K.J. Wright Show: Was Seahawks’ win personal between Carroll, Wilson?
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked Tuesday morning on Seattle Sports 710 AM about his team’s Monday night win over Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos, and his comments stood out as different from what people have been accustomed to hearing from him.
Carroll is known for treating every game like a “championship opportunity,” so many were surprised by his candid responses to questions from Mike Salk and Brock Huard that included him calling Seattle’s 17-16 win over its former franchise quarterback “meaningful.” In fact, some of the conversation was even dissected Wednesday morning on The Pat McAfee Show, a popular national sports talk program, with McAfee remarking about Carroll’s openness in the discussion (link here, but discretion advised for language).
Also on Wednesday, Brock and Salk caught up with someone who knows both Wilson and Carroll well: former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, who is joining Seattle Sports from 8-9 a.m. every Wednesday during the football season for The K.J. Wright Show. He shared his thoughts on Carroll’s comments and that “meaningful” Seahawks win, and he certainly has valuable insight on the situation after sharing a locker room with Wilson for nine seasons and playing under Carroll for 10.
So was Monday night’s game against Wilson personal for Carroll?
“It was all personal,” Wright said. “And not personal from a standpoint of ‘I don’t like you, you’re not my boy.’ It was personal in, who made this thing work?”
Wright continued, speaking mainly from what he believes to be Carroll’s point of view.
“You played a great hand in it, Russell, absolutely. Coach Carroll, you played a fantastic job in it, as well. But hey, we’re going against each other. Let’s see who’s the baddest man on this football field. Let’s see what kind of gameplan I could put together. And Russ, let’s see if you could put up more than one touchdown against my defense. You dang right it’s personal, and so it’s a lot of juices flowing, a lot of egos.”
Ego is something Wright heard coming out of Carroll in a soundbite Brock and Salk played him from their conversation with the coach when he was asked about the win being validating.
“I didn’t need the validation,” Carroll said Tuesday. “I just wanted it. I just wanted to win. I wanted to win for all of the reasons that come along with this one. Maybe as much as anything is representing the guys that have played (for the Seahawks) before. It meant a lot to those guys. And I was so thrilled to be able to hug those guys up and see them and look them in the eye.”
The most telling comment from Carroll, though, came from when he asked why the win seemed to mean so much to some of Wilson’s former Seahawks teammates who were at the game, a group that included Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin, Cliff Avril, Marshawn Lynch and Wright himself.
“You figure it out,” Carroll responded, later adding, “It was meaningful and they really wanted it and I knew we were playing for more than just the regular stuff.”
Wright’s response to that: “You can tell, Coach Carroll in that soundbite, that was a lot of ego talking. I’ve never heard him talk like that. He’s usually just straightforward, (but) talking about validation…”
Wright, who was at the game to raise the 12 Flag before kickoff, was also asked about some of his former Hawks teammates who seemed to relish Wilson losing to the Hawks. Sherman and Baldwin in particular tweeted reaction GIFs at pretty interesting times (right as the game was ending) on Monday night.
“We wanted (the Seahawks) to win, but it’s not this grand, ‘Oh, we gotta,’ you know, take a shot at Russ. No. This man is our brother,” he said. “Let’s get this understood: Russell Wilson is our brother. I love Russell Wilson. Did I want to win that game? Absolutely. Would I love for him to throw a couple interceptions? Absolutely, so the Seahawks can win. At the end of the day when it’s all said and done, when I see Russ in the street, it’s all love. I’m gonna give you a hug, you know, ‘How’s the family doing?’ Period.”
Responded Brock Huard: “But that’s K.J. Wright. Is that Richard Sherman? Is that Doug Baldwin? Is that Marshawn? Is that the rest of the guys?”
Said Wright: “Other guys have different feelings, different emotions. Different guys connected differently and some guys are more passionate about relationships in the locker room. I can get along with anybody – me and Cliff Avril can get along with just about anybody in that building. Other guys don’t connect quite as well, and so if you do bring Doug Baldwin on here, what would he say? I cannot tell you.”
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) September 14, 2022
Wright had much more to say on the subject, including why some of his former teammates may have taken issue with the way Wilson was treated early in the QB’s career (video here), as well as plenty of thoughts on Monday’s Seahawks win. Listen to the full K.J. Wright Show in the podcast at this link or in the player below.