Malcolm Smith said his only thought during his interception return was "don't get thought." Credit: Getty Images
You couldn't wipe the smile off Seattle head coach Pete Carroll's face on Monday morning. It's no wonder why.
A day after one of the most dominating performances in Super Bowl history, the Seahawks coach met the media still basking in the afterglow of a 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII victory.
“I think as we have seen in the past, sometimes games go, and sometimes it can be kind of like an avalanche,” Carroll said. “The first score, we had nothing to do with that one. [The safety] was just unfortunate for them on the snap and all. From that point on, we really seized the night.”
No where did they seize the night more than on defense, where the Seahawks battered and humiliated the best offense in football during the 2013 season. Denever quarterback Peyton Manning, who threw for a record 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards in the regular season, was harassed into two interceptions and a fumble.
The conversation after the game quickly swung from discussing a good defense to placing Seattle among the pantheon of great all-time defenses alongside the 1985 Bears and 2000 Ravens.
“When the names of the teams and the years of [all-time best defenses] come up, you have many big-time defenses that have played,” Carroll said. “We’ll see. You have to look back, I think, and evaluate rather than call it right now. You won’t get me doing that.”
The Seahawks, even the loquacious Richard Sherman, were atypically humble after the win. On the field after the game, Sherman said he was just happy to be mentioned in the same breath as great defenses from the past.
“I definitely feel like we’re up there,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said Sunday night. “We went against a legend, a guy who’s definitely going into the Hall of Fame as soon as he retires, but who knows? We’ve got to do a lot more; we’re so young. If we really want to be the best, we’ve really got to keep doing it longer than just a year.”
Both Carroll and Smith were already looking to that future on Monday. The Seahawks were the fourth-youngest team in the NFL this season and the youngest roster to ever win a Super Bowl.
“We’ve seen the effort that it takes to get to this point, and, obviously, we’ll try to replicate that and do it again,” Smith said. “We’re looking forward to the next challenges and guys having a target on their back and people trying to come after us.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter@MetroNYSports.