HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on the status of
He practiced all day. He looked pretty good, so that’s a good sign. We’ll see how sore he is after practice, but he did well. I think he feels good about this week. Hopefully we’ll have him back.
(on if Colin McCarthy fully participated in practice today)
Yeah, he did just about everything. He was in every period, the individual, all the team periods, so we’ll see. I know he’s looking forward to playing, and we’ll just have to see if he has any setbacks over the next couple of days.
(on how much of a difference maker Colin McCarthy is)
He hasn’t played in a month, which is hard. It’s good to have your leader back, the guy that is your team leader on defense, your guy that makes plays for us. Communication, there are so many things he does for us that we’ve missed. It’s going to be great to have him back in the lineup.
(on who will start at quarterback this weekend)
We’re going to now say that we’re going to start Matt (Hasselback) at quarterback this weekend, and we’re going to give Jake (Locker) the week off. Jake’s sore, as sore today as he was yesterday. Even though he’ll probably get better the next couple of days, we don’t want to have him suit up as the backup. We thought if he couldn’t start, which we don’t feel he’ll be ready for that, we’d rather him not suit up and let him rest the next couple of days. Let Rusty (Smith) be the backup this weekend, and then kind of take it from there.
(on if he thinks
It just depends on how he does. Like I said, last time he injured it, he was much better today than he was this time. So we thought, let’s rest him. We’ll just kind of take it day-by-day and see how he responds, soreness and getting his strength back. Like I said last time, when he’s ready to play, he’ll be playing. Right now all we know is that he won’t be playing this weekend.
(on how Jake Locker is taking the news of not starting)
He’s not happy. Obviously he wants to be the guy. He thought he was heading in the right direction after the Detroit game for us, we all did. It’s harder for any of these young guys when you’re excited about it, you want to play and you’re one of the captains, it’s your chance to be the guy. It’s hard to take. That’s why we’re making the decision now, rather than let him start to feel better and start thinking, ‘Maybe I can do it on Sunday.’ I think he’ll start feeling better the next couple of days, but not to where we feel he should play this weekend.
It’s always better when you get the reps at quarterback. Your mindset is different, you know you’re the guy. You start tailoring the game plan for him. Even though when you go into games, the coordinators have an idea of what both players like. Chris (Palmer) does a good job of having a good feel for both quarterbacks. So when Matt (Hasselbeck) did go in the game, he knew what Matt liked, versus what Jake (Locker) preferred in the game. Whenever you’re the guy for the week, like Matt is this week, it will be a lot easier for him going into this game. It’s going to be a tough environment to play in, as we all know. But I’m glad we have a quarterback like we’ve been saying all along, like Matt, that we feel we can obviously win with and have won with. He knows how big this game is to win. We’re lucky we have a quarterback that’s very capable of doing that for us.
(on how the game plan will change with Matt Hasselbeck in at quarterback)
It won’t change much, other than the fact that we won’t have any run plays called for the quarterback. With Jake (Locker), we’d probably have one or two plays a game we’d call where he may have to run the football. Obviously, we don’t necessarily need that. We didn’t need that last year. Other than calling the game, it’s more about what their strengths are, what routes they like better, what they see better, that kind of stuff. The rest of the game will pretty much be like normal.
(on if the game tempo is different with Matt Hasselbeck than with Jake Locker)
Matt (Hasselbeck) is faster. Matt’s been around long enough, he’s always on tempo, it’s always as quick as he can roll it. I think that works for him, and he did a good job of it last year. It’s not drastically different, and Jake (Locker) is real similar in that way. I think Matt just has that way to him he’s always had. All quarterbacks are different, different personalities. Matt brings a different personality to the huddle, obviously. We won with it last year. The thing is everyone is comfortable with each other. It’s not like we’re putting someone in that hasn’t played before. We’ve got a guy that’s a pretty darn good one. We’re fortunate to be in that situation.
(on if Jake Locker’s injury is one that could return)
I don’t know that I can answer that. I hope not, and I’m sure he does too. I think it’s just one of those things where you just don’t think too much into it, it’s happened. We’re waiting to see how he heals up. We assume he’ll be healed up here rather quickly, and then we’ll have him back in there. Then we’ll just kind of take it from there. We’re always going to do what’s best for the player, best for the quarterback. He’s going to be here a long time, quarterbacking for a long, long time with this organization. Obviously, we’re going to do the right thing by him.
(on if he expects that Jake Locker will have to have surgery after the season)
I have no idea. Right now, I’d say no. Like I said, it wasn’t injured any more. How it goes forward, that’s for doctors to worry about down the road. We’re assuming he’ll be back playing the next game, and we’ll just go from there.
(on if there was any consideration for him to have surgery now)
I don’t know that there is one even needed. My point is we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here. He has a shoulder that is sore, he’s not playing this week, and that’s pretty much all we’re saying right now. We’ll see where he is on Thursday for the Pittsburgh game.
He just came out and did individual (drills). He’s taking the next step as far as being on the field, running again. Again, an ankle—how he responds tomorrow, how much more he can do tomorrow. There’s no doubt he’s going to have to improve the next couple of days so he can help us on Sunday. At least he’s heading in the right direction.
(on how Colin McCarthy practiced today)
He practiced today, he did well. If he doesn’t have any setbacks, we assume he’ll be playing quite a bit on Sunday.
(on if Colin McCarthy is in shape and ready to handle a large amount of snaps)
He’s been doing things, but you’re still not playing football games. There’s no doubt, depending on how much he has to play, that will be a factor somewhere in the game, I would think. There’s no way really around that. As hard as he does work on and off the field and in the film room, that guy was watching film like he was starting the last three games. He’s about ready to play every weekend. As far as his shape, he’s been doing all the other things you can do. I’m sure the game will be a challenge that way for him.
(on if he thinks Colin McCarthy’s absence has impacted the defense’s inability to create turnovers)
We think that way. He’s the guy at practice that makes a lot of plays, since OTA’s all the way through training camp, preseason games he made plays. He’s the main guy. We lost him in the first game which was hard to take. It definitely affected our team. You wish it didn’t, but it does when you miss your top players. Hopefully he can bring that back right away. We just want to get healthy and get our best guys on the field and see what happens.
(on if he had greater expectations for the defense’s ability to get pressure on the quarterback)
There always are. We’re never going to be content. If we had 10 or 12(sacks) right now, I’d say the same thing. You always want more, you always want it better. To me, it’s a lot of circumstance there too. We’ve been behind in all of these games. Teams haven’t had to throw the football, they haven’t been under pressure. Not to make up excuses, but you only have so many opportunities when you’re not creating a situation like last week, where we never got them in a spot where they thought they felt they had to throw a ball, drop back and make a tough throw because we didn’t tie it up. That makes it hard to get some real good rushes on the quarterback. Having said that, we need to have more sacks than we have, no doubt. We have to get more pressure on the quarterback. We have to do a lot of things better. Unfortunately, just like the run game when Chris (Johnson) got eight carries and 10 carries, he’s not going to get 150 yards on eight carries or 10 carries. He got 25 carries and he had a good football game. Sometimes there are a lot of factors on why the numbers aren’t where you want them to be. We’re just going to have to hope that this weekend, we get in this game and get ahead, and make them do something that they don’t want to do which is throw the football with a young quarterback. We need to create that so we can have a chance to get some sacks.
I don’t know if that’s a problem at all. I think it’s just a matter of us giving him opportunities to rush. I mean, it’s his fourth game in it, and we have a long way to go. So we’ll see. I don’t see that as being a problem as to why he’s not having sacks.