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Super Bowl Q&A with Pete Carroll

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Posted: Sunday January 24, 1999 04:42 PM

  Carroll says both Jamal Anderson and Terrell Davis make smart decisions CNN/SI

Patriots coach Pete Carroll checked in with CNN/SI anchor Bob Lorenz during CNN's "NFL Preview" on Sunday morning to offer insight's into Super Bowl XXXIII and what it will take for each team to win.

Bob Lorenz: One of the best ways to get to know the Super Bowl teams better is to tap into a source of knowledge on both teams. The Falcons and Broncos had five common opponents this season, including the Patriots, and New England coach Pete Carroll joins us now. Unfortunately, Coach, you lost to both teams, but in the season opener, you played Denver very close and held Terrell Davis to 75 yards, with no run longer than 9 yards. Is that the game plan with Davis -- you might not be able to stop him completely, but you eliminate the big play?

Pete Carroll: It gives you a chance against a great club. If you keep him from controlling the game, and it just minimizes their effect with play-action passes, too. It has to start there with him.

BL: No slouch on the other side, too carrying the ball is Jamal Anderson for the Falcons. He ground out 104 yards against your team in November. Do you approach him preparing for him differently than you do Davis because Jamal is more of a bruising runner?

PC: Well, he draws your attention -- the defensive backs are checking you out all week long, trying to stuff the line of scrimmage and make the big play on the guy. He's got those enormous thighs that just draw your attention when you're a defensive back. It's a little bit different in his style, but they're very similar in that they make good decisons and hit the holes well. They both run very physical -- they're very similar.

BL: As for the quarterbacks, most people would give the edge to John Elway over Chris Chandler, because he's been to the Super Bowl before. In your opinion, does that matter much?

PC: I think it does. It matters some. John has tremendous experience in this situation, so he knows what he's getting into. Chris will go to sleep the night before the game wondering how big it will be and how excited he will be. John knows that. Chris has shown, though, that he can make the big plays and direct his team in the most difficult settings as he did in Minnesota and as he's done for a year and a half with this club. I think he'll be ready, of course, but John does have an edge.

BL: On the other side of the ball, both teams' defenses have picked it up in the playoffs, but Denver did show some chinks in the regular season. Is there anything there that the Falcons can take advantage of?

PC: I don't know that there's a lot you can take advantage of. I think Greg Robinson does a great job with his defense, and against a very fine offense with the Jets. They really controlled them quite well. I think you'll see a great game plan from the Broncos. They do a number of things that make it very difficult on an offense. I don't think what has happened before will make a difference. I think they're playing very good football with great confidence. They know how to complement their offense. I don't think there are a lot of holes in this defense right now.

BL: What about when the Falcons defense is on the field? Any certain direction that Elway and Davis should aim, or from what you saw last week against the Vikings, do you think Atlanta's defense is pretty airtight?

PC: With what Rich Brooks has done with this group, the Falcons are really good up front. They have more than a typical factor in their four-man rush. They can rush five guys and get pressure, where a lot of teams have to rush more than that and mix their rushes more. They're a very fundamental team, and I think this just a real classy matchup of two solid offenses and two great defenses. I don't think there are any holes in either one of these teams right now.

BL: Two weeks of preparation for the Super Bowl. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

PC: I know this. Mike Shanahan knows how to do this. He's been in Super Bowl situations before, and he had a tremendous preparation last year. They know exactly what they want to do with it. On the other hand, Dan has been there many times, but his club hasn't. They'll have to get the rhythm of those two weeks for their preparation. I think Denver has an edge in that they know how to do this quite well. That was an impeccable showing last year.

BL: On Thursday, Falcons defensive back Ray Buchanan guaranteed a win. Give me your thoughts on that as a coach. Do you just cringe hearing stuff like that from your players?

PC: As a coach, you do kind of cringe a little bit when a guy comes out and makes a bold statement like that. It's been done before. A great player, great guy in the history of this league did it, but I don't think a coach ever wants to hear that. It does challenge your club. They're going to have to rise up. Ray's thought highly of on that club, so those guys will want to back his words up.

Related information
Experience edge can be good or bad in Super Bowl
Reeves' comments rekindle feud with Elway, Shanahan
Teams taking different tacks on Super Bowl planning
Elway, Chandler traveled different paths to Super Bowl
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