(opening…) Well, we're very pleased with the win. It was as complete a game as we've played in a while, as far as offense, defense and special teams and their contributions. I think it was pretty even that way. Josh kicked the ball right down the middle on his field goals. He drilled them, we had good snaps. Our coverage teams did a nice job, against a real good return man. The field position thing was good for us. Offensively, we got the running game going just a little bit. Now, they were without Ray Lewis, who is a great player for them. I'll take any improvement in that area that comes our way, and I think we did improve just a little bit today in the run game. I am very happy for Bobby Engram, he set a Seahawks record for catches. He's having a great year. So, there is a lot to like. I'm giving the players off tomorrow, Christmas Eve, and Christmas, and then we're back to work on Wednesday to prepare for Atlanta.
(On clinching the #3 seed in the NFC playoffs…) If you can't have the home field advantage throughout, or the first round bye, then being slotted number 3 means you've had a good year. You've positioned yourself, if things happen in the playoffs, to gain a couple of things if it goes your way. The teams that are mentioned, both Green Bay and Dallas, are having great years, and we're up there, and Tampa has had a good year. It is good to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys. You strive for the first round bye, I think that is the most important thing. But, if you can't get that, I'm glad we're third.
(On the importance of playing better than last week… ) I think that is probably the biggest thing about this game, because I was not happy with how we played last week, and the players weren't. I think we expressed ourselves to one another that way, and had a good week of practice, and they came out and they played a good game. Now, we have our fans here, and this is a wonderful place for us to play, and so we have to have that type of intensity show on the road, as well. I like the way they bounced back after last week.
(On the effectiveness of the running game…) We've worked hard on that all season long, and it just hasn't gone the way we wanted it to. I thought that Shaun ran the ball hard today. We started the game No Huddle, and Shaun wasn't in the game. I think he was ready to go, and he sort of bided his time there, because Mo is in that particular package for us. Then, when he got his chance, I thought he ran home. They opened up some nice things for him. He did a beautiful job on the screen pass. So, I was pleased about that, and if it ever had to come, I'm glad it comes now. So, it's a good time of the year for us to hopefully get that thing going a little bit.
(On opening with the No Huddle…) I wanted to try it, I've been flirting with the idea the last few games. Then, Baltimore does a lot of things on defense. They really do a lot of things on defense, and you put together my wanting to do it with the fact that maybe I could get them in a little bit less wild defensive scheme. We were going to try it. We did OK. It was OK. I wish we had done it a little bit better, but we did some good things there, too.
(On resting Rocky Bernard…) He could have played in the game. It's kind of what we have been doing all season long with him, resting him during the week and then playing him in the game. He is the one man on the football team that if I can rest him and get him feeling better, for the first playoff game, he is the one guy we should rest because of injury. He'll give you everything he's got. But, I am hopeful this will help him. We haven't made any decisions yet about the Atlanta game, and how we're going to play the game. My inclination right now is that we're going to keep playing and hopefully keep our momentum up a little bit.
(On the success of the offense….) I talked to them on Friday, and conveyed the fact that I haven't lost confidence or faith in their ability to do this. For us to reach our goal, we had to run the ball a little bit better. Let's see if we can do this. It was a little bit of a challenge, kind of a soft-pedal challenge. They came out and I think they did a pretty good job.
(On the pressure put on Troy Smith…) Troy was a wonderful college player. I will say the same thing I said last week. When you go against a quarterback that hasn't played very much, if you don't pressure him, you're really giving him a chance to use his athletic ability, and you don't want to do that. You don't want to give him much hope at all, early on in his career. So, I was pleased with the pressure we got today. It is tough duty for a rookie quarterback, it is.
(On facing so many inexperienced quarterbacks this year… ) I can't remember one, this is an unusual year that way. There are a lot of young men that are playing that haven't played a great deal, or have never been the real starter. They've been on the team, and played if people got hurt. It's been a wild year that way.
(On the advantage of having an experienced backup quarterback…) You would have to look at each team. We're all a little different. It depends on how good your number one is, too. You take our team, as an example, I am very comfortable with Seneca playing. I am much more comfortable than a lot of teams are with their second, I would guess, without knowing all of the little ins and outs of their situation. But, he has played a little bit. He played last year, and he has played some. But, if you have to go with a young man you've drafted out of college last year, or someone who has been third and moved up because of injury, and things like that, there is a big gap. The idea of your quarterback staying healthy, whether it is Matt, or the guys that are ahead of us, you know, Favre and Romo; the teams that are up there, it's no accident that their quarterbacks typically have been healthy, and you've been able to play with your guys all season.
(On whether the team is prepared for the playoffs…) I always want to strive for more. We did take a little bit of a step today which is encouraging to me, and I hope it is encouraging to the players.
(On the thoughts of resting guys in next week's game…) We're going to have to talk about that. My initial feeling right now is that we're going to play. I'm not going to make wholesale changes, I'm not going to do that. The players are off and we're working, and we'll get that decided in the next couple of days.
(On injuries…) We came out fine.
Merry Christmas everybody, Merry Christmas.