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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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August 9, 2008 12:29 PM

"Reading Between the Lines" V.1

Posted by Danny O'Neil

First a disclaimer: I read minds about as well as I read lips, which is to say not at all. So don't take these as literal translations of what the men were thinking at the time of the question. Rather take it as my interpretation of what they might say in their most brutally honest and caustic moment.

So without any further ado, here are three questions asked after Friday night's game in Minneapolis followed by the actual answer and then my interpretation of what the answer could have been. Enjoy.

Q: With all of the talk about Minnesota's defensive line, you didn't look too impressed?

What Matt Hasselbeck said: No, I am impressed. I have a lot of respect for those guys. All the guys here in Seattle, those guys get are Pro Bowl votes every year. There's a reason they're in Hawaii. We always vote for 'em. Everyone in the league always votes for them and I don't think they all played tonight.

What he meant: Are you crazy? Did you forget what happened two years ago when E.J. Henderson came barreling into my knee and twisted my season? Do you seriously think I'm going to add to the intensity of any future matchups by talking junk about the two brontosauri the Vikings start at defensive tackle, each named Williams? No thank you. Those guys are like two hulks. You wouldn't like them when they're angry. I'll bow or genuflect or do anything else you'd like in order to show proper respect and deference. Besides, Pat Williams wasn't even out there and the last thing I need is that guy looking to turn my right arm into dental floss the next time we play.

Q: What did you think of the rushing game?

What coach Mike Holmgren said: We got off to a great start, but we have a ways to go. Mo' [Maurice Morris] ran the ball well. I think we blocked pretty well. I think we had 95 yards rushing in the first half, which was good ... Overall, I'm going to like what I see, but it's really early.

What he meant: Yes, the tragically depressed state of our rushing offense the past two years has made 95 yards on the ground in the first half against a team that sat out one of its Pro Bowl tackles has become cause for celebration. And true, the ground game was better, but we also failed to convert a third-and-1 in the first half, which made me mad enough to kick out a stained-glass window. Talk to me in September and see how things are going.

Q: How do you evaluate the defense's performance on Friday in Minnesota?

What safety Brian Russell said: We've got some stuff to clean up. I don't think we tackled as well as we want to. We missed a couple tackles that allowed some cheap extra yards, some assignment errors that allowed some more cheap yards. So you tighten those things up, and we'll be fine. We would have liked to have been dominant the whole time, but we gave up a couple points early. Then everybody settled down and our defense played good football.

What he meant: Look, if you think we'd be sitting back in coverage in a regular-season game against Tarvaris Jackson you're crazy. We would have blitzed the bejeesus out of the Vikings and then see how many times they're willing to call 11 consecutive pass plays. We served him up a vanilla defense tonight. In a real game, it would have been a lot more rocky road.

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