Holmgren previews Sunday's game at Baltimore

<b>Q: Is the injury list this week what you expected?</b> <br><br> <b> Mike: </b> "Our list is going to be what I said on Monday: I think all these fellows will have a good chance to play on Sunday, so in that respect it's good. The challenge for all those guys, and it really shows up on Sunday, is that they don't get a chance to practice and then they play on Sunday. And you make an error and do stuff a little bit different because you didn't get a chance to practice during the weeks.

That's a challenge for them because they're going to play on Sunday. So you have to watch practice, you have to learn, and you have to discipline yourself to study differently, and those kinds of things."


Q: Is Ken Hamlin an example?

Mike: "Hamlin's a good example, and you throw in the fact that he hasn't played very much. A veteran player has a better chance of pulling it off. The things going against Hamlin are: he's young, he's emotional, and he hasn't been able to practice during the week. So when he makes an error during the game on Sundays, that's usually why."


Q: What challenges do you see in Baltimore's defense and powerful running game?

Mike: "Well, that's their football team, I think, right now. They have an injury to their quarterback and on offense, even before he was hurt, their offense is giving the ball to their big back and pounding at it. That's not to say they aren't capable of throwing, but that's what they want to do and that's what they're good at it. Then playing great defense, creating turnovers, and they have the best defensive player in the league playing for them, in my opinion. He's also very much the spirit of that team, I think. So those are the challenges for our sides of the ball. Defensively we kind of know that they are going to come at us, we know it and let's see how we handle it. Then on the offensive side of the ball we have to deal with their quickness. They have great quickness on their defense as well, they're physical, and they have a good group on defense."


Q: Do you do anything differently on offense because you're playing against the Raven's defense?

Mike: "I think we have to play our game, but we certainly have to respect our opponent and respect what they do. That's part of it every week, you have to analyze who you're playing and what you think your best chances are of moving the football. Now, by closing ranks, I don't think that's necessarily the answer here. We have to know what our challenges are, but then let's play our game."


Q: Do they have a unique scheme, or just special players?

Mike: "I think they have some special players. I think it all starts with their linebackers. You start with their middle linebacker, Ray Lewis, who is the spirit of not only their defense, I think their football team. I've been on teams that have gone against him a few times and he just is very tough to block. He moves around so well and so fast. He's a good student of the game, so he takes his great athletic ability and it appears as though he studies and prepares. But this is also a different defense than the team that won the Super Bowl. They have a lot of young people on that defense. Some different guys. Boulware is still there, Ray Lewis is still there. Corey Fuller, who plays corner for them, he's a veteran. But you have a lot of young people on that defense, but the impressive part to me is that it's not the scheme. They have a scheme that's not unique to the league. But they do move around fairly well."


Q: Does the size of Baltimore's offensive line force you to tweak personnel on defense?

Mike: "They are enormous. They are big. On their offensive line they are very, very big. But we're not going to mess with it. We're going to go through the same rotations we've gone through. Those are the players that we have, and our key is to play fast and quick and hard, knowing that they're big and strong, but let's be real smart how we play. And also active and quick to the ball."


Q: What would it mean for the Seahawks to win this game and have the offense play well?

Mike: "It's always a measuring stick, any time you go against what you would consider to be one of the top defenses in football, and if you can move the football and do some things you feel like you're going somewhere, like it's happening for you. It does wonders for your confidence level, the players, I'm talking about now, and any time you can do that it adds one more building block on to how you feel about it and you wind up playing better. It's a contagious thing. Down the stretch in November and December, now with six games to go, whoever can get that feeling and fire, that's the team that usually emerges at the end, certainly when you get into the tournament."


Q: How does Jamal Lewis succeed with teams stacking against him?

Mike: "They have a huge offensive line. Big, strong guys. And he is a load. He is 245 pounds and strong. They help him with formations and different things to try and get you in what they would consider a little softer run-support position. It reminds me a little of like when I was in college, when we were at Southern Cal and we literally had about six running plays. And we only called, like, four of them. And we went on the same snap count, every snap, when I was in college. Every snap, the same snap count, for four years. So the other team knew the snap count, actually knew the three plays we were going to run, and coach McKay at the time said, 'I don't care'. And we only lost one game in four years because we were strong and we had the great running back and those things. Didn't make mistakes. When you have the type of offensive team that Baltimore has, and you have that great running back and those big strong guys and you commit to that, you commit to something, then you say I don't care what you do over there. We're going to make it work. And they do. They make it work."

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