Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck participated in a conference call with the Chicago media on Wednesday. Here's a transcript of the call:
On last week's win over the Saints
"It was an exciting game. We treated it like we always do. You enjoy it that night and then get back to work the next day. The nice thing was, we had an extra day on Sunday to kick back. The Bears had a bye and we had a one-day bye. It was nice. We gained a day."
On if it is tougher coming back to work from a "good win" than a "bad loss"
"That's always the case. In my experience as a player that has always been the case. It's always tougher to come back from a big win. But the Bears are such a good team it would be hard for us to get too full of ourselves. They're a really good team. It's going to be a huge challenge for us. There is enough to worry about. There is enough to focus on. But it is unusual. This is new for us. We got a lot of media at our practice today. That is very unusual for us. We usually just have the four or five people that cover our team and that's it for the year. We don't play on national television, ever, really. We get kind of forgotten about out here, so we are getting a lot more attention than we're used to. But all in all, I think guys are doing a pretty good job of staying focused and not letting all the extra interviews and stuff be a distraction."
On stating that he wanted to face the Bears this week but doing so in a careful way
"I was more careful than some people were last week. You're not trying to slight anybody when you say that. That was more of a shout-out to our fans. It was special. That could have been our last game at our place. We all know that the only scenario for us to get to come back [to host the NFC championship game] is that if the Packers are still alive in the playoffs."
On not turning the ball over against the Bears in Week 6
"We preach ball security and protecting the football. It's all about the football so, so much. It's a real transition from what we had been in the past. We talked about it. We are really offensive. Just the way Pete (Carroll) came in and the message he was trying to create here is, "Hey, it's all about the football. It's all about turnovers -- getting turnovers and not giving turnovers." He came in real hard with that message and then as the year went on, he was really starting to unpack the message. I think for me, I didn't play very aggressive early on in the year. I think I was playing a little tentative, a little too careful at times. And there have been times when I have been not careful enough. As a quarterback there is a real fine line that you've got to walk with protecting the ball and playing defensive instead of offensive or playing not to lose instead of to win. I think looking back to the Chicago game, that was the first game where I really found the balance that Pete is looking for in terms of being aggressive, playing football but being smart, protecting the football, holding it in high regard and taking that responsibility seriously. At the same time, you don't want to drive a car like a student driver. You want to drive it like someone who knows what the heck is going on and you feel confident in what you're doing without being reckless. That was the first game that I was able to do that in a full game situation."
On not getting sacked in the first game versus the Bears
"We've had a bunch of games where I haven't been sacked this year or one sack that was not the offensive line's fault. I think our pass pro(tection) has been really solid this year. We do a great job in blitz pickup. Our guys have really taken to that. We practice it all the time. That is probably true for any quarterback. If we can just keep games tight and we're still in the game and you get to play with decision making that is sound instead of kind of crazy, reckless, desperation things, than you can play football the way you want. You can stay balanced and you have a chance to win a game."
On if Julius Peppers can be "shut down" like he was in the first game
"(Julius) is a great player. We've played him many times and he is very disruptive to your game plan. I'm sure we'll be chipping on him, helping on him, double-teaming him as much as possible. He is a great player."
On Coach Carroll's rah-rah attitude and how it has influenced the Seahawks
"I think he's got that reputation as a rah-rah guy, but I wouldn't say that. He looks young but I think he's the second-oldest coach in the NFL. He is very much an old school guy. Most of his talks to the team go back to guys like John Wooden, Bud Grant or different people he coached or played with in San Francisco or wherever, even in college, stories that none of us even remember, hardly. Today I was talking to him about the '85 Bears, the game they played in Minnesota, he was in Minnesota at the time. So I don't see him as a college coach. I know he spent the last nine years at USC as a college coach, but I really see him as a long-time NFL coach who happened to go to USC for nine years to perfect his coaching style. He was able to do it. They had a dynasty going there. He built that program up. Took them from the ground and brought them back up. And that's exactly what he's trying to do here with us."
On what Carroll said about the 1985 Bears
"We'll keep that confidential until after this game. I don't want to offend any of the '85 Bears. I think a lot of those guys, they might still come after me."
On what Coach Carroll said about the Seahawks wanting to do everything they can to keep Hasselbeck and his own thoughts about his future with the Seahawks
"That's the first I heard of that. I didn't know he said that. We've had good communication all year long, even going back to training camp, even going back to March when they made a trade. They're looking for the next guy here; I know that, I get that. I'm not trying to concern myself with that. I'm just trying to play the best football that I can play. I really like Pete as a coach. I think he has done an awesome job. It has not been an easy job. He inherited a team that was in disarray. We've had a lot of roster turnover. We've been turning our roster over during the season. Even still we're working out guys and trying out guys. I think he's done a great job. For me, I would like to be on a winning team and a team that is heading in the right direction. That is the most important thing for me. And so, the only thing I can do to control that is I can play well. That is all I'm trying to do right now. Hopefully we can get this thing turned all the way in Seattle. We had a nice first step winning our division this year. I was here when we were winning our division. We were owning our division year-after-year-after-year. It is a great feeling. It's a great place to be in. That's kind of been our goal here. If we can get that done here and if I can be a part of it, that would be awesome. If not, I understand."