In what has been called the worst decision by a coach in Super Bowl history, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll faced reporters Monday and explained the thinking behind his decision to pass on 2nd down and goal at the 1 yard-line instead of handing the ball off to star running back Marshawn Lynch:
“We have everything in mind, how we’re going to do it. We’re going to leave them no time, and we had our plays to do it. We sent in our personnel, they sent in goal-line (package) — it’s not the right matchup for us to run the football — so on second down we throw the ball really to kind of waste a play.
If we score, we do. If we don’t, then we’ll run it in on third and fourth down. Really, (we called it) with no second thoughts or no hesitation at all. And unfortunately, with the play that we tried to execute, the guy (Butler) makes a great play and jumps in front of the route and makes an incredible play that nobody would ever think he could do. And unfortunately that changes the whole outcome.
So I told the guys in the locker room that they’re a great team and they fought to prove that, and they did everything to do that again tonight. And they’re on the precipice of winning another championship, and unfortunately, the play goes the other way.
There’s really nobody to blame but me, and I told them that clearly. And I don’t want them to think anything other than that. They busted their tails and did everything they needed to do to put us in position, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. A very, very hard lesson. I hate to learn the hard way, but there’s no other way to look at it right now.”
Later in the press conference, Carroll elaborated on the details of the play when Russel Wilson was picked off at th goal line, handing the win to the New England Patriots:
“Really the way the route generally works is the back receiver gets shielded off so that the play can get thrown to the guy trailing. And it’s worked really well, it’s been a nice concept, but they jumped it — did a fantastic job. I don’t know if they prepared to do that or he did it on his own, but it was a great play.”
For his part, Lynch says he is not angry about the play that was called and he stands by his coach.