Carroll talks Rawls, Antonio Brown and the best strategy for Thanksgiving dinner

SEATTLE - Every week, Pete Carroll sets aside a few minutes for an exclusive interview with Q13. This week, he talked about Thomas Rawls’ breakout game, the best way to deal with Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown, and the proper strategy for maximizing your Thanksgiving dinner enjoyment.

What stood out to you about Thomas Rawls’ performance last week?

I think the consistency throughout the game that he just kept hammering it. He started off, right off the bat, the first time he touched the ball and throughout the game all the way to his last carry when he hit 209, he was still ripping down field and looking for someone to run into.

He’s still a rookie, but have you noticed a sort of veteran savviness In the way he sets up his blockers?

Yeah, he’s got a high level of confidence running the football. He trusts himself, he trusts his instincts. He’s still got a lot he can learn, but he’s got a good, natural way of doing it, and he seems to hit things really well. He’s done that from early on and we haven’t had to change a whole lot of anything about him.

You just kind of notice this sense of enthusiasm and passion (from Rawls) – do you notice that as well?

He’s been great – and he’s been like that since he showed up. Always positive, always support, always humble – and always looking to get better. He’s a great kid.

(Steelers receiver) Antonio Brown had 17 targets a couple weeks ago – can you ever remember a receiver on your team or an opposing team having that many targets?

I don’t remember anybody on other teams, but I do remember back in the day Mike Williams had a big day when we might have gotten close to that, back against Arizona I think.

How do you stop a guy that is so versatile on offense, like Antonio?

You really can’t stop the guy – you just try to keep him down. They have so many concepts and so many ways to get him the football that he’s gonna catch some balls because they’re going to make that happen. The idea for us is to just not let him control the game, and in particular, don’t let him get up top and score some big plays.

Clearly there’s no statute of limitations for some 12s out there who remember Super Bowl XL against the Steelers. Have you gotten a sense of that this week?

Oh yeah, it comes up. That was a very frustrating game for our fans, and I know that there were a lot of calls that were in question, and the whole thing was taken very hard by the 12s and I understand why they still feel it – that was not a great experience.

I was struck earlier this week at one of your practices – you were the last guy out on the field, still teaching a couple practice-squad players. How much pride do you take in the teaching aspect, and how important is that to you as a coach?

I do love that part. I like seeing guys get better, and seeing guys find their value as a player. So to do that, you’ve gotta dig into them and help them. I particularly like coaching corners up – you probably saw me coaching those young corners up – and there’s so much to the teaching of that. I kinda love getting in there and showing them how much we know about it and seing their eyes open up like they had no idea there all this stuff to talk about. So it’s fun for me, and I love that part of it. I think engaging with the players is something I’ll always cherish.

How often do you do that?
Whenever! Catching balls and catching kicks and stuff like that, all the skill-position stuff I really like to dig into.

Our Twitter question this week: Thanksgiving dinner, Coach – does everything go on the plate at once, or do you eat in stages? And what’s the first dish to go?

I kinda just judiciously get as many things on the plate as I can, with not a lot of volume on any one of them. But it’s always the strawberry jello with the whip  cream that I go for first – that’s gone.

Starting with the desert, and that’s OK …

Yeah, that’s gone. That’s gone right off the bat.

Which is better, the first dish, or coming back for leftovers hours later?

I think when you reheat it it’s pretty darn good. You go back in there and salt it all up and gravy it up, it’s pretty good the next time around.