Before coach Pete Carroll exited the stage at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, he made one last promise.
“We’ll be back again,’’ Carroll said.
In fact, the theme of the day as the Seahawks celebrated their Super Bowl XLVIII title Wednesday was that this was just the beginning.
“They have come together to do something special, and it’s not just one year,’’ Carroll said to a raucous crowd at CenturyLink, where the celebration ended after a parade through the streets of Seattle. “We are just getting warmed up, if you know what I’m talking about.’’
- Shell icebreaker begins journey after protesters removed from Portland bridge
- Surviving Seattle’s sidewalks: Pedestrian rage rises as the population grows
- Seahawks agree to contract extension with quarterback Russell Wilson
- Dustin Ackley trade symbolizes continuing dark days of Mariners
- Haggen cuts worker hours in Seattle area
Most Read Stories
Added quarterback Russell Wilson: “To win multiple Super Bowls, you’ve got to win the first one first. … our plan is to hopefully win another one for you next year.’’
That’s something only eight teams have done, all of which are recognized as among the greatest in the history of football.
As he spoke to the media after the parade in what served as a season-ending news conference, Carroll said the Seahawks can play next season at an even higher level than they did in 2013.
“We could be way better in so many ways,’’ he said.
And, Carroll said, the Seahawks don’t have to make any personnel moves to achieve that goal.
Unlike a year ago, when Carroll specifically cited the pass rush as an area that needed to be addressed in the offseason, the coach said the Seahawks have all the pieces in place necessary to make another Super Bowl run.
“I don’t see anything that we need to add,’’ he said. “We just need to get better. These players know that they got better all the way to the last game of the season. So that’s always out there for us.’’
The Seahawks, of course, will inevitably look a little different in 2014. Players such as receiver Golden Tate and defensive end Michael Bennett are free agents, and while each said after the parade they want to stay, each is also sure to get attractive offers.
Seattle, which is estimated to have roughly $5 million in salary cap space, will also inevitably add players in free agency, not to mention what it will acquire in the draft.
Asked how the team can improve, Carroll gave a rather lengthy answer, touching on just about every area of the team.
“You could see the improvement that we made at the end (of this season),’’ he said. “Our tackling was extraordinary in the championship game. That’s the fundamentals of this game that allows us to always be reaching to get better across the board.
“I think you’ll see us utilize our personnel better in time when we know our guys. It was halfway through the year before we put our pass rush together and had a sense and a plan for it.
“You’ll see (quarterback) Russell (Wilson) continue to grow. He’ll be more efficient. He’ll be better than ever because he will put in all of the work and the time and he will just grow.’’
Carroll also mentioned receiver Percy Harvin, who played just three of 19 regular-season or playoff games, and said “we have just scratched the surface there.’’
Then he mentioned the “young guys’’ on the defense who should improve, such as linebacker Bobby Wagner, who just completed his second season, and K.J. Wright, who just finished his third.
Carroll also cited the return game, which he said could still improve, noting that “I think Golden, after a full year of doing it, will be a tremendous asset for us.’’
He concluded with the team’s penalties — the Seahawks had the most in the NFL this year with 128.
“So there are tons of ways,’’ he said.
Wednesday, though, was mostly about celebrating the season. The team met for the last time in an official capacity on Tuesday. The Seahawks won’t meet in a formal setting again until April 21, when NFL teams can begin offseason programs.
Carroll sent his players off as Super Bowl champions, and as he did so he said he also sent a strong message to them about how to handle that designation.
“I think that we walk out of here totally arm-in-arm with the thought that we will have a great offseason,’’ Carroll said. “And that means that the guys have to be really committed to having a great offseason, because they will have a lot of distractions and people pulling at them in different directions.
“So we addressed that quite frankly that each guy has to set their plan in motion and not let the distractions get away from the hard work that it takes to put this thing back together again.’’
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta