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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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August 25, 2008 12:45 PM

Jake Locker Q-and-A

Posted by Bob Condotta

Here's a transcript of the interview Jake Locker held with the media today:

How does your hamstring feel? It feels pretty good. It's still kind of a day to day thing and we'll see how it feels on Saturday.

Can you talk about this being your first time coming to Autzen Stadium? It won't be my first time. I came my freshman year. I didn't play but I was on the sidelines. It's actually my second trip that I've made. It was fun last time.I enjoyed it. A good atmosphere so I'm looking forward to it.

How much can you tell us about how much you learned from playing all those games last year,if you'll throw more and run less? We have some plays designed for me to run and then certain times it's just me doing what I feel is best.But it's like I've always said --- I'll do whatever I feel gives our team the best chance to win and gives our team the best chance to have success. If that's running the ball as much as I did, so be it. If not, I feel comfortable standing in the pocket and throwing the ball.

Thoughts on both teams defense having chance to practice against a mobile quarterback the last month: I think we do run pretty similar offenses so I do think that does give the defense an advantage to see that and practice against that for a month, to get familiar with it and understand it, and hopefully that will carry over to the game on Saturday.

Can you talk for a minute about whether there is any difference at all in you and the team playing a first game at night a late game as far as preparation: I don't think it's any different. It's just the time. It's just going to feel a little bit later. You are kind of sitting around all day but you have a chance to get focused and get youd mind on the game and get ready to go. I love playing under the lights and I know a lot of the guys do, so we're looking forward to it.

How often do you get the better of the defense in practice and how often do they get the better of you? There are certain periods within the practice for our defense and certain ones for our offense. Our defense is doing a lot of good tings and we look forward to seeing what they do on Saturday. You win some and you lose some and it's kind of gone back and forth all camp.

Will the defense surprise some people? They are a good defense and yeah, they will surprise people from the outside I think.

How frustrating has the injury been and do you feel like you are in any way behind? No, I don’'t feel like I'm behind at all. It was frustrating to have to sit out and watch and not do anything, but in that time I was able to kind of stand back and watch things and help guys out, and I think sometimes learning something, the best way is to teach it, and was I able to spend some time with the younger guys and talk to them about what they were looking at and seeing and I got to see things from a different perspective and I really think that helped me out

How confident are you that you will play? I'm fully confident that I will be fine.

What percent do you think you are? I don't know how people come up with that. I have no idea what percent I am right now, but if feels good and I'll be ready to go.

How's the rest of body feel? It feels great. I'vve had two weeks off now so it better.

How do feel about the fact this is such a young team and you being the focus of the team and being the guy who gets recognized all over Seattle? It's great. It's an honor, but it takes all 11 of us on the field to have success and get to where we want to be. Being recognized around Seatle is not one of my goals, never been one of my goals. I want to win football games and that's what we are focused on. With some of those guys you are talking about, once we start doing that they will become more nationally known and that's fun and exciting.

How long will it take offense to get settled in? I feel like we've done pretty well throughout the camp understanding what we are doing and really kind of coming together throughout camp. I'm excited about it. I don't think we should have any adjustment time. I think we should be ready to go on Saturday and coach told us the first day of camp we needed to play older and I think guys have and hopefully that will show on Saturday.

What does Juan’s return mean to you guys? He's obvioulsy a leader on this team and he chose to come back for this year. He's a guy who probably has a chance to play at the next level and he showed us how much he cares about this team and what he thought we could bring to the table. To be able to have him out there with us is exciting. We gained a leader, someone people can look to. Just having his experience, you can't match that on the field.

On Chris Polk: He's an explosive back, he's a guy sometimes when things don’t look like they are there he can make a big play and that's always exciting any time you give the ball to somebody and he has a chance to score every time he touches it, that's fun. You like playing with guys like that. So I'm looking forward to seeing what he will be able to do. He's worked hard. It will be exciting to watch him.

Thoughts on playing with a lot of young skill guys: I had to take more of a leadership role, and that's made me be a little bit more vocal to let them know what they need to do and where they need to be. I've really had to understand what I'm doing so I can understand to what their jobs and assignments and be able to help them out when they need it. I've really enjoyed it. What I like about those guys is that they are eager to learn. It's not lke I'm forcing it on them. They come to me and ask me and it's something where they want to get better and what to understand it and it's fun when you work with guys like that.

How good can the young guys be? I think we all know they are talented. They all have talent or they wouldn't be here. It's just having confidence in what they are doing. I think they have really worked hard at being able to gain that and it should show by gametime.

On last year's game: It was last year: It's in the past. It's a new team, we have a new team so we have to stay focused on what our game plan is this year and go out and execute it to the best of our ability.

Thoughts on being an underdog in this game? I don't think we go into any game expecting to lose. We go down there expecting to win and just play a good game. Go out and execute what we are supposed to. Be in the right spots and capitalize on big plays when they make mistakes and we have a chance to score and benefit from that.

Do you feel any different heading into this opener compared to last year against Syracuse? I didn't know what to expect last year. I'd never played at this level. Wasn't sure what it would be like, what the speed would be like. Now having played for a year, having that experience and knowledge, I'll be a little more relaxed goinig into the game, feel a little more comfortable with what we are doing and what I need to do.

Are you a different person than then? I don't think I'm a different person. I don't approach the game any differently than I did, but you gain knowledge. Any time you can knowledge you are able to perform better and do things better than did in the past.

Can you talk about the fourth-quarter issues last year and what is different this year, whether the offense can sustain drives in the fourth quarter? I think it was just that second half, we didn't play well last year in a lot of areas. It's just the confidence we have in ourselves, knowing that it wasn't a fluke that we had played with those teams in the first half, that we were good enough to and we needed to continue to play like we did in the first half. I think that confidence and that attitude is something that will make the difference. I don't think it's any kind of conditioning or anything like that, just our mental toughenss to say 'you know what? We are good enough to be here. We shouldn't be surprised to be here. We should expect to be in this situation and take advantage of it.'''

Can you talk about the improved speed of the offense?We do have a lot of speed in a lot of places. Any time you are able to put that on the field it puts stress on the defense and you are able to do a lot of different things. It's exciting and something that as a quarterback is fun to have those guys around you --- put the ball in their hands and let them make the highlight reel. So I'm looking forward to it.

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