Holmgren weekly Press Conference

The 4-1 Seahawks will host the 1-4 Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Seahawks are off to their best start in 17 years, the team is 3-0 at home. Seattle is coming off a dramatic 20-19 win over division rival San Francisco. The Bears will try to rebound from a 20-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Bears are coached by former Holmgren assistant Dick Jauron. Seattle has a 2-1 home record against the Bears. Here is what Head Coach Mike Holmgren had to say at his weekly press conference

 Q: What will be the cornerback rotation?
Holmgren: "I think we'll wait until later in the week. Until I know who's available we really can't start the rotation. That shouldn't be that big of a deal though. The third corner, whoever that is plays 65% of the plays. He plays a lot. We're very, very fortunate to have three real quality cover corners and four actually with Willie."

Q: What is the difference between Kordell Stewart and Chris Chandler?
Holmgren: "I think it's a big change. Chris Chandler is a veteran who's been in the league a long time. He's really an exceptional passer, in my opinion. He's very much a drop-back passer, very much a pocket passer. He's done some great things in this league, he really has."

Q: Is there a difference in the game plan for the two?
Holmgren: "I always thought Kordell is a really excellent runner and I always thought he was an underrated passer, a good passer. But the quarterbacks that can move there are very few quarterbacks that can run like Kordell Stewart. From a defensive prospective it really does change how you think when you have two similar types of quarterbacks when just one guy got hurt and now you're going to the second guy. These two are very different physically. They have their strengths and it's really quite different how you defend them."

Q: Is the quarterback switch a big change?
Holmgren: "It's a big change. Chris Chandler is a veteran who's been in the league a long time, is really an exceptional passer in my opinion. But very much the drop-back passer, very much a pocket passer. But has done some great things in this league. He really has. He's had some big games."

Q: Does it change your containment?
Holmgren:"I've always thought Kordell, he really is an excellent runner. I always thought he was an underrated passer. I thought he was a good passer. But the quarterbacks that can move, there's very few quarterbacks that can run like Kordell Stewart. From a defensive perspective, it really does change how you think. It's not like where you have two similar types of quarterbacks, just one guy got hurt and now you're going with the second guy. These two guys are really different physically. They have their strengths. And it's really quite different how you defend them."

 

Q: Are you guarding against overconfidence?
Holmgren: "I would hope we wouldn't have to guard against overconfidence. But you have to talk about it and I will talk about it all week: the dynamic of the game. You play the 49ers and it's a division opponent, it's a Sunday night game, there are some things that are added on to a regular football game when you play a game like that. This game, it's not going to be a night game, there's some little different things there. The guys are human. So we do have to fight. Not against overconfidence, but against taking the deep breath, so to speak, after that win last week. You can't. There's no time or room to take that deep breath. You just have to keep holding your breath for 16 weeks. I hope they get the message. I'm preaching hard."

Q: You were in a similar situation to the Bears at this time last year.
Holmgren: "We have some new fellows on the team, but there's a whole bunch that went through that thing last year. Our record was not good early in the season. How did we prepare for a game? How did we feel going into a game? How did we try? What kind of effort did we give forth? I always thought our effort, although it didn't work for us all of the time, in the game, was good. They're going to come in - they've got a lot of pride, they have good coaches, they are physical, they've lost a couple close ball games. Every Sunday you have to be ready to play. You have to be emotionally ready to play every Sunday."

Q: The veterans can help with that.
Holmgren: "You would hope so. I would hope that we could get to the point where, on a particular week, those guys you mentioned wouldn't have to crank it up a notch to send their message across. You would hope that after a while that they could be who they are and say whatever they have to say. But it's not a whole lot different from week to week. It's the hey look - there's a certain way we want to play, there's a certain way we prepare for each opponent. That's what you're striving for. While we're learning to do that it's important for those guys, that the players will listen to them."

Q: You're getting a lot from the young guys.
Holmgren: "They haven't been through this before. And the key, our key young guys, don't appear to approach games differently. They're happy to be alive and out there and playing. The opponent is the opponent. As an example, in the Green Bay game, that game, I was pumped for that game. Some of our guys, they didn't have the same ties I had to Green Bay, they didn't; they just looked at it as, here's a game and the team that we're playing against is pretty good. I looked at it a little differently. And I'm not sure they did. And I'm not sure what was right there. I'm hoping we can grasp ahold of this concept. So far, they haven't let anybody down."

Q: How are the Bears different without Anthony Thomas?
Holmgren: "Well, he's an outstanding running back, but every team has a couple, I think. I think if we didn't have Shaun, I'd expect Mo to go in there and play and play hard, play well. So is there a possibility it changes what they do? I don't think they'll change dramatically what they do, but he's a good football player and if he couldn't play, it might be tough for them."

Q: Where is Chris Terry progress right now?
Holmgren: "He played a pretty good ball game, he really did. By his own admission he was a little rusty. But he's very, very happy to be back. I'm happy he's back. He got called for one holding call at the end of the game, and it turns out it wasn't holding. He played a pretty good football game for not having played football for six weeks. He's going to get nothing but better. It's a little like when he came to us last year. It changed how we did some things. Every game he was with us, we got a little better. Now I hope we can keep that group together now in the offensive line for the rest of the season."

Q: Were their defensive changes that worked on Sunday?
Holmgren: "Rashad Moore. He was a young guy who was inactive. We talked a lot about him at training camp, didn't know how we were going to use him exactly, but we kind of liked his size and movement. And now he's gotten a little chance to play, and he's proven to be kind of a force inside for a young guy. It's a good example of our staff, instead of locking in like okay he's our guy for the season, they're willing to change it. Look, if we're not getting the productivity we need at a certain position, let's try it. And I like that. The key there is that we don't want the players who then have to sit and watch a little bit to be off balance. We have to communicate with those guys why we're doing something. It's never personal. It's never personal. We're just trying to … you've got to produce. You've got to produce. I think that worked for us. We have a couple young, talented football players on this football team who haven't quite figured it out yet. They're not in the dog house, they're not in the closet, or any of that stuff. It just takes some guys a little bit longer to figure out the consistency that they have to have, and the preparation and how they do stuff to be on a team that's asking for more than just playing. We've set the bar kind of high."

Q: How is Ken Hamlin doing?
Holmgren: "He's off to a great start. Again, I'm a little reluctant to anoint players early in their career as all this and all that, but he's off to a very, very good start. Does he make errors in the football game? Yeah, he does. He's young and he'll blow a call now and then. He'll be over there when he should be over there. But he's got great effort, he loves the game, he's enthusiastic. It's really refreshing. He and Trufant, they've given me a couple extra years of life. I'm not kidding you. I love their approach to things. I love it. They don't make excuses. I love them. They're fun to be around. That's a contagious thing. And when they're playing, it helps our whole defense. Now, does he have to be careful of the penalties? Yeah, he does. That will be a work in progress because he's a very aggressive guy. He had a couple the other night. One was legitimate, the hit on the sideline. One was very close, the hit on Garcia. You've got to be careful."

 


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