The Seahawks lost by more than 10 points for the first time since 2011. How did coach Pete Carroll handle the loss this week?
RENTON — Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright was disappointed after Sunday’s 28-point loss to the Packers so he sat at his locker for 15 minutes. Didn’t change, barely moved, just stared at nothing in particular.
Wright was not the only player to feel that way. It had been five years since the Seahawks had lost a game by more than 10 points, which meant it had been that long since the Seahawks looked so out of whack.
Wright was down about the way he played, and then he showed up to the Seahawks’ facility on Monday and experienced coach Pete Carroll.
“Mr. Positive,” Wright said. “I don’t know how he does it, but he’s Mr. Positive, man. It’s crazy. We didn’t really address that nonsense last week. But he stayed positive, moved on, moved past it and on to the next.
“I need to find out who he learned it from because not too many guys can do that and be consistent with it as well.”
Consistency is a hallmark of the Carroll regime. Not only in how his team usually plays but also in how he carries himself.
This week presented a different challenge because of the lopsided loss. It was even more surprising because the Seahawks have traditionally taken off in the second half of seasons, and this loss raised concerns about that surge.
So Carroll handled the blowout loss the same way he handled the Seahawks’ blowout win against the Panthers.
“You would think that because we played so bad, that because the score was so bad, that he would want us to be more serious or get on us to be more focused,” receiver Doug Baldwin said. “But he wanted us to be loose. He wants us to have fun, be excited, and that’s refreshing because I think all of us were already tense and already like, ‘Damn, we have to get our (stuff) together.’ But for him, that’s like the next level. He knows we’re going to be that way so he tries to counteract that so we don’t get too tense.
“But that’s the thing: You come in as a team, as an individual, and you feel like, ‘Damn, we played so bad.’ You expect to get cussed out, you expect to get yelled at. You already feel like (crap). And then you come in and your coach is like, ‘Alright, we’re going to put this behind us, and we’re going to move forward. Thursday night, it’s a championship opportunity, all the same stuff.’ It’s like, ‘OK, let’s do this.’”
Every Seahawks player gets asked the same question, and it’s a question you’ve probably wondered yourself: Is Carroll the same as he looks on TV?
Defensive end Cliff Avril admitted his skepticism lasted for more than a year until Carroll’s sameness won the war of attrition. Avril played for the Lions and saw how coaches transferred tension onto players.
When asked last year what surprised him most about Carroll, Avril said, “How consistent he is in his attitude.”
“After a win or a loss, you’re going to get the same guy on Monday,” Avril said. “Most coaches aren’t like that. If you lose, the next week sometimes coaches decide they want to coach even harder. Same coach. And THAT’S impressive. Now, I don’t know what they’re saying in the meeting rooms, but to come down every week and be the same person every week is pretty impressive.”
Seahawks players point to Carroll’s consistency as one of the reasons they traditionally bounce back so well after losses. That theory will be put to the test in an unfamiliar way this week.