Coach Munchak's Wednesday Practice Report

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HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on if everything is looking good for Matt Hasselbeck to start on Sunday)

Yeah it is. I think seeing him Monday after the game he is doing well. He has some soreness but not like we thought he may have. He practiced probably more today than he has on a few other Wednesdays, so it looks good for him to play on Sunday.

(on Matt Hasselbeck being complimentary of Jake Locker's play on Sunday)

I think they just have a great relationship. He knew him before they got here, they work well together. I sit in a lot of their meetings during the week when they are watching tape with Chris Palmer and going through things. They go back and forth with ideas and what they are seeing on tape and what they would do. I think Jake (Locker), that's why he felt so comfortable when he got in the game.

(on if it makes a guy heal faster when his backup is playing well)

Well you hope that helps. I think it's always nice to have competition, don't get me wrong. I think it's great that Matt (Hasselbeck) does know that if he is not quite ready or his arm is not that strong then we have a guy that we can win with. I think that's what maybe gave Matt the confidence to do the right thing on Sunday when his elbow was sore. Maybe if we didn't have anybody then he would have thought he had to force himself in there and play and that could have got ugly on him and us possibly. I think the fact that he knows that Jake (Locker) is good and can be very good as we get going is plus on both ends.

(on Matt Hasselbeck's accuracy today)

I think the throwing was fine, I think he looked good. We didn't ask him to throw a lot of deep balls today, he will start doing that tomorrow again so we just want to be cautious there. Like I said, if it was up to us we probably wouldn't have practiced him at all like we hadn't the last few weeks just to rest him in general, not necessarily because of the arm. He obviously wanted to be out here and get some throws and do some things. I think he feels good and it's all about confidence. I don't think he has a whole lot of soreness right now so we are assuming he will be fine.

(on if Chris Johnson is playing at the same level as the last few years)

Obviously, I can't say that any of us are, not just Chris (Johnson). He is part of that but unfortunately it's not just him. Even when he ran for 2,000 yards, it wasn't all Chris doing those things. It was the line, it was the play calling, it was all of those things and so now that we are struggling, none of us are playing like we should or any of us are playing like we did two years ago or even last year consistently enough. A week ago when we ran it much better, every time I think we are over the hump then we come back and get 10 carries and rush for 15 yards. It's hard to figure out why that happens and we have six weeks to fix all of this. Hopefully we will have a good strong run here at the end.

(on if his patience with the running game is gone)

Well answering that question is the thing that's getting hard but the way you quit answering the question is you do something about it I guess. We have to do something consistently about that so it goes away. Believe me, it's all of us and we are all in this together. Usually it means no time of possession which it did last week. They had the ball much more than we did because we didn't convert first downs or get the running game going early. We let Atlanta get back on the field and all of those kinds of things. To me it all ties to the run game, that's where a lot of it starts and we need to do a better job.

(on how the run defense has been this year)

Well I think it's like a lot of things, like being 5-5 where we look really good and look really average. I think that's how our team has looked. I think that last week he (Michael Turner) has two runs. In the second half, before that last run he had for 25 or 30 yards, I think he was averaging less than three yards per carry, (Michael) Turner was. He broke one off in the second quarter. A lot of good things are going on there, we are just not consistent enough. If a team gets enough shots at us which they have at certain parts during the season, they wear you down just like we did with Carolina last week. Chris (Johnson) had a 100 and something yards in the second half last week because we were able to wear them down and that's what we have allowed teams to do in the Houston game, Pittsburgh game, the game last week, is take over time of possession and wear us down so that's where the running game has kind of struggled the most as far as stopping the run. In parts it looks really good, but like the rest of us, we are 5-5, 50/50.

(on when the run defense struggles, the pass defense also struggles)

If you are not stopping the run, then I think all kinds of things like play-action, all kinds of things are on the table. You always hear about one dimensional, make them one dimensional, well when you don't there is more opportunity to struggle in a lot of phases because you start overplaying the run and then the play-action gets you, which it did in that game a few times, two or three times. We were playing the run and trying to be a little more aggressive and try to stop it and all of the sudden we get beat over the top on some things. That's where it starts on both sides of the ball is up front. We have always said that and when we are not doing it on offense, it doesn't just hurt the offense, it hurts the whole team.

(on where the team is mentally right now)

Well I think it's a good time to be coming home. I think the 5-5, winning last week or the game in Cincinnati we could sit here and talk and if we had done what we should have done and won one or both of those games then we would be in great position. We are not so we have to go out and get a win streak going like we said, similar to what Tampa has to do. We need to win this one at home, we need it big and then go on the road and win a tough game in Buffalo and just get rolling. We have to find a way to win more than one game in a row.

(on how you fix the problem of not getting off to a fast start)

Well we have been working on it. You talk about it, you work at it. It's like the first play of the game having a penalty and getting backed up and then a short punt. You can't dwell on it. I think we talk more about, not necessarily you want to start fast, but if you don't it doesn't mean the game is over by any means. It's a 60-minute game, a lot can happen. Take that game for example, it didn't look pretty a lot of that game but with three minutes left we thought we could win that game and I'm hoping a lot of the fans watching say, 'man they can win this football game.' Even though it wasn't how we would draw it up to play Atlanta, we were down six and we were kicking off with three timeouts and the two-minute. You're thinking that you are stopping the run in the second half, you have a shot to do something special here and that's how close you are. We were in that situation because we didn't start well though and that's why we were where we were. Ever week we are focusing on, 'hey, when we do start well, look at the results.' Give credit to the other team trying to do the same thing and unfortunately the other team is winning them a little more than we are.

(on how Albert Haynesworth looks on tape compared to how he looked when he played here)

Certain guys have a certain stretch of your career where you play your best football of your life and I think he was playing the best football of his life when he was here. There was no one better than him the year before he left us as far as the disruption he created in the middle or even when we used to put him over the tackle. He caved the pocket in like no one else can. After that, I don't know all of the things that happened but when you are not playing a lot of football over the last couple years, it affects you, I don't care who you are. He hasn't played a lot of football in the last couple years in Washington and New England. He is starting to play a lot more here. I think it's almost like you are playing into shape because he really hasn't been on the field as much. He is still a huge guy that can make plays that is obviously coming back to a place that he is very familiar to play. We know what kind of player he is, it's just a matter of us making sure that he doesn't make any of those plays against us.

(on if he thinks that Albert Haynesworth will be extra motivated to play the Titans on Sunday)

I would think so. I would think that if anything is going to motivate him that would be something to have happen. I think it will motivate him just that he wants to play well and I think for an athlete in general, the fact that he hasn't played a lot makes it harder to play at the level he would like. I think he would like to prove that he is far from done. These next six weeks I'm sure he wants to prove to Tampa that he wants to be part of that team for a while. I would think he is going to be motivated the next six weeks but especially when you come home. He is from Tennessee playing college here and NFL here, I would think he would want to come back and play well.

(on using the no-huddle offense and if it can get the offense in a rhythm)

You try to do that, we have had it in. This was one of the first games we did it without having to need it where it wasn't a two-minute situation or hurry up. I think Matt (Hasselbeck) and the guys are getting more comfortable with the offense. It something that you have to be comfortable and have a handle on what you are doing before you can kind of jump to that and we are at that point now as an offense, I think that's something that most teams have available in case you need it just to change the tempo of the game. We really didn't go in it the rest of the time because we really we got in the two-minute mode most of the second half anyway so that was kind of a semi hurry-up the rest of the game.

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