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Carroll: Wilson did just what Seahawks wanted

By Brady Henderson

Russell Wilson didn’t throw for more than 215 yards in any of the Seahawks’ three playoff games.

He also didn’t throw an interception, which coach Pete Carroll felt he needed to note Wednesday. When asked about Wilson playing through soreness in his non-throwing shoulder this season, Carroll finished his response by saying that Wilson’s play – while not statistically prolific – was just what Seattle wants out of its quarterback.

“His play was perfectly fitted to our football team,” coach Pete Carroll said of quarterback Russell Wilson. (AP)

“Let me say something, too, while I have the chance. You won’t hear from me for a while,” Carroll said as he held his season-ending press conference. “There was a lot of concern that you had about our offense and about Russell’s performance and all that, and I would continue to tell you that he was playing well within what we were expecting, that we needed in games.

“I thought that there was always more production, there’s always more yardage out there for us and all that, but I thought he demonstrated the finish in the playoffs. I thought it was just an exquisite effort by the quarterback.”

There was a good deal of hand-wringing over Wilson’s play during a three-game stretch in December in which he averaged 171 passing yards and didn’t finish with a passer rating above 90. He threw three touchdowns and three interceptions during that span, while Seattle went 1-2 and averaged fewer than 17 points.

And while Wilson’s 103 yards passing in the divisional-round win over New Orleans were the fewest of his career, that game was the perfect illustration of why the Seahawks don’t ask their quarterback to be the focal point of their offense like so many other teams do. Seattle’s defense held the Saints to 15 points while Marshawn Lynch produced 140 rushing yards and two scores. All Seattle really needed Wilson to do was avoid turning the ball over, which he did.

So while 15 quarterbacks finished with more passing yards than Wilson during the regular season, the more important statistic to the Seahawks would be that 21 of them threw more interceptions.

That’s why when Wilson threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns while committing no turnovers and completing passes to eight different teammates in the Super Bowl, Carroll considered it a signature performance.

“His play was perfectly fitted to our football team and the plans that we needed to win the games, and it couldn’t have been more obvious than it was in the Super Bowl,” he said. “That was a near perfect game for him. So hanging onto the football allows us to win and he was perfect at dealing with that and distributing the ball as well as he did.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.