“Coming off a really good trip to Pittsburgh. We did a lot of stuff that we needed to get done to help us get started looking ahead during the season and playing on the road. It was a difficult challenge and all that because it’s a good team, good players, good reputation and all that kind of stuff and great crowd and all. It really helped us to go out there and get mentally right to play. Played really hard throughout the game, really good focus and all, and take advantage of the opportunities enough to get a win. It was really valuable for a lot of young guys on our team. We talk about how we do it and you kind of begin with the preseason but it’s not the same to making these major trips to go all the way across the country. I’m really pleased with what happened and how the guys took to it. We’ve got a format for how we’ll kick back into it when the time comes again, so that was good. It was a good physical football game. Both sides of the ball, both teams getting after it. Everybody wanted to do well, compete, fight, claw and scratch and all of that. It was a good challenge for us and the kind of games that we need. We need to have these games and need get through it and learn the lessons and obviously it’s more fun and it’s better for us when we learn when we win. It was a good outing.”


(On Mike Iupati and D.J. Fluker’s status)  “Mike is doing fine. He just cramped up a little bit at the end of the game. We had planned to kind of, maybe rotate him, but he was handling it well and at the end, we just needed to give him a break. D.J., we’ve got to wait and see. I don’t know. His attitude about it is he’s going to play and all of that, but we’ve got to wait and see Wednesday, Thursday to see what happens. I can’t tell you any more than that.”


(On what D.J.’s injury was and if he was rolled on)  “Ankle. Yeah.”


(On what allowed the offense to make the shift to get going)  “I think the game plan turned out. It was what we had planned to do in the game. It just didn’t come together in the first half. Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] zeroed in on some stuff at halftime with the guys and I thought Mike [Solari] did a nice job with the guys up front, settling them down. What really changes was Russ [Wilson] was just getting rid of the football so fast and it was really hard for the rush to develop in that complemented what else we were doing with the running game. We had a really consistent finish. We went three drives and scored. We gave them the football in the first play of the fourth drive and then finished the game to end it. We had a tremendous second half and it was the combination of the timing, getting the ball out, and the protection being impeccable in the second half. Gave us a great flow.”


(On Russell Wilson’s slide)  “It was a pretty funky slide. I need to get his base stealing numbers. I want to know. It looked a little off to me, kind of dug in. The turf, maybe we’re lucky that the turf did what it did, I don’t know maybe it was the other way around. Maybe the turf was the problem. It looked like he just dug in with his knee too much and caught a little too much gravity hitting instead of kind of getting low and flat. He cleaned it up the next time.”


(On if the officials missed the hit Wilson took from Bud Dupree)  “Yeah, they did. They didn’t see it because it was during the challenge that I brought it up here in the challenge and nobody saw it. Their eyes went downfield, and they missed it.”


(On if he asks the league about getting an explanation for the missed call)  “Well, we send in plays that we have questions about. Certainly, we’ll send that play in to make sure what we’re seeing is right and all that. Maybe they see it some different way. I don’t think they will. We send in our list of questions and they give us their responses within a day.”


(On if that should be a reviewable play with all the head injury issues)  “I don’t know, do we need more reviews? I bet eventually it becomes that because it is so important because we just don’t want to miss it. The emphasis is about as strong as it can get already. There were three or four ejections the week before for basically those kinds of hits. I don’t know. Whatever they do, they do. We’ll roll with it.”


(On if the challenge could cause the officials to think it’s an offensive pass interference)  “Yeah, they reviewed the whole play. They can see it totally differently than what we thought they should see it like. They can change there from what I understand. I wish I would’ve gone the other way and asked them, did they think that was offensive pass interference and see what they think. There was a hand that went up in Mychal’s [Kendricks] chest and I don’t know if that would’ve given them a different perspective or not because we would’ve seen that it wasn’t defensive pass interference. If I go back again, I’m going to rephrase that to them.”


(On how the three linebackers looked)  “I’m really excited about it. I’m really excited about the way these guys played this week. I really feel, this is as honest as I can get with you guys, I feel like we’re just getting started. I feel like we’re just getting going on what we can do and how to count on these guys and how to utilize their strengths. There’s individual strengths that we really understand about K.J. [Wright] and Bobby [Wagner]. We’ve been together for so long. Mychal we’re learning, but it’s more about the flow between those guys and how we can play off each other and all of that. I think we’re going to get better. I think we’re going to improve and we’re going to know more and we’re going to be more accurate with our calls and the way we use guys and all that. What I also like too is that Cody Barton’s been playing good enough football that he can back those guys up too. It isn’t like it’s dependent only on when the guys are on the field. I think we’ve got a chance to maybe be able to keep that thing rolling with some flexibility.”


(On if Tedric Thompson will practice this week)  “He’s going to do some stuff. It’s going to be a challenge for him to get back this week though. We’re not sure he can make it.”


(On what he saw from Lano Hill)  “He did alright. Had the one bad play and other than that. I thought he did a pretty good job.”


(On how big the throws were for Russell during the blitzes)  “I thought the whole mechanism really got sharp as the game wore on. We missed a couple and that’s why we got sacked a couple of times. We missed the read and missed the call and it wasn’t just getting whipped on a block. Schematically, we could’ve done better. The coordination in the second half was just on it. The guys did a great job and they’d seen it once kind of and everybody came back out after halftime and everybody felt pretty comfortable with making the adjustments. The ball was just, Russ was on the mark and he was quick with the football and just didn’t let the pressure get even close to him.”


(On if Poona Ford will practice this week)  “He’s going to practice, yeah. He’s really determined to try and do something. I know when you ask me about these injuries and I give you my thoughts, if you really want to figure it out, I think Danny O’Neil has the best translations for me, in case you were wondering.”


(On Neiko Thorpe’s status)  “Neiko is kind of like Tedric in that it’s going to be a race to make it by the end of the week.”


(On seven penalties on the offensive line and what he thought of the offensive penalties)  “DK [Metcalf] had two in one play. Our hands have got to get cleaner. We’ve just got to do a better job. The officials, there are a couple of things that are really easy for the officials to see and they can see when you pull on a jersey and they can see that. When that happens, that’s a penalty in all phases of our game now. When your hands and arms are extended in blocks, it’s just a red flag and here it comes. They can see that you don’t get it removed immediately, then you get called. That’s just being sloppy with their hands and we have to do better. We’re not there yet, we’re not on it yet. Our conscience isn’t right about it and I hope this hit hard enough this week. I hope the lessons are strong enough that we can make an impression on our guys. This isn’t something we missed. We’re just not accomplishing the objective of cleaning it up and we’ve got to get it done. Look at us on third and ten or less, we’re a good third down team. Everything beyond that, we stink and that’s going to continue to be difficult and those happen because of sacks or because of penalties and we’re getting third and fifteens and stuff. We have to clean that up.”


(On if he’s seen the emphasis on the back side holds yet)  “Not yet. Not yet, no. I’ve seen the effect of the emphasis in that there’s not as much of it. Yeah, that’s happening. That’s a really good thing because that was a really lousy part of the game where guys are reaching and grabbing guys around their hips and holding them. Or, they’re coming up on pass protection and going like this and putting their hands outside the frame and holding on to guys. That’s not football. That’s wrestling. That’s different. That effect has already taken place. The officials, they’re really queued in now. They’re trying to get the game cleaned up and that’s why there’s so many calls and why we have to be really particular. I’m not griping one bit. We’ve got to get it done. I’m griping at our guys, not at the officials. We’ve got to get it fixed.”


(On who he talks to when he decides to challenge a play)  “Yeah, that was “Tater” (Carl Smith). We did that before. Now, I talk to Brennan [Carroll] and I talk to Nick [Sorensen] upstairs and Nate (Carroll) is on the sidelines. That group is who we’re working with to make these decisions.”


(On what he saw from the running backs, specifically Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson)  “I was really pleased that they both were productive. They have their styles. They’re different players obviously, but they both rushed for 60 yards which means the running back’s grossed for almost 130 yards in the game. That’s a really good output from the position. Russ added his yardage at the end and it’s great that it’s balanced out. It just helps us sustain the long hall of this thing. C.J. [Prosise] was ready, didn’t get enough action but he got some and he did some good things when he had his chance. I think the running backs are really doing a good job for us and that we’re really counting on them. I’m really disappointed that we’ve given the ball up twice. Really three times, but two of them we got the ball knocked out of our hands and we’ve got to do better than that. We screwed up the one, we made a mistake and we got hit in the backfield before we even got the exchange completed. That was a little different. For as much as we emphasize it and as much, how important it is to us and how much pride we take in this, we have to be better than this.”


(On why getting big receivers has always been a focus for him)  “Because we realize that they had an advantage. The advantage kind of goes to the quarterback in the sense that when he sees big guys, they look open whether they have guys standing right next to them or not. You can throw the ball right to guys whether there’s guys right, hip to hip on them and you can find space to throw the football. It’s interesting how it’s almost intensive that the quarterbacks can tell. They can feel that the guy looks open and a smaller guy can have a guy right next to them and they don’t think the same. We go way back to the S.C. days when we had really big time, big guys and it was just obvious that it was a big factor. I can’t tell you that before that, in football, I thought that much about it, that I thought it was such an issue, but I realized it actually looking at it from the offensive side that it’s a tremendous advantage. You see Russ yesterday, he threw the ball to DK a couple times and the guy was right next to him because he knows he can make those completions if he gets the right ball in there. He missed a couple of those shots, but he’s going to make some of them though too. We know that already. Nobody even mentioned the catch that DK made on the first play of the game. It was a ridiculous grab he made for catching range and following through on a play. I thought that was a remarkable catch. That’s why he throws it to him because all of that space is available to him. That’s what the big guys that have the knack bring.”


(On if there was a big guy who opened his mind to this idea)  “Yeah, Mike Williams was for sure. Mike Williams back in the day. He was really the first. He had more receiving yards as a freshman than any other freshman in history of college football. He had more his sophomore year too. That’s when he decided to come out and screw it up and didn’t get to go to the league and missed a year. After those first two years of seeing that, it was pretty obvious.”


(On how he’s seen DK’s status grow)  “Well, look at him on the catch he made when he runs through the first tackle and runs through the second tackle. He’s going to break some plays just like that. He’ll stand on his feet and he’ll keep on running. That’s one of them. The other thing is he’s a really good blocker. He’s just so strong and he has the arm length to maintain space. We have to work with him, so he doesn’t get penalized because he looks so dominant at times physically on guys. He’s got to be good at it. He’s got to be really good at keeping his hands inside and doing that. He already stands out as an effective guy that should really help us over the long haul.”


(On Russell’s command over everything being the best it’s ever been)  “Yeah, it really is. I’ve been telling you guys that every year it gets better, you know. Last year was one of his bigger jumps because he had more control of the offense and this year, he has gone again forward. It’s hard to imagine that somebody can keep getting better when you’re year eight or nine, whatever it is. Seven or eight. Year eight, how can that happen? It is, it’s happening. We’re watching it. He made errors in the game. He missed things in the game that he won’t miss all the time. Most of the time, he’ll get them. The position is that hard and there’s that much going on and he has so much opportunity for control now that he’s not going to get everything right, but he’s getting a lot of it right though and he’s doing a good job.”


(On Bradley McDougald showing more of a range at free safety)  “No, no. I don’t think he’s more. We had seen a lot of film. He can play a lot of football. He’s been in all kind of situations, strong safety, free safety situations, back in the deep middle playing in halves and all that. We’ve seen that. I think he’s doing the things that we’re counting on him to do.”


(On how he’s seen Will Dissly improve)  “Well, I don’t see how much he’s improved since the first couple of games he played last year when he looked great. He picked right up where he left off and he’s making extra yards and getting first downs for us. His hand placement when catching the football is really, really good. The ability to use his range too and Russ knows how to throw the ball. The first touchdown he threw to his back shoulder. It was a great throw. He kind of makes that all that look easy. You didn’t see him get the football very much in college and they had a couple guys that played. He was a really good blocker. You go back to Will’s background. He’s a basketball player and a baseball player and all-around athlete. Things come natural to him. What he shows is that he has a little knack for making guys miss when he has the ball in his hands, too. We missed out on the scramble play, which had been another 40 yards or something. They made a nice adjustment to get open. Russ found him and all that. We’re really, really fired up about him. He had a terrific game this week. Remember the Denver game last year he just went crazy. Early in the Arizona game, he had already shown a play that he had made and stuff. I don’t know if he’s doing better, we’re just using him and he’s worthy of it.”


(On the kind of weapon that Will can be in the passing game)  “Well, it’s always a good accent to have. When you have a guy that you can work in inside and the middle and that you can really count on. Again, the big guy factor kind of shows up with tight ends. Not as drastically as it does with the wide receivers because the really big wide receivers are usually quite a bit bigger than the corners and the tight ends working in the middle more with the linebackers. Still, it’s the big guy range thing, that’s what’s a factor because you can just throw the ball away from the coverage and they can make the play. Will’s already shown that. It’s a really good start for us and we’ll just try to keep working him in. Nick [Vannett] made a great grab too in the middle of a great third down catch. We’re doing okay there.”


(On what the defensive line play in the pass rush)  “Well, the pass rush wasn’t very effective in that the numbers weren’t there on the hurries and the hits on the QB. In the first half in particular, I thought we really, in complement with the coverage, we pushed the pocket well and got Ben [Roethlisberger] to throw the ball the ball right around. He had 60 something yards at halftime. That’s a big day for you against a great player. I thought we were effective in working together, but the numbers weren’t there. I thought Mason Rudolph did a great job. I thought he looked good for his first time out. He came up with some nice throws and Cam [Heyward] got after it a little bit you know and that helped us as we were kind of feeling him out.”


(On Ziggy Ansah’s outlook this week)  “The expectation is that he’s going to play this week. It’s taken him this long to get through it. We want to make sure everything was right, and he was right, and the mentality was right. He had enough reps. He’s had three good weeks of work now behind him and he’s in really good shape. He’s worked really hard. He’s in terrific condition. He’s going to be able to play if he gets through the week and everything goes well. He’ll play a considerable amount because he’s practiced hard enough to do that. That’s really going to be fun to see him out there and you’ll see how we use him and where he’s going to fit in and all that game time. Now, I’m really excited about that. He’s a guy that was really important to us in the off season to get him that he could help us with the loses of guys who were going other places. Now, it’s finally coming together.”


(On what it is about Malik Turner that makes them want to fit him in the rotation)  “I’m glad you asked about him because he’s a fantastic worker. He’s such a competitive kid. Every phase that he participates in whether it’s blocking or receiving, special teams or whatever, everybody raves about his effort because it’s so obvious. He just gives you everything he’s got. He plays fast and he’s tough. He’s a natural player, got good field, can do a lot of stuff, he can play any position of the receivers and do all of the roles. He can fill the roles of the different spots that we have. He’s got really good versatility and his work ethic, and his competitiveness is excellent. We’re really excited about him being out there and it was great he finally had the ball coming to him, He made a couple plays. We’ve just got to get JB [Jaron Brown] meshing with him. At this point, he hasn’t gotten going yet just because it hasn’t happened yet. It will.”


(On L.J. Collier’s debut performance)  “Yeah, he was rusty. He’s rusty, he’s getting going. It’s good that he got started, and no marks, or no pressures or anything like that. But, good start for him.”


(On why Jaron Brown has yet to get going)  “It’s just because the way plays are called and all that. We love what he can do, and it just happened that way. This game became a really quick oriented game. Tyler [Lockett] just was in all the right spots for all of the action. But JB [Jaron Brown] will, he’ll make his plays.”


(On if Drew Brees not playing will change their approach for Sunday’s game)  “I’m not far enough along, I can’t tell you what [Teddy] Bridgewater looks like. We did play him a while back, and he moved around, and made a lot of throws, and was productive. I’ve got to see what it looks like, I don’t know. Drew Brees is a great player. I can’t remember him being hurt except for quite a while back, he’s been really durable so it’s surprising. We’ve got to figure it out, see what it looks like.”


(On Drew Brees)  “He’s an amazing player. The consistency, the accuracy, the decision making, the efficiency and even a great third down team. His third down and seven or less numbers are ridiculous over the years. He’s as good as anybody who’s ever played the game. Everything about his command of playing the position is as good as it can get. So, he’s a phenomenal player.”


(On his offensive line’s pass protection through two games)  “It hasn’t been consistent enough. We have to work together better. We’ve got to capture the tempo that we through the ball with the second half of that game, and some of the first half. That what we really want, the tempo with the ball out. Russell can do it, and we’ve just got to continue to make that happen with every aspect of the throwing game. As well as using it to bomb you, he’s so good at it, he’s just good at it. So, we need the whole spectrum. But, we’re coming together. I know Mike [Iupati] and George [Fant] haven’t been out there through the end of camp and all that but, they need to be together. They need to be out there together, make their decisions together, play off of one another, help each other. We’ll improve in the next couple of weeks just like we improved in the game. You could see the improvement from the first quarter to the fourth quarter, and hopefully we can keep doing that.”