HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
(Opening thoughts…) “It’s only appropriate to start off with congratulating Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks for a big win. They played a real good game tonight. It’s disappointing to be on the other end of it. I thought in the end we weren’t good enough in a number of areas.
I think just from watching it, it was obvious to see. We didn’t do a good job in the kicking game overall. I thought our return game really struggled. We gave up to many big plays defensively. Offensively, after the first three or four series, we kind of got in a way there where we weren’t matching and we weren’t capturing the momentum.
In the second half we were able to get things going and yet we came up short. Its disappointing, it starts with us and myself and the rest of the coaches. I thought they had effort but in the end, not enough to win this game. Its disappointing to get in the post-season and finish with a loss to start.”
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(Were you restricted in the play calls because of injuries to your team…) “Yes but the runners handled it pretty well. It wasn’t until the second half that we got hampered with Reggie (Bush) going down and Julius (Jones) going down. It’s been one of those seasons where at that position, we had a number of injuries but yet that wasn’t the difference today.”
(Did the injuries change your game plan…) “No, I think we wanted to have a balance in that regard coming into the game. Early on, I think we had that and even for the most part in the second half. We wanted to have that mix. What became challenging is after Reggie and Julius went down, we put in Heath Evans and we were a little more one-dimensional at that point.
Our goal and objectives were to come in and have that balance but weren’t able to get that done.”
(Thoughts on Seattle’s big passing plays…) “We will have a chance to look at the film. Yeah, they made some big plays and Matt (Hasselback) played very well. They came up with some big plays offensively.”
(What do you think turned the game around after you guys were up 17-7…) “I don’t know if there is one play, it’s a series of plays, when you look at that second quarter. At that time we weren’t staying on the field that long offensively and they hit on some big plays against us defensively.”
(What was the key for Seattle victory…) “I think they did a good job of blocking up front. I thought they came out pretty aggressively. They targeted some big plays, especially on third down. He’s (Hasselback) an experienced player. We felt like all week that we were going to see him. He played extremely well.”
(Thoughts on your defense giving up big plays…) “I think that today there are lot of things that were going to look at and feel that we didn’t play to our best. Seattle made big plays when they needed to.
In all three phases we struggled. We didn’t manage to have any type of return game. I don’t know if we had a return that got past the 20 yard line. Offensively, I thought that the time of possession hindered our defense. Early in that second quarter, I felt the momentum begin to shift. I think we didn’t do a good enough job offensively. There are a number of things that go into that.”
(Was there anything today that you had problem with early in the season, that came up again today…) “I don’t know trying to reflect back to the beginning of the season right now is a good idea. I think fresh off our minds right now is that game. There were certainly some momentum swings back and forth. We felt like we had it early and then it shifted back in their (Seattle) favor. We just weren’t able to make enough of the plays that we needed to win in the playoffs and beat a team on the road like that.