted on offense, but defensively we know that Bill has always been a guy who uses a lot of stuff and will match game plans to personnel and teams, and has a tremendous reservoir of system that he can go to and we still know that now. One of the things that I’ve always admired about Bill is he gets the most out of guys and using their talents, kind of to the nth degree. With the big guys inside, the big linebackers, the really fast secondary, they’ve got a great group to build from. They’re turning the ball over at a crazy rate right now and getting the ball away from people. All of the stuff he’s done, a lot of two-deep stuff is what we’ve always seen from him. The system is still there, but it’s his ability to adapt it, to match game plans and stuff that’s always made him so special and so good.”
Your place kicker has some local roots in Massachusetts. Can you describe how that situation unfolded and what he’s contributed to your team?
“Steven [Hauschka], we picked him up from Denver a couple years ago. He’s been really consistent for us. He’s a very smart kid, great worker, big kid for a kicker, real tall and he’s just been very effective. Hopefully we can just keep him knocking them in. We haven’t asked him but just a couple times to have to bomb any kicks, but his consistency has been excellent. He’s been a really good, solid part of our kicking game.”
Other than the physical tools, what makes Russell Wilson such a good quarterback and such a good fit for your system?
“He has tremendous makeup – character and smarts and work ethic, trust and confidence in himself – to be able to handle the challenges as you guys know, there’s so much scrutiny on the quarterback. To be a young guy dealing with it, he just doesn’t seem like he’s a young guy dealing with it. He just has – he’s well beyond his years. For whatever reason, he just has this great character about him that gives him great resolve. That adds with a guy that’s really quick, that has a great arm, that’s really accurate and has great savvy for the game. We’re watching him grow right before our eyes. He’s learning each week and catching up with the game and doing some cool things. He’s done a great job through the competition. Matt Flynn is a really good football player and I wish we could see Matt playing too, but you can’t play two of them. Both those guys are giving us a really good solid part right now. We have to get a lot better in a lot of areas to make it all work out, but we’re getting there.”
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