Pete Carroll previews Seahawks-Bengals, gives peek behind curtain for Clowney trade

Sep 6, 2019, 10:04 AM | Updated: 10:48 am
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll...
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talked Jadeveon Clowney and DK Metcalf Friday morning. (AP)

The Seahawks were holding their breath while attempting a trade for Jadeveon Clowney right up to – literally – the final few seconds.

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In an interview with KIRO Radio 97.3 FM’s Dori Monson, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll described the mood in the room as the Seahawks waited to hear whether or not the trade had been finalized before Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline.

“(General manager) John (Schneider) just doggedly stayed after it, and (Clowney) was all but traded somewhere else and he was going somewhere else and it just didn’t work out,” Carroll said in a possible reference to Clowney’s visit with the Miami Dolphins. “So we just stayed on it. And it’s really about competing and John did a great job competing. But that was just the start of it. Then when we got to negotiating and all that, (Seahawks Vice President of Football Administration) Matt Thomas fit in and helped John and supported him through the process and we took it really all the way down to 15 seconds before 1 o’clock, which was when we finally got the word that it’s in.

“We were all sitting in Matt Thomas’ office waiting by the phone to get the call from the league that the deal had gone through… and (when it did) we were all high-fivin’ and just thrilled that it came through, and it seemed almost too good to be true when it did. We were all pumped up about it. What we found out as we were kind of closing the process was how excited Jadeveon was to be part of this program. He was looking for a winner, he was looking for a chance to be with a team that really had an opportunity to do some special stuff. He’s thrilled about playing here, he’s been here before and loved the experience and all that, he loved the quarterback, his mentor is (Seahawks left tackle) Duane Brown. Just so many ties just made it come together. But his attitude and his excitement for it was really, really thrilling and I think that’s what our fans are really going to enjoy as they get to meet him and know him.”

Both Clowney and defensive end Ziggy Ansah – if healthy – are expected to make their Seahawks debuts in the regular season opener Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It’s been a long time in the works here this offseason, working to get Ziggy (Ansah) back and make sure he makes it through the week and he’s ready to play, and get Jadeveon (Clowney) ready to go too in a couple days time,” Carroll said. “In due time, these guys will get rounded into good shape, they’ll be able to play full time, they’ll be able to do everything, and it’ll really be exiting to have them out there. But there’s a lot of other guys out there too and those guys are just really nice highlights coming out of camp.”

Those players Carroll referenced who were also highlights of training camp could include second-year defensive tackle Poona Ford, who will start Sunday, and second-year defensive end Rasheem Green, who will play in place of Ansah should the veteran be on a snap count.

Here are a few more excerpts from Carroll’s interview with Monson. You can listen to the interview above, or tune in to KIRO Radio 97.3 FM for the full interview at 12:30 p.m. Friday:

Take us through the timeline of Seattle’s attempt to acquire Clowney and Ansah: “Not being able to get into an agreement with Frank (Clark) really set things into motion where, when we finally make the trade (with Kansas City) and get going in the draft, John pulls a rabbit out of his hat and winds up with 11 draft picks out of (an original) four. That really set things in motion. And all of these guys have made our team, so that’s a fantastic draft in our minds just at first look. That took place, then Ziggy became available to us. We knew about him during that trade talk time and that was maybe an alternative. It was just kind of a pipe dream at the time, but we followed through on it and could picture that he could take Frank’s place and we could at least maintain somewhat of an equitable exchange. But he was hurt, so there was some unknown with that. And that the first step of the process. Not until camp time really started to roll around could we tell that (Jadeveon) might have a chance to be available. John and his guys are always on every single passing of any opportunity. And so we’ll look into everything. He’s always said we’ll try to be involved in every single transaction and take it to the end and see if it’ll fit. Well, this one was one of them.”

What’s gonna take for you to exceed national expectations? Vegas has the Seahawks at 9-7 this season: “I don’t even care to answer that because I don’t give a hoot what that is. That doesn’t mean anything. I know it’s a good question to ask. But what we have to do is really own the football and do that again like we did last year. We were the top team in the NFL in turnover ratio. That is kind of the bedrock of success and it gives you a chance to have a winning club. If we do that then we’ll be in every game, we’ll have a chance. With a plus-1 turnover ratio, we’re 21-3 in the last three years. I know that that isn’t an exciting stat for anybody, they don’t care about it so much, but that’s the bedrock of this game. And if we start there and can do that really well… then we’re in every game, we’ve got a chance to win, everyone’s gonna be close, and you have the guys that can make the plays at the end. We have a heck of a kicker. I’m so fired up about (Jason) Myers; he’s kicked the ball so well. He’s so strong and powerful, young leg, and he’s already made 50-something yarders and I’m not worried about kicking a long game-winner with him. You know that (Russell Wilson) can come through and help us on offense at the end of a game. So we’ve got to build around the things that make us strong and separate us from the rest of the teams, and then maybe we’ll be on top of this thing somehow. So a lot of good things have to happen, but there’s some real foundational things that have to take place.”

Is DK Metcalf is going to start? (Confirms yes) “He has just bounced back, it’s amazing, he looks full speed and practiced and did everything normal tempo.”

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