Pete Carroll talks RBs, playoffs, and the Star Wars character he wants on the Seahawks

SEATTLE - One of the benefits of being the home of the Seahawks is that Q13 FOX gets some one-on-one time with Pete Carroll every week.

This week's takeaways: Carroll isn't too wrapped up in this week's playoff implications; he'a a HUGE Yoda fan; and he knows what he's looking for in his running back.

This team is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. Does that have any extra meaning, given the challenges its face this season?

I don’t think it does – I think it’s just next game up. I don’t have that as a battle cry for us or anything; we haven’t even talked about. We’re just trying to get ready for this game and whatever happens, happens. I’m sure there’s other things that have to happen outside of here, so we can’t control that. We’re just going to try to play a really good football game and see what happens after that.

Earlier this week, you talked about the intention for playing for one another. How important a factor is that on this team?

I think it’s ultimately the difference in having a great team and not having a great team. Not necessarily in being a champion, but in having a great team where people play for one another, with that thought in mind and that purpose in mind. That’s where you have your best chance to be at your best, without that, you’re just a bunch of guys playing.

You’ve seen that the last month, month-and-a-half or so?

Without question. This is a very close team anyway, but there’s a veil that you cross through that gives you your best chance to be at your very best and we’re getting close to that.

When you have a bunch of newer running backs – with Marshawn Lynch recovering from surgery and Thomas Lynch out for the season – when you have a limited number of reps to give them in practice, what traits are you looking for to determine who gets those opportunities in games.

We’re looking for confidence; we’re looking for the ability to execute the plays correctly. Not so much the flashy whatever, we wanna make sure that they’re doing things right. There’s a little bit of a race here to game time, and so that’s really important. We just want to be able to count on our guys, and the newer guys have a harder time doing that, so that’s why you also saw us pick up guys that we’ve had here before, because they have been in the training and all of that. So that’s what’s most important.

You also have a limited number of reps to see them, so does that add an extra challenge for you?

Not really. We can only go as much as we can go now. We’re trying to find a regimen at this time of year that allows us to maximize the learning so that we can execute, but also keep our guys fresh so they can play fast. So that’s what we’re really up against, and we’re not really at the limits of any of those restrictions.

Facing the Browns tomorrow – what stood out to you in watching their game last week?

They played great last week – all phases. They rushed the passer – nine sacks in the game. They harassed them with their defense. They ran the ball extremely well; best they’ve run all year. Their quarterback was on fire, moving around and making his plays. They were the best they could be, and the Niners had to pay the price.

You mentioned Johnny Manziel’s play last week. He’s coming to CenturyLink Field for the first time. Can you compare and contrast his play and Russell Wilson’s?

There’s a lot of similarities. He’s the same kind of player, that can get out of the pocket and just create nightmares for the opponent. We’ve seen Russell, who’s benefited from that for years, and Johhny Manziel can do the same kind of stuff. Right now, he looks like the player we watched in college. He’s creative, he’s innovative, he’s aggressive, he’s tough when he runs with the football. He gets smacked around at times, but he’s tough as can be. The playmaking that is created after the normal rhythm of the play is what is always most difficult for us.

His tight end Gary Barnidge has been compared to (Panthers tight end) Greg Olsen at least statistically this season. How do you stop him?

Well, he’s having a huge year. He can catch everything. He’s made spectacular plays. We don’t ever try to just stop a guy. We’re gonna go play defense and try to play really good defense and he’ll probably catch some balls on us. They’re going to him. He’s a focal point guy, and should be. We’re just going to do the best we can to slow him down.

Twitter question of the week: Your song of the week this week was the Star Wars theme song. So, given the choice, which Star Wars character would you want on your team, and why?

Well there’s no question – I don’t have any hesitation to say Yoda. Yoda’s got all the power! He knows the source of the Force. We need him!