"Full-Go", and Feeling Better

On Thursday, Shaun Alexander spoke with the media and practiced for the second straight day after suffering a concussion in the Divisional Playoff game against the Redskins. Alexander is rested, rounding into game shape, and ready to exorcise the demons of playoffs past.

(How do you feel after two days of practice?) “I’m feeling a lot better. Every day I get a little bit better and it’s exciting. They say that the biggest thing is that you don’t realize how much you’re going into until you get a little bit better and then you realize that the next day. So, we’re getting better every day and that’s good.”

(Are you afraid of suffering another concussion?) “My mom told me a long time ago that the running back was a great position but it’s also the craziest. She’s like, ‘you know everybody is chasing you, right?’ So, just comes with the position. Once you chose to be a running back you take the good with the bad.”

(Are you one hundred percent?) “No, of course not. But I haven’t been one hundred percent since I was ten years old.”

(Have you had any post-concussion symptoms this week?) “No - and you know what, I’m really blessed. I told everybody I thank everybody for all their prayers because I really just feel good.”

(Have you taken time to enjoy the moment this week?) “It’s hard when your goal is to go out there and get to the Super Bowl and play in the NFC Championships and things like that, you don’t really want to take time to take a deep breath and look at accomplishments. We have a game to play against a really, really good football team so we just stay focused on that instead of the things that we’ve done.”

(Does it speak to the character of the team that they won without you?) “It’s just what our team is made of. We’ve always been a team to accept challenges. We played the middle of our season without our two starting receivers. We play this game without me and guys just keep on stepping up. We have two rookie linebackers playing in there. That is what real teams do. Guys fall down and other guys just pick it up. They don’t go crying about it, everybody just does whatever they can do for us to win the next game. I’m just proud of the guys for what they did last week and I’m proud about how we’re preparing this week.”

(Was there any doubt in your mind that you’d play in the Championship game?) “I knew from the beginning. I knew pretty much by the end of the game that I was feeling a lot better. The doctors were just amazed at how much I was feeling better even going through the game Sunday. So I just felt it was probably going to happen.”

(Do you wonder about your vulnerability to be reinjured?) “It’s just a fact of life that once you get one there is a chance that you will get another (concussion). At the same time, we play football - it’s not ballet.”

(Have you talked to other athletes who have suffered concussions?) “The truth is the majority of the guys on every team have had concussions. It’s just a part of the game. I think it’s just because it was me in a situation like that where everybody got to see it that people talked about it more. Majority of us in the league are loopy.”

(On watching tape this week and not remembering the plays…) “The only play I really don’t remember was the getting hit. Once I came to and started watching the game again, I remember everything. That is, of course, trouble whenever you’re out for a little bit. It was a good thing that I did remember everything that I did see.”

(On how he’s dealt with his contract situation and how his postseason play will affect what happens to him in the future...) “Postseason, nothing. My contract, it is what it is. We’ve all decided that it was the best for the Seahawks organization to wait until the year is over. I’ve always been a person that if everyone is honest and up front then I’m cool. Once the season ends, we’ll all sit down and have a great conversation about how to continue to put this team together.”

(Does not knowing your future increase the urgency of these present games?) “No. Right now it’s just about this team. The group of guys in training camp decided to set some goals to be a little bit better than what they were the year before and that’s all we’re going after.”

(Does not having a prominent role in last week’s game affect your motivation this week?) “None. I love the fact that our team wins games whether I play great or whether I don’t. That’s the kind of team that usually does very, very well in the playoffs, where no one guy can dictate how far you go.”

(What makes Seattle’s offensive line so effective?) “They enjoy playing together. They express to each other the goods and the bads that they do and they get better. Whenever you get a bunch of guys that are deciding that they are going to do whatever it takes to get better, good things just happen. They all have been blessed with a little bit of talent so of course that helps too. But after the talent thing wears off, it’s just a decision that they are going to chose to get better every play and they chose that.”

(What is your opinion of Mack Strong?) “Best in the business, hands down.”

(Do you feel fresh and ready for this game?) “This is kind of funny for me. If I didn’t have the head thing, I would probably feel like this is the freshest I’ve been since the beginning of the season. So from the neck down, pretty fresh.”

(What approach do you expect Carolina’s defense to take?) “If I was them, I would still do what most teams do and that is to try and stop the run. We put up a lot of yards on the ground and I just think that is wise. That is what they have been made of; they always stop the run and run the ball. I wouldn’t change if I was them.”

(Are you getting over the cold?) “I feel a lot better. This is one of those things where part of football is going through sickness and staying healthy whether it’s a physical injury or just the colds. I feel good.”

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