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Pete Carroll: Criticism of OC Schottenheimer ‘bunch of garbage’ after Seahawks’ 10-win season

Pete Carroll defended his offensive coordinator after the Seahawks' loss to the Cowboys. (AP)

The Seahawks exceeded outside expectations by getting 10 wins and a ticket to the playoffs in what was essentially a rebuilding year, but their ascension ended with heartbreak Saturday. Seattle was knocked out of the playoffs with a 24-22 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round.

Salk: Blame Seahawks’ playoff loss on execution, not play calling

On Monday morning, head coach Pete Carroll joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle to recap the game and the season.

Here are a few highlights. You can listen to the full interview in the audio clip embedded above or download at this link.

A lot of the critique postgame was that you were ineffective at running the ball and should have thrown more. That you should get out of this run-first mentality, get out of this run-run-pass, run-run-pass approach: “I don’t disagree with that, I wish we would’ve done something different too. If you guys don’t look at it like we look at it, maybe you do, go back at the series. The second series we have a nice little play-action screen pass (and) we lose 10 yards on the play… so that sequence is knocked back. And then the next time we try it again and we don’t get it and we don’t make our third down win. That’s almost the half. We got the ball like one more time after than and we’re in a two-minute situation. So that’s all we got. That means that they were holding the ball enough, they moved the ball enough, to keep it away from us. Our third-down conversion wasn’t there, we’re one for six or seven in the first half. That ain’t enough. So we didn’t get our chances to get to our game plan and that’s just how it went. Interestingly, in the second half we get the field position change, we get the great punt, we get the ball backed up, we get the ball right at midfield, and we ran the ball eight of nine plays right there. I don’t know if anybody realized that, but we controlled the ball going down there… and it worked out fine to get us a nice score and we’re ahead 14-10. OK, well now we need to hold them and stop them, and we didn’t get that done. And so it was a good tight game, it was that kind of game. I thought Russ threw the ball fine for the game except for we didn’t convert the third downs and we’ve got to make those wins. That’s the way this one goes, it’s unfortunate.”

Brian Schottenheimer is coming under a lot of fire today because of that: “I think that’s what you guys do, on the talk show stuff or whatever. That’s a bunch of garbage. What a terrific football season we had. This was the second-highest scoring team in the history of the franchise I think – c’mon, and we outran everybody and we did not turn the ball over. We almost set an all-time NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season. That’s discipline and tactics and approach and all that. I get it, everybody feels bad about it. Brian’s a helluva coach and he does a great job and he did a great job with our guys throughout the season and will continue to.”

How do you feel about your coaching staff coming out of this season? “Oh I thought the guys did a great job. And I thought they did a great job because of the connection with our players. The mentality of this team is in such a great place. The way they respond, the way that they practice every day and bring their attitude every day, the connection there is so valuable. It’s more important than a whole lot of other stuff. We’re good tactically anyway, we know what we’re doing, we know how we’re trying to get this done. We’ve got a real good mode. You can see when we got knocked out of running the ball the way we wanted to we weren’t the way we wanted to be. We have a way and a style and we have to adjust a little bit quicker, I agree with that. I wish we would have made some more plays in the throwing game that would have offset and just changed the field position.”

Carroll Post-Show: What happened up front in Hawks’ loss to Cowboys?

Brock and Salk podcast