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Seahawks’ Carroll: ‘This is the start’ of something special in Seattle

Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said Sunday's loss feels like when they lost in the 2012 playoffs. (Getty)

The Seahawks’ year came to an end with a 28-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but even though the 2019 season is finished, head coach Pete Carroll said it’s a beginning in a sense.

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“This is the start, I think, of this team,” he said at his postgame press conference. “It feels like 2012 all over again.”

The 2012 season was quarterback Russell Wilson’s rookie season, a year that the Seahawks exceeded expectations and made the playoffs as a wild card team, won their first game on the road against the NFC East champions and then lost a close road game in the divisional round.

That season, the Seahawks beat the Washington Redskins before dropping a 30-28 battle to the Atlanta Falcons. In that game, Seattle fell behind early, came roaring back but ultimately fell short, just like they did Sunday against the Packers.

“This is so similar,” Carroll said. “There was not a guy on that sideline that we were connected to that thought we weren’t going to win that football game, all the way until we didn’t.”

Like that season, the Seahawks were coming off two impressive draft classes. Their 2011 class brought in players like linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Richard Sherman. Seattle followed that up in 2012 by drafting Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.

The Seahawks have drafted players the last two years like receiver DK Metcalf, linebacker Cody Barton and tight end Will Dissly that have shown they can contribute immediately. Plus, their quarterback is in his prime.

Wilson had a great game in Green Bay, primarily in the second half. He finished with 277 yards and a touchdown to go with 64 rushing yards.

“He did everything he could have done,” Carroll said of his quarterback. “His courage and his toughness showed up and his resolve to find ways was all over the field, running and passing.”

Wilson rallied his team from a 21-3 halftime deficit and had a chance to take the lead, but he was sacked on third down two plays after Malik Turner dropped a would-be first down. That set up fourth-and-11 and Seattle punted the ball with 2:41 to go and three timeouts. The Seahawks never got the ball back.

“We were thinking of going for it in that sequence but not on fourth-and-11,” Carroll said. “We had all the opportunities to stop them and get the ball back.”

Carroll said Wilson’s “never say die” mentality was again on full display, even though it was a steep uphill battle.

“The only way he can think is he’s going to get it done and he’s just going to make it happen,” Carroll said. “He’s proven it so many times and he did it again.”

Wilson was a bright spot, as was the presence of left tackle Duane Brown, who had surgery on his knee less than three weeks ago and not only suited up but played the whole game. Carroll called him inspiring for playing that soon after his procedure.

“He did an unbelievable thing to play in this game,” Carroll said of Brown. “I don’t know how he did it.”

Brown had been out since Week 15 and Carroll said it was miraculous he played the whole game.

“He didn’t take a step in practice … he just willed it to happen on this day for this team,” Carroll said. “He told us last night in the meetings, ‘I’m playing. You can count on me. I’m going to give you everything I’ve got.’ And he was an inspiration for the whole thing.”

Carroll said just Brown playing was uplifting, regardless of how well or poorly he performed.

“I don’t know how well he played (and) I don’t care,” Carroll said. “Just the fact that he was out there was extraordinary.”

The Seahawks have been hit hard by injuries this year, losing many key players for the whole season or for extended periods of time. Many players were playing injured at the end of the year, yet Seattle still made a run and were extremely close to playing for the NFC championship.

“Think of all we’ve overcome, and think of how tough we were playing again,” Carroll said. “There’s so many reasons why it was tough to do what we were doing and the guys just kept coming through.”

The Seahawks will now focus on re-signing players, free agency and the NFL Draft as their offseason has officially started.

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