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Opposing View: Panthers at Seahawks

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll

On the Seahawks' vantage point of Carolina's record:"We see them still as a terrific team. We see the same players that make the plays and do all the stuff and that. They've had five games where it couldn't get any closer and could have flip-flopped the other way. Sometimes you fail to see that in their season last year, they had close games that they won. We've always noticed that and recognized how fortunate you are when you have a really good year to have won the six or seven games that you could have easily lost. And sometimes they just flip. This is still a good team. They're a very dangerous team and they struggle through it but they are the same guys in that locker room, ready to take on the next challenge. We are well aware of that."

On Seattle's ability to make the playoffs in previous years regardless of injuries compared to the Panthers season this year:"I don't even look at it that way. I just think they have been in games, for one reason or another, they just didn't get the win. They played relatively great against the Raiders to come on back and get in charge of that game but the Raiders are having their year. The Raiders found out how to get a win there. I don't see it like that at all. I just see these guys battling. Of course they've got the banged up front but other than that, this is a very good looking team."

On preparing for a Panthers defense possibly without linebacker Luke Kuechly:"A.J. Klein has done a pretty good job stepping in but when you lose Kuechly, that's like us losing Michael Bennett. The guy that is most productive, the most active kind of guy in your scheme. You can't help but miss that. We noticed when Kam Chancellor wasn't playing for us the first few weeks…so you just have to go do your stuff. Nothing changes at all. You're just not playing that same guy."

On the Panthers' offense playing without injured center Ryan Kalil: "He is one of the best players at his position in the NFL, if not the best center. When you lose that caliber of a player, you don't just lose the physical play, you lose the leadership and the smarts and all of that. We've struggled through that ourselves and it's difficult but you've got to move on and that's what they're doing and make the best of your situation. We played without Justin Britt last week. It was a new guy starting for the first time in Joey Hunt and you just have to go about your business and that's what they're doing. You always miss those players but it's always about the guy that steps up that's most important."

On playing the Panthers for the fifth year in a row:"We do feel like we know them. This is like playing a division opponent in that regard, that we see them a lot and we know them. We pay attention to them because we know they're on the schedule and all of that. They're a tremendous opponent and they have been for a long time. Whether it's there or here, it's a very difficult challenge and we have great respect for them. We really don't tab teams as rivalry teams and stuff like that so I can't respond to that. They're a very talented football team. You can't get a better, dynamic player at the quarterback position than what Cam (Newton) can do and all of the style that comes with that, the style of offense and all is very challenging for us. We treat this with great respect."

On watching last year's game film to prepare for this year's game:"We go back way further than that. We use everything that's available. They're all mixed into all of our cut-ups. It's important that we've learned from the games we've played."

On the running back position and tight end Jimmy Graham:"We're kind of a work in process. We haven't been as solid or consistent as we want to. We haven't had the balance in the running game and the passing game that we've had in the past consistently. So we're continuing to work at it. It's been a factor, obviously, that Russell (Wilson) couldn't run early in the year. He had next to no yards at all after seven or eight games going into this season. So that's way different than we've been and it's affected our overall balance that we've been used to. Fortunately he's back, he ran for a bunch of yards last week and he's back to full speed and that helps us just in a general way. Young line that's developing. We've made really good progress and then we took a step backwards last week. We did not play well last week at all in Tampa and we're hoping to bounce back. We're excited that Thomas Rawls is getting in shape. For Thomas, this is like his third preseason game, he just has not had a chance to play this year. We'll continue to work him in and expect him to really be a factor. We're really excited about him. Also about Jimmy Graham, it's been an obvious step up with Russell and Jimmy. The first year, they're just working together, doing the best they could and you could just see a chemistry develop between them. Jimmy's having a terrific season and Russell has a great feel for him and we're very lucky to have that as it is now."

On scouting Carolina guard Trai Turner and his play at tackle last week:"Very resourceful. Of course we watched him and evaluated him. I thought the guys played pretty good. When (Tyler) Larsen came in, he did a nice job to hold it together. That's just what you expect and that's just a nice job by their coaches and by Ron (Rivera) in keeping it together. I thought Trai did fine even when he moved out. They're fortunate to have that kind of flexibility. We're all, at this time of the year, all scrambling at one spot or another. I thought these guys patched up pretty good and made a great comeback in that game last week."

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner

On how injuries affected Seattle's defense last week:"I just think it was a lot of new guys out there so we had to communicate a lot better. We had to be on it, but like I said, for a lot of guys, it was their first time playing or things of that nature so it's always tough to kind of get in a rhythm. But I felt like everybody who stepped in and played last week did a hell of a job. It's something we have to prepare for, something we have to learn and it's going to help us better down the road."

On quarterback Cam Newton holding onto the ball too long:"I wouldn't necessarily say holding onto the ball. I think defenses are doing a pretty good job of understanding the route combination and understanding that he has the ability to run too. When you're playing a guy like that, you've got to make sure that you take away all of his passing options. But can't forgot about the fact that he uses his legs. I think he does a good job of getting out of the pocket and trying to make throws. I think defenses are just doing a little bit better job containing him and not letting him run around."

His thoughts on Carolina's 4-7 record:"I have no thoughts. This is a team that can beat you if you don't come out ready to play. They got the star power. They got the people on both sides, special teams, everywhere. If you take them lightly, they definitely can beat you. I think all their losses have been less than five points or something along those lines. Those games could've easily been won. We just want to make sure we end up on the right side of the scoreboard."

On Carolina's close losses:"It just says that maybe the other team pulled it out or something like that. When you see things like that, you see that they're close to winning, so you don't want to look at their record and take them lightly and they come in and beat you because they've done that before. They came here and they won. We know they're hungry. We know they want to win. We know that they're looking at it like they need this win so we have to be ready. We have to make sure we come out right, especially how last week went."

On Seattle's consistent success in recent years:"I think it's the camaraderie. We've been playing, a lot of guys have been playing, together for a long time. When you have the opportunity to play with guys for a long time, we've been challenged in every single way, with injuries, with point deficits, our back against the wall, so many different things. So the more and more we play together, the more and more confidence we get in any particular situation to where no matter what the score is, we don't fold. I think that's definitely the key. The belief in one another is a key. Whether it's the coaching staff or the players, we believe in our system, we believe we can get it done and I feel like those are the things that make a great defense. No matter what, believing in each other and always going out there and making plays. That's what we do. We make plays."

On playing the Panthers seemingly every year:"It seems like that. We were talking about that earlier. It seems like they're playing in the division, we're playing them so much. But it's good too. You get familiar with them. We have so many games on them so it's like a divisional game because we play them so many times that we understand that they are going to try to throw in a few new wrinkles as our divisional opponents do. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a fun game. I think both teams want to win and it's going to be a good matchup."

On if he considers the Panthers a rival:"I wouldn't necessarily say all of that. I think that's up to you guys to decide. But we know that they were at the top last year and won. They got to the Super Bowl last year so definitely feel that they are a really good competition."

On relationship with Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly:"We have a little bit of a relationship. I text him here and here and check on him to see how he's doing like when he got hurt. I checked on him. Same thing, he checks on me every now and then, asks me how my family is doing so it's that type of communication, making sure everybody is okay. Like I have said, I trained with him in the offseason before and when we were rookies and stuff like that. We definitely have a little bit of a relationship but not crazy."

On how a defense functions without Kuechly:"It's a huge impact because it's the guy who makes plays not only in the run game but also in the passing game. He controls the defense. He sets the defense. He makes a lot of calls for the defense. So when you lose a guy like that, it's a huge hit because a lot of the communication is done by him. But I think they have Thomas Davis who is a hell of a football player, a hell of a linebacker, one that I respect a lot. They've got that front seven that is still pretty strong so I think when you lose a guy like that the communication falls off but I think Thomas Davis can do a good job, if that's what they do."

On his reaction to Kuechly's concussion:"It was definitely a scary moment, especially when you see a tough guy like that in the amount of pain that he was in. It was a scary moment. I wasn't too sure what happened, whether it was his leg or whatever the case may be because you couldn't really tell on the TV.So I just checked on him and made sure he was okay. Everybody's a competitor, everybody wants to win, but at the end of the day, everybody's fighting to feed their family. So when you see a guy go down like that you know it's not only him affected, it's his family too, so you just want to make sure everybody's okay."

On low-scoring games in the last few matchups with Carolina: "I think, as you can see, both of us have really good defenses – defenses that make plays, defenses that get the ball back to the offenses, so I wouldn't be surprised if it turns into a game like that. I know our defense is going to come ready to play as their defense is going to come ready to play. But I have a lot of confidence in our offense, and I know they're going to be able to move the ball and want to get back out there to kind of put what happened last game behind us. So it's going to be an interesting game. I don't really know how it's going to pan out, but I hope it turns out good for us."

On the void left in center Ryan Kalil's absence:"I'm not too sure about his roles on offense but he's definitely a heck of a player. I don't know if he does the communications as far as setting the front, stuff like that but whenever you lose a guy like that, Pro Bowl guy like that, it's definitely going to hurt your offense – definitely the guy who's snapping the ball. So I'm not too sure what they're going to do but it's not up to me to worry about."

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