Tatupu: Players and Coaches Comment


Posted Dec 2, 2007


After his amazing three-interception performance against the Eagles, many people on both teams had things to say about Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. We'll start with the man himself:

MLB Lofa Tatupu

On having a good day after missing practice this week:
“Not bad, I missed a tackle though.  Westbrook is a special guy and we pretty much held him in check and for the most part.  He had some nice runs. Buckhalter is a fine running back too.  When they put him (Westbrook) back there as a returner I kind of worried.  Kevin Bentley made a game saving tackle, really.  That was the play that saved the game.”

On whether he felt the best he ever had:
“Actually no.  I’m a little sick right now.  I felt better but we played a full game.  In the first half, far too many points but I think the big swing was when we had the goal line stand.  They came together and put another nice drive together.  We regrouped and finished strong.”

On his last interception:
“They, in our terminology sent four strong.  One came back underneath and I had to release to three.  Three was Westbrook and I wasn’t going to get far from him.  Just as fate would have it, I wound up in the throwing lane.” 

On whether this was his best game:
“Maybe statistically but I missed some assignments out there, so little things that the average fan won’t see  So, I’ve had better games assignment wise but I was lucky to make plays.
 
Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid

On Tatupu's three interceptions:
“Those are throws that (A.J. Feeley) would like to have back. It’s too bad that three happened to be to the same guy. You have to know where (Tatupu’s) at.”

QB A.J. Feeley

On what happened on the third interception he threw:
“It was just an inside post move and the guy did a pretty good job, I didn’t see him. He did a good job of going with my eyes, and redirecting and going back and getting the ball. It’s on me. Even with the timing thing you don’t try to force the ball.”

On whether their linebackers were quicker than they looked on film:
“Yeah, I thought [Tatupu] did [look quick]. Their middle linebacker’s a good player. I have talked to him.  But playing football, they’ve got great players and we’ve got great players and we’ve got to make plays. When the ball’s in my hands, I’ve got to do a good job of directing it in the right spot and not putting us in a chance. That’s not what you want as a quarterback. You want to be aggressive and you want to put the game on your shoulders and I’m going to keep shooting and firing and firing. But, sometimes you’ve got to know when to pull it down and live to fight another day, rather than try to make that big play.”

Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren

On whether the three interceptions were about being in the right spot or more player instincts:
“I think he has good instincts and I think our coaches do a nice job of sending him in the right direction. He is a good football player and he does have great instincts. He has great ball skills. He can catch the ball. He was a former quarterback in his younger days. He is very athletic and a tough guy. He can make those plays that a lot of guys can not.”

OLB Julian Peterson

On Tatupu's performance:
“It was well deserved, it all depends, it’s the rotation of whose game it is really, who they decide to attack.  This game was saved for [MLB] Lofa [Tatupu].  Lofa was where he needed to be, he controlled the line, he was exactly where he needed to be in his coverages. He got enough depth to be in good position.  Our coaching staff did a good job of getting everybody talking about the passing concept; what they like in this formation, what to look for, and guys responded across the board with guys in the right position to make the plays.  Lofa did a great job today.”

On Tatupu's mental edge:
“Plenty of it is up there, the rest of it is seeing and reacting.  We’re doing a good job of talking and communicating about what is coming up to us like trap or outside flood, or anything like that.  We’re doing a good job talking.”

On Peterson's blocking after an interception:
“That’s the thing we’ve been trying to do all year to get into the end zone on defense.  We talk about it all the time, we’re about due for a touchdown.  So if Lofa [Tatupu] was about a hair second faster he would have got in there probably twice.  We’re so glad for him and he’s one of the leaders on the team and when he makes plays it boosts the morale of the whole team.

CB Marcus Trufant

On Tatupu:
“He was making plays out there.  That’s what your captain is supposed to do.  He’s the leader of the defense, he’s out there making it happen.

DE Patrick Kerney

On Tatupu's numbers:
“A middle linebacker getting three interceptions is phenomenal.  He’s a great player, he’s been playing great for us all year.  It was just a matter of time before someone with his talent explodes.  He’s so athletic, so smart.  It’s good to see someone like that get a payday so to speak. 

On how cerebral MLB Lofa Tatupu is on the field:
“He doesn’t even have to think out there.  It’s natural, he’s able to react, he’s been studying the game.  It certainly showed up for him today.”

On Tatupu's active role:
He been active.  It was like opportunity knocking.  When there is a player as great as he is, it’s just a matter of opportunity.  He’s put in the work all year, he’s been playing well for us all year.  Opportunity came his way and he just took over the whole game.”

QB Matt Hasselbeck

On Tatupu's play:
“He’s great. He’s doing a great job. [Mike Holmgren] could use him at fullback if he wants. [Tatupu] did a nice job today.”



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