Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report

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HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on Matt Hasselbeck's health progress)

It's the same way. Like we said yesterday, we thought he would come out today and get warmed up, do some handoffs, do some throwing. We kept him mainly in the gun throwing so he wouldn't have to do too much moving. It was good for him and we will see if he got sore from that at all and then hopefully tomorrow do a lot more. That was what we hoped he would do and so far so good.

(on if he still anticipates that Hasselbeck will be the starter on Sunday)

Well we are thinking that way. Jake (Locker) will prepare like he is the starter also. He is obviously taking advantage of the reps he got today, taking the majority of them. That's good for Jake that he is ready to go and if Matt (Hasselbeck) is not, then we feel comfortable either way. Matt has been good all year, he has had some bumps and bruises but it's nothing that looks like it's going to be that bad. It all depends on how he feels under center and backing up and doing those things and we will probably get a better feel for that tomorrow.

(on if he has confidence that Jake Locker can start and win)

We do, we are very confident in him. Is he going to make some mistakes because of things that come up in the game that he is not as familiar with or some things that he hasn't seen? Sure. Just like the other rookies that are playing there is going to be some good and bad but we feel that there is a lot more good and he does a good job running the team. The big thing with the quarterback is the confidence and I think they all have a lot of confidence in them and feel that when he is in there we can make plays and we can move the ball and even if there is a mistake or two, he will overcome those.

(on Jake Locker potentially starting rather than coming off of the bench)

Well no, he hasn't had to do it yet but I don't see that being a problem for him. I haven't seen anything be a problem for him yet as far as handling something. He is very poised and very confident and if it was bothering him then you wouldn't know it. We haven't seen it yet. I don't think that will be a problem if that happens.

(on when he will decide on a quarterback)

I think tomorrow we will have a better feel for how Matt (Hasselbeck) is even though we would still have 48 hours but if he is struggling than at least we may have an indication of which way we have to go. So far it has gone the way we thought and so we are assuming that will be the case. If he has a setback tomorrow or Saturday then we will reevaluate.

(on Matt Hasselbeck potentially being the backup quarterback if he can't start)

Well that's what you think he would be. There are a lot of scenarios that can happen but I think that if he is healthy enough to be suited up and be part of it like last week when he came back in. I don't know if we will get to that. We are assuming that he will start right now and if he doesn't than why isn't he starting? If he can't start for me then what can he do? We have to determine that if something happens then what kind of situation would we put him into.

(on if having a mobile quarterback against the Colts' defensive ends can actually be more dangerous)

I don't think it can ever really hurt. I think it's more of you have to know how to use it against the Colts. You have to be smart and know that if you do escape the pocket then you can't stop, you have some great speed chasing you. You can't stop to make a throw, you have to keep moving because someone is chasing you from behind and they are great at stripping the ball and knocking it out and getting sacks in that case. You have to be smart with that when you play a team like this because they are built to rush the passer, they are looking for sacks, great team speed. If you come out of that pocket, you have to be smart about not getting depth, you have to think about stepping up and how you get out. Maybe the fact that Matt (Hasselbeck) is not going to try to do all of those things makes it safer but there is no doubt that when you can run it there are pluses and minuses to it.

(on if Matt Hasselbeck will have a normal Friday practice and get the starter reps and if that's important)

I would hope that he would get at least half of the reps. We will see how he is tomorrow but even on past Fridays he has taken half, 75 percent, sometimes all of them it just depends…I don't think that the reps are as important as how he is feeling. I think he is comfortable and he likes to make all of the throws and ideally he would like to take every snap all week long if he could but that wouldn't concern us unless obviously he was having soreness and we felt that he was limited in some way, pushing off, making throws, backing up, that would concern us more than not getting reps.

(on Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney's numbers being down)

I think it's down because of the obvious that the team has been behind and teams aren't throwing the ball on them like they used to have to when teams have the big lead so that has obviously affected their numbers. I think last week they must have had at least two sacks that I saw, numerous hits, numerous hurries the two of them. They are both playing very well. Every team is doing what they have to do, they are very aware of them on every play, especially when you play there. When you play at your place on the grass it slows them down quite a bit. When you play them there with that turf and that traction they are very dangerous.

(on thinking about not being the team that gives them their first win)

Everything goes through your mind as a player during the week. You think about the playoffs, you think about the team you are playing, there are a lot of things that go on but once the game starts that's not part of the equation any longer. It shouldn't be. It's about playing for 60 minutes and playing better than they do. We have done a good job of doing that and letting the distractions by the time we get to Saturday night and Sunday go away and just go out and play. Those are things that are talked about during the week I'm sure but not something that will affect how we play.

(on blocking Pat Angerer on the second level to avoid negative running plays)

That's the thing, they run well and you have to take advantage of some of that speed with misdirection and things to keep them honest. Like I said, when they are in games, teams aren't doing a lot on them. When the games get out of hand, they start to break down the run game in spots and so we are going to have to wear them down and get opportunities where we can run the ball more. They chase well. CJ (Chris Johnson) over the years, even when CJ was having some of his better years and better games because of the way they can run and take that cutback away. That is going to be a challenge for us all game long.

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