Seahawks vow to stick together, move on from Super Bowl loss
Players who met the media as they packed up their lockers repeated the message coach Pete Carroll had delivered during the last team meeting of the season, about not fracturing in the wake of one of the more-devastating defeats in NFL history.
Seattle Times staff reporter
On the day the Seahawks scattered into the offseason, coach Pete Carroll’s last message to his team was about sticking together.
Players who met the media as they packed up their lockers repeated the message their coach had delivered during the last team meeting of the season, about not fracturing in the wake of one of the more-devastating defeats in NFL history.
“The adversity you go through, you’re going to get stronger from it,’’ receiver Doug Baldwin said. “This team had a lot of adversity throughout this year, and for us to be in that position on the 1-yard line with a chance to win it says a lot about this team. We’re going to get stronger from it, and we’re going to come out of this better than we have before.”
And it was in apparently trying to follow their coach’s words that players who met the media Tuesday — many were not available during the time when media was allowed in the locker room — stuck to a theme about using the 28-24 loss in the Super Bowl to New England as an experience from which to grow, rather than obsessing on an opportunity lost.
Baldwin, for instance, was asked if there was any second-guessing in the locker room about the ill-fated call that resulted in the game-turning interception, said: “I don’t want to talk about that.’’
That doesn’t mean the disastrous ending soon will be forgotten.
Though there were some of the usual trappings of locker-clean-out day — players passing around footballs and helmets to autograph — the atmosphere was funereal, players still trying to come to grips with letting the Super Bowl slip through their grasp.
“It’s going to hurt for a while,’’ punter Jon Ryan said. “This isn’t something you soon forget.’’
Carroll, though, told them to try to move on as quickly as they can during their time away — players are free until the team can begin an official offseason training program April 20.
Baldwin said with a smile that in his attempt to forget the Super Bowl he plans to “sit in my house and watch movies and play video games all day.’’
What he said he won’t do is second-guess either the play itself or the aftermath.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has come under intense fire since the game, though Carroll said again on his radio show Tuesday morning that he had the final say on the play call.
Baldwin said that ultimately, the players will realize that “there is plenty of blame to go around’’ for the events that led to the Seahawks being in that position.
“We had opportunities offensively, defensively, special-teams wise to make plays to where we wouldn’t be in that situation,’’ he said.
Baldwin also said he didn’t think the receivers would have any issue dealing with Bevell’s postgame assertion that intended receiver Ricardo Lockette could have been stronger to the ball.
“I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother us,’’ Baldwin said. “He’s a coach, and so you take that criticism or whatnot and you look in the mirror and figure out what you could have done with it. It’s harsh. But in the reality of it, it’s in the heat of the moment. Right after the game, people may say things or do things they may have changed or would like to be interpreted differently. However, at the end of the day, like I said, we’re going to stick together and move forward, so none of that matters now.”
Quarterback Russell Wilson also defended Bevell and the call.
Of the call, Wilson said: “It’s one of those things, you trust what they called. I had no doubt. I had no doubt in the play call. I still don’t to this day. I just wish we had made the play.’’
And of Bevell, Wilson said: “Any time he calls a play, I understand what he’s calling. For us, I love the guy to death. I trust the people we have around us.’’
They also said they trusted that, eventually, the shock and raw emotion of the defeat will subside.
On the day the season officially ended, though, it was clear that process is just beginning.
“You play the game over in your mind a little bit, and you find that the score doesn’t change,’’ backup running back Robert Turbin said. “It’s quite shocking, because you obviously feel like you should have won the game. We feel like we should be in here celebrating instead of sobbing. But we’re not.’’