Thousands of raucous green and blue clad fans lined the streets
back home as buses headed to the airport carrying the team that will
face Denver and quarterback Peyton Manning next Sunday at MetLife
Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"We had an extraordinary sendoff," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said
at the team's opening news conference after a ride from the airport
to their Jersey City hotel.
"The 12s were out there in full force. The bus could only go about
two miles an hour because they had swarmed into the streets. They
were pounding on the bus and everything. It was extraordinarily fun
for everybody to see. Very cool."
First off the plane that rolled into a private hanger was Seattle's
bruising running back Marshawn Lynch, wearing sparkling gold headphones and a "Beast Mode" sweatshirt proclaiming his well-earned
Seattle brings the National Football League's top-ranked defense
into the title tilt, spearheaded by a suffocating secondary that
will go against Denver's league-leading offense.
The Seahawks are the second-youngest team to play in the Super Bowl
in terms of average age, but they do not lack confidence.
"They have a little more experience in it than we do," said
cornerback Richard Sherman, surrounded by reporters and cameramen
hanging on his every word following his postgame rant after
Seattle's NFC title win over the San Francisco 49ers.
"I've never seen experience play in the game."
Carroll believed his exuberant club was ready for the biggest
"Even though we're young I think they have a really mature
perspective. That's what we're relying on," he added.
Sherman, whose world-class trash talking belies his academic record
as a Stanford University graduate, was on his best behavior and
summed up the team's approach.
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"We'll continue to work, continue to prepare and not be distracted
by the stage, by the media," said the NFL's interception leader.
Carroll, appearing in his first Super Bowl after head coaching
stints with the New England Patriots and New York Jets, who played
on the same Meadowlands site as the new MetLife Stadium, was aware
of the challenge posed by the Broncos.
"It's historically as hard as it gets," the coach said.
"They've broken every major record in the throwing game. Peyton
(Manning) has been extraordinary in having a year anybody would
dream to have. They don't just throw the football, they also run the
ball. It's an extraordinary challenge."
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who has registered the most
wins of any signal caller in his first two NFL seasons, wasted no
time on the cross-continental flight from Seattle.
"I was breaking down tape," he told reporters. "It was probably a
four and a half hour flight, and for a solid three hours, three and
a half hours, I was studying.
"I was watching all the clips, all the third downs in the red zone,
just preparing my mind for getting back into it, to get ready for
Wilson, like the others, stressed the importance of sticking to
"I think the biggest thing in terms of keeping this game normal is
just staying focused on your preparation," he said.
"Making sure you're getting tons of sleep. Making sure that you're
eating well, making sure you're watching all the same things and
going through your check list.
"We're not going to shy away from it. I've always been told, don't be
afraid to excel."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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