Here's the transcript from Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell's teleconference this afternoon.
(On whether he sees bringing Koren Robinson back as a risk…) "Sure. There's risk. Obviously I feel better about it now [than] when I first heard about [it] or thought about the idea. We did a lot of research. We didn't just do this haphazardly or spur-of-the-moment. A lot of people in the organization were involved. Initially when I heard, or Coach [Holmgren] had brought it up, I was against it, just because everybody knows what our commitment is philosophically in terms of character. My first involvement with Koren, he was going through some tough things and some bad incidents that had gotten public.
My whole deal was, we just can't have knuckleheads around here. That can't happen. That's not how you win. So we got rid of several players that, I felt, fell under that umbrella, and I thought that would be the end of it. Obviously this little crisis we're going through with the receivers made a lot of names come up and I really wasn't even thinking of Koren.
Coach had actually brought it up initially, along with Matt [Hasselbeck] through a third party, talking about the meeting he had had with Koren in this retreat. That was really the initial talk. Like I said, initially, [I was] against the idea, but once we started doing our research, [we] sent Will Lewis out to meet with Koren, and Maurice Kelly, [and] we started hearing favorable things that kind of verified what Matt had been saying about, 'This is a different Koren.' And the more people we talked to, not only in North Carolina and in Green Bay, the way that he had changed his life in terms of his marriage and his kids and what was important to him as opposed to a different set of priorities when he was here earlier, that started the thing moving in a different direction."
(On whether there was one moment that made up his mind…) "Yeah. When Will went out to meet with Koren, and then Maurice Kelly had a long conversation with him and a couple of people that were around him, that turned the tide for me. This was a guy whose priorities weren't [just] Koren, there were other things in his life. And it wasn't about what he could do to [get] better stats, more touchdowns, it was, 'Let me help the team, let me have a chance here.' Coach talked to him, obviously. I talked to him. He just seemed like a different person to me, and to all of us that did the research. Had any part of that not gone well along the way—I told Koren this—then we would not have done this."
(On whether the Seahawks made another roster change today…) "Yes we did. We're still working that through. That will not be official, probably until tomorrow. We made a trade for Keary Colbert from the Denver Broncos."
(On whether the roster spot that opened for Robinson was from Logan Payne going on IR…) "That's right. So we'll have to make another decision by tomorrow."
(On why he believes Robinson hadn't been signed by another team…) "Just for the same reason that I said initially we weren't going to do this. If you just go off what has been in the paper and what has happened to Koren in his life, you'd say, 'Why am I going to bother?' So you had to do some work. Just on the surface, as I did myself, you'd say, 'No. There's too much maintenance involved there. There's too much water under the bridge. There's too many things that have gone wrong.' But I think our crisis made us say, 'Let's work a little harder here, and make sure that when we just discount a person, we've done our research, we've done our work.' And that's what we did here."
(On whether he's seen Robinson work out yet and what his impressions are…) "Yes, we did that today. Koren would be the first to tell you that missing training camp and those things, he's not in 100% shape. Will went and worked him out last week, so to see the difference in what that was like and then what he's like today, you see some of the old Koren in terms of his quickness, being able to catch the ball, run the routes, know the system. All that played into the decision. So, he's not where he's going to be, and I think in the bye, we've talked about him staying around and working extra and getting himself up to speed as quickly as he possible can. Obviously he wants to do that, and we want him to do that. It'll be a process. He's not been brought in here to be the savior. I told Koren, and Coach told Koren, 'If you can just do your part, do what you can do, learn the system as quickly as you can, and help contribute to this team—because we have a good football team—that's all we're asking.' We're not asking Koren to be 'The Man.'"
(On the criticism that bringing Koren in goes against his philosophy of having upstanding players on the Seahawks…) "Like I said, if this was the Koren that we left four years ago, then that would be warranted. We didn't do this lightly, this was a lot of talking, this was a lot of research. And I could be wrong. We could be wrong. But you know, Koren's a good person. You want to give him his due. I think all of us believe in second chances, and this has a chance to be a good story. It could be because he wants it as bad as anybody and we would like it to happen too. Coach has a special relationship with Koren. He brought him into this team. I have to hear all of that, I have to listen to that. I'm not just [the kind of guy who would say], 'Okay, he did this, boom, he's out.' I've never been that way. But our philosophy is in tact. Koren knows it, and he and I have a side agreement on how that's going to go, and that'll stay between us, and that'll be very important. I expect it to go well. I understand the criticism, but I had to make the best decision for the football team. We had to make the best decision for the football team, and we believe we've done that."
(On whether bringing Robinson and Colbert in has alleviated the receiver crisis…) "I hope so. I hope we've stopped the bleeding. There were a couple other things going on that fell through. We're in the middle of a season and we're doing everything we can to get the team as good as we can get it, based on all the injuries we've had and trying to come back from that. But you know, we certainly hope so. It's important that, with Koren, he knows the system. As soon as he's ready in terms of physical shape, he should be ready to go. There is a connection there, a chemistry between he and the quarterback."
(On what sort of shape the team is in overall…) "Our attitude is fantastic. We have a great bunch of guys on this team and there is no 'Woe is me' going on with this team. The guys are still talking about what we got to do to get better, what we have to fix right now, what went well. Some things that we wanted to get done in the off-season, it looks like those came through for us. And it's just a matter of special teams, defense and offense all getting on the same page and doing their thing. Coach always says that we go out there and our plan each week is to do what we do well. We feel like when we do that, we're going to win games. We still feel that way. There's no let-up in that. Like I said, the attitude is fantastic with the coaches and with the players. You guys will see that as you're around this week."