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The latest news and analysis from all angles on the Seahawks.

January 27, 2015 at 3:29 PM

Seahawks’ media day quote-a-rama: GM John Schneider, Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin and more …

Lots of transcripts from media day for the Seahawks. No I won’t be posting the Marshawn Lynch transcript. But there are transcripts from general manager John Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll, cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive tackle Michael Bennett, wide receiver Doug Baldwin, linebacker Bobby Wagner and more.

 

GENERAL MANAGER JOHN SCHNEIDER

Getty images

Getty images

 

(on what the key is to the success of drafting late-round offensive linemen) “When you get a certain part of the draft, there is a certain level on characteristics that you are looking for in players that you know can have a strong fit with your staff. With a guy like (Seattle Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line) Tom Cable… Like (Seattle guard J.R.) Sweezy is a perfect example, you knew that his personality, he was going to dive into everything that Tom had. It doesn’t have to go by position necessarily, it’s just a certain characteristic that you would think would be a good fit with that coach.”

(on if he wants to be a mentor to the personnel people on his staff now that he is in his fifth year as the general manager) “Yeah, absolutely. Whether you get a job or you interview for a job, it’s just a great learning experience. Both (Seattle Head Coach) Pete (Carroll) and I believe in pushing your people forward as much as you possibly can. We always have younger guys coming in and we’re always teaching them and working with them in helping them improve their craft.”

(on if he was surprised former New York Jets General Manager John Idzik didn’t get a third year on the job) “Yeah, I felt bad for him. It’s just my personal opinion that you should be able to hire a head coach. If you’re going into a situation like that, you try to make it work with the coach that is there. If it doesn’t work, you can hire your own coach and see where it goes. I don’t know the specifics of what happened there. Just from afar, he’s a good friend of mine, so I feel for him.”

(on if he has given advice to Idzik since he was fired) “I’ve been in that situation before. I was let go in Washington in a year. You always kind of just joke about that situation. You know going in that it’s tough, New York City. We talked about staying positive and what his next steps are going to be. We’re just good friends, so we try to lean on each other in that regard.”

(on if he thought Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was going to be drafted by Green Bay in the 2007 NFL Draft) “We thought he was coming to Green Bay, yeah. We thought there was a shot.”

(on how difficult it is to make an in-season trade like the one Seattle made recently by trading wide receiver Percy Harvin) “It’s very difficult. You’re talking about a person’s livelihood. We have to do what’s best for the organization, first and foremost. We had the support of our owner, which was huge. We had discussed it for a long time with our owner. For one reason or another, it didn’t work out so we had to be able to move forward. So, the Jets got real interested. It was the Thursday night game. I was actually at the University of Missouri, and we were just able to move forward. We played the Rams that weekend.”

(on if the trade involving Harvin came together quickly) “Yeah, absolutely. We had talked about it for a little while, about whether or not it was going to be a great fit. He came in and had a hip issue right away, so we felt bad for him right away. He comes in, wants to make a big difference. Right away, he has to have an operation. Last year was a very trying time for him.”

(on how the team was able to come back in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers) “I think our defense really stepped up. They weren’t going to give an inch. The quarterback and the running back basically just willed their way. The two-point conversion was unbelievable. (Seahawks quarterback) Russell Wilson and (Seahawks tight end) Luke (Wilson) made a heck of a play. When you go back and watch the game, it’s amazing how it went down. I’m not quite as positive as Pete (Carroll) is all the time. I was thinking to myself how I was going to address each player after the game, what I was going to say to the coaching staff. I was going to be like, ‘Hey, we had a great season. We’ll get them next year. Let’s have a great offseason.’ All those things are running through my mind, and then at the five-minute mark, things just started snowballing there. Anxiety, depression, you can throw it all in there. It was nuts.”

(on why more teams don’t have the same power structure as Seattle) “I think there is a level of trust that goes into it. I was telling these guys earlier that when I went for the interview, it was kind of a question; is it still a good job? Is it not a good job? I had worked there before, so I knew that ownership was great and the people in the building were fantastic. But, I didn’t know (Seattle Head Coach) Pete (Carroll) all that well. Just going to USC and shaking his hand and talking with him for a little bit down there. The way it was explained to me was really a selling point because he wanted to have his philosophies as like a strong accord of what we’re doing. Every head coach should be that way. We’re both pretty pliable guys, so the way we just hit it off. I thought it was cool. They had him in the interviews. We just hit it off. He is coming from USC, so they had played young people all the time. He was used to guys moving on and my belief is that if you want to be a consistent, championship-caliber team, you have to make those tough decisions where guys are moving on every year and you just have to keep playing young people. Philosophically, we hit it off in that regard.”

(on if he was convinced that the Seattle job was a good job after his first meeting) “I really was because of the individuals. You talk about Pete Carroll and John Schneider, for as successful he had been, his ego level was just… He was real. I remember when I was in Kansas City, watching his press conferences when he was with the Patriots. I remember thinking to myself that he seems like a cool guy – even keeled and positive.”

(on what kind of challenges Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s upcoming contract could present for the team) “It presents challenges, there is no question. We haven’t sat down with his representatives. We are still going to be drafting young players and playing young players, so we might not be able to dip into free agency like you may want to here and there or compensate somebody else that you want to compensate that is already on your team, but just the fact that we’re going to continue to keep drafted players and playing young players should help us compensate for whatever level of compensation (for Wilson’s contract) is.”

(on how important is it to compensate Wilson moving forward) “It’s important. It’s a huge piece of our puzzle, obviously, moving forward. We have a lot of different models that we work with, so we just have to figure out where that is going to go.

-SB XLIX-

 

HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL

 

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

(on Russell Wilson) “I don’t think we can have a better guy for the Seahawks than Russell Wilson. He gives us such a dynamic approach to the quarterback position in just the football aspect of it, he’s such a tremendous passer. He can pass inside the pocket, he can pass on the move and all the structured stuff, but then he has the dynamic ability to get out of the pocket and create and really, with his legs, running, as well as passing, his ability to run the full gamut of what you would hope a quarterback could do. That’s not even to mention the leadership qualities, the character that he brings, the tremendous competiveness. He’s a perfect fit for us.”

(on Russell Wilson’s offense) “We’ve always kind of wanted our quarterback to kind of be the point guard and distribute the ball to different players and Russell has been fantastic in doing that. He understands the value of (running back) Marshawn (Lynch), he understands the value of our receiving core, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Those guys are incredible football players and he helps them play at their best by being unselfish and by respecting their ability and talents by giving them the ball in situations where they can be a little creative. He does a marvelous job at that and he’s just getting started. It’s a really, really exciting journey that we’re following here.”

(on if he has changed the process at all for this Super Bowl) “The process hasn’t changed at all. We have our way and our philosophy and the way we want to go about it. Being familiar with the circumstances here helps us somewhat, but we haven’t changed anything at all. We really want to create the buildup to this game just like we always do.”

(on the similarities between the Seahawks and Patriots) “There are some similarities. Our background is about defense and our programs have been built on really always having a consistent defense. With that, we depart somewhat in the way we go about our offense but one of the great tie-ins is our connection to football and how important it is to them, how important it is to us to take care of the football and to manage the turnover aspect of the game. That, more than you would think, controls what is going on. There is a statistic out there that our two teams since 2012 are plus-51 in turnover ratio and the next team is like 23 or something like that. I think that shows you that to get that done, that is offense, defense, special teams, it’s the focus on the fundamentals of taking care of the ball. So we have a tremendous similarity in that regard. That’s something that it isn’t in the way we present our style, it’s what we believe in about the game of football.”

(on the game plan for the Super Bowl) “The game plan for us is to play like we always play. That’s the big challenge, that we can play with the same kind of intensity and attitude, the execution that gives us the chance to win. So, regardless of what they do, we have to play like we’re capable of playing. That’s a greater challenge in itself, but that’s really what we’re after. If we do that, that gives us our best chance to win.”

(on the defense) “Our defense is instrumental to the success of this team. They always have been. Hopefully, we play another really good football game and do all of the things that we need to do to corral an incredible offense with great players and all that. If we don’t, then we’re playing outside of the framework of how we want to play. Hopefully our guys will pull that off and we really feel confident we have a chance to do that.”

(on the change that has occurred in the last three years for the Seahawks) “We continue to try and exhibit the special qualities of our players. It’s an ongoing process and as players mature and as we incorporate new players into the system, we try to find a way to put them in the position to play their very best. That is an ongoing process. The change that has occurred in the last three years has been because of the talent and development of our players.”

(on tight end Luke Willson) “Luke has been a tremendous draft pick. John Schneider nailed this with Luke. Luke didn’t play that much in college. He was a backup a lot of times and all that, but our guys found him. Great speed, great athlete, great kid, great character, great toughness, plays special teams, catch and run, the whole thing. Because he played behind (tight end) Zach Miller it took him some time to really connect the way we’ve seen him in the last couple months. The connection or the chemistry has really shown up the last couple months of the season and we’re just getting started. He’s a heck of a football player.”

(on the young roster and the leaders on the team) “We’re a very, very young football team. If you look at the numbers we’re really young, but our guys have grown up quickly in their early years. They have tremendous leaders in (safety) Kam Chancellor and in (safety) Earl (Thomas) and (cornerback) Richard (Sherman). Those guys are, they are living proof of competitors and great players and all that, but better than that, they’re really good people and they really care about the young guys coming into the program and they know that those guys are our life blood, so they have always taken that responsibility to heart and done a very, very good job I think. That’s good testimony that that’s what is happening.”

(on the 12th man) “The 12th man is unbelievably a part of what we’re all about. We have connected with them from years ago. They’ve always been great. They have fueled us in so many situations and in so many games, even taking it all the way to the Super Bowl last year, all the way to New York. That crowd was an incredible crowd. How that happened I don’t know, but enough of them got in and they affected the people around them that we felt like it was a hometown crowd. It’s just a remarkable relationship. The heart and soul of our program is really founded in the 12s.”

(on his relationship with Robert Kraft) “Robert (Kraft) really was a really good partner to work with back in the day. He gave me an opportunity that I will always be grateful for. He also sent me out the door too, and I remember that. We’ve maintained over the years a very respectful relationship and he’s done a remarkable job. He’s led one of the most successful franchises in the history of this league and in the history of professional sports and he’s done it in great fashion by supporting his coach and doing all the things that he needed to do. I had a chance to visit with him here, talked with him during the week. We’re really get along very well.”

(on the matchup between Russell Wilson and Tom Brady) “I don’t see it as a matchup between those guys, but it’s a matchup between two teams. You’re going to see two tremendous quarterbacks and two guys that really fit the bill as the leaders in their team. Tom Brady has been a fantastic performer and a fantastic leader and those guys love playing for him and I think it’s the same thing for Russell and our club. They will obviously play prominent roles in this game, but this is team against team. This isn’t really one guy against one guy.”

(on Jim Harbaugh) “Jim is going to do a great job. He’s a fantastic coach and he’s proven it in every opportunity. The fact that he’s no longer in the NFL only makes it a little bit better for us. He’s a great football coach and I think his connection with Michigan is going to run deep and I think he’s going to be able to reconnect the great heritage of that program. It’s been kind of up and down for a while and it hasn’t really been recaptured by anybody, but I know Jim will do it with great style, great energy. I think he’s going to do a fantastic job. I’ll miss playing against him. He was a great competitor.”

(on making it back to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year) “It’s obviously very difficult and everybody is trying to get in your way to let that happen. I think that’s the part about it that I like the most is that everybody was trying to get you. They didn’t want it to happen. They were doing anything they could to get us and we were able to find our way again. I love that part of it. It brought out the best in us and made us the best team that we’ve become at this point. The big story, the big picture of it is just going to try to win.

(on the connection he has with USC) “It’s deep. It has been because everything that we do now was really forged there in L.A. (Los Angeles, Calif.) and I’ve never forgotten that. I give great regard to that because this philosophy, this approach, this language, everything that we do, this style of coaching people, really was brought together there and I was so fortunate that I had the chance to do it at USC (University of Southern California).

(on the structure of his program) “Our program is really structured around helping people be the best they can be. That’s basically the fundamental baseline of what we’re doing. In that, I just believe that if we allow our players to function where they’re at their best, which is really representing who they are, along with the coaching and development that we can bring them, we give them the chance to be at their best. That’s why we do celebrate their uniqueness. We look for the qualities that they have that nobody else has and then we try to coach it into our style of play so that they can do things that they’re really good at. I don’t think it has to do with just football. I think this is in everything. We’ve found in the corporate world that people are really interested in our approach. They like the part of developing the human properties in their team by reaching into the people and bringing out the best they have to elevate productivity in all aspects of life I think. I’m really proud that that is starting to come to life and we’re getting a lot of following there.”

(on Richard Sherman) “I think that’s a great illustration of the uniqueness of Richard Sherman. He’s an extraordinary guy. He’s got a great mind. He’s bright, he’s sharp. He’s got wit, he’s got creativity to him which is really what his game is like as well. It’s just the whole person that we’re talking about. I’m not sure if you’re asking how does that help him play well, he’s an extremely savvy football player. He can take in all of the elements and the indicators that come up from a lineman to stances to quarterback reads to style of play and incorporate that into his decision making. He’s an extraordinary decision maker during games. His ability to analyze and break down things that are happening are really phenomenal and that’s why he’s so unique and special.”

(on Richard Sherman playing the rest of the NFC Championship game with an injured elbow) “It demonstrated the competitor that he is. He’s a great competitor. All of that is fueled by his competitiveness. He has these qualities, but if he wasn’t this ferocious competitor that he is, those wouldn’t be brought to light so often. He’s got torn ligaments in his elbow and he played football and he’s going to play again and he’s going to do it. He didn’t care. He played with one arm and he got through that game and finished it for us and just in heroic fashion, as did (safety) Earl (Thomas). Earl pulled off the same thing. Fortunately those guys are responding really well, they’re going to play in the game and all, but that illustration of that willingness before they really knew what was wrong with them, they hung in there and just finished the game and did a fantastic job.”

(on Coach Bill Belichick and Marshawn Lynch) “I don’t know about Bill (Belichick), I’ve never been there I can’t even comment on that. I just know that (running back) Marshawn (Lynch) is an extraordinary character. He is the most giving, the most loyal, one of the great teammates that you can want on a team because of the way he takes care and looks after people. He’s got a remarkable sense about that. His sense for loyalty runs extraordinarily deep and his teammates know that.”

(on Golden Tate) “I would have loved to have had him. I thought he was a great player. I always loved Golden. One of my favorite guys. Then I hated that he had to go somewhere else. But, I congratulate him. He had a great season and it was fun watching him.”

-SB XLIX- 

CORNERBACK RICHARD SHERMAN

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

Seattle Times photo/Dean Rutz

 

(on how his elbow feels) “It’s feeling pretty good, it’s feeling pretty good. It’s been good all week. I’m done getting treatment. It’s been getting better day by day.”

(on how the experience of last year helps handling this week) “I think it helps in terms of just dealing with the media. Some guys don’t get really this much media on a day-in and day-out basis, so it helps them in that regard – being more comfortable and understanding what to expect.”

(on how it feels to face quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots) “It feels good, it feels good. It feels good to face whoever we’re facing in this game. They’ve worked hard and they’ve had a great season to this point, so it’s obviously going to be an outstanding opponent.”

(on if he gets annoyed that people may have a bad perception of him) “Do I get annoyed about people’s perception? Not really. It doesn’t bother me too much honestly. I kind of go to the beat of my own drum. If people feel a certain way, you know, everybody has an opinion and I also have my own opinion. I have my own way of doing things and it might not align with everybody but I’m going to keep it that way.”

(on what it says about this defense if they could beat Brady this year after beating Denver quarterback Peyton Manning last year) “I don’t know what it says about our defense. I think it says something about our team because we’re not just playing Tom Brady. We’re playing the Patriots and all of their great players, and they have a great defense as well. So I think it says more about who we are as a team and what we’ve been able to accomplish as a whole with hard work and dedication.”

(on if Media Day is a landmark to signal that the Super Bowl week has really started) “Not really. We kind of always buckle down to an extent but we’re also pretty loose as a group, so we never take things too serious. It’s not like, ‘Oh man, we’re going to get into serious football-mode.’ We’re always in serious football-mode. We’re always focused on learning our opponent and getting better, and getting ready for the game. We don’t take it too serious in terms of shutting everything down, not talking to anybody and things like that. I think our team does a great job understanding what we need to do.”

(on how the team reacted to wide receiver Percy Harvin being traded) “We reacted to it the same way we always react to injuries or any other time we lose a player – next man up. The next man steps up, and in that case it was Paul Richardson and he stepped and has found his role in a way.”

(on having extra inspiration knowing he has a child on the way) “I guess you could enter inspiration to a degree. It’s someone that actually depends on you for everyday living. Everything they do is dependant on you and how you provide, and how successful you are. As a parent you want to set a great example for them, so I guess to a degree a lot of things are riding on it.”

(on going up against Brady) “It’s fun, it’s fun for competitors. It’s a great challenge for us and anybody who’s ever been an elite competitor or an elite player enjoys those moments against other great players. It brings the best out of you. I think we as a group and as a team enjoy going against an elite team because it brings the best out of us.”

(on if he heard what New England owner Robert Craft had to say yesterday upon the team’s arrival, and his thoughts) “I did hear what he said. I don’t really have any thoughts on that.”

(on the one thing that makes New England quarterback Tom Brady different from the other quarterbacks he has faced) “He’s a little more fiery than the rest of the quarterbacks. A lot of the quarterbacks try to stay even keel throughout the game and not get too high, not get too low. He’ll show his emotions a little more than the rest of them.”

(on what it means to have Seattle’s fans here) “Oh, it’s amazing to have the 12s here. We knew if we made it to this game the 12s would be out here in full force and representing as much as they can – they always do. If they didn’t let them in the game, they’d probably climb the walls of the stadium and sit on the roof. We appreciate them.”

(on if they think about the potential of being a dynasty) “Just like our mentality every game, it’s game-to-game, it’s year-to-year. We don’t think about dynasties or history or anything like that. We just go out and play the game, and let the chips fall where they may. We let everybody else discuss those things and determine where we stand. We can’t do anything but try hard and play hard, and do the best we can.”

(on how he feels about giving Brady nightmares) “I didn’t know I was in his dream-sphere. I appreciate you, but I highly doubt he’s afraid of me. He’s a great player, Hall-of-Famer in this league and he’s been playing at a high level for a long time, but I appreciate the compliment.”

(on how he is going to make Brady uncomfortable in the Super Bowl) “I don’t know if I’m going to make him feel uncomfortable. I’m just going to try to do my job effectively and hopefully capitalize on the opportunities I’m given.”

(on what it takes to be great in the NFL) “It takes hard work, dedication. It takes work ethic. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to your craft, dedication to film study and a discipline to sometimes do things that you wouldn’t want to do otherwise. You don’t get the opportunity to go out as much, to enjoy as much of the off-the-field stuff, the social life if you really want to be great in this game. A social life is kind of for the offseason and after the season you get to enjoy that stuff, but elite players, the great ones sacrifice that to study their craft and to get better.”

(on how he likes Media Day) “I mean it’s fun to me. It’s fun. I think my teammates are enjoying it, they’re having a good time. It’s just one of those things. It’s another one of those elements of the Super Bowl and you have to enjoy it because you’re at the Super Bowl. It’s a fun time for you, it’s a fun time for your family, it’s a fun time for the fans. Everybody gets to know these players a little bit more in depth and maybe get to know things about the players that they maybe didn’t know any other way. There’s some cool questions out there, some very interesting, in-depth questions that go deeper than a lot of people have gone during the season.”

(on comments made by New England cornerback Brandon Browner, and if it’s okay in this league for a player to try to hurt another player intentionally) “It’s not okay in this league for anybody to intentionally hurt anybody. I think he was just caught up in the moment. He didn’t mean any malice by it. It’s one of those things, we know him as a person and sometimes he exaggerates a little bit. He didn’t mean anything by that and we didn’t take it offensively. We know him as a person and we know who he is, but to answer your question, that’s never a good thing. Nobody intentionally hurts anybody in this league, that I know of. I think a lot of guys stand for the integrity of the football league and have a lot of respect for one another, and Brandon does as well.”

(on what separates Brady and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning from a skillset standpoint) “They’re just different. They’re just different in the way they approach the game, the way they approach their passing game. Different offenses. Peyton plays the game differently. Brady runs a little bit more of the hurry-up; Peyton runs it from time to time, but then he’ll slow it down and they’ll be meticulous, they’ll run the ball, he’ll audible, he’ll check a lot at the line. I think Tom kind of goes and he sees the defense for what it is, and goes out and executes.”

(on what advice he has for kids playing defense and want to be better at tackling) “Practice, a lot of practice and also understanding angles. Practice makes perfect, so the more you practice anything the better you’ll get at it. Also, not playing with fear, playing fearless. A lot of people say that the more fear you play with, the harder it is to tackle because you’ll tense up before you get to tackle and things like that. I would say give yourself a chance to practice things and see it and visualize things, and that will make you a lot better as a player.”

(on if he thinks athletes should be obligated to speak to the media) “I don’t think they should be obligated any more than the commissioner is obligated to speak to the media. I think that if players are going to be obligated to speak to the media then every one of the NFL personnel should be obligated to speak to the media weekly, and that’s not the case. It’s unfortunate, but I think that every team should be forced to present certain players, obviously a few of them. Obviously if someone is uncomfortable in front of the media and uncomfortable answering questions and things like that, then you have to find a way to accommodate the NFL. This is a game – you find a way to accommodate everyone else who’s uncomfortable.”

(on what it takes to stop New England tight end Rob Gronkowski) “He’s a great player. He’s a physical player, so you have to somehow try to match his physicality and battle with him. You can’t just stop him, he’s a great player. You go up against a great player, you’re not just going to stop him, but you can do your best to contain him and play effectively.”

(on what he thinks about a team moving back to Los Angeles) “I think that’s big-time for the league. Unfortunately, somebody has to lose a team for that to happen, and it’s unfortunate for whatever city that loses that team, but it would be great for the league. L.A. is obviously a huge city, huge market for the league. It’s one of the biggest cities in America and one of the focal points of the United States. So it would be great. I don’t remember L.A. with a team – I was so young when they had the Rams and the Raiders, I really didn’t get to enjoy that time, but I think it will be huge for that community.”

(on what Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll is like in the locker room and how he keeps everyone focused) “What you see is what you get with Pete. He’s just like he is with the media in the locker room, outside the locker room, at home. He’s a great guy, he’s a great coach. Calm, cool demeanor. Laid back. He allows his players to bump their heads and scrape their knees, and learn from their experiences on and off the field. He gives us a chance. He trusts his players more than I think a lot of coaches do, and we appreciate him for that.”

(on if getting to the Super Bowl this year was harder than last year) “It was more difficult this year because of injuries. Last year we had a stream of good luck – that’s the only way you can explain it. This game has a 100 percent injury-rate, but this year our luck ran out a little bit in terms of the injury front. Some guys went down for longer, extended periods of time. Big-time players. (Linebacker) Bobby Wagner, (strong safety) Kam (Chancellor) went down for a few games. (Tackle) Russell Okung we lost. We lost a lot of players. We lost (running back) Marshawn (Lynch) for halves of games. I think we showed resilience fighting our way through those injuries and continuing to stay in front.”

(on New England Head Coach Bill Belichick trying to outsmart his opponent) “He’s definitely trying to outsmart you. He’s a great coach. They’re looking for any advantage they can get. They do a great job game-planning and finding weaknesses in defenses, and exploiting those weaknesses any way they can find, and they’re very timely when they do that. So I think there’s definitely some validity there.”

-SB XLIX- 

WIDE RECEIVER DOUG BALDWIN

 

See he's not always angry (Getty Images)

See he’s not always angry (Getty Images)

(on Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh) “I think he is going to do excellent. He’s a very talented coach, very wise, puts a great coaching staff around him. He does a wonderful job of recruiting. He takes advantage of his players strengths and weaknesses.”

(on missing the rivalry with him in San Francisco) “I don’t know yet. San (Francisco) still has a lot of talented players. I don’t know anything about the coach over there very well. If I know anything about the 49ers, they will be ready to play when we play them.”

(on representing Pac-12 country) “It is special. During college, I didn’t really understand it or appreciate it. Being here now and you pointing it out to me, it is an honor. I took a lot of pride of playing in the Pac-12, the Pac-10 when I was playing. I am just thankful for the opportunity to represent there.”

(on Baldwin’s favorite memory in college of playing in Arizona) “Winning.”

(on if there is a rivalry between SEC and Pac-12 alums in the NFL) “Yeah, without a doubt. There always is going to be that rivalry regardless if you are playing in college or if you are playing in the pros and you are sitting next to a guy who played in the SEC. Being a Pac-12 representative I always have to talk my trash. I firmly believe the Pac-12 can handle its own against the SEC, which I think we have shown. But yeah, of course, that rivalry is always existed.”

(on missing former Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate) “We were so close – obviously as teammates – but as friends, we were so close. You miss him. For three years I had grown close to him, so losing a guy like that is like losing a close friend. We definitely miss him in the locker room.”

(on what Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and New England cornerback Darelle Revis do well) “They have multiple different techniques that they use. I don’t want to go too deep into it. (Sherman) has a different technique than Revis does. Revis is probably one of the most patient defensive backs I have watched on tape. His technique is vastly different from what I have seen from other guys. It presents a challenge. Sherman is one of those guys – he might not be the most patient but he has length to him and his competitiveness is unparalleled. Two vastly different techniques, but they are both obviously very good at what they do.”

(on his emotions after the NFC Championship Game) “The frustration and all the hardships we face as a team throughout the year and then through that game. It was a build up for sure. I just let it all out. It was indicative of everything of not only my teammates, but my specific position group has gone through. Just letting out the frustration. I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I said that before. I said the right thing. I just wish I wouldn’t have said it right after the game because I feel that it took away from the team aspect, and us celebrating the win together.”

(on seeing what is said about the receiving corps) “I don’t have to go out and find it. I am active on Twitter. I have a Facebook and an Instagram, so it is thrown in my face day-in and day-out. I have friends that text message me. Whatever is out there finds a way if we don’t go looking for it. I don’t mind it because I use it for extra motivation.”

(on being at this stage and possibly speaking out again) “I don’t know. I’m a guy that lives in the moment, so whenever the moment presents itself, whatever happens, happens.”

(on what he thinks of his Super Bowl trading card) “I don’t even know what to say. I haven’t even seen this before. It kind of puts everything into perspective. This is unbelievable to be here at this platform, this situation, this atmosphere, this game. I can’t even put it into words. I appreciate that.”

(on how he feels about being at the Super Bowl) “I love it. I am blessed with this opportunity to be here. I am fortunate enough to have the great teammates that I do surrounding me. I couldn’t be happier about this situation and about this opportunity.

(on any alternate celebration suggestions for Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch) “Alternate celebrations? Why would he change anything? It is Marshawn Lynch. He is getting the most popularity for doing nothing, so I would tell him to change nothing.

(on if he would be okay with Lynch getting a 15-yard penalty for a celebration) “He is smart. He is wise. He is not going to do anything that is going to negatively affect the team on the football field. I am not worried about that at all. I think it is silly to even talk about honestly.”

(on if Green Bay ran a Cover-0 defense on Seattle’s game-winning touchdown catch) “It is funny because that specific Cover-0 look we had not seen all game. We had prepared all week for that look. It was strange that in that moment we got the perfect look. It was something we had been practicing against every day during the week. I was surprised, but at the same time we were prepared for it but, we were kind of expecting it. We just didn’t know when. For them to call that in such a crucial moment and for us to be as well prepared as well as we were for that play, that just worked out perfectly. I could believe it but at the same time of it happening, I couldn’t. I kind of couldn’t believe it.”

(on how it makes him feel that people think the Seattle wide receiving corps is alright) “It doesn’t make me feel anything right now. I am at the Super Bowl enjoying this moment. We had been getting that negativity all year and in years prior. It is nothing new. I am having a sit-down with you all tonight. I got some things to say so I am going to save it for there.”

(on if he considers himself the emotional leader of the team) “I wouldn’t consider it as myself. I think I just fell into that role. That is just the type of guy I am. I am passionate. I love football, and I am going to wear my heart on my sleeve. I am not going to hide anything. I am going to be real with you 100 percent of the time. I don’t consider myself that. I just think I fell into that role.”

(on the matchup with New England cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis) “I am excited. Anytime you get to go up against guys who have dominated in this league you have to rise to the challenge. You would expect nothing less from our receiving corps. We are excited about that opportunity. Like you said, those two guys – Browner being one of the most physical cornerbacks and Revis being one of the most cerebral cornerbacks. I am excited about the opportunity we have presented to us.

(on getting off Revis island) “You know what? I am going to bring my sunblock, my shades and my hat and I am going to go to Revis island and see what I can do and I will let you know after the game.”

(on being in back-to-back Super Bowls) “It is an unreal feeling. I can’t even put it into words yet. I am just trying to focus on the task at hand and living in the moment. I don’t really think I will be able to fathom what we are doing yet (until) a couple years down the line. (I am) tremendously honored to be here and appreciative of the opportunity.”

(on if it was harder getting to a second Super Bowl or harder getting to a first) “It is much harder trying to get a first time. You get here the first time and then the track is already blazed for you. You realize what you have to do and how you handle things, what you are going to see throughout the season in terms of outside distractions and then when you get here you understand you are going to have media day and that the fans are going to be going crazy, wild. So you have that experience. I think the first time is much more difficult than the second time.”

(on what Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is best at) “Improvising.”

(on what he thinks of New England’s defense) “Sound. They are extremely dangerous because they are athletic. They are physical. They fly around to the ball. They are one of the fastest front seven we have seen. We are anxious about the opportunity. We know that they have some dogs over there. We know about the dogs on our defense, so like I said we are just excited about the opportunity.”

(on the genius of Bill Belichick) “Yes, and that can’t be understated. He is probably one of the most methodical coaches when it comes to defensive techniques and game plans. Every week is something different that he has for the opposing offense. We really don’t know what we will see on game day, but we are preparing for everything we possibly could see. When it comes down to game time I think we will be ready. I am sure he will have some curve balls for us.”

(on what happens when Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch gets in “Beast Mode”) “You all think of it as beast mode. He doesn’t really change throughout the course of the game. He is the same cat. He is just pounding the rock. I think he wears down his opponents by doing what he does. Sometimes it is early and sometimes it is late. I think last game was indicative of that. He was pounding the rock and giving everything he has. Suddenly there defense starts to wear down. Those three yard runs that he had earlier in the game, they start becoming into six to eight to fifteen yard runs. That is just what we do on offense.”

(on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s emotions after the NFC Championship Game) “There was a lot of people crying. Russell was crying. My man Jermaine (Kearse) was crying. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. It was just a very emotional time for us, obviously getting that win in the fashion in which we did. You can’t really explain that in words, so you are going to have an overwhelming effect of emotions in that moment.”

(on his best Marshawn Lynch story) “I won’t give any specific stories about Marshawn, but I will say that he is probably one of the best teammates I have ever been around. He is a comedian. He is a supporter. He will get on you when he needs to get on you when you need it. Obviously he doesn’t like talking to the media because that is just not him. We all know him in the locker room as the true teddy bear that he is and we love him for it because like I said he is one of the best teammates we have been around.”

(on if Lynch has ever gotten on him) “Several times, several times, but I have gotten on him too. It goes back and forth. He does it in a different way though. He does it in a sly way (where) you laugh at it with him, but then when you go back to your hotel room you think about what he said and it means something to you.”

(on if Lynch is smarter than what people think) “He is a lot smarter than what people think. He is very wise, very wise.”

-SB XLIX-

 

DEFENSIVE END MICHAEL BENNETT

 

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

***

(on what made him decide to re-sign in Seattle) “I think it was just (Head Coach) Pete Carroll and (Defensive Coordinator) Dan Quinn. Knowing Dan for so long, it gave me a good insight of what the plan was for the team and what position they were heading toward. Just everything about it. And the city is so clean. You can eat off the road. People ride bikes around. Fresh fish – once I go somewhere else and eat, the food doesn’t taste the same, because in Seattle everything is fresh and organic.”

(on the importance of the 12th man) “Depends on the 12th man. (Texas) A&M, the Aggies, they mean everything to me. And of course the Seahawks mean a lot to me too. The fans are everything. Without the fans, there would be no game.”

(on what it would mean to win a second consecutive Super Bowl) “I don’t think you even want to think about things like that. I think if you think about things like that, you’re getting ahead of yourself and you’re trying to dream about things that haven’t happened. I think you just need to take it one day at a time and approach the game the way it’s supposed to be approached. If you go out there and do what you’re supposed to do and take care of all the things you need to do, then we’ll be where we’re supposed to be.”

(on what New England’s success in the postseason says about the team) “It says everything about the Patriots. It says they have a great owner, a great coach, a great quarterback. Just a great team. That’s a great organization. Any player in the NFL would love to play for that team and that coach. I mean, they’re winning. If you want to win, you go to the Patriots, and they’ve done a great job of winning. Tom (Brady) has been a great quarterback, Robert (Gronkowski) has been a great tight end, and, of course, all over, it’s just been a good team.”

(on what it would mean to win Super Bowl championships over quarterbacks of the caliber of Petyon Manning and now Tom Brady) “I don’t know what it would mean. I haven’t thought about it that far yet.”

(on having started his career in Seattle and now having returned to play in two consecutive Super Bowls) “It has come full circle, man. Just being able to go away and learn from Tampa Bay and to come back and take my experiences and use them for Seattle, it’s just been great. Everything about Seattle has been first class, whether it’s (owner) Paul Allen or whether it’s (general manager) John Schneider or whether it’s the equipment staff. Everything is first class here.”

(on his second experience with Super Bowl week activities) “It’s cool, because we’re ahead of everything. We’re sticking to the schedule. We’re not making it bigger than it’s supposed to be, because at the end of the day it’s just about the game. All the media is just here making the game bigger than what it’s supposed to be, and we’re just here to play in that game and enjoy the game that we love.”

(on his feelings regarding Media Day) “I don’t think much of it. I think it’s just, it’s fun, I guess, to see everybody get in here and see how big a business the NFL is. You just enjoy the theatrics – people crazy, people asking crazy questions that don’t pertain to football, but it’s all fun and games.”

(on his path to success in the NFL) “It’s kind of cool. I think after a while, you know – (former Seattle defensive end) Red Bryant used to always tell me, ‘You can’t hide talent.’ And I think it’s something that’s pretty cool. I think I’ve been making the same amount of plays I’ve always made, but when you’re on the big screen, people see it more so you get more credit for what you do.”

(on whether he felt his role changed in the Seattle defense this season) “I don’t think my role changed any. I mean, Red Bryant is the kind of person you can’t replace. His leadership and his ability to do what he can do. I think we just came along and just tried to make the group grow a little more, because a lot of young guys had to come and make plays. I think they’ve done a great job with that.”

(on the cowboy hat he chose to wear for Media Day) “One of my friends who passed away from cancer, this is his hat, his favorite hat, so I’m just wearing it through the week. He died two weeks ago.”

(on the greatest challenge for Sunday) “The biggest challenge? I think the biggest challenge is just playing against a great team. Tom Brady is a great quarterback and it’s a great organization. Just going against an up-tempo offense and all of the guys that they have, that’s the biggest challenge. They have so many guys, they have the same mindset as us. It’s like playing yourself.”

(on whether stopping New England tight end Rob Gronkowski is the focal point of Seattle’s game plan) “I don’t think stopping Gronkowski is the focal point of what we need to do, I think that just beating the Patriots in all aspects if the focal point of the game. You can’t put all emphasis on one player too much, because the Patriots have a lot of weapons. The time you’re thinking one person is more important than the next, that’s when you get beat.”

(on returning to the Super Bowl with many of the same starters) “I think it’s just cool to have everybody back and understanding what we’ve been through. Not getting ahead of ourselves and just loving the game the way we do. All of these guys just came back and with all of the successes that they’ve had, they still have one thing in mind, and that’s winning.”

(on Houston defensive end J.J. Watt) “I think J.J. Watt is a great player. The Texans are a good team and I’m from Texas, so I enjoy watching him.”

(on if he feels there is an advantage playing in University of Phoenix Stadium, given that Seattle plays Arizona every year) “I don’t think we have any advantage. Every game is different. We’re just going out there and playing the game. We’re playing against a whole other team and a whole different type of game, a different type of atmosphere. So I don’t think us playing here makes a big difference at all.”

(on growing up with his brother, Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett) “It was cool growing up. He’s very creative. I think he does a great job with balancing football and his creativity, because I think sometimes, with athletes, we get caught up in sports too much and we don’t succeed because we’re so caught up in this game that we never understand who we truly are. People don’t take time to know themselves. I think my brother does a great job of taking time to know himself. Growing up, it just made it really fun, just always doing things that we weren’t expecting to do and his ability to tell stories. It was great.”

(on the freedom given to the team by Head Coach Pete Carroll) “I think it’s pretty cool. I think a lot of times football players feel so confined by who other people want us to be. I think it’s good that Pete lets people be themselves. I think when you do that, you get a more successful – you get wins. You think about Google, you think about how they let their people be who they are. You think about any successful business in America right now and it’s all about letting people be themselves and letting them work. Sometimes when you have people doing too much, they just forget who they are and they aren’t happy. And when you’re happy, you do a lot of things better.”

(on lessons learned at Texas A&M) “I think I learned about perseverance through adversity and one of the things about A&M, the culture how it is set up, it sets you up for success. We had a lot of guys from different backgrounds, but we all came for one common goal, and that’s what I think is great about A&M.”

(on whether he feels he is quicker than most offensive linemen) “I think so. Some of the linemen are overweight and I’m in shape. I do Total Gym and I eat well, so it makes me a little quicker than them. I can last a little longer than them.”

(on preparing for the Super Bowl) “The preparation has been the same. We haven’t done anything different. We’ve been preparing the same way we always prepare and not trying to make it bigger than it’s supposed to be.”

(on whether he is stressed about the upcoming game) “I’m never stressed, man. I wake up every day and look in the mirror and say, ‘Damn, I look good,’ so I can’t be stressed.”

(on his family with three daughters) “There’s a lot of estrogen going on, a lot of sensitivity. I have to break down my football barrier, being so macho all the time. Gotta watch those kid movies, gotta watch those girly things.”

(on the perception that Seattle players are overconfident) “People hate us because, you know, when you talk a lot of smack, people usually hate you. But when you talk a lot of smack and you back it up, they hate you even more. I think that’s what it is. People hate (Richard) Sherman because he says he’s the best corner, and he plays like the best corner. So, it’s just like one of those things where people just hate us because of who we are, but we embrace it. I like it. I like when people hate us, because our stocks go up, our jerseys are higher selling. It’s pretty cool.”

(on what he sees as the legacy for Seattle’s defense) “I think we’ll be the Paul Bunyans of the NFL. We’ll be the best.”

 

-SB XLIX-

 

QUARTERBACK RUSSELL WILSON

Seattle Times Photo/Dean Rutz

Seattle Times Photo/Dean Rutz

***

(on comparing this year’s Super Bowl run to last season) “Coming back to the Super Bowl this year, it means a lot more to us, I think even that much more. All of the things we’ve been through this year, the resilience that we’ve shown, it’s been unbelievable. That’s the best part, and I think the selflessness that our team has shown all year has been one of a kind.”

(on his game-day routine and if it changes for the Super Bowl) “The game-day routine doesn’t change. I get up early in the morning and say my prayers, listen to my music and have breakfast and just be as normal as possible. It’s just a game; it’s 100 yards, 53-and-a-third; it doesn’t change.”

(on the difficulty of trying to repeat and if this season was a harder process) “The hardest thing in terms of repeating is it’s not the focus of repeating, it’s more so how do you get to the Super Bowl just in general. It’s not the focus of repeating. It’s a new year, it’s a new team, it’s new situations that you go through in life. So it’s just finding a way to play championship football week in and week out.”

(on not wanting to give up their spot as champions for another year) “Yeah, of course. To get back to the Super Bowl is a huge thing. To be able to do that, it’s a one-of-a-kind-type thing. It’s not easy to do.”

(on his message to kids in Children’s Hospital) “To all kids in all of Children’s Hospital – obviously, I go to Children’s Hospital every Tuesday in Seattle and unfortunately I had to miss today. But to all of the kids out there, I’m just praying for you guys and praying for miracles. Keep the faith and be ‘strong against cancer,’ that’s something I’ve been really big into in Seattle. I’m just rooting for everybody.”

(on if he and the team have reviewed the first three quarters against Green Bay and what went wrong early in that game) “Well, I think they just made some plays that we weren’t making earlier. We had some turnovers that are uncharacteristic of our football team and that was it. We just had to put drives together and find a way to make plays at the end of the game, and that’s what we were able to do.”

(on the persistence Seattle displayed in remaining committed to the zone read and how that leads to big plays) “We have such a versatile offense. We don’t just stick with one thing, we try to mix it up and make it tough on defenses. We have a running back like Marshawn (Lynch) and the receivers and the tight ends that we have, and Robert Turbin’s our backup running back who is really a starting-type running back for the National Football League – it makes it tough for a defense. So I think you just consistently try to find ways to make it tough on the defense.”

(on having faith in the zone read even late in the NFC Championship game as time was running short) “Well, it’s just trusting in the things that you’ve done all year really, really well and just being able to make those plays. When it comes down to it and crunch time comes down, the attention to detail has to be better than ever. So our focus is to have that throughout the whole entire game this week. We’re playing a great team in the New England Patriots. It will be an exciting battle.”

(on his faith) “In terms of my faith, my faith is everything – God comes first, family and friends come second, and football comes third. I think when you keep it in that order, great things happen to you. You don’t stress out about much.”

(on if he prefers drawing first blood or winning in dramatic fashion late in games) “I just prefer to win. It doesn’t matter. All I care about is winning and finding ways to win a football game.”

(on the game-winning throw to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse in the NFC Championship game) “Jermaine Kearse, when he made that game-winning catch, just gives chills down your spine. All the things that you’ve been able to do all year, to get back to the Super Bowl, it’s a testament to our season and our resilience.”

(on New England’s defense and the impact of cornerback Brandon Browner) “You notice their DBs (defensive backs), obviously. They’ve got so many different guys that play; they’ve got 10 or 11 guys that play. But you also have their defensive line, those outside linebackers that really get to you, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for us. We’re up for it and that’s why we’re here; that’s why they are here, too, as well. I think it will be one of the all-time greatest games. That’s what I’m going for.”

(on what he wants his legacy to be both on and off the field) “In terms of my legacy on the field, I want to be considered a winner. That’s ultimately the goal in terms of playing quarterback, is win, win, win. That’s all that really matters at the end of the day. In terms of my legacy off the field, I want to be a Christian man that helps lead and helps change lives and helps serve other people. It’s not about me, you know? It’s not about me and it’s about just helping other people. So that’s kind of where I keep my focus.”

(on the importance of character and integrity in the game of football) “I think integrity and character in the game of football is really important, but I also just think that in life in general. It’s not just about football, we’re all human. We all make mistakes or whatever, but we’re football players. We’re able to use our gifts. For me, I’m able to use my gift to glorify God. That’s what it’s about for me. I think we’re all representatives of our families and the people that helped raise us, for our teammates, and I think that’s what it’s about. But also people look up to us and it’s about trying to be role models. Like I said, we’re all not perfect, but we just try to do the right thing.”

(on if the way the NFC Championship game began or how it ended stuck with him longer) “Definitely the way we finished. To be able to hoist the NFC Championship trophy, to be able to go to the Super Bowl again – I’ve only been here for three years, but to go to the Super Bowl two years in a row, it’s pretty special as a team, and (it’s) the guys that I have around me that make that so special. So that’s the great part about it.”

(on his own struggles and interceptions early in the NFC Championship game) “They just made some good plays. They made some good plays and they made a couple more plays than we did. We found a way to make a few more plays at the end of the game, which were important for us.”

(on his advice to young kids who want to be a great quarterback in the future) “What advice I would say – I think the advice that I got from my dad is keep things in perspective, have a great purpose in life, have great perspective and always persevere. I think for me, that’s kind of been my story so far in my life. I just keep believing in the people I have around me. I surround myself around great people that really encourage me every day. My education was really important in my life, that helped set me up in a positive manner and it allowed me to do a lot of great things. So sports comes, really, last for me. Even though I love the game of football – I love watching film and all that – it’s going to end at some point, hopefully in 15, 20 years and hopefully not too soon. You just take one day at a time.”

(on how he stays focused, especially in the second half of the NFC Championship game) “Just staying focused on my fundamentals, staying focused on the people that you have around you, the guys that you trust are going to make the plays. But you know, I’ve been through a lot in my life and the game of football is a small fraction of it. I think for me, I’m just grateful to be able to play the great game of football and use the game of football as a platform to glorify God, but also to represent my teammates and the people that I have around me and my family and my future kids one day down the road and all that. That’s why I play the game of football.”

 

(on if Seattle’s offensive creativity mostly comes from Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell or from all of the team’s offensive minds) “Yeah, that’s mostly from Coach Bevell’s mind and maybe some of me in there, maybe some of (Quarterbacks) Coach (Carl) Smith and maybe some of (Head) Coach (Pete) Carroll, maybe some of (Assistant Quarterbacks/Quality Control Offense) Coach (Dave) Canales. We kind of all mix together. It’s one group, one mission.”

(on coming down from the emotional NFC Championship game to prepare for the Super Bowl) “It’s been great, just to be back here and experience this again. Last year in New York, now we’re in Arizona and the desert. We’re on the west coast now with all these amazing 12th-Man fans. I think we’re going to rock the house. I think these 12th-Man fans are going to rock the house come Sunday night, we’re looking forward to that. But in terms of the emotions, it’s 100 yards, it’s 53-and-a-third like I always say. We’re just pumped up just to be able to get out there and have another opportunity to play, and obviously this game has implications, obviously to go back-to-back years and that would be great. We’ll see what happens.”

(on what Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell, an Arizona native, means to him) “Darrell means the world to me, Coach Bevell. He’s from Arizona. He’s done a tremendous job of getting us ready, getting us prepared every week and teaching us and keeping us going every week. He’s a phenomenal coach. I think he’s one of the best coaches in the National Football League, and to have Coach Bevell as my offensive coordinator, I don’t want him to ever leave. I’m selfish in that manner. I’d also have my quarterback coach, Coach Carl Smith. I told him (Smith) he’s got another 12 more years left to at least coach me. So both of those guys really do a great job of coaching me, and (Assistant Quarterbacks/Quality Control Offense) Coach Dave Canales, my assistant coach. Being around people who really know the game of football, but also enjoy the game of football and love coaching it and love teaching it, that’s why I love Coach Darrell Bevell so much, that’s why I love Carl Smith so much, that’s why I like Coach Canales so much.”

(on if he pinches himself when he thinks about playing against Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and New England quarterback Tom Brady in back-to-back Super Bowls) “Obviously to play in the Super Bowl two years in a row, and I’ve only been in the league for three years, it’s been exciting. It’s been an exciting three years of my life, but this year has been really special. To win the Super Bowl last year, to go against a great quarterback in Peyton Manning who I have so much respect for, plays the game the right way, does it better than anybody could probably ever do it, and then to face Tom Brady this year – two guys that I’ve looked up to since I was a little kid. It’s a tremendous honor, a tremendous honor to be on the same field, to play the great game of football, to play in Super Bowl XLIX. That’s history, and hopefully we can make some history. Hopefully Tom doesn’t play too good. I know he’s one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, but hopefully we find a way to win.”

(on putting into perspective his two consecutive Super Bowl matchups against Manning and Brady) “You asked about playing Tom Brady, playing Peyton Manning last year – it’s a tremendous honor to play two of the greatest guys, the greatest players to ever play the game. It’s one of those things you’ll never forget. It’s history. I’m just grateful I get to be on the same field. It’s an honor and I know that I’ll be ready to go and I’ll be excited about it. At the same time, I’m not just playing them, it’s our whole team. It’s Seattle Seahawks versus New England Patriots and it will be a great game.”

(on what it would mean to defeat Manning and Brady in consecutive Super Bowls) “I’m not sure if it’s about just playing against those guys, but winning back-to-back Super Bowls is history in itself. But also to play Peyton Manning and to play a guy like Tom Brady – like I said, two of the best to ever play the game – I think it’s special just because you’ll never forget it. You want to play the best. To be the best, you have to beat the best, and it’s going to be exciting for us.”

(on his favorite quarterback to watch growing up) “My favorite quarterback growing up – you know, I was a fair-weather fan growing up, so whoever was doing well at the time. I just loved watching great players. So growing up I loved watching Brett Favre. I loved watching Tom Brady. Peyton Manning was always great to watch, obviously. (In my) college days, I really liked watching (New Orleans quarterback) Drew Brees a lot – just how to get the ball out quick, how he made the throws, his faith. I’ve read his book several times. That’s probably my favorite quarterback, to be honest with you, is Drew Brees.”

 

-SB XLIX-

 

 

FREE SAFETY EARL THOMAS

 

AP photo

AP photo

(on if he, Russell Wilson and Kam Chancellor ever discussed going to the Super Bowl as rookies) “We weren’t that specific. We talked about how we wanted to change Seattle first because when we came there, it wasn’t a winning culture. We were just out there playing. As we got older, as we started to understand the defense, as we started to understand what Coach Pete Carroll was trying to say to us. Our game just evolved. Every year, you saw it in (Richard) Sherman, (Byron) Maxwell, Kam (Chancellor), Jermaine (Kearse), everybody gets better. Watch that college film and you’d be surprised.”

(on this year’s path to the Super Bowl being more difficult than last year’s) “No. I enjoy it this year way better. I don’t want to say last year was easy, but, man, we had to fight. You all were doubting us. I love it.”

(on how head coach Pete Carroll keeps his players calm) “I can’t really explain it. I can’t explain it, but he has that certain presence about him that people respect. He can reach any player on our team. He does a great job in that aspect.”

(on if his pregame routine will change on Super Bowl Sunday) “No. On gameday and the game of the Super Bowl, I’m at the VMAC (Virginia Mason Athletic Center), I’m in my zone and I have my headphones on. I have the same routine. Nothing ever changes.”

(on what he’s listening to) “Drake.”

(on the status of his shoulder) “It’s great. It’s cool, man. The training staff did a great job on it.”

(on using the Microsoft Surface Tablet) “I didn’t do it this year.”

(on if technology on the sidelines helps him) “I like the old school paper.”

(on who has the biggest presence among the safeties) “Everybody. We have so many personalities. You don’t know what you’re going to get. That’s the only question.”

(on containing New England tight end Rob Gronkowski) “He’s a big guy. We understand how they want to use him and we have to use our knowledge to our advantage.”

(on what it says about him and the team that they’ve reached the Super Bowl again) “We let it loose. We let it hang. We never, never stray away from who we are. We know who we are. We love to play football and we’re very passionate about playing football. Being in Seattle, come to our games, you’ll love it. All that energy and love, no place like it.”

(on how it felt to win the NFC Championship game after being almost done) “Did you say we were almost done? As far as losing? That didn’t happen. I’m not a fortune teller. We won, we’re here, we’re talking.”

(on his favorite memory of playing football) “Right now, off the top of my head, my mom crying. And I’m crying too. After the last game.”

(on what makes the Seattle secondary so competitive) “It’s just a mind frame. We talk about greatness. We love each other, (defensive backs) Coach (Kris) Richard. We’re technicians. Grace, skill, God-gifted, all of that. The way we communicate.”

(on if Dez Bryant completed the controversial non-catch against Green Bay) “I’ll ride with Dez, yes. Team Jordan.”

(on the impact that his hometown had on him) “It gave me crocodile skin. It made me a beast. Pain is nothing. Your environment. That’s how it is. But I didn’t really let that change me in terms of being a good person. I didn’t let the hood, or whatever that environment was, change me. It’s always going to be in me, but I know and I understand who I am.”

(on if his hometown made him tough) “I never thought I was tough. When the time came, I just never backed down.”

(on how the secondary’s chemistry helps them perform on the field) “Fluid, we flow together. It’s a beautiful thing to see, especially when we really recognize what’s going on, the little details. Everybody’s minds are not regular football minds.”

(on if that chemistry showed itself) “Just watch the tape and you’ll see.”

(on the differences in the secondary this year as compared to last year) “In the offseason, you always have a point of attack tape. You have different cut-ups and you have your negative plays. You study, you study, you study. When you get back, you know what’s coming every year. You put a stress on offense. They have to keep growing. In the cover 3, there’s not that many ways to attack us. We understand it though. We know football. I’m going to keep saying it until you all believe me.”

(on if the attitude on the field is different than last year) “It’s not the same. It’s not the same at all. This time around, we’re more mature. We know our scheme better. We trust our coaches more. Everything is very familiar.”

(on how he would describe New England quarterback Tom Brady) “He’s a general in every regard. He runs it. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s not the ‘goody two-shoes’ that you all think he is. He’s a warrior in a way.”

(on how he’s going to beat Brady) “You’ll see. We’ll see.”

(on what he sees from New England running back LaGarrette Blount) “Big body. Definitely up there on the tackling plan going against him. It’s going to be a test.”

(on how he feels today as compared to other days) “I feel great. This is unbelievable. I’m soaking it all in.”

(on how he’ll prepare for an elite quarterback in Brady) “Just like how we prepare for Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. We don’t panic.”

(on how he and strong safety Kam Chancellor feed off of big hits) “Presence. When he’s out there, like a Rolls Royce, you are always going to notice them. He has that type of presence. We both actually have Rolls Royces, so I thought I’d put that in there.”

(on the fans that are on hand at Media Day) “It’s growing. We accept bandwagon fans and everything.”

(on running back Marshawn Lynch’s humor) “This is who he is. I don’t nitpick or judge, so I just accept a person for who they are. I just love who he is. He is so random.”

(on how much energy the Seattle fans give the team) “I think their energy combined with what we bring, it puts you in a flow state. You don’t hear anything. You just embrace it and it sort of lifts you off of the ground.”

(on his experiences with high school football) “I miss high school, period. I was just talking to my defensive backs coach, Coach Richard. At one point in my career, I just felt like this wasn’t the same. This has all the politics to it, the media, they have control over what’s going in. In high school, it was so pure. The more and more I expressed myself, Coach Carroll as well as Coach Richard does a good job of making it feel that way.”

(on the biggest game that he’s played in high school) “To be honest, I won a Super Bowl. I want to win a high school championship more than I want to win a Super Bowl. Maybe because I’ve done it, but the relationships that you’ve built with those guys you’ve been playing with since Pop Warner… I’m from a country town and we still communicate. It would never be the same.”

(on if his shoulder injury will impact his tackling ability) “No. When I tackle somebody, I just close my eyes anyway and just throw everything I have. It doesn’t change my plans at all. I’m going out there doing what I know, trusting my teammates. I have so many great players around me.”

(on quarterback Russell Wilson’s capabilities) “He’s nice. He can run, pass. When it gets hard, when it gets tough, nobody is better.”

(on his expectations when new players join the Seattle secondary) “They naturally see it. You can feel it in our room through actions. You lead by example. You talk to them, you are nice to them. You don’t try saying ‘I’m this and that.’ They are surprised when we welcome them with open arms and they love that. They get better.”

 

-SB XLIX-

  

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DAN QUINN

 

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

***

(on coaches being supportive of him interviewing for a head coaching position) “Yeah, it’s a terrific group of guys today with Travis Jones, Ken Norton, Kris Richard and Rocky Steto. You should definitely get a chance to visit those guys.”

(on how challenging it is to put secondary in positions to be successful) “I don’t think it is necessarily new positions. They are two unique guys; Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are both so different. Kam Chancellor, we’d all look up at him right now at how big he is. We try to feature him in the things he does best like playing near the line of scrimmage and with Earl Thomas. He is a speed backer, something that really jumps out in his game. The way he can play the middle of the field and coverages, the closing speed that he has, that is just one good example that you talked about with those guys and try to feature the guys in the best ways. With those it is real clear what they do best.”

(on being a defense built outside-in and not inside-out) “I don’t know if I will necessarily use that term. We just honestly try to find unique guys and how fast we can play. Then, within each team, there are unique guys and how you feature the players. I would say, for us, it is really we’ve got terrific linebackers who’ve got great speed. We just try to utilize guys in the best way. Bruce Irvin is a guy we like to use on the end of the line as a pass rusher. Really, it is just about featuring the guys and the roles they can do best.”

(on what type of player Dante Fowler Jr was at the University of Florida) “Yeah, Dante Fowler Jr. did a great job. In fact, I know him and his family well. He was one that we thought would develop into a pass rusher. His first year there, he played right away as a true freshmen, which as you guys know just from being down there, it is not the easiest thing to do in that conference playing as a true freshmen. For him I am not surprised at the success that he had over the last couple of years.”

(on how difficult it is focusing on the Super Bowl and what’s next after the season is over) “It is. I am having an absolute blast with these guys. If I didn’t enjoy the moment of this experience, that would be crazy. I am absolutely having a blast. You should get to know some of these guys. They are some of the most relentless competitors. Can you imagine being on the practice field with them? In the meetings, they are always trying to find an edge; it is an absolute blast. I am having a terrific time.”

(on thinking about his next job) I think all of us have those experiences where you have to juggle things at the same time. For me, like I said, just being here, I am having an absolute blast.”

(on when knowing the time is right to be a head coach) “ I think fortunately for me I have had a lot of opportunities to watch guys, so you learn from the good experiences and you learn from some of the ones that you go, ‘well that didn’t go maybe as well as it could of.” So I don’t know if there is a moment that just comes down on you, but I know that is something that I wanted to do, lead a bigger group for a long time. That is really part of the reason I wanted to become a defensive coordinator in hopes that one day I will have the opportunity to become a head coach.”

(on what he thinks about the rule that prevents assistants officially accepting the job before their team are eliminated) “To be honest with you, I thought the process that allows you to do it during the bye week is really one that I am in favor of. You may think it sounds unusual, but during that time you don’t even know the team that you are playing. It is really a more relaxed time. When you are in the bye, ‘OK, it can be this team, that team, then all of a sudden, you find out who wins you go, ‘Alright man we got a game to play.’ For us two weeks ago, we were waiting. It could be Carolina. It could be Detroit. It could be Dallas. It was three teams; you did a lot of work on three teams, but then until that moment hits, you got three teams recovering, until that time hits you are kind of watching. To make a long story longer, to go through the process during the bye made a big difference.”

(on an assistant not being able to accept a job until their team is out of the playoffs) “This is such a cool experience that where else would you rather be?”

(on Lions Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin) “I know Teryl Austin. I thought he did a really good job. In fact, I followed him in Florida.”

(on how much is it about players and how much is it about coaching) “It is about the players, it is about our role to see how far we can take the guys. That is one of the things I loved most about coaching is how far you can develop the players. It is 100 percent about the players, and the things I love most about coaching is how far we take a guy from where he is now to where we think he can go.”

(on how much of an impact a coach could have when the personnel doesn’t change drastically) “I think we see it around the league each year of guys who have made an impact right away. I think it can have an impact on how there is so much more that goes into coaching. Connecting with the players, connecting players to players, players to coaches. I think each place in all these 32 places are different.”

(on players talking about him being a great communicator) I would say one of the things I like and enjoy the most about our team is the ability to connect with the players. They are all different. How we find ways that motivate one guy might be different than how we motivate another guy. What are some of the unique things for one guy is unique for somebody else. It is honestly one of the best things about coaching is getting to know all of these guys and finding out what makes them go.”

(on having a quarterback who is established) “He is a terrific competitor, Russell Wilson is. Getting the chance to go against him every day and our ability to go against them day in and day out, it only makes us better. That competition between Russell Wilson and our guys, and our guys against Russell Wilson. I hope he would probably say the same thing in terms of that competition between our offense and our defense is a huge factor.”

(on the biggest preparation challenge this year compared to last year) “You’re right when you haven’t gone through the process on the first time you are not sure how some of the things will go. For us having some experience to draw on is an important one. It ultimately comes back to how ready can we get and the challenges for each team are different. The challenges that this team presents compared to the challenges from last year’s team are different, although our style remains the same. The challenges are there.”

(on how he can focus on the Super Bowl with all the speculation of becoming a head coach) “The interview process allows us to go through it during the bye. I am appreciative of how the NFL does that. It is pretty easy to get right back into focus to play in this situation so it is easy to get back.”

(on the challenges he will face with the Patriots) “They have a terrific challenge all the way through.”

(on what he remembers when John Glenn and Pete Carroll were hired) “It was one of those times you could look back now and say, ‘man what an awesome opportunity’. It could have very easily been where I might not of got a chance to connect with Pete Carroll in that way. The day that he took it he said, ‘Hey, let’s do it together.’ He had known some of the people that I coached with before although he and I didn’t. I watched him from afar at USC as I look back it now what a cool opportunity for me to connect with him I have said before why it was such a hard decision for me to leave.”

(on what he remembers when he first met Pete Carroll) “You could feel the energy this guy brings into the building. It was real. I got a real sense for a style of defense and how to play. I have been around some terrific defensive coaches during my time from all the way back to the 49ers when Jim (Mora) was the coordinator there, and then in Miami with Nick Saban and Will (Muschamp) was there. Those guys have been a big impact. With Coach Carroll right back to the fundamentals, I think that was one of the things how we tackle, how we play, a real style, and I think that has played out through the years, style and attitude of how we play.”

 (on wanting to lead a larger group and his views on leadership) “I think that is where my background lies. To be honest, I think the head coach orchestrates a bit of everything from the assistant coaches and the messaging that gets all the way through. As I go through all of the process, everyone has their own idiosyncrasy regarding the team. The head coach is where we got the vibe from, and that is the case here with Pete Carroll.”

(on what it was like preparing for the Super Bowl last year) “As you guys know, when you play against terrific quarterbacks, everybody has got an idea of this check means this, this means that. What I learned early on last year in the process, is let’s stay true to who we are, let’s get our cleats in the grass and go attack people. That message came through in terms of our preparation for last year. Really this year is quite the same. We treat each game as a championship game. It’s not where you say, ‘Man, you really got to step it up now that we are playing in big game.’ You can go right back to making it feel normal in the way we attack. I think the thing I learned most is to stay true to the style of how you play and that allows you to attack and play at your best.”

(on if this game is similar to last year) “I think there is a lot of similarities. I think it starts with how good the quarterbacks are that we face. Each game in the NFL has terrific challenges. It even started that way for us this year. I think we started our season with Aaron Rodgers, and then Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning. Each week, the challenges are terrific in every way. It really brings you back to your own style of play. I think if you get so worried about someone else, it takes away from what you do best.”

-SB XLIX-

 

STRONG SAFETY KAM CHANCELLOR

Seattle Times Photo/Bettina Hansen

Seattle Times Photo/Bettina Hansen

 

(on former Washington safety Sean Taylor) “Well, my second year of college I moved to strong safety and I saw Sean Taylor was a big safety. That was his gift, God’s gift, big guy over 6’3” that could move around, run fast, hit hard make tackles and just had a presence on the field. It definitely inspired me. I wanted to be just like that guy. The same size, didn’t have the same speed, but I worked over the time. I just kept working and working to just get better and better each year. I think you definitely have to look at how he played and what he brought to the game.”

(on former Washington safety Sean Taylor’s impact on the league) “I think just the way he brings it to the game, the ferociousness, the way he attacked the game. Everyone was inspired by how he did it with his size. He had the biggest impact on the game and still does today.”

(on how he is off the field) “Laid back. I’m very laid back. Sociable, got a lot of humor. Funny guy, I’m just laid back. I’m a regular person. Nothing special.”

(on the toughest thing to defend on New England’s offense) “I really don’t know the hardest thing because I haven’t played them yet, but just from watching film, they have a great quarterback. Tom Brady’s a great quarterback who’s definitely capable of getting his guys the ball and letting them make plays. They have great receivers, a good running back core and a good line. I think they play well together as a team. We just have to play team ball and stay true to what we do.”

(on sitting in the same seat for Media Day as New England tight end Rob Gronkowski) “I wasn’t aware. You just brought it to my attention, but I mean I guess it was destiny. It was destiny for us to have the same seat.”

(on if he is going into this Super Bowl trying to set a tone with a big hit like he did last year) “No, never. That’s me every game. Every game I’m going into the game and I’m thinking about enforcing. I’m the enforcer on the team and I want to enforce every game I go in to. I’m going for big hits and I want them to be harder as the game goes on. I want the hits to get harder. Every hit gives you more energy, more drive, more passion. It gives you more of everything. Right now I’m getting hyped up so I need to stop talking about it.”

(on if New England running back LeGarrette Blount will have any yards after a catch with him tackling) “Not at all. No way. When we play this game, you touch this ball it is all about getting you down. It’s about running and hitting. It’s about being fundamentally sound. If you prepare for it, it will get done in the game. So, if you prepare and once that man catches it, the rest is want to. I say, the coaches can get you to the position to get you where you need to get, get your feet under you and line you up, but the rest of it is the want to. You’ve got to want to get that guy down and you’ve got to want to do it with aggression and that’s my team.”

(on going back and watching the game with the halftime show as well after Sunday) “I’m going to watch it. I’m going to enjoy every bit of it. You’ve got to enjoy the journey. You can’t skip things in life. You’ve got to enjoy the journey.”

(on last year’s Super Bowl helping Seattle prepare for this year) “Last year was last year. It just shows some that we are familiar. Things are familiar. Media day is media day. Everything is still the same. It’s not really different. We’ve just got to prepare. That’s all we are focusing on right now, just preparing and focusing on putting our best foot forward and executing.”

(on which version of Seattle is better, this year or last year) “Of course the present is better. It’s right now. We’re in the now. We can’t speak for what we did before or what we’re going to do later. We’ve got to speak for what’s right now. I believe in my team we have right now and the process that we’re taking.”

(on how loud Seattle’s fans are today) “They’re loud wherever we go. The 12’s they roll wherever we go. They have our back no matter what. They were with us when we were 3-3. It didn’t matter if we were winning. No matter if we are on the road or at home. They’ve got our back and they’re going to bring the noise every single time.”

(on explaining how he is able to jump over the offensive line against Carolina) “It’s just another gift that God gave me. I’ve been able to be athletic, been able to be explosive and jump and be limber. To move around well for my size. It was something that our special teams coach had seen during the week and it was something we’ve seen. During the week I practiced it twice. I felt confident about it. Both times I executed it and I felt good getting over the line and I felt fresh. When it came to the game I felt confident about it, and I just went for it. There was no doubt in my mind.”

(on if he tried to jump over the line in college) “No. I tried it one time I want to say two years ago, but I failed. The guy hit me in the feet and I fell over their line. I didn’t execute it well, but my body didn’t feel the same then.”

(on what he learned from coming back against Green Bay) “I didn’t learn anything new at all. Everything was familiar. I know my team will always fight. We fight to the end. We believe. We believe in our preparation. We believe that if we prepare well, we’re going into every game and win. We just don’t know how. We’re going into this game and win it, we just don’t know how. We’ve just got to keep believing no matter what. We are not quitting until it says zero on that clock unless we have to go to overtime.”

(on the help from the fans against Green Bay) “They helped tremendously. They bring a lot of energy and a lot of passion. We could feel their passion through the noise and you feed off of it. It just drives into our passion within us on the field.”

(on how it became a ritual watching former Washington safety Sean Taylor highlights before he plays) “You just want to recreate that memory all the time. I just want to recreate that memory and that’s why I do it all the time. I watch them on YouTube just watching the hits. The furiousness, I just love it.”

(on his thoughts about Virginia Tech and his days there) “I had a great experience playing for the Hokies. Just to be able to get the opportunity. I was blessed. I signed really close to Saturday. The last few days or something. The tape came and they offered me. Before that, I was probably going to go to James Madison University. (Virginia) Tech was my only real, big D-I offer and I took that. I went up there and it felt like home. The guys treated me like family. The coaches treated me like family and when I got there it was the same thing. I felt right at home. I felt like I was a part of something special and the education there was great, the teachers the students, everything. The whole environment is family-like and you just have to love a place like that.”

(on if Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is a good teammate) “Definitely. He’s a great teammate. He’s fun, he’s active, and he’s hilarious. He has great advice. If you are in need of advice or are ever going through something you can go to Marshawn and talk to him. He’ll give it to you straight, clean cut. It’s going to be real and that’s some great advice.”

(on the experience of already going through the Super Bowl process last year) “It’s just a lot of familiar territory. You know what to expect and what to plan for. That’s pretty much it, but you’re still here to play a game so you get back to practicing and doing what you do and execute.”

(on what he has to do against Tom Brady and New England’s offense) “Just play team ball. It’s never about one guy. It’s never one guy that’s going to beat a team. I think if we stay connected and play team ball, play our ball, play Seahawks ball, we’ll be fine.

(on the familiarity of playing at University of Phoenix Stadium) “Your feet, you can feel the ground. The turf is familiar, comfortable. The feet feel good out there. It’s uncomfortable on the field sometimes. We’ve been to this stadium and we know it’s going to be a little humid in there, the lights are going to be bright. You’re familiar with the stadium. You know what to expect.”

(on if the field at University of Phoenix Stadium is fast) “It’s comfortable. I don’t know if it’s fast. I’m a medium speed guy. It’s comfortable.”

(on playing alongside Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas) “It’s amazing playing together with our group. Just the connections have been real. To know that those guys are on the same level is we’re thinking the same way, on the same page every single day. Every moment in football we’re thinking about how we can execute their plays and thinking about the next hit, thinking about the next pick. Just know that there are constant things there and you know they have your back. We’re on the same page and they have the best interest for you.”

 

-SB XLIX- 

DEFENSIVE TACKLE KEVIN WILLIAMS

 

Seattle Times Photo/Bettina Hansen

Seattle Times Photo/Bettina Hansen

***

(on how it feels to have this opportunity after so many years in the NFL) “This is huge. To come here at this point in my career, that is something I was really focused on. Having a chance to make the playoffs and to come here and get that done, and have a chance to be here at the Super Bowl, that is huge. It is a huge accomplishment for our team.”

(on what the key has been to him lasting as long as he has in the NFL) “Eat your vegetables man. I don’t know. It is the Good Lord. That is all I can say. It has been a good 12 years of not spending a lot of time in the training room. I don’t know, I think it is just being blessed. I can’t just put my finger on one thing that keeps you out of that training room and keeps you healthy and on the field every week.”

(on what he tells the young guys who may have already won a Super Bowl) “Just stay hungry. Don’t let all the perks and the benefits get in your way or cloud your vision of what’s really at hand. At the end of the day you want to play the game you love, make good money, and you want to walk away and still be a good person.”

(on whether this is the best defensive line he has ever played on) “I think this defense, top to bottom, you don’t have a weak spot. I have been with some great guys though; Pat (Williams), Jared (Allen), Ray Edwards, Kenechi Udeze, and I could go on with names of guys I played with in Minnesota. But this is a fun group I play with here in Seattle. Mike (Michael Bennett) is outstanding. (Brandon) Mebane, to step in and have to play his role, that was tough to do, the way he plays. He has been excellent for me, helping me transition to play nose. I don’t know, top to bottom, the whole group I think is a good group. It is top three in the groups of guys I have played with.”

(on how much he weighs right now) “How much do I weigh? I might be around 315.”

(on how tough it was for him to switch positions after Brandon Mebane was injured) “I started a couple of games at nose in Minnesota but this is the most nose work I have gotten to play in 12 years of football. I try not to overcomplicate it, just go out and play football, play the position and try not to make it too hard.”

(on what Brandon Mebane has taught him) “He gives me some pointers. He has helped me pick up the things on the center, make the game easy. Like I said, you don’t overthink it. I have been playing football 12 years in the professional league, so I try not to make it too hard and just attack the guy in front of me.”

(on how dumb the controversy in New England is) “Oh man. It is pretty dumb. I’m not going to say it is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of, you want guys on the same level, but I have said that it won’t help anybody cover, it won’t help anybody defeat blocks. It is not going to help you tackle. It is not a big issue.”

(on whether he thinks fans are tired of hearing about the controversy in New England) “You would be surprised. A lot of fans are interested in that stuff. Like I said, in the end it won’t help you tackle anybody or get anybody on the ground. But at the same time you want everybody to be on the same competitive level.”

(on Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots power running game) “He is a tough guy. He is a big guy to bring down. If you seem him, he is a load in person. The key is to get his legs to get him down. It is going to take more than one guy. You have to continue to fly around. It shouldn’t be much of a problem but you can’t just count on one guy to make the tackle.”

(on the inspiration behind his sack dance) “I am a big wrestling fan so I watched Rick Flair a lot. The Four Horseman. It is something I started earlier in my career and being here with these guys, every time they get a sack they do some type of dance, celebration or something. So I had to bring it back out.”

(on his experience in the first 48 hours of Super Bowl week) “It has been cool. I am with a group of guys that have been through it before. They are making the transition, what to expect, the ins-and-outs, they are making the transition easy for me. So I am just following in line with those guys and just hanging in there.”

(on defensive end Michael Bennett recruiting him to Seattle) “He basically just said, ‘Come on over. I have been watching you throughout your career and you do some great things. I think you really can help us and we are going to try to get back to the Super Bowl.’ I don’t think he lied to me. He sold me on the pitch.”

(on linebacker Bobby Wagner returning to the lineup and how that helped them make their run over the second half of the season) “Bobby is kind of the quarterback for us out there. When Bobby came back it put everybody back in their natural position, so everything ran smoothly on the defense. The linebackers especially, they were back at their natural positions and the places they were comfortable playing. It just sped everything up. The transition of playing for one another really took off and we made plays. He is all over the field, so he did a tremendous job when he got back.”

(on what it feels like to finally be playing in the Super Bowl) “It is kind of a surreal moment. I couldn’t believe we won a week or two ago. I was like, man we really came back and won that game. So now it is that transition to, we need to get one more confetti bath. I was really happy with that win but I will really be excited, no telling what emotions will come out, after we win this.”

(on what he did to celebrate the win in the NFC Championship game) “I went home with the family, got some takeout and just relaxed. Take a deep breath and just, wow, we really won that game.”

(on playing next to Bennett and what they do to make each other’s lives easier on the field) “I take on the double teams for Mike. But Mike is a ball of energy man. You can feed off some of the plays he makes and he gives the front incredible energy and passion. He talks before the games and he has so much energy and passion. It gets you ready to go and knock down a wall, once you get done listening to him talk.”

(on the craziest thing he has seen at Super Bowl week so far) “This Media Day thing is kind of huge, huh? I don’t know, it has been kind of copacetic. Everything has been on cue. I got guys that are breaking it down for me, play-by-play, so I am not really shocked about what is going on right now.”

(on whether the results of this game will decide whether or not he retires) “I think it has a good chance. I think you have seen a lot of great players go out and win the Super Bowl and then retire. If we can win the Super Bowl it will probably play into the offseason, but I just want to win and focus on that right now.”

(on whether or not he will retire) “I don’t know. I mean, if somebody wants my services bad enough, I can see playing some more.”

(on if there is anything special he is doing to prepare for this game) “No, just preparing like a normal game like I have the last 12 years and hopefully have a great outcome.”

(on coming close to making the Super Bowl while he was in Minnesota) “The biggest thing is don’t blink. In Minnesota I felt we controlled that (2009 NFC Championship) game the whole way and then we get into overtime and lose it. It was just the polar opposite of last week. We played good defense but the offense was kind of sputtering and we still were there fighting and didn’t give up. We fought to the end and we were able to get the outcome we wanted.”

(on the difference between the Vikings team and this year’s Seattle team) “Oh, I don’t know. Probably all the younger guys. I don’t know. We were much older in Minnesota and we knew it was a small window to come together and try to win. We were able to get where we were trying to go, but we just fell one game short. I think, with these guys here, it is a lot of three-year, four-year, five-year guys that are hungry to prove themselves and that are just coming into the prime of their careers. You can tell those guys are playing hard and hungry.”

(on whether he was close to joining New England during free agency) “I visited the Patriots. It was down to Seattle and the Patriots, as far as my last two, and Minnesota, but I think I made the right decision. I was comfortable with the group of guys here and that helped me sway my decision.”

(on if his comfort level with the players in Seattle was what made him choose the Seahawks) “Yeah. I mean, like I said, I think New England was a much older group. Just playing with such a lively D-line and a lively group of guys in general, it gives an old dog a lot more energy, too.”

(on the two teams showing the most interest in him during free agency both being in the Super Bowl) “That is kind of weird right? Me and my wife were talking about it and we have to make sure we win so it will just make the decision that much sweeter.”

(on the media frenzy during Super Bowl week) “It is a lot man. You’ve got cameras everywhere. Asking a lot of weird questions. It is cool though. I would rather be here than at home.”

(on if there is a feeling there may be a dynasty in Seattle with back-to-back Super Bowls and all the young talent) “I think that the Seahawks, we have a good chance. There is a lot of young talent here and they just locked up some more guys for years to come. If they keep the core guys together, I mean they have a good chance to do some great things in back-to-back years.”

(on what makes cornerback Richard Sherman so good) “His competitiveness. You see, a lot of times, all you focus in on things he says, the off-the-field things and people might think he is a bad person. Richard actually is a cool guy and he is real competitive. He doesn’t want you to catch a ball, whether it is two yards or three yards, and you know he doesn’t want to give up deep balls. He is very competitive. I just think that is the whole group. Everybody is that competitive and that hungry and that eager to fight. It carries over when we play.”

(on whether he sees a generational gap between him and all the young guys on the team) “You say that, but we joke all the time, ‘when I was drafted some of you guys were still in high school or junior high.’ We laugh about it on the team. These guys play hard and these young guys really try to pick my brain and learn the little nuances of the game. We have fun with it.”

(on whether the younger players know about all his All-Pro and Pro Bowl years) “(Defensive end Michael) Bennett, he makes sure they know all the accolades that I have when they ask me to do something crazy. He pulls that out of the hat all the time and it is hilarious.”

(on what kind of thing they ask him to do) “It may have been early in camp, like I may have had to change my stance or something. And (Bennett) was like, ‘this guy has been playing 12 years and you are going to try to get him to change his stance?’ And then he names off all the things, Pro Bowls and stuff like that.”

(on how he has adjusted to playing nose tackle after being hesitant to make the switch initially) “At this point it is just about having a chance to win. It wasn’t an ideal situation, I thought, coming in to play nose tackle. When (defensive tackle) Brandon (Mebane) went down I was nominated and I just rolled with it. Like I said, I play with a great group of guys around me. I might mess up, but they cover it up so well because they are flying around.”

 

-SB XLIX-

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