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Pete Carroll defends Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

After being perhaps the best player in the entire NFL in the preseason, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looked like the rookie third-round draft pick that he is in his regular-season debut. So does that mean his great preseason was meaningless?

Not according to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who defended Wilson after Seattle’s 20-16 loss at Arizona.

I thought Russell battled,” Carroll said. “They pressured a lot, made it tough on us. But he hung in there, came back, and did a very nice job of getting back into the game in the second half.”

It’s true that Wilson brought the Seahawks back and nearly won the game for them, but it’s also true that his poor play was the reason they were trailing. Prior to the Seahawks’ final possession, in which Wilson drove them down the field and threw a couple passes into the end zone that could have been caught, Wilson was just 12-for-20 for 98 yards in three and a half quarters. But Carroll said he thinks Wilson played well considering the pressure he was under.

“They threw everyone hard at us,” Carroll said. “Considering how Russell was under duress, I think it was a great first game for him. It was not easy for him at any time.”

If Wilson keeps playing like he did on Sunday, it may not be easy for Carroll to justify keeping Matt Flynn on the bench.

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52 Responses to “Pete Carroll defends Russell Wilson”
  1. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 10, 2012 7:39 AM

    He’ll be good. Just not better than RGIII. 2nd best QB of the 2012 draft class…simple as that.

  2. eaglesw00t says: Sep 10, 2012 7:39 AM

    “After being perhaps the best player in the entire NFL in the preseason”

    I call shenanigans.

    Nick Foles looked like the best player in the NFL. And it was no contest.

  3. Gordon says: Sep 10, 2012 7:47 AM

    Just proves what a joke the preseason games are.

  4. joshmelder says: Sep 10, 2012 7:54 AM

    Here comes the backtracking on Wilson

  5. ninjapleazee says: Sep 10, 2012 7:58 AM

    Too bad the extra time out didnt help you huh Cheat Carroll?

  6. qdog112 says: Sep 10, 2012 8:00 AM

    Wilson’s problems are twofold: poor blocking scheme and his receivers are below average.

    He threw two passes in the endzone that would have won the game for them – one to Baldwin and the other to Edwards.

    Also, the gameplan was should have been scrapped after seeing how the game was unfolding. Perhaps keeping TO would have allowed him to take the top off the defense. As it was, AZ shot 6 guys every play and nobody got down field.

    I didn’t help that Lynch BS’d all week and didn’t practice. They have to take the shackles off and let Wilson play the game.

  7. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Sep 10, 2012 8:04 AM

    It’s obvious you guys didn’t watch the game…the announcers who did came away very impressed with Wilson. He didn’t have a pocket to stand in the whole first half – he had to fight for his life just to get back to the line of scrimmage. And if one of the two passes that hit his receivers in the hands in the endzone in the final seconds was caught was caught, the storyline right now he led his team to a comeback victory.

    So I have three questions for you:

    What happened to being patient with the rookie QBs?

    If Wilson looked like a rookie 3rd round quarterback, what did Luck, Tannehill, and Weeden look like?

    How long until Pagano can’t justify keeping Chandler Harnish on the bench?

  8. rangers84 says: Sep 10, 2012 8:04 AM

    Russell Wilson will not be a better QB than Andrew Luck. That’s naive to think so.

    And ‘the best player in the pre season’ award? What an honor.

    Wilson struggled in his first start. Stop the presses.

    And I’m no hawks fan, don’t like the team nor their fans, but c’mon.

  9. theandy59 says: Sep 10, 2012 8:04 AM

    Yet another example of why Pete Carroll is not a good NFL head coach. “They threw everyone hard at us..”? What did you think, Pete, the Cardinals would go easy on your QB because he’s a rookie? This is the NFL, there are no moral victories, you either play well or you don’t. I’d have a lot more respect for Carroll if he would simply state the truth – Wilson did some good things and some bad things. Like everyone else on the team, he needs to play better, and the coaches need to coach better.

  10. thejuddstir says: Sep 10, 2012 8:10 AM

    The little bit R. Wilson played in the preseason was against 2nd and 3 rd stringers, guys who aren’t even in the league anymore. Pete Carroll wants to defend him against the lowly Cardinals, what’s he going to say when Seattle plays the better teams in the NFL ? Guess we add Wilson to the l-o-n-g list of Pete Carroll QB failures in his short tenure in Seattle.

  11. paperlions says: Sep 10, 2012 8:11 AM

    This just in….NFL teams tend to play vanilla defenses in the preseason and then game plan to stop particular teams, using complex schemes that are often difficult for even veteran QBs to read at game speed.

    In other words, good preseason performances likely mean jack squat (bad ones are always bad).

  12. LoCoSu@%s says: Sep 10, 2012 8:12 AM

    Was Carroll hyperventilating as he spoke?

  13. fumblenuts says: Sep 10, 2012 8:14 AM

    It looked like the O-Line of the Hawks hit an Ice Burg. Too many holes, Wilson was running for his life most of that game.

    Receivers couldn’t get very good separation, in the last few plays of the game. Could be a very long rookie QB season…….

    Defense REALLY needs to show why they were in the Top 10 last season when we play the Cowboys at home.

  14. kenboslice says: Sep 10, 2012 8:16 AM

    The cardinals smoked seattles guards all game with aggressive blitzes. Flynn would of been sacked more had he been in. Wilson looked like a rookie quarterback starting his first game with flashes of brilliance. He had two game winners dropped. The kid showed he will be a good quarterback as the season goes on, and the offensive line gels. I am excited about him

  15. fdugrad says: Sep 10, 2012 8:20 AM

    Wilson played poorly, however if Edwards makes the catch that hit his hands of stone, Hawks win and the story goes along the lines of the Eagles Sunday saga. Enough words can’t be said about “winning ugly.” If you have any questions about it, ask Eagle and Hawks’ fans. Braylon had the chance to send his rookie qb into week two with an entirely different mind-set, and as a veteran player, his miscue is a GLARING one indeed. Simply put, good teams have players that make this catch.

  16. squared80 says: Sep 10, 2012 8:33 AM

    Wilson will be fine, in spite of Carroll at the helm. This is the same coach who said TJack was the future of the franchise in Seattle.

  17. ohnothatguy says: Sep 10, 2012 8:39 AM

    I said it on here when pete said russell would be the starter over flynn!! Dont believe the hype!!! It was PRESEASON!! Imagine what he is going to look like against the 49ers D!! Im a giants fan

  18. cliffordc05 says: Sep 10, 2012 8:52 AM

    The offensive line looked similar to the line that started last season for the Seahawks because of their inability to handle blitzes. JR Sweezey looked like a rookie and at times was completely lost.

    The most surprising aspect of the game in my view was the inability of the Seahawk defense to put any pressure on the qb in the first half. Russell was under pressure almost the entire game.

  19. sea3369 says: Sep 10, 2012 9:10 AM

    If u watched the game and no anything about football, you’ll see Wilson played just fine. He outplayed all other rookie qb’s except RG3. Now the O line for the hawks was horrible, the play callling was very poor. If preseason showed us anything, it’s that wilson needs to play and open up the play calling cause yesterdays play calling didn’t work. That’s not on wilson that’s on the coaches. The false starts by Okung need to be delt with as well. He is a weak link in the O line. Wilson was fine and will be fine as far as rookie qb’s go.

  20. LoCoSu@%s says: Sep 10, 2012 9:13 AM

    I believe Wilson will be fine in the long run.
    However, all the Seahawks fans that thought they were the team to beat in the NFC West (really?) have had a severe reality check.
    Their much vaunted, revamped defense could not get through a sieve of an Arizona O-Line.

    I’d worry more about the defense than Russell Wilson.

    If Seattle’s defense held up their end of the bargain, this game is a blowout – Seattle wins big.

  21. volsunghawk says: Sep 10, 2012 9:15 AM

    Wilson played fine for a rookie in his first start.

    The real culprits for the Seahawks loss are:

    1. The O-line, who were outplayed all day.

    2. The coaching staff, who failed to adjust for the Cards’ constant blitzing and called an overly conservative game.

    3. The nonexistent pass rush against what was supposed to be a Cardinals O-line that was in shambles.

    Anyone laying this game on Wilson or suggesting that he looked bad are only looking at the final stat sheet and didn’t actually watch the game.

  22. hatesycophants says: Sep 10, 2012 9:25 AM

    Uh, he threw the winning TD pass twice. How is this loss on him?

  23. beyonderhawk says: Sep 10, 2012 9:27 AM

    Russel Wilson will be fine he handled the pressure and there blitz as best as he can it’s not his fault they lost! But I do have an issue with how poorly his receivers played including Doug Baldwin! Also Gus Bradley better do a better job with his blitz and pressure package is it just me or it seemed that he took a while before blitzing in this game and when kolb came in the game seem to have taking his feet of the pressure pedal!? It’s like I’ve seen this before if we are going to be aggressive on defense then we need to be always even with our blitz we have a good defense with good players period and this has nothing to do with Gus Bradley and I’m tired of hearing it’s because of this guy if he doesn’t get the job done get rid of him and let’s move on with someone more consistent we have to much talent on defense to go to waste wake up carrol and make better adjustments you had 4 quarters to realize there were over crowding the line and throwing blitzes at you come on this is the nfl and its the regular season…………….

  24. kreedos says: Sep 10, 2012 9:37 AM

    This game epitomizes my love of the preseason being over. After having to put up with the Seattle trash talk all offseason, we got a chance to see your team has not changed in the least bit. That “Terrible” offensive line of the Cards only allowed one sack. Back to the drawing board for the Seahawks.

  25. joetoronto says: Sep 10, 2012 9:45 AM

    Pete Carroll sold all you Hawk fans a bill of goods, but most of you are too blind to see it.

    He sold you on Russell Wilson and he sold you on that “great” defense.

    Preseason is just that, live bullets start in the regular season.

    Pete Carroll is a joke, always has been.

  26. 49erstim says: Sep 10, 2012 9:57 AM

    If he is having trouble defending Wilson then maybe he should call AZ for some pointers! lol

    okay okay okay….. let the rookie develop a little bit before we call for his head.

  27. beecee71 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:16 AM

    is it time to have the Preseason Hall of Fame ceremony?

  28. norcalmafia says: Sep 10, 2012 10:22 AM

    Hahaha…Seagull fans were talking so much crap in the pre season!Told you reality would smack you in the face!

  29. raiderdan69 says: Sep 10, 2012 10:53 AM

    Wilson did alright considering his left side was wide open all night. Okung was scared to death of ocho and he’s not even a premier pass rusher….could be a long season for Wilson/flynn

  30. westclaims says: Sep 10, 2012 10:59 AM

    Cards win, Kolb looked great, and the Steelers lost to Denver. Great day yesterday.

  31. 4evrnyt says: Sep 10, 2012 11:01 AM

    Wilson’s problems are twofold: poor blocking scheme and his receivers are below average.
    —————————————————-
    Actually you left one out. Wilson is an oompa loompa as far as QB size goes and is forced to move out of the pocket to see over his lineman. The Cardinals forced him to throw from the pocket which is why he suddenly lost all of his preseason glow and couldn’t hit the broad side of a battleship. When you’re 5’10″ and your lineman are 6’6″ you’re never going to be a pocket passer.

    Two things will be ultimately clear this year. Wilson and Flynn are both not starting QB’s and that the Seattle GM is completely incompetent.

  32. chesslungo says: Sep 10, 2012 11:04 AM

    Id blame it on Mike Williams!!!!!!

  33. Derwin Worrell says: Sep 10, 2012 11:13 AM

    For the record, I am a Seahawks fan. Lets start from the beginning. Russell Wilson has no business being the starting QB of the Seattle Seahawks. For what ever reason, Carroll wanted Wilson to win that job so he prolonged the competition so that Wilson would have a better chance to get it. Carroll is the same guy that told us the Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst was good. Matt Flynn did nothing to lose that starting job. If T.O. holds to that touchdown pass that Flynn threw to him in Denver, his pre-season numbers would have looked better. This Seahawk team was 7-9 last year. Not 2-14. Not 4-12. There is no reason to start a rookie QB!

    Yesterday that Hawk defense held AZ running game to 43 yards rushing and played well except for the Kolb late drive. But you can’t win when your offense only scores 16 points. Special teams game Wilson a short field twice. Lynch ran for 85 hard yards yesterday. At times Wilson left the pocket when he didn’t even have to. The quarterback has to be a better job of leading scoring drives and putting the ball in the endzone.

    Seahawks fans shouldn’t have to watch that defense waste away because they can’t get good quarterback play. 16 points is not going to cut it. We don’t have time for Wilson to develop. That’s why he shouldn’t be playing right now. Flynn needs to be the quarterback. How many games do the Seahawks have to lose before Carroll has to make the change? That was a bad loss yesterday. You can’t lose to AZ.

    If the Seahawks finish under .500 and miss the playoffs, Pete Carroll needs to be fired! He has wasted enough of Paul Allen’s money on quarterbacks.

  34. thehighhat says: Sep 10, 2012 11:27 AM

    I have little doubt Pete will turn this around quickly. After all Carroll is a QB Guru and with his recent success with Flynn, Jackson and Clipboard Jesus he should have no problem hitting his yearly target of 7-9.

  35. footballchic777 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:28 AM

    I think part of his installation at number 1 is because of Flynn having an injury. Even during the preseason, the one thing I told my husband was I felt Flynn was a much more composed QB, and that that would show if Wilson started………

  36. 49erforlife says: Sep 10, 2012 11:28 AM

    OK, fellow 49er fans – this is getting rediculous. Why do 49er fans post so much crud on the Seattle pages? And just to redicule the fans? Stop embarassing the 49er legacy. I have been following my beloved 49ers since probabably most of you have been born, so I am not getting why you all make fun of each other. Don’t like the team? Fine. But calling other fans stupid? Really? Respect the fans for supporting the home team. Wouldn’t you expect all of us in SF to stick by our team trough thick and thin? I support the team, and would hope other fans would support the team with one thing – class.

    Go Niners!

  37. superbowldreaming says: Sep 10, 2012 11:30 AM

    I watched that game & thought that Russell played with poise and made some good throws. The receivers dropped balls that were in great spots.

  38. themackstrong says: Sep 10, 2012 11:40 AM

    Baldwin and Edwards’ both dropped Wilson’s game winning throws. Sure it was Washington and the defense that kept the game close but if those drops didn’t happen people wouldn’t be talking about like this. Now Carroll has to notice he’s converted DT playing RG was getting owned on nearly every play causing the pocket to crumble.

  39. sammythehair says: Sep 10, 2012 11:49 AM

    I agree with Pete Carroll, had you watched the game, the game plan was conservative and Hawks oline was atrocious! 2 big drops cost win at end, Russell was easily the second best rookie starter yesterday! He struggled a bit, but all in all a decent start!

  40. bolts0621 says: Sep 10, 2012 11:52 AM

    Ok – not sure if this is just Pete Carroll bashing, poor reporting or what…Wilson and the entire offense had a slow start in the first half – but did play stellar in the second half and put the Hawks in a position to win.

    Despite 13 penalties, with less than :30 seconds to go – he had two passes not caught – in the endzone. Baldwin’s drop should’ve been caught (was caught – then dropped when he hit the ground) and the Braylon Edwards I’m sure is kicking himself all the way home to Seattle – his pass literally went through his hands (slo-mo the replay – its un-believable).

    Lets see how Wilson does this week vs Dallas – my hunch is – he will shine

  41. offthelows says: Sep 10, 2012 12:07 PM

    I didn’t like all the situations where receivers couldn’t get open. Wilson had to resort to fitting into tight windows so Baldwin and Edwards dive and reach, while Kolb hit players that were “open open” on the prior drive. That said, if Russell didn’t toss the lateral (he did twice, neither called, the second later reversed), then you don’t need 6 on that last drive, just bring out your kicker to end it.

  42. scottnapa says: Sep 10, 2012 12:11 PM

    ” You can’t lose to AZ”
    Well of course you can, you did.
    The Cards defense beat the Seahawks. Period.
    Special teams kept Seattle in game. Wilson made better adjustments after halftime than Skelton. But Carrol was out coached in the end.
    Wilson did not lose because of rookie mistakes, he could not live up to he preseason hype. Seatle recievs couldnt beat one on one coverage. Arizona won because they are better than the preseason indicated.

  43. trollhammer20 says: Sep 10, 2012 12:24 PM

    Typical. Wilson plays well in the preseason, so hacks like Bill Simmons put him in the Super Bowl as a rookie. Now, after one game, people are throwing him under the bus.

    I strongly doubt the author of this article watched the whole game. It is bad journalism to state “it’s also true that his poor play was the reason they were trailing.” Maybe the two long scoring drives the defense gave up in the first half had something to do with that?

    I counted two mistakes by Wilson: Passes he threw to the side of the field that were actually laterals. The idiot refs missed the first one (which wound up out of bounds) and ruled the second a fumble, which led to a field goal for the Cards. This will get fixed easily enough.

    He threw one interception, a desperation heave on the final play of the first half. Can’t fault him for that.

    He converted at least three downs that, if Tavaris is playing, would have been punts.

    If you think Flynn in the answer, he would have taken at least 2-3 more sacks.

    Oh, and as for the “too short” comments, he had one pass batted by Calais Campbell, who is 6’8″ and I think led the league in pass defenses by a D-lineman lastyear. 6’6″ John Skelton had two passes batted by Red Bryant and 2-3 others as well…maybe he needs to be 6’10′?

    No, it wasn’t a win, and the stats weren’t impressive, but Wilson is a big step up over what we had last year. I only hope that the fans and Carroll are more patient and knowledgeable about the game than certain members of the national news media, and are willing to show a little patience with the guy.

  44. seahawksdan72 says: Sep 10, 2012 12:58 PM

    first of all,fortyninerforlife nailed it,9er fans have some class,most are great except norcalmafia,hes something else and all hawk fans know cause hes always posting some kind of crap.now about the game,all i can say is horrible play calling,what were they thinking?had ball on 13 yard line and first and 10,and then it all fell apart.they quit running the ball,only yards they gained was lynch for 4 yards,running might not have worked but u had time on clock to try.and if u show it cards maybe would have back off the pressure,who knows,just saying,hawks will b fine,they fix that play calling this week and open up playbook and see what wilson can do,and please someone catch the damn ball…..

  45. 49erforlife says: Sep 10, 2012 1:24 PM

    I wasn’t watching this game, since I was watching my team, but from the highlights I saw, I wish we had Wilson on the 49ers as our #2. He is a rookie but really doesn’t play like one. So much upside as he continues to learn the NFL game. He has a future as a solid QB. Give the kid a chance.

  46. warhawk12 says: Sep 10, 2012 4:28 PM

    Tom Brady’s wife said it…. He can’t catch the ball too.

  47. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 10, 2012 7:17 PM

    Wilson is the most overrated QB in the NFL’s history.

    Who’ll be gone first: Wilson or Carroll?

  48. scoobaj says: Sep 11, 2012 12:16 AM

    I love the annual over-reaction Monday following week 1. Wilson played as well as you could with that game plan and o- line.

  49. jeffesky says: Sep 11, 2012 12:31 AM

    Wilson will be great you doubters just watch. this is the nfl, on the road against the cards,a division rival and russell put us in position to win. lets be real the cards are well coached and arent a joke. look at tge teams they beat last year, plus they had a better record than we did. its not like the hawks are the niners. this wasnt an upset win for the cards. it was battle and they won it straight up but that doesnt mean the hawks and russell suck, PLEASE!!

  50. Derwin Worrell says: Sep 11, 2012 2:34 AM

    Wilson was the reason the Hawks were down in the first place. There were high expectations for this team. A 7-9 team that is expected to move forward and challenge for a playoff spot. But the coach decides to put a rookie in at QB. So everyone is suppose to wait on Russell Wilson to get it together? We don’t have time for that. Same wide receivers that Tavaris had. At least Wilson has Rice. Same O-line except for the RG. Wilson is suppose to be and upgrade. AZ is not great. With our schedule this was a must win period!!!! This will get ugly real fast! Fooling with a rookie that is not ready for real fire. Cowboys are next. Rob Ryan is licking his chops! You think you saw pressure from AZ? If he plays like that again, we’ll be 0-2. Then comes Green Bay, then 2 weeks after that, New England. I like some of the things Carroll has down, but this whole QB situation, he has totally screwed it up. Before the season, I thought we could go 2-0. Boy was I wrong. I would rather go with Flynn who I know can read a NFL defense and check to the right play when he knows the blitz is coming. They saw a little 5’10 QB out there and just attacked the middle. They wouldn’t have come at Flynn like that. This is a copy cat league. Teams will blitz his little behind. I liked Russell at Wisconsin and I like him as a plug in back up. I don’t like him as a starter. Carroll has out smarted himself. We’ll see how long this last. SMH. To many of you are drinking that pre-season Kool-aid. Just because a guy runs for 30 yards, doesn’t make him Michael Vick. Just because a guy is 5′ll doesn’t make him Drew Brees.

  51. discosucs2005 says: Sep 11, 2012 6:16 AM

    I think they should have started Flynn. I think Wilson is good, but if you start Flynn and he falters, there is no pressure on Wilson; no expectation.

    If you start Wilson and he falters and is benched, it might shake his confidence and potentially do irreparable damage.

    And to be fair to Wilson, if Carroll doesn’t put so much misguided faith in Braylon Edwards, Wilson is probably a Tebow-Esque, poor stats but got the W, hero right now.

  52. jeffesky says: Sep 12, 2012 8:41 AM

    IF Flynn had started he would have been crushed. in oreseason we had pressure but it was vanila and wilson made it no issue but flynns not shifty like russell. bottom line when pete says he was suprised tha our O line couldnt handle AZ pressure cause we handles it in preseason? CMON PETE GET A CLUE. how can pete think the preseason is any comparision and not have his team ready for game one. we know the cards have a steeler scheme D and in thier in our division yet Pete was suprised. THATS A RED FLAG PETE….YOU SHOULD NO BETTER ,,makes me wonder

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