The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks played one of the more exciting games of the 2016 NFL season Sunday night. The setting, however, left much to be desired, at least in the eyes of Pete Carroll.
The Seahawks head coach said Monday he was not impressed by the crowd at Gillette Stadium, which was far quieter than the ones Seattle is used to playing in front of at CenturyLink Field.
“(The atmosphere was) OK,” Carroll said during the “Brock and Salk” show on 710 ESPN Seattle, via ESPN.com. “It’s not a great place. They weren’t nuts. It’s because they’re so used to winning. There was a time when they kicked their last field goal to go ahead, and it was like a round of applause for the nice effort. Gosh, our guys would be going berserk. We’re so hungry for it.”
The game, which Seattle won 31-24, was Carroll’s first in Foxboro since he was fired as head coach of the Patriots in 2000. He admitted this victory felt a bit sweeter than most.
“I’ve got to admit, I haven’t had more fun just enjoying a win, really,” Carroll said. “So there’s some stuff in there somewhere. But it was a freakin’ blast. The game was, the way that people were yelling at me walking on and off the field.”
Carroll said most of the jeers referenced Seattle’s decision to pass from the 1-yard line in the final moments of Super Bowl XLIX, which certainly is not surprising.
“There was a lot of, ‘Thanks for throwing it.’ That kind of stuff, all that kind of garbage,” Carroll said. “They were just being themselves. It was great. It was classic.”
Interestingly, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick referenced the crowd noise at Gillette when asked about New England’s lapses in defensive communication.
“Look, all of our games are sold out,” Belichick said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “That’s no secret. So for us to think that we’re going to be able to communicate and talk in the middle of the defensive play I don’t think is realistic any more than we’d be able to have much communication offensively when we’re on the road. That’s another thing I don’t think you can count on, especially after the snap.
“It’s hard enough before the snap but, after the snap, if you’re going to say something and somebody 5 yards away is going to actually hear it when you’re dealing with a lot of crowd noise — I don’t think you can coach that way. If you’re banking on that, then there’s going to be times when you’re not going to have it. If you get it, great, but you can’t count on that.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images