Head coach Pete Carroll (L) of the Seattle Seahawks and head coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos attend a Super Bowl XLVIII head coach joint press conference at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
NEW YORK CITY - Much has been made of the matchup between the league's No. 1 ranked offense and No. 1 ranked defense ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.
But Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Denver Broncos head coach John Fox feel the much anticipated matchup won't necessarily be the deciding factor in the outcome of the game.
"There are three phases of the game and in my experience, whether it's been of of these (Super Bowls) or in any game or big spot, it's who executes the best and who performs the best," Fox said during the final press conference of the week from the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.
"There always seems to be the unknown guy that makes a critical play, whether it's in the kicking game... lord knows where it's going to come from. But in my experience has been there has been one of those events."
Carroll said there are going to be many players that could be major factors in the game.
"This game is going to be involving so many different aspects of it. It will be interesting to see if that is the story. Is it our defense versus their offense. ...There are so many aspects and so many phases that will contribute," Carroll said.
"There is a little bit of an under-current. Our offensive guys are thinking about it too and I'm sure his defensive guys are thinking about it too. They want to be a part of this whole factor. There's going to be a lot of guys battling."
The coaches were both asked if there was any aspect of the other coach's team they would like to have on their own team.
Fox said ultimately he didn't want to detract from his own players but did compliment many aspects of Seattle's defensive unit. Carroll took a slightly different approach to the question.
"We'd like to have their points," Carroll joked. "How many points did you score? About 800? If we had those points our defense could play pretty well. That would help us."
Carroll said the Seahawks have handled the week of media obligations well and have had good practices at the practice facility for the New York Giants where the team is working this week.
"Everything has seemed very smooth for us," Carroll said. "...Everything has worked out great. The energy is terrific and players are really ready to play a football game."
With Friday's press conference in the rear-view mirror, the coaches and players will be free to turn their focus solely to the game for the remainder of the weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for just after 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) on Sunday night.