Seahawks LB Jamie Sharper
(on if he's surprised the Texans haven't won a game) "Oh, definitely. Definitely surprised. Just seeing them start off the season in Buffalo and then I'm surprised they didn't get a win or two at home, that was kind of surprising because that's where we played the best last year. But to be 0-4 and then looking at the schedule they have coming up, they have some tough games coming up, too. It's very surprising."
(on if he foresaw the bad start for the Texans) "I didn't foresee anything like that. I think last year when I was playing in Texas, with the people we had on the team I thought we could definitely do some things last year. We played some teams tough, and we didn't get the victories early in the season. The losses early in the season hurt us last year. That's why we couldn't really get to the playoffs. But now after I left, and Aaron Glenn and some changes they had there, I'm not sure what's going on right now with those guys. I know they're out there still playing hard because that's just how we played when we were down in Texas. I'm not sure what the problem is and why they can't turn it into wins on the field."
(on if him and Aaron Glenn were still in Houston) "I can't say for sure whether they'd be winners or not, but I know that me and Aaron would be getting down to what the problem is. It wouldn't be like just going out there practicing and seeing what happens. We're the type of guys that would go in there and try to see what's going on. Either talk to the team ourselves or talk to the coaches or something. You can't just have guys out there just practicing hard all day and what have you. The communication between coaches and the players is not there about what needs to be changed. You have to communicate and have everyone on the same boat, whether you're winning one or two games or you're winning eight or 10. You want the whole staff on the same page. That comes along with communication. I think that's the main thing that if I was down there still, I would want to know what's going on, not just going out there and just practicing and doing things I wouldn't know what was going on, like playing different things or what have you."
(on veteran leadership on the Texans) "Leadership is always something. Actually when I came up to Seattle, that's the main thing they wanted me to bring to this team, was some leadership. Because we had some young linebackers and we had some guys on the Seahawks that weren't team players and were somewhat selfish, so they wanted more of a team atmosphere. Down in Houston, they have guys that can get things done. David and those guys, they want to win. It's just a matter of going out there and getting the communication between players and coaches and everybody on the staff, because you all want to be on the same page."
(on what's different about the Texans' offense this year compared to last) "I'm not sure. It looks like some of the same type of plays but I think we look at his pass protection and getting the ball out of there, it's taken a step back to that first year where they're not getting the ball to certain players down the field, they're just checking the ball down to Domanick. There's that lack of flow to the offense right now. But last year they were doing some good thing. The offense was almost explosive. That could be just the fact that we had Andre in there his first year and teams didn't know about him. Maybe now teams are just loading up on him but I'm not sure. But the main thing is I know those guys down there are going to work hard and try to get through the season, I just hope they don't get through it this weekend."
(on facing a struggling team) "The main thing you want to do is, playing a team that's winless or a team that's struggling, at the beginning of the game, you want to play well and make sure that they understand nothing's changed and when they come out for their first series of the second half, you want to make sure they don't get any momentum. The start of the game and that start of the second half, make sure you have the momentum, don't let them get anything going and it kind of wears on them."
(on this game being a possible let-down game) "You can look at it sometimes and worry about that. I think our coaching staff worries about it a little bit. But just looking at this team overall, we have a veteran team, a team that went out last week and played against our arch-nemesis, St. Louis, a team they lost to three times last year. We had two receivers go down and we didn't change our game-plan up at all. Guys got to step up and make plays and step up on the offense and step up on the defense. That's the attitude we have up here in Seattle where it's whatever it takes to get it done. We haven't necessarily had a bad game where we didn't bring the emotion or didn't go out there and play well, especially overall as a team. I think playing at home, guys are going to have the momentum and the main thing for us is to go out here and realize we have to put the same effort in the week of practice the same way we did against St. Louis. Houston's a different team, they have different schemes they're coming at us with, but we got to go ahead and get a film study done."
(on Seattle's offense being ranked number one in the league) "That's one of the biggest things I've seen changed since coming out here. I came from Baltimore, we had a struggling offense, and then Houston's offense had some good players but we still struggled some ways. But we played Arizona and to see the second string offense go on the field during a game, I can't really remember the last time I've seen that. It's probably only happened like twice in my career where the second-team offense goes out on the field during the regular season. It keeps you rested and let's you know that you're never going to be out of a ball-game. We go out here and play defense like we should…We're playing ok defense, we're not playing anything like I expect us to play, but the fact that we have a good offense that goes out there and not just puts points on the board, but a guy like Matt Hasselbeck's not throwing interceptions, he's leading the offense. You can just tell that this is a different kind of team."
(on getting together with some of his old teammates) "I don't know. If they come up earlier I'll definitely get with them, but if they come up the day before the game, I probably won't have time to. It just depends on what time they get up here, but hopefully I'll have the chance to talk to a couple guys."
(on Domanick Davis) "The same thing Domanick's been doing since he got there, hitting the holes fast and catching check-downs and different pass routes. He's pretty much the guy that we have to stop here is Domanick, because with the running game, it keeps the pressure off of David and then he's there for the check-downs. So if we can take him out of the game, I know we can definitely frustrate the offense."
(on getting to David Carr) "We hope we can rattle him. We hope we can go back there and just keep the pressure on him. Don't allow Domanick to have a couple good runs and to keep the pressure off of David. We want him to be back there in third and long and have to worry about a blitz or worry about getting hit. That's what we want to happen. The main thing we have to do is go out here and just keep Domanick from getting some big runs. And I think with the guys we have, we can go ahead and get after Domanick."
(on Texans problems in third-and-long situations) "I don't know. I can't really speak for it because I'm not an offensive player. I don't know why they're giving up the sacks, or what the mode is that the guys are going through. But I know that hopefully they'll give up 20 this weekend to us because I need my first sack of the season. So that's what I'm looking for."
(on if O-line changes are difficult to prepare for) "No not at all. Not the offensive lines. You don't need to know their names or anything. If they're not Walter Jones then nobody cares about who they are. We worry about the skill positions. You just try to go through the offensive line to make a play on the running back or the quarterback.
(on what worries him about facing Texans offense) "I would say what worries me the most is Domanick of course. I don't know if Andre's going to play or not, but if he doesn't play then all I'll care about is stopping Domanick Davis. That's all I care about. I know (the receivers) can hurt you, I've seen them hurt other people but I'm more worried about him. And I think our guys (Marcus) Trufant and Kelly Herndon can take care of the rest.
(on best way to stop Carr) "To get him in third and long situations, that's the main thing. Make sure that he's not in those third-and-shorts where they can run the boots and what have you, where a five-yard check down to Domanick won't give them a first down. So third-and-long is the best way.
Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren
(on keys to early season success) "Well I think that we've been able to maintain some balance between the pass and the run. I think our quarterback, whom we build our offense around, has been pretty consistent this year after the first ball game where we threw a couple of turnovers. And we haven't turned the ball over in four games. So you put all that together, and we have a pretty good running back, and I expect the offense to do OK.
(on passing game success despite injuries) "Well we have a saying around here that we've been through injuries before, and injuries are a part of this business as you know, and that the next guy comes in and we're not going to change dramatically from what we try to do, whether its successful or not. You lose your two starting receivers so it might be a little tougher. So we went into last week's game with that kind of attitude. We'd preached that to our players and Joe Jurevicius had a wonderful game. He just stepped up. I knew he was a good hands guy, he's a big guy, he runs good patterns, but he had an exceptional game; nine catches is a big game for anybody. And (D.J.) Hackett and (Peter) Warrick, the guys that had to replace (Bobby) Engram, they played football they way they are capable of playing. We have pretty good depth at that position.
(on how to label offense, which is better than the OK he expected) "I think we have some continuity on offense. Our offensive staff has been together, I'm very involved in the offense. So the system itself with the players that we now have, while we're not very experienced on defense, but we have a little more experience on offense, and we've been able to keep those guys together. We've got Pro Bowl guys in (Steve) Hutchinson and Walter Jones on the left side of line. We have a good, young tight end who is just coming into his own after three years in Jerramy Stevens. (Shaun) Alexander is about the same age, (Darrell) Jackson is about the same age and Hasselbeck has been here three or four years now. So they're all kind of coming together. You go with the growing pains early and if you keep them together long enough, and I think we're experiencing some of that; they're playing with some confidence now. They are pretty smart guys, and they understand our system."
(on defeating St. Louis last week) "Yeah, that was a big one. That was really a big one because we'd gone down there and not played very well before. We've also gone down there, played OK and lost close games. And then of course St. Louis beat us three times last year and knocked us out of the playoffs. So it's quite a rivalry and it's a tough building to play in. And to go down there, particularly when we were injured, that might be the type of game, you know the hump game, for not only this team but this organization. That type of a game where no one really expects you to win the game but you go in there and get it done.
(on if the Texans face situation this week) "Well I think, as I've told the team this morning, if you go in to any game and think you can just go out there, put the ball down and play the game without emotion and without being mentally prepared, you are going to lose. Any team in this league is capable of beating any other team. That's a cliché but it's also true. So you throw out the records, you study the film, you prepare for your opponent that way and then try to play your game. Try to raise the bar to a certain level that you're going to play up to that level regardless of who you're playing ,where you're playing and things like that. And that's easier said then done, but that's the thing we're preaching this week.
(on coaching this defense) "They're a fun group to watch in practice. I kind of stay out of their hair as you know. Ray (Rhodes) was a huge concern for all of us because he was sick, and now he's getting better every single day. But our defense respond to him, they respond to John Marshall who is doing a great job, and John's kind of coordinating the defense right now. But we have nine new starters compared to last year and a lot of those are young kids, either rookies or first year guys. And they're just playing. They're not worrying about too much, they're preparing themselves and they play with a lot of emotion. I think we have a little bit of a no-name defense but my feeling is that over the course of the year that they're going to get better and better and better with each game they play as we gain experience. My hope is that by the end of the season they're playing their best football, and I think that's going to happen."
(on if getting up early on a winless team helps reinforce opponent of record) "I try to block those kinds of feelings out of my head, honestly. I have tremendous respect for the Texans organization. Starting from the owner on down. You have a great owner, Charley Casserly is a good friend of mine and does a great job, and Dom Capers is another good friend who is an excellent football coach. So teams sometimes start out tough; they've played Pittsburgh, they played Cincinnati and they've lost close games. It just happens. I've been there. You do as a coach, or as an organization, I know you come in and you're scarred and backed into a corner, and you're going to play. I have to get my team ready to play a team that feels they're backed into a corner a little bit. So that's the big challenge I have."
(on if team's benefited from players in contract season) "Uh, you know I don't know. That's a very interesting question that you think about a lot but I never know that answer to that. I think in free agency, and we have a lot of free agents, we also lost a couple that I really wanted to keep. But with Walter Jones as an example, he was going to be the same guy. He's always been the same guy. Hasselbeck played the game, he was a free agent and nothing was going to change him. Alexander had a good year last year but he's having an even better year this year. So I think the guys we have, I'm happy to say, they're very professional. Yeah while it's unquestionably in the back of their minds, I'd be lying if I said I didn't believe that, they still play. When the gun goes off and you start playing the game on Sunday, I'm sure they're thinking too much about that stuff, I'm really not."
(on Trent Dilfer and Joe Jurevicius both losing their children) "I think those are just tremendous stories. I have four daughters and four granddaughters now and to think of losing one of them, I mean it would probably have to be the toughest thing you'd have to deal with in your life. But they are both really solid Christian guys, and they believe. They've handled it as well as you could possibly handle it. Anytime they have success, I know Joe mentioned it last week that on the way to the game he drove by the hospital where his child was, and it was hard for him. And I didn't know that until I read it in the paper. Of course with Trent we kind lived that with him when he was going through that. It's just a remarkable statement about the type of people they are. They're good football players, but I think it says a lot more than that in the fact that they are very foundationally tough guys. Any success those guys have, they're special guys and they'll continue to be special guys. I haven't known Joe that long. I knew Trent a little bit better but I just tip my hat to both of them."
(on preparing for Texans defense that has no turnovers and gets little pressure on QB) "I wish I had never heard those two stats all week. Because you go shoot, it's a little bit unusual. I know what I'm seeing on film and I said I don't want to be the team that all of sudden coughs the ball up too much you. I don't want to be the team that all of sudden breaks down their pass protection. But really what is boils down to, and it's really no different every week as far as I'm concerned, is that we have tremendous respect for every team we play. I think you must start that way. But then it's how do we play, how do we prepare and how are we thinking that will determine how well we do in the football game. That's really where my focus is."
(on Jamie Sharper) "We have a lot of young linebackers as you know, and they're playing well but it's nice to have a veteran linebacker in the locker room and in the drills. Jamie has played well for us; he plays basically first and second down for us, he comes off the field in third downs. He has a little bit of a players knee I would call it, it flares up on occasion, and so we've practiced him and played him a certain way as far as numbers go because I want him to last the whole season. He's great with those guys. As much as I want to think that they listen to every single word I say all the time, I think more often than not if you could have a veteran player who is a good guy, who believes in the things we believe in as an organization, if he's there to kind of answer some questions in the locker room when there are no coaches around, I think it really helps you. I know Jamie has filled that role for us."