Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll defended the play call that turned a dramatic win into an even more dramatic loss on Sunday night.
“We had a terrific call but it didn’t work out,” Carroll told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Malcolm Butler, a rookie whose tip of a Russell Wilson pass less than a minute earlier wildly fell back into Jermaine Kearse’s hands, sniffed a short slant and intercepted the Russell Wilson pass at the goal line with 20 seconds left that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. More than a hundred million people immediately wondered why Carroll hadn’t called running back Marshawn Lynch’s number.
“If we’d of run it on that down right there we would have had to use our timeout,” Carroll explained. He affirmed that he okayed his offensive coordinator’s choice of plays.
“We have a great match up,” Carroll reasoned. “We have an easy chance to throw a touchdown pass.”
Carroll compared the loss to his defeat at USC to Texas in the National Championship Game in 2006 when Vince Young ran into the endzone with 19 seconds left to put the Longhorns ahead.
The NFL Network’s Deion Sanders called the goal-line decision “the worst call” in the history of Super Bowls. “That’s got to be one of the dumbest calls offensively in Super Bowl history,” Patriots color commentator Scott Zolak reacted.
“It such an easy thing to second guess,” Seattle’s coach opined. “And that’s going to happen for a long time.”