Another terrific ballgame for the fans. If they were here, they would have gone crazy. I hope at home they went crazy again. You got to keep hanging with us. It's not over 'till it's over. Another incredible showing by the offense. I just thought they did a fantastic job today. Russ has just been so sharp and able to maintain his poise, with some rush today. This is a good rushing crew. He found his receivers and made some plays. He made some great plays, and the receivers came through. Tyler Lockett had a career game today, just catching touchdown passes everywhere. I think that under the circumstances, of all that happened on the sidelines with our guys getting banged up. We just kept hanging, and guys kept going in, and we were down to our last guys, and guys came off the practice squad to make big contributions today. It was a really good team win. We have areas all over the place that we have to get better at. We have a lot of work to do on our pass defense; it continues to be a problem. The third down thing is not good enough. We have to finish our sacks, again. But what did happen is some really big plays today on defense, and some guys really made some spectacular things happen. Mone and Poona, on the two-point safety, had a huge push at the line of scrimmage to make that all happen. The great pick by Shaq early on. Just some really cool stuff happening. Guys giving efforts and fighting and scratching to get it done. We just have to get better. We are grateful to be 3 and oh, and realize that not very many teams get to do that right now. So, we're going to just try to keep pecking away at it.
(On what is clicking this year for Russell Wilson…)
He's a great player. He's a great player. He's got extremely qualified guys catching the ball. Greg had some big plays and DK had huge plays; a hundred and something yards today. And, Tyler. He just has really good football players to work with. And he trusts them, he believes in them. He knows the system, he's taking advantage of a whole array of things that we're doing; different kinds of styles and throws and movements and all that. He's just on it. You're watching a great football player do what he does best. I'm just really excited about what happens next time we go out.
(On the players who stepped up on defense…)
I was really excited about that, and guys were really excited in the locker room, too, to see those guys get in the ball game and not just get out there, but to do something. Shaquem did some really cool things down the stretch in coverage and in pressure. Alton, was great to give him all that play time. Damontre Moore was out there digging and clawing and scratching. Jarran Reed had some really nice big plays today; knocking around and forcing some issues that happened on pass rush. Ugo continues to make things happen. I'm really excited about what he's doing; he jumps into a position that we were really concerned about because Marquise was such a beautiful player in the system. But, he's really stepped up and been very, very active. The great interception by Shaquill today. He had a bunch of tackles, too. We are just thrilled that those guys were able to that.
(On whether they changed anything in practice this week to prepare for a surge in injuries…)
We were very cognizant of each guy's individual situation and how they endured the game, and how they responded and recovered the next week. We did stuff all across the board, anticipating that this is a big burden for them right now. It's a big burden to be playing these football games. We had a lot of guys get banged today. There was a whole slew of guys where something happened, one way or another. It's really obvious, it seems, this is subjective totally, but it seems like it's really a challenge for the players to make it through these early weeks of the season. We just have to take it one day at a time, and one particular player at a time and give them the treatment they need. Got to figure it out, and help them. And, also of course, as you talk in anticipation of what could happen. John's working day and night to try to stay ahead of it.
(On the bounce back today from DK Metcalf…)
He's rock solid. It's such a hard lesson for him, to have a guy knock a ball out. It's just an exquisite play. Throw and catch and execution; everything, protection was gorgeous and then we give them the football. Man, that's just a terrible play for us to have to endure. But the lesson learned will help everybody. Fortunately, we overcame it. It didn't wreck the game for us. But, it's a terrible play, it really is. He's got a touchdown, just finish it off, and he started celebrating too early. We celebrate in the paint, is what we talk about, this is something we talk about all the time. So, it really hurt that we weren't able to execute there. But, the fact that he came back; of course he did. He's such a great competitor. He's not going to let something like that hold him down. He's pissed, just like everybody else. But, he bounced right back, and there he was available for the game winner and made the play.
(On the injuries today…)
Unfortunately, even before the game happened, Quinton Dunbar's knee acted up and he wasn't able to go. Neiko's hip didn't make it through the week, and he couldn't go. Lano Hill, his back situation, it just showed up yesterday. We weren't sure what was going on with that one, but he couldn't go either. All those guys fell out before we even started the game. We were scrambling to get our guys up on the roster. Damien Lewis, ankle sprain. X-rays were negative. I think it's a lateral ankle sprain. Jamal Adams has a groin strain, don't know about what's going to happen with that, it's pretty tight. Chris (Carson) got his knee twisted at the end of a play. I don't know about that, but he has a sprained knee to some extent. Jordyn Brooks had a knee sprain, also, earlier in the game. Guys rolled up on him. Pocic had a knee issue that he finished the game with. I don't know how he did that, but he did. Mike Iupati had a knee situation also that he finished the game with. That's a lot of stuff. We're not used to seeing all those names coming out of one game. It's hard to say. For everybody talking about the injuries and all that, you would think it would be muscles and strains and that kind of stuff would be more of what you'd be seeing, but we're seeing a different variety of things. This is ankle sprain, knee, knee, knee, knee, knee. There's five of them. So, I don't know what to tell you. But, we're researching it and trying to figure it out for sure. Trying to make sense of it.
(On Lano Hill…)
The thing about Lano; Lano told us today that he had a problem, and we didn't know it all. He woke up with it and it was a real surprise. He had X-rays and stuff like that today, to try to figure out what was going on. He just couldn't go. We had no information about that leading into that. I'm sorry if I didn't say that right.
(On the deficiencies in pass coverage today…)
Well, we got beat deep right over the top, for 80 or 90 of them. Those are just regular getting beat deep by the same guy. Great execution by them, and they won it. But, there's stuff. It's just too loose. It's working together, with rush, with coverage, to make our plays. We gave up 60 yards a game rushing, again. Zeke averaged 2 yards a carry, and had 20 yards rushing today, or whatever it was. Those things are working. We're playing the running game really well, and there's not a big opportunity to give them the run so that you can stop the pass, like you might think. We just have to do a lot better.
(On the play of Alton Robinson…)
It was just a good tough game. I can't tell you much about all the little things that happened there, it was in the mess of it. But, it was a good aggressive game, for him. He really pushed the pocket late, he really was competing hard late in the game and helped us out to finish the thing off. He just showed his competitiveness. I was real excited that he just got to play and got in there and did something. It was good.
(On whether they have the players they need right now, or do they need to add to the roster…)
We'll figure that out, Greg, I don't know the answer to that right now. We're always looking. We're always looking. I really feel like we can get a lot better, we can get a lot cleaner with what we're doing. He threw 57 times today. That's a lot of passes in one game, but this is kind of what the thing has been like the first three weeks. Wins. If you don't run the football, it's really hard to win. So, sometimes it takes a little bit more, you have to live with a little bit of it. Wins.
(On the play of Russell Wilson, particularly the final drive…)
I haven't even talked about, I haven't even mentioned the last drive. We went ripping down the field. 65 yards or whatever it was, with 4-something left. It was just perfectly executed, we almost scored too fast. Great play by Greg in there, on fourth down. Greg comes through on fourth down. We're so accustomed to, we are just absolutely anticipating that we are going to go score. There was a moment in there where we said 'field goal wins it', and then we looked at each other and said, 'we're going for a touchdown.' It was really cool to see him competing again like he does. He was so chill. He was so perfectly poised and composed to pull that together. You couldn't ask for a guy that can be better mentally in those situations than Russell Wilson.
(On the sideline management to get the right defensive personnel on the field on Dallas' final drive…)
We changed things on the last drive. We needed to, and I thought that Ken adjusted well. We knew the situation, we were watching the clock, we had the time outs, we had the whole thing going, everything was there. We kept them underneath us and waited it out, knowing that they had to score a touchdown because of our previous drive. Eventually they have to throw the ball in the end zone, and they did and Ryan Neal ate one up for us. Shaquem had a really good drive, I don't know if you noticed, but he had a really good drive. Really active in there to come through and make some things happen. They adjusted something there, on the fly there, to make sure that he could help out, and it worked out well.
(On getting beat defensively on explosive touchdown drives…)
We got beat deep on the two go balls. You can't be any more explicit than what happened there. They were one-on-ones and they threw them up, and they won them. The crossing route, I suggested the call and it didn't fit the situation and it didn't work out well, they got a bundle on us. We're trying hard, and sometimes you can try too hard, and you can try to force things, because we get frustrated and we want to get out of there and get off the field, too. So, we have to find the right balance there with the way things are going to play better. I know this is exactly what you guys need to be asking. I'm not spending a long time on these things right now.
(On winning games late in the fourth quarter…)
There is definitely a mentality about it. If you guys go back to look at probably the last time we started 3-0, and look at that season, and look at all the games that were just like these games. It's so hard to win these football games. It's so hard to be ahead at the end of the game. You're probably looking at six or seven more games like this, if we're going to win a lot of games this year, that are going to be just right down to the wire. Maybe it's more than that. I think last year, didn't we have the most close wins in the history of the NFL, we had 11 or something like that? It's just the way it is. What's great about our club in that situation is the mentality. And it starts with me, but it filters through all of the coaches and the players and fortunately Russell is on our team, and Russell's brain just will not accept anything but coming through and finishing a win, and finding a way to do that. It's all in there. It's kind of almost imbedded in us now, that we just keep on hanging, and keep clawing and scratching and trying to do things right longer than the other guys and finish these games. I know it's terrible for the fans, they're all tearing their hair out and all that, but I always tell you, you got to suck it up. That's the way it is. This is the way we do it. I know this sounds kind of sick, but I kind of like it like that. We're ready for those situations, and we're mentally prepared for that to happen, so that when it does, it ain't no big deal. We just go out and do things right and try to win.
Q. The three touchdown passes to Tyler Lockett. Can you just tell us what was working so well for you two today?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, I mean, we have had that great, amazing connection for a long time and he's made so many special plays, has shown up in so many different ways. He got behind the defense on the first one and then he made two great ones down the road. So he's just, he's everything you would want in a receiver. He's so focused. He's so dialed in every day. He loves the game. He loves his teammates. He plays it the right way and I'm grateful that he's on our team, that's for sure.
Q. I saw you through the binoculars during Dallas's drive to the go ahead touchdown. You always talk to the offensive players and your blockers, but how much did you feel like the game was on you and the offense at that point, the way Dallas was moving up and down the field?
RUSSELL WILSON: Well, once they scored, it was 31-30, I believe it was, I told our guys, I said, Listen, this is the drive. If we want to be a championship team, we got to make it right here. And I kind of looked at Greg, that drive, or the drive before, right at that moment, and I said, You're going to make a big time play for us. You're going make a big-time play. Be ready. It's coming your way. You're going to make a big-time play. And sure enough, fourth down, game on the line, and he pops open on the back end. He makes a great play. He carries it on the drive, keep going, then DK obviously scampers to the back of the end zone there. So I thought that drive was a testament of who we are as a team. High character, guys focused in, dialed in, always constantly believing, staying neutral in the midst of everything, all the back and forth and everything else. We were able to come up with a huge, huge win against a very good team in Dallas. So that was big for us. I never fear those moments, as you know. I look forward to them. I believe that we're going to make them every time and just stay calm, stay neutral, believe in it and sure enough it worked out tonight.
Q. The mental aspect of that, how much do you feel like you're at a different plane from everyone in the league mentally prepared for that situation at that moment?
RUSSELL WILSON: I don't want to compare myself or anything like that. I don't know what everybody else, how they think or whatever, but I know how I have thought for the past 10, 11 years of my life, just being, just believing in it, speaking great things, speaking great language, having adversity tolerance, being able to remain neutral in the midst of it all. And I've been through highs, I've been through lows, I've been through it all and there's nothing that really can get to me, to be honest with you. It's just stay in the moment, stay right here in this play, execute this one, have great fundamentals, just be clutch when you need to be clutch, go make the play. And it's not on me. It's everybody. It's this group that we have. Guys showed up in a tremendous way tonight. And the last play, we had great protection. I was telling those guys on the offensive line, I mean, I think it was Duane blocking on the left and Shell just doing an amazing job holding those guys down on that play to give me enough time to hold it, and then, boom, here it goes, touchdown and we take the lead.
So I think the mental part of the game, though, like I said to you before, is the number one thing that I cherish in terms of what I want to bring to the table every day. Yeah, throwing and running and moving and doing all that stuff and getting us in the right plays and all that, that's critical. That's maybe the most important part of it. But I think the most important part of it is the mental side and how I process, remain neutral in the midst of it all. I think that's been key for me in my career so far.
Q. Did you talk to DK at all after the play in the end zone where he lost the ball and all that or did you feel a need to or how was he on the sidelines and everything after that play?
RUSSELL WILSON: I talked to him afterwards. I said, Listen, you're going to have to make a play down the road, so get back in, get focused again, let's revamp. Things happen. There's no excuse for it. He knows that. He wants to be the best in the world. And the good thing about him, you know about him is he'll never do it again and he'll be ready the next opportunity that comes to him. And, you know, like for me, you know, he's like a little brother to me. We're so close. And so to me, I told him I said, Listen, there's another opportunity. When it comes your way you're going to make the play. Just speaking life into it, just knowing that something great's going to happen. Sure enough he makes the game-winning touchdown, which worked out for us.
Q. I asked Pete about the nature of these close wins, something that dates back to last year where you guys were pulling them out left and right, and he said, I know they're nerve wracking, I know fans are pulling their hair out, and I know this is going to sound sick, but this is just how I like it. This is just where I want to be. Do you feel the same way or would you rather just coast?
RUSSELL WILSON: I would rather win by a lot, but I don't mind, I don't mind winning either way. A win is a win and I love winning. I love winning. I love winning. I love winning. And just it's a process. It's a journey. No matter what we face, we always feel like we can find a way to win a game and find a way. Just do right and just stay in the midst of it and we have been able to do that. I think you got to be clutch too. And this game it's so challenging every day, you're not going to beat every team by a lot. It's just so challenging because there's so many great players on the other side and this and that. And so you just got to remain steady, remain the course, stay on the course and know that when the game gets tight, knowing that we had a lot of great experience at it, we have done it many times, and we're going to do it again.
Q. When you guys are celebrating at the end there, what's it like seeing a guy who is on the practice squad literally yesterday coming up with a game-clinching interception and getting to celebrate with everybody?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, you know, it was, today was a testament who we are as a team. I think that, I think about guys like Alton Robinson making the huge, huge sack, just he came in, ready to play, ready to practice, every day when he got here in training camp, ready to make a play for us. He was flying around. I kept telling the offensive coach, I said, This guy is amazing. This guy can make some plays. He's showing up, showing up. He gets his opportunity and he capitalizes.
Then you go to Ryan Neal, a guy who was on the practice squad. We get to go against each other every day, it's competitive. We're going after each other, going after each other. And he just keeps getting better, better, and better. He's got the right attitude, right approach every day. He gets his shot, unfortunately because, unfortunately, but fortunately because somebody else goes down, he gets his shot, right? So when he comes into the game, key point in the game, makes a play. That's just who they are as guys, as men, as players. I think the culture helps that to as well, just the attitude, everything else, it all adds together. I think about a guy like Shaquem, a guy who was on our team, made some great plays last year for us, goes on the practice squad, unfortunately, steps up today, just chasing guys down, making plays after play. I mean, they're the reason why we won the game because of guys like that. So I'm grateful, man, just grateful for the work ethic and the focus and the detail.
Q. Can you get a sense for when Schotty is dialed in. I felt like a number of occasions today guys were skating wide open, whether it was the passes on the one-yard line, I think the first touchdown, they just didn't cover Tyler deep. I mean, do you get a sense of when he's got a great feel for how the game's going and what to call?
RUSSELL WILSON: Yeah, Schotty and I have been on the same page every day, just spending tons and tons of hours working. I told you guys, I think he's one of the best coaches in the game. I think he knows the game. He understands it. He's teaching it. He's coaching it. He's one of the best teachers I know. I've been around some great coaches too. And so he understands the game and really does an unbelievable job. He's got great confidence in who we are as a team and we got so many guys that can make so many plays at the wide receiver position, the tight end position, the running back position. The offensive line is doing a great job of battling and fighting through. And he's just dialing it up. So it's a part of the process and I think that we have done a great job of it so far, me and him have a tremendous relationship as friends, as brothers in Christ and everything else too and just we're super close. But I think as a football coach he knows the game, he teaches the game. And I think a guy like Austin Davis has done a great job as to well, we have spent so many hours, upon hours, upon hours in the QB room with Geno and Austin and Danny. It's so tight, it's so close and we spend so much time and we just are so focused on that part of it. And our Saturday meetings are always great, just talking about who God is and what our focus and what we're trying to do and half the time it's not even about the game, it's just about this life that we get to live. And it's just a blessing just to be able to get to do it together. And I cherish those relationships. Guys like Dave Canales and Brad Idzik and people like that. So it's been really cool, this year's been really special, despite everything else going on, it's been a hard year, as you guys know, it's been a tough year, but I think so far as the relationship it's about relationships, this life's about relationships and friendships and that part of it and now when it comes to football, Schotty is kicking butt. He's dialing up.
Q. You called Tyler Lockett underrated earlier this week. How long do you think that will last if he keeps playing like this --
RUSSELL WILSON: I don't think he's underrated, I mean --
Q. I'm saying you said he was like the most underrated player in the league.
RUSSELL WILSON: No, I get you. No, I think Tyler is one of the best receivers in the game. He does everything right. He's just so dialed in. He's -- I don't know how many catches he's made over the past years, but the big-time plays, the big-time touchdowns, he knows the game, he plays the game like a quarterback, man, and I think Tyler is one of the best in the game. And so it's cool just being with him and playing and you just got to stay the course, stay focused, keep staying dialed in, just keep doing what he's doing.
Q. We heard you just call him, DK, you said he's like a brother to you and we heard you talk about how close you guys have gotten. Why do you think you guys have clicked as well as you have in the time he's been here?
RUSSELL WILSON: I really respect guys who come in with the right mindset. There's so many guys on our team, everybody, to be honest with you. But a guy like him has all the talent in the world, he could take it easy, he could do this, do that. And he is one of the first guys there every day, he's one of the guys that's always ready to work, he's always ready to get extra reps -- I think back to the summertime when we were in Mexico, I think back to when we were in California and just all the time that we spent together throwing the ball and just working on our game and just trying to dial it up and trying to get ready for the season. And we didn't know if we were going to play, to be honest with you, but what we really connected on more than anything else was life, you know, just, you know, I think what's really important to him, the same things are really important to me, faith and family and all those things, but I just think that he loves the game, he wants to be great and when somebody wants to be great, it's not just about wanting to, it's about doing the actions, it's about everything that you do about it and it's a life-style that you have to live and I think that he really wants to do it. He had that fluke play today and I told him to never do it again, but, you know, he's great at what he does, he's so young, he's only 22, so it's kind of crazy to think about. So we're going to have a lot of fun together many years ago or many years to come, so just got to stay the course and we haven't done anything yet, we're just getting started."
(On his big performance today and what was working so well for them in the passing game…)
"First of all, I just want to give God all the glory. It was a big game out there. I think Dallas did a great job in being able to hold us from a lot of the big plays. I think we just figured out how to be efficient. We realized that they were taking away the big plays so we had to figure out how to convert on third downs. I think the hardest part for us was since the second game we haven't been a good team at converting the third downs. Even on that last drive we had to figure out a way and Greg (Olsen) was able to get that first down on fourth and three. I think that's what continues to keep the drive alive. That's what allows us to be able to build and also be able to have explosive plays. The line did a tremendous job on that last play that we were able to hit DK (Metcalf) on across the field. It's just the little things that allows us to be successful as a whole unit."
(On what the mood was for the offense in their final drive…)
"We didn't do a really good job in coming out in the second half after we scored that touchdown after the turnover. But, I think for us, we just had to find a way. Like I said, Dallas did a great job adjusting and they were holding us down. We weren't able to get in a rhythm like we were in the first half. l think the biggest thing that everybody could figure out about this team and about Russ (Wilson) is that we're always going to find a way. The Seahawks are known to figure it out on that last drive when it always matters and we don't want to put ourselves in a position where that's always the case, but that's always been the history even before I came here. It says a lot about Russ and it says a lot about the team that we have, that we all come together and figure out whatever it is we have to do to be able to make this work. That's what you see come to pass and that what you see from each and every person on that last drive.
(On DK Metcalf's fumble near the goal line and what he said to him after the play…)
"I don't really remember what I said. I think if I said anything I was just like, 'Hey keep playing, you're alright.' Things like that happen and like I said, I was really happy that he scored that touchdown – to be able to give us that game-winner. I think it allows a lot of people to let that slide, let it go. We'll talk about it, you know, that's a learning experience for each and every person as a receiver. Whoever touches that ball, that's something that we can all just kind of think about and just be reminded that it's not over until we score and the refs blow the whistle. Ultimately, I'm really happy that he scored that touchdown, I'm really happy that he made that touchdown to allow us to win the game. I'm just happy we found a way, honestly. That was a tough game."
(On the injuries and the depth that stepped up in a touch game…)
"I think the biggest thing about being in the league and being on a team is you never know when you're going to get that opportunity. Once you get that opportunity you got to be able to go out there and play. You look at (Ryan) Neal, he made that interception at the end of the game. He hadn't gotten a chance to play or anything yet and he finally got that chance to get in and it's really about what you do with that opportunity. It just shows that's what the NFL is about. It's each person taking advantage of the opportunities they get. It really sucks the fact that a lot of people are getting hurt in the league. That's the thing that everybody was kind of talking about when we were trying to figure out if we were even playing with COVID. Whenever there was a lockout in 2011 a lot of people were getting hurt and now you see the same thing happening right now. It really sucks that we haven't gotten the time that we needed to be able to get ourselves right so that we could try to prevent things like this from happening. The biggest thing is we just have to figure it out, find a way and try to remain as safe as possible. For the guys that are able to take advantage of these opportunities, this is the way that they stay in the league and this is the way that they create their own name and create their own legacy."
(On how he is able to get open in the end zone in red zone possessions…)
"I think the best part about me is I'm kind of small so I can try to wiggle my way through everybody. You just have to try to figure out how to make it work. It's a lot of people right there, everything is condensed and based off of the play calls, you just have to try to wiggle through everything, it's kind of like a little maze, everybody is running around and you just try not to run into people. It's just staying alive and staying open. We have a quarterback that can figure out a way to run around and just keep the play alive and you never know when he's going to be able to give it to you. You see that in some games and other games our line does a great job, allows him to stay in the pocket for as long as he wants and he's able to make that play. You have to give credit to the coaches in being able to scheme everything up. Being able to figure out what it is the Cowboys like to do or whoever it is that we're playing so that we can try to take advantage of that when we are in those condensed yards before we're actually able to score a touchdown in the red zone."
(On what it was like seeing their young defenders stepping up to close out the game…)
"It was really cool to see those guys step up and make plays, especially Ryan (Neal) and Shaquem (Griffin) because they weren't even dressing last week and I think Alton (Robinson) didn't either and those guys came and they were ready to play. Alton was able to get a sack, Shaquem was able to get some great tackles and great finishes, and obviously, Neal had the pick to kind of seal the game. I always appreciate and am grateful for their focus, because without that those plays aren't made. It speaks loud to those guys locking in and being ready when their number is called stepping up to make plays."
(On how he feels about the uncharacteristic yards and points scored against the defense this year…)
"It's not something I am accustomed to. It is not something I want to be accustomed to. We'll make the changes, we just need to get off the field, we need to make our plays. I think that's really it, just need to be a little more locked-in, a little more sound, and make our plays when they come to us and get off the field. I think we are hurting ourselves in a lot of facets and we have to get that out of our ball."
(On how the injuries are affecting their performance…)
"I think it's a little bit of everything. Obviously, injuries they don't help. We always have a next-man-up mentality so the guy behind whoever is starting knows that their number can be called at any given point and we just have to perform. We will be better."
(On the success of their run-defense so far this season…)
"We're coming downhill, getting of blocks so we're playing in the backfield. I think that speaks a lot to our run-game but I think a little bit of that too is offenses are starting to change their play calling and starting to call more pass plays. We have to do good at something so it's good to hold teams under 50 yards or 75 yards rushing, but when we're still giving up as many yards as we're giving up, it doesn't matter."
(On being activated for today's game and ending the game with an interception…)
I honestly can't even walk you through the past 24 hours. I was walking into meetings thinking I was still on the practice squad and next thing I know, I'm starting on a couple of special teams [plays] and I'm like alright, here we go, I'm back to doing my job, come in and give it my best effort. You never know. This is a game where somebody goes down and you're the next man up. You have to come in here and finish the job. I never for once doubted anything. In my mind, we were going to win the game. That's what I was ready to do and thank God that they gave me one, they threw one my way and I went out there and made the play. I'm grateful right now. I can't even talk.
(On what the moment was like for him when he saw Jamal Adams come over to the sideline when he got injured…)
It happened so fast I only think I had an opportunity to have a moment. You're in it and the next thing you know, I see Jamal and I hear Neal and I strapped up and said let's go. It wasn't even a moment to be had, it was like go out there and fight with your brothers, they're depending on you. That was my whole mentality for it.
(On what this moment means to him…)
The only thing that I can keep saying over and over again is that God is good. You stay faithful and you stay committed to the process and there's been times when I've wanted to quit but you just don't. You keep going and you never, ever know when that moment can be yours. That was the one thing that kept me waking up in the morning was that you never know when this opportunity [will come], like you said, I've been through the practice squad ringer, this is year three now. All three years, I had the opportunity to get activated and you have to be ready for your moment. Like I tell all the guys that are on the practice squad and the undrafted guys, I'm in their boat too. You just never know when it's your moment so I always stay ready and stay working.
(On what Jamal Adams talked to him about before he went into the game…)
[He] was just giving me tips and pointers. I told him as soon as I figured out what was going on, talk to me. Talk to me, let me know anything that you see. I need you more now than I needed you when you were on the field. Hats off to Jamal. He loves the game and has passion for the game and when he went out, he was still out there screaming, yelling and even when I'm on the field, he's yelling my name and saying, hey, watch this, watch that. I tipped my hat off to him because a lot of people in that situation would go in the hole, but he didn't. He stayed there and he was there for me and I appreciate that from Jamal. That was everything for me.
(On if he got to a point where he thought about what he would do if the NFL didn't work out…)
Oh yeah. Shout out to my fiancée, she heard it all. She got an earful of everything that I've been feeling, all of my emotions. My oldest brother, Mike, my family. You go through it so much and you keep getting doors shut on you and you're just like, man, when is it going to be that day, when is that going to pop. But like I said, staying prayed up and staying thanking God that I'm in a position that I'm in, even when I was on the practice squad before, I was just one step away. With that in mind, like coach always says, the closer you get, the harder you run. At the times when I felt like quitting, I'm just like no, I'm going to get back up, we're going to put a smile on that face and we're going to run harder because we're almost up here and lo and behold, it was today. I'm in awe right now, I can't even put it into words. I'm just thankful.
(On the defense making the final play of the game the past two weeks and his overall impression of the defense…)
Just going back to having to finish. I feel like we still need to figure that out as soon as possible. The same way we start, which we're starting fast, we need to be able to finish fast. It's always good to be able to come up with the W, that's the main thing that we need to do is win. But I feel like we shouldn't have to finish like that every single game, especially with the way that the offense is playing. They're doing an awesome job so far and they gave us a couple of leads and we need to learn how to keep it or make the lead even better. It's something that we need to continue to focus on but I'm super proud of the team for showing the grit that they have to be able to come out and finish the game. We put it on the defense to win the game and we did that twice in a row so far. That's all you can ask for is that you continue to fight and continue to believe what we're trying to do and what we're trying to accomplish. It's definitely a lot of run for improvement and we'll come back tomorrow so we can talk about it, meet about it, get better from it. We just need to learn from it and do better.
(On younger players like Shaquem Griffin and Alton Robinson playing well…)
It was great. I'm definitely proud of everybody who had to step up. We've been dealing with a lot of injuries which is really tough. That's something that we never look forward to. With the next man up, everyone is doing their job and doing a lot better. I feel like there's some things that we need to fix. Communication can be a lot better. Some of the coverages that we busted need to be a lot better. When it comes to my brother stepping up in a huge way, Ryan Neal coming and stepping up in a huge way when Jamal [Adams] goes down, it's just something that we need to continue to focus on to get better at. But I'm proud of those guys who had to step up and do exactly what they needed to do to help us win this game today. I was proud of them. They made a good play. For myself, there's some things that I need to continue to work on. Giving up that deep ball, that's something that I don't do. I need to continue to stay locked in. I feel like teams are starting to try and get me to calm down and fall asleep on that back side where we go through a whole quarter where I'm not giving up any targets or anything and I get to a point where I'm falling asleep on that back side. So I have to do better on my part, stay consistent and staying in tune to the game each and every play. That's something that I'm going to work on, on my behalf. I have to do a lot better, I have to.
(On if it's them getting beat or if there's busted coverage when they're giving up so many explosive plays…)
It's a little bit of both. There's some plays that we need to win when we have the opportunity and our number is called, we have to win our plays and we have to win our one-on-ones. Some stuff, we need to get better in our coverage. On Cover 3, everyone has their part to play in and something's busted, something happens, someone has to be there to kind of fix it. That's something that we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out. But at the end of the day, some of the explosive [plays] are just us. We're going man to man and we need to make those plays. You have to win your one on one battles. That's something that we continue to preach about and that's something that we're going to continue to learn from and get better at. But it happened, we got the win, but we can't continue to give up the plays that we're giving up. Because there will be teams where there will be close games that are going to be hard to pull off if we don't do what we need to do and win our one-on-one battles. We're going to do better with that, we're going to work on it. It's early in the season and I've been here four years now and the one thing about it, we always elevate our game going through each week. We always get better. So that's something that we'll continue to improve on and we're just going to get better at it.
(On how Ugo Amadi has played in the nickel cornerback role…)
He's done an amazing job. I've said it before that I was very excited for him. The first time he came in when Marquise Blair went down, he showed his worth. He showed us that he can be the person that we can count on and he came back and did that again today. Knowing that he was going to get some targets, we all knew that, being a young guy out there, they were going to attack him more. And he showed up big for us today. That's something that we're going to continue to hold him to a high standard, making the plays that he makes, I feel like he's totally ready for it. I'm super proud of him as well. Now we just need to continue to build off what he's giving us and continue to understand that there's going to be teams that will attack you so you have to be ready each play and each game. I'm super proud of him, he's doing an amazing job for us. And like I said last game, we lose a guy like Marquise Blair, it's tough on everybody and it's a shock to everybody. But the way that he's stepped up, like I said, your number has been called and he's doing an amazing job with it so I'm definitely proud of him.
(On what it's like to get his first sack and have it come in such a big moment…)
Kind of surreal. I've dreamt about that moment, my first sack being in Centurylink [Field] so it was a little surreal. I'm definitely excited that that happened today.
(On playing on the last drive after not having played at all in the first couple of games…) Kind of like my [veteran] said, it's just football at the end of the day. You put the ball down and things don't change. We've been playing this game for a long time now so we can lean back on the things we learned over the years in a moment like that.
(On not playing the first two weeks and having this game turn out well for him…)
The first two weeks, I was a little bummed out, but at the same time it was my first NFL game when we were in Atlanta, I had never been to a league game. I just looked at the bright side and thought to do better and not leave any doubt. Next week, it didn't pan out that way and luckily enough, this week, I was able to play.
(On if he had ever attended an NFL game…)
I had never attended an NFL game until Atlanta. And now this is my third one and I got to play in this one so I was very fortunate.
(On how difficult it is to play against and contain Dak Prescott…)
It's definitely a challenge. Everybody is good up here on this level, right? It's definitely a challenge week in and week out I think with the film preparation and things like that. Playing on defense, we're always up for the challenge. Like I mentioned earlier, it's just football so put the ball down and let's roll.
(On what was going through his mind on the final drive…)
I know this is going to sound kind of redundant, but like I just mentioned prior to this, it's just football with a little bit of less time on the clock. We just put the ball down and stay true to our technique and everything we've been preparing for. The ball is going to be snapped and we're going to play.
(On the play he forced the sack/fumble…)
"They brought that formation a couple times tonight. Obviously in that formation they were throwing the ball more than they were running, but we have to honor the run first and keep our feet moving in converting the pass and that's what happened and I was lucky to get there and get a strip-sack."
(On the young guys on defense coming in for a lot of snaps and seeing important action…)
"We knew they could do this, they've done it all during camp. They just had to come out there and do it. Just football in there today. It don't matter if it's your first year, second year, third year, and I'm really proud of my rook, man (Robinson), he made me happy."
(On what the last two games have been like in having close finishes at the end of games…)
"Believe. Believe, compete, effort, finish, enthusiasm. We looked at each other and we just had to dig deep during the play. Our backs were against the wall last week, answered the call and we did it again this week. We have to keep building off that, keep playing with fanatical effort, getting turnovers, getting after the ball."