Q: Do you feel like you guys are starting to come around? Is the offense starting to click?
Holmgren: We had a good game against Kansas City. I think after Dilfer got hurt and Hasselbeck has played, he's really played pretty solidly at quarterback, honestly. Then last week he had a real fine game. It's been an unusual year with injuries for us and some of our continuity on both sides of the ball have suffered, I think, because of it. I was encouraged by our play against Kansas City. If we could put another game like that together and be effective, it would be good for us.
Q: Is it encouraging as a coach to see, when this team gets in a hole, they are able to keep battling and win some games?
Holmgren: That is a huge key. We were all very disappointed and frustrated. When your expectations aren't met and your goals change, how do players and coaches react to that and handle that? I really like our football team. We really haven't played at times like I thought we could play, but I really like the players on it. We have a lot enthusiasm and youth. They are learning. They battled back all last week. Now, hopefully down the stretch, we got five games left in the regular season, we can continue to improve and battle some of these guys.
Q: The 49ers have a bunch of injuries in their secondary with Bronson and Heard not playing. They also have some problems with their nickel back. Is that something, with the way Hasselbeck is playing, that you guys might want to exploit?
Holmgren: Well, I think teams, when you look at who you are going to play, the injury factor is something that you look at certainly. I would be less than honest if I said we weren't looking at it. It is also in my experience that if you dwell too much on that, a funny thing happens. Teams get players, they write it up, they play the substitute, who often plays a great game in substitution for the injured player. We're going to prepare like we always do. I thought we had a decent game plan for the 49ers up here when we played a good game against them on a Monday Night game. We know they are good and we know what is at stake for them too. We just have to continue to try and improve on offense and then get our defense going a little bit because we have not played really good defense in the last few weeks.
Q: It's your second time preparing for this team, do you see that the secondary has been a point to attack on this team, at least other teams have had success doing so in the last few weeks?
Holmgren: I think they have some young people in their secondary and they have some injuries. If you put that combination together, you are going to be a bit vulnerable at times. Like I said, they have good coaches, smart guys. Jim Mora will find a way to deal with that, just like I hope our guys would if we were in a similar situation. And we have been, as far as injuries go, up here. We're always trying to figure out ways to shore up the dam. They'll do the same thing down there.
Q: Do you still feel the same way about the T.O. incident?
Holmgren: Yeah. I was ticked off and upset that we lost the football game, first of all. Secondly, I don't like to see that by anybody doing something like that in a game. I don't think there is any place for it. That was then and there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then. Terrell Owens is a great football player. That is the first thing. We have to prepare against him to try and stop him and control him a little bit. And really, that incident is not going to be in our thought process this week. We just have to concentrate on how to keep the ball out of his hands.
Q: There was a piece on the wire that indicated that you placed a gag-order on any discussion regarding that?
Holmgren: There really was a piece on the wire? Well I talked to the team early in the week about the incident. I just told them what I told you. I think a gag-order, I'm sure that wasn't the case, but I said look, ‘that happened in the first game and that isn't the focus for this week. You will probably get asked about it I'm sure and just know what I'm thinking about it.' That is all I said. I don't think a gag order was the correct terminology there.
Q: In your experience, when you are playing the same team twice in the year, is there ever an episode where an incident has a carry-over effect to the next game? Can a team get more motivated to play against a team the next time? Does that ever occur?
Holmgren: I think it occurs all the time. Particularly amongst division opponents when you become pretty aware of whom you play and you kind of know them and they know you. I know it happens individually. You have little battles going on all over the place…lineman and defensive lineman, running backs and linebackers, wide outs and defensive backs. I think that is just a healthy competitive type of situation. If a team gets embarrassed in a game, either by a score or something else, I think you remember those things. You don't forget about those things. Then you play the next game and hope to do better.
Q: Then don't you feel in that instance then that this is pertinent because a lot of folks up there felt you were embarrassed?
Holmgren: At the time, we were. Whether there is the carry-over on this thing, I don't think there is a carry-over. Could I make it a carry-over, yeah I could I guess, but I choose not to and the team has to focus in on playing a good football game.
Q: Have you addressed the team about retaliation? Have you warned them not to do it? Even you said that when guys cross the line, sometimes you have to take care of business?
Holmgren: I don't think I said that. In fact, I know I did not say what you just said. I talked to my team and I told you exactly what I talked to the team about and told you exactly what I said to the team, and if they focus in on that one incident, then the likelihood of them getting beat again or not doing their job increases, in my opinion. What they have to focus in on is playing our defense, playing it correctly, tackling when they get a chance to tackle, knock down balls when they get a chance to knock down a ball. But as far as anything more than that, no. Just be a good football player and go after it hard.