Seattle Seahawks – we're excited about getting started this week on our next opponent from the west coast. This team is much improved. They have improved on a weekly basis. They are a resilient team. They're a physical team. They give up literally no yards against the run. They're another team that sinks the safety pretty much according to formation and almost on every play. They have a unique ability – (Earl) Thomas can come down from like 14 yards deep and be at the line of scrimmage. He's very quick. They've done a nice thing with their personnel. They have a 318-pounder that sits on the inside eye of the tight end. The tight ends are in for an interesting week, for sure. They have five new players on the defensive team, five new starters, 10 new starters on their offensive team. Leon Washington – they still have the great return game, punt game, kick return game. It looks to be a very physical game, a very intense game. They're down 27-7, they come back to lose to Atlanta 30-28 and even have a ball intercepted in the end zone. Jackson has a big day with three touchdown passes, two interceptions, one of which should not have taken place. They came roaring back after the half and really had an outstanding opportunity to win that game at home. They come out here to the east for the second trip. We look forward to this weekend against a good Seattle team. They're 1-3, but don't be fooled by the 1-3.
you've got a guy that's played well, really the whole year for us, who's doing whatever we've asked him to. If you noticed, he played inside over the guards last week. He plays on the kickoff return. He's on the punt team. You ask if he'd like to have a chance, if there's been any kind of drive, not to go and no, he wants to go. He's been a guy that's really sacrificed and been very selfless in his approach this year. That's contagious. The people around him are very aware of that. He's picked up the slack at the beginning of the year when Osi wasn't available, at this point in time Tuck wasn't available. He's done a good job. But the depth there, the more that you can have that can contribute, the better off you're going to be. We have [Mathias Kiwanuka] playing more linebacker than end, but he can play end and he did play a few snaps at it the other day. The more people that we can have in that capacity, that we can be flexible with and can maneuver around with, the better off we're going to be.
Re: What makes Eli so successful in the fourth quarter?
A: He's tough. He's hard-nosed. He hangs in there. He believes in himself and his teammates. This is something that we've worked on and directed an awful lot of attention towards from the neck up with our team and the last two weeks it's paid off.
Q: At any point did you think the players would give in to the negative attention that the team was getting?
A: I was hoping that would never happen. They never gave me that indication. They've responded as well as you probably could.
Q: You said Seattle is good against the run. How do you improve your running game?
A: It is a good challenge for our team. We have to display the ability to run the ball in order to maintain our balance and we didn't run it very well the other day. We have a prideful group in the room and hopefully that will be a major, major focus for us. Not only running it, but stopping the run as well. Stopping the run is a major goal for us as well. They have an outstanding runner and an offensive line that has improved on a weekly basis.
Q: How is David Baas?
A: He is day-to-day and will not work today.
Q: What do you have to do to improve the running game?
A: You just have to keep at it. The attitude has to be to keep at it. There are a few things you can do but you have to stay at it. In this case, you have to do a better job of blocking at the point of attack and there were a lot of different colored shirts in there the other day.
Q: Is that because of a rookie fullback?
A: It is a little bit of that but he has been pretty good. You have a different group of guys but it is an emphasis for us and it is something we have to work our way out of.
Q: How have the tight ends done as blockers?
A: It is almost play by play but they are getting better. Ballard is there and he is a big guy. That was his job when he was on the practice squad and he has improved. That is something that Bear was able to do a year ago for us from the fullback spot and from the line of scrimmage. Travis blocked from the three wides tight end position well the other day.
Q: Is there a different way you will deal with the younger players this week to keep their focus?
A: The younger guys will follow the lead. If the older guys do their job and prepare properly week in and week out, then the younger guys will learn well.
Q: What stuck out about Tyron?
A: He is very quick and very competitive. He ran fast.
Q: How is Prince?
A: After the bye. I can't tell you anything more. I see what you see. He comes out and runs around. Some days he leaps but I don't look at the X-rays. I just listen to what they tell me. He is making progress.
Q: Will Tuck and Osi practice?
A: Tuck, no, but Osi will practice.
Q: Will Rocky practice?
Q: Do you plan to use more base defense in order to stop the run?
A: It is about the matchups. The game is about matchups.
Q: What do you see from Tavaris Jackson and Sidney Rice?
A: There is familiarity and you can tell when he goes to Rice, he is pretty sure where Rice is going to be. He may take some chances but on the other hand, he does the same thing with Mike Williams because he is a big strong receiver who can hold off people while he goes for the ball. Rice is a big play threat without a doubt and they are very familiar. You saw the big play ball the other day and that is what I remember when we played against them in Minnesota. He will throw it and Rice will end up on the other end of it.
Q: How important is stopping the returner?
A: Very, because every team we play has a returner that keeps you up at night. You can scream and holler all you want but you can't get the ball where you want it. Whether it is the punt or the kickoff, when you drive the ball out of the end zone you can relax better than when you are punting the ball. People are not always willing to allow you to use a directional punt.
Q: The timeframe for Prince seems to be longer than originally projected. Has he had a setback?
A: I don't know what the original timeframe was. Prince is not ready to go and he is not going to be for awhile. We are not going to mess around here. I don't ask about him every day, as you can probably tell. To me, it is off in the distance. When I watch him and see what you see and I see his reaction to the work, it is very slow as you would imagine. We are making progress. There is no setback and I never expected it to be any earlier.