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

January 29, 2015 at 1:28 PM

Seahawks quote-a-rama: Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and others

Here’s some player quotes transcripts from the media availability on Thursday.

QUARTERBACK RUSSELL WILSON

 

AP photo

AP photo

(on his ability to deliver in big moments, and where that comes from) “I have faith in the ability that God gave me, and I trust that the guys around me are going to make the plays, so I don’t know. I’ve watched a lot of great players play before. I’ve studied Michael Jordan, I’ve studied Derek Jeter, I’ve studied (New England quarterback) Tom Brady – watching those guys and just learning from their mentality and learning from their clutch state of mind. I just love trying to play like that. I love trying to visualize being successful.”

(on the one skill in his skillset that makes him excel as a quarterback) “Hopefully, my leadership. I think that’s the biggest thing. Obviously I can throw and run and do all that stuff, but I think there’s a lot of guys in the National Football League that can do that type of thing. I think that what I try to do is I try to bring something extra to the table every time I step on the field.”

(on how he keeps calm in clutch situations) “Well, I think it’s the ability to focus and also the ability to relax in a very, very tough situation and just be able to play with a poised mind. Like I said earlier, trust the guys you have around you that they’re going to make the plays and just keep coming to them, keep throwing the football their way. Just focus on the fundamentals of it, too. Focus on the fundamentals of the game and have great fundamentals and great leadership, and just try to find a way to make a play.”

(on if wide receiver Doug Baldwin would be a good pick as the hero of the Super Bowl this year) “You never know with our team. You never know who’s going to be a star player in our game because we have so many different guys that make so many different plays for us. So many different guys are versatile. Doug Baldwin’s a good choice though. (Wide receiver) Jermaine Kearse is a good choice.”

(on why Baldwin would be a good choice) “Just because he’s had a great week of practice. He’s been phenomenal for us all year. He’s been clutch for us all year. There’s been so many different guys – you never know who’s going to be the hero. Hopefully everybody can play a great game, and we’ll see what happens.”

(on if Baldwin is underappreciated around the league) “I think Doug Baldwin is one of the better receivers in the league. He’s so quick. What he brings to the table, not many guys have. His quick ability, his understanding of the game, great hands. We always argue who’s taller, me or him, but I think I’ve got him by a little bit. He’s just an aggressive player and can really make a lot of plays.”

(on what makes him effective when he keeps the ball when running the zone-read with running back Marshawn Lynch) “They have to bring attention to Marshawn. Obviously being the best running back in the National Football League, they’ve got to pay attention to him, so I try to hand him off the football. Really, like I said yesterday, 99 percent of my goal is to hand the ball off to Marshawn. If nobody’s over there, then I’ll take it.”

(on the importance of preparation) “Well I believe the separation is in the preparation – just getting prepared, getting your mind ready. I believe that when you’re prepared, you’re never nervous and you enjoy the game for what it is. I think it gives me a great chance to be successful more times than not. I think it also helps to lead the other guys to be successful, too, and keep their mind on the right things.”

(on the preparation this week specifically for the Super Bowl) “No different than any other game. I go through my checklist every week. I go through my checklist of certain blitzes, certain coverages, certain situations and just get my mind prepared for that.”

(on if playing in a Super Bowl a year ago is beneficial to him) “Yeah, I definitely think playing in a Super Bowl a year ago is beneficial. I think that having the experience of the week – the biggest difference between a normal game or playoff game and the Super Bowl is the extra media, hanging out with you guys all day. Getting pulled out of meetings for media, that’s the biggest difference. I think the best way to use that experience is to take advantage of those moments, just take it in. Enjoying being with you guys and just taking advantage of the opportunity, and just being in the moment.”

(on the benefit of knowing the atmosphere of the game itself) “One of the most exciting parts where you really realize you’re playing in the Super Bowl is when you go out there for the coin toss. Then the kickoff where they take all the extra lights, that’s one of my favorite parts. That’s the part you look forward to. You think, ‘Man, I’m really here.’ The game, though, is no different. The more that you can treat the game as just a game – it’s just 100 yards, 53 and a third. Like I said, Katy Perry is the halftime performer, so that’s an exciting part, but other than that it’s still the same old game. You’re just trying to find a way to score one more point than them.”

(on how difficult it will be to be the same guy next year after likely receiving a lot of money from a contract extension) “It’s not going to be difficult at all. I know what’s important to me. I know what I stand for and all that. So in terms of money, that won’t affect me at all. I’m just blessed to be on this team and blessed to have a great situation. I’ve worked extremely hard. I work extremely hard every day to try to be one of the best and try to get our team to be one of the best teams in the National Football League, and that’s kind of just my mindset. It’s about others. It’s about affecting a culture. It’s about helping change and it’s about winning a lot of football games, too. That’s what we’ve been able to do.”

(on what makes running back Marshawn Lynch a special player) “I think what makes Marshawn such a special player is he’s very loyal. He’s loyal to his teammates. He’s loyal to the game of football.”

(on if Head Coach Pete Carroll has a signature line) “Always compete. That’s kind of what we talk about, always competing at the highest level and preparing the right way. Also, just enjoying the game. Enjoying the game for what it’s worth, and we’re just so grateful.

(on what he’ll be doing the night before the game) “The night before the game I’ll go through my preparations and go through my checklist. Go through the play-calls and select basically what plays that I want to be called and what plays I really like with coach (Darrell) Bevell. Me and him have a great relationship in terms of that, and we really try to figure out a lot of the game plan in terms of what we want to call and what we want to attack them with. Then just get some good rest, go to Bible study and sleep well.”

(on the importance of nutrition for football players) “Nutrition is huge. To eat healthy and to be able to take care of your body, and to be able to give yourself a chance to be successful and feel good on gameday and throughout the week. I want to play 20 years, so for me a lot of it is taking care of your body and taking care of your mind, and staying healthy.”

(on his ability to handle questions from the media) “Growing up, my dad and my mom used to always ask me questions, especially my dad. He used to always ask me questions. ‘Russell, you just got to the Super Bowl,’ or, ‘You just won Super Bowl MVP.’ All these questions as I was growing up – seven, ten, fifteen years old, so those questions prepared me. I went to a great school in Collegiate School growing up in high school. I went to NC State for communications, broadcasting, then I went to grad school for business and all that. I’ve just been around great people and great education. My parents taught me about education, how important that was. Also being engaging in certain questions, really being in tune with that – that’s kind of the hardest trick, especially when you’re so focused and wired in on football right now. You have to wire your mind into the next thing that you’re doing.”

-SB XLIX-

 

CORNERBACK RICHARD SHERMAN

 

RIchard Sherman at practice on Thursday morning. (AP photo)

RIchard Sherman at practice on Thursday morning. (AP photo)

(on the police motorcycle escort for the teams and media during Super Bowl week) “I think at an event like the Super Bowl, they just want everything to go as planned. They don’t want anything crazy to happen, so they want everybody to be safe. I think it would be a huge disaster if anything happened on the way to an event for media, our players or anything like that. I think the police officers out here are doing a great job, a fantastic job, escorting everybody and making sure everybody gets places safe. We haven’t had any scares since I’ve been playing in this football league and that’s been a blessing.”

(on why Turnover Thursday is special and the importance of turnovers) “Thursday is special because (Head Coach) Pete (Carroll) emphasizes it, but we try to get turnovers every day. As you know, they are game changers. Pete, obviously, is a guy who emphasizes turnovers and keeps track of how many games you win when we won the turnover margin and what percentage of games are lost when you lose the turnover margin and things like that. It’s a huge game changer, that’s why our guys hunt the ball like we do. We’re always ball aware. We’re always looking for an opportunity to take the ball from our opponents, whether that’s interceptions or forcing fumbles or stripping the ball. Whatever we can do to get the ball back to our offense. That’s why we’ve been so successful on defense, I think, because of that ball-hawking mentality.”

(on safety Kam Chancellor not being considered for Super Bowl MVP last year and if he flies under the radar because he is understated) “He doesn’t fly under the radar on the field. Whether he flies on the radar off the field is up more to the media than it is us. He goes out there and makes huge impact week in and week out, and in the Super Bowl he made impact from the first play to the last play. I think he set the tone for the game on the second drive of the game. Once our offense got off the field, we got back on defense and when he hit (Denver wide receiver) Demaryius (Thomas), he set the tone for the entire game. That hit alone could have gotten him Super Bowl MVP. He should have got it. He made an interception. He made some crucial deflections. I think he could have easily walked away with Super Bowl MVP and I think he, once again, I’ve said this several times, but he should have been All Pro this year, first team, and I don’t think it was even close. But obviously, hopefully next year he will get the recognition he deserves. But it’s not something that he really cares about. He’s a guy that’s a consummate professional. He’s a team-first guy. He does anything for his teammates and he’s never looking for awards or recognition or things like that, although he deserves them very much.”

(on if he agrees with back-to-back Super Bowl winners feeling more confident the second time) “Honestly, it’s been similar. I think the advantage those guys have over what we have is we haven’t won it yet. We haven’t won the game. They won it, they were two-time Super Bowl champions. So we’re confident. We’re about the same as we were last year. We’re a confident bunch. We believe in what we do. We believe in our system. We believe in our mentality, our philosophy, and we expect to go out there and execute. Whether that’s enough to win the game or not is to be seen. But you have to be confident in these games. I’m sure they are confident and believe they are going to win the game as well. I think in order to make it this far in the NFL and make it to the final game, you have to always believe you’re going to win. You have to believe you’re going to win every game you go out there and play, and that’s what allows you to play at such a high level and be so successful.”

(on whether Denver quarterback Peyton Manning or New England quarterback Tom Brady is more difficult to prepare for) “I think that’s a tough question to answer, honestly, because they are both incredibly tough to prepare for and they both present different issues. But they’re also similar in the respect that they get the ball out fast and make great decisions. They are extremely accurate with the football. They rarely make mistakes. They have great supporting casts. The Patriots are very dynamic in their offensive approach and have great variety. So I’d say it’s kind of a wash in that regard. I think if you’re facing either one of them, you’re in for a tough day.”

(on the relationship between the NFL, the NFLPA and the players) “I think it’s a working relationship. I think you’re not going to win every battle, you’re not going to agree on everything. But I think there is a respect level between the NFL and the NFLPA, and that’s all you can really ask for in this situation. Obviously, they have certain things – their agenda – they want to accomplish and we have certain things that we want to get done for our guys. So at the end of the day, you really have two sides going against each other that have great respect for one another, but also have their own things they need to accomplish. Anytime you have a conflict of interest in that regard – conflicts – you’re going to have disagreements. But I think there’s a tremendous amount of respect.”

(on if he is comfortable letting his son play football one day) “Oh, 100 percent, 100 percent. Football will be probably one of the first or second sports he plays, along with baseball and soccer and all the other fun sports. Because a lot of people talk about the negative aspects of football, and there are many, but there are also a lot of positives that you learn as a kid. I don’t know too many Pop Warner, six- and seven- and eight-year-olds that are just full-speed running into each other and getting concussions, honestly. The kids aren’t brave enough, honestly, at that point. They are so scared of running into each other and the kid being 10 pounds bigger than them or three inches taller than them. But football teaches you discipline and helps you develop a sense of leadership and courage and camaraderie amongst your friends and teammates. It also shows you how to work with the group, how to depend on one another, how to trust someone to do their job and how to be dependable, to do your job. There are a lot of aspects of football that people don’t talk about, and these are the things you learn and they are essential throughout your life. I don’t know how social I would have been without football. I’m a pretty fun, easygoing guy, but I met a lot of my friends, especially early on, through football. I wasn’t the coolest kid around, but I always had 20 or 30 friends because they were just on my team, and we spent so much time together. I think that’s the thing that people never focus on when they’re talking about football. You focus on the concussions – there are so many things that could happen in any number of sports. There are incredible injuries. I mean, basketball – there was the National Championship a couple of years ago, didn’t a guy – his leg tore out of his skin. These things happen. Crazy injuries happen. Concussions happen. But there are also a lot of positives that come along with this game.”

(on if NCAA student-athletes are given enough time to take advantage of their education) “Great question, I really appreciate that question. No, I don’t think college athletes are given enough time to really take advantage of the free education that they’re given, and it’s frustrating because a lot of people get upset with student-athletes and say they’re not focused on school and they’re not taking advantage of the opportunity they’re given. I would love for a regular student to have a student-athlete’s schedule during the season for just one quarter or one semester and show me how you balance that. Show me how you would schedule your classes when you can’t schedule classes from 2-to-6 o’clock on any given day. Show me how you’re going to get all your work done when after you get out at 7:30 or so, you’ve got a test the next day, you’re dead tired from practice and you still have to study just as hard as everybody else every day and get all the same work done. Most of these kids are done with school, done with class by 3 o’clock, you’ve got the rest of the day to do as you please. You’re may spend a few hours studying, then you may spend a few hours at the library checking out books and doing casual reading, and then you may go hang out with friends and have a coffee. When you’re a student-athlete, you don’t have that kind of time. You wake up in the morning, you have weights at this time. Then after weights you go to class and after class, you go maybe try to grab you a quick bite to eat. Then after you get your quick bite to eat, you go straight to meetings and after meetings, you’ve got practice and after practice, you’ve got to try to get all the work done you had throughout the day you’ve got from your lectures and from your focus groups. And those aren’t the things that people focus on when talking about student-athletes. They are upset when a student-athlete says they need a little cash. Well, I can tell you from experience, I had negative-40 bucks in my account. Usually my account was in the negative more time than it was in the positive. You’ve got to make decisions on whether you get gas for your car or whether you get a meal for the day. You’ve got one of the two choices. People think, ‘Oh, you’re on scholarship.’ They pay for your room and board, they pay for your education, but to their knowledge, you’re there to play football. You’re not on scholarship for school and it sounds crazy when a student-athlete says that, but that’s those are the things coaches tell them every day: ‘You’re not on scholarship for school.’ Luckily, I was blessed to go to Stanford and a school that was primarily focused on academics, so it was a blessing. It was a little bit better. As Jim Harbaugh would attest, we were also there for football. But there were still guys like Andrew (Luck) who majored in engineering, an incredibly tough road to take when you’re in football, because a lot of the classes conflict with your time as a football player. You have an engineering class from 2 to 3:30, there’s no way you can do both. You can’t go to meetings and take your engineering class from 2 to 3:30, so what do you do? What do you do? Do you switch your major or do you tell your coach, ‘Hey, I’ve got an engineering class from 2 to 3:30 and I have to go to that.’ That’s a conflict of interest. That’s what people don’t realize. But it’s not something that hurts the bottom line in a lot of people’s lives, so I don’t think it’ll be something that will be addressed. But I appreciate the question.”

-SB XLIX-

 

 

DEFENSIVE END MICHAEL BENNETT

 

(on his decision to stay with Seattle) “Man, that’s why I stayed because of being able to play in these types of games and just a chance to play on this team. I mean, this team is full of energy, full of super star, full of everybody who wants to be successful. I mean, money can’t put a price on winning. I know a lot of guys who have made a lot of money and they are still upset that they can’t be in this spotlight. Pro Bowls are one thing, MVP is one thing, but Super Bowl is a-whole-nother atmosphere. When you win a Super Bowl, you get so much notoriety and you get the chance to really be on a great team. Money just can’t put a price on that.”

(on the conversations he had with defensive tackle Kevin Williams to convince him to sign with Seattle) “The conversations with Kevin were just, I told him, ‘You’ve done everything you can possibly could do in the NFL. You’ve already been to six Pro Bowls, six All-Pros, as many sacks as you can, but you never got to the big game.’ And I said, ‘Money can’t really put a price on that. If you come in here, it can really solidify us having great depth at the defensive line. You might not start, but, man, you’re going to get a lot of reps. How many more starts do you need?’ Kevin, has made as much money as anybody in this league and for him to be in the Super Bowl right now just says a lot about him.”

(on what Kevin Williams brings to the locker room) “I think he brings great veteran leadership and the ability to keep us poised in key situations. I think Kevin has played in every type of game he possibly can play in and now he’s playing in the big game. I think he does a great job of keeping us level headed and his knowledge of the game is so far past all of ours it’s just crazy.”

(on the influence CF Hamilton Tiger-Cats Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Reinebold) “I mean, Jeff Reinebold he was one of the first people who ever saw me play football. He’s one of the first coaches to come to my house, so I’ve been knowing Jeff for over 15-16 years now. We go way, way, way back. I mean, he knew my wife when we were in high school together. Even after he recruited me, anytime he was in Houston he stopped by my house and over the years he still stops by and it’s kind of cool to get a chance to see him yesterday.”

(on tying a mattress around a tree as a child to practice tackling) “Yeah, I used to tie a mattress around my tree when I was a kid and just did everything I could possibly do. I still do all that kind of stuff. I take my family to Hawaii while I train and they vacation and I just have a great time.”

(on the energy at Seattle’s practice) “I think the energy is the same. I think the energy is at a high level right now because we are always energetic because of the music, the vibe of the team and the coach that we have. I think that we continuously get prepared for the game the same way we always do. We treat every game exactly the same, whether we are playing in preseason, whether we are playing in the (toilet) bowl or whether we are playing in the Super Bowl. It’s just pretty fun.”

(on maintaining the top scoring defense the last three years) “I don’t think there is any secret or anything. We just have the same type of guys who have the same type of attitude, which makes us successful. I think sometimes other team’s guys get statistically driven to be at the top of the league and see who can get the most commercials and who can be a twitter guy, which is having the most twitter followers. But on our team, it’s just guys who just want to be successful at playing football and want to do it the right way and play team football and not scared to make contact and really just want to be on a good team.”

(on his relationship with brother and Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett) “I think me and my brother have a crazy relationship because we are so close. Our kids see each other quite often during the offseason. We spend all the time together we can. Our wives are best friends and we are best friends. My brother and I grew up doing everything together and we still do everything together. It was hard for me to come back to the Seahawks just for the simple fact that we have that kind of relationship. I almost felt like it was going to be a tear in me and my brother’s relationship, but just after him being my brother and just saying, ‘Man, just do what you’ve got to do. I would love for you to play with me, but I understand you having something special in Seattle and I don’t mind you staying there.’ And that meant a lot to me and, you know, most brothers wouldn’t say that. They would be selfish, but my brother was really selfless when it came to that aspect of the game.”

(on Richard Sherman potentially missing the Super Bowl for the birth of his son) “Do you have kids? Do you know how important it is to your wife to be there for the kids? Well then, you understand and you answered your own question. I understand his mindset and I know his wife will tell him to just to come to the game after she has the baby because that’s how wives’ would want to do. They wouldn’t want to put him in a bad situation, which is not really a bad situation to be there for your kid. I know the world would be on his back if he doesn’t come to the game, but I think Sherm will make the right decision. I mean, it’s only once in a life time you get to see your son born, but it’s only once in a lifetime you get to be at the Super Bowl so it’s a hard decision. I mean, had to make the decision back in college. I had a game and I ended up seeing my baby in the same day, but I ended up going to see my baby being born in the morning and got to the game at night, so it was a hard decision.”

(on how much pride he takes on being a great run defender) “I love being a run defender. I think that’s a part of the game that is going away because sacks mean so much to the fans and the media and that’s usually how they pick their Pro Bowls, All-Pros and all that kind of stuff so guys tend not to give a care about the run. They tend to run up the field and try to get sacks, but you have to take pride in that because that’s part of the most important thing about being on defensive line. You really can’t let people run through you and to have the worst rushing defense would be an insult to the team. I take pride in being there and being where I’m supposed to be for the team because I am a team type of guy.”

(on the challenges of facing New England running back LeGarrette Blount) “It’s always a big challenge when you’re playing against a running back with the talent of LeGarrette Blount. I’ve been knowing LeGarrette since I was in Tamapa. We came into the league at the same time and he’s been a great, powerful back that can do so many things. I’m glad his dreads have got a lot longer because when he first came to Tampa his hair was really short, but now he has hang time on his dreads so that’s pretty cool.”

(on if it’s interesting that defensive tackle Landon Cohen joined New England right before the playoffs) “No, it’s not interesting. It’s just how the NFL is. Landon used to play with me in Tampa, then he went to Detroit, then he went to Dallas, then he went to the Patriots, but that’s just how the NFL is. When you are at the bottom it’s just a hard grind. I think, sometimes the media and people don’t really understand the grind of being at the bottom of the NFL. They tend to write stories about guys saying, ‘Oh, they are just mediocre,’ but sometimes guys don’t get their opportunities because of the way the game is made. I mean, if you talk about first round, second round picks, those guys are going to get more opportunities than guys who are lower on the totem pole. Landon has just been through the wrangler and for him to be in this, he deserves to be here. When you go through that grind it’s just amazing and it’s hard. I’m glad to see that he’s here.”

(on if he expects the Super Bowl to be a high scoring or low scoring game) “I expect it to be a low scoring game. I’m never going into a game as a defensive player and say, ‘It’s going to be a high scoring game.’ That would be an insult to Dan Quinn, Pete Carroll and the rest of my guys on defense. I expect it to be a low scoring game just like any other game we’ve played this season.”

 

-SB XLIX-

FREE SAFETY EARL THOMAS

 

Earl Thomas at practice on Thursday. (AP photo)

Earl Thomas at practice on Thursday. (AP photo)

(on how the week has been so far) “I’m feeling good. Blessed to just be able to play this game. Who knows, if the Super Bowl was last week, maybe I wouldn’t be playing.”

(on how the Super Bowl experience has been the second time around) “It’s been great. Smooth for the most part. I feel comfortable.”

(on if he really notices an injury on the field when he’s trying to play through it) “You never notice it. I think when you get going, you get in the flow, you forget about everything.”

(on if he is aware of the injuries of the opposing team’s players) “I haven’t thought of it that deep like that. I don’t think like that. When I get out there, I understand what I have to do. I know my routine and I let everything else take care of itself.”

(on how he would describe Seattle defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto’s role on the coaching staff and what he brings to the staff) “I think his style of teaching is very, very different from anybody in that building. I’ve never met a coach that shows examples from Animal Plant and tries to relate that to how we attack football. That’s different.”

(on his favorite tactic that Seto uses) “Just the battles between any animal. He always emphasizes a tackling plan or a judo punch. He would maybe have Bruce Lee up there showing a punch and a guy flying out of a chair. You see guys punching at the ball. (Seattle CB) Byron Maxwell stripping the ball, forcing a fumble or I am forcing a fumble. That’s Rocky Seto’s presentations.”

(on what the biggest key to their success on defense is) “Our constant grind. We get better as far as understanding our scheme every year. It’s simple, but it’s little details that can take you over the top.”

(on how much Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has played a factor in their level of consistency) “A lot, of course. He has that boxing mentality and that’s what we have as a team, attack mode.”

(on what kind of a game he expects on Sunday) “I’m not sure.”

(on what kind of a game would be best for Seattle based on their style) “We’re ready for whatever.”

(on if he is ready to just get to the game and play as soon as he can) “I just want to get back to football. This is not me.”

(on where his confidence and swagger comes from) “Faith. My faith in God. I have always been like this. I always played faster than everybody – in Pop Warner, college and the NFL.”

(on if there is an angry streak in him) “It’s a little bit of everything.”

(on what the challenges of facing a big, physical tight end like New England TE Rob Gronkowski is) “You hit it right on the head. You have a great scouting report. You told me. I don’t need to explain.”

(on New England QB Tom Brady) “A great player. A winner.”

(on how the culture within Seattle’s secondary became a brotherhood) “We gave ourselves a chance. Overall, just the experiences, the trips – it all brought us closer, even when we lost. It made us talk about it.”

(on if anything changed with the team from the first half of the season to the second half) “We have to stick with each other. We started to trust each other. We had to kind of find that bond again.”

(on what he talked about in a specific midseason meeting that changed things around) “It is just us being open with each other – that’s it. When you are open with another man, because everybody feels that they can’t show love and be a man at the same time. But, it only takes a couple of people to start it out.”

(on the report that he got angry with teammates when they were eating sunflower seeds at a team walk-thru) “Yeah. It was just my old-school mentality in a lot of ways. I just felt like that was a distraction. That’s just how I lay on.”

(on what he learned in that midseason meeting) “To answer your question, we always knew who we were. We just had to be real with each other – that’s it.”

(on where being real with each other had been) “People were just to themselves. We were out there playing for ourselves. I think you really could play for yourself, but you have to involve your teammates too, because it’s got to be for yourself. You have to look at yourself in the mirror, no regrets. But you definitely have to have love for your teammates.”

(on what Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch is like in the locker room and on the sidelines, despite the media perception) “He is a humble, genuine guy. You said it right, ‘media perception.’”

(on what challenges New England RB LeGarrette Blount presents) “A big body. Especially with my shoulder, I need to have a tackle in plan and we need to gang tackle.”

(on if he thinks New England will test him early because of his injured shoulder) “I’m sure they will. They do a great job of trying to find match-ups. That’s a great challenge for me.”

(on if being challenged bothers him) “No. I am happy for it. You want the ball coming your way. We’ll see what happens.”

 (on the best advice his grandfather, a pastor, ever gave him) “The best advice he ever gave me was he said, ‘You either change your ways or change your name.’ If you really think about that, it’s powerful.”

 (on if he loves the mental aspect of the game and going up against great quarterbacks in a chess match) “Yeah. That’s why you love preparing. That’s why I love the NFL. In college, it wasn’t like this. This is a step up and you are learning more. I am constantly learning.”

(on what he thinks of New England’s deception on offense and how prepared Seattle is to handle it) “We put so much pressure on the offense. That will be a great way to throw us off our rhythm, so you definitely have to prepare for it.”

-SB XLIX-

SAFETY KAM CHANCELLOR

 

(on the challenges in facing tight end Rob Gronkowski) “He’s a big tight end, a big guy, an athletic guy, fast guy and he’s crafty with what he does. He uses his body well to shed off defenders. He catches the ball well. He has a great quarterback. It’s a quarterback that looks for him on a lot of plays, and he gets a lot of target.”

(on whether the matchup with Gronkowski will be a physical one, a mental one, or both) “I’m not sure. It just kind of depends on how the refs let us play the game and just how the game goes. You’ve just got to play in the moment.”

(on Gronkowski’s size) “He’s a tight end for a reason. He was blessed with that size, that speed and that ability. He’s a tight end for a reason. Like people used to say that I could be a linebacker or something. I tell them, ‘No, I’m a safety.’ He probably a tells people he’s a tight end. I think his position is tight end.”

(on the challenge in facing running back LeGarrette Blount and if any of Blount’s comments this week got Seattle fired up) “I’ve just been hearing about his comments this week. He runs hard, runs well with his pads and has good feet for his size. He’s just another big back, a physical back.”

(on the challenge in facing quarterback Tom Brady) “He’s a good quarterback, great quarterback. He’s efficient. He knows where he wants to go with the ball. He’s a quarterback that understands defense. He knows how the defense wants to try and attack him. He goes for your weaknesses. If you make any mistakes and opening up a couple holes he’s going to find the open guy. You just have to be key as far as discipline in your defense.”

(on biggest difference between Seattle’s team now compared to the beginning of the season) “The first half we all talked and said people were being more selfish in that first half. We’re weren’t as much of a unit in the first half as opposed to the end of the season. We had our differences. We had our problems. We had our adversity. I think everything that we went through at the beginning of the season built the team that we are now. The rest of the season we started trusting one another. The love became stronger and stronger because the love was already there, we just had some confusion. We had the friction, we prayed to God and it all came back together how it was supposed to be.”

(on how Seattle stopped the friction from the first half of the season) “Yeah, Coach (Pete Carroll) called up a meeting with the core guys, and we just talked about respect, respecting one another, understanding one another, having love for one another and understanding that the guy next to you is your brother. You’re out there on the battlefield together. We all feel the same pain. We all lose together. We all win together. This is a brotherhood, and we just had to understand that.”

(on how important tackling is in this game) “Tackling is going to be very important like every game. We treat no game differently. Every game tackling is important. This game is about running and hitting. As a defense, you want to be great at tackling. You want to be the most fundamentally sound team that’s out there. Tackling is important in every game. Every situation is the same. There’s no more importance in this game on it, it’s the same. You have to be a great tackling defense to stop the offense.”

(on the difference in defending a slip screen pass and a bubble screen pass) “On the slip screen you get more linemen in front of you quicker, and with the bubble screen it’s more receivers. That would be the main difference. You’ve just got to get the bigger guys out of the way on the slip screens. They kind of get up to you a lot faster on the slip screen. That’s probably the biggest difference.”

(on if he thinks New England will run a lot of screen passes to its running backs) “I don’t what to expect, but we’ll be prepared.

(on who the toughest quarterback was to prepare for in the regular season) “We don’t prepare for quarterbacks. We prepare for teams, so I can’t really say which quarterback we prepare for. We prepare for teams. We don’t look at just one guy on a team. We talk about battling against a team.”

(on who the toughest quarterback is to play against) “Again, it’s not about just one man, it’s about the team. You can’t really say, ‘Oh, it’s tough to play against this guy.’ Because he has to distribute the ball and that guy has to get open to get the ball. You can’t really say it’s one guy.”

(on what kind of game he expects on Sunday) “With football you don’t always know what to expect, but you’ve got to be prepared. We don’t know what to expect, but we’ll prepare for anything.”

(on what kind of a game plays more to Seattle’s advantage) “Any game with a win. That’s the better style of game for us.”

(on the similarities and differences from last year to this year leading up to game Sunday) “Media’s been the same. Activities have been the same. The focus has been the same. The preparation is the same. I mean, the only difference is you just know what to expect every day. You kind of know how the day’s going to go. You know how to handle it mentally, all the drag they try to give you in the media all that stuff. You don’t let get to you.”

(on if he would be happy if he could just play the game today or tomorrow) “No, we haven’t prepared fully yet. We’ve prepared almost all the way, but we haven’t finished our preparation yet. We still have a couple days left. When we finish preparation, I know we’ll be ready.”

(on if a lot of the penalties called on Seattle’s defense just come from playing fast and aggressive) “Sometimes you just play fast, and you’re just playing football. You’re just out there playing football, and you’re having fun. You’re playing with no doubt, no fear. Penalties happen. Those things happen. The dumb ones are the ones you want to eliminate, but penalties happen sometimes.”

(on New England’s formations and if Seattle is better prepared for them now since the ineligible and eligible receivers have to be announced) “It doesn’t change anything. They’re going to still do what they’re going to do. The refs are going to call out those ineligible guys, those eligible guys and we’re going to see it like we always see it every game. When they do call it out, we hear it and we see it. We pay attention to detail. We’re a detail orientated team defense, so it’s not going to change anything.”

(on if the simplicity of Seattle’s defense helps them play better) “There’s nothing fancy at all about our defense. It’s fast, physical and straight to the point. It’s if this is your gap, fill your gap. If this is your man, cover your man. They just teach us the fundamentals that we need to know to finish plays, to get to plays, to sniff out plays. That’s the other part to it.”

(on how Seattle maintains the consistency on defense year in and year out) “You’ve just got to remain hungry. You’ve got to starve yourself. Don’t look at the bigger picture, you never look at the bigger picture. You always remember the journey. I always tell my guys, ‘It’s about the journey, not the destination.’ Because during the journey is when you have the most fun times. That’s what you earn. It’s all about the journey to me.”

(on why defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been a major part of the defense’s consistency the past three seasons) “Because he’s been consistent. If your d-coordinator is being consistent with who he has and what he brings to the defense, then the guys that are under him, that follow him are going to be consistent. We get nothing but realness from D.Q. We get himself, we get his heart. When we hear it, we feel it. You have no choice but to be consistent if you’re following a leader like that.”

 

-SB XLIX-

 

KICKER STEVEN HAUSCHKA

(on his collegiate journey) “I walked on to North Carolina State and was there as a graduate transfer. I graduated from Middlebury College. I was playing and ended up winning the job there, beat out a few other kickers at NC State.”

(on how why he transferred to play one year at North Carolina State) “Tom O’Brien’s staff had just come in. They were from Boston College. One of my Middlebury coaches knew them.”

(on if North Carolina was looking for a kicker at the time) “I didn’t know yet. They just told me I’d be a kickoff guy. They didn’t tell me I would be a field goal guy. I ended up winning the job there and was applying to dental schools at the same time. I had gotten into UCLA and BU (Boston University). At the end of the season, I was still trying to decide which dental school and NFL teams started calling. That’s when I realized that I should give this a shot and see if I could make it a career out of this. I put dental school on hold and started training for combine type stuff and was picked up as an undrafted free agent for the Minnesota Vikings.”

(on if he would go back to dental school after football) “I don’t think so. I’ve moved passed it now. I don’t really want to go back through six years of school at this point.”

(on if he has any other dentists in his family) “My mom is a dentist up in Boston and brother is a dentist up in Charlotte.”

(on playing one year with Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in college) “When I came in, Russell and J.R. Sweezy were on the team too. They were both freshmen and I was a graduate transfer. I was 21, and they were both 18. They put us all together because we came in at the same time. We were all living at the University Towers together.”

(on his first impressions of Wilson in college) “He was different from the beginning. He had a confidence about him and a determination about him to get the job done and to work harder than anybody else. No matter what the task, you knew he was going to work harder than anybody else.”

-SB XLIX-

 

WIDE RECEIVER JERMAINE KEARSE

 

(on his perspective on how the season went) “I mean we’re here. We’re at the Super Bowl so I feel like it was pretty solid season.”

(on if he feels he progressed this season) “Yeah, you’re always trying to get better because you’re never going to stay the same. You’re either you’re getting better or you’re getting worse or you’re going to try to stay complacent. That’s what you’re trying to do every day, is just get better.”

(on his relationship with quarterback Russell Wilson) “I feel like we have good chemistry. We came into the league the same year. The chemistry and the timing with this has grown over the past few years so it makes it easy for us.”

(on what the biggest challenge will be for him on Sunday) “You just got to maximize opportunities and just go out there and compete. That’s all you can really ask for is to just to go out there and compete and make the plays when they present them.”

(on how he felt after practice) “I felt good. It was nice to get back out there and start football again dealing with all the media stuff before. It was nice to get back out there.”

(on how he feels mentally) “Definitely getting back on the right track. The past couple of days have been a lot of media and what not so to be able to get back into our normal routine has been nice.”

(on if he feels this game will end up being a matchup of wills) “We know it’s going to be competitive. That’s one thing you’re going to be able to ask for. You got two competitive teams fighting for the same thing. It just comes down to us executing and competing out there.”

 (on what he does to get his competitive edge) “I just try to keep my normal routine. I’m not going to change anything I do from throughout the season or the rest of the playoffs. I feel like that’s my competitive edge is just sticking to what I do.”

(on if he has any rituals on Sundays) “I eat a chocolate hot fudge sundae (the night before). I don’t know if that’s a ritual. I do that every Saturday night.”

 (on if he thinks his team feels relaxed and prepared) “Yeah, it’s about just being comfortable and just embracing the moment. I feel like our guys are preparing well and getting their minds right. I think they’ll be all right.”

 (on if he thinks about the team being a dynasty) “We just try to take it one day at a time. That’s what it’s about. Not looking ahead and just taking it one day at a time. Just trying to compete and win that day.”

(on how Head Coach Pete Carroll said nothing will change now) “We are going to stick to who we are and do what we always do. There’s no need to change anything because it’s the Super Bowl. You just got to take it one day at a time and don’t change.”

(on what he is doing beyond the box score that is so valuable) “I’m just trying to compete every day. We have a lot of guys that try to compete and ultimately that’s what I feel like it comes down to. Just maximizing opportunities.”

 (on his special teams play) “I think that’s something that everyone takes pride in. All of us play special teams. We take pride in what we do and how we go about things. If we have to run block, we’re going to try our best at it. If we have to make a play with the pass game, we’re going to compete.”

 (on if his special teams play gives him value) “The more you can do.

(on the personality of the wide receiving corps.) “I think our receiving corps. plays with a chip on our shoulder. We just try to compete every day. That’s what it comes down to and whenever the opportunity presents itself, we just maximize it.”

(on his emotions during the NFC Championship game) “It was definitely a roller-coaster of emotions. You kind of have a down moment and you just try pick yourself back up. It’s just about staying in tune, staying in the game and not quitting.”

(on if it was tough to stay in the game after many of the balls thrown his way were tipped or intercepted) “Yeah, it was tough at the time, but you have to be mentally tough in situations like that. When you could be able to push through that, you’ll find good results.”

(on how to find success against the New England defense) “Just sticking to what we do. Not changing who we are. Ultimately, just go out there and compete. Obviously, they game plan for a specific team. There’s going to be some different things and going to have to be able to adjust. Go out there and compete and stick to who we are.”

(on facing his former teammate, New England cornerback Brandon Browner, and if there will be trash talk) “I got respect for (Browner). I haven’t talk to him in a couple months or so, but I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. He’s a good player and I’m sure he’ll go out there and compete.”

 (on playing with quarterback Russell Wilson) “You got to find him and then you just find an open area for him. That’s what it comes down to. He can make plays with his legs so you just got to find an open area for him.”

-SB XLIX-

 

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DAN QUINN

 

(on people comparing his defense to Baltimore’s defense from a few years ago) “One, it’s flattering to hear but one you’re in the season, all you’re really about is the next game. We’ll let that topic come up in the offseason because right now really the focus is just about this game and all the things that we can do well. Of course it’s flattering to hear. There’s so many great players and defenses from different eras with different styles. Our guys love the challenge, but during the course of the season, you’re just really worried about the next opponent.”

 

(on what the most dangerous thing about the New England offense is) “I really think it starts with their quarterback. He’s such an accurate thrower. He knows where to go with the ball. They’ve got a variety of different weapons, and they know how to feature them. We’ve got our hands full in terms of their offense. They’re really balanced whether they want to run it or whether they want to throw it, then the way they can use their feature guys. The quarterback’s a terrific competitor one where we’ll have to try our best to affect him in the game.”

 

(on what Seattle’s defense needs to do to stop New England) “The biggest thing for us is the effort and the speed that we play with. We want to be as fast and physical as we can. We work hard on our tackling, but really that mindset of how fast and hard we can play. We hope it’s hard to match.”

 

(on if Seattle’s defense needs to change anything if quarterback Tom Brady is getting the football out of his hands quick) “We faced some other teams this year that got rid of the ball as quickly as the Patriots do. We don’t necessarily change our style. We do appreciate the way they’re throwing it at times, how quickly the ball can get out there.”

 

(on how getting pressure on Brady is just as good as a sack) “We always talk about affecting the quarterback. For us, those terms are getting the quarterback off his spot so after he sets up, be able to make him move to have to throw. The big thing for us is just make them feel the pressure. They do a terrific job in terms of protecting him. He does a great job with knowing when to throw the ball that there’s not a lot of reason for him to hold it. Our rushers, the way we pressure is definitely going to be a backbone for us.”

 

(on if facing quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a good primer for New England) “That’s such a hard challenge when you face guys that get rid of the ball so quickly. Although you may not get the sacks, the hits and the movement in the pocket are important. When you do get rid of the ball so quick, it means there’s a lot of quick game, so our tackling really has to be on point. They’re going to complete passes so for us, we need to make sure the yards after contact are small. That’s going to be a real factor too.”

 

(on who the toughest guy is Seattle’s faced this year other than Brady) “There’s been a number of them. Even the way we started the season, we faced some terrific quarterbacks. I think our first game we started with Green Bay. Then I think we played San Diego. Then the third and fourth games around there were vs. Denver and Dallas. We knew the first part of the season there was going to be some terrific quarterbacks that presented all kinds of challenges. If you guys can remember, Green Bay placed a huge emphasis on going no huddle at the start of the year. There were other teams and Denver was that way as well. We made a big emphasis and really we practiced our whole training camp against no huddle knowing we were going to play teams like Philadelhpia during the year. That could feel normal as well. We get a great benefit going against our own offense and all the challenges they present. In Coach’s (Pete Carroll) philosophy and system, we get to practice against our own offense quite a bit. They’re able to go in and out of tempo. Our offense presents a bunch of challenges, so we love to get the chance to go against them as well.”

 

(on his point of view with the ineligible and eligible receivers New England has) “One of the big things with these guys is they have a big playbook. They have a number of different ways to attack. There are certain games where the runs are low and the passes are high. Then vice versa. I think of the Indy game where the runs were high and the passes weren’t quite as high. It makes you go through the whole process in terms of who we’re going to defend and how we’re going to attack them. The extra time last week was worthwhile for us. They make you go through it, and that’s for sure.”

(on how counterintuitive it is for somebody to see New England running back Shane Vereen line up in the slot but leave him uncovered because he’s ineligible) “When you go through that whole process, that’s an unusual one from them, and that’s one way for them to attack. One of the nice parts of our defense is we’re not so complex that we have multiple calls for every scenario. We really try to just stay true to our style. We don’t have so many defenses in the scheme, so that allows us to sort of not get out of rhythm based on what they’re doing.”

 

(on how much time he spends a day on the element New England brings with the obscure formations) “Some time for sure, so it’s not like it’s going to be the entire part of the game. They have plenty of stuff for us to work on, so it is part of the plan but it’s not the full plan.

 

(on how the officials are going to signal to the players ineligible receivers on the field in a very specific way) “That’s just what we do in practice. It’s one more chance for us to try and simulate how the officials will do it with the exact communication, so we’re trying to do that as well. We want to get our guys as well prepared as can be.”

 

(on stopping New England’s yards after the catch) “One of the real goals for us is we want to see how fast and physical we can play. For us to be one of the best fundamentally teams in football, tackling is at the forefront of it. We spend as much time as we can every Wednesday, every Thursday in a portion of our individual time and even our meeting time on tackling. When you see those stats where the numbers are down – the yards after contact – it makes you know that the drill work you’ve done is successful.”

 

-SB XLIX-

 

 

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