BY Art Thiel 12:28PM 02/05/2015

Carroll says failed play ‘won’t define’ Seahawks

Telling NBC’s Matt Lauer that he woke up and wept the morning after, Seahawks’ Carroll says the crushing defeat won’t define him or the Seahawks.

Pete Carroll, in happier times. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Pete Carroll remembers the moment as he remembers most everything well — 4:05 a.m., in bed with his wife, when he broke down thinking about the the play that cost the Seahawks the Super Bowl.

“Just, lying in bed with (my wife) Glena,’’ he said. “Like, in the middle of the night, you know? 4:05 in the a.m. That’s what happened. That was my opportunity to go ahead and visit it.”

Carroll’s thoughts about the wrenching moment and its aftermath were disclosed in an exclusive interview with NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer broadcast Thursday morning.

Carroll says he is not bothered by the criticism that emerged since he called a pass play that didn’t work, skipping the chance to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch from the one-yard line.

“I know people are trying the best they can to rationalize it,” he said, but he felt he had a responsibility to explain the call. “It’s been a whirlwind. I feel responsible to a lot of people right now. I had to get my mind right so that I could take on with what I was going to do and that was to face everyone.”

To the near-universal condemnation as the worst call ever, Carroll differed, saying Russell Wilson’s interception by New England CB Malcolm Butler was “the worst result of a call ever.” He said if Wilson would have thrown a touchdown pass “nobody would have thought twice about it.”


  • Gerald Turner

    Hawks seem to have a monopoly on all football conversation, suck the air out of the room. Not the way it used to be, that’s for shure.

    • poulsbogary

      Thiel has been churning out column after column for quite awhile now. Quite prolific.

  • Sam Finley

    I agree, Gerald, no matter how good they used to be when they made the playoffs, the conversation would stop on these guys as soon as they were eliminated (including when they made the AFC fricking Championship in 1983). Now, on the other hand, people are still talking about them. Not just about the ill-advised play, but how this is a loaded team that can be back for a few more title runs. That’s progress. In the overall picture, two Super Bowls and one title in two seasons is a major step up for this franchise. We would’ve killed for this in the 80′s, that’s for sure. (And would’ve REALLY killed for this in the 1990′s. Not literally killing, obviously, just figuratively, but I figure more people get that already).

  • poulsbogary

    Every future goal to goal situation at the 1 yard line under this coach will be referenced within the context of that play in the superbowl. Opening game next season, fans will be waiting and watching to see what he calls when that situation comes up.

    • just passing thru

      probably a pass. bwahahahaha

  • ll9956

    I am very glad to learn that Carroll’s recovery is “well underway”. I believe that Carroll’s toughness will unify the team and help get everyone on the same page. He will get up, dust himself off mentally and not let this setback defeat him in the long term. I’m sure that the players will supply their own motivation, not necessarily for “payback”, since the Patriots really didn’t do anything unethical, but to achieve a victory and not let another opportunity slip away in such an excruciating manner. They definitely have some unfinished business to take care of.

    Next season hopefully Mebane, Miller, Hill and Lane will be back and healthy along with Thomas, Sherman and Chancellor.


  • jafabian

    It shouldn’t define them but it may…unless they win it all again. And again. Be cool if they could have an undefeated season. Amazingly, I believe they could do it.

    • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

      We saw our team make it to the SB for the first time in 2005. That took almost 30 years. Then came the clash of the titans with Holmgren and a General Manager that couldn’t co exist. In comes Carroll to fix the mess which was considerable making it 8 years to the next SB for this franchise.
      This next 3 years will show whether the play will define Seattle or not. As Art wrote previously only a return trip to win it all will guarantee that the nightmare be put on the dream shelf.
      Its a daunting task. I wouldn’t bet against this bunch but history says it happens so seldom that it would be something of amazing levels if accomplished. Go Hawks.

  • 3 Lions

    Pete’s a class act. We are lucky to have him, We will get back there sooner or later.

  • RadioGuy

    Okay, I think we can all agree that the way the Super Bowl went sucked for the Seahawks and their fans and nothing’s going to change what happened. On the other hand, next season began the moment after the game ended.

    After watching BOTH my teams snatch defeat from the jaws of victory to end their seasons, I’m more than ready to start looking ahead because looking back hasn’t helped.

  • notaboomer

    pete needs to grab a mai tai on a beach somewhere and shut up for awhile. his inanities are tolerable when the team is winning but now they are just annoying and unenlightening. like this guys says:

  • Joei

    One point I haven’t heard discussed is where Lockette was when the Wilson’s pass arrived. Watch the replay. He was on the 1-yard line, not in the end zone. So, if somehow, he had managed to grab the ball and hold on, he probably would have been down at the 1. And the clock would still be running.

    So even if he catches the damn thing, it probably would have taken the team longer to line up again that if they were trying to line up from a failed running play.

  • esdoc

    You can score on an honest, no-frills run on 2nd down and score 6 to win, or you can go for the high complexity, plenty-of-things-can-go-wrong cross/slant play on 2nd down and score 6 to win.

    Neither choice is a guarantee, of course. But which would be wiser if both can score the same amount of points?

    Carroll inexplicably went for Door No.2, and the worst possible outcome did happen. An outcome (TO / interception), by the way, that would never have happened with the safer call.

    Sure, if it had worked no one would be talking about the dangers of the pass play. But it did not work, and failed for the precise reason the play choice is ill-advised (pass = interception risk) so the call’s lack wisdom is rightfully questioned.