Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke to Today show host Matt Lauer about criticism he has received regarding his decision to pass on the one-yard line instead of handing the ball off to running back Marshawn Lynch, leading to the game-ending interception in Super Bowl XLIX and a 28-24 loss for Seattle.
Carroll said Russell Wilson’s interception by New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, was “the worst result of a call ever,” and said if Wilson would have thrown a touchdown pass “nobody would have thought twice about it.”
Carroll said he had a responsibility to explain why the play call was made.
“It’s been a whirlwind. I feel responsible to a lot of people right now,” Carroll said. “I had to get my mind right so that I could take on with what I was going to do and that was to face everyone.”
Seattle called timeout after getting the ball to the five-yard line following a 33-yard catch by Jermaine Kearse, and Carroll said the team planned to throw the ball at least once in the following sequence of plays. Lynch gained four yards on first down before Wilson threw the interception on the next play. Carroll says he thought they could take advantage of New England’s defense, as the Patriots still had their goal-line personnel on the field.
Carroll admitted that he hasn’t watched television since the game but knows that he is being criticized for the play call.
“I’m getting some sleep. I wake up and can’t stop thinking about it,” Carroll told Today.
Carroll said he was equipped mentally to handle the outcome of the game.
“That one moment isn’t going to define this team and who we are. This is a championship team, it’s a great team that plays great football and plays as a team in a wonderful way. So that moment is what people might want to defines us by, but it won’t because we know the truth,” he said.
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