Holmgren on the win

His team improved to 8-4 and remained one game back of the St. Louis Rams in the race for the NFC WEST with a 34 to 7 win over the Cleveland Browns. The Seahawks are now 7-0 for the first time since 1984. Here is what Head Coach Mike Holmgren had to say about Sunday's win

Opening comments: "I was very proud of the way the team bounced back after last week's loss, which was as tough as it gets. They showed a lot of resiliency. We seem to be playing well at home. Our crowd really helped us, as they have helped us in the past. For us, it's a four-game season. We have to attempt to take care of business in the month of December."

Q: The defense looked much better today.
Mike: "The defense was hurt last week; their pride was wounded. It's a shame they didn't get the shutout. I was hoping to get them the shutout, but they shutout Cleveland and we gave up a special teams play. They bounced back, and I felt they would. I think there is a lot of pride on that side of the ball. They practiced and they were a little bit angry all week. I thought they would play a good football game, and they played a very good football game."

Q: Matt Hasselbeck is playing similar to the final stretch last season.
Mike: "The way he finished the season last year. He finally seemed to relax just a little bit in the position, and his decision making became real solid. We protected him better, which is a big part of any quarterback's decision making. I really felt that he had a chance to be very consistent. In the off season, and the way he's played… I've made the statement earlier, that he's still young and still learning, and every once in a while, I get a little cranky with him. Even today, he played a fine game, but there were a couple of plays I would like run differently. He has a bright future ahead of him, I think. He's the real deal."

Q: The offense played a consistent game.
Mike: "We are playing with more consistency, which is what I always strive for. In Baltimore and Cleveland, they have two really fine defensive football teams. I'm always nervous before every game, but it was a real challenge to move the football on those two teams. Give the credit to the players. They executed well and they made plays. That's what you need to do, particularly down the stretch.

Q: What will happen after this win?
Mike: You think only about this for the week prior to the game. We all get to enjoy it a little tonight. Then tomorrow we have to look at the film, get rid of it, and think about nothing else but the next week. I wish there was more time to enjoy the victory. I've only been able to do that once in my life, and that's when we won the Super Bowl, because you don't play any more games after that. This was great, and we will enjoy it tonight and then go forward."

Q: You have high expectations for Matt Hasselbeck.
Mike: "I will always try to be positive with my quarterbacks. The expectation level that I created for our fans was maybe a little unrealistic. Maybe I put that burden on him. But he's a tough guy. He weathered the storm, and got a second chance, when Trent, unfortunately, got hurt, and he's made the most of it. I never doubted that he's a good football player. If you've never been the starter, it takes some time. If you're a good enough football team to take him through that, that's one thing. If you're struggling a little bit with the rest of it, it's pretty hard for a young guy. Fortunately, I think those days are behind us. He is stronger because of what he had to go through. And I think I'm a little stronger, too."

Q: You were able to stay on top with a big lead at halftime.
Mike: "I don't think they emotionally let down last week. They certainly were aware of a team coming back on you. It can happen, and you hope it never happens to you, but it happened to us. That was talked about a fair amount at halftime. Talking about it, and then being able to make the play to prevent a completion or a touchdown, those are two different things. Today we made plays. Their quarterbacks got hurt just a little bit, so it was tough on them, but you still have to make the plays."

Q: How is playing on the road different?
Mike: "I wish I could tell you 'if we do this, we'll be fine'. We have to play a solid offensive football game. We can't turn the ball over on the road. You can't do that, which has happened in a couple of our games. We have to be a little more consistent in all phases of our game. The offense can't have a good game while the defense struggles. Our special teams have to be solid. We've had two punts blocked in the last two games. To win on the road, that usually can't happen. So we have to fix those things. But the players know and we'll talk about it some more. We know this: to achieve our goals this year, we have to win. We have to take care of business on the road now."

Q: Their was a lot of physical play from the defense today.
Mike: "In meetings and on the practice field, and how they responded to their coaching and their intensity, and the look in their eye. All those things that I watch, because when we're practicing defense I'm watching those guys more. I just sensed it. They played a physical game today. They brought it and they felt they had something to prove, or re-prove."

Q: What is the injury situation?
Mike: "Randall [Godfrey] has had a chest problem the last few weeks. He came in this morning, and I don't know if it was because of how he slept on it, and I don't know why, because he practiced a little bit on Friday, but it became very irritated and very sore. He thought he would hurt the team if he was playing. He didn't know if he could really play and blast it up in there like a middle linebacker has to do. He came and told us, and said I'm not sure I can do the things you want me to do. As soon as he said that, and I knew Huff was going to play a lot. I needed someone to replace Huff on the special teams, and so we sat Randall down and moved up Tracy White. As far and Shawn [Springs] and [Ken] Lucas playing; I've said all along that we have three starting cornerbacks. After last week, where Shawn struggled just a little bit, I want him to feel good about things again, and so we started Lucas. Next week I could start Shawn. They're going back and forth. The important thing is helping each other, first of all, and they're really putting the team first in that situation. There is not a lot of griping about it. I suppose the guy that doesn't start is a little unhappy, but I can't tell that."

Q: Any other injuries?
Mike: "They're scanning Jerry Wunsch as we speak. I will know more tomorrow, it appears that he sprained his ankle. Mack Strong has a sprained ankle. Mili had a bonk on the head."

Q: You had a lot of success on third down conversions.
Mike: "That's a very key statistic in any game, next to turnovers, is your third down conversions and how you get off the field on third down. We are one of the league leaders on third downs on offense. It's a very telling statistic, and when we do that on both sides of the ball, usually good things happen. Today I think we did a pretty good job of it."

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