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Transcripts: 12-10-2021 Press Conferences 


Opening Statement

"I guess everybody wants to know who the quarterback will be on Sunday, it will be Davis (Mills). Davis will be the quarterback on Sunday."

What led to your decision?

"I felt like he gives us the best chance to win and going forward he will be the quarterback."

Going forward for the rest of the season?


What did you see from QB Tyrod Taylor that didn't give you the best chance of winning?

"Well, you've seen the last three ball games we've played, hadn't been good enough."

How much do you feel what QB Davis Mills has done before will help him moving forward?

"I think it will be a tremendous help for him. The big thing for that is that he's played six ball games. He got thrown into it in Cleveland and then he had to just go headfirst. But I thought if he could do the things he did, and I expect him too, in the New England game which he played very, very well, good decisions, protected the ball, I feel like we will be fine."

Earlier in the season you were committed to QB Tyrod Taylor being the quarterback. Why now say that QB Davis Mills will be the guy for the rest of the season?

"It has nothing to do with Tyrod not being ready to play. It's just we feel like that's the best thing that gives us a chance to win."

Do you feel like this is somewhat of an audition for next season for QB Davis Mills?

"I wouldn't say it's an audition, we're only looking for this season for him. Right now, all I'm looking for him to do is get us a win on Sunday."

Do you think if QB Davis Mills does play the rest of the season it gives you a good enough look at who is as a quarterback?

"Yes, that will be 11 games that he would have had under his belt. I think that's plenty."

As a coach, do you have to make sure QB Davis Mills doesn't think about it in the bigger picture?

"Oh, he's not thinking about that at all."

QB Tyrod Taylor is on a one-year deal with you guys. What does that mean for him going forward?

"He's a pro. I mean he didn't like the decision. I wouldn't have liked it either, but this is a production business. On offense it always starts at that position and we needed a spark, we needed a change and I made the change."


With Head Coach David Culley announcing you as the starter for the rest of the year, what is that message to you, and how do you view the final five games?

"I'm excited for them. It's a challenge each and every week going forward, but the goal stays the same for the whole team, just going 1-0 every week."

How much does your approach change knowing that it's your team now?

"I don't think it changes it. I still have the same process week in and week out, just kind of going week to week, figuring out as much as we can about the opponent. Obviously, it's Seattle this week. Like I just said, the goal stays the same. Just trying to go out there and a get a win every week."

What does it mean to you that the coaches are showing this much confidence in you?

"It's pretty cool. Obviously, I'm in a situation now I guess I've dreamed about since I was a little kid, being named the starter for an NFL franchise. It's pretty cool."

What are the things you have left to prove this year?

"I don't know if I really need to go out there and prove anything. Just got to go out there and play my best."

What was your reaction when Head Coach David Culley told you that you will be starting?

"I didn't know going forward, he didn't say for the rest of the season, but just kind of got a good feeling I was going to start this week. (I'm) obviously excited and ready for the challenge."

What have your interactions been with QB Tyrod Taylor since the decision has been made?

"It's been good. Obviously, a tough situation, but we both want what's best for the team. I guess whatever the decision they make upstairs is what we have to roll with."

What do you see from the Seahawks defense without Jamal Adams?

"They still have a lot of talent over there. Obviously, historically they've been a really good team defense. Still have to worry about guys like Bobby Wagner. He's kind of all over the field. Ready to just go out there and make plays. When we play our best, I'm able to distribute the ball to the playmakers on our team. Ready for it."

Do you view these final games as a chance to keep the quarterback job into next season?

"I don't know if I've thought that far ahead yet, but I guess potentially. Obviously, I'm just going out there and trying to play my best."

What kind of reaction did you get from your family when you told them the news about you starting?

"Everyone's really excited. I really haven't had a chance to talk to them yet because I think the news just broke this morning. I'm excited. My dad's going to fly out for the game this weekend, so I'm excited to see him."

Head Coach David Culley said he liked how you're getting the ball out quicker. How have you felt about that?

"Going out there and playing efficient back there in the quarterback position, that includes getting the ball out quick to the playmakers. Obviously, it takes a little pressure off the offensive line and the protection, but it also allows us to really spread the ball out and keep the defense guessing."

What is something you think you are better at now than before?

"A lot of it's just the knowledge of the offense that I'm running, knowledge of the playbook, and then the chemistry with the guys that I have around me. It's a lot easier going out there and being able to anticipate, so I guess anticipation would be one of those things. Just knowing where people are going to be at."

What do you think you did well in the Patriots game?

"As an offense as a whole, I thought we just executed the plan really well that week. We got a chance to make some big plays and kind of turned some routine plays into big ones, as well, especially with that Chris Moore touchdown on the right sideline. Really just going out there and doing my job to the best of my ability and then letting the guys play well around me."

When Head Coach David Culley announces you as the starter for the rest of the season, what does that do for you?

"Like I said, I'm just going to go out there and try to play my best, and everything else will fall into place."

What are some of the things that you do well within the offense that are different from when you were starting before?

"I think just having an emphasis on continuing to spread the ball around with all of our weapons we have on offense, and then just playing a clean game as a whole. Mixing up the snap count, being solid in protection, try to not mismanage any points or pre-snap decisions, and then really just going out and executing post-snap."


How are you feeling?

"I'm feeling alright. Almost Christmas."

How did you work through the illness as a team, and how are you feeling now?

"I'm feeling good. It's just a day-to-day kind of thing, and we're feeling good. I'm feeling good."

How do you feel about the Seahawks offense this year compared to past seasons?

"Russell Wilson, he's a veteran quarterback. (You've) got to respect him and got to come with the A-game, because you know he's going to extend the plays, keep them alive. We've got to cover long, so it's going to be a good challenge."

Where has the consistency in the secondary come from, especially after the bye week?

"As a team, that was just the plan. Trying to hone in on what we had to do, do our job and just try to keep getting better every week."

What do you think about the Seahawks receivers, including Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf?

"They're going to present a challenge, but like all other receivers in the NFL, we've got to go through them. It's going to be a fun challenge."


Can you take us through your season so far?

"Definitely starting off with special teams earlier on in the season, it's been a good experience for growth. I definitely came a long way since the first day I stepped foot in this facility. It was funny because me and Coach (Sean) Baker were just talking about the first day in rookie minicamp and how far I came already. There's definitely a standard more now that I see for myself with this team, with the vets in the room, seeing how they carry themselves. Kind of like the standard how I know I need to carry myself, too. Kind of just learning every day and growing every day and becoming better and better. That being said, it's fine for where I'm at, but just keep growing and just keep elevating."

How early on Sunday did you find out you were going to have the role that you did?

"It's crazy. I think we were warming up. Right when we were doing a couple team things in warmup and Coach (David Culley) told me, 'Hey, if anybody gets tired, you have my word to go in.' I was excited, I was like 'cool', but it's kind of just that 'next man up' mentality, something that just comes with preparation. You never know when your number is going to be called and you never know when your name is going to be called, so just always being ready and always being aware and alert."

With the possibility of having a bigger role the rest of the season, what is your approach to finishing your rookie year?

"I think all of us really had that same approach, just keep putting our best foot forward, doing what we can to help the team out in any way possible, and that's kind of been my mentality the whole year. I just plan on keeping that mentality for the rest of the season. Really, just coming in every day, preparing as hard as I can mentally and physically and just being able to put my best foot forward. Having guys like Christian (Kirksey) and Kamu (Grugier-Hill), and some older vets in the room helps with that, brings a lot of confidence mentally, too, playing next to them. It's really just, like I said, a 'next man up' opportunity. I've just got to take full advantage of it and put my best foot forward."

What were some of your takeaways after reviewing your tape?

"Like anything, I think anybody's first time out there, maybe just a little anxious sometimes, the first couple plays. But once the game went on, I could just get a better feel for the game, and that's the main thing. Just keep learning from reps, keep learning from taking reps, opportunities, keep getting better and better. That's the real takeaway that I took away from watching the film, and that's the plan going forward."

Did you run into LB Christian Kirksey on one of your tackles?

"No, I ran into Kamu (Grugier-Hill) on one of them. We laughed about it a little bit on film. But at the end of the day, things happen on the field. That's football. Like I said, keep learning, keep growing and just keep going forward."

What is something you've learned about yourself this year?

"That's a good question. It's definitely been a long year. I think mentally, coming from finishing a college season straight to draft prep, to rookie minicamp, to OTA's, then camp, and then a long season that's longer, almost playing like two college seasons. The real thing is just allowing myself to persevere through tough moments when I feel overwhelmed, but that just made me stronger mentally and better as a player. I think everybody goes through that through their first year. It's just a new stage in life, a new stage to grow and step forward. I'm definitely excited for the opportunity. I'm definitely glad and blessed to be where I'm at. It's all been just nothing but a blessing."

What kind of patience is required for the year you've gone through?

"Patience-wise, just coming every day and having that attitude and that grit to just keep going forward and keep getting better. I think for anybody coming in their first year, the main focus is they want to put their best foot forward each and every time they're out there. But you also have to learn how to walk before you can run, that's kind of that mindset. Just being patient and learning from the older guys, learning from the coaches. Just finding ways to become better as a player and a student of the game, and it's a process. It's been nothing but, like I said, a blessing to just keep elevating, keep going forward and keep preparing the way that I've been."

Are there things that you are learning on special teams that can be applied to playing defense?

"Most definitely. I will say special teams, there's a lot more technique that you need to learn. You're going against guys in this league who maybe their only role is special teams. Special teams is taken a lot more seriously, which is a good thing. It should be. Just learning new techniques, learning how to be successful technique-wise at this level, whether that's just stance, anything, the small details. I've just learned that details are a huge thing in this league and they'll take you a long way if you focus on them. That's one thing Coach (Frank Ross) preaches to all of us, and that's one thing I've taken away from him, just trying to get better. Small details each and every day and be consistent with those details."

What are the things that you have done to develop your body?

"Just things you want to do nutrition-wise, lifting, more physical-wise, body-wise, just trying to grow strength-wise. Strengthen your legs, upper body and anything you can to be more physical at this level. That's just with anybody, I think, coming in. We all have to develop our bodies. Most people say players develop their bodies more so from year one to year two, and that's real. You need to develop your body to last long in this league. Your body needs strength to last all the games in this league."

Where were you physically when you came in compared to now?

"I would say when I came in, I was a lot lighter than I think I should've been. Really, Coach Mike Eubanks does a great job with me and his strength staff. We go to work every day, work hard, and he's really helped me grow physically in the weight room. I have Ladd (Harris) and Jacob (Mertens) and the nutritionists to just help me and make sure that my diet's on point, and that I'm eating right and putting the correct nutrients, carbs, protein, everything in my body to make sure I have energy out there and make sure I'm at my best."

What was your impression of this franchise when you first came in, and what was the message to you long term?

"My impression's the same that it was the first day that I was glad to be here. I knew we had something special here and I still believe we have something special here. We have a bunch of guys who are locked in, a bunch of guys who no matter what, come to work every day and put their best foot forward. Honestly, it makes coming to work a blessing because you have guys who've been in the game for a long time who still bring that same energy to practice, that same enthusiasm to practice each and every day. After being in the league for many years, I have guys like that to look up to. I have guys like that to grow from, so my impression has still been the same. I think very highly of this organization and I believe in this organization as much as anybody else in the building does."

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