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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

December 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM

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Pete Carroll's protocol for blowout victories

Some NFL coaches spent Monday explaining why their team was unable to do enough to win.

Coach Pete Carroll spent part of Monday afternoon explaining whether the Seahawks did too much in their 58-0 defeat of Arizona.

Now, before turning the floor over to Carroll, it's worth pointing out that the most scrutinized play was a fourth-down pass that Matt Flynn threw into the end zone in the fourth quarter. A pass that fell incomplete, mind you, resulting in a turnover on downs and not points.

Now that we've pointed out that, here's Carroll talking about the things he takes into consideration when he's on the winning side of a blowout:

Carroll: "With good fortune, I've been around a lot of those games, and I really think there is a way to do it.First, you've got to win the game. That's the primary purpose. Then there's a lot of sensitivity here to what's going on. You have an opportunity to play young guys, get 'em out there. We want to do that for sure. You want to make sure that you get your guys the sensitivity of getting your guys out so they don't get banged up. They don't get extra hits late in the game when maybe a younger guy who could be out there battling for them.

"You have the other side, the other team. It's an obvious sensitivity, particularly as it gets as lopsided as it does, and you still want to keep making progress. You want to play good and finish the game playing well, and then sometimes you have special considerations that come up like we did yesterday with Matt (Flynn).

"This was the first time Matt has gotten in the game. We just haven't had the opportunity. He needs to play. He needs to get ready because he's one play away from leading this football team. In that instance -- and this is for years -- I've always taken a look at what our special needs are. He needed to throw the ball a little bit. So he threw it nine times. We threw it 22 times in the game so it was nothing. And if you noticed, he threw a variety of things just so he got a chance to get some stuff on film and get his feet wet.

"All of those things taken into consideration, that's what's going on, and I'm very clear about how you do it, and have done it a lot. I've been in games where we're taking a knee in the second quarter to get the clock run out. It's a sensitive situation, I understand that, but we have a very clear way that we go about it, and we're trying to accomplish a lot of stuff in that situation as well as just finishing the football game."

Q: Is the sensitivity toward the opponent maybe different at this level as opposed to college?

Carroll: "I don't think so. You've either got a sense for it or you don't, and I do. I mean I'm tuned in, but I do know that sometimes it can look like the score just keeps going. This was a day yesterday where the ball just kept coming our way. It was a terrific day for us, but I understand. I get it."

Q: So overall, you felt like you handled it OK yesterday?

Carroll: "Yeah. We did it exactly as we were talking our way through the situations. We had talked at halftime that Matt was going to play in the second half. We wanted to see a couple of drives. We didn't know that we would go right down the field in the first opening drive in the third quarter, which was great.

"Getting Matt out there, that was a No. 1 consideration. I wanted to make sure he got to play because he needs. So we were mindful of that, but we talked the whole through, every situation we talked through. What you're trying to do -- and here's probably the key -- what you're trying to do is you're trying to make first downs. You're trying to get first downs and keep the football with the sensitivity of the situation, and you know you're going to run the football like crazy, which is awesome. We love to do that. We got a lot of things done yesterday, and unfortunately on the other side, it was a very hard day for those guys. I get it."

Q: You talked to Ken Whisenhunt afterward?

Carroll: "Yeah. He knows. He understands."

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