MP: I think it’s going to be, like every player that we take a look at in the game in general, after we play the game, we just try to do the best we can to try to improve on the performance that we had on the field. Obviously as a defense, we’re just trying to get better ever week and looking to improve. I think those guys went in and did some things well; they did some things that they need to improve on. You just get back out there and hopefully improve every week.
Q: Obviously you are not going to put them out there unless you think they are prepared, but can you really know that until they are in the game action? Do you feel like they translated well from practice to the game and met your expectations?
MP: Well, I think everybody that’s on the team hopefully is prepared to go out and play well in the game in whatever role it is they have to go out and participate in. I think everyone goes out and tries to prepare themselves like they’re going to play. I think that’s what they’re doing; that’s what we’re trying to do. I think that was kind of a preparation thing for everybody I can’t really be specific about that.
Q: Do you think Alfonzo Dennard made at least a little bit of a case for more playing time with his performance?
MP: Again, I think everyone on the team just tries to go out and do their job to the best of their ability. Certainly everyone that played had some good plays and certainly everyone that played had some plays they can improve on, so we’re just going to look at that every week and try to always put the best guys we can out there.
Q: Where is Jake Bequette right now in his development?
MP: I think Jake, again, is another guy right now that’s just working hard every day to improve and trying to get better. Great effort every day in the building to try to do that, so he’s just working really hard.
Q: Where does Marshawn Lynch stack up compared to the other great running backs you guys have faced recently?
MP: Yeah, I mean, Seattle’s offense obviously has some great players and Marshawn Lynch in certainly top on that list: very, very tough, hard-nosed runner, fast, great agility. This guy is a true challenge for us. He’s a phenomenal running back, so it will be a lot of work for us.
Q: Bill Belichick talked about his ability to break tackles and make extra yardage. I know you are limited in padded practices, but is there a way to stress tackling and if so to work on it as well?
MP: Good question. We always try to stress the fundamentals of football every week and certainly when you face players like this and really all of them – [Robert] Turbin, [Leon] Washington – they all do a great job as far as breaking tackles, running hard and just getting positive yardage when they touch the ball. It’s got to be a point of emphasis. Again, when you face players like this, the fundamentals are going to be really important for us to execute and obviously tackling is top of that list.
Q: Rob Ninkovich has made the transition to defensive end. Do you think he is finding a comfort level there now because of the impact plays he’s made recently?
MP: I think Rob, like everyone on the defense and on our team, is prepared to play in multiple positions or wherever we see as fit and play them to the best of their ability. I think that’s all he’s trying to do: go out and improve every week and really try to fit whatever it is we’re asking him to do that week. He’s just got to keep working to get better and improve and try to do everything you can to help the team, which he’s doing.
Q: You lead the league in takeaways. What are your thoughts on that?
MP: I think really the most important thing, obviously, is that we’re successful as a team and that’s really what we’re focused on. I think we’re just trying to go out and take advantage of whatever opportunity presents itself out on the football and make sure we’re prepared to do that, whether it’s takeaways, situational, down and distance, personnel, whatever it may be. We’re just trying to go out and perform well as a team and that’s the most important thing.
Q: Is it difficult to change gears from preparing for a player like Peyton Manning to a much less established quarterback like Russell Wilson? Does the preparation remain the same?
MP: Good question. I think you need to look at Seattle and Russell Wilson and what a great job he’s done handling the offense and managing what they’re doing out there. It certainly is a different transition for us, but that’s what we do every week; it’s different team every week. That’s why we’re really just focused on Seattle right now. We’re talking about a guy in Russell Wilson that’s very athletic, very fast, can really do a great job of moving around and getting the ball downfield and getting it to his players that he needs to get the ball to keep the offense in business. So, it certainly presents a different challenge for us but an extremely difficult one.