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January 25, 2015 at 7:05 PM

Transcript of Russell Okung’s Sunday media session in Arizona

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

Here’s the transcript of Russell Okung’s media session on Sunday in Arizona. He talked about the Patriots’ defense, head coach Pete Carroll, Marshawn Lynch and other things.  

(on the sendoff in Seattle) “It’s just how Seattle is all the time. Our fans show tremendous support and they’re always behind us 100 percent. If it takes waking up extra early in the morning to get there, they’re willing to do it. And that just speaks volumes of who they are as the 12th man and what they’re capable of.”

(on playing for the fans) “All the time. They’re the 12th man, and I mean it. They are part of our team. They are part of what we do day in and day out and while we are out there, when we’re out on the field, they are just as important as the player next to us.”

(on the biggest difference from a year ago to today) “It feels the same. I think a lot of people get to the point where they are saying we’re defending something, but we’re just as in the chase as anyone else. If it was just the same, our hopes are that we come out with the same result.”

(on this week’s preparation and how Head Coach Pete Carroll mentioned it was a big week) “It’s a big day every day. It’s a big day every day and another opportunity to compete and do what we love and what we do best. It was great to have that extra week. Guys were getting healthy and getting ready to play this upcoming Sunday.”

(on if his health has been key this season) “It’s been important. It’s been important especially for our team. We play very hard and (with) a lot of toughness. Obviously injuries are part of the game, and that’s inevitable. It’s good to have that extra week and have guys get healthy and getting ready to bounce back.”

(on running back Marshawn Lynch) “I would say he’s definitely a tenacious runner. When he has that ball in his hands, you don’t know what he’s going to do. He’s part of what makes us who we are. Whether he’s catching it, running it or even sometimes blocking he’s very important to us.”

(on how he feels about the game) “Very excited at getting another chance to play one of the best games in the world. I get a chance to come out there and do what we love to do. Obviously the Super Bowl is a chance to see who is the best team in the world. We’re looking forward to it.”

(on feeling more at ease having played in the Super Bowl last year) “No ease at all. People say that we’re the defending champs and I think that’s a lie. I think we are just in this pursuit and chasing a title as well too. We’re still just as competitive and just as on edge to come after a win.”

(on how last week was an important week) “Every day is pivotal to our success. We want to be that team who day and day out, regardless of the situation, prepares the same way for the opponent. We competed in that way and wanted to get a jump on these guys early.”

(on the appreciation for the Super Bowl and all that comes along with it) “We’re a very grateful team, especially from the beginning of the year and have a couple struggles. For us to be able to persevere and be constantly persistent throughout the haul of the season and end up where we are, it’s a blessing.”

(on if it is ‘old hat’ being here for the second time in a row) “No, I hope it’s a new one. That hat’s worn out, so we want another chance at it and we got it this year.”

(on what is it like going against Seattle’s defensive line in practice every day) “I think we have one of the best defensive lines in the league. We have Cliff Avril, Mike Bennett, Bruce Irvin and some of the baddest interior guys in the league too. Day in and day out it’s a battle to really win.”

(on how he gets practice against the speed rush with Seattle’s defensive line) “You get practice against every single rush, whether you talk power or a guy who is quicker and has more speed too.”

(on why people around the country have become fans of Seattle) “I would say it’s more the way we play. Obviously we have those who are more loyal to us and the 12th man who are with us either way. It’s great that people really hope and believe in us and believe in what we do. They see us finishing and fighting for games. Obviously it’s something they like and decide to follow.”

(on playing loose and confident and Head Coach Pete Carroll’s coaching style) “At the end of the day, it’s still going to be a game. Pete does a great job of keeping those things into perspectives and really challenging us to be ourselves and be who we are. Never rise to the occasion. Always look at ist as the task at hand is just as important. That way of thinking becomes normal to you.”

(on having played New England in 2012) “I remember New England was a top team. Obviously historically they’ve had a lot of success and we were guys coming into ourselves and really knowing our identity as a team. I guess you could say that was our coming out party. We started really challenging the top tier teams in the league.”

(on quarterback Russell Wilson in the 2012 game against New England) “Obviously he stayed true to himself and stayed true to his character. The whole body of work that he’s done it’s uncompromised. He’s guy that comes in and puts his hard hat on every day and he leads.”

(on what he will do different this year) “Nothing; not going to do anything different. We are going to stick to who we are and what we do best. And the result will be the result.”

(on whether the controversy in New England has led to the Patriots receiving more media attention) “I don’t really get a chance to watch it much, but that’s all right. We’ve earned the right to be here. We’ve definitely earned the right to be here. We’re looking forward to a good game regardless of what people say.”

(on if it is better to have the media focused on New England) “Keep it on them. We do our talk with our play.”

(on whether there was a moment in the season when Seattle questioned whether they could be at the Super Bowl again) “I would say earlier in the season. We don’t think about the end result, we can only think about what’s at hand. And we kept things in perspective each week as they kind of went along. We kept challenging, kept fighting, kept scratching, kept striving, and the end result is the Super Bowl.”

(on what Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable has brought to the position group) “He’s an amazing coach and he’s our leader on offense, especially with the offensive line. I wouldn’t be here and wouldn’t be the player I am without him. He constantly talks about staying on schedule and staying on course. You take your losses but again you get your wins too.”

(on how the New England defense looks on tape) “They are very talented. They play really hard, they show a lot in their scheme. We are going to see a lot and probably some things we don’t expect either. They are pretty solid. They know their ball. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

(on players being drafted together and playing together for a while) “I think it’s very instrumental in the process. I’ve been very fortunate that Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider) believed in me as one of their first picks. And getting guys who understand what they want and what they desire. Just getting guys that fit the mold and guys who are tough and who are willing to fight that fight. When it all comes together you can get some wins.”

(on how much the offense has grown in the past few years) “It’s all about identity. Obviously we want to be a team that runs the ball and plays it tough and throws the ball explosively over your head. We have all those guys that can do it. I don’t think there is anything we can’t do.”

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