Featuring postgame quotes from the following:
Head Coach Zac Taylor
What was going through your mind the final three minutes of that game?
"We have a lot of faith in our defense, especially when they have to go out there — we put them out there in tough spots. To have those four low red (zone) stops that they had, they held them to a field goal, two turnovers on downs and a turnover. Exceptional job by our defense. They give you a lot of confidence. It's a stressful situation. Seattle has a great team. They did a great job in some plays, moving the ball down there. But at the end day, we just have tremendous confidence that our defense is going to figure it out and they did. And they had a huge stop there at the end."
What can you say about Cam Taylor-Britt's game?
"We have a tremendous group of defenders. First of all, our DBs have really stepped up. And Chido (Awuzie) always has been a big force there. Mike Hilton, Cam Taylor-Britt have really come on this last year. DJ Turner II has really stood up as well. I'm really proud of Cam (Taylor-Britt). He has great, great ball skills, tremendous ball skills. When the ball is in his area, he usually has a great chance to go get that thing, and I'm so happy that he did."
What was the difference near the goal line for your defense today? What do you think was the game changer?
"Just because a team gets in there at the three-yard line, it's not, 'Oh here we go, it's seven points.' I really think our defense believes, worst case (scenario) we're holding them to three here. In best case (scenario), we're getting the ball out. Going back to that New England game last year, you always feel like these guys have such an attitude to find a way to get that ball out and not just be satisfied giving up any points. It's turnover on downs and it's get the ball out. And I feel that. We didn't strip it out or anything, but we tried. I saw a lot of good plucks at the ball there and I'm just really proud of the job that our defense did. They stepped up big time."
What do you think was the overarching theme as to why offensively you guys weren't able to be as productive?
"That a really good question. We'll have to watch it and see because (we) felt like we had some opportunities. (We) felt that we weren't in a great flow, but it's really hard for me to put my thumb on it and I'll have to check it out. And the good news is we found a way to (win). I walked off the field and I had I texted Steve Specht yesterday, the St. (Xavier) coach. They had a win on the road and that's a great job. He said it's better to win ugly than to lose pretty. And that was the first thing that hit me when I walked off the field today. At times it felt ugly, especially on offense. But again, our defense stepped up and made some big plays for us. It allowed us to get out of there."
How big is it mentally being .500?
"It's good. It's like I said, we kind of stubbed our toe starting this race off. And we're going to continue to pick up steam. And again, there's days where our defense is going to lead the charge and lead us to victory. There's times where the offense is going to reciprocate that. There's times special teams can take over. I think good teams just find ways to do it. And right now, we're at that 3-3 mark going into a bye. We get a chance to get healthy and then hit the surge after the bye (week) starting with San Francisco."
One of the things after last year was getting a more disruptive pass rush to get key sacks and key rushes ...
"We have a lot of guys, and it starts with the starters, up front and then those guys coming off the bench. I saw Cam Sample going in there today. So, it's good and that's why we've drafted the way we have. It's always good to have reinforcements in there. But our starting group is just as good as any in the league. And so, again, a lot of credit to those guys up front and in the back end supporting them and making some big plays today."
The defense as a whole — first five weeks not quite at the level it was at last season. Did you see something or feel something today that was different from the group as a whole?
"No, no. I thought that they did a good job. And again, we are similar to last week. We did a better job on offense, starting strong and getting some points that we can play with a lead. That's the difference from those first couple of weeks. So, again, we certainly want to score more than 17 points. We should score more than 17 points. But that makes a big difference because then you can you play your style of game still and not put as much pressure on those guys."
I feel like in some ways that today's game was a lot like that playoff game against the Raiders where defense and special teams really just saved the day ...
"Sure. We'll take it. Again, any way we can find a win, we're going to do it and we're going to be happy about it. And that doesn't mean that there's not a lot we can improve on offense. I'm sure there's going to be some things that we're going to improve on defense as well. But it's a lot easier to make those improvements after you win."
Was there a game ball given to a defensive player?
"Yeah, the whole defense. The whole defense. I was happy (Andrei Iosivas) got his first touchdown, but the whole defense really stepped up and Cam (Taylor-Britt) with the turnover and Mike (Hilton) with the turnover and it's good to see."
What led to the fast start on offense?
"I don't know. We just have to get that first down, and then you feel like, here we go. We have a good rhythm there. We had some good catch and runs. We had the free play at the end of the first quarter, where we got them to jump and take the shot to Ja'Marr (Chase). So, I just think we were really efficient on first and second down, kept ourselves in some really manageable situations and were able to finish off in the red zone. We felt like we had a good red zone plan this week and only got two opportunities down there and were able to capitalize on them."
You mentioned the Andrei Iosivas touchdown. Did you send Joe Burrow to get that ball?
"I did not. No, that was Joe. I didn't."
When you win ugly, does that help at a later point in the season like closer to playoff time?
"The wins and losses, to be honest with you, we draw from all of them equally. I think we've just got a lot of confidence as a team that we'll figure out a way at the end to close it out. And this was one of those games. We had a good lead. The whole game had a lead, and the defense was able close it out for us."
With both draft picks and free agents, why is it so important to invest as much as you have in the defensive line?
"This game starts in the trenches, on the offensive and defensive line. So, you can say the same thing on both sides, really. And if you don't have strength up there on the offensive and defensive line, it makes everyone's job really tough. And we're very fortunate that we've done a good job, investing in our defensive line, and our offensive line."
What happened with Orlando Brown Jr. today?
"I think it's his groin. So, we'll see if the bye week comes at a good time, and we'll see where it goes from there. I'm not sure of the total severity of it."
The splits with DJ Turner II and Chidobe Awuzie, was that kind of a wait and see thing or was that was Chido's back giving some problems today?
"It's tough. Chido just managed through the week. He repped as much as he could. And so, then it's still unknown. It's still bothersome. He really played through something today. As did Tee (Higgins). To both those guys, I'm appreciative of what they decided to do for us. A lot of guys could have just said, 'No, I'm going to wait through the bye week,' and Chido and Tee are two of our most competitive guys we've got. And so really, really thankful we've got guys like that that that helped contribute to the win."
QB Joe Burrow
Was that the perfect example of complementary football?
"Yes, our defense stepped up big in the second half. Offense was really good in the first half; we were horrible in the second half. So, we just have to be able to put together a complete game."
What changed after those first two drives?
"We'll watch the tape and see."
What was your confidence in the defense it was trying to keep Seattle from scoring inside the 10-yard line?
"I know they were going to make a play, but at the same time, I knew we had opportunities on offense to put it away and we didn't."
Last week you were able to improve the passing game, and you carried that over to the first half. Was it disappointing for you to not be able to carry the improved passing game through to the second half?
"Yes, there were definitely opportunities that we had that we didn't capitalize on, but we got the win. It's a lot easier to fix things when you're 3-3 than if you had lost this one. So, I'm never going to apologize for a win."
How big is it, given how you guys started, that you're heading into the bye week 3-3?
"The bye is coming at a good time — get some guys healthy, come back. We have a grind ahead of us, so we have to get better."
What was going right on the first couple of drives?
"We were making plays; we were executing at a high level. In the second half, we weren't."
Did Seattle do anything to change your rhythm? Did you feel a different tempo to the game starting in the second half?
"Yes, you have to give them credit. They made some adjustments that worked for them, and we didn't capitalize on our opportunities in the second half."
Would you say short-yardage situations is at the top of the list of things you need to fix in the second half of the season?
"One of many."
Overall, how would you evaluate the offense?
"[We're] not where we want to be – not where we want to be. We've had moments, but we just have to put it all together. So, we'll evaluate this week and go from them."
Did anyone give you a heads up to get the touchdown ball for Andrei Iosivas?
"No. I knew it was his first one though."
What kind of confidence do you have in this defense in a game like that. You're on the sideline and the game is on the line and they're on third and fourth down near the goal line. What's that like for you?
"Yes, like I said, I'm confident in their ability to get the job done, but I just kept reflecting on the moments that we had opportunities to put that game away when we didn't take advantage of."
Did you have words with Jamal Adams in the first half? Did you take exception to that hit?
"No, that was just two tigers talking. It wasn't anything crazy."
Joe Mixon said this week that everything is still ahead of this team. You guys are still right on track. Do you feel that way and feel good about where you are going into the bye?
"Yes, I feel good. Everything's ahead of us. This was a big win. Like I said, we have to get better though."
What did you think of Ja'Marr Chase's new chain?
"I didn't see it."
It's a 7/11 chain ...
"I like it then."
Is there a lot of conversation on the sideline, and more so when things aren't going well between you, Dan Pitcher and Zac Taylor even to try to get things right in the second half?
"I wouldn't say there's more. There's always dialogue going on, talking about what we're seeing, what we want, what we think can work. So, that's always going on."
Zac Taylor called this winning ugly. Does winning ugly help you, particularly later in the season?
"A win's a win. Like I said, I'll never apologize for a win. But win or loss, there's always room to improve."
Are you less happy or excited than you would be if it was the other way around and you played better in the second half?
"I've learned winning is too hard in this league to not appreciate wins. So, I'm going to enjoy it, but like I said, there's still a lot of room to improve and a lot of room to grow."
CB Cam Taylor-Britt
Two games, two picks. They seem to be adding up, no?
"Yeah, we've got to keep it going. It feels good."
How do you feel about being 3-3 after an 0-2 start going into the bye week? Does it feel like a fresh start?
"It's back to 0-0, how I look at it. I think that's how a lot of guys look at it. Like you said, it's a fresh start and we've got to come back after the bye and keep on our feet on a lot of people's necks because as you can see, it's not going to be easy like it wasn't today and we've got the (San Francisco) 49ers coming up right after the bye."
There were so many red zone plays where the defense got to Seahawks QB Geno Smith. When you're covering and you hear a roar from the crowd, do you realize that they were able to get to the quarterback?
"Yeah. It's actually crazy. I was guarding DK (Metcalf) on one of them — I think it was a back line route — and they threw the ball to him and it was altered because Sam (Hubbard) or Trey (Hendrickson) got back there. But I knew the ball got altered because I heard the crowd, so I looked and the ball was coming and I was like 'Oh!' But it does give me little tips here and there."
A lot of guys are waving their arms to get the crowd to make a lot of noise. Did that make a difference in the red zone?
"That was huge today, man. I can honestly say I couldn't hear a thing and I think that's great. I was just going to line up, get a signal and go and make the play. Communication was real hard out there towards the end of the game. But we live for those moments."
CB Mike Hilton
How do you see the defense helping to provide critical stops when the offense may be having difficulties at times?
"We know they lean on us and they know we lean on them. Some days, we have to pick them up and vice versa. It's a team game and we're just happy to go into the bye with a win."
How important is that for you guys to be back at .500? Is that kind of a reset?
"It's a whole reset. Some guys can get healthy and other guys have a week to take that mental and physical break and get ready for the back half of the season. Having a two-game win streak going into the bye is big."
Were you surprised that they threw that ball you intercepted? It looked like you were running the route with the receiver ...
"It was a route that I've seen on film a lot. They want to give him the ball on wheel-type routes and I knew that (play) was in the same area, so once I saw the formation, I was expecting it."
He ran a motion route, yes? Is that something that tipped you off?
"Yes, absolutely. They have certain formations with him in the backfield, but it's usually 16 (Tyler Lockett), so when you know 11 (Jaxon Smith-Njigba) is back there, something's up. I just made a play when I needed to."
So, that's a film study interception?
"Yes. Film study and the whole defense calling that out and alerting."
Why are you guys so good in the red zone? That won the game for you.
"We take pride in not letting guys in the end zone. We know with the offense we have, (if) we hold a team to 0-3 points (on a drive), our offense is going to put up some more. We just feel as if we keep guys out of the end zone, we'll win games."
WR Ja'Marr Chase
Why do you think the offense kind of sputtered a bit in the second half after starting so well today?
"In the second half, we kind of had some miscommunications sometimes, not just putting our head down and getting that extra yard (to) make it third-and-one. We have to fight for the extra yard sometime and make it first down."
Do you feel like it's a little disappointing — you got the win which is obviously most important — but a little disappointing after last week's offensive performance to have the one the team did today?
"It's not disappointing — we just hold ourselves to a standard and we've got to execute. As good of an offense as we have, we just have to stay on top of that and not have mental errors like we did today. I think we had a couple of those. I know I had one today. Simple things like that will take us a long way."
Did they make any defensive adjustments in the second half that stalled the offense?
"They came in and played their own new style of defense. They mixed it up a little bit.'
The first two drives couldn't have been much better though. Describe how those drives went ...
"That's how we always want to start. We start out fast, we start out quick and play physical. That's how we always get our wins."
You had a new accessory with the 7-Eleven logo necklace — that was a nice touch ...
"Yeah, shout out to 7-Eleven. They just sent me that the other day with all the hats and 'Always open' stuff. That was nice."
They saw your post on Twitter, the other day and sent you the necklace?
"The next day, yeah."
DE Sam Hubbard
You guys played complementary football today. When the offense had its first two possessions they scored and then the defense backed up the offense when they needed it. Was it a good sign to see complementary football like that?
"Yeah, definitely. We know there are going to be times when we're not playing our best and the offense is going to pick us up, and that's the beauty of being on a good team with good players. We have good people who want to play for each other, and it's fun being out there with those guys."
How big is it to get a win like this and head into the bye week at .500, climbing out of a hole?
"It's huge. It's what we needed, it's what we talked about and I'm happy we got it done. A lot of football left."
Talk about how you played today, including getting a big sack at the end.
"Just relentless, rushing all day. I was winning my matchups all day and finally he (Geno Smith) held the ball and lined up for me to get a sack. I was close all day with five QB hits but to get the sack at that moment of the game, it's special. I'm happy."
You had big play after big play late in the game. Talk about the effort by the defense.
"I just looked at the 11 guys on defense and nobody was batting an eye. Everybody's tired, everybody's battling, and it was just such a grind. Being out there with those dudes, I knew nobody was going to tap out and we were going to keep fighting."
C Ted Karras
It looked like the play in the red zone won the game today with those stops today ...
"Yeah, the defense won the football game. Let's give them a shout out. The story going into the bye week is our defense is elite like they've been for a long time. They won the game for us today. We did some good stuff in the first half, didn't get much going in the second. That's a good football team — a playoff football team coming into town. I'm really grateful to even up our record going into a week off. I'll say this as much as I can about the defense, it was an unbelievable performance by them. Their back is against the wall on the 10-yard line three times in a row to win the game. Three drives in a row, really, to win the game. That's unbelievable. We wanted to be able to do more for them. I thought we did a good job protecting, though. I thought we had a pretty solid day against a really, really good front. That's a good group over there. That's a Pete Carroll defense with a Hall of Fame 'Mike' linebacker. I'm glad we did enough to win. There are still some things to work on. We're going to take a good look at ourselves this week, get some rest, and get ready to go to San Francisco. It's going to be a big one."
Your first two possessions went well. Did they make any adjustments or was it just a tick off on execution after that?
"I'm sure they made some adjustments. That's a Hall of Fame coach over there. I think the main thing — and I'll look at the film — but probably went from a two-high shell to playing middle field closed, blitzing a little bit more. They blitzed Bobby (Wagner) quite a bit, but overall solid performance. Left some things out there on offense, but we're going to continue to improve. Kudus to the defense. Unbelievable performance. Really proud of these guys. What a relief to get a win, even up our record to .500 going into a week off."
What does it mean to go into the bye week at .500?
"It means I can go to my dad's game a little bit happier."
Talk about starting quick today ...
"We came out and executed at a high level and answered a score. They scored first and we answered that, and then took the lead going into the half. This is the NFL and that's a good group over there. Defense — unbelievable job. They're the kings of this week. Really grateful going into the bye healthy and evened up."
WR Andrei Iosivas
How did it feel to score your first NFL touchdown?
"It felt awesome. At first I didn't know if it was going to stand or not because they threw a flag. They said it was a touchdown and I started to tear up a little bit. It was a great time. It was a scramble drill, you work on that a lot and especially with Joe Burrow, he can extend plays a bunch so you've always got to be ready. He was actually nice enough to get me the ball after it, because I'd completely forgot about it, but that's the kind of guy he is — super thoughtful, and I'm appreciative of that."
Joe Burrow made a mad dash to the end zone to make sure that ball was recovered ...
"Yeah, he did. I honestly completely forgot about it and he came up to me with the ball. He just shows how thoughtful he is."
On the touchdown, Joe Burrow extended the play. From your perspective, when do you realize he's buying time and you have to do something to get open?
"You look at him, my route took a little bit longer than it would have taken in the first place so I already knew there was a possibility, and I looked at him and he's already out of the pocket so I just tried to find a hole. At that point you're just looking to see where something's open. Lucky enough, he put it right on me and I was able to score."
Joe Burrow wasn't able to do that much in the first four games like he has in the last two weeks, so how important is that, specifically in the red zone?
"It's super important because there's such a short field to work with, especially in the red zone where sometimes plays need to be extended. You need that extra factor for it to work because you're so confined."
Four times in the second half Seattle had the ball in the red zone and scored three points. How nerve-racking is that to watch?
"I get nervous a little bit but there's something about that D that you know they're going to pull something out. They're all dogs on that defense, all ready to make a play. Yeah, I'm nervous but also confident at the same time."
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