QB MATT HASSELBECK
(On the mental match with Brian Urlacher…) They give him a lot of leeway on their defense. He is the quarterback of their defense. When teams check, he checks. They will be in a blitz, and we will check to a blitz-play, and then they will check out of their blitz. When you are playing at home you have the ability to do the they check, we check, they check, we check. Whoever gets the last check in is usually the most successful. Being able to play them at home we had that opportunity.
(On whether that was something that he learned from last year…) We know that they do it. It is a bit of a guessing game, he is good at it. They have dummy checks, just like we have dummy checks. At times they got us, and at times we got them. It's tough when you are playing a guy as smart as he is in terms of football knowledge, and he can just sense things. I think a couple of times we were going with dummy audibles, and he just sensed that they were bogus. There were other times when they were real audibles, and he was calling out the play. Not that the plays weren't successful, we still gained yardage at times, but these guys are well coached, they know what they're doing, and they have a system that works.
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(On the adjustments…) We talked about some stuff on the sidelines, and figured out how we were going to handle it. Our coaches gave us tools to get some of that stuff done. The guys did a pretty good job.
(On the value of the return of Deion Branch…) I think having veteran guys is great. We went a long spell without Hackett, and without Deion and without Marcus. It's tough. The more guys you lose, the tougher it is. Having those guys coming back, giving us everything they got, whether or not they are 100% yet, I don't know, but as teammates, you really appreciate that guys are willing to lay it on the line and give you what they got. Having Deion back is obviously good for our team.
(On whether his oblique injury was bothering him…) It was a physical game. We know that about these guys and their defense. They get a lot of hits on you. It was a physical game, so I will be looking for a lot of sympathy tonight when I get home. It's hard to know where the oblique is, I have thick skin.
(On running out of bounds to avoid Urlacher…) I think what he said to me at that point is that we're both getting old, and both of our low backs are getting stiff. He's right. It's not the most exciting thing for a quarterback to see as he is trying to run out of bounds to see Brian Urlacher sprinting downhill at you. It's not the best thing. We came in at halftime and did some things and made it feel better.
(On the decision to go for it on Fourth and One…) It's Coach Holmgren's call always on that. I think he was more upset because we didn't get it on Second and One and we didn't get it on Third and One and you could just sense his anger at that moment. I just shared a thought that with Devin Hester back there returning punts we may not be playing the field position game. I don't know if that had anything to do with him deciding to do it or not. He may have had somebody else talking to his ear upstairs. Either way, it was an opportunity for us to get it done. It is something that we have struggled with a little bit this year, and we got it done pretty well today.
(On the long pass to D.J Hackett…) He's our starting split end right now, and he's making plays. You make plays, and you're going to continue to get the ball. We really weren't trying to throw that route. We had a different route called. The bump and run coverage that they guy gave dictates that a different route being run, and the guy was so far outside leverage on Hackett that he variated a little bit with his route and I don't know if it is really what you are supposed to do, but he got enough separation and I threw it in there and that was inches from being an interception or a huge play, and it was a huge play.
(On the touchdown to Nate Burleson…) I thought I could maybe run it, and that is actually his route. His route is to run down there and push on I believe Lance Briggs and then strike it back, so it was a great job by him holding on to the ball. It was a tough catch.
(On whether he was concerned when the score was 10-0…) I tried not to worry about the score too much. 10-0 is not great. We talked all week about trying to put the pressure on them; we are at home. Hopefully put them in a situation where they have to throw it. That wasn't the situation. We just tried to stick to the game plan, get completions, move the chains and guys made the plays that needed to be made when they had opportunities.
(On the progress of the passing game…) We can still do a lot more. I thought they did a really nice job, Urlacher and those guys, of disguising things. Some of my calls weren't dead on. He got me sometimes, I think we got them sometimes. We can do a lot of things better. As everybody comes back healthy, it gets a lot easier to do what we do.
(On getting more comfortable with the shotgun…) I'm not extremely comfortable with it, because we don't use it a whole bunch. It is so much easier. At times you feel like it is cheating. When they are blitzing, you can just catch it and throw it, it's nice, it's really nice. Hopefully we can keep that going. I think Mike's big concern, well he actually has a couple of concerns. Just getting a clean snap is one. Also the fundamentals, staying low, staying disciplined in your footwork, stuff like that. The more we practice it, I think the more comfortable everybody will be with it.
(On whether he debated not using it after the high snap…) I thought about it, but there is more reward than there is risk.
(On how he feels physically…) When you win a game, you feel no pain for a while. I don't know if it is adrenaline or what, but it's like tomorrow morning is when you find out how you really feel. The training room is never full after you win. After you lose you can't find the table.
(On whether he thinks Josh Brown could play linebacker after his tackle of Devin Hester…) Josh would. It gives him something to talk about on his radio show on Tuesday I guess. You can only talk about kicking the ball so much, and he probably doesn't want to talk about his short kickoffs. Josh is a good athlete. He tore it up in Oklahoma playing 8 man football [laughter], I think he was a great high jumper. He is pretty athletic. He works hard in the weight room. Great tackle, really great tackle.
(On the catch by Leonard Weaver that he had to jump for…) It was a nice catch, and it was a good job by him of staying in bounds. Early in the game I think I was a little high on everything. That is the kind of stuff that we are trying to stress all week. Look downfield, take your shot downfield if it is there. If not, check it down to your backs. I believe on that play I was right, left, back to the right, and then back way right to Leonard. Sometimes you forget where those backs are. Those guys have been doing a great job of catching the ball, getting upfield. I probably should have thrown it to him more today.
(On the play of the other NFC contenders…) I think it is impressive how Dallas is playing right now, how Green Bay is playing right now. It's hard not to notice the lead that they are establishing right now in terms of the NFC playoff race. You tip your hat to them, it's tough to do. They are way out in front right now. I am comfortable with where we are. We control our own destiny in terms of winning the division. We just have to keep winning, and just worry about us. We need to just win games. If we win games, good stuff happens.