Carroll on late-season skid: ‘Everything that’s already happened doesn’t matter at all’

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on against the Carolina Panthers in the first half during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 10: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on against the Carolina Panthers in the first half during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – Why did the Seattle Seahawks tail off at the end of the season?

There are lots of potential reasons. Pete Carroll doesn’t care about any of them.

“Everything that’s already happened doesn’t matter at all,” Carroll said Tuesday at his VMAC press conference. “It doesn’t matter at all. Everybody wants to project how it’s going to go based on the finish.”

The Seahawks clinched the NFC West back in Week 14 with a win over the Rams. But they went 3-3 down the stretch, crucially losing a 34-31 heartbreaker to the Arizona Cardinals on Christmas Eve that would’ve helped them lock down the NFC’s No. 2 seed and the first-round bye that goes with it.

Instead, they’ll face the Detroit Lions at CenturyLink Field on Saturday in a 5:15 p.m. game, with pregame coverage beginning at 3 p.m. on the home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX.

“This year was a situation we haven’t had where we knew we were in the playoffs a few weeks ago, and it’s a different issue to deal with,” Carroll said. “You either deal with it well or you don’t. It may factor in, it may not.”

Does Carroll think that’s what happened to the Seahawks?

“There are things that go on,” he said. “As you’re finishing a year, you can see it’s all out there for you. Sometimes you can get distracted and not perform like you’re capable, and all the sudden you can drop a game here and drop a game there.”

The one thing the Seahawks have on their side as they try to pivot back to the dominant team of postseasons past: Veteran leadership, and lots of it.

“I think it is real valuable, and really in the area of helping other guys who haven’t been through it,” Carroll said. “Make sure that they understand how we do it and how we approach this thing so we can all be on the same page. The message is strong in the locker room.

“We’re comfortable with this opportunity and the voices that are strongest in the locker room are sending the message and helping guys understand how we’re going to get through it and how we approach it.”