Everything the Seattle Seahawks said after losing 41-35 to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Thursday night:
Coach Pete Carroll
Well, that was a heck of a football game tonight. It’s a hard game for anybody to lose. I love the way our guys played. We played hard, tough, creative and executed, and battled the whole time. It was a fantastic effort. Give them credit, too. They were playing hard, too. Totally played for the moment. We had great leadership from our older guys. We had good play from our younger guys, too. It’s unfortunate.
It feels like there’s a whole other factor in this game. I don’t know. You guys saw it a lot better than I did, but there were just way too many penalties in this game from both sides, and we’ve got to get out of that kind of football. I thought so many guys came through and made big plays. Tough plays, and showed great heart and great resolve to hang in there.
We had to score three times in one sequence from inside the 10-yard-line. We had to stop them inside the 15-yard-line a couple of different times and got that done. Knock them back out of touchdown range. I’m proud as hell of these guys and the way we fought. And, unfortunately, there might be five plays in this game that could change the whole game, and it’s just unfortunate that’s the way it turned out. I thought Geno did a great job.
I thought, our guys up front, the drive before half, was just a stellar drive for our guys. I thought the guys up front did a great job against a really good pass rush team. Our guys up front on the other side, too, I think we got to them four times. They haven’t been sacked in a month. So our guys were harassing them and gave us a chance and kept us in the ballgame.
A couple of guys got banged up. Jordyn Brooks got an ankle and Zach [Charbonnet] banged his knee on the turf. It doesn’t look like a knee injury. It looks like a bruised knee kind of thing, so both of those guys got where they couldn’t get back in the game.
On the passing game and how it helped Geno Smith tonight.
I thought it was all part of it. I thought the rhythms, we varied it throughout and frustrated their rush at times where they have been having a lot of success. The guys made the plays, made the catches. I think it was just a really good combination of stuff. We finally put together a really good third down night on offense. I think they’re third in the league in third down defense. You felt it. You could see us move the football and we made the plays and we made the throws and the catches and the protections and all that to get that done. That’s where we’re trying to go.
On how much it helped having Abe Lucas out there on the offensive line.
I can’t tell you anything about how he played but it was good to have him. I’m sure he contributed to that. I find myself right here really praising their effort all night long and he was part of it.
On how big the offense’s effort will be going forward, compared to the last two games, even though the result didn’t go the way he wanted tonight.
Absolutely, that’s us right there. I thought Zach pounded the football, kept it going. We didn’t run the football as well as we wanted to, and we converted on third down so that we were still out there. So we had to use our play-pass game, which is still one of the best things we do, and Geno did a great job with all of that. Magnificent catches too throughout the night that kept us going. Noah’s catches were crazy, and a bunch of them. We were really one catch away from really making this thing go our way.
On what happened on the delay before the field goal.
I’m glad you asked me that. What happened on that play is that the officials moved the football from the middle to the hash, and they’re supposed to reset the clock, and they didn’t do it. And so we’re griping about that and the time got me. I screwed it up. I should have called time out, but I was grousing about the fact that they should have – I was still trying to get them to stop the – and the guy on the sidelines...couldn’t get it done. The way I saw it, that was an error on their part and that’s too bad.
When you’re yelling for a time out, are they obligated to give it to you verbally? Do they normally do that?
(Nods head up and down.) Yeah, because I was calling time out. I was calling it. The whole thing got screwed up. It was unfortunate.
On how he can coach pass defenders in the league today, when receivers are trained just to run at defensive backs.
I had a conversation with the guys tonight about that. I just don’t see the way this is going. It’s [not] going in the right direction. We’re all waiting to see “is it a call?” I mean that’s what we’re waiting for, to see, did the official make a call here? Oh, he didn’t call it. Oh, he didn’t call it. There’s latitude that we need to give these guys. They know the game.
They know how to make these calls, but they can’t call everything when there’s a little “this’s and a that.” Particularly when it doesn’t affect the play. I’m not saying I’ve got all the answers, either. I’m not saying that. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that I think the game needs to be adjusted because there’s too much emphasis on those situations.
On getting a couple of big plays against DaRon Bland.
I thought we played very well against him. We didn’t want to throw the ball to him that one time. We shouldn’t have done it. Our mistake. He’s having an incredible year. Total hats off to the dude. He’s a terrific football player. Deserves all the credit that he’s getting. It’s really hard to do what he’s doing. I have great respect for that.
On DK Metcalf’s game, tonight – three touchdowns.
Yeah, DK had a huge game. I thought he did great. Dominant. I love the way he played tonight. Jaxon played really well tonight, too. I thought he was really a big factor for us. Lockett, we mistimed that one catch down the middle. Just about got it. He’s killing himself over it but [we] just didn’t quite hit it right.
On what happened on the fourth down pass to Jaxon, where it went over his head. Was there a mistiming?
It was a pressure situation. They made him have to get the ball out and it was unfortunate.
On if he can build on tonight’s game, especially offensively.
There’s no doubt. The performance last week was something I can’t even explain to you. I can tell you what happened but I can’t explain why that happened. For our guys to bounce back and play against a great football team at home, they’ve got this big win streak and all of that and they’re legit as can be, right down to the end. There’s no concession to losing, but we will definitely build on this. Because the execution, the come-through and toughness, and the physicality of it, because of the respect we have for them, all of those things are of course things we can build on. There’s all kinds of stuff that’s going to happen. The story’s not told, what’s going to happen. We’ve got great chances again in the next couple of weeks against teams that are worthy of being on top of this thing at the end, and we’re going to show the world we’re worthy of being right there with them.
S Julian Love
On the finish of the game:
“You know, I thought we played tough for four quarters. We went back and forth. The offense was rolling. The defense was making some stops in key situations. Yeah, we had opportunities at the end on both sides of the ball and we didn’t finish it.”
WR DK Metcalf
On if they can build on today’s performance:
“Yeah, we finally started executing. We were moving the ball down the field and we scored in the red zone. I think that’s one positive take away we can take from this game.”
On if the game plan included getting the ball out faster:
“That’s pretty much the offensive game plan: quick drop backs, keepers. Everything in the playbook is just a matter what we call and if we can execute it. Today, we just had the benefits of executing well on offense.”
On his first touchdown:
“I just saw the ball in the air and nobody was in front of me. Last time I was in the open field, there was a defender behind me and knocked it out of my hand. I was trying not to relive that moment. (The throw was) as accurate as it could be. In between two defenders, he put to where only I could catch it.”
On learning sign language:
“I’ve been doing it for this whole season. It was just something outside of football to continue to exercise my mind and take my mind my off of football sometimes.”
On confidence moving forward:
“That we played games where the offense has done well and the defense hasn’t, (and ones where) the defense has had our back and the offense hasn’t done so well. We just have to play a complete game as a team to where we’re hitting on all phases. The offense is executing, the defense getting stops and special teams is running. So, once we do that I think we’re going to be a great team.”
QB Geno Smith
On what they were able to accomplish offensively:
“I thought we got into a rhythm early. I thought we came out strong in the second half. I wish we finished the game a lot better. In those situations when we have the ball at the end of the game with a chance to win it, you usually thrive in those situations. We just fell short.”
On DK Metcalf:
“I thought DK was just playing the way he always is capable of. He’s running so fast out there. I think he hit 22 miles per hour. Shoot man, he made a bunch of plays. He’s such a mismatch out there. I just appreciate playing with him. I thought he had a phenomenal game. Everything about what he did today was awesome.”
On having success against the Dallas defense:
“I think we just came out and played our game. We played fast. No one was hesitant. Everyone was out there just playing hard. I thought that everyone had that drive and that focus. We wanted to get out there and get it done. It’s tough to come up short in a game like this. Very fun game, a lot of back and forth. But we had the ball last. We had an opportunity to win it. I felt like we let ourselves down.”
On what was working on third downs:
“Just getting the ball out. I thought Shane called a great game. He called an amazing game. The receivers ran great routes. The protection was awesome...The whole o-line played phenomenally. They gave us a good chance to make plays and guys made good plays.”
On the last play and Micah Parsons coming through unblocked:
“You know, it is a zone. The right tackle had a squeeze right there versus zero. So, he did the right thing. Micah coming free, we knew that would possibility happen. We tried to get the ball around him. I just wasn’t able to.”
On DaRon Bland:
“Like I said, we’ve faced some of the best corners in the league and we have some really great receivers. We love our matchups. Obviously, we want to keep the ball away from guys like that. He made a great play there in the third quarter. That’s why he’s having the year he’s having. We don’t shy away from any of those matchups. We trust our guys to make plays. He got one on me today. Hat’s off to him. He made a great play.”
On the penultimate fourth down:
“It was kind of similar to the last one. It was all out pressure. Really, I just have to get the ball up to someone. That’s something we’ve got to get better and learn from. We can expect that to happen at the end of these games, especially in critical situations. We’ve got to be better at that.”
On the touchdown(s) at the end of the first half:
“Obviously, it was great to get the touchdowns to get the one touchdown in that situation. That was a bit of a funky situation. To be able to finish the half like that and then come out in the second half and get another touchdown, that’s what we talk about when we talk about our style of football. Getting the ball and making the most of our chances.”
On building on this performance:
“I think each week, we have to continue to build. That’s just the reality of this game. It’s going to be tough week to week. We can count on that. But we’ve got the right guys. We’ve got tough guys on our side. We’ve got the right coaches. It’s not about the play calls, what Shane calls. It’s about us going out and executing. We can build on it, yeah. But it’s about winning most importantly. Today, we didn’t do that.”
DT Leonard Williams
On what is on his mind: “It is tough to lose a tight game like that. There’s definitely some highlight moments that had and that we showed as a team. It was a hard-fought football game against a really good team. It’s just tough to come up short in a game like that.”
On what makes Dak so difficult to bring down:
“I think he’s a great quarterback. He is one of the premier quarterbacks in this league for sure. He’s been getting the ball out really fast sometimes on first and second down, so it is hard to get a pass rush against him. Even though I feel like we did a pretty decent job getting after him up front. He is also just a big guy, so sometimes he just breaks tackles and can run the ball, especially in the red zone – they have QB draws and stuff like that. I think he is just a dual-threat guy. You just have to pay attention to anything he can do.”
On he assesses the defensive performance:
“The way I assess it is I thought we played great football. It sucks to come up short ... the most important thing is winning. But overall I felt like the penalties really screwed us this game. Over 200 yards in penalties is really tough to overcome. I don’t care how good of football you are playing, if you give up that many yards in penalties, it is hard to climb out of that. I think we just need to clean up small details in that area, and just finish when we have the chance.”
On how difficult it is to be a defensive player in the NFL today with how the game is officiated:
“That’s a great question. I’ve already gotten fined and tried to fight a fine earlier this year against the Niners. They definitely protect guys that score. They really tailor the game to the fans. Sometimes people want to see the offense a lot of times. They protect the quarterback, the receivers and things like that. We have to be extra careful on defense. At the same time, we don’t make the rules. We just have to live by them.”
On where the frustration is with getting stops that evaporate due to extracurriculars and penalties:
“It is frustrating, especially with me being a new guy on this team. Since I got here, it is one of the most talented teams I have been a part of. There are so many opportunities in every match we have been in since I have been here for us to finish the game. There is just something small that is lacking right now that we can tighten up and finish these close games. I feel like we have all the talent in the world. The talent is there. The want to is there. It’s not like guys are slacking throughout the week. Guys are working hard. We have the camaraderie and all those things. I think there are just like very small things that we need to clean up on.”
On what Pete Carroll said to the team after the game:
“There’s no moral victories, obviously. He felt that we fought so hard in this game that he feels we deserve to win this game. He mentioned the penalties and saying that we can’t have that. I believe J. Reed spoke up after Pete and said obviously we lost and we want to win, that is what this game is about. But at the same time, I think we did some things in this game that we can build off of and go forward and not hang our heads down.”
WR, Jaxon Smith-Njigba
On the offense moving the ball and scoring a lot of points:
“The offense moved. I thought we played pretty well. Not enough to get it done, which hurts. We just go back to the film room tomorrow and get ready for next week.”
On what it was like playing against the Cowboys with his family in there to watch:
“It was a dream come true, playing against the Cowboys. Growing up watching them and growing up being a fan. Growing up here, I know how much they love football here and how much pride that goes into Sundays and Thursday night. Just honored and thankful that I get to come out here and play in my rookie year. It was special for me.”
On how many family and friends he had in the stands:
“I didn’t even count them. I didn’t even count them. We had a good showing.”
On having some time off following the game against the 49ers and how it helped the offense move the ball well:
“We were struggling a little bit, had a good day today. But just not really when you look at just trying to finish, it wasn’t able to get that done. Back to the drawing board, back to practice, hopefully we will keep continuing to get better.”
On if this one was hard because they accomplished so much on offense they were trying to do:
“I know the guys in this locker room, we want to win. We put a lot of hard work in. For us to come up short, it hurts. That’s the NFL. Every game is close and we just have to bring it next week.”
On going right at DaRon Bland:
“With the talent we have at receiver, we are not afraid to go against anybody. They have good players over there, we have good players. Kudos to him, he made a good pick. We made our plays too. I wish we had a couple more back, but it was their day today. They won and congrats to them.”
T, Abraham Lucas
On him being back on the field and how he did health wise:
“I feel okay. A little uncomfortable, if I am being honest. But, part of the job. I’m alright.”
On the team’s commitment to the running game:
“The thing about the running game is, if you pass the ball and somebody drops it, you keep chipping at it. That is exactly what that is. I’m not pointing fingers or anything. I am just saying for people who don’t know, it’s like, why are they running when they are only getting two yards? No, you chip away at it and then eventually you start stacking up more and more. That’s kind of how it goes. That’s kind of the point of it all.”
On whether it was a more cohesive offense we saw today:
“I just think, offensively, we came with the right mindset. Granted, you want to win, of course. But, put up 35 points in Dallas against a team that is supposed to be Superbowl contenders, and had them on the ropes for a good while there at the end, just couldn’t pull it off.”
On Micah Parsons and the challenge of trying to block him:
“I think he is kind of a player who you run into really only every once in a while who is just supremely athletic. And his athleticism can take over at any point. I have nothing but respect for him. He’s a hell of a player. It is my assignment, so I am kind of blocking him, you know?”
On the last few drives when Dallas dialed up the pass rush:
“That very last play on offense, it was a zero pressure, so I have to do what is called a sift, so I have to come down so as not to leave the middle free – a lot of people don’t really know that. So it looks like, it would look like we just let him run of the edge. No, that is the rule of protection. There was a method to the madness, so to speak.”
T, Charles Cross
On what he takes away from a game like this:
“Just continue to finish. It was right there. Just have to continue to finish. This team can execute. That’s what I see.”
On Micah Parsons and what the offense did against him:
“I just feel like we ran our normal offense. At times we did max protection. Everything was within the system.”
On DaRon Bland and how the receivers were able to win many of the battles against him:
“There are so many guys we can get a ball to – to our receiver, our running backs, our tight ends. Just countless ways we can get the ball to our playmakers, and we did a good job
LB, Bobby Wagner
If it’s possible to look at the improvement over the past couple of weeks as a team:
“Maybe later on, not right now, I think it’s a game that we could have won but we didn’t make enough plays to come out victorious.”
On if defenders are ‘handcuffed’ with the favoring to receivers in the pass game:
“Man... I don’t really know how to answer that question without getting fined. So, refs have a job to do, and they call what they see. And you know, we do our best. Do I feel like the league makes it hard on defenders, I do. On both sides, not just us. I’m pretty sure Dallas defenders feel the exact same way. But, you know, we’re professionals and it’s up to us to adjust to what they’re calling.”
On what the talking points and coaching points are around flags:
“You just have to hold your composure, you can’t let whatever’s happening bleed into the next play. And I think that’s the biggest thing. Just, hold your composure, some calls you’re gonna agree with some calls you’re not gonna agree with but you know, they they’re gonna make the calls and we have to live with it.”
On getting a step closer to finding identity:
“I believe so. But I mean, it’s hard to say that after a loss.”
On where the most conviction was:
“I Think we just kept fighting I think, you know, regardless of what was going on, you know, it was a couple of times, you know, we were able to get off of the field. And we gave ourselves a chance. You know, defensively, you know, they were in the red zone and we held them to field goals. So those are the kind of things that you can kind of pinpoint if you can put it all together.”
DE, Leonard Williams
On the Cowboys putting up a lot of points:
“I think a big part of it was penalties. I think we gave up over 200 yards of penalties, which is gonna hold us back. We need to clean that up. Overall, I feel like we played good ball and we just need to build off of this.”
On getting the full week off after 49ers game:
“I mean, it felt like a normal week. You know, we had a full week to get prepared like every other Sunday-to-Sunday. It was Thursday-to-Thursday, so it was the same amount of time.”
On what team needs to do to get over the hump:
“I mean, I think like I said, like, I think we played close to championship football today. I think we could clean up a few areas like penalties and things like that and just build off of this. I feel like we’re going in the right direction.”
NT, Jarran Reed
On the defensive pressure and ability sack Dak:
“We got to win the game.”
On what he liked about how the defense played:
“We kept playing. We showed some heart.”
On what area had the most heart:
“The whole game, period.”
On challenging the younger guys:
“Just build on this each and every week and continue going to practice.”
On what to say to teammates:
“Keep going. Don’t hold your heads down. I think we played hell of the game tonight. You know, minus the penalties. But I think everybody played hard for four quarters.”
On the penalties disrupting the rhythm:
“I have no comment. We get fined if we say what we really want to say.”
On points given up in the fourth quarter:
“We’ve just got to get off the field. Play clean football.”
On days off for reset:
“Well needed. We got a gauntlet going on.”