Season-ending press conference: Tastes great? No, less filling
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Why? Because it was an NFL press conference, and teams don't go about discussing the fundamental decisions facing the franchise on a stage with cameras rolling. And while Mora was engaging, personable and quite funny, he also had a poker face on everything from his coaching staff going forward to his own status.
Q: Will you retain your coaching staff?
Mora: "Right now, everything is under review. Everything is under evaluation, have not made any decisions yet. And as soon as we make any decisions, we'll make sure that we relay them to you?"
Q: What are the team's biggest needs moving forward?
Mora: "It would be premature for me to make that statement. We don't have a general manager in place yet. That's an important discussion that takes place when a general manager is in place. So to be fair to your question, I just can't say that."
Q: What level of involvement will you have in the team's selection of a general manager?
Mora: "I'll get a chance to talk to Tod in the next day or two and see what my involvement will be."
Q: What traits do you want to see in the general manager?
Mora: "You know, I don't think that it would be appropriate for me to speak to that question with all due respect to the question. That's not for me to say right now. My job is to try and get my football team to play as well as it can play."
Q: You've worked with Greg Knapp in San Francisco when you were both coordinators, and he served on your staff. Did it surprise you that the offense seemingly didn't progress?
Mora: "Well, it was disappointing. Yeah, it was disappointing, but once again I remove myself from it emotionally and look at it pragmatically and without going into excuses, I believe there are some reasons for that. Now, we still need to make major advances, but you know we started the season in a very, very -- in a real state of flux up front. It was one of the main questions that you all asked me through training camp was the offensive line, and we never really until the end -- and even at the end there we switched around -- we never had a group that played together all the time. We started the season without our left guard and our left tackle. Matt [Hasselbeck] got hurt the second game, [Chris] Spencer got hurt, [Sean] Locklear got hurt.
"We just were disjointed a little bit, and I've said this for the last few weeks, we had trouble gathering some momentum so frustration sets in and guys start to press. So it's tough, but that being said we still have to find ways to score points. The last three weeks of the season, I thought our run game became more what I want it to be. More what it will be, but that's just one thing.
"We had a period in the middle of the season where we really were throwing the ball well, and then we kind of moved out of that phase. We had a little bit of trouble with protection, and then the end of the season, we had trouble scoring points. So we have to find a way to get that all put together, and that's obviously a major, major emphasis this offseason, starting Monday."
Q: Would you consider taking over the defensive play-calling duties yourself and is moving to a 3-4 to potentially accommodate keeping David Hawthorne in the starting lineup something you will think about.
Mora: "We'll think about everything. Scheme changes, personnel changes, philosophical changes. Those are things that will be discussed as we go through this and everything will be considered without a doubt.
"Just like on offense, there's a curve, a developmental curve that you go through, and defensively we're trying to build a foundation that's sound and stable in terms of what we do schematically, and right now, that's based on the 4-3 -- playing a lot of three-deep type concepts -- what we would like to become is a defense that can maintain that strong foundation of things that we can always do well, but add more variations that attack an offense. One of the things that slowed us down from that this year was losing our signal-caller early in the year, and having David Hawthorne, who's a very young player and Aaron Curry is a very young player along with Leroy [Hill] who's an outside player, kind of stagnated our growth as far as being able to add more variations that cause an offense problems.
"Going forward, I don't think it would be out of the question that you would see some 3-4 concepts out of us, that you would see some 4-6 package concepts out of us. I feel like coming out of that game Sunday, it might have been the very first time I felt all year I felt defensively that we kind of had it. We got it. We've got what we are, I mean the players. They really understand the package and how to fit up, and how we want them to play it. We felt like we finally got there. We want to make sure that we continue that and then add problems for the offense. That's when you become a really good defense."
Q: Have you been told by Tod [Leiweke] that you will be back as head coach?
Mora: "I'm just proceeding forward with our evaluation process. I haven't talked to Tod in a day. Tod's busy with some other things so I'm not too worried about that. I'm going to go work until I'm told not to work."
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call