Seattle Conference Calls

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Transcripts of reporters' conference calls with Seattle's Mike Holmgren and Seneca Wallace on Wednesday afternoon:    

HEAD COACH MIKE HOLMGREN

On thanking the fans after his last game in Seattle…

I've been thinking about how to do that and a couple of options were presented to me. It'll be emotional. I'm an emotional person anyway. The football game is still a football game, so I'm going to be working that hard. When it's over, what I want to do is just kind of walk around, if there's anybody left in the stadium, if they haven't already gone to their dinner reservations and things, I was just going to make one walk around the stadium and thank them, and then head on in.

On if playing against QB Brett Favre will add to his emotions…

Sure. He and I have been through this, except it was him stepping down a couple times [laughter], then he decided not to. We'll talk before the game. He has meant a lot to me over the years and seeing him always puts a smile on my face. Here he is again.

When I saw the fact that — I don't know what came out first, him signing with the Jets or the schedule — but having this be my last home game here and Brett being on the team that comes in, the irony is just unbelievable. It'll be good to see him. He's having a great year and making a big difference, I think, with the football team.

On if Favre is playing the same as he remembers…

He looks the same to me. I've said that over the last couple of years. Every time they were talking about him retiring, and when he was talking about it, he and I have had conversations where I've told him that physically you can still play this game. There is no question about that.

The important thing is do you want to inside? The game gets to be hard sometimes. If you don't have that burning desire inside, the thing that has made him great over the years, then you probably should not play. He made the decision this year to come back and it appears to be a great decision. He's playing very well.

On if Favre has struggled over the past three games…

I haven't studied the film like that. I think teams, over the course of the season, hit little lulls every once in a while. That's not uncommon. Playing the position of quarterback is so much about your protection, how people are doing around you, is the running game going and all of those things.

I know this, that he's such a money player that if you get into crunch time in those tough situations, you really want him with the ball in his hands. The Jets are in a playoff position and are having a fine year. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that they were able to acquire him.

On Favre saying he wouldn't be successful without Holmgren's guidance…

It's kind of why I got into this business in the first place, way back when, when I was a high school history teacher and coach. You hope, you really hope that you're coaching the football game, the football team and the players, but you really hope that you can make a difference on the field and maybe off the field, just a little bit for your players.

When I get a letter now from somebody who I taught in high school years and years ago, I feel good about that. You're not sure they're ever listening, but in Brett's case that's very nice of him to say that. He's had a lot to do with my success in this business as well. It's kind of a mutual admiration society. I'm most happy about Brett as a dad, and as a husband, and how he handles and conducts himself off the field. To see guys grow up and do a good job that way, I feel good about that.

On Seattle's quarterback situation…

It hasn't been very good all year [laughs]. Matt [Hasselbeck] has been hurt most of the year. Then Seneca Wallace, the backup, was hurt early on. He's playing now and playing very well. Matt will be the third quarterback on Sunday in an emergency situation. Seneca will have the game, and Charlie Frye actually had a couple of games.

It's just been that kind of year. We had a good football team with high expectations here, and then something that I haven't seen in 25 years in the league happened to us. The team will be back and will be a really strong team next year, I believe that. They will not undergo this type of injury situation again.

On if he'll change his mind about retiring…

What's that saying? Never say never? No, I would not tell you guys. I think I'm going to take the year off. That's my thinking right now. I've been doing this a long time and I haven't taken any breaks in 17 years as a head coach. I'm looking forward to riding my motorcycle and reading a little bit more and maybe taking some trips and doing some stuff I haven't been able to do for a long, long time.

I'm calling it a sabbatical leave. Kathy, my wife, is calling it a retirement but I'm calling it a sabbatical leave. I think I have to learn how I'm going to react to this. That's the number one thing during this time that I have to see how I handle this. My feeling is that maybe next year I'll hop back in and do something after this year.

On the last time he talked to Favre…

I talked to him before he came out of retirement. I was in Arizona and he had his announcement in Green Bay about retiring. Then, as you might expect, his phone was probably ringing off the hook or whatever, and then I kind of let the dust settle and about 10 days after that we talked. We had a really nice talk. Then about, I don't know, a month later he changed his mind and decided he wanted to play.

On his thoughts of Favre being traded to a New York team…

It wasn't so much New York. I was trying to put myself in Green Bay's shoes at the time. I knew what everyone else read about teams that were involved in this thing. I was no more surprised about New York than any place.

I thought there were a couple teams that seemed to be a little bit more logical for him, but as long as he wanted to play and was clear in that decision, then teams who needed a quarterback or felt they needed a quarterback, I have to believe you're diving in there. I would have. I would have done the same thing. New York must've done a great job in recruiting him and there he is.

On if he thinks Favre will play again next year…

I've been wrong three times [laughs]. I'm not going to make a prediction. I'm just going to sit and wait and watch. After he makes his decision, I'm going to say, "I knew that."

On if he wishes he could return to Seattle next year to end on a more positive note…

The "ending on a more positive note" kind of creeps into my thinking every once in a while, as you might expect. I'm very competitive that way. I feel bad for the players and our fans this year. As I said, I think the team is going to bounce back just fine next year.

I've done this twice now. When I had the extension after the Super Bowl, we really kind of thought that was going to be it. We had this kind of soul-searching thing that extended for a couple more years. You get to a point where I think it's not fair to the organization and it really wouldn't be fair to my wife to keep deciding one thing and then doing another.

Once we made the call this year that this was going to be it, what I tried to do is just eliminate this from distractions for our team, thinking that we'd be in the playoff hunt down the stretch here and we didn't need any extra distractions. It turns out that we had a bad year, so that didn't mean as much. I believe we did the right thing. I know right now that I probably need this time off to recharge.

QB SENECA WALLACE

On if he will start Sunday against the Jets…

It's day-to-day. It's been like that the last couple of weeks. I really don't know. I just go out there and prepare and do what I'm told.

On if the team is more fired up for Coach Holmgren's last home game…

We've been fired up all year, but we've been coming up short and dealing with injuries. With this being his last game, we definitely want to go out and play hard. We play hard every Sunday, but this one may mean a lot more to a lot of players on the team.

On what a 3-11 team has to play for…

Pride, the name on the back of the jersey and the logo on the helmet. You just have to go out, keep playing, have fun and not really worry about your record. It's just going out and competing every Sunday.

On being a mobile quarterback…

You still have to go to out there and play. You have to go through your reads and progressions. If there are areas of opportunity where you can use your legs to have a big play then you want to do that. The 3-4 was built for a West Coast offense. There are a lot of good things that go along with that. We still have to go out there and execute and do all the proper things.

On Seattle's struggles this season…

You have to get lucky sometimes and luck hasn't really been on our side this season. We had some close games at home that we ended up losing by three points, two points. They were very close games that we could have won.

The ball didn't bounce our way sometimes. We dug ourselves in a hole early in the season with a lot of the injuries that we had. We've trying to fight out of it now. We continue to go out and play hard every Sunday. There are just some times that the ball doesn't bounce our way.

On if he thinks the Jets were lucky against Buffalo…

Sometimes you have to have the ball to bounce your way. They were playing Buffalo. They get a fumble late in the game and the defense scores for them to win the game. Sometimes you have to have those things happen your way.

On if Seattle is looking forward to playing spoiler to the Jets' playoff hopes…

We still want to go out every Sunday and win the game. Their record is a lot better than ours and they are probably fighting for a lot more than we are. We definitely want to go out, make it a game and make sure we play hard every snap.

On the offense maintaining chemistry with all the injuries…

It's been tough. Going into the St. Louis game the first time we had a whole bunch of different receivers in. When we played them on Sunday we only had three guys on the offensive side of the ball that had played the first time we played the St. Louis Rams. It's been difficult off and on with guys stepping in.

We're getting healthy at the receiver spot. We've had guys in certain positions for the last couple of weeks. That's good. We're getting a little nicked up on the offensive line. It's been difficult, but we're all professionals. We still have to go out there, keep moving the chains and scoring points on offense.

On being a quarterback for Mike Holmgren…

He is a perfectionist. He wants everything to be perfect. When you're out there playing on Sundays and it's a very emotional game, sometimes the ball may not bounce your way. He's fired up. That's just how he is. He plays with a lot of emotion as the head coach. He demands a lot out of his quarterbacks. That's the main thing. He demands perfection out of his quarterbacks on every level — communication, throwing the ball, handing the ball off. Whatever it is, he wants everything to be perfect.

On RB Julius Jones facing his brother RB Thomas Jones…

He hasn't said too much, but I know that they are a close family. He talks about his brother a lot. I don't know how his feelings are as far as going up against his brother. Julius, being who he is, is going to want to come out and play against the Jets and have a big game against them.

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