Coach Munchak's Monday Press Conference




(on the status of Jake Locker's shoulder injury)

We had him checked out this morning. We'll know more about it this afternoon. He's sore, but again, like we said yesterday, we feel pretty good about his chances of playing this weekend.

(on if he expects that Jake Locker will practice on Wednesday)

That's something—the shoulder—that after a day or two can get better real quick. After a game, you're always going to be sorer with any injury than you were yesterday. But we see that as something getting better quickly. Hopefully, Wednesday he'll be able to do things. It's hard to tell until he gets out there and starts getting active. We just feel good about the chance of him playing this week.

(on what an MRI can show that you don't already know about his injury)

I guess just to make sure nothing was torn, nothing happened that you just can't see from an exam. Just to make sure everything is sound, secure, and that he can protect himself before you let a guy go back in there. I think to just check that there's nothing out of the ordinary going on that he injured on that play. Hopefully that's not the case, and he should, again, have a good chance of playing on Sunday.

(on the tackle Jake Locker injured his shoulder on)

He put him right to the ground. He's just a competitive guy, and you could tell him over and over again about staying away from that, but he's not going to let someone score. So he went and made himself a pretty good tackle. We'd rather him not, we'd rather him not get hurt, obviously. But that's part of his makeup.

(on the status of Colin McCarthy's injury)

Again, same thing. We have three or four guys over taking MRI's. We'll see the extent of how sore his ankle is. Again, that's another thing where we'll have to wait a day or so. We'll probably know much more about him tomorrow or Wednesday morning, to what extent or how sore he is and how quickly we feel he can get back.

(on if Colin McCarthy's injury is a high-ankle sprain or a low-ankle sprain)

I think that's what they're working on. They're figuring that out now, because of the swelling, what exactly he does have and how sore it is. Again, we should know more about that this afternoon. They just went over to see the doctors this morning, had the film, so we'll get more on it this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

(on if he's upset that the play Jake Locker and Nate Washington were hurt on should have been called dead)

You wish it would have been. We had a couple of those plays in the game where the ball came out fast. You would hope that they would make a quicker decision when the ball does come out that fast that whoever did catch it didn't have control of the ball. They didn't on that play, and maybe they're erring on the side of the fact that those plays are going to be looked at anyway. Every turnover is reviewed automatically. So I don't know what the thinking for sure was. They must have thought they saw it as a fumble. Looking back, it's easy to second guess them. When we get a player injured, especially at quarterback, you wish it was blown dead. Unfortunately, it wasn't and you play football.

(on if Nate Washington's injury was more than a leg contusion)

I think he's OK. He's got a bruise on his leg from when he got hit there. I think, initially, good contact. I think he's fine as far as that goes. I don't think he has any concussion-like symptoms. I think's he OK on that end.

(on if that play with Nate Washington was a defenseless receiver situation)

Well that's something to look at as far as we'll turn in those things to look at, and we'll see what they think. It's good, physical football, obviously, on the field. We wish we could have come down with that, and some of those plays that we didn't make in the game.

(on how much he is concerned moving forward with Jake Locker and a sore shoulder)

We'll have to decide that by how he's doing. We're not going to put him out there. He came up, and he wanted to go back in the game, obviously, right after it happened. When Matt (Hasselbeck) was out there, and if we got the ball back when we kicked the field goal there, he wanted to go back in. We weren't going to let that happen. We'll be smart the same way. We're not going to put him out there, as much as we want him to play and to continue to be the starter, we're not going to put him in a situation where we feel he can't be effective. The bottom line is, we have to win the football game. We need to put the quarterback out there that is healthy and can help us win. If we feel in any way that his shoulder is going to limit him and him being able to play the position, we'll have to make the right decision on that.

(on what can be done to protect Jake Locker's shoulder in the next game)

He'll wear a harness or something for that shoulder. He'll decide what the best thing for him as he goes through the week. Again, we still feel he can be productive like he was in the game yesterday. If he can run around and do the things he needs to do to play the position, then we're going to be fine with him playing. If for some reason he's not able to do those things, then we won't put him in a position that he shouldn't be in.

(on why the run game struggled against the Patriots)

For me, no matter how it went, I probably won't evaluate it on one game. I'm not happy with where it started. You don't want to rush for 20 yards or whatever we did. But I'm not going to overdo it on one game to decide where we're at. For 11 carries, I not going to get into breaking down every run he made or didn't make, or whose fault it was or why it went the way it went. We kind of got away from the run game after the third quarter when the defense got the ball back and we drove down the field. I think we threw six or seven passes and scored. That seemed the way to go. Again, like I said before the game or during the week, if we start moving the ball one way or the other, we're going to stick with it. We kind of got away from the run game, because as we know, it wasn't being as effective as we would have liked in the first half. We went to throwing it for those reasons. We were getting people open, we were making plays and we had fallen behind a little bit. It's hard to judge when you get in that mentality with where you're at with phase of the game, without giving it a fair shake. From what we saw, the first couple runs were fine—a four-yard run, a five-yard run, a four-yard run. The first drive everything kind of seemed what we'd thought it would be. Then, obviously, the next couple of drives we had some bad runs or some looks where we ran into some bad deals. To me, we need to have a few more weeks into this first quarter of the season to really see where we are in that phase and other phases on offense and defense.

(on if he still expects Chris Johnson to get the majority of the carries on offense)

I think we'll roll it the way we have. CJ (Chris Johnson) caught six balls, I think, yesterday, did a good job there. He's still a big weapon there also. Whenever he gets the ball, run or pass, he has a chance to make plays. Like I said in the pass game, he did a good job helping us there in that phase, making a couple nice runs. We all know that the running game has to get better, we're not denying that. We're not trying to act like we're OK, we're not. You saw, the Patriots ran the ball better than I'm sure they thought they would. I don't care, even with a great quarterback like (Tom) Brady, it makes your effort a lot easier. Him handing the ball off—the stress level on him was a lot less because again, they were running the ball a lot better than I'm sure they thought they were going to in this football game. When you can do that for a quarterback, it makes his job a lot easier. You realize how important it is not to be one dimensional, which we were yesterday.

(on if he can sense any hesitancy in Chris Johnson's running game)

I think early, again, he was looking for a bigger run than what was there. Again, you just have to take the four or five that are there, or the cutback. The big one may come later if you get more touches. For a running back, you never know—I'm sure he thought he was going to get a lot more than 10 carries in the game yesterday. He didn't. There are some plays too, where we have run-check passes and we handed some runs off that weren't great looks for him. With some of the disguises the defense was doing, we ran into some looks that weren't necessarily optimal run looks. So we got one-yard gains or no-yard gains on a couple of those. That's all part of it. Then we chose, like I said, in the second and third quarter to throw more just because we thought we were having success there. We were behind by, at that point 18, it was 21-3 at the half. So we knew we had to come out and get some momentum going, which we did in the beginning of the third quarter.

(on the decision to replace Leroy Harris with Kevin Matthews late in the game)

His knee, we were worried about that going in, the fatigue of his leg. Again, from his offseason surgeries and stuff, what's he's done in preseason only playing 30 snaps, (Leroy Harris) is the one guy we were concerned for playing 65 or 70 snaps in the game, and how he'd show up right around the fourth quarter. I think his leg was fatigued, so we made the change there. I think it was the last dozen plays or so we took him out because we saw his leg was fatiguing.

(on if he expects Leroy Harris to start against San Diego)

Yeah, he should be. He's a guy like (Steve) Hutchinson, we're going to have to, during the week, give a day off kind of thing for a little while until he gets over the hump. You'll see us doing that with him like we did with Hutchinson last week. We did that with Leroy (Harris) up until after the New Orleans game, we gave him four or five days off there to kind of get him over the hump a little bit. He got himself late into the third quarter and then he started having some issues, so we took himself out.

(on the ramifications for Chris Johnson if he is unable to start hitting the holes on offense)

Again, we said this all last year. It's not all Chris Johnson when the running back doesn't run well, just like it's not necessarily the whole offensive line. There are a lot of factors like I mentioned earlier. There are some of those plays that we run that are double called and you check into certain situations. Again, I don't want to get into evaluating. I know it's not where we want it to be. We would have much rather he had 10 carries, we would have much rather he had 50 yards rushing in the game yesterday, so we could say he averaged five yards a carry. We're not happy with how it started. Obviously, the biggest thing we're not happy about is we didn't win the football game. We didn't play as well as we could in either phase of the game to win it against a good football team. That's the most disappointing part. Now there are phases within that that we need to fix. The running game is one of them. Scoring touchdowns, hitting field goals is another one. Tackling better is another one. So we have a lot of things that we need to work on. That's just a phase. Like I said, we'll evaluate it as we go over the next two, three week's games and see if we can improve upon what we did yesterday.

(on if there is a scenario in which Chris Johnson could be benched)

No. I don't think you look into the future and decide that. You can say that of any position: 'If I gave up three sacks a game, could I be benched?' Well, I'm sure you'd think about it if it happened. Anything's possible, but it's not something that I think is ever going to happen with him.

(on what he expects out of Kenny Britt in his first game back from knee surgeries and a one-game suspension)

He's back (in the building) and he'll start practicing officially with us on Wednesday. He worked out with us today, doing his rehab and he'll do some work tomorrow, and then he'll start with the team on Wednesday for practice, and we'll just have to see how much he can handle and how he handles day-to-day and decide by the end of the week how much he can play on Sunday.

(on how many is an optimistic number of snaps for Britt)

You just never know. I think we'll know better as he gets through the Friday and we see how he does as we ease him into the practice schedule, so I don't know. We just hope that he's available to play on Sunday and then we'll just take it from there. 

(on if there is a scenario in which Britt would practice and not be ready to play Sunday)

We would hope not. I would think we're going to stay positive and think that he should be able to help us this weekend.

(on how tough if it will be for Locker and Britt to develop chemistry)

 I think, depending on how much we have him at that position, if he's playing 'X,' there's only so many routes he'll run. We'll probably keep it simple for Kenny, especially early, too, so we're not having him do too much or having him move around too much, so I think those are things that won't be very hard, with Kenny's size and what he can do, I think, there's something hopefully that can come on pretty quickly.

(on a report that there is grumbling about play calling)

I don't know anything about it. I'm assuming that there's no names associated with the grumbling, so I think it's just when you lose, I mean people want to — I think we're fine. We're not happy. No one's happy because we lost, but I don't think there's any problem in the building as far as what we're doing or why we're doing it or who's doing what. I think it's just a matter of we're 0-1. We're not happy about that and we shouldn't be, and we have a lot of work ahead of us to get a win next week.

(on having Matt Hasselbeck take more reps at QB this week than normal)

We may have to because of the thing with Jake, especially Wednesday, I'm sure. We'll probably be careful there, no matter how good he feels because he's one of those players that we're going to have to manage because he's going to want to do more than he probably should do. I think early in the week I am sure that Matt will get more work and hopefully it will balance back to Jake getting most of the work by Friday.

(on how a left shoulder injury can impact a right-handed quarterback)

I guess if it's any kind of pain he's in. If it's sore, how sore it is and does it affect him setting up? Does it affect his follow-through? Does it affect his protecting himself when he runs? I think just in general it's like having anything. If it's not that sore on him, he won't even think about it during a game, but I think just so it's not to where he feels Thursday and Friday and Saturday when practicing that it's affecting him in some way.

(on Griffin wanting to improve his tackling)

I think the positive is he wants to get better and he's disappointed in the way things went (Sunday). He's in the building trying to find a way to solve a problem that he had. I think a lot of times guys get a little carried away when things don't go their way. He was tackling very well the past four games that he played. Actually, I thought, in the last four games, he probably tackled as good as he had, so you attribute it to one game for him. I know that he's disappointed. You expect that just to be carried over and him make some big plays because he was making big plays in the preseason. I think he thought that was going to happen for sure. He was on track to have a big year. It's only one game. He has to improve, a lot of guys have to improve. I like the fact that he's excited about getting to practice today, and tomorrow being a new day. He's always been that way, and I think the more guys we have that have that kind of attitude, that aren't happy, that are upset by not playing well or us not playing well as a team is a good thing, and hopefully, he'll get all the instruction he needs and have a better week next week.

(on if Griffin will be moved further from the line of scrimmage at free safety)

I think Robert (Johnson) did a pretty good job for what we asked him to do. He played quite a bit for his first time out. A lot of guys, I thought, yesterday, a lot of our younger guys came in and really—it gets lost when you don't win the football game, but Kendall Wright did some good things in the game, Mike Martin came in as a rookie and played quite a bit, so I think some of those things, Johnson, like you mentioned started and played a lot for the first time. So, I think that's going to be a combination that we keep playing with, as far as what we decide to do on a weekly basis. (Ryan) Mouton played a lot for the first time for a guy coming off injury last year, so you have a lot of guys that did good things in the game, even though parts of the game didn't look the way we want or we didn't make enough plays at times when we needed to, to make that that game more competitive. We had an opportunity to do that early in the third quarter, but there's still a lot of good in games, even when they don't go your way. There's still stuff we can build on, that we work on here to get us going for the game next weekend.

(on the decision to play Johnson and Griffin mostly as safeties instead of Griffin and Jordan Babineaux)

I just think the way the combination by the line of scrimmage throughout camp was going. I think more than anything we thought that they were starting to—just like I mentioned a second ago that we thought Griff' was making a lot of plays by the line of scrimmage, and it was fun to watch how he stoned a third-and-1, two third-and-1s two games in a row, the Cardinal game, the Tampa game. He was very aggressive, playing well and we liked what Johnson was doing, playing centerfield, with the way he was running and making plays. It just looked like that was starting to come together, and the matchups made more sense there going into this game. Like I said, that's something that can be tweaked weekly if we need to with Babineaux, and so I think that was kind of what our thinking was. Again, one game, guys don't play as well as you'd like, it's not panic time with what you're doing. You want to fix what you're doing and get the right people in there, but you have to move on with what you have, too.

(on if Mouton is the team's nickelback)

Same thing. I think he in the game yesterday did some good things throughout the game, for not having played before or in a long time. I think he'll gain confidence the more he plays, so I think, that grouping of guys, again, we have a lot of different packages because of who we're playing, and that could change week-to-week on who is getting more reps.

(on determining how deep a kickoff can be and still attempt a return)

I think that's, we tell him what our thinking is on that. You've got to give him some freedom with that, I think, when you have a guy, like most teams do, I've seen teams bring them out eight or nine yards deep and guys are taking them to the house doing that. I think that returners are excited about that opportunity and they don't get that many of them, so I think you see across the league, guys trying to bring it out. We feel he has home-run capability, so we don't discourage it unless there's a certain game where we tell him not to bring it out or a certain situation within a game where we tell him that. Generally, it's more, we give him a general rule of thumb if we feel good about who we're playing and what we're doing, then we'll kind of give him a little freedom on that.

(on if Reynaud was hurt Sunday)

He cramped up at the end. He started cramping. That's why we gave (Lavelle) Hawkins the last one, but (Reynaud's) fine, but that was more toward the end of the game)

(on Javon Ringer's condition)

He has an infection. He's still getting antibiotics and we'll know more on him, I'm assuming, probably tomorrow.

(on if there is a clue how Ringer got the infection)

No, like I said, it wasn't something—he had some soreness in his elbow for a couple of days, and I guess it swelled a little bit on Friday and it was still sore Saturday. We weren't sure what was going on there, how it was, and Saturday night it kind of ballooned up.

(on if Ringer is expected to return this week)

We don't know that yet. I haven't talked to him personally since Saturday, so I'm not exactly sure how he's feeling. We think he's going to be fine. It's just a matter of how the elbow is, how quickly we can get the swelling out of it.

(on if Ringer is in the hospital)


(on how long Ringer will be in the hospital)

I think he will be in overnight.

(on if Ringer went to the hospital Monday)

Yeah, I think he's been in and out. I think he went in Saturday night to get antibiotics. I think he came back out and went back in, so we'll know more about him tomorrow.

(on if there were other injuries in Sunday's game)

I think we talked about them all.

(on fewer defensive plays for Tommie Campbell Sunday than in the offseason)

He came into the game when we were running the nickel. Tommie comes in to play corner, so we had Mouton at the nickel and left (Alterraun) Verner at corner, so that makes it harder for them to get reps. Now, he's still doing great things on special teams for us. He runs well. He's still a guy we feel comfortable with in how he's been improving, but right now, we're just using two corners when we play, so, that whole thing, like I talked about during camp was mixing different guys in for a lot of reasons. It didn't necessarily mean they were starting or doing better or doing worse. It was kind of getting a feel for who worked well together, and hopefully, that's going to help us going through practice and hopefully give Tommie confidence that we have no problem with him being with the first group and being out there early in preseason games when you're playing against better receivers, so it has nothing to do with the fact that he's not playing as well. It's just that we had Verner in there instead of him.

(on if Michael Roos had an uncharacteristic game)

He did on that one play, on the sack, (Chandler Jones) got around him and made a play on him there, so good football player, and made a good play on us.

(on if he is satisfied with Roos' run-blocking)

As far as run blocking in general, we weren't good enough, and that's the whole group. We weren't consistently good enough. Anytime you run for 15 yards, you're not going to say anyone is blocking well in the run game. When we ran well, we blocked well, and we've got to do better next week.

(on if Roos is at the same caliber that he has been)

Yeah, the thing is, we threw the ball (43) times. I don't think his guy—I think he blocked well for most of the game. The life of an offensive lineman is you get beat one time, you had a bad day. He got beat once for a big play, which normally, he very rarely gets beat, so again, the kid made a nice play on him, a big play for them and it definitely factored in the game, especially at that point in the game, early in the game.

(on if there are plans to use the no-huddle more often in non-two-minute offense situations)

Yeah, we'll use it, I think we're comfortable, or both quarterbacks are more comfortable with the no huddle. I think you're seeing more teams use it and go to it. There's definitely advantages to it: tiring defenses down, they can't substitute as quickly as they like or as much as they'd like. I think we have two quarterbacks that have a good command of our offense, and I think that's something that they're comfortable with, so if it's the right time, or the right game, I'm sure you'll see us throughout the year use it at times.

(on if he is disappointed in the amount of pressure applied to Tom Brady)

Not really. We sacked him one time, we harassed a couple of times. When he was able to throw the ball down the field, they kept seven guys in and they were chipping, and when you run the ball as well as they did yesterday, it makes it pretty easy to do what you want to do, as far as throwing balls quick, getting the ball out, throwing a bunch of the two-step screens. Unfortunately, we didn't get them in a lot of long-down situations where we could tee off and get after them, like we were in, so I think that limited the opportunities for the d-line to really get after them just because we created a harder situation for us to put pressure on the quarterback. So, we want more sacks, don't get me wrong, and we will get more sacks. We got to him once and were around him a few other times, but it's got to get better just like everything else, but I still feel we're headed in the right direction there, and you'll see as we go through the season, I think, hopefully that will keep up.

(on if Sen'Derrick Marks is expected to play this week)

Yeah, he should be practicing Wednesday, so if he keeps progressing like he has, I think he should help us out on Sunday.

(on how he and assistant coaches planned to watch San Diego's game Monday night) Well, that's difficult with them playing so late. We want to have good film on them, and we still only have preseason film on San Diego, so it is hard to look at the tape right now. I imagine some guys will watch it. I think you just go off what they've done in the past and in the preseason a little bit and we'll get the majority of our work done. We'll have to wait to get our hands on the game film until sometime tomorrow morning.

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