QB MATT HASSELBECK
(On the win today…) Our guys played really well. We had to prepare very hard for this game. It's a tough team to prepare for, they've had some injuries on defense that, believe it or not, have made it a little bit harder for us. We had to figure out who was going to be playing where and what there plan was going to be. They played us many different ways over they years, and Clancy [Pendergast] does a nice job. But guys made plays, and made big catches. Our equipment staff did a phenomenal job of rubbing down the footballs for us. They used a new technique, and that was really big. I think everyone felt good, and I think everything was kind of going our way a little bit.
(On how the footballs are being rubbed…) I'm not sure, it's kind of a secret. We called around the league to see what other guys are doing, and the footballs were good this week.
(On Coach Holmgren getting the game ball…) It's a huge honor. I know it meant a lot to him. It meant a lot to him for a lot of reasons. It's a huge accomplishment and the coach that he passed is obviously a great coach. Also, to have Mr. Allen in there talking to the team, it doesn't happen a lot. So, when he does speak up and he does say something, everyone listens. It also took Mike off guard. I think he prides himself on knowing about everything that is going on in the building, and he had no idea. It kind of blindsided him, and so it meant a lot to him. Then, he had some very nice things to say to the team, and to everyone. He said that every time you win an award, or get a game ball, or you get an accolade, I know why I am receiving this award. It's the people in the room, it's the coaches, the players, the trainers, pretty much everybody in the building. We have a pretty good feeling right now on our team. Everyone is feeling good. It was a good moment.
(On what Paul Allen said…) He presented the game ball to Coach Holmgren, and congratulated the team on the fourth consecutive NFC West division title. Also, complimented our fans for just being awesome like they usually are. It was really good.
(On winning the division…) It's a different team every year. I was thinking about it today, there are a lot of guys that have meant a lot to our team that our not here anymore. They are playing for other teams, or they are not playing. If it wasn't for those guys holding it tight, when it was tough here, when we weren't as talented as we are, or when it was really tough to go into St. Louis and get a win, or it was tough to go to San Fran and get a win, those guys laid the foundation for the success that we had then, and that we're having now. You think about those guys, and about the guys that aren't here to celebrate, and get the hats and the tee shirt and win four in a row.
(On how good the team is…) I think the best year we had was the year we got rid of some quote-unquote talent, and tried to keep guys that had a little bit more professionalism and were just good teammates. I don't think talent is necessarily what gets it done. We have some of it, we have some talent, and that's good.
(On the play of the offense…) We stalled, we could have played a lot better I thought. We made a lot of plays and scored a lot of touchdowns. Our defense created a lot of turnovers and had a lot of sacks, but even still, you can say this every game. It's a good approach, let's pick the stuff that we can fix, let's control what we can control. There were a couple of three and outs there. The big thing is that we didn't turn the ball over, we handled their pressure nicely. It was good, everyone feels good. In 2005, things were coming a lot easier. Some teams are having that kind of a year right now, the Patriots and the Cowboys, they're having that kind of a year right now. It's OK, though.
(On the improvement of the offense…) It's a long season, and you're going to have ups and downs. You have to battle through injuries. We got hit pretty hard with the injury bug early on, and even guys that didn't miss games that were playing through some stuff, it's just harder. As we get guys healthy, and we figure out what our idenity is, I definitely think offensively we are finding our identity a little bit better, a little bit more. Early on I can remember saying to you guys that we were just OK at a lot of stuff, but we're not real good at anything, and I don't feel that way any more. I feel that there are some things that we can hang our hat on and if we need plays we have guys we can count on and guys we can go to, and that kind of thing. So, that's a good feeling.
(On the team so far…) It would be nicer to have a better record right now, but our record is whatever it is, 9-4, and you have to just keep trying to win games.
(On whether he is a better quarterback than he was in 2005…) Oh yeah, I would hope so. Playing quarterback, you are as good as the guys around you. You get credit when you probably don't deserve it, and you get blame… In '05, guys were making huge plays for me then, and guys are making plays for me now, too. Bobby Engram is having a career year, Nate is coming around playing good for us, Deion is dependable, Marcus Pollard we still want to get him going more, I think he can be special for us. Our backs are catching the ball well, the pass pro has been good. If those guys are doing that, then I have no choice but to play well. They have to know that I appreciate them very much.
(On what happened with Darnell Dockett hitting him low…) You heard what Tony [Corrente] said. That's his call. If that is what the rule is, then he doesn't make the rules, he just enforces them. I don't have issue with him at all. He did his job well. There were a few close calls before that, that is probably why the flag was thrown in the first place. There were a couple that were close calls. As you know, I missed a bunch of games because of a play like that before. The rule is what the rule is.
(On the tussle…) I think there is definitely a rivalry developing in the NFC West. We didn't have that early on. It wasn't like we had ever played each other very much. We respect these guys. They are very physical, very tough. Darnell Dockett is probably one of the best D-linemen that we have played this year. He's a very good player, his get-off was really impressive today. He was getting off the ball quickly. He is powerful, he is having a great year. Those guys were physical, but we respect these guys. There are some teams you play, and honestly you just don't like them. We don't feel that way necessarily about Arizona. We respect them, we like them, but it's a physical game. And those guys are playing physical in the trenches. I was just trying to get my teammates out of there. It's great to be fired up and all that, but the last thing anybody wants is a penalty.
(On the team getting on a roll…) Every year, you have to start it up again. It's a great feeling. Four in a row, division titles. I remember when this NFC West was formed, and San Fran was really good, they had T.O. and Jeff Garcia, and the St. Louis Rams were coming off of Super Bowl after Super Bowl, and it felt impossible for us to get a win at St. Louis at the time. Slowly but surely, we had enough guys helping us believe that hey, maybe we can get there someday, and here we are. So, hopefully, we can take the next step.