‘This is a championship matchup’: Seahawks HC Pete Carroll on Week 1 opener vs Colts
For the 12th time, Pete Carroll is preparing for a Week 1 opener as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
Carroll’s crew is coming off a 12-4 season and an NFC West championship, but the Seahawks fell to the Los Angeles Rams in the opening round of the playoffs.
Now, Carroll and the Seahawks will kick off their 2021 season against the Indianapolis Colts, who were a playoff team in the AFC last year.
“They’re a really well-balanced football team,” Carroll said of the Colts. “They won 11 games last year because they had their act together. They really took care of the football. They were a plus-10 turnover team for the year, which is a remarkable number to get to.”
In addition to taking care of the football and excelling at getting takeaways on defense, the Colts provide a tough matchup for the Seahawks on both sides of the football.
“They play really good defense — they were the No. 2 rush defense in the NFL. They just don’t give you very much,” Carroll said. “And they have a terrific running game and have a two-headed monster (with Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines) in their running game. This is a very well-balanced football team.”
The Colts will have a slightly different look on offense this season due to a shakeup at quarterback.
Phillip Rivers retired after one season with the Colts and now Carson Wentz is the guy in Indianapolis. He reunites with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was at one point Wentz’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.
“They played with Phillip Rivers last year, who is a Hall of Famer, and he had an excellent season last year before he retired,” Carroll said. “But Carson Wentz and Frank Reich, they’ve been together before and did great things. So if you expect them to do what they’ve done in the past and add (it) to what they have, this is going to be a championship matchup. It’s a good one to start, we need it to be hard and tough and challenge us. We’ll find out where we are and find out where they are and we’ll kick this season underway.”
The Seahawks are known for being a great team at home because of the raucous 12th Man in the stands, but they’ve played very well on the road over the last few years. Carroll said the team has “a good approach” for traveling, especially across time zones.
“The league always finds a way to give us about four or five of them,” Carroll said. “We’ve gotten pretty good at it, so hopefully we can kick this season off with a really good start and really good focus at an indoor, crazy stadium … We’ll go see if we can execute and put a great game together.”
As far as Carroll’s message to the Seahawks this week, it’s pretty simple.
“This is a championship matchup for us. This is a team that has their act together and it calls for us to have ours together as well,” he said.
“And as we work our way through the season, we’re practicing for the championship moments and they’re coming … So every chance we get to see how we can apply ourselves and bring everything we can possibly muster like this is the only game we’ll ever play. And then we’ll crank it up again next week again. It’s a championship opportunity for us. We’re going to have to play great football, so that’s what we expect of ourselves and we’d better or it’s going to be a tough day. We’re going for it and we’re really looking forward to this matchup.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.