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Pete Carroll: Irvin didn't say he plans to play in Atlanta

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While enjoying an Atlanta Hawks playoff game from courtside seats rooting for his hometown NBA team last week, Bruce Irvin was quoted by a website as saying he wanted to play for the Falcons next year.

As it does these days, Irvin's quotes made their way around the Internet and back up to Seattle, where the linebacker has one more year on his contract.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who was inducted into the USC Athletics Hall of fame on Saturday, was asked about Irvin's quotes about planning to play in Atlanta next year. He was eager to respond.

"I'm really glad you asked me that, because he didn't say that," Carroll said in response to the quote from Blacksportsonline.com. "We've been talking all along, he's been working out in Atlanta for three weeks, and he said in response to the question 'Do you want to come back home?' He said: 'Everybody likes to come back home, it's a dream to come back home.' It wasn't in reference to leaving us and coming back, so he was really adamant about it, and I asked him so let's leave it and not go at it anymore. I'm glad you brought it up."

Carroll blamed a misquote for causing the situation.

"We've seen at the Seahawks just in this last year a number of things being written or stated about players," he said. "What they're doing, what they're thinking, and they're being misrepresented in those situations. It was wonderful to see our guys respond, because they respond vehemently. They don't want to be positioned like that, they don't want to look like that... it doesn't have to be a reporter at a network, anybody can put those messages out, and they have a life to them. Our guys are getting better at understanding that, and Bruce has learned again from this lesson."

The perception that the linebacker isn't long for Seattle after the team declined his fifth-year option caused Irvin's quote from the Hawks game to carry weight The links to Atlanta are plenty. Former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn now coaches the Falcons, he needs pass rushers, Atlanta is Irvin's home.

Carroll insists that Irvin is focused on being a Seahawk. As long as the team -- especially the players in the locker room -- doesn't believe that the linebacker is biding his time until he can leave, that's all that matters.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Lindsay Rhodes to discuss the Patriots' response in the "Deflategate" saga and the latest names revealed on the "The Top 100 Players of 2015" countdown. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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