NEW YORK — The two Super Bowl coaches, Seattle’s Pete Carroll and Denver’s John Fox, said Friday that the outcome of Sunday’s game will depend on more than which side prevails in the high-profile matchup between the Broncos’ offense, which was ranked first in the NFL during the regular season, and the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense.
“A lot’s been made of that, and rightfully so,” Fox said at a joint news conference, the last time either will talk to the media before Sunday’s game. “… [But] at the end of the day, it’s a team game.”
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning set single-season league records for passing yards and touchdown passes this season. Slowing down Manning and his receivers will be the top priority for a Seattle defense known for the aggressive style of its secondary.
It’s “a logical matchup to look for,” Carroll said. “But this game is going to be involving so many different aspects of it.”
The coaches traveled to Manhattan Friday after spending much of the week in New Jersey, where both teams are staying and practicing. Carroll said the logistics of the first Super Bowl to be held in the New York area have not been problematic.
“It really worked out great,” Carroll said.
Fox said he knew all along he’d return to coaching this season after undergoing heart surgery in November to have his aortic valve replaced. Fox missed four weeks and compared that absence Friday to being sidelined with a sprained ankle as a player. That led Carroll to express astonishment at his counterpart’s toughness.
“Really never had any doubts,” Fox said of rejoining the Broncos this season.