Here's the full interview with Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora from Tuesday's practice, provided by the team's public relations staff.
You can also listen to a snippet of the interview here.
Opening statement: "What a day, huh? I hope that's an omen for us. I told TJ [Houshmandzadeh], 'It's always like this here!' It was a lot of fun out there today, and certainly the weather made it better. It was great to get back out on the grass and coach them up a little bit. It was a lot of fun for us."
On the benefits of having an extra minicamp: "We do it before the draft, simply because we want the veteran players to understand how we're going to operate, how we're going to conduct our business, how we're going to meet, and how we're going to install, and how we're going to go through practice, and how we're going to substitute, and what the tempo's going to be, and things like that. It gives us a chance to do that. Obviously, it gives us a chance to start introducing them to terminology, to our verbiage, to any changes that we've made from the past. It just gives us a little leg up. We are only going once a day, because the objective is not to come out here and kill them. Really, it's to introduce to them what we want to do, how we want to do things, and hopefully what we want to be as a football team."
On whether anything that happens in this minicamp will change how they'll handle the draft: "This is really not an evaluation camp for us, in terms of evaluating the players. We certainly want to see where they are in terms of their conditioning, but this would not be a camp where we would make drastic changes in terms of our draft philosophy, no."
On what his primary rules are that he's laying out to the players: "I don't know that I have 'Mora's Rules.' I know some things that I'm looking for. In this camp: tempo, speed, a level of execution. I think we have to start to establish our standards for those things—how fast we're going to practice, how detailed we're going to be in the things that we do. But there's a long way to go before we actually play a game. There's a lot of messages that these guys are receiving. But it was a good start for us."
On how comfortable he is in this role in Seattle compared to his first head coaching job in Atlanta: "Well, it's certainly different, because most of these guys—except for the guys we added through free agency or after the end of last season—I've been on the field with, and I've been in meetings with them. So I know their personalities and I know how they move around out here. So that's different than Atlanta. But there's always that anxiety, that anticipation for your first day on the grass with the team as the head coach. So that wasn't different. I had the butterflies. I won't deny that, I had butterflies, but like I said, it was a great Seattle day, great to be out here and coaching ball."
On when the butterflies went away: "They really haven't yet. [Laughs.] When I walk away from you guys, they'll go away."
On his message to the team before they went out to practice: "Three-pronged: my objectives for this team—our objectives for this team, my expectations for the players, what I'm looking for out of them on the practice field, and then really, just how we're going to conduct our business, from how we meet—like I said—to how we install, to how we take notes, to where our eyes go, to were we sit, to how we dress, to how we come on the field, how we move from drill to drill, how we attack the football, try to take it away, protect the football. You saw the stretch. Stretching is new. We had to acclimate them to a new stretch. It's all about those things, trying to establish our standards."
On why this first minicamp is different than his first minicamp in Atlanta: "Well, I've done it once. I've had a first minicamp before. And interestingly enough, my very first minicamp in Atlanta was five years ago to the day, from today, so I recognized that last night when I was looking at my old notes. But I think the only thing that's changed is the fact that I know these players a little bit better, and maybe know whose buttons to push, how, and how to reach them a little bit better than I would've known back in Atlanta when I didn't have a familiarity with the players."
On whether there's anything particularly different about the way he coaches: "No. I still try to have enthusiasm, and coach positive, and be demanding, and hold players accountable."
On whether he's actually a little quieter as a head coach than he was as a position coach: "Well, yeah, probably. When you're an assistant coach, and you're responsible for ten or 12 guys, you're really focused in on those guys. As a head coach, you have to be more aware of everything that's happening around you. I like to move from drill to drill. I don't like to stick strictly with the defense or strictly with the offense. I try to get around and get to every drill, and make my presence felt with every player. As I get more comfortable, I'll probably get more loud. I don't go out there with a plan as to how I'm going to act. I just act the way I feel."
On how he feels about his new coaches: "I like the energy that the coaches brought. I like the way the players responded to the coaches. I thought that was real positive. I feel good about our coaching staff. I think it's a good coaching staff, and I think they're a group of men that are committed to trying to draw the best out of these players, and being the best that they can be. It's exciting to be out here with them. We've got a million miles to go, but it was nice to take the first step."
On Leroy Hill's absence and whether Mora expected him to be here: "I certainly was hoping he would be. I did not expect him to be. We would like him to be here. We would like him to be getting this work. It's hard to ever duplicate the things that we're doing here, the first steps of the process. But that's a business decision that he made, and I respect that. But I certainly would've liked him to be here, yes."
On how Matt Hasselbeck looked to him: "You know, I thought Matt looked good. I didn't concentrate just on Matt, but I did notice that first throw with [the] team, he zipped it in there well. I thought he moved around well. I thought he had good command. I was impressed with Matt. I'm very optimistic."
On what he meant by saying Hill's absence was a 'business decision: "Well, it's a contractual decision. He has been franchised. He could sign a waiver and come in and practice, or he could come in and sign the tender, come in and practice. I believe he probably just made a business decision that, at this time, it was best for him to stay out. I have not talked to Leroy in a week or two, but we are—our coaches are—in contact with him all the time. There's no acrimony there. It's not an acrimonious thing. It's a business thing. There is no bitterness, there is no back and forth. It's all very positive. He just made a business decision to stay out this camp."
On whether Hill has been around the facility otherwise: "He's shown his face around, yeah. It's not like he's hiding. It's not like he's trying to avoid us. He's been very reachable, and he knows what's going on."
On whether he ever has to resist an urge to call Holmgren for advice: "I don't think that that would be very fair to Mike. You guys know how I feel about Mike, and how much respect I have for Mike. You know, I was unique in that my dad was a head coach, so I saw him go through the transitions that Mike's probably going through now. It wouldn't be fair to draw him back in. He knows that he's always welcome here—always welcome here. This is a place that he should always feel comfortable coming back to, and I would always welcome any words of wisdom that he could give me, just like I did for the past two years. But for me to pick up the phone and approach him, I don't think that would be fair to Mike. He needs to decompress in the way he decompresses."
On whether Hasselbeck has any restrictions: "Well, none of us are ready for the season. He has no restrictions in terms of what he can do in practice. We'll see how it goes. We'll see how he feels after three hard days. But like I said, I'm cautiously optimistic. I think that Matt has done everything in his power to get himself to the point where he can go on the field today and have a good practice and feel good, and then we just have to see how he reacts."
On why Deion Branch didn't practice today: "Deion had a little cleanup on his knee a few weeks ago—nothing serious. You guys know, when you're coming off a major knee injury, for a couple years, sometimes you have to go in there and scope, and get loose bodies out, and clean it up, so it was very minor. This is an extra camp. There's no need to push him back onto the field. We're taking a cautious approach with any of those guys that are close. We want to get those guys healthy before we push them back out on the field, and he falls under that umbrella."
On when he expects Branch to return to practice: "Well, we're hopeful that he can be out, full-go, for our June camp, if not sooner. Maybe the rookie camp. But once again, I don't want to guess. I want him to do it at his pace. Our medical staff will determine when he's ready to get out on the field."
On Walter Jones and Mike Wahle: "Same thing. We held 11 guys out today, and feel comfortable doing that, because, like I said, it's an early camp, it's an extra camp, it's the start of [April], we don't play a game for five months. We want to take a cautious approach at this point with those guys. We want them to be healthy, we want them to be full speed, and then we'll get them out here working."
On how it felt to see Houshmandzadeh out on the field today: "Housh has been around for the last couple weeks working in our offseason program. He's a fun guy to have around. He has a nice energy to him. He really enjoys competing. He's what I call a gymrat. He can't get enough. He's always around here and he always wants more information. He does yoga, he does boxing, he does pilates, he's got a ball in his hand, he's in meetings, he's coming up to the coaches' office seeking information. It's fun to have a guy, at his age, and at his level of ability, and at his stature in the league, that's still so anxious to learn, and anxious to be around. It's a very good sign."