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Seahawks’ Pete Carroll handled COVID-19 in ‘true competitor fashion’

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll looks on as wide receiver DK Metcalf warms up during NFL football training camp, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool)

A little bit of normalcy may return Sunday to the lives of football fans in Seattle as the Seahawks kick off the season in Atlanta. But it’s been a challenging road, to say the least, to get to week one.

Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll joined KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show for the season’s first episode of The Pete Carroll Show on KIRO Radio. Carroll says he has been in a competitive mindset long before game one as the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 impacted his team.

“I’ve handled it in true competitor fashion, looking at this as a challenge to figure out, create mentality and mode and procedure that would fit with the protocols, competing on every level and everything we could think of,” he said. “Since months ago, months and months ago, since we realized that this was happening, [we’ve been] studying and learning and trying to get up to speed with what we need to know, and talking to everybody.”

It’s been a constant, ongoing process, Carroll said.

“We have tried to be proactive as possible, as creative as possible, as well informed as possible, and then as aggressive as possible also, in an effort to protect our guys, really,” he said. “And all of the families and the coaches and everybody that’s involved, all of our children, everybody.”

The Seahawks have taken the concerns to heart and have tried to be responsible when creating rules, protocol, and coming together to practice.

“Fortunately, we’ve made it through camp and we’ve had all negative tests throughout the whole process, and our guys have really been willing to make the sacrifices to how to figure this stuff out and to be part of it, and we’ve developed a real conscience about it, and that’s what it takes to get this done,” Carroll said.

It’s been challenging, Carroll added, but having a plan in place, combined with discipline from the players and everyone involved has been extremely helpful.

“What we have found out is that how you deal with this is with a really clear plan, with discipline, with a mentality that will keep you looking forward all the time and not looking for the easy way out,” he said. “This is a hard process, and you can’t have things exactly the way you want them, and what you remember as normal. You have to be willing to adapt and change and fight through it.”

When you do, he says, that’s what separates you from the pack. On top of all that, Carroll says it’s been critical to stay focused on the goal as one mistake could cost everything.

“It just takes such discipline, and you can’t ignore the reality of it or you’re gonna pass the virus around,” he said.

Carroll says he’s glad the team was successfully able to create its own bubble to stay safe and healthy.

“People say you can’t do it unless you live apart. Well, we did, and our players did a marvelous job,” he said. “… Over half our team is living outside of the hotel, and they’ve created the habits and the mentality and the discipline it takes to be clean the whole time. So hopefully we’ll keep this going and we’ll be able to fend off the challenges on the road and put our best foot forward.”

Pete Carroll Show: Seahawks’ duo of Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf may be about to take off

Listen to Seahawks pregame on KIRO Radio at 7 a.m. Sunday. Kickoff is at 10 a.m.

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