Conference call with: Mike Holmgren

Seattle coach Mike Holmgren hasn't turned the Seahawks into a winner in this, his fourth season. He remains confident they're on the right track, despite a 2-5 record and struggling defense. Holmgren and the Seahawks are coming off a tough win. They lost their starting quarterback, Trent Dilfer, to a season-ending injury and receiver Darrell Jackson went into convulsions after the game in the locker room because of a concussion.

Q: Have you ever seen anything like what happened to Darrell Jackson after the game?

A: No. I just told our guys he came close. It was tough and go there for a while. It was very, very scary. But our medical staff and trainers did a remarkable job and they did what they're trained to do and got him out of the woods. It was one of the scarier things I've ever seen.

Q: Is Matt Hasselbeck ready to be the fulltime starter?

A: He was brought in last year to be a starter and he started most of the season. He had some fine games, then some games where he didn't play well like in Washington. Now this is a second chance. He handled the thing with Trent about as well as a player could handle it. He was ticked off at me then he settled down and last Sunday came in and did a great job. I hope he sees this as the opportunity to be the quarterback the rest of the season. He's still a young guy. I think he's a starter. In fact, I know he is.

Q: Why sign Jeff George?

A: We had to sign a quarterback and when you look at the list of people out there and available, there are young guys who haven't played much who are almost practice squad candidates. We have a young guy in Jeff Kelly and if something happened to Matt then he could play. But we're in a tough spot there. It was important to get a veteran. Jeff is a veteran and he has played a lot of football.

Q: How long will it take him to shake off the rust?

A: He had a real good workout and, as you know, he can really pass the ball. It's really something; he looks thin to me. As far as learning stuff and functioning in there and doing stuff, I think he could be ready in a couple of weeks. He assured me he'd be ready by Sunday, but that's asking an awful lot.

Q: A lot of baggage comes with him, doesn't it?

A: He and I had a long talk Tuesday and I'm aware of that. He's aware of that and he wanted to talk about it. But that doesn't mean much to me right now. I need someone to come in and be able to play for nine weeks and he's the guy. He wants to continue playing aftre this year so whether it's here or somewhere else, these nine weeks are important to him. That's if he wants to keep playing. He assured me he did. The stuff that's gone on in the past, we'll talk about it and then it's done. You wipe the slate clean and off you go. We'll see what happens.

Q: How do you approach your run defense for Sunday?

A: Everyone knows Stephen Davis and how good he is and what he's done. If he can't play and they have to go with another back, we still have to prove we can stop somebody. We haven't really done that yet. We've had a couple moments; Emmitt earned all those yards and we had a decent game against the Giants. We've had our moments.

Q: Do you feel you're on the hot seat?

A: No, I wouldn't put it that way. Hope springs eternal. I'm a football coach and we know the nature of this business. But any pressure I feel I put on myself. The owner and president of the team are very supportive.


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