Seahawks Talk Packers

Seahawks Talk Packers

On Monday, several subjects were discussed at Kirkland HQ. Mike Holmgren, Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander talked about the upcoming trip to Lambeau Field, Brett Favre's past, present and future, and Alexander's schedule in the wake of his aunt's tragic passing.

HEAD COACH MIKE HOLMGREN

(On a week which saw the Seahawks wrap up home field throughout the playoffs …) “You can take a little bit of a breath, there is no question about that. We are in position now. Like I said three or four weeks ago, I hoped I was in that position to make some of the calls that we might make going into this game. At the same time, it’s important for us to maintain some continuity. It’s important for me and the team. When we step on the field anywhere that we play, we play well. Whoever is playing at the time, I expect them to play well. We want to win the football game every time we suit up we’re going after a win. But, it is different because you do have certain things wrapped up and now we’ll try and stay focused on this football game and not think about the playoffs.”

(On playing time for the Green Bay game…) “We haven’t decided yet on exactly how we’re going to do that. We’ll spend a couple days thinking about it. There are some guys that were nicked up Saturday. Fortunately we have the extra time. Other than that, we have some things we have to talk about”

(On the injuries…) “Andre (Dyson) will not play in the game. (Marcus)Trufant will not play in the game. There is a chance D.D. Lewis will not play in the game. I’m waiting for a test result to come back. He hurt his foot a little bit on Saturday. We’ll have to see on (Kelly) Herndon, we’ll have to see on (John) Howell. (Joe) Tafoya, we’ll have to see how it goes this week. He has a hamstring injury and we’ll have to see. Unless he improves a little bit, he probably will not play. (Darrell) Jackson, I’ll have to see how he feels. He’s in a better spot today than he was this time last week. Maybe its just time, I don’t know. We’ll have to see how that one works.”

(On Chuck Darby…) “Darby fits in that category, I have to see how his knee feels.”

(On if it's fun for the guys that don’t play a lot to play this week…) “I think its great fun for them. They worked hard all year. We have had a couple games where we could substitute people, maybe even a little more than in years past. They know that they’re going to play and they have a lot of pride and they’re good players. It’s a great opportunity. For me, I’m still coaching it and calling it and trying to get it done.”

(On if he’ll let offensive coordinator Gil Haskell take over the playcalling this week…) “I might take it easy, I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. That will be another one of those things. I’m surprised they haven’t brought it up, the coaches to me, get rid of me.”

(On Shaun Alexander’s playing time in Green Bay …) “I just talked to Shaun and I’ll talk to him again. There has been a death in his family, his mom’s sister, so his week is going to be a little different. His family is in Cincinnati. As soon as they make some arrangements they’ll know and I’ll know so that’s the first thing. I would like to see him get the record if he can possibly get the record. He kind of knows how we feel about that and at the same time he also knows that being healthy for the playoffs is the most important thing. It’s a balancing act and we’ll talk some more about it. I haven’t really got into it with him and how he feels about it.”

(On if Alexander tying the record factored in giving him more flexibility this week…) “No. At the time no. My kids asked me if I heard the fans yelling and I honestly didn’t. I guess the whole stadium was yelling, that’s how zoned out I am. I didn’t hear it. I didn’t hesitate. I had taken him out of the game at five and a half minutes to go. But, it was a special moment for I think our fans and him certainly. ”

(On Brett Favre’s season…) “Not being there it’s completely hard to comment other than to say he is trying to do everything in his power to win. And sometimes he tries too hard and stuff happens. I think he is in a little bit of that. As an example, last night, I saw the last couple minutes of the game and he’s throwing and he’s trying to do everything possible to win that game somehow some way. You can’t do it by yourself. I don’t care how great you are, you need protection, you need somebody to hand it to, somebody to catch it or to break up an interception if the ball is not exactly where you want it. If you start pressing too much, it’s hard. He’s a great football player and player to coach. Really a unique young man, really unique. It’s a tough year.”

(On if injury or age has hurt his game…) “Physically, he looks like he can still make all the throws. He’s moving well. To me, he looks the same. Now, I know in the off-season he did a lot over the summer with a personal trainer. It shows to me. I don’t see any difference.”

(On whether he thinks this will be Favre's last game…) “It’s going to be his call. I don’t think he’s going to ask me.”

(On if he thinks Favre should retire…) “That’s really a good question, I think; this is one man's opinion, that pretty soon your body won’t let you play anymore. When you get up Monday morning, that whole thing it takes you longer to recover, that’s a real thing. To any of you who have ever been in a car accident or flown off your bicycle or done something where you get up and you hurt, every Monday it’s like that. The older you get, the harder it is to recover. The second thing is I think is the camaraderie of the locker room and how you get along with your coaches. The family atmosphere that is the fun part of being on a team. The NFL a couple things happen, not many guys can do what Brett’s done for 15 years. But then you get turnover with players, you get turnover with coaches. When that part of the game stops being what you remember it as being, then I think it bothers them. The last thing, kids start getting older. Your own family, while its been very, very important, is very much a part of what you do on Sunday and all that kind of stuff and your schedule, and then I think you reach a certain age where you reach a certain age and your kind of weighing if you’ve done kind of what you wanted to do and if I’ve put some money in the bank. It’s harder now because the money is so good. Its harder. You hope that they do it at the right time.”

(On what he thinks Favre will miss the most…) “I think the competition. He’s as competitive a guy. I’ve been fortunate to be around three Hall of Fame quarterbacks and maybe four with (Joe) Montana and (Steve) Young and Brett, they loved competition, they loved playing the game and competing. I know that none of them will ever enter anything else that even comes close to that. When I talk to coaches who have retired and then come back, the guys that go into the TV booth, I talk to them all and I ask if they were ready to retire? Yes, I really was. Then why did you come back? There is nothing like it. There is just nothing like the competition. I was there for seven years of his career and he’s been there as long now as he was with me. But we were just starting that thing going. The city itself will always care tremendously for the football team. They have historically. But he along with Reggie White, when we got back to the Super Bowl, it was unbelievable, it was 10 below 0 weather and 250,000 people yelling at me in the streets. We had this caravan going to the stadium, it was unbelievable.”

(On if it is odd playing in Green Bay with nothing at stake…) “Every time I go in there it has been exciting. I see friends, I see people I really care about then play the game and the stadium is awesome. As a football coach I think that is pretty cool. It is a unique place. Green Bay is a unique city. Having been a part of that is pretty cool.”

(On Jimmy Williams and others stepping in for injured players…) “They are playing hard, they are just going at it. Jimmy has played now a little bit. Michael we just got, he was at training camp with us. You are lining up going against Peyton Manning for awhile. They have an outstanding passing game. It is a good experience for those guys. All they can do is the best they can do. That is what we asked them to do and that is what they are doing. I am very proud of the ways those guys have come in and stepped in for guys that have been hurt in all sorts of positions. Start with Sean Locklear and work your way through the secondary. I think they have done a real nice job. Now they are going to have to play Sunday.”

(On how Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck are similar…) “I think the similarities were they are both hard-headed and stubborn, let’s start there. Both are very bright, both very competitive. But, Matt was a later draft-choice. Brett was a high draft-choice. Matt had a longer way to go where Brett was kind of handed the ball sooner. Physically they are different type of guys. They are built differently; they have a little different style of play I would say. But, I think the similarities were I coached them both hard. I don’t mean that in a bad way. You kind of bang around a little bit then all of a sudden the light goes off. Then it is really fun. I wouldn’t begin to compare Matt with Brett or anyone else, I think Matt is his own man and Brett is going to go into the Hall of Fame and all those things. But, Matt is playing very, very well and he should continue to play well for the rest time he is playing.”

QUARTERBACK MATT HASSELBECK

(On if it is odd going back to Green Bay given the circumstances…) “I think the surprising thing is just what their record is. At the beginning of the year I don’t think anyone would have expected them to have a year like they have had. I think that is the thing that sticks out to me as the most unusual. You watch them on TV the other night and it is just weird to see the Packers who have been so successful for so many years now having this kind of a year. It’s been tough for them I’m sure.”

(On Favre’s season…) “He is also a guy who is probably not used to having this kind of record. I think everybody in Green Bay, especially Brett. When you think of the Packers you think of Brett Favre. They are used to having a lot of success. Playing in the post-season, playing in Super Bowls, that kind of thing. To have them have the kind of year they had, they bumped our game from the national game to the morning game. In the past that is because of who they are playing, now it has nothing to do with that. It is because of the situation that everybody is in right now. It is just unreal. I don’t know another way to say it; it is just a little strange.”

(On if it will be emotional given this could be the last time he sees Favre on the field…) “Anytime you go back there it is a special place to play. It is a special place to watch a game, never mind play in a game. I remember the first time I got to run out there and it was just a pre-season game and I thought, what could be better than this? I think the last game I played there as a Packer was Christmas Eve. That atmosphere, that cold weather kind of ties into the mystique that you have there. Same kind of thing New Years day. It is going to be a great experience either way. If we get to play more guys than normal in this game, I am excited that they get to have that experience also.”

(On the possibility of this being Favre’s last game…) “It would be a moment of history if it were. I have no idea if that is the case or not. I’m sure that he doesn’t know, either way it is going to be fun. It is always a special place to be and a great place to watch a game.”

(On the comparisons with himself and Favre…) “Different, definitely different. But, I have learned a lot from him. I really feel fortunate to have played with a lot of great quarterbacks. Some guys that were extremely talented, other guys that were just really smart. I have learned different things from different guys; he is obviously a guy I have learned a great deal from. But, I never really tried to be him. I know for a fact he never tries to be me but I have learned quite a bit from him, good and bad. He really has taught me a lot and has meant a lot to my career. I think a lot of guys can say the same thing. He has been a good friend when he needed to be, he has been a great teammate and even playing against him, it has been fun.”

(On Favre’s personality…) “I think he is one of a kind. I don’t think there is anyone like him, except maybe his brothers. You can’t tell them all apart sometimes. He has a great family, I feel fortunate to have gotten to know them well. Like I said, he is a great teammate and I think a lot of that comes from the kind of personality he has, his leadership style, all that kind of stuff. He is fun to be around. He is getting older and the teammates are getting younger and you can still see that he has that type of impact on the guys.”

(On Coach calling them both stubborn…) “Mike said that? Coach Holmgren has a different perspective because he has been in charge of us both. I would think I am much easier to deal with than Brett but I don’t know.”

(On Favre coming back for another season…) “Honestly, I would just hope for the best for his family, whatever is best for him and his family. If that is playing football games on Sunday then that is what I would like to see. If that is being the best husband and father and hunter or whatever he decides to do, that’s great too. I think that’s his call and I don’t think there is a wrong decision.”

RUNNING BACK SHAUN ALEXANDER

(On his schedule this week…) “I’m sure I’ll go back when my folks call me and tell me their schedule. It will be a little different. But, life goes on. My team has accomplished some goals and my family is getting together for what we have to do and so now we’ll take care of this business like we’re supposed to and it will all be well.”

(On talking to Coach Holmgren and them getting on the same page…) “Mike and I have always been like that. We’ve always been up front and honest with each other, so it’s nothing that I didn’t expect. I guess we’ve always been the kind of people that take each other for granted, but he knows how much I appreciated him.”

(On the playoffs and the break before they start…) “I think it’s good timing for me and what’s going on. I think that we have a lot of guys that really need to rest up; they are playing hurt and playing beat up, which is football, but I think the timing is going to be good for us. We’re really excited about what’s going to happen in two weeks when we get to host the second round playoff game which is going to be cool.”

(On if he’ll be with the team before departure to Green Bay…) “I don’t know what is going to happen, I hope so.”

(On if it was sudden with his aunt’s death…) “It was sudden within a month, from being healthy and having conversations to diabetes. I think she started doing dialysis probably in the middle of November. It goes quick. Love your family and hug them and everybody do stuff to stay in shape, watch the food that you eat and exercise. Little things that cause big things. You can take that with life, you can take that with your job, you can take that spiritually or with football, little things do cause big things. Take care of the little things.”

(On if there is a part of him that would like to stay with his family…) “No, because I think life goes on. You have to do what you have to do, but at the same time I want to console my family. I have an uncle that is really hurt and they were the only ones on my moms side of the family that didn’t have kids, so my brother and I being the closest, my mom was two years older than her, so we kind of got to be like her sons. I get to go and be a part of that chemistry again. They know that when we grow up and everybody has to go out and live their lives, you live your life to the fullest, one day at a time and everyday should be a great day. I think that’s what they want me to do is do what I think would be a great day for me and my family.”

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