Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll relish victory over Russell Wilson and Denver Broncos

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stayed with his brand through Monday night’s season opener, delivering his usual message of treating every game equally in his answers to common questions about facing former Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos.

But it was clear that six months into their messy and public divorce, Wilson was more than just another win.

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On his weekly radio show Tuesday morning, Carroll reiterated his post-game comment that the win was not “confirmed.” Instead, he called it “really rewarding,” especially for the ex-Seahawks who were in attendance. These included Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin, Cliff Avril, KJ Wright — who raised the 12 flag before kickoff — and other members of their Super Bowl XLVIII and XLIX teams who were teammates with Wilson.

“I didn’t need the confirmation,” Carroll told Seattle Sports 710-AM. “I just wanted it. I just wanted to win. I wanted to win for all the reasons that come with this one. Maybe so much everything represents the guys who played before. It meant a lot to these guys. I was so thrilled to be able to hug these guys and see them and look them in the eye.”

Why did it mean so much to them?

“Eh, you’ll find out,” Carroll said. “But it was really meaningful and they really wanted it and I knew we were playing for a lot more than just the normal stuff. We have a real connection to history… They feel it and they love the fact that they played here and they love to see us well. That night they realized there was a big opportunity and a big statement: This game isn’t about a single player here or there. It’s about the team. This is the ultimate team sport and as has been said so many times it takes everyone.

“Sometimes when that much focus goes, it just rubs people the wrong way, I guess or whatever. But I’m thrilled that we won this game. It was significant for many reasons aside from being the first game of the year and all that. But the fact that it was Monday night, oh boy, it couldn’t be better. Just very rewarding, and on we go.”

The Seahawks Twitter account delighted in the result with two tweets playfully — and not so subtly — trolling Wilson and the Broncos.

Carroll repeated his surprise at Denver’s closely scrutinized decision to attempt the game-winning field goal from 64 yards in the final seconds, and said the Seahawks are preparing to defend a fourth and fifth game “all the way.” When Broncos kicker Brandon McManus’ kick went wide to the left, the Seahawks walked away with a one-point win as a 6.5-point underdog.

“After all the talk and all the buildup, we’ve been doubted all year and we haven’t had a chance and all that,” Carroll said. “So they weren’t right, so we’re feeling that a little bit.”

Carroll had a lot to say after Monday’s win about how a focus of the Seahawks’ defensive game plan was getting Wilson to move to the left, which would force him to throw back over his body.

“That’s really the way to play him,” Carroll said.

“If he moves to the left it’s difficult for him numerically and stuff. So we could do some stuff and it wasn’t perfect at all, but it was effective and we felt like we were in control. So it wasn’t always clean just to get the sack. It was trying to get him where we wanted him to be. The guys did a good job. We could do better.

Wilson — the best quarterback in franchise history and the only one to lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory — was greeted with about a dozen hugs from former teammates and coaches, relentless boos from fans, and no pre-game tribute at Lumen Field welcome to commemorate all that he accomplished during his decade in Seattle. His only known exchange with Carroll was a brief aftermath.

“I can’t even remember my words,” Carroll said. “I think, ‘Nice game.'” Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll relish victory over Russell Wilson and Denver Broncos

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