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What They're Saying: Seattle Seahawks

Posted Jan 24, 2014

A look at Seahawks players' and coaches' takes on the Super Bowl matchup, including Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Percy Harvin and Earl Thomas.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Next week, the Broncos and Seahawks will prepare for Super Bowl XLVIII in New York and New Jersey.

But for now, they're still in Denver and Seattle, respectively.

Here's a look at what Seahawks players and coaches are saying about the Super Bowl matchup so far this week.

QUARTERBACK RUSSELL WILSON

On if there's value in watching the Broncos-Seahawks preseason game
“Anytime you play a team, there’s definitely value in terms of the preseason game when we played against them. Just to see their players against our guys and see them on our football field and all that and that was a great game. Even though it was a preseason game, it was a great battle. You know, we’re looking forward to it. All the games that we’ve played this season, it comes down to this one. That’s what we’re looking forward to, comes down to 1 and 0, like I’ve been saying all year. Having that championship mindset and going out there and having a great week this week. That’s the most important thing right now is having a great day today and then have a great day tomorrow and let the days add up and see what happens next week.”

On whether he's ever thought about what it would have been like to get drafted by the Broncos and learn from QB Peyton Manning
“I mean of course. I’ve never really thought about being teammates with him, but it’s one of those things that I know that in terms of his game, I try to emulate a lot of the things that he does in terms of the knowledge that he has for the game. Obviously, he can make all of the throws and all that, but his knowledge separates him from everybody else. So that’s what I’m trying to work to one day. It’ll be cool to watch him play and all that. I’ll be so focused on our football team, but I’ll probably watch a few snaps here and there, but he’s just a great football player.”

On whether he looks at Manning as the example of the perfect quarterback
“Well you have to look at one of the best football players to ever play the game as an example in all facets of life. Obviously on the field, but also all the advertisements, like you were talking about that he does and all that, he’s just so consistent with his approach. He wants to do everything right, his brand is great. So you want to be like that.”

On the Denver defense
“Well their defensive front is very strong. You think about number 94 [Terrence Knighton], he’s Knighton I think that’s how you say it. He’s just a very physical football player, he causes havoc and he can do a lot of things and same with the rest of their guys. So I think the biggest thing for us is staying on schedule, being very physical at the point of attack, and when we throw the football, try to come up with some explosive plays but also making sure that we’re getting first downs and doing a great job on third down.”

On the phrase 'defense wins championships'
“I think it’s true. I think the fact that you have to have a great defense usually to win a championship. It’s not easy to just to do it on offense and I think to get to this point, you’ve got to have at least two out of three in terms of special teams, defense, and offense. You’ve got to have at least to have two out of three to be great and obviously the Denver Broncos have all three. They’ve done a great job all year and our defense is lights out and they’ve done a tremendous job all year. To go against them every week day in and day out against our defense, to go against guys like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell, our defensive line, our linebackers, Bobby Wagner all of those guys, it’s a challenge and that makes our offense better and then it translates to our special teams too because we have a lot guys that can step in and make a lot of plays.”

On the fact that no Seahawks player has been to a Super Bowl
“In terms of not having any players on a Super Bowl ever before, I think it shows how good our football team really is. Our football team is extremely young. We’re one of the youngest football team in the National Football League and to be where we are right now, one of our things is we want to win a lot of Super Bowls and to do that, you have to win the first one and we’re excited about that. All of our guys are fired up. I think we have a certain itch to us and we know on the other side, they have players that have won the Super Bowl and been to the Super Bowl and big games like that. So we know that they’re going to prepare the right way, they’re going to understand how to prepare. So we’re going to have to listen to our coaches and try to learn as much as we can and just get prepared however is best for us. I think for us, it’s the details, it’s the excitement too. It’s the energy, it’s the swagger that we try to bring to the games, and our fans too as well. So we’re going to be us, we’re not going to change. I think at the end of the day, with all the cameras and all the lights and all that, it’s no different. It really isn’t. At the end of the day, the whistle is still going to blow, it’s still going to be first, second, and third down, and it’s still going to be the game on the line and we’re looking forward to those moments.”

CORNERBACK RICHARD SHERMAN

On if he's surprised how much media attention his comments received
“Yeah I ‘m really surprised by that. If I would’ve really known it was going to blow up like that I probably would’ve approached it differently just in terms of the way it took away from my teammates’ great games. Kam Chancellor played a fantastic football game. He had an interception and huge plays in the game and played almost a perfect ball game. Marshawn Lynch ran for 100 yards plus and had a great touchdown run. Bobby Wagner had 15 tackles, so many people played so many great games that you would think the stories would be about them. So that’s the only thing I feel kind of regretful about.”

On what's unique about Manning
“It’s as if he’s an offensive coordinator out there. At any given time he can change any play, any protection, any scheme. Schematically you kind of notice what a team is going to do in the first couple of drives in a game. Teams don’t just change their offense in the second half and run totally different plays now. They may run a play that they have found successful multiple times, but with Peyton, he’ll find a weakness in a defense, he’ll attack it in four, five or six different ways. He’ll attack it with the curl, the dig, he’ll throw an out to Wes Welker, and they’ll attack the out and up. He finds so many different ways to attack you so once he finds a crack in the armor, he continues to nick at it until he makes it a hole.”

On when he was watching film on Manning
“The next morning. With Peyton you have to be on it quick because I know he was on it quick.”

On whether the defense is excited for the challenge of going against Manning and the Denver offense
“You would want that. We really embrace that man. As a defense we respect the heck out of Peyton Manning, but as a true competitor, as competitive as our team is, you wouldn’t want to have it any other way. You want the best of the best; otherwise you don’t feel like you’re getting the biggest challenge of your life. If you lose, you understand that you lost to the best quarterback in the world and you can accept that. If you win you understand that you were playing against the best quarterback in the world and it feels that much sweeter. It’s just a competitive drive in you. Like you said if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. So that’s the only way it can go.”

On WR Demaryius Thomas
“He’s a great receiver, he’s had a fantastic year, he’s a big guy, he’s thick, and he goes up and gets the ball. I think he’s one of the top receivers in the game right now, and since Peyton has arrived, his game has elevated to another level and he’s playing some good football.”

On the Broncos' versatility at wide receiver
“I think that’s all attributed to what Peyton Manning is doing. He understand that defenses see looks and they see similarities and recognize formations and recognize personnel, and he keeps it mixed up. If you have a quarterback like that it’s hard to catch a break with him, catch a tendency or something that you can jump.”

On if he will be able to break the 'Omaha' code
“I feel like there is no ‘Omaha’ code. I feel like he might just be throwing that out there. He throws it out there so much that it has to be talking to one player or something crazy like that. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to break the ‘Omaha’ code because we don’t get sound bites in the film. If we did I would try my best I’ll tell you that.”

SAFETY EARL THOMAS

On how the Seahawks will try to counter the Broncos' passing attack
“Well that’s how teams want to attack us now. They don’t want our big corners to press, they don’t want us mess up the timing. So they’re getting in condensed formations, hanger formations, bunch formations, but we know that. We understand how teams want to attack us and that’s the beauty of it. That’s why I love meetings and that’s why I love game planning because you’re really getting all you need for the test and when you get out there on Sundays, you’re going to get an A.”

On what he’s noticed about the Broncos’ offense on game film
“Well I’m just happy it’s a pass attack. The 49ers are going to run the ball, run the ball. It’s hard when you’re the free safety. You want to get involved; you want to get around the ball. So this is definitely a great game. That’s what I thought first of all and like I said, the game planning and preparation always take care of yourself.”

On if he believes that the No. 1 offense has an edge over the No. 1 defense
“I don’t want to slide into no trouble or nothing like that, but it’s all about us. I don’t really put anybody on the same plane or whatever. I don’t want to take it out of context. But it’s all about us and we know what we have to do to win. We know how to win. We’re going to run and hit and have fun.”

On if there’s an advantage for an offense being proactive and the defense being reactive
“I think the biggest thing about us is we have principles, we have guidelines and rules no matter what you do to us. So they give us the ability to adapt to whatever you want to throw at us. That’s why I like this defense.”

On if the defense pays attention to Peyton Manning’s calls
“It’s best to just line up and do what you do. You can’t be a genie and think what he’s thinking. Obviously, you don’t know what’s coming. That’s why you just be ready for anything. Have the ability to think principle ball, why are you out there, why everything is going on and the game is slowed down.”

On Manning
“He’s seen so much football. He knows what you’re in. It’s a reason why—some of them (his audibles) are phantom—but it’s a reason why he’s able to communicate so well to his offense and put his guys in the best spots possible. So we know that and also it just comes down to know when a receiver catches the ball, you’ve got to tackle them immediately. When we have our chance to put pressure in front of them, we’ve got to get to him and frustrate him. But then I think that we’ll be okay.”

SAFETY KAM CHANCELLOR

On what he looks at studying film on Manning
“For me I look at all of the things that affected us when we played them in the preseason. The plays that the made out three, some of the looks that Peyton may have seen and some of the things that we have left open on film that they didn’t hit during the game. I go back and look at things like that and correct them and expect for them to run those plays when we play them.”

On what Denver did against the Seahawks in the preseason
“I think we just have to be keyed in and on the detail. It’s a hurry up offense so they pretty much know what they’re going to do the next play so you just have to be keyed in on the details, everybody has to run to the ball and play hard.”

On if he feels like it is on the defense to win the game..
“With the numbers, they have done a good job putting up the numbers and stuff, but all we can do is focus on us. Focus on playing the best game we can play on defense, offense, and special teams as a whole unit.”

On Manning's comeback from a neck injury to MVP form
“I think he is a true competitor, a great competitor, a guy who is going to go out there every week and give you his all. I think he’s very smart, in the game he knows what he sees on defense, and he does a good job of moving guys on defense and throwing what he wants to throw.”

On why it's difficult to get pressure on Manning
“I think he does do a good job at getting rid of the ball fast. They run a lot of timing routes so it is kind of hard to get the pressure on him, but our defensive line does a great job and they’re dogs up front, savages, and I think they will get to him.”

On TE Julius Thomas
“He’s just an athletic tight end, another athletic tight end with good hands. That’s pretty much what impresses me about him just being an athletic tight end, a big athletic tight end with hands. I think he’s pretty similar to Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis. Very similar.”

WIDE RECEIVER PERCY HARVIN

On if he feels good
“Absolutely. I feel good. It was good to get back out there with my guys. I don’t think anybody is not feeling good going up to the most prized possession in our profession, the Super Bowl. Everybody is feeling good, we had a good first couple of days of practice and we’re looking forward to competing.”

On having a chance to play in the Super Bowl after a 'roller-coaster' season
“Like you said it’s been a roller coaster, but it’s all been a blessing. I wouldn’t take anything back that has happened this year. It’s made me a stronger person. Like I said it’s definitely been frustrating for a lot of people, not only myself, but for my teammates Doug Baldwin and some of the guys that play my position coming in and out, not knowing when I’m going to be at practice. So it was definitely frustrating, but like I said it’s all over with now and we get a chance to play for the Super Bowl, so that’s all in the past.”

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DAN QUINN

On what sets Manning apart
“I think sometimes there are all sorts of attributes with the quarterbacks, and one of the things that comes to mind with them is the mental quickness of where do I go with the ball and where do I put it. Some guys are mobile quarterbacks, and some guys have the arm strength to try the deep ball, other guys the mental quickness, so for him there are a lot of those things that factor in. I think that’s one of the ones in term of his experience, his knowledge of the game, knowing where to go with the ball. That’s one of the things that jumps out most to us on tape.”

On whether his defense should ignore some of the calls Manning makes at the line
“Yeah that’s important, and certainly for us, we have a real style about how we play. So for us we really have to focus on how we play our style and our football. For us we certainly know that part of those are checks, and part of those that are dummy calls at the line of scrimmage. Like I said we have a real style about how we play and how we like to play our game. So for us it’s more about how we play really than the checks and the information that they’re doing on the other side.”

On trying not to give away coverages to Manning
“That’s one of the things that you have to work through in practice to make sure what your look is, and as we go through that was important for us as we went into the playoffs. What were some of our tells as we went through our own self scout. That was one of the advantages of having that time right at the end of the regular season prior to going into the post season where we had a chance to go back and look at some of the things that we do, things that we do well, and what are some of our own alerts. That was an important time for us to get ready, not just for this game, but the games that lead up to it.”

On the challenges of a no-huddle offense
“I think just the communication and it’s one of the things that when you start as a defense you have to start all the way back from the beginning you know, in terms of the importance of the communication from coaches to players, and then on the field players to players. I guess you can say it enhances at times the communication that you have in terms of how fast they want to play, or is it a no huddle where they are calling stuff at the line of scrimmage. So really it’s the communication part that is the biggest factor.”

On whether the no-huddle makes it difficult as certain players might be stuck on the field for a full drive
“Not necessarily because they feature mostly one group so for us it’s not where some other clubs may play two, three, four or five different personnel groups with these guys, that’s not generally the case. Not necessarily the matchups, just really the communication and allowing us to play at our style and playing fast and physical.”

On if there is much to take away from the Denver-Seattle preseason game
“No, maybe just the style of player that you went against. So for the players when they’re looking at tape and watching and thinking how did I play against this player, and what are some of the tips that that specific player may have. There is so much film that we both have on each other that there’s plenty for us to go through over the last few days. That’s been as valuable as anything.”

On whether a great defense can win the Super Bowl over a great offense
“I think number one, there are some terrific offenses out there that the high scoring offenses that we see in a week in and week out basis, there are some really talented and featured players. It’s a real challenge for us each week and sometimes it’s different types of people. It might be a running back, or a quarterback, or a tight end, or their feature receiver. These guys have a number of them so we certainly have our hands full. We certainly have a whole style that our whole team plays like, and we feel like we’re a physical and tough team, not just from a defensive standpoint, but really the collective whole group. That’s something that is important to us and we have a real style about how we play and we like that.”

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR DARRELL BEVELL

On if he thinks Seattle's wide receivers are underrated
“I think you should just ask them that. I think they’re willing to tell you. Probably the best thing that I can say about all of our wide receivers is that they’re football players. I think that really sums it up because we ask them to do a lot of stuff, whether they’re returning kicks, whether they’re gunners on special teams, whether they’re catching balls for us, whether they’re blocking. Doug would tell you that he’s playing tackle as you saw on one of our backed up plays, he’s down there blocking Aldon Smith. So we really ask a lot of those guys and they really don’t flinch, they don’t blink, they just do whatever is asked of them. When they need to come up with a big play, they come up with a big play, if they have to block they’ll do that, it’s just really a great bunch of guys to work with.”

On Manning
“I mean he does a fabulous job. I’ve never been around him, I never been in the same room or offense in what they’re asking him to do, how much of it’s real, how much of the gyrations that he’s doing is to throw you off, but I know he puts a lot on his plate and he wants to be able to get the perfect play. It’s a lot, it’s a lot to be able to manage all of that in all of the situations, all of the environments that you go to, and there is kind of a fine line of how much you’re able to put on certain guys. It’s not necessarily him; it’s the other guys around him. How much you can allow them to be put on them to make the adjustments and the things on the fly that he’s going to ask them to do.”

On how much Wilson’s personality can help him in a game of this magnitude
“Yeah I think it’s going to be critical to really manage your emotions. I haven’t been in this game before, talked to a lot of people that have and just all the things go on, whether how long you’re going to be out there in pre-game, you don’t want to be running up and down the field getting warmed up and there’s still 30 minutes before the game starts. Half time is going to be extra-long and you’ve got to be able to manage that in there and not screaming and throwing stuff around the locker room and getting excited and then you still got 20 more minutes before you go out. So all those things are going to come into play and he’ll be able to manage those because of his mentality.”

WIDE RECEIVER DOUG BALDWIN

On if he sees the game as the Broncos defense versus the Seahawks offense
“Well I mean I play offense so I have to look at it that way. Our mentality is that we want to run the ball obviously, dictate the pace of the game and the ground game and then make our big plays on the outside when we get our opportunities to. So for me, I can’t really talk about what our defense is going to do. Obviously, they’ve been dominant for the majority of the year. So they’re going to do their thing. Offensively, we have to take advantage of our opportunities and score points when we can.”

On if he learned anything from the Denver-Seattle preseason game
“I mean it’s nice to look at on tape just to have a baseline, but so much goes on in the 17 weeks during the season, that it’s kind of hard to just look at that film and digest anything. The games that I’ll be looking at are the most recent games. Obviously the New England game and the last regular season games because those are the games that are going to mean more son than the preseason game.”

On what allows Wilson to make big plays in critical moments
“I think he has great guys around him to be honest with you. I mean Russell Wilson, don’t get me wrong, has amazing talent, but let’s not take away from the guys that he has around. He probably has the best running back in the NFL behind him, one of the best blocking fullbacks that’s in front of Marshawn [Lynch], offensive line, although has taken a lot of criticism throughout the season, has done a fantastic job of keeping him up and giving him opportunities to make plays and then we’ll talk about the receivers another time.”

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