Pete Carroll: Seahawks ‘got too emotional’ at end of loss to Jaguars
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has said multiple times over the years that his team doesn’t practice how to lose, but he didn’t use that as an excuse for the ugly ending to Seattle’s 30-24 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday that saw two players ejected, Quinton Jefferson try to climb into the stands after being hit by projectiles from the crowd, and Michael Bennett accused of intentionally trying to injure a Jacksonville player.
“It was really frustrating and I’m so disappointed in how it ended,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk on Monday morning. “We get so high and we get so jacked, the belief is so strong that we’re gonna come back and win the football game, and everybody to the man thought it was gonna happen. And there was a big play in there that when we got stopped on fourth down that really kind of ignited us and we didn’t handle it very well.”
Carroll was referring to an incomplete pass by the Seahawks on fourth-and-9 with just over two minutes remaining, which gave the Jaguars the opportunity to kneel out the game as long as they got one first down on their final series. They did, a 13-yard run by Leonard Fournette on third-and-11, and that when things really started to break down.
On the next play, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles took a knee, but Bennett was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play as a skirmish was set off. Sheldon Richardson threw a punch, earning him a disqualification. It took a few minutes but things were sorted out for a second kneel down by Jacksonville, and tempers flared again as Jefferson was disqualified for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. As he was leaving the field, he was hit by a drink thrown from the crowd and allegedly called a racial slur, and he attempted to climb into the stands as a result.
“It’s not like you don’t know that that’s the wrong way to go,” Carroll said about his team’s conduct at the end of the game. “It got the better of us and we got too emotional and we run so hot sometimes we have to curb it, and we didn’t curb it in time.”
Carroll himself was flagged for coming on the field at one point to try to settle down his team.
“I went on the field to stop it because we were going to lose somebody else. Somebody else was gonna go, you know. I knew the game was done then and so I knew I was probably going to get a penalty, whatever, but we had to stop what was going on and so I just had to take the hit on it.”
This instance wasn’t the first time a Seahawks loss under Carroll ended with extracurricular activity, the most notable other time likely being Super Bowl XLIX after the Patriots intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line.
“I don’t talk about the end of the game, how to lose,” Carroll said. “How you’re supposed to go down and all of that. … It’s come up a couple times. … We have talked it over the years, but it isn’t something that’s part of the regular routine to talk about.”