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SEATTLE — Q13 Sports Director Aaron Levine sat down with Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and chatted about the upcoming season and more.

This is a transcription of their interview:

Levine: Last year was all about a reset, reestablishing the winning formula, what is this year about?

Carroll: This is about going for it. We’re going for it. There’s no question what’s at stake here and the expectations that we have. We could be a championship club, and we’ve got to find it – day to day, one play at a time, one step at a time. And as we put these games together, we learn and grow and become the team we’re capable of becoming. It doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. It’s about the guys in this locker room right now. First off, it would be the competition to get the team settled, and then it’ll be about the next steps as we move forward with the schedule and just take it one step at a time.

Levine: What did it mean to have your franchise quarterback locked up long-term?

Carroll: I think it’s valuable to everybody and every face. Russ has been a great Seahawk. He’s had a fantastic start to his career, and this is kind of phase two of his career. He’s gone through his first 10 years, let’s get ready for the next 10. The confidence that he brings, the work ethic that he stands for, what he stands for, his competitiveness is off the charts. And his performance, his ability to win games when no one else thinks you can win them. His belief in doing that and all of those factors are a part of our team makeup.

Levine: How did year one with him working with Brian Schottenheimer go? And are there areas where that relationship could improve?

Carroll: It’s a big challenge for both guys. For ‘Schotty,’ he knows he’s got a franchise quarterback and he’s challenged him. He’s taken over command of more football than ever before. He’s just continued to get better at it. This is the golden part of Russell’s career now, where he can really benefit from the years of experience. I think the connection with ‘Schotty’ has taken him to the next level of learning, and I think we should see him take charge of the game even more than he has in the past.

Levine: We know what Doug Baldwin brought on the field, what are you going to miss most about him not being around the facility?

Carroll: Just the pure competitor that he was. It showed up in everything he was about. He was a fierce competitor. And it generated a style of play, and an attitude about his play people used to call him ‘Angry Doug’ and all that but what he really was is just a competitor and a phenomenal battler. And it played over into how he took care of his body and how he worked his body. He would come back with things you never could have imagined a player could come back with – just crush the return playtimes. Eventually, it caught up with him and he was banged up and had to end his career, but the competitiveness was really the key.

Levine: On the bright side, DK Metcalf became an internet sensation before the draft. Fans are obviously really excited, what do you think will be the key in finding the success at the next level?

Carroll: He just needs to get comfortable. He’s so talented, he’s explosively fast, he’s extraordinarily quick for a big man. He’s got a great catching range that we’re already witnessed in our practices. He’s level headed, he’s a good learner. We need to find out how he battles and how he comes back when he drops a ball and how does he return to play? After he makes a big play, does he come back and make another one? We just need to find out his nature as a competitor as he plays for us. But there’s nothing he can’t do. So, we’re really excited about it.

Levine: When I say ‘Seattle’ what comes to mind?

Carroll: I think it’s the energy of the place. I think it’s the energy that’s so obvious in nature. It’s an extraordinary place where we live in. But it’s also the energy of the people. I’ve been so taken by the following and the fans and the support and the love and the fun that we’ve had with our fans and that relationship. This place just has a great energy. And I’m kind of energetic myself. I like to get charged up, and every day here is just a wonderful experience to be a part of. It’s the juice. I think it’s the juice from all the mountains and the trees and the lakes and the water and the rivers – all of that – but it’s also the people who are the extraordinarily great fans that they are.

For more stories on the Seahawks, go to https://www.seahawks.com/.

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