A safety first for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll
Apparently, the television announcers suggested that Jon Ryan had time to still punt the ball away in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter after leaping to catch a high snap.
They missed the point: Seattle didn't want Ryan to punt on that play.
"That was a safety all the way," coach Pete Carroll said.
That may have been a first in Carroll's coaching career as he couldn't remember calling a play with the expressed intent of taking a safety. The decision had to do with two things:
1) Field position.
The Seahawks were at their own 18, and Carroll decided that it was not only less risky, but a better spot to kick from.
"Jon was going to be standing there back inside the 10-yard line, punting the football with a rush coming at him," Carroll said. "He could be standing there with no one around him at the 20. It wasn't a difficult decision at all."
That brings us to the next factor: 2) Score.
The Seahawks led 16-10, and giving up two points had no strategic impact as Carolina still needed a touchdown to take the lead.
There was one part of the play that Carroll did not foresee, though: the snap.
Third-year player Clint Gresham had a high snap that Ryan had to leap to catch. Ryan then ran to the corner of the end zone, taking a few extra seconds off the clock.
"That was just one drama of the day," Carroll said in his press conference after the game.
It was the first safety Seattle allowed since a Nov. 25, 2007 game against the Rams. It was also the first time Carroll said he could remember taking a safety on purpose.
"We always talk about it," Carroll said. "But I think that's my first time ever. I don't know if that's right. My recall says, 'First time.' It was cool to do it. It's a great play in the game. It's a great decision that you get to make sometimes. Brian Schneider brought it up to me early in the sequence there, and give him the props there for making sure we were all on the right page, and then it was just a matter of orchestrating it from there. We tried to steal every second off the clock so we could get it down to exactly right and do it perfectly, and the guys came through save the snap was a little high."