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Coach Munchak's Wednesday Practice Report



(on how Matt Hasselbeck's health compares to a week ago)

I think he is doing well and obviously much better because he practiced yesterday and got a full practice in both days. Last week he was more limited and other weeks he has been more limited with not letting him do stuff on normal Wednesdays. I think he looks good, I think he is excited, we know what we have to do and he has had two good days of practice.

(on the health of Chris Johnson)

He is out here today and looked better than I thought at least running around, but he didn't do much as far as practice reps, he did individual stuff and things like that but we didn't give him any reps. He was running better but we will see tomorrow.

(on if Chris Johnson will be ready to play on Saturday)

Well we are assuming he is. Tomorrow he will do some more heavy stuff, some cutting and things like that. So, we will see how he responds to it. Today was encouraging because I think even he thought he would be sorer than he was today and what he was asked to do. He is progressing like you hoped he would, but we will see how he is tomorrow when he starts doing some cutting. If he doesn't have any soreness from that then we should be in good shape.

(on if Jacksonville's fourth ranked defense is a credit to their offensive running game)

It definitely helps. That's why we have preached all year how we have hurt our defense because of our offense struggling to run the ball, so it definitely helps. Their front seven has always done a good job at stopping the run so it's not going to be easy especially since we are so unpredictable with how well we will do running the ball. I think it's going to be a challenge to do a lot against them because last game against them in the opener we didn't do a whole lot until the fourth quarter, so we need to change that dramatically this weekend.

(on the running game either being great or bad and rarely average)

It does seem that way. The odds are with us that we will do something more positive this weekend than we did last week or the week before. On offense we have to do things to get drives going. If it's passing, running, whatever it is we have to find a way to keep the ball because you get a lot less opportunities with the ball with this team than other teams and it seems like our history has been that way with them. A couple of years ago I think we had 40-45 plays, so you have to stay on the field or they will. We have to come out of the box and play well.

(on Nate Washington's play this season)

He has done well. We have been bragging on him. He has been just like we hoped he would be. When Kenny (Britt) went out he stepped up in that room. He was leading before Kenny anyway. Kenny looked to him for advice and leadership through the offseason. When we got back in town the receivers made a commitment that they were going to step it up this year and they have. I think every one of the receivers have caught more balls in their history and time with us so that's encouraging. They are all doing some good things and he has been inspirational to them. He has made some great plays, he has played in games that we thought he wouldn't be able to play in. A couple of weeks ago he had a great game. He has been a real big plus for us and turned into a leader on the team and has come a long way in one year.

(on if Nate Washington is as passionate when the cameras are not on)

When he is talking football he is, I think he is really enjoying this year. He is enjoying what he is doing and I think he is enjoying his role. I think he is realizing that he is one of the guys on the team that they guys are responding to. He is seeing the young receivers respond to him. On the defensive side of the ball I think a lot of the guys he is influencing also in a positive way. We are happy with what he has done on the field and off the field for us and hope that he can finish strong these next two weeks.

(on if Jamie Harper will get the majority of the carries if Chris Johnson can't play)

Depending on CJ's (Chris Johnson) and again, we are projecting things, if he suits up and plays then we are assuming that (Jamie) Harper would get more carries than he normally would because we are assuming CJ will be somewhat not himself so we will mix it that way. If for some reason CJ is not able to suit up then it's a whole different deal and we have to take a look at that. I would think that we want Harper to get the majority of the carries depending on how much we are running the ball.

(on how Matt Hasselbeck handles talk of Jake Locker's playing time)

I think the fact that he has been around this enough, I don't think he is worrying about people's opinions. He understood when he came in here that at some point people are going to talk about your first-round quarterback, and I think that's a good thing. I think that's a great thing that people realize that we have two good quarterbacks and we are in great shape for a long time here at the quarterback position. I don't think it worries him, he knows that we have confidence in him, he knows he is the guy, so I don't think he should have any concern for anyone else's opinions outside of that.

(on if he will get a reputation for being a loyal head coach by sticking with Matt Hasselbeck)

Well I think it's more for me that Matt (Hasselbeck) deserves what he has. If we didn't think that we could win with Matt then we would make a change. I am loyal in a way to a guy that has earned the right to start because we feel he is the best guy for the position so I hope they think that and that we put the best guy on the field no matter if you are a draft pick, not a draft pick, no matter how you get here, once you are here, if you are the best player then you play. If you give us the best chance to win then you play and I think that's hopefully the statement we are trying to make here. Everyone knows how we feel about Jake (Locker) so it's not like we are trying to hold someone back that we think is better right now, we just think that this is the best thing to do for the team right now.

(on why Matt Hasselbeck's numbers have been down over the last five weeks)

I think in some of those games the run game became more prominent and we didn't throw the ball quite as much, we ran the ball better in some of those games. Defenses, us not playing as well, us relying on one phase of the game for too long during the season. As we talked about for the first 10 weeks or so, the passing game carried this offense for a long time because we were struggling so much to run the ball. I think it's a lot of those things that factor into what we are doing. We won in the Buffalo game and the Tampa game on the last drive and the last throw for the third-and-two, so we have done some good things there. The Saints game we ended up doing some good things but not enough to win. I think it's a combination of all the things we have been talking about why we are where we are. We know the last two weeks are very disappointing because we didn't play as well as we could.

(on if he would bring in Jake Locker to try to spark the offense)

I think that's a game-time situation. Yeah, once someone has a chance to show what he can do, and our confidence is very strong, he just hasn't had a chance to play much. When you get into a game if there is something going on, we are getting hypothetical on all of this stuff, but we are going to do whatever it takes to win. Just like last weekend, we thought that there was a point in that game where it made sense for Jake (Locker) to be in there because of the situation of the game because of the coverages they were playing and they were playing off so we went with that thinking we could win with that and almost had a chance to do that. I think we have shown that we will do whatever it takes to win by making changes in who is out there if that gives us the best chance to win.

(on if the team is over the disappointing loss to the Colts)

I think it's going to be hard for all of us. I don't think it will affect how things go on Saturday, but I think it affects your week, especially in this time of year when you are running out of, 'OK, we will have to make up for that.' You are running out of, 'we will get that one back,' because you only have a couple left. I think it's harder as the season goes on to let go of those things. I think obviously as a pro you can't let it affect how you play on Saturday. It won't. I don't believe that it will take us down for Saturday, we know how important Saturday is, it's our whole season now. We are in that position and we have to go win. I think we all recovering at the same rate. We have had two good practices and we are studying hard and I don't think it will affect how things go on Saturday. It's hard to come off of two disappointing games and say it's out of your system, but I don't think it will affect us on Saturday.

(on the first matchup with Jacksonville)

That first game seems like it was a year ago, it seems like it was last season, a different season. When you turn that game on and watch the tape it's like, 'who is that team you are watching?' It was hard to watch, it definitely was. It was a game that we didn't really compete for three quarters. Then there were other games like the last two weeks that will stand out like the Cincinnati game and then all of the sudden you start adding more games to that list. We don't want the second Jacksonville game to be one of those games and so we know how important this one is for us. After what happened last weekend I would hope that it would motivate us even more to come out and play our best game of the year.

(on not worrying about other games going on)

Well I think we all will on Saturday afternoon at about 4:00 when the game is over assuming we win. If we don't win then it's not going to matter what happens and we all know that. We put ourselves in a position that that's all that matters now is we have to win this football game and it will be fun to be able to do that. It will be nice to sit back on Saturday afternoon and see if we got any help and then we can see exactly what our situation is for next Sunday. I'm hoping that's a conversation that we can have on Monday, 'here is what we have to do to be in the playoffs.'

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