SEA Post-Game Quotes
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening…) Well, this is a real complete win for us today. Across the board, all phases worked well. Everybody got to play. It was really fun to see our guys get a chance to get out there, get some real play time. Real solid performance across the board, in all areas. Third downs were good, Red zone was good. You saw another day with the defense coming out here. It’s getting going now. It’s pretty clear that we’ve made a big turn. That was a dominating day today. Those guys put on yards and stuff on everybody, and we just didn’t let them today. I think a big day by Russ; Russ was on it, completed everything, and four big touchdowns, and we got him out of there in the fourth quarter, which is great. That’s rare. Just think about the few times we’ve ever done that. It was good that Geno got a chance to get on the field. To go back to the defensive side, there are a lot of guys that are really playing like crazy together, and you can see it happening. Just throw the weeks together. A few sacks again today, good pass defense, really should have had four turnovers today, we really had the ball in our hands. I’m just really fired up that at this time of year, we’re playing our best football. It’s going to make a difference. If we’re going to have a chance to do something special this year, it’s going to be because the defense has really turned it around and put us in this kind of position. We know that we can score points, we know we can do that on offense, but to put this together like this is really a big to us. So, pleased to get that done. Oh, and let me mention, too. We don’t give game balls around here, we just haven’t done that, we do other things, but we don’t do that. But today, with the record that Jamal Adams for being the all-time, ever, sacker as a defensive back, it was just worthy of a game ball to commemorate it. What a fantastic football player. He’s just an incredible player. And he’s not done yet, he’s going to get some more numbers before the season is over. There is a little emotional side of it, too, because it’s against the Jets and the team he played for. It’s not a big deal, but there’s something when you play for another club and all that, there’s something special. I know I feel it all the time, too. I’m really proud for him, and happy for him, and the first thing he did was thank everybody, and give credit to everybody around him, which is the humble guy that he’s been ever since he’s got here. So, really pleased about that.
(On how confident he is that the team can execute like this against a team better than the Jets…) Obviously, they’re struggling. The statement that you make there; if you respect the process that you go through and you focus and you do your work, it doesn’t matter who you play, and we’ve talked like that all the time, and if you play a team that’s struggling, you should beat them handily. We were able to do that today, and that’s a statement about everybody connected, everybody tuned in. I’m really pleased to get that done. Will we do it again? I don’t know. We’ll see. We’re playing good defense, though, and roaring it. That gives us a chance.
(On what are the other things they do, since they don’t give out game balls…) We recognize guys in our meetings, and stuff like that. We’ve always done things like that.
(On how important it is that the defense has made such big strides…) I think it’s a big deal. I really do. We’ll find out. We have to ride it out and see what happens here. We did it without Carlos (Dunlap II) today. He needed another week to get his foot ready and all that. And he’s been a big part of it, so I liked that other guys could respond in his place. But, I think it’s really significant, but it’s only as significant as the next week, when we go out and play again. We’re going out to D.C., and we have to figure out how to do it over there.
(On the ankle injury to Brandon Shell…) He tweaked it a couple times, and it was just one too many times. It was really studly of him just to go out and play, so it’s going to be a touch and go week. I don’t know what’s going to happen this weekend, next weekend coming up. But I was really proud of him. He really wanted to play in this game. He has a smile on his face today, but he’s going to be pretty sore tomorrow.
(On nine-straight years with a winning record…) Well, not worthy of a game ball, obviously (laughs). But, it’s a good thing. There’s nothing I love more than consistently being on it. To me, that’s where I take the most pride in my work, that we can show that we can come back year after year after year and do good stuff. So, that’s a good marker. We have three big opportunities coming up.
(On having more quick passes today…) Not knowing what Frank Bush was going to do, we wanted to make sure that we got the ball out of Russ’s hands, as they unveiled the plan, and just stay with the quick rhythm stuff, which is always good ball, and Russ is great at quick rhythm stuff. We just took advantage of it today.
(On DK Metcalf’s celebration after his touchdown…) You know, I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it, but I hope it was worthy of a penalty. But, I don’t know about that.
(On taking Russell Wilson out before the end of the game…) I told Geno, early in the second half to get ready, we’re going to try to get you out there. So, it was already in my mind. But, really, we don’t have a format for doing that. We just haven’t done it, in the last 10 years, very many times. We had some backup guys going in up front, so it was time to go ahead and make the switch. Russ was great about it, and Geno was thrilled to have a chance to play, as all the guys were. Geno’s a good ball player, we just don’t get to look at him. It’s really important to get those snaps, so I’m thrilled that we got to do that. I’m so happy for the fellows.
(On Russell Wilson bouncing back, and what he liked best about Wilson’s performance today…) Russ is a great competitor. He’s a world class competitor. He’s going to bounce back, even when you thought he played a great game, because he’s so tough on himself. So, I’m not surprised by it. I’m glad that he had a really great game today, moving forward. We really are kicking into this fourth quarter thing here. We want to play great football right now, as we finish the season off. He needs to do his part, just like everybody does. I’m really glad that he was able to have a day like that.
(On what is most reassuring about the defense…) First off, there’s real consistency happening here. Scheme-wise, how we’re placing our guys, and what we’re asking them to do. Our guys are really on their game, and you can see it. I told you a few weeks ago, that we took a step forward in terms of accountability and awareness and just really embracing what we’re asking them to do with the principles and all. That in itself gives us a chance to make the adjustments that we have to make to stay in the game, to fix things as we mean to fix them, and meanwhile, play really hard and aggressive and tough at the line of scrimmage. I know we had a bad week last week with the numbers in the running game, but our rush defense is the best it’s been all season. And our pass rush is the best it’s been all season. So, it just fits that other things are going to happen. It’s a shame, we had four turnovers today in our hands, and we came up with one. That would have been a day that we really would have been talking about. They come in bunches, you know. It was because of the pressure. It was because of the pass rush and the heat and the pressuring and all that. I think Kenny’s doing a fantastic job of mixing stuff, putting guys in the right positions, using the right guys. Bobby was a real factor today. Jamal again, a factor. He’s finding a way to mix these guys, and really put them in at their strengths. K.J. had some really good plays today, on the edge, as he’s been playing. It’s all of that, really. I think it adds up. Go back to the consistency, that’s really crucial.
(On whether things were all so new at the start of the season…) We hadn’t settled in with our players. It just didn’t feel like it. I do think it had to do with the offseason. I do think it had to do with camp. I think it had to do with new guys, and it had to do with unique new guys that bring special skills and we had to figure them out. Then, they were in and out of the lineup, and there just wasn’t the continuity that we needed. As soon as we started coming back with the same guys, you could see it happening.
We could see the potential of it, we kept talking to you about the potential of it. We just needed the time. Look at the scores around the league again. The scores were down. There were some big games to be played on defense again. There’s a turn happening around the league. It took us all a long time. We’re no different than some of the other teams.
(On whether Wilson’s quicker release was about technique or play calling…) It’s the style of the plays. It’s not Russell throwing the ball quicker. It’s what we’re asking him to do, there’s a lot more quick game involved and it calls for the ball to get out right now. But, Russ can do everything. So, it’s not a question, so we finally told him how to get the ball out. It’s not like that. It’s just play selection, style and stuff that really fit the game plan, and worked out great. Remember, this was a game where we didn’t know what they were going to do. They could have done anything with this game plan. They could have played man-to-man the whole time, or played 3-deep or 2-deep. They did their stuff, and as they did it, our coaches unveiled it and figured it out, and away we went. I thought that was a really good job by Shotty and the guys on offense.
(On whether Jamal Adams got a game ball…) He did get a game back. I can’t even remember giving a game ball out, except maybe to Paul Allen or something like that. I can’t remember. It was a unique time. I thought when the all-time, ever, record was set today. To me, that’s big time.
(On what quarter did he feel like he had the game won today…) Somewhere in there, you saw us starting to substitute. I don’t know why you’re asking that question. But, somewhere we started to substitute, I think right around the end of the third quarter, we felt we had enough room, we could get some guys out of there, give some guys a chance to play and all that.
(On the overall play of Jamal Adams…) The plays that went in his area, where he had a chance to make the plays, he was pretty much on it. He’s been very consistent the last three or four weeks. He’s really gained command of what we’re asking him to do. And there’s a lot to it, what he does. But they fit up the runs, they rushed for 60 yards, so everybody did well. They ran the ball to the tight end side quite a bit where he was, so he did a good job today.
(On the impact of Damon Harrison on the run defense…) What we’re asking Snacks to do, he’s playing on the center and really reading the center and playing right in there in the middle, is exactly the best thing that he can do. It happens to fit the scheme really well. So, he’s really a good fit for that. If he wasn’t doing it, Bryan Mone was doing it early for us, and sharing time with Poona Ford. So, there’s a lot of things happening. I told you about Carlos Dunlap fitting the defense. It fits really well. It fits the nose tackle really well. Look how well K.J. fits playing outside on the edge for us now. Jamal and all that. So, there’s a lot of really good things that Kenny and the fellows have done on defense to make it come together, to highlight the special qualities that the guys have. That always helps you, and it helps you play consistent, too.
(On the play of the running backs…) They run so hard. I love the way our guys run. Both, early in the game, when Chris was going and Carlos was going, they rip at the line of scrimmage, and that is exactly the message that we want to send. It’s the style that we want to play with. I’m in heaven. I love it. This is the way we like to ball. 170-something for the day, and throwing it off it and all that. That’s Seahawks football.
(On the challenge of a player like Jamal Adams playing against his old team…) I’m glad you brought it up, because I hadn’t said anything about it. All week long, he was poised and had everything in command. He brought it to last night’s meeting, he brought it to the game today. And his performance showed that. He played like a real star. He did not let any of whatever, it could have bubbled up, affect him in any way. He just was focused and had fun playing football. And of course it’s specially fun to beat your old team. That’s just the facts. But, he handled it really well; as good as you could have.
(On whether he has any empathy for a team that is 0-13, like the Jets…) I love this game, and I love coaches and I love players, and I hate to see anybody have to suffer through what that is. We all care so much. Those guys care just as much as we do about winning and playing and all that. It’s heartbreaking to play this game and have to suffer thought that kind of a year. It reminds me of the year after I got fired in New York. Rich can document that for you. It’s a terrible thing to have to endure. We had a horrible year up in Buffalo, years back, and it’s just such an ugly season. Because you just want to have fun, you want to enjoy the game, you want to do good things. I was aware of it during the week and going in. I mean, I was hoping we would play like that. But, during the game it was obvious, and it was just tough on them. It’s just hard to make it through it. So, I get it.
Q. Just after the offense had a few struggles the last couple weeks, how good does it feel to get back out and function at this level?
RUSSELL WILSON: I thought we were really on top of it. Our tempo was great. We were in and out of the huddle. We were making plays. Guys were getting — great job catching the football. DK had a great game. Swain made his touchdown. That was awesome. He’s been working extremely hard. D-Mo scoring his touchdown. Dissly getting back in the end zone. Obviously Chris Carson had an unbelievable day, and Carlos was running hard, too.
It’s just a great thing, a collective effort on offense. We all were doing our part. Also too as well the offensive line did a tremendous job of trying to slow those guys down. Their rush defense is really good, and also in our pass game they tried to do a lot of different covers, looks, different things, and we were all over it.
Q. You mentioned last week kind of when the offense and defense get going he at the same time you can be dangerous. Is that what this team can look like?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, felt like — I go back to 2012, that moment where we had some — where the offense and defense were really married up together. I think we went to Buffalo and then we came back home maybe against Arizona or something like that.
We just felt like we were all together, and there were so many other plays that we could’ve had we felt like on both sides. We stayed the course, we were ready, we were prepared, we took on the challenge, kept our heads down and just stayed focused on what we needed to do and execution, and was it a great day today.
Q. The receivers gave DK an all-expense trip for his birthday I guess. Were you in on that, too?
RUSSELL WILSON: No, it’s all the receivers. That was all the receivers. I’ve taken DK to Cabo, Mexico. I’ll give him another trip maybe one other day soon. That was all receivers.
Q. So what was it like just watching for the final quarter? Been a long time.
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, it was kind of crazy, because Austin, quarterback Coach Austin came up to me and said, ‘We’re going to let Geno go in,’ and then Coach Carroll came up as soon as that was happening, too.
It was, I don’t know, probably three minutes to go in the third, maybe even more. I don’t know. Still third quarter. So definitely rare. Geno deserves it. He’s worked extremely hard. He’s been a great friend, a great quarterback, and just great to have in the room. So much knowledge of the game and he’s just — I love him to death.
Like I said, he’s a great friend. He works so hard every day. He definitely deserves to get in there and make plays for us, and he did a really good job when he was in there.
Q. Two things. Did Brian let you call any plays in the fourth quarter like the pre-season in the past? And then it seemed like it was a more concerted effort with some shorter or quicker throws earlier in the game. How much of the game plan was that today?
RUSSELL WILSON: You know, to the play calling thing, I didn’t call any plays in the fourth. Schotty was calling those. He was on it all day. He had called a great game, coach Schotty did. He’s tremendous on his stuff and he was really ready for this week and really to roll. Had a great week of prep.
In terms our game plan, we knew that obviously with maybe new defensive coordinator everything else we knew they were gone do a lot of different things probably and we weren’t really sure what they were going to stick to. Sure enough, they did everything. They blitzed, they rolled coverages, they played two, they played three, they played 33 Tampa Cloud, all these different coverages, man to man, pressured, and brought safety.
So they did a lot of different things, which we’re used to seeing and seeing teams that try to challenge coverages and stuff like that, so we were on top of it. I think we mixed up our game plan in terms of running and passing and throwing it quick and deep and throwing it in between.
We hit some really good things. I think Tyler had some key third down conversions. That was huge. We did a really good on third down.
To be able to do — I think we were 5 for 7 or something like that on third down early on. I think that was key, just to keep getting those first downs.
And then any time we get in the red zone, let’s light it up and run it, throw it, let’s score touchdowns. One of the things I always tell the guys, touchdowns only. Make sure we’re scoring touchdowns, and that was really key for us today.
Q. Was there any sort of mindset shift in this game, whether it’s tempo, trying to pour it on, or was it strictly an execution thing?
RUSSELL WILSON: Mind shift from what? What do you mean?
Q. Just in terms of mindset of trying to go more tempo, get to the line, move, keep things going, and then just keeping the foot on the gas so to speak?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, I think there was — what we wanted to do was stay on the gas. We wanted to keep the tempo in and out of the huddle. If you noticed I was going a little bit quicker and making sure we were getting all the plays. I was at the line of scrimmage calling plays.
I think that always helps us. I think we had an amazing two-minute drive, be too, right down the field. Those moments are really good for as a well. Really challenges the defense, especially when they want to be multiple and do all these different things. Really makes it difficult for them as well, more so than anything else.
We’ve got such great receivers and tight ends and running backs that it really makes it difficult for them. So I think the tempo thing was a concerted effort. Also too, as well, for us just to execute and do things right and be on it and be on it, make an all the right calls, everybody just be on time and on the money and just make our plays, and we did that for pretty much the whole night.
Q. You were maybe under a little more scrutiny this week after last week. Did you feel that and feel like you had to respond to that? How did you feel about your performance overall?
RUSSELL WILSON: I don’t really worry about the scrutiny. I think more than anything else it’s part of the job, right? When you want to be the best in the world, if you don’t have your best day, people are going to say you’re not the best in the world that day.
It’s part of the process. You just keep believing. You keep just striving for greatness, making the next shot, next moment, next game, next win.
Stay simple minded in that sense. I don’t get too high, get too low. I told you guys all the time I remain neutral. There will be a lot more great days than tough days. When we do have a tough day, there is a better day ahead.
I think that’s my whole thing around the neutral mindset part of it for me. I don’t waver. I know who I am, what kind of player I am, and the consistency that I bring, how much work and how many hours of film I spend on it.
I know how many times I get up early in the morning every day and all I do is think about the game and how we process. And so this is what I love to do. If anybody is a critic of anything, it’s me more than anything else.
I always want to be the best. You want make every play, every throw, every moment. It’s not going to always happen, but I’m going to move on to the next one.
I think that’s one of the things that I definitely do really good job of, is I’m not going to waver. I’m always going to move on to the next moment, next situation, next game, win or lose. And we’ve won a lot, so definitely know how to do that.
I don’t like losing, that’s for sure. I hate losing. But it’s part of the process sometimes, and I think it continues to build you up. So I think the big thing for us is — I’m not trying to get all biblical on you guys, but I was reading a scripture this morning, and Jesus says, Don’t be afraid; just believe.
To me it’s like one of those things that you can’t be afraid trying to be great in life. If you ever want to be successful, whatever you want to do, there will be some tough moments along the way, some things.
But just believe. So that’s just kind of been my mentality. I’m grateful that God has given me an opportunity to do it.
Q. The four touchdowns today you pass your own record for most in franchise history. What does that mean to you, if anything? And then on top of that, much how much can a game like this kind of re-springboard the offense from a confidence standpoint to get you guys back rolling again?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think our offense is feeling great about what we’re doing. We had a tough game last week obviously. We felt like we were getting in the groove. We played Arizona. We won against them. Played really well.
Went to the Eagles. We felt like we had some more touchdowns in there. We had probably three more touchdowns in that game, so that would have really catapulted us. And then obviously we had the tough one last week.
But like I said, we can’t get too high, too low. Obviously to be able to throw four touchdown passes and for us to run one, too, with Chris, that was huge for us, and just keep that momentum going.
We’re excited about where we are and where we’re headed. We got a tough game this upcoming week obviously with the Redskins and all that, so it’ll be a great matchup. I’ve got a lot of respect for them and I know Coach Ron Rivera is as good as it gets at the game.
So we know it’ll be a battle. We’re going enjoy this tonight, celebrate it, and we’re going to just be with our families and stuff like that, but I think it’s a great time just to stay focused on the mission. The mission is to win it all. There is no easy trip. No easy game. No easy moment. Every game is a championship game.
We’ll be prepared, ready, and we’ll keep going.
Q. Your longest completion was 20 yards, but you killed it on the intermediate routes. How much of that was design?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think they were playing for some of the deep routes. They were trying to cover all the deep stuff. So we just hit everything intermediate and stuff like that, and that’s what we can do. We can do it all. We can hit the short stuff, we can hit the intermediate game, the long game. We almost had that long one down the sideline with D-Mo. He’s going to catch that next time, and we know that.
So those are great things for us. I think we were so good in the running game and so good more so in the red zone than anything else with the football. I think that was really huge for us today, so exciting night for sure.
Q. What was most assuring about today for all that you guys accomplished coming off last week? What do you take going forward.
RUSSELL WILSON: I think the best thing we can take is our mindset, being neutral and not being too high, too low. The second thing is I would say just believe. We know who we were, what we’re capable of being. We know what we can do. We’re getting better.
Sometimes it doesn’t always feel like that along the way. I think back to all the years we’ve played here. I’ve been here for a long time, and there are some moments in there that sometimes you’re like, Dang, how did we lose that game, that moment?
But it catapults you the next moment and gets you ready for the next thing, and so I think for us, the best thing we can do is stay high in our energy. It’s tough. We don’t have the fans. We don’t get to feel them as much as normal. We don’t get to see people in the street as much when we drive around the city or whatever it may be.
As athletes we feed off that too a little bit. So it’s keeping everybody staying focused on the mission, staying healthy, and then also preparing to be the best in the world.
There is a lot of great teams and things that we’re trying to do and it’s not an easy mission. I think the things we can take is we’re always responsive. Always responsive along the journey, and I think that’s because of our mindset.
Q. You touched on it, but what was working so well for the run game today?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think that we were hitting the downhill runs. We were able to get first downs. Our running backs were physical. Offensive line did a great job. All five guys up front did a great job keeping positive runs going.
Key is not having any negative runs along the way, right? You don’t want to have minus two, minus three, or minus one yard runs. We kept getting three, four, and that’s a key part in the running game. It really helps us out, so I think that was a key part along the way.
Q. You guys obviously got win No. 9 today. With that victory you’re now the first quarterback in history to get a winning — to have a winning record in each of your first nine seasons. What does it mean to you accomplishing that, like just that reputation you’ve established?
RUSSELL WILSON: I think it means everything. I think the whole purpose of why we play, why I wake up and play this game is to win, get up and help our team win. I think that super important. I think that’s the No. 1 important record. That and Super Bowls. We want to win Super Bowls, too.
So I think I’m grateful. Obviously having great teammates along the way, I think putting the work in. You know, I love this game. I spend so many hours. If people only knew how many hours I spend on it. It’s fascinating. How many hours I spend on just taking care of my body so I’m available every game and prepare with my performance team or how much film I got to watch and how many things you got to do.
It doesn’t just happen. Nothing happens by accident. So the mentality you got to bring every day, in the offseason, on the field, when it is going your way, when it’s not going your way, it’s critical. It’s critical to success. I think for me, remaining neutral, remaining believing in who am and what I can do, and being available. That’s a key part of it. To be able to play every game is a really important thing. You don’t take that for granted.
I thank God every day. At the end of the day for me, I thank God that he’s given me this opportunity to play this game, the game I love in a great city with amazing fans and great teammates. It’s a blessing for sure. So I feel like it’s just the beginning.
So got to keep going.
Q. Thank you.
RUSSELL WILSON: Thank you, guys. Go, Hawks.
(On what’s clicked recently for the defense…) These last few weeks have been excellent. We’ve just been playing really good team ball, the communication is on point, eliminating explosive plays has been on point and we’ve been playing together. I just love the way that we have our Saturday night meetings where we all just talk about our assignments and what’s expected of your position when the play is called. It’s looking really good and we just need to continue it. It’s going to be important down this last stretch into the playoffs and we just need to keep this chemistry going.
(On the extra defensive meeting where they go over assignments starting during the Arizona game and continuing it each week after that…) I believe it’s that when you hear guys talk, you hear guys understand what’s expected of them, it just starts to build a connection, it just builds the chemistry. I personally love it; I think the guys love it. You can feel the energy start to connect with one another the night before the game. It’s definitely showing up on Sundays. When you get three points, that looks really good. We have to keep it going, we have Washington next week so we need to finish strong.
(On how much Poona Ford owes him for breaking up his interception…) When it first happened, I was like I messed Poona up. When I looked at the replay, it was kind of like we were both there at the same time so I don’t feel as bad as I did during the game. It was two guys going for the ball and Poona was like you caught me, that would’ve been my first interception. Next week, we need to make sure we get one for him.
(On how the team responded after the loss last week…) Whether you win or lose, you just need to make sure you respond. This team, we know how to handle losses, we know how to handle wins. We got back to to the drawing board, nobody got to pointing fingers or blaming one another. We bounced back and we bounced back against a Jets team. Whether you win or lose, you have to make sure you stay consistent, understand that you need to keep the same process and just got to finish.
(On the defense playing more consistent in recent weeks…) It’s something that we preach every drive when we go out there, every play we’re out there communicating. Consistent teams, they tend to separate themselves in December. So we need to keep it going, this team is full of great leadership, this team is hungry and we’re clicking at the right time. Perfect timing, we just need to make sure we keep it going as we head into these playoffs.
(On playing with Jamal Adams and how unique he is with how many sacks he gets…) It’s impressive. He got the game ball after the game and to break an NFL record that’s never been done before with three games left, it’s amazing to be by his side and to play with him. He’s a guy that works his tail off and I’m so glad that he’s on our team. He’s just getting started and I’m extremely happy for him.
(On breaking the defensive back sack record and earning the game ball…) It’s a pretty cool feeling when you put your mind to something because I told myself and I told everybody last year when I did fail with 6.5 sacks and I got hurt, I told everybody that I was going to break the record. Some people thought I was crazy, some people believed in me. But the only thing that mattered is that I believed in myself. I knew that I was going to break the record. Without my teammates and without the coaches, nothing would have been possible. All my thanks goes to the man above because I’ve been through a lot this year with the trade and injuries, a lot of negative talk about me, but at the end of the day, I have an outstanding, outstanding team, outstanding group of teammates, outstanding group of coaches, PR, everybody. Everybody is just supporting me. On my bad days, they’re lifting me up [and] vice versa, whatever the case may be. It’s just one big family. All glory goes to God and my teammates and the organization.
(On what it means for him to get a game ball since the team doesn’t normally hand out game balls…) That was pretty cool just to receive that. But again, that just shows the class of this organization and how much they support me and vice versa. We’re all in it together. When someone does or achieves something pretty big, makes history, we always show love to that person. We play this game that we love and it’s not always promised. We don’t know when our last game or play is going to be. It’s a short window so we have to maximize every opportunity that we get when we’re on the field. That goes to show, dropping a pick, golly, I suck. That was horrible. You have to capitalize on the opportunities when they come.
(On if today was everything that he expected playing against his former team…) Yeah. Throughout the whole week just leading up to it, I wanted to stay very calm. I didn’t want to express too many feelings and whatnot. When I woke up this morning, I was so excited. Honestly, I want to say it was Saturday, right before I had to go to the hotel to check in, I saw the guys. It was Friday, I’m sorry. I saw the guys from my building pulling in on the buses and they were staying at the Marriott and a couple of the guys hit me up and whatnot. I was really excited to see those guys because when you get drafted, you don’t take that for granted. I’ve always prided myself on my work ethic and the sacrifice that I always give. Just to know that those guys took a chance on me and drafted me as a top 10 pick and giving me a chance and believing in me, I don’t take that for granted. And I’ll never take that away from them. So I appreciate the Jets organization for taking a chance on me and I’ll never forget the memories that I did have. Seeing those guys, seeing the coaches…seeing so many guys, it just brings back a lot of memories. Because I do miss those guys. This is bigger than football. It goes back to relationships. That’s the special thing and the beautiful thing about the game of football.
(On turning the defense around after giving up historic numbers to begin the season…) Throughout the whole year, we knew that we had talent. And we knew that we just needed to put it together. We had to communicate, we have to execute as a team, as a unit I should say. We knew that once we did that, we could be special. And we’re only getting better. As long as we continue to practice our tails off and continue to listen to coaching, continue to feed off of one another, bring the energy, bring the juice, play with confidence, play with swagger, we can be really, really special. And I think we’re hitting our stride at the right time.
(On what the moment was like for him to see Jets Head Coach Adam Gase after the game…) He told me to go get one. He was talking about a Super Bowl. A lot of the guys came up to us and I don’t want to blow our guys’ heads up or myself, which I’m not, but they were just saying that we have a great team. And we’ve always believed in that. But he just congratulated me, wished me well, told me to stay healthy. It’s pretty cool. At the end of the day, I don’t have any hate towards, not even just Gase, to the organization. Everybody just has different views and we had to move different. We had to take a different leap. Obviously the trade happened and I’m happy to be here. I wish those guys nothing but the best, I really do. I mean that, I know a lot of the Jets fans don’t really think I’m coming from the heart but I really am. I’m thankful for my time over there because I don’t take it for granted. Those guys helped me in so many ways, [Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach] Dennard Wilson, I give my credit to him in so many ways helping me become the player I am today. Playing with [safety] Marcus Maye, I’m not happy that he got a pick out there, but when I saw him make the pick, I definitely saluted him because that’s my guy. There’s so many guys over there that I could name. Hats off to them, those guys have to keep battling and eventually they’ll figure it out. It’s nothing but love from my way.
(On how he feels about the Jets being 0-13 with the possibility of having a winless season) “It’s tough man. I would be lying to you if I told you I didn’t sit on that sideline and shook my head because I know how hard those guys work, I’ve been with them for three years. Every day at practice, every day in the weight room, workouts, on the field, I know what type of team that is. I know what type of guys they have over there, and it’s a lot of frustration obviously. I hope they get it right. I know pretty much everybody over there is pretty frustrated but, you’ve just got to keep going man. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. As long as you put your faith in God you’ll figure it out. As long as you put your faith in God, he’s going to walk life with you. The storm is never going to last. I do feel for those guys over there because I know how hard they work.”
(On the improvement of guys holding themselves accountable on defense and if it’s attributed to the defensive meetings) “Absolutely. Guys just don’t want to be the one, you don’t want to be the guy that’s making a mistake. I’m not going to say his name but, there was one play in particular that I remember from the game. He got so mad at himself because he didn’t do something right and a play happened. I told him, ‘it’s ok.’ Guys just don’t want to be that guy. They don’t want to be the guy that lets the team down. That shows the character, that shows the accountability. We just want to hold ourselves to a different standard because we have a lot of talent and we just want to put it all together and display it.”
(On what he sees from the defense that gives confidence on going up against teams who are better than the Jets) “It’s just the confidence. It’s the confidence, the swagger, the execution, the accountability that we talked about. You’ve just got to know when you step on the field that you’re prepared. As long as you’re prepared through the week, you understand when you go out there, you know what you’re going to put out there, what you’re going to put on film, because you’re film speaks for itself. As long as we keep doing what we’re doing -which I know we will because we have a lot of leaders on this team that are going to hold everybody accountable. We just want to be great. We’re shooting for one goal and obviously everybody knows what that goal is. It’s one step at a time, it’s one week at a time, it’s one game at a time. We don’t take opponents lightly. Each week is the same, we prepare the same. We just have to go out there and execute and we have enough talent to do that.”
(On when he realized he had the sack record) “I did not know, I did not know. That’s the crazy part. I’ll be honest, I was going to do the Warren Sapp dance when I broke the record. All I heard was Pete [Carroll] on the sideline when I chased Sam down. He said, ‘that’s a sack, that’s a sack, that’s a sack.’ I was like, ‘alright, next play.’ Then I came to the sideline and realized ‘oh okay, I really did break the record,’ not really my ideal way of how I wanted to break it but, God is good, God is so good. I’ve faced so many obstacles and I’ve failed so many times. When you fail, you realize that you needed that for the perseverance and you needed that for faith and I’ve gained that. My faith is only getting stronger, without him I am nothing. Those plays I make on the field, that’s all the glory to God. I’m just out there to give it all back to him because he’s blessed me in so many ways.”
(On what he plans to do with the game ball) “It’s going back home man. The game ball is definitely going back home to Dallas, I have the perfect spot for it. I kept my cleats, I kept my jersey, I kept my pants, all of that. I’m excited. It really hasn’t hit me yet that I broke the record but, really I’m trying to shatter it to be real with you. This is just a start, it’s not the finish. The marathon continues.”