Featuring postgame quotes from the following:
Head Coach David Culley
"First of all, I just want to give credit to Pete [Carroll] and the Seahawks. They played well today. Congratulations to them."
How much did not being able to get the run game going limit what you could do on offense today?
"Obviously, we need to be able to do that to keep consistency and we haven't been able to do that today. I think not having David [Johnson] and Rex [Burkhead] going down and going on with one running back for most of the game. We tried to do what we needed to do, but we only had one guy back there to be able to do it. I thought early we attempted to do it and it helped us. We weren't getting a bunch of yards, but the fact that we were attempting to do it helped us."
When did you found out that RB David Johnson would not be available today?
"He had COVID-19."
When did you find out?
First-and-goal at the 1 and not being able to punch it in, what was the difference in that?
"We have to be able to do that. We didn't get it done up front. We expect to be able to do that from the one."
After going a few games without giving up big plays, you gave up two today. What do you think was the problem?
"Again, we talked about the last three weeks and the reason we haven't given them up is because we kept the ball in front of us. We knew they had two guys that could really get down the field that were big playmakers in DK [Metcalf] and [Tyler] Lockett. They got behind us a couple of times today and we gave up a couple of long runs."
In the first half you were at the three-yard line or so on fourth down and your offense was out there, but you called the timeout and kicked the field goal. What happened, what was the reason for that?
"The reason for the time out?"
The string of decisions calling a timeout and ultimately kicking a field goal instead of going for it.
"I wanted to make sure at the time that we ended up getting the points. I thought about it and decided the best thing to do was get the points at that time. I wasn't feeling really confident at that time about the play that we had called. When we lined up, what happened is we didn't get the look we wanted to go. When we didn't get the look, we called the timeout and said, 'kick the field goal.'"
Do you have an update on LB Kamu Grugier-Hill?
"Not an update yet. He does have a knee. We'll find a little bit more out about it tomorrow."
What did you see from QB Davis Mills today? He had the 14 consecutive completions, you guys were within 19-13 going into the fourth quarter. It seemed like he maybe played his smoothest game of the season in some ways.
"He took care of the ball. That's what he's supposed to do. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get the ball in the end zone in the second half. That's what we've got to do better. Not just him but our entire offense has got to be able to do that. We haven't been able to do that consistently."
Was there an adjustment that the Seahawks made in-game that maybe threw things off a little bit offensively?
"No, they played it just like we knew they would play it. We just didn't execute the way we needed to. I need to go back and look at the video to see exactly what happened and why things didn't happen. Usually when something like that happens, we don't have everybody all on the same page or doing exactly what they need to do. That's usually the case."
How do you feel about your staff as far as your in-game adjustments, starting off fast and ending slow? How did you feel you were adjusting in the game?
"I think the adjustments are fine. It's just that we're not able to make the adjustments from the standpoint of executing what the adjustments were. We've got to do better at doing that, and we've had that issue all year with second half."
The 55-yard touchdown right before the halftime, what went into the explosive plays today with the defense since y'all have been more disciplined leading up to this game?
"The runs, gap control, which has always been the case for us. Then the big plays down the field, guys are letting the guy get behind them, and we knew that these two guys they had could get behind them. When you think they're not behind you, they're going to get behind you because they're very explosive and very fast. We didn't do a good enough job keeping them in front of us."
Obviously, you didn't expect to have this kind of record at the start of the season. How bad do you feel to have this kind of record?
"It always feels bad because the record is what it is and that's not very good. You're right, that is not what we expected. But at this point we are basically just looking every week to get the next win.
With this football team right here, I feel like I've got a great bunch of guys in this locker room that will do everything that we need to do to get it corrected. We just have not been able to get that done and that's on me."
You've talked all season about staying ahead of the sticks. How much more important is that when you have a rookie under center?
"It's very important. In the first half we did a really good job of that, I mean a really good job of that. In the second half it wasn't like we were behind the sticks. We just weren't doing the things as well in the second half as we was doing in the first half."
When you talk about the range of emotions, you were only down by six, you've got the ball and you're moving it. Then you can't get it done, then they go score and all of a sudden you're down two touchdowns. You had hope, hope and then – what was that like on the sideline, was it a deflating feeling?
"It's not deflating so much as we know it's a big momentum changer. You've got to be able to come back and get that momentum, and we have not been able to do that. I thought when we came out in the second half, our defense got the stop and then we got the ball. We were actually moving the ball and then we couldn't finish it. Then we give the ball back to them and then there they go. It's very important for us to figure it out. To be able to, when we do have momentum and those kinds of things, to be able to take advantage of that. In the second half of games this year we haven't been able to do that."
You have the worst running game in the league. What kind of detriment does that do to the passing game when the running game is so bad?
"You've got to have balance. You put all the pressure on your quarterback and your line to drop back and throw. There has to be balance and we don't have that balance right now. We've got to continue to try to find that balance."
Where are your personal feelings on this? Is this one any different afterwards?
"Personal feelings, meaning?"
Just your feelings after this kind of game.
"Disappointed. Just very disappointed."
In addition to LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, there was mention that RB Rex Burkhead going out with a groin injury, and DB Desmond King II and DB Justin Reid. What are the injury updates?
"Desmond [King] was okay. They thought Desmond had a concussion, but he did not have a concussion. He came back in and played."
What about DB Justin Reid?
"Justin [Reid] actually had a concussion."
Can you hear or did you pay attention to how many Seahawks fans were in the crowd and how loud they were during some of the success the Seahawks had?
"Well, they're one of the better traveling teams in the league. They're everywhere like every like that. They've got a star on their team in their quarterback and they travel. It's a Super Bowl-contending franchise, they travel well
Quarterback Davis Mills
How did you feel out there? You guys started off quicker than you finished. How did everything flow from what you could see?
"It was fun, fun to get back out there, obviously out there leading the team. We started off hot and built some momentum early in the first half, just got to be able to sustain that throughout the game. Overall, I thought it was a good day for what the result was."
Why do you guys think you couldn't sustain it throughout the game? What was the source of inconsistency?
"We've got to go back and watch the tape to really answer that, but the biggest things were executing and playing clean on all three phases."
WR Brandin Cooks mentioned he felt like you weren't forcing anything, taking check downs. Is that something you think about during the game or is it natural now in your second stint as the starter?
"A lot of it is just taking what the defense gives to you. They were playing with a lot of depth in the defense and the check downs were there. You can't go broke taking a profit, so I felt like we could move the ball down the field like that."
You had a couple of injuries during the game. You had one running back at one point. What does that do whenever you're trying to move the ball, having struggles at that time?
"It's tough when Rex (Burkhead) went down. Royce (Freeman) was the only guy in there. We had to bring in Jordan Akins a little bit to play some halfback position and some of the empty sets. But it's tough. It kind of limits you a little bit. We had to throw a little more than we wanted to and could do a little less in the run game. Hopefully Rex is all right. Built for that. And I think we're more efficient when we're able to balance things out between run and pass."
Did you get the sense they knew you wanted to pass it more at that point?
"I think the score kind of gave that off, too. We had to move the ball a little quicker when we needed to. We were trying to get back within the reach of the game. So I think there's some different things that played into it."
You all are trying to win the game, but when the score is what it is and you feel like you have to run the ball, is that good experience for you just having to, being able to go out there, sling it no matter what the result ends up being?
"I'm fine with anything that goes on out there. I've got to continue to learn and kind of just build experience from all the looks that I see out there from the defenses and just keep moving forward."
It sounded like stock market lingo when you said you can't go broke taking a profit. Is that where that came from?
"I've heard that my whole life. Just gotta find completions out there on the field. They always say that about finding the running backs out in the backfield, checking it down. If you're gaining yards by throwing check downs, you can keep moving the ball that way."
That's not a Stanford term, right? Did you learn that here?
"No, I learned that when I was really young, back in the day."
Is the next step for you to not only get the team in the end zone, put more points on the board, obviously but making sure the offensive coaches feel that's what they should do? Head Coach David Culley was talking about that fourth down, where he had a timeout, pulled you back off, you didn't like the way things were going.
"I think we kind of talked about that. We had a certain play and the defense gave us a look that we didn't really want to on that. We ended up kicking it, taking the points. I think ultimately my job is just going and scoring points and scoring more points than the other team and winning games."
Offensive Lineman Justin Britt
What were the issues running the ball today?
"We got down in the score. I thought in the first half we had a great balance and our approach was there. They're a really good defense, really good team as far as effort and how they fly to the football. We knew that. I told the guys how to prepare and the energy and effort we would need. I thought up front that we had the effort and the strain, and I felt like we did it through 60 minutes. We had the ball longer than them. We just, like I said, got down and had to get away from the run game pretty quick. They had some pretty explosive plays on offense which helped them and put us out there a little quicker than we wanted to. Ultimately, we've got to find a way to score in the second half. If we do throw every play, we just got to find a way to stay on the field, convert and score. I thought Davis (Mills) was slinging it today. I thought our receivers were playing really physical. It just didn't happen."
What was it like playing against your former team?
"It was really cool. I wasn't talking to them really during the game. I tried to get Bobby (Wagner), didn't get him. There was some jawing going on. It was fun to compete against them. I practiced against them for six years. And a game is different than practice. So, it was really fun to compete against them and go to battle. I wish we would have got it."
After the game, you spent a couple of minutes with Russell Wilson. What was that like getting a chance to catch up for a second in that environment?
"It was cool. I love the guy. He's like a big brother and someone that I've grown to like and love and cherish that friendship. It was just good to see everyone. I was out of football last year, so it feels like it's been ages since I've seen them on the field or seen any of them. So, it was cool. I wanted to win, but it was good to see them."
It was a tale of two halves. What would you say from a broad perspective what went wrong in the second?
"I'll have to watch and see. Like I said, being out there felt like we were working our tail off and the effort up front was there. I thought our protection was phenomenal for the most part of the night, from my point of view. I've got to go watch it. But I felt like we competed, and we were working pretty hard."
What did you notice from QB Davis Mills in his command and rhythm especially in the first half versus the other times he started in the year?
"I thought he did well. I feel like, no offense, I felt like we're past that question, like, what have you seen in the growth. I'm not getting on you. I'm just saying he's grown to that level of player where I feel like you can look at him and expect him to be that way. I think that speaks volumes to his character."
You started the Super Bowl in 2014 in that Seattle Seahawks uniform, what were your emotions different playing against your former team?
"I approached this game the same way I did last week. The film work, the way I went about the week, the time I woke up this morning. I like to be in a routine. I like everything to be the same. There was maybe some more juice in the air for me, but I didn't go pregame and say, 'ah, I knew I was getting ready to get in a bar fight with them.' It was going to be a grind and I knew we needed to have 60 minutes of great effort. The score doesn't reflect what we wanted, but, like I said, I feel like our effort was there."
What has it been like playing with OL Justin McCray and OL Lane Taylor?
"I feel like any of us in the room can start for an NFL team. So, whenever someone plugs in, it's just, all right, let's figure out how we gel together and make that work for the best because Lane blocks different than McCray and both block differently than Max (Scharping). So, you've just got to rep, and repetition and going about it. But I'm having a lot of fun working with these guys up front. The season's gone a little rough, but the relationships and how we come about it, how we go to work throughout the week, we're being professionals about this. We'll do the same this week. Where do we go, Jacksonville? We'll get ready, prepare the week and get ready to go down there and take a W."
When you get down to the one-yard line and can't get six, what's your reaction to that in the middle of the game?
"I don't know. I've got to go watch it. I'm not really thinking about anything like that because at that point we got a field goal, and we were down by three. So that's fine. We want a touchdown. We didn't finish the drive, but we got points, so it's not a failure. So, we just go to the sideline, stop them. I think they got a field goal. We had a shot. At the end, they kind of just had a couple of plays that put a couple of points on the score and kind of put it out of reach. I think the whole team fought hard. I think there was a lot of injuries that we should pray for and hope for healing. It was a rough day out there, but it was a battle. I think we had great effort. We'll go to work this week and go to Jacksonville and kick some butt."
Kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn
How special was it to hit that 61-yard field goal?
"It was pretty sweet. Felt good coming off the foot and I just wish we got the win it would have been that much sweeter."
What were you thinking going into the kick?
"Just kind of same routine. Obviously, it's a little longer so I tried to get more behind it, but pretty much same routine."
What is the longest you've ever made warming up in the stadium?
"I think we've hit from like 65 before on a good day, but it was nice to get the opportunity before half. The offense got down there set it up perfect."
Did it make any difference that the roof was open?
"Maybe. I'm not too sure. There was a little swirl with the wind in there, but played it right and made it through."
What at this point in the season helped you make this kick?
"I think just riding the waves of ups and downs. Learning from each opportunity whether it's make or miss. Try to learn more from the misses. It's a lot of mental game for me and I try to work on that through the week and take one rep at a time. I've been lucky to have good teammates, good coaches that believe in me and throw me out there for a 61-yarder. Lucky to make it."
When did you find out you were going to have the chance to make that kick? How did you handle getting yourself ready to do it?
"Usually when we cross a certain point of the field, third, fourth down, I'm ready regardless whether it's a 60 or a 30-yarder. So, when it comes to third down during that point on the field and obviously when it's halftime, we'll try longer attempts. So, I was just ready when my name was called.
How important was it being on the other side of the 50?
"I think long distance kicks are fun. We practice them and when you're lucky enough to get an opportunity to hit them, you want to execute."
In the second half they were thinking about a 59-yard field goal at that point. Did you feel that was based on the kick before and the confidence they had in you or what was the conversation there?
"I think it was a little different just because of the point in the game and the score and it wasn't halftime. The last kick of the half, it's done and they're not going to get the ball at half field. So, it's a little different situation, but it didn't work out and we just move on."
When the offense is struggling the way it has, how do you not put or do you at all put any extra pressure on yourself to make kicks?
"I just try to block out the situations regardless. Whether it's a PAT or 30-yarder or 60-yarder, try to act the same way regardless of the situation so, it's going through a routine. We practice it throughout the week. You just execute when your name is called."
How much did the preseason injury affect you and how long did it take to get out of that?
"It was just a groin injury, moved past it and worked my body back into kicking shape. Glad we got that fixed and kicking well now."
Linebacker Christian Kirksey
What did you see in the run game from the Seahawks?
"Just us being undisciplined at times, knowing we have a responsibility to do and we just didn't do it all game. We wish we could get some of those plays back, but we have to play better football."
How tough was is it seeing LB Kamu Grugier-Hill being carted off?
"Anytime you have one of your teammates not being able to get up on their own, having to be assisted and carted off, you never want to see that. Kamu is a close teammate and close friend to me. It's definitely devastating to watch when a player goes down and a friend as well, but that's a part of the game, sadly. All we can do is just continue to put our prayers out there and keep encouraging him."
Did you have a chance to say anything to LB Kamu Grugier-Hill on the field or in the locker room after the game?
"Yeah, just told him that we're pulling for him and praying for him. We're going to keep balling for him and do everything we can to keep going for him. I got a chance to talk to him. I'm sure I'll talk to him later on today."
What have you thought about the contributions that LB Kamu Grugier-Hill has made, especially when you were out and the record for most tackles in a game?
"He's a great player. He's a guy that can play the run and play the pass well. He got right in and he did everything that he could possibly do and he did it very well. Obviously, when he's not on the field his presence is missed and we've just got to just keep going. Like I said, just keep encouraging the guys and keep playing football."
You guys knew they throw it deep to Tyler Lockett. How much did that long touchdown pass hurt you?
"It hurt. I mean any touchdown, whether it's short or long, it hurts. But our coach always preaches don't let the explosive happen. Offense is going to get plays here and there, but the explosive is what kills you. Today we gave up some explosive plays. You can't win football doing that."
Did the long touchdown pass before half catch you off guard?
"I wouldn't say it caught us off guard. They just had a better play and we didn't execute our call very well, and they took advantage of that."
When you say that at times in the running game that you guys have been undisciplined. What is the reason for that?
"Our defense is built on everybody individually doing their job. A defense is supposed to move as a unit and when we don't all do be on the same page, things can happen. Negative plays can happen for us. I would just say that we all need to be responsible for what we're supposed to do, all 11 guys and make sure we play complementary defense. At times we did and at times we didn't, and when we didn't it cost us."
How do you balance playing with your instincts and sticking to your assignment, but also wanting to jump out do something special?
"You can play with your instincts and you can still go out there and make plays, but you've got to make the plays that come to you. Because when you start getting outside of yourself and outside of the scheme, then that's when big plays happen on us. I always say do your job and finesse your job, and find ways to do your job and win. There's nothing wrong with beating a man across you and playing with instincts, but just do it within the scheme and do it within your job. I think when all 11 guys do that we can be a dominant defense."
Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks
You started off pretty fast and then not being able to sustain that during the game. Why do you think that was, what was the mood, the emotion?
"You're right, started off fast. It's one of those things that, to be honest, we haven't did that in a while. That was great. But we didn't sustain it and didn't finish it. We had multiple opportunities and we didn't capitalize. So, it was unfortunate. But gotta get back to work and keep trying to find ways to fix that.
Did you feel like you got in when they called you down?
"Absolutely. But it is what it is. You've got to live with those calls. When it's first and goal from the 1, regardless, I expect us to score. And we didn't. But we've got to get back to work and try to fix some of those things."
A lot one-on-one jumps on the sideline today. Where do you feel y'all are in that and why did y'all feel like you could get that done today?
"It was one of those things, like Coach talked about with the quarterbacks, giving guys a chance and seeing what they can do. We've got a bunch of playmakers all throughout this offense. But when you do get that opportunity and that chance you better make the quarterback right. And I think that was displayed in some ways today."
What did you think of QB Davis Mills' command in his first start since the last time he started?
"I thought he was great. He came out, he started fast. His energy was great. He made great decisions. Just gotta continue to find ways to build off that and keep heading the right direction."
What did you notice that was different about him now since he's had some experience now as your starter?
"I think just being smart with the ball, not forcing things, taking those check downs when the big play is not there. That's vet status right there when you can do it as a young guy and you show that to your team. I think he's grown tremendously in that aspect."
Head Coach David Culley's been pretty adamant that he feels it's an execution issue for some of the offensive struggles. Do you feel the same way?
"Absolutely. I take that as a player and we hold ourselves accountable in that standpoint. Obviously it has to do with some type of execution because we're not scoring as many points as we want to. But we've got to continue to trust the process, continue to trust the coaching and the scheme and just be able to find a way to come up big in those moments."
Is it hard for you to hear loud cheers for the Seahawks and have so many of their fans here?
"In history, they've always traveled well. I'm not disheartened at all, our fans are incredible. When we made plays we heard them loud and clear. It's the NFL for you, especially those guys. Like I said, they've always traveled well throughout history."
It seemed like you and other receivers got those early downs, trying to get the screens for early yards. Where was that emphasis today?
"Just knowing the Seattle scheme and being able to read some of those things. The quarterback really reading it out and just trusting it and those guys on the outside, Chris (Conley) and Pharaoh (Brown). You talk about tremendous job of them blocking, that's a big trust thing when you're throwing those screens. They did an incredible job."
After QB Davis Mills got off to such a hot start and then slowed down in the second half, did you have a conversation with him in the second half?
"No, the biggest thing that I was saying was just continue to trust himself, trust what he sees and don't press. Don't take a step backward and press and try to make those big plays when they're not there. And I think he did that. We've still got to find ways outside of him to be able to make him right, even on those check downs or whatever the case may be."
Does that show maturity as a quarterback?
"No doubt. Absolutely."
What were your reactions and feelings seeing LB Kamu Grugier-Hill go down?
"You're just at a loss for words. I'm praying for him. You talk about a special player, but a special man that means a lot to this team and this locker room. It's so unfortunate that this game comes with those type of things, but he knows we love him. We'll be there with him right by his side through it all. It was just unfortunate."
On the offensive pass interference, did they tell you that you pushed off or what was the explanation?
"The explanation was they saw his reaction, didn't see me push off. But you know it's part of the game. And it is what it is."