Here are a bunch of quotes from Seahawks players following the win over the 49ers Sunday:
Q. How’s that for going 1‑0?
RUSSELL WILSON: Oh, man, that was a terrific game all the way around. If you’re a football fan, you’ve got to love that game right there. It was just a battle to the end. We kept battling. We kept believing in ourselves. Offensively we made plays when we really needed to. That 4th and 7 was big time, Jermaine Kearse coming down with that catch. We had a pass play called and I went double count on them. They jumped off sides and we gave Jermaine a shot, and he comes down with a big catch.
Our defense was lights out making plays one after another and then Richard Sherman tipping that ball and us picking it off to seal the game, it doesn’t get any better.
Q. Russell, what dictates on that 4th and 7 play which guy you go to? Whoever is open?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, basically whoever is open. We had a different route concept on because if it jumped offsides, we were going to try to take a shot down the field and sure enough they did. Jermaine Kearse, I gave him a shot to try to look up the safety as long as possible and gave him a one‑on‑one shot and he came down with an unbelievable catch. He’s been doing that all year.
I said at the beginning of the year that Jermaine Kearse is one of those guys I knew was going to have an outstanding year. Just when we threw down in LA and just throwing with everybody, he just stood out so much. He worked so hard. He’s tremendous on special teams. He’s tremendous catching the football. He’s got great hands, and he’s got that desire, you know? So that showed up tonight.
Doug Baldwin had a tremendous night tonight too as well. On the kickoff return, you think about that. All the things that Doug Baldwin does for our football team, and he plays with a great edge and he’s so intelligent and made some great catches tonight.
Q. Were you lobbying them when the field goal team was out there? What was going on there?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, I wanted to either kick the field goal or go for it, and Coach Carroll wanted to do the same thing. We were trying to figure out what to do. They were patient and very smart. And Coach Carroll, and I was kind of begging him, hey, let’s go for it if we’re not kicking the field goal. And he decided that we were going to go for it. I thought it was a great call. Just give us a chance.
It’s one of those things that it’s potentially the last game of the year. It’s one of those things that sometimes you’ve got to go for something. You’ve got to believe in your guys and believe that you can get it, and sure enough it worked out the way we wanted it to.
Q. What was decisive about it in deciding to go for it? Was it you, Bevell, who?
RUSSELL WILSON: In terms of the play call or actually going for it?
Q. Going for it.
RUSSELL WILSON: I think it was more so Coach Carroll. They’re talking on the phone, and I’m begging on the sidelines, but they can see that I’m begging. But I think more than anything it’s Coach Carroll’s decision, and we trust his decisions. He’s been doing it great all year for us. He’s a tremendous football coach that just makes smart decisions all the time.
Q. How about not only Marshawn’s touchdown run but when it came?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, the timing of it. We knew that we’d have to run the football still and keep attacking. His patience, you know, is just unbelievable. Tonight you saw that run that he took into the end zone. He’s been doing it all year for us. I mean, he’s electrifying, and it all starts with the offensive line and tight ends and the receivers blocking down the field. But his ability to make people miss and accelerate into the end zone. I think people underestimate his speed. You noticed how fast he was down the sideline and getting into the end zone.
Q. You come out and you have a game plan, and first play disaster. What’s going through your mind at that point?
RUSSELL WILSON: It’s not a disaster. The game’s not over yet. First play of the game he made a good play. I was trying to flip it and he got my forearm just right at the right time, which he made a great play on it. So I think the thing that I’ve been saying ever since I really started playing football and all that is you’ve got to have amnesia playing this position. No matter how good things are going or how bad things are going or whatever the circumstances are, you have to be able to stay one play at a time, and I let that go.
I actually kind of forgot about the play until you just asked me just now. So it’s just one of those things that you stay in the moment. You believe in yourself. You believe in what you’re doing, and there’s tons of game left. Luckily our defense did a great job stopping them only getting the field goal there and that was huge.
Q. What was going through your mind as the final seconds ticked off? Has it hit you that you’re going to the Super Bowl, because some of your teammates have said they’re kind of numb?
RUSSELL WILSON: It’s definitely hit me that we’re going to the Super Bowl. To think about it and all of that, I had a feeling we were going anyway. It was just one of those things that I just believed in what we were doing. I told our team at the beginning of the year, we had a team meeting just players, and it was something my dad used to tell me. He used to always when I was younger he would say, “Russ, why not you?” So I kind of translated that to “why not us?”
So it’s one of those things that we believed at the beginning of the year that we could get there. We had an unbelievable talent, great coaching staff, we had the pieces in order, and we just needed to go after it. That was the biggest thing about the game tonight. We knew it was going to be a battle to the end. We knew that the San Francisco 49ers had been playing extremely well. They’ve been doing a lot of great things. So our biggest goal was to just stay in the moment.
To go to the Super Bowl, we’re excited about it, but at the end of the day, we haven’t done anything yet. We won the NFC West. That was one of our goals. We won the NFC Championship game, which isn’t easy, and to win the whole NFC, but at the end of the day, only one person gets the prize. So I think that’s the thing that we’re focused on and we’re moving on to play the Denver Broncos.
We played them in the preseason. They have tremendous talent all across the board. So we know we’re going to have to bring our best game. Obviously, Peyton Manning is their quarterback that can make a lot of things happen. So we’re excited about the opportunity. You know, it’s a blessing to be where we are right now. At the end of the day we have a mindset to go 1‑0. Have a championship season. We had a championship off‑season. We had a championship season so far, and our goal was to win the whole thing.
Q. Russell, it seemed they were playing you guys pretty tight on the line of scrimmage and bringing a lot of pressure early. Did that first big shot to Doug kind of loosen up the defense for you a little bit more?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, no, Doug Baldwin did a great job. That is one of the things that we try to pride ourselves in. Obviously, scramble situations are going to happen. I’m trying to keep my eyes down field and keep things happening, and Doug Baldwin did a tremendous job of getting behind the defense there. He made a great catch, and that was huge. That kind of was our kind of momentum starter, I believe. We kind of got it going there. We got some completions and got some things happening.
Then we also came down with the other big shot to Jermaine Kearse, and he almost made an unbelievable catch on that one. Later on he actually makes the touchdown catch.
All those things are going to be huge in the next game, obviously, too. We’ve got to play big, we’ve got to play great, and just stay in the moment. You know, still, the game’s still normal though. It’s still first and second and third down. So if our goal is to win the whole thing, we need to make sure that we stay composed and stay poised and just play one play at a time.
Q. Russell, the reaction that the city of Seattle has had to you, especially now, how does that make you feel so early in your career?
RUSSELL WILSON: Well, obviously, I love this city. It’s so ironic because I remember when I was getting ready for the combine and all of that and put all the teams in the hat. I had met Coach Carroll and John Schneider and the whole coaching staff and everything at The Senior Bowl. I remember putting all the teams in the hat, and I normally don’t do that. But I said whatever team I pull out is going to be the team that picks me. And sure enough I pulled out the Seattle Seahawks.
So I just knew when I got that 425 area code and when it called me on draft day, I just knew it was going to be a blessing. I knew I was going to be with the right coaching staff. I knew I was going to be with the right players and the best fans in the National Football League. Just to be in this city is a very, very special city.
We want to do something great for this city, and we want to do something great within this organization. To do that though we’ve got to stay on course. We can’t get distracted. We just need to stay the course.
Q. After the fumble, Michael Robinson said he was near you on the sidelines and he saw you on the sidelines laughing like you’d already ‑‑ do you remember that moment? How you managed to get the fumble out of your mind?
RUSSELL WILSON: In terms of the play, you know, the very first play of the game, they got the fumble, the recovery and whatever, and come back to the sidelines, I definitely was I don’t think laughing. But I think for me it’s just, you know what? I’ve still got a lot of game left. I’m still here. There is a reason why I’m here.
Just being in the moment, like I said earlier, you have to have amnesia in these situations. That’s kind of the baseball in me. Just playing one pitch at a time. It’s so true. You know to be able to have the guys to support you and to have the guys on offense and defense and to pick you up and just knowing we’ve got a lot of game left. Keep my focus on what it needs to be focused on. One play at a time. That was my goal the whole game just like always and just stay in the moment.
Q. On the fourth down play, how does it work with the receivers being on alert? Does Darrell tell you, here’s the play call, go with the double count or be alert with the offsides and then you pass it along? How does that work?
RUSSELL WILSON: I went to the huddle, we called the play. I’m not going to say the play, but we called the play. I told them, hey, try to get engaged with the line and receivers. Hey, listen, we’re going to go double count right here, hopefully they go offsides. If they go offsides take a shot down the field because it is a free play. Sure enough they did, and Jermaine Kearse came down with a great catch.
We practice that stuff all the time. It’s something that you have to use especially playing against a very, very good defense and a great defensive line. You have to be able to use different snap counts, first down, you know, quick counts, double counts and all that. So to just make sure that the defense has slowed down a little bit so those ends aren’t getting a good jump on the center. I think that’s a huge thing. Sure enough that was one of the biggest plays, if not thee biggest play of the game.
Q. There’s been some criticism of receivers especially of late. Do you feel this quieted some of the critics tonight?
RUSSELL WILSON: They’ve done a great job all year. To think about our receivers and all the things they’ve done, there are a couple games I could have played better. I put that on me, but they’ve done a tremendous job. They’ve come down with clutch catches.
At the end of the day, we want to be a team that makes the big play when we need to. Always make the consistent ones, but make the big play when we need to, and the guys have done that all year. Doug Baldwin has done that several times, think about the game two weeks ago against the Saints him coming down with that big catch. Think about the catch he had in Houston on the 3rd down and long.
So many different catches he’s made, Jermaine Kearse has made, Golden Tate always does his thing and always makes people miss, gets huge first downs for us. We had a huge first down that he got for us to allow us to get in field goal range and all of that. So all the things that they’ve done all year.
We’ve been missing Sidney Rice, we’ve been missing Percy Harvin, two guys that are some of the best receivers in the National Football League, and the guys who have stepped up have done a tremendous job all year. They’ve shown that. I thought the guys that played a great game, Golden Tate, like I said, he’s done so many tremendous things for us. Jermaine Kearse coming down with big catches, and obviously, Doug Baldwin had a tremendous night tonight as well.
Q. With the game in the defense’s hands toward the end, you guys had built the six‑point lead, what are you thinking?
RUSSELL WILSON: Just trust. I trust my guys. I trust our teammates and trust in our defensive coaches. I had a feeling that we were going to get the ball back. It just worked out that way all year. It’s just one of those things that I was sitting there and I’m trying to get my mind ready to go back out there if we have enough time. Then I realize, okay, they’re using as much clock as they possibly can. So we probably don’t get the ball back.
So it’s just one of those things that I’m going to get up here. I’m going to trust my defense to make a play. Sure enough, Richard Sherman tips it up and we get the interception, so it doesn’t get any better.
Q. Quarterback versus quarterback, how cool is it for you to go against Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl?
RUSSELL WILSON: Well, it’s a tremendous honor. Obviously, I have so much respect for Peyton and what he’s done his whole entire career. I want to be like him one day in terms of all the things that he’s done and how he’s gone about his business. I think that when you think about a quarterback and you think about all the things that go into it, his mind is just so strong. All the things that he does at the line of scrimmage and all that, and that’s where I’m trying to get one day. I’m just taking one day at a time.
But to go against a guy that’s definitely going to be a Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game is a tremendous honor. At the same time, it’s not me versus him. It’s the Denver Broncos versus the Seattle Seahawks. It will be a great game, great battle. We’ll prepare the right way and make sure we’re ready to go and come out with a lot of energy.
The pre‑season game we had, even though it was a preseason game, it was a good game. So playing in New York will be a great moment. The field is still 100 yards, 53 and a third, and we can’t wait.
Q. Russell, the final snap, when the game is finally over and you take a knee, is there one thought in your mind? Are you able to finally think about going to the Super Bowl? Is that something you think about there?
RUSSELL WILSON: To be honest with you, the thing that I thought about the last snap was, man, I could have been playing baseball right now. The other thing I thought about is just all the people that told me I couldn’t do it and told me that I couldn’t get there. It’s one of those things that you just believe in yourself, you believe in what God has given you.
I encourage all the kids out there if you have a talent, you have to make sure you have it, but if you have it, go for it. I’ve gone for it my whole life. You’ll trip up a couple times here and there, but at the end of the day, I’ve just always believed in myself, and that’s never going to waiver. That’s never going to change. I’m so grateful for my teammates. I’m so grateful for Coach Carroll and John Schneider and Paul Allen for giving me the chance to play with this great organization and the fans.
It’s been an unbelievable all year, and we can’t wait to get to New York. It will be a great game. It will be a great battle, and we know our fans will be ready to go.
FB Michael Robinson
(On what does this win mean to Pete Carroll…) “I think it means the world. It lets the rest of the NFL and it lets the rest of the coaching world know that his philosophy works. You can love a guy up, you can create an environment that is conducive to winning. He’s the first coach to really do it that way, to have a college type atmosphere in the pros. He sure makes it a lot of fun to come to work in the morning.”
(On if it has sunk in yet that they’re going to the Super Bowl…) “Man… I don’t have any more tears. It’s an amazing feeling.”
(On if he thought he’d be that emotional after it…) “No I had no idea. I didn’t think I was going to cry. I had long year, God meant for me to be here, had to because I had a tough first part of the year.”
(On if he thought his career was over when he was sick back in August…) “I did when I got cut. You always hope that you get an opportunity; you always hope that you’d be able to come back here, but me coming back here would mean that somebody would have to be hurt. You definitely didn’t want that. God worked it out that I was able to come back here and to help this team however I could, I’m just happy about it.”
WR Jermaine Kearse
(On if he was a Seahawks fan growing up being that he is from Tacoma…) “Nah I wasn’t. I was too busy playing outside, I didn’t really watch sports too much when I was younger. Growing up I started to watch more and I feel in love with the sport, and I’m just blessed enough to be able to play today.”
(On his touchdown catch…) “When we drew them offside, we got the flag so we got the free play so we’re going to take a shot. We went down the field, Russell Wilson threw a deep one and I was able to come down with it.”
TE Zach Miller
(On what was the feeling the last three minutes when the defense was on the field…) “All of us were pretty nervous just hoping our defense could get a stop. We knew they would, it’s just you never know in those situations, all it takes is one guy to slip and it could be the game. We have so much confidence in our defense that I didn’t doubt them for a second. The only thing you think about as an offensive player is that we wish we would’ve got a touchdown earlier on those last two drives. That’s kind of running through your mind, but the defense takes care of it.”
(On the team meeting expectations by making it to the Super Bowl…) “Obviously we’re not going to be satisfied by just winning the NFC Championship, we want to win the Super Bowl. Our mindset has always been focus on the one game at hand, and it’s gogin to be true these next coming weeks as well.”
(On how would he describe the atmosphere here tonight…) “It’s just awesome. The fans here are insane. I never heard CenturyLink that loud, and they were loud from pre game warm ups, on. Usually they wait until game time to get loud, but they were loud from about 2:30 and never got quiet.”
C Max Unger
(On if this makes up for him never making the National Champion ship during his time at Oregon…) “Yeah man I think about Oregon all of the time. It’s the best place in America to play your college football. I know that is a fact for me, some would disagree with that. Coach Carroll made it very difficult for our program to do our thing when we were down there. I think we came in second place three times in my four years down there. So yeah man I think about that, but this is a different brand of ball.”
(On how glad is he to have Coach Carroll as his coach now…) “He’s amazing. He’s gotten this group of guys together, he and John Schneider. They just kind of came together and he’s got us prepared to play in these games.”
(On the pressure that the team carried throughout the season to get to this point…) “Last year was a lot different because we were a little under the radar, we made the playoffs and had a real strong push the second half of the season and carried that momentum into the end of the season. I never really played on a team with this high level of expectation before, and Coach Carroll does an awesome job preparing us for it. The expectations and being able to manage them and then executing in the games on the biggest scale.”
WR Golden Tate
(On what did the offense prove today…) “Well Marshawn Lynch did a phenomenal job of running the ball, and it was tough early. We knew it was going to be tough in the run game early, but we stayed with it. We stayed with it the second half and I thought we dominated the run game and those same people who were calling us pedestrian, talking about the receivers, and we’re the appetizers and all of that mess, well my friend Doug Baldwin went for 100 yards. Jermaine Kearse had a big touchdown catch, just go watch the film.”
(On Jermaine Kearse’s touchdown catch…) “A few plays earlier someway the defense made a great play and broke one up from him. I knew that the type of person Jermaine is, we’re really good friends, one of my best friends on the team, I knew that he wanted it, he wanted it and if he got another shot he was going to come down with it. Opportunities are limited around here so you have to make the best of them. He did it, he came down with the ball for a big touchdown, a huge touchdown and helped us win.”
DE CLIFF AVRIL
(On the Michael Bennett fumble recovery play…) “Sherman had a good jump and Kaep [Colin Kaepernick], he rolled out to his right and it was just a hustle play of getting there and being able to get the turnover, as well as getting the sack was huge.”
(On his relationship with Michael Bennett…) “He was saying during the game… he was like, ‘you know we’re a tag team. You get this fumble and I recover. It’s crazy and Mike B [Michael Bennett] is a heck of a ball player, I’m honored to play next to him and we just feed off of each other, we know how to play off of each other real well and he’s always there to pick up the fumbles and he’s getting sacks himself. So it’s big.”
(On if he saw the ball to slap it or was he going for Kaepernick…) “No I saw the ball. I mean I got one of those earlier this season. Same thing, just chasing him down. He stopped to throw it and I was close enough to swipe at the ball and make the tackle at the same time.”
DE MICHAEL BENNETT
(On the defense creating turnovers at crucial moments…) “That’s the way we’ve played the whole season man. These guys are relentless. All we do is practice turnovers on defense and we just wanted to be in that situation, where the game was on our back because we were like, ‘hey. If we’re going to win this game, then it’s time to win it.”
(On if Kaepernick was doing anything differently that made it challenge for the Seahawks’ defense to stop him from running…) “No. [Colin] Kaepernick is great at what he does, which is getting out of the pocket. We had good rush lanes on him; he just got out and made some great plays.”
(On if he feels like the Seahawks are built for the cold weather at MetLife Stadium…) “Well yeah man. We are ready for it. Whatever happens, we just want to be there and we don’t care about the weather. We can’t make excuses about the weather. We just want to go out there and win the game.”
CB RICHARD SHERMAN
(Opening…) I’d like to thank our fans for being so amazing, and being so supportive. I think they really deserve this win, and they deserve their team making it to the championship game. I’d like to thank the fantastic fans of San Francisco. They did a great job, they supported their team. They have nothing to hold their heads about.
(On going to the Super Bowl after the defense makes a drive-stopping interception…) I really appreciate that, Kap. You try me like that. I hadn’t gotten many opportunities all game. I’m happy. I’m happy about that. If our team knew the game was going to come down to a play like that, they’d be pretty confident going into it.
(On whether he was surprised they make that throw in that situation …) I think everybody in the stadium was surprised. You throw that, it’s a mistake.
(On whether he is happy when teams throw fade passes in his direction…) It is, it’s a really familiar moment for me, and I’m thankful that they keep doing it. I’ll keep making the plays. I should have picked it, but there was some offensive pass interference that wasn’t going to get called. You can’t let him catch it, though.
(On when he started working on that tip drill…) Early this offseason, because of that Atlanta game. First play of the game we could have had a pick. If I would have tipped it high enough, it would have been a pick. After that play, I felt like it would be my duty to tip it as high as I can to give ourselves a chance, because you know Earl is going to be somewhere around; Kam. Our guys really run to the ball. I knew if I tipped it up high enough, one of our guys would get there.
(On getting a shot to prove themselves against Denver’s offense…) We wouldn’t have it any other way. They’re an unbelievable, record-setting offense with a hall of fame quarterback. That’s as tough as it gets. That’s as tough a game as you can get in the Super Bowl. The number one defense against the number one offense. It doesn’t happen like this too often; both number one seeds make it. It’s a testament to the hard work of both teams, and I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic game.
(On Seattle’s receiving corps…) Doug Baldwin is one of the best receivers in this league. You can quote me on that. He showed up big time for us in this game. I think a lot of people throw our receivers under the rug, like Kearse making a huge play when we need it. Doug Baldwin making countless plays. Golden Tate getting us key first downs. Everybody wants us to be the underrated, not-good receiving corps, but they’re great players in their own right, and they do everything our team needs them to do. They are the reason we won this ballgame. On defense, we did our jobs, we did our part. The Legion of Boom, we hold ourselves to a high standard. The defensive line, they hold themselves to a high standard. The linebackers, they hold themselves to a high standard. All of them had a fantastic game.
(On winning this game…) I think it’s unbelievable. Our team, we’re a tight-knit family, especially us in the back end. One of our goals coming into the season is to make it to this game, to make it is just unbelievable. I really can’t put it into words. Every ounce of your energy, every moment spent watching film has been worth it, because we made it. It’s fantastic.
(On how often they threw to his side prior to the final pass…) Once. They gave me that holding call early in the game, to sustain that drive. That was the only time.
(On the defense getting three turnovers in the fourth quarter…) Our defense, we stood up when it counted. None of us wanted to feel what we felt in Atlanta, ever again. We felt like we let the team down. Obviously, the situation was slightly different, but we felt like we could have made the plays to send our team to the next round. In this game, we wanted to take the initiative to make the plays. Regardless of what happened with the offense, they had a lead. It was 17-20. At that point, the game should be over. We should make the plays to keep the score 17-20 and win the ball game, and that’s what our focus was.
DE RED BRYANT
(On what it felt like for the game to come down to the 4th quarter…) “It felt great. It felt great. [Colin] Kaepernick, he played his heart, he kept his team in it. For long stretches, he was the only offense they had. He was hurting us with his scrambling ability. Felt like we did one hell of a job upfront today. I’ve got tremendous respect for them but we really didn’t want him to get going. We felt like we did a great job against their offensive line as far as knocking them back, felt like secondary did a great job of covering, the linebackers did a great job of filling gaps, everybody was just on their stuff today and we got the win.”
(On what it feels like for him, Brandon Mebane, and Max Unger to go to the Super Bowl after being a part of the changes the Seahawks organization has gone through…) “No question. I mean I feel like the significance of it is big for the whole team, but I think with us, outside of Seattle, you wouldn’t know us. You know what I mean? Max Unger has a pedigree, in terms of All-Pro and things of that nature, but I feel like me and Bane [Brandon Mebane] have put in our stripes, we’ve earned our position, and it just helped validated today that when the expectation on the game, I felt like we had a huge factor in the outcome of the game and it felt good to be able to come through for our team today.”
(On if he knew that the fade route towards Richard Sherman was not going to work…) “Don’t throw the ball to Sherm. Every time you throw it over there, he’s going to take it from you. Don’t try Sherm, he’s the best in the game.”
DT BRANDON MEBANE
(On preventing Colin Kaepernick from scrambling…) “What we tried to do was keep him from running up the middle. So what we did was on the sidelines, we made some adjustments. We were like, ‘let’s keep him, let’s try to collapse the pocket, keep him from running in the A and B gaps, and force him to run into our coverage; the guys out sitting in our flats,’ and we did that and we executed and we got the victory. We slowed him down, as far as running the ball. That was the only way that they were beating us was him escaping out of the pocket.”
(On if this is a sweeter because it’s the 49ers and they are the Seahawks’ divisional rivals…) “You know it’s just good to win period, no matter who we’re playing. We don’t look at the guys and be like, ‘we hate them’ or nothing like that. But, it’s good to win no matter who you’re playing and where you’re playing, it’s always good to win.”
(On the biggest play of the game…) “Man I think every play out there is key. It’s big. Obviously, the play at the end was big with Sherm tipping it and then Malcolm catching the ball intercepting it and that was also was a big play. Getting on that knee at the end of the game, running the clock out, was big too man.”
FS EARL THOMAS
(On whether he is ready to go to the Super Bowl…) Oh, yes. It feels surreal right now, it feels like a dream. You dream about these moments. I’m just excited to be a part of it. We’re battled tested as a defense, just to get a win like this. Sherm (Sherman) is a great player, big players always step up in big situations. All in all, I’m so excited to be going to New York.
(On whether they wanted that situation late in the game…) Definitely. I think the biggest thing we can learn from that situation is when we stay true to who we are, stay disciplined, there’s a lot of stuff going on out there. It’s the game of football. I think when you take what you learn in the classroom, as far as being a situational ball player, you’re going to come up on the good end every time. That’s what we did today. It was a two minute situation, and we were very prepared.
(On whether there was doubt when San Francisco was moving the ball…) You don’t have time to think, you have to stay in to it. You have to stay in it, keep clawing and scratching and fighting until the clock hits zero, and that’s what we did.
(On whether he was surprised they challenged Sherman at the end…) I just think everybody was on it, technique-wise. We forced the ball into our strengths. That’s what we harp on as a secondary, we want our playmakers always at the point of attack, and that was just a great play by Sherman. Look how long that guy is. I think they kind of pushed him in the back and he was still able to get one hand on that ball. When you run to the ball, good stuff always happens. Malcolm did a great job of buzzing underneath and catching it, taking advantage of his opportunity.
(On the touchdown that went over his head…) You just have to stay in it. As a DB, bad plays are going to happen, good plays are going to happen, you have to stay even keeled. That doesn’t define me, because I know what type of ballplayer I am. Obviously, their receivers do a good job of not really pushing in the back, just using their form. When your momentum is taking you somewhere, it’s hard for you to adjust back, and that’s kind of what happened. I was mid air, I was trying to go with one hand, like Sherman, but I’m not as long as Sherman.
(On when the momentum turned…) This was a game that we all expected. Two great defenses going at it. We know what type of offense, how they wanted to attack us, and I don’t think the momentum ever really turned fully, because we had a couple of opportunities in the goal line area where our offense could have gave us a little breathing room. But they did a great job, they have a good defense themselves. You have to take your hats off to that. A good defense is always going to love those moments when you have to stop them, or you have to get them off the field to win the game. That’s what we bank on, we always talk about how good we want to be, how we want to separate. That’s how you separate.
(On the first possession after Wilson’s fumble…) It’s all about situations. That’s a set and change. That’s a set and change moment right there. We practice those. That’s why we’re so good, we never leave any stone unturned. We’re always on every detail. Anything that can happen to us in a ballgame, we learned from the past, previous adverse situations back in Atlanta. You never want to feel like that kind of pain again, because I love this game so much. It’s a dream come true. I always dreamed about this as a little boy. You can write your story. I’ve been having a journal since Week 2, Week 1. To see the words come to life, it shocks me. I’m just happy. It’s a great feel. It’s been a good year.
(On whether that feeling came from him when Malcolm Smith caught the ball…) Somebody needs to pinch me. I don’t know. It just feels good. This opportunity, that’s all you can ask for, is the opportunity. The good thing about it is, how are you going to react. If you’re going to take advantage of it, you take advantage of it. We go for it, you have to play fearless. You can’t have any doubt. You can’t be second-guessing yourself. That’s why practice and walk-throughs and meetings are so important. When you’re in walk throughs, and you take it very serious, that’s muscle memory. That’s the great thing about football. That’s what we understand; we understand how to win. We understand how to take coaching. We understand how to keep evolving as football players.
(On Kaepernick’s running on designed runs…) He’s an athlete. That’s my frat brother. We make ‘em like that. He played a helluva game. You have to take your hat off to him. He made some incredible runs and it’s hard when you have a dual-threat quarterback. That’s what I think is so special about he and Russell, they can run and pass.
(On going against the Denver offense in the Super Bowl…) It’s all about “separate yourself”. As a competitor, you always want to play the best. Some people thought San Francisco had a chance to beat us, so we took that personal. You don’t come in our house and think you can do anything that you want to do to us. We’re here to play. We love football, we know what’s at stake. We know that this chance is rare. This is about long term. I’m never going to be satisfied, even if we win the Super Bowl, I’m excited about all this, but I’m talking about “keep doing it”. As an ultimate competitor, you always want to be the best.
(On whether stopping that offense is the supreme challenge for a defense right now…) I don’t think so. If we be normal and be ourselves, I think people make the game bigger than what it is. I still treat this like Pop Warner. This is fun. This is a child’s game, you should enjoy every moment, soak this in, and just be yourself, express yourself.
(On the feeling in the locker room…) The energy is incredible. You have Macklemore, and they’re playing his song, and he’s jumping up in the middle. That’s what it’s all about, I’m never going to forget the feeling of the confetti dropping. You want some more of that. You want to have that same feeling after we play the guys who we’re playing in New York. We’re looking forward to the challenge. It’s all about taking advantage of your opportunity. I think we do a great job of that.
(On what has made him more focused this season….) All my life, I’ve been the top dog on every team. I’ve been able to change the players around me, just by being myself. I kind of got away from that, because I didn’t know what to expect in the NFL at first. But, when you get comfortable with everybody, everybody is not out to get you. You have to trust, you have to buy in. When you buy in, coach asks all of the DBs what our goal was for the season. My goal was to be the best team that I could possibly be. Guys can feel that, and I really learned a lot this season about expressing myself. Get out of your bubble. I’m an introvert, but no I’m not. I’m coming. I’m trying to take over the world.
LB BOBBY WAGNER
(On what it feels like to be going to the Super Bowl…) “Man it feels great, especially since we beat our rival. It just feels good. It shows our resilience. We were down by 10 points and we were still able to come out with the win.”
(On Colin Kaepernick’s scrambling ability…) “Yeah I think that they did a good job of realizing that we were in man and running us all out and it opened up for him. In the second half, we played a little bit more zone and it helped us.”
(On when Russell Wilson was about to take a knee, did it sink in at that moment that the Seahawks were going to go to the Super Bowl…) “Yeah it sunk in man. We started to hear the crowd, we started to see that all we had to do was take some knees and we are going to what we’ve been dreaming for since we were kids.”
LB MALCOLM SMITH
(On what it feels like to be playing against the Broncos…) “Absolutely. I know that we wouldn’t want it any other way. Going heads up with those guys and their passing and running attack and Peyton Manning and all of the things that he’s done for football. We will be excited for the opportunity.”
(On the Seahawks being built to play in the cold weather…) “Man we’re fortunate because we live by the run game. Just play great defense and run the ball and execute well and things will turn out well for us.”
(On when he realized that he’s going to the Super Bowl…) “Honestly, not until we went to the sidelines. I realized we won the game but, you kind of forget about how much the game is worth in between the lines.”
SS KAM CHANCELLOR
(On if he’s thought about playing against the Broncos…) “It hasn’t set in, not yet. But, I know we’re playing Peyton Manning. He’s a good quarterback, great competitor, but we welcome the challenge. Challenges are always welcomed.”
(On the different styles of quarterback play between Colin Kaepernick and Peyton Manning…) “Yeah we won’t see a lot of running from Peyton. That’s a different thing. He’s going to throw the ball and he knows where he wants to throw it. So we’ve got to study film and capitalize on the opportunities we get.”
(On how proud he is of the Seahawks…) “I love them man. I love this team and this team never quits. We fight hard until the end.”