(Opening…) It goes without saying how pleased we are with the win, after a couple of tough losses. The importance of this week was stressed. It was a division opponent. We learned a week ago, that you don't look at the other team's record, if you can help it. Our defense played a great football game today. They had their quarterback back, and they had their two wide receivers back, who have been great for them over the years. Our pass rush and our pressure and the things we need to do on a regular basis really was the difference today. Special teams, I told them at halftime, I said I need a good return to start the second half, and now that's good coaching right there. [laughter] And they did it. Now, offensively, we're still trying to find our way a little bit. We're kind of hit and miss. Our best football is still ahead of us. We get Hackett and Branch back after the bye, I'm hopeful. We are working real hard to fix some of the things that aren't going right. We're letting some young guys play. With their experience they are going to be better down the stretch. Clearly, our best football is still ahead of us. It was a great win today.
(On Matt Hasselbeck getting a little banged up…) He had an oblique pull. I thought about taking him out, but that's about it. As long as he could function, and he could function, then I was not going to take him out of the game. He's going to be sore, he will be around getting treated this week. A pretty gutsy effort, actually, because he pulled it early in the football game. When you talk to him, he will be able to fill you in how it affected him during the ball game.
(On Darryl Tapp getting 4 sacks…) He was great. Unfortunately, he broke a little bone in his hand, and they put a big mit on him. Whether he has that operated on or not, it's a little like what happened to David Kirtman, if you remember early in the year, they operated on it, and it's my understanding that he will have his fingers available. If they don't, he'll have to wear the big boxing glove, and they will talk to him about that this evening. I think our pass rush, those guys were excited about doing it, they needed to do it, they have been under the gun a little bit about our pressure the last couple of ball games, so I was happy for them.
(On the plans for the bye week…) I have a plan, but I haven't told them yet. We're meeting at 9:00 o'clock tomorrow morning, and so I can't tell you. With the bye week, I've done it all different ways. I've given them the week off, as you know, and that's worked OK, I think. I have brought them in and practiced them before, and given them long weekends on either side. I have to kind of think about that tonight and that's what the meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 o'clock is about.
(On the long run on third and short by Maurice Morris…) Seneca and Maurice and Weaver, prior to Mack Strong getting hurt, we wanted to figure out ways to get them on the field, so they have certain plays that they will practice during the week, and they will be in on. That's the long and the short of it. It was his play. On my sideline sheet, it has the play and it has #20 next to it, and I just stick him in the game. That's what it is. He is not going to have all of the short yardage plays. It was just that particular game.
(On talking to Shaun Alexander late in the fourth quarter…) He did not want to come out of the game. He wanted to keep playing, and at that point I had taken Matt out of the game, and we had taken a couple guys out of the game, and Shaun, of course, would come out of the game. The game was in hand at that particular point, and he did not want to come out of the game. So, I tried to explain it to him why, and he is frustrated a little bit, and he just wants to do well. He just wants to score touchdowns. He just wants to do well. So, he's probably a little mad at me right now. But, in that situation, I get to say. If I had left any of those guys in the game and they had been hurt, it would have been a really dumb thing to do. That was what the discussion was about.
(On the Hasselbeck oblique injury…) I'm not even sure what an oblique is. I know it is involving his torso and twisting, and things like that, and it's a muscle of some kind. I think it just needs to be treated and it goes away. But, ask him or ask the trainers tomorrow.
(On how the injury to Chuck Darby affected the defense…) Mebane played for Darby. Tapp, of course, is the one that jumps out at you, but Peterson had good pressure. Craig Terrill has a some nice moves inside, and I think they just sort of shared the wealth a little bit. I don't think Darby's injury had a lot to do with it.
(On the priorities during the bye week…) If I told you that, you would know what I was doing during the bye week. Nice try. [laughter] We really haven't decided. It doesn't just happen in two days. We're working on it, and it's nothing really new, we're just trying things and working on it. The coaches will continue to do that. We will look at the film, and see if we were trying things, and how it was working and what we could do better, and that's all you ever do, really. Maybe it gets to the point where you throw a little bit more, or run different formations, or things like that. That's what you do. You're always checking those things. We think we should be able to run it OK. We think we have the people to do that, and it just hasn't been happening. We're not going to give up on it. We're going to keep plugging away.
(On Matt Hasselbeck getting frustrated during the game…) I think he keeps it under wraps pretty good. He and I are both emotional. We kind of had a little pact at the beginning of the year, well we actually started doing this a couple of years ago, where we give ourselves the cooling off period before we talk to each other on the sideline. His emotion is one of the things that drives him and makes him a very good player. If the emotion affects you on a particular play and it makes you do something uncharacteristically poor, then that is not a good thing. Those are things, and players work on that all the time, quarterbacks in particular. It's something you have to work on all the time. Because he's an emotional guy, he's an emotional player.
(On Will Heller's two touchdowns…) I was very, very happy for Will. Have you ever talked to Will? If you have, then you've talked to him more than I have. [laughter] He doesn't say much. We didn't play Marcus, and we're trying to let his knee quiet down, so it was important for Will to step up, and he is very happy, and I was happy for him. He is one of those hard working, bring your lunch pail to work every day guys, and when they get a chance to score touchdowns, it's special. It's good.
(On getting more consistent…) You're always striving for consistency, on both sides of the ball. I think good things snowball, just like bad things snowball. When we can apply pressure on the quarterback, we are pretty good. I think our guys have pretty good ball skills, when they have a chance to intercept balls. I think they are pretty good that way. When we don't apply pressure, or get there somehow, then we're going to struggle a little bit, because we're not the biggest group in the world. We're more fast, then big. That's the thing I think of. So, when you play a team that is going to max protect or is going to get the ball out quickly, don't get frustrated, but your secondary has to work a little harder in those instances. I think we are still coming together. We have 9 games left in the regular season, and we have some times off, and hopefully we'll get some of the guys healed up a little bit. But they can build off this, and this is a feel good game for them. They can build off this, and say, OK, let's play like this all the time and see what happens.
(On Shaun Alexander getting frustrated about not scoring touchdowns…) He has a lot of pride. He is good down in there, but he also knows, in his quieter moments, he knows that I don't play favorites down there. Whoever I hand the ball to, or throw the ball to, I want that person to score. I'm just trying to do what I think is the best thing to get in the end zone, and he knows that. But, I'm sure that's a frustration for him.