By Liz Mathews
In his final press conference of the 2011 season, Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson finished with the same message he used to start the season -- he is here to compete.
"It flew by, really," Jackson said of his first season with the Seahawks. "It seems like it was just yesterday I was just getting here, kind of lost and trying to find my way here a little bit and now it's ending. It's been a process for us as far as growing together and us trying to figure each other out, trying to find ourselves, but it's been fun this season.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to get more victories out of it, but we feel like we grew as a team and I feel like guys stayed in and fought and I feel like we've got a lot to look forward to in the future."
For Jackson, he's just happy to have been able to play.
"It was kind of rough at first," Jackson said, referring to the pectoral injury he sustained Oct. 9 against the New York Giants. "The doctors didn't really think I was going to be able to play and finish the season, so by me being able to go out there and fight through it and prove them wrong is kind of big for me. Being able to finish the season and finish healthy -- healthier than what I was when I got hurt -- was big for me and not being able to have to have surgery.
"If I had to have surgery I'd miss all the OTAs, I'd miss all that time with the guys. I've thought about that and I really don't want to miss that time because that's time for us to grow and get better."
Jackson had said last week that he plans to rehabilitate and strength train in the area for a few weeks before returning home for the offseason. Jackson acknowledged that he now feels the healthiest he's been since the injury.
"I just felt like I was there for my teammates regardless of my situation, or injuries or whatever," Jackson said. "I felt like I was a constant voice in the locker room, a constant voice in the huddle and as far as making sure that I'm able to be there for those guys each and every game and give them my best effort."
Jackson was asked on Monday how he felt about the possibility of the Seahawks selecting a quarterback in April's draft.
"Normal. I'm just going to compete," said Jackson, who is signed through next season. "Hopefully I have the opportunity to just compete. That's always fun. That's what our motto is -- competing. If I get an opportunity I'm fine, but if not I'm always going to be professional about the situation. I'll be the best teammate I can be.
"I've been through different situations close to that, so I know how to handle the situation. It won't be a problem."