PC: It’s a regular game for me that I look forward to because of Coach [Bill] Belichick and [Tom] Brady and [my] relationship with Robert [Kraft]. I’ve always liked playing against people that I like and that I know. It always adds something a little bit special to it. The fact that I was there, I know that’s what you’re asking, it’s not a big factor; that’s a long time ago to me and all that. But I’m aware of it, let’s put it that way. I do know what you’re asking and I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’m so excited about the opportunity to try to play such a good team that that’s drawing all my focus.
Q: What are your memories of your time with the Patriots?
PC: I loved living there and representing those fans. I thought they were awesome. They were so intense and loved the team so much. I mean in all the sports, not just football. Whether it was basketball or hockey, baseball, it’s a great fan base. I loved being connected with them. I appreciated it more the tougher they got on us because I knew how much they loved it and how much they cared about it. It was a really big deal being there. I regret that we weren’t able to get it done the way we wanted to. We did some really good things and we were close but I learned so much coming out of that experience that it changed me. I’ve found a lot of good stuff since then and I’m grateful for that. I wish I would have been able to…I’m never going to give up on a situation. I would have loved to have that, to fix that and finish it but we didn’t get to.
Q: In terms of offensive tempo, is there a team in your experience that’s comparable to the Patriots this year?
PC: Yeah, the Oregon Ducks. They’re the ones that play similar to this. I’m sure there are some other college teams that are doing it. There’s nobody in the league that’s close at this time, but there will be. They’ll affect other people I’m sure, because they’ve had so much success already. It’s their willingness to go this fast as consistently as they have demonstrated that separates them from other teams.
Q: Have any teams been able to do that to you in Seattle?
PC: There’s nobody that’s tried to play like they’re playing. They’ve taken on a different approach and philosophy that I think singles them out in their commitment to the tempo. That’s cool to watch.
Q: How do you go about defending that?
PC: You have to play really fast. We’ll see if we can get lined up and execute like we’re capable and that’s what they’re hoping that we don’t [do]. You can see that teams that they just rushed against, Buffalo and Denver, they’re not going to give up 200 yards rushing in the next couple games. They had to deal with New England’s tempo and a style that they were not able to play like they normally play. That’s obviously the problem and the issue here.
Q: How do you prepare for it? Do you go rent the Oregon Ducks?
PC: We don’t have a chance [laughs]. I don’t know. We’re just going to do the best we can. We’re going to try to practice fast and see if we can catch up with it. I truly know how hard it is and I respect it and all that. We’re just going to do the best we can and see if we can slow them down a little bit.
Q: At the same time, wouldn’t you say your defense plays fast? Wouldn’t it almost be a strength against strength type of situation?
PC: Once the ball is snapped we do, but it’s the problem of getting everybody where they have to go and doing the things you have to do. The fast part of it, that’s the challenge to it. If we line up and we can get our assignments right and play well technique-wise, then we’ll have a chance to show you what we’re all about. If not, we’ll look like the other teams that they’re playing and they’ll have their way.
Q: One thing that Bill Belichick has talked about this week is the size of your secondary. Is that something that you consciously tried to acquire or was it just a coincidence?
PC: Throughout my coaching days, defensively I’ve always wanted to have really fast guys. If I had my way, I’d have really fast big guys. We’ve just been able to accumulate some guys, we actually hit it early on with guys that were in the program up front with Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane, having some real big kids up there – not comparable to how big the Patriots are, those guys are enormous. We added to it with K.J. Wright, who is a big kid playing linebacker and then we started to just peck away with the secondary. The two corners are as tall as you can get and Kam Chancellor is an enormous safety at 6-3, 237 pounds or something. When you add all that together, you have a lot of long guys with big reaches and a lot of speed; everybody can run. It gives us a chance to have a group…we’re always looking for this, but you don’t always get it so we’re fortunate. I think John Schneider has done a great job getting the kinds of guys that we like to coach and we’re just growing. We’re so young and so new, we’re just getting started.
Q: How do you defend the little guys?
PC: Try to stay in front of them as long as we can. Nobody can defend the guys – I know you’re talking about Wes [Welker] – there’s nobody that defends him. He catches balls on everybody; that’s how you get 120 a year or whatever the heck he’s getting. We’re just going to try tackling him, hopefully get him down when he catches the ball. He’s going to catch a bunch I think. We’re going to try tackling and not let him catch and run it too far. It doesn’t sound like we have much of a chance does it? [laughter] These guys are so good, it’s pretty hard.
Q: It’s been awhile since you’ve prepared to face a Bill Belichick team. Do you see any common threads as you do that this week to what it was like in the ‘90s when you were going up against his Jets defenses or even before that?
PC: Certainly there’s all kinds of stuff, particularly defensively. They’ve grown and adjusted on offense, but defensively we know that Bill has always been a guy who uses a lot of stuff and will match game plans to personnel and teams, and has a tremendous reservoir of system that he can go to and we still know that now. One of the things that I’ve always admired about Bill is he gets the most out of guys and using their talents, kind of to the nth degree. With the big guys inside, the big linebackers, the really fast secondary, they’ve got a great group to build from. They’re turning the ball over at a crazy rate right now and getting the ball away from people. All of the stuff he’s done, a lot of two-deep stuff is what we’ve always seen from him. The system is still there, but it’s his ability to adapt it, to match game plans and stuff that’s always made him so special and so good.
Q: Your place kicker has some local roots in Massachusetts. Can you describe how that situation unfolded and what he’s contributed to your team?
PC: Steven [Hauschka], we picked him up from Denver a couple years ago. He’s been really consistent for us. He’s a very smart kid, great worker, big kid for a kicker, real tall and he’s just been very effective. Hopefully we can just keep him knocking them in. We haven’t asked him but just a couple times to have to bomb any kicks, but his consistency has been excellent. He’s been a really good, solid part of our kicking game.
Q: Other than the physical tools, what makes Russell Wilson such a good quarterback and such a good fit for your system?
PC: He has tremendous makeup – character and smarts and work ethic, trust and confidence in himself – to be able to handle the challenges as you guys know, there’s so much scrutiny on the quarterback. To be a young guy dealing with it, he just doesn’t seem like he’s a young guy dealing with it. He just has – he’s well beyond his years. For whatever reason, he just has this great character about him that gives him great resolve. That adds with a guy that’s really quick, that has a great arm, that’s really accurate and has great savvy for the game. We’re watching him grow right before our eyes. He’s learning each week and catching up with the game and doing some cool things. He’s done a great job through the competition. Matt Flynn is a really good football player and I wish we could see Matt playing too, but you can’t play two of them. Both those guys are giving us a really good solid part right now. We have to get a lot better in a lot of areas to make it all work out, but we’re getting there.