What The Washington Football Team Said Following Their 20-15 Loss To The Seahawks

Transcripts, interviews and press conferences from Seattle's Week 15 game vs. Washington.

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Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin (17) juggles with a ball and is unable to make the catch while being covered by Seattle Seahawks free safety D.J. Reed (29) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.'s performance today:

"I think he started a little bit slow and was kind of feeling his way around things. Then as he started to find his way a little later, you started to see him get more effective and make some things happen."

On if he doubted putting T Morgan Moses back in the game:

"No."

On the frustrations with today's game:

"The missed opportunities. When you go and look at it—we'll see it on tape tomorrow—there were some missed chances. We had some plays that we could've made that could have impacted the game. Unfortunately, we didn't make those plays."

On how the missed extra point affected the game:

"Well, that's exactly what it is. We started playing catch-up. We tried to gain it back, and unfortunately, we weren't successful with it. That put us in position where, instead of needing a field goal to tie, we had to go for it and try to score the touchdown to win. It was frustrating at that point for us as a team."

On Haskins Jr. improving his efficiency throughout the game:

"I think the biggest thing was he settled in. I thought [offensive coordinator] Scott [Turner] got into a good rhythm a couple of times. We moved the ball in the first half, and unfortunately, we turned it over. You get across the 50, you've got to put points on the board to give yourself a chance to win football games."

On second-half adjustments on defense:

"I'd like to believe our guys stepped up and played much better in the second half because of what we were doing defensively."

On what Haskins Jr. improved on in the second half:

"Well, the second half I thought he distributed the ball a little better. One thing you did see is he waited a little longer to distribute the routes and develop a little more downfield. Early on in the second half, he was getting the ball out a little quick underneath instead of allowing the routes down the field to develop a little better. Once he started doing that, he started finding those guys that were a little deeper in the second level."

On the linebackers today:

"I thought as the game went on, they got more and more comfortable. Again, as you said, a lot of these guys were guys that haven't gotten a lot of snaps. [LB] Khaleke [Hudson] got a chance to play. [LB] Jared Norris was out there playing. [LB Shaun] Dion Hamilton got an opportunity to play a little bit more as well. [LB] Thomas Davis was out there a little bit longer. These got more extended playing time. I think the more snaps they took, the more comfortable they got."

On the team's mentality this upcoming week:

"The biggest thing is this is the most important game we'll play this year. That's the truth. Then next week and the week after that, that game will be the most important. I told the guys we've got to focus in on the next upcoming opponent, get ourselves ready to play football and get after it."

On LB Khaleke Hudson and S Kamren Curl's performances:

"I thought they were good. I do. These are young guys that are dynamic players that do fly around and do understand. When guys get opportunities, they shine. That's what we got from Khaleke. I thought he did a nice job. Again, he's an athletic, young football player that still has a lot to learn. He got an opportunity and took advantage of it."

On the team's margin for error:

"I don't know because we spotted teams leads in the first half, and we've been able to come back and win games. You know what I'm saying? I don't know if that's fair or not. Again, we took advantage of opportunities. We made things happen. We had an opportunity to win and we didn't. That's the disappointing part."

On the team being able to contend in games:

"I think we have a chance. We have a legitimate opportunity to win a football game, to get ourselves in position. We'll see what happens. A lot can happen from between now and two Sundays from now. We'll see what happens one at a time. Like I said, the most important thing we have coming up is we play Carolina. We have to focus in on those guys. I told the guys: 'Hey, get past what just happened today. There's nothing we can do about it, so we might as well start getting ready for our next opponent.'"

On Haskins Jr. using his legs in the second half:

"I thought it was good. It kind of created some opportunities. I thought it brought those linebackers, that underneath coverage a little tighter because he started to run a little bit and it started opening up some of that second coverage passing. There's a plus to being able to move and be active as a quarterback."

On the defense stepping up:

"That's something that's big time. Being able to get those things really does show that these guys can make things happen when they get after it. It's unfortunate that opening drive of the first half we gave up a touchdown. You'd love to see those guys bode their necks and force a field goal. Instead, we gave up a long run that was really one of the things that came back and haunted us, obviously."

*On if today's game is a frustration moving forward: *"Not necessarily. We've got two games left still, and we're right in the middle of everything. Did we want to win this one? Absolutely. But we've got two more games. We'll take them one at a time and see what happens."

On having three quarterbacks active today:

"Well, a big part was if something were to happen, we'd have [QB Steven] Montez go out and play. If it was too big for Steven, we would go with [QB] Taylor Heinicke if something happened to Dwayne early in the game. Steven has not taken any live snaps because we didn't have any preseason games. He's good in practice, we just didn't know what to expect. That was the idea behind that. Just in case it was too big for him, we have a guy in Taylor Heinicke that can come out and settle things down for us if we had to do that."

On how much the offense was adjusted for Haskins Jr.:

"I don't think it was as much as was being made. I think the biggest thing that we did was we gave him a wristband with plays on it to see if it helped him as far as the verbiage to the other players. It seemed to get the pace of our huddles going a little faster, breaking, getting to the line of scrimmage and then giving Dwayne a chance to gather information as he looked over the opponent's defense."

On RB J.D. McKissic and TE Logan Thomas stepping up:

"I think it's amazing. I really do. These are guys that we brought in knowing that—at least we felt—that these are guys getting ready to take the next step. They most certainly showed it and have played like it. They really are a part of what we're trying to do as we go forward as a football team. It just shows you that their value is important as is missing a guy like [RB] Antonio Gibson. We look forward to getting Antonio back, hopefully this week. But we'll see. We've got to get everybody on the same page and get it going."

On if QB Alex Smith will start against Carolina if he is healthy:

"Yes. Alex is our starting quarterback right now. If he's healthy and ready to roll, he will. If not, Dwayne will be our starting quarterback. That's just the way to look at it. It's one of these things where we have kind of a set depth chart right now. Again, this is by health. If Alex is healthy, he'll start."

On getting into a rhythm in the second half:

"Yeah, just the biggest thing going into the second half was just trying to put some drives together, and that's what we did. Scott [Turner] did a great job calling plays. I was just trying to execute the best I could."

On what was working well in the second half:

"Just trying to be decisive, trying to get some man-zone stuff, some set and formational stuff and things that, you know, didn't go our way. Some plays I want back for sure. Still trying to sort through, but there's some things that we can work on improving on next week. It's a tough team, playoff team with a great quarterback and a great defense so it was definitely a hard-fought game."

On what changed after the second interception:

"Got mad."

On what getting mad means and what that meant to change his approach:

"I just know what I am capable of and stuff happens in a game and really just not letting the mistakes carry on to the next series or next play. So, after that play I put it on myself to do as much as I could to help this team come back. And, you know, we fell sort. I thought we had them at the end. But there are things to learn from, things to work on and improve from things on film that I'll get better from. Looking forward to next week."

On what happened on the second interception:

"It was a max protection. We had a two-man deep concept. I saw the corner and I thought he was going to run with Terry [McLaurin] from what I saw. He was playing in between both players and he fell off on a deep cross route coming from across the field. I've got to see him and check the ball down to the running back. Got a little gun trickery right there trying to make a big play. I should have just checked the ball down."

On what allowed the offense to move the ball down the field better in the second half:

"Just figuring out what they're doing and getting into the right stuff to make sure we exploit what we saw."

On what the tone and message were in the locker room after the game:

"We're not done. We have a big game next week versus Carolina. They're coming in to our place and a lot of history there with Coach Rivera and his time over there. Looking forward to the last home game of the season. Going on with the statement and playing a hard game against a good team."

On what he was saying to the defense after the touchdown to RB J.D. McKissic:

"I just wanted the ball back. I was excited. I thought they did a great job finishing the game. We have got to do a better job as an offense finishing the game. I've got to do a better job of just trying to make something happen at the end."

On where the comeback mentality with this team and with him specifically comes from:

"I'm a competitor and I hate losing. I hate being down on myself. We still have minutes left and possessions left in the game so we're going to treat them like they're our last drive of our life, and we're going to make the most of it. Regardless of the situation, regardless of who we're playing, regardless of the point of where it is in the season or anything whoever we play, we're going to compete to the last and final play. That's just the mindset we have to have trying to make this run. Two games left in the season, where we've got to finish strong. So, we have to have fight in us and we have to start early, we have to finish strong at the end and that's what we're continuing to work on and that's what I'm continuing to work on and learn. I'm getting better at it. Having Alex and watching him win these games previously, and how he processed how you work during the week and things of that nature is only something that I can continue to work on with my toolbox and apply it to myself in my game."

On how he has seen TE Logan Thomas grow during the season:

Logan is our beast, man. Former quarterback who understands the solid pockets of defenses having seen it from a quarterback perspective and then, you know, being savvy enough as a route runner to find the solid pockets. He's a great athlete to get away from man coverage and he's put it all together. It's a great blocker as well. He has played a lot of football. He is one of our leaders on our offense and our team. For him to get the opportunities that he's getting and for him to capitalize on them, I'm just happy for him. He said I threw him the ball 12 times and I had no idea, but he was getting first downs for me and you can't complain about that."

On if he had a chance to talk to T Morgan Moses after the game:

"Big Mo! That's my guy. Love that man. Saw him after the game, he said he was fine. Praying that he is good and continues to get back to full health."

On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.:

"I feel like he tried to do the best that he could, bouncing back from turnovers. He had us in a position to win the game. He had a short-term memory, so I felt like we made some plays and we left some out on the field. But that just doesn't fall on him. We have to make some of those bang-bang plays to help out the quarterback." 

On how tough it is losing today after winning the last four games:

"I think it's tough when you put yourself in a situation to win the game and you don't pull it out. I feel like we had an opportunity at the end and throughout the game to make some plays. We just didn't make those plays, but that's a good football team over there [Seattle]. I have to give credit to them. Their defense stepped up when they needed to, and they made some plays offensively, so don't take anything away from them. We felt like we left some stuff on the field. And with it being the end of the season like this, when we're in a playoff push, we have to capitalize on all opportunities." 

On the back-to-back scoring drives:

"I feel like they softened up a little bit, they were kind of walking up, blitzing and playing a little bit of press man which was a little different. I feel like we executed better in the second half. It's just putting it all together from the first drive to the end of the game. We have to start and execute like we do at the end of the game. Too many times we're playing catch up football and against good football teams, especially this time of the year, that's not going to quite get it done." 

On what changed for Quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. in the second half:

"He just continued to stick with it. Often times you may have seen where he made a few mistakes and then it's kind of a snowball effect, but I felt like he just had a next play mentality. I felt like he bounced back in a good way, and we just didn't get it done as a team." 

On the message to his teammates in the stretch run of the season:

"Next game mentality. We can't do anything about the last one. We have a Panthers team that's coming in next week that we have to focus on. We can't hang our heads and worry about this missed opportunity when we still have the opportunity to make the playoffs and get what we want. We're going to learn from the film tomorrow, come in and try to get our bodies right, and focus on the Panthers coming in next week. But this is not a time for us to hold our heads down. We just have to come out better than we did this week and hopefully, we come out on the other side." 

On TE Logan Thomas:

"I feel like Logan has really executed at a high level. To be able to pass/catch and make guys miss and get open and get separation like he can at that size is pretty impressive. I felt like he causes some mismatches for the defense. Him and the quarterbacks – whether it's been Alex [Smith] or Dwayne – they have been connecting a lot and that just helps our offense as a whole. When you have another weapon who's executing at a high level, it's good to see him continue to get better throughout the season and he's a very vital piece to our offense."

On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.:

"He just kept playing man. Super excited for the way he bounced back and the way he competed and the want to he showed. I'm happy that he carried himself the way he did."

On what he has learned about Haskins Jr.:

"Yeah, he's tough, resilient. I mean going down the hole we did, he could have shut it down but he didn't. He kept battling and gave us a chance to win this thing."

On being targeted during today's game:

"I feel good, but I think that was another testament to Dwayne. He was getting through his progressions and getting to his check downs and he did a good job. Obviously I'm thankful for to be one of the guys that was the recipient of that, but I'd love to have a W instead."

On where he's taken the most strides at tight end:

"Just playing, being able to play the game and just getting a full understanding of what defenses do and how to attack them because everybody does something a little bit different. Getting an opportunity to play is special and that's when you really learn the most."

On second half comebacks:

"That's how we're built. We're built with tough, strong and mentally tough guys. I'm proud of the way we battle every single snap. There's not one snap that we let go to the side where we're not really battling and want to be great."

On what stuck out in today's game:

"Just playing against the team that's very smart, team has played a lot of football together and is used to winning. Playing against something like that is another steppingstone for the progression of our offense."

On his interception:

"I was just excited. I was just retracing the ball. I could see it in the air and so I had to go get it. I wish I could have made a couple more plays."

On the defense's performance:

"I feel like we just come out and we know what they're going to bring to us, and we just try to shut it down. I feel like if we get a grasp of what's going on early in the game, we'll be better off as a team."

On the emphasis on tipping passes:

"Our coach always says, 'batted passes cause interceptions,' so once you get your hands up, we are always looking for a turnover."

On playing the run well during their four-game winning streak and what happened against the run today:

"I feel like we hurt ourselves more than anything. Coming out slow with a couple big plays. They made a couple of big plays and overall, it's just stuff that we need to improve on. I don't feel like it's an effort thing, but technique-wise we need to clean some stuff up."

On why he felt like the team started off slow:

"If I knew we wouldn't have started off slow. I feel like it may have been us coming out and feeling things out instead of just playing fast and hard like we usually do in the second half. Once we do that, I feel like we will be better off as a team."

On playing against Seattle QB Russell Wilson:

"Really it's just, you know who he is and what he brings to the table. I think all good defenses just go out there and try to execute their game plan and not really pay too much attention to the opposing offense."

On getting extended playing time today:

"It felt good. It's just a blessing. I've just been getting ready, doing what I have to do all season, being on special teams. It's always staying ready, always listening to what the older guys are telling me at practice and taking everything in so when my time came, I'm always ready."

On his adjustment this year:

"It's been a fun experience for me. Just growing up, I've always wanted to be in the NFL. Finally being here and being able to leave my mark on the game and doing whatever I can do to help us come out on top—it's been a heck of a feeling. I'm just so happy to be here. I'm going to keep going and doing what I do every day."

On his success today:

"Just execution for me. Just doing what the coaches told me to do. I give credit to my teammates helping me and putting me in position and doing what they do to help it be easier for me. I just give all the kudos to them and all the kudos to the coaches helping me this week and this season be ready for when my number was called."

On Seahawks QB Russell Wilson:

"It was a great experience, definitely, to be able to play against a quarterback like Russell Wilson. He's one of the best quarterbacks in our league, so going against him and being able to have a chance to play against a guy like him is unbelievable. I'm just doing my job and reading my keys and doing what I have to do to be able to stop him."

On his tackle for loss:

"It's the same thing. Just executing the play that [defensive coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio gave us and just being able to use my instincts on seeing what's coming and making a play at the end of the day."

On the amount of depth on the defense:

"It's got to be 'next man up mentality.' Guys get reps throughout camp and throughout practice for times like this. We understand in this game guys are going to get hurt. Guys are going to get banged up. The next guy, whenever his number gets called, he has to be ready. You can't have drop off at a position. You've got to go out there and make plays."

*On the Seahawks run game: *

"Nothing we haven't seen. We've just got to execute. We've got to execute what [defensive coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio calls. We executed. We were stout against the run, but when we didn't, that's when things got a little leaky. We'll make those corrections tomorrow and get ready to get back to it next week."

On the challenge of playing with different players because of injuries:

"I don't really see it as a challenge. I've played all the linebacker positions. I'm comfortable with all the guys that are coming into the game. We just really want to make plays on defense and give the ball back to the offense."

On the defense as a whole:

"Obviously, we weren't good enough. We didn't win. As a defense, we can all be better."

On if they focused on defending the pass game more than the run:

"It just came down to us executing, nothing more than that. When we executed, we were stout against the run. That's how we've been this year. When we've executed, we've been good against the run and good against the pass. When we don't execute what's being called, that's when things get a little leaky."

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