By Liz Mathews
Monday after team meetings, the Seahawks players cleared out their lockers, packed their stuff, and headed out to friends and family. Here's what a few of them had to say on their way out...
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck
"You know, the season just ended so abruptly for us. I think a lot of us in the locker room really expected to win that game and really expected to have the opportunity to come back and host the NFC Championship game, which would have been an awesome opportunity. The send off we got from our fans on our way to Chicago – we just bought in, we were feeling the excitement, and I think that's probably one of the most disappointing things about this year is knowing that we had the opportunity to host that game and it would have been a great opportunity for our fans, and for us, and we just let it slip away and didn't get it done. Like I said after the game – we didn't deserve it, but it was still there for us. We just didn't take advantage of it."
"I think our team came together. The most important thing for me last offseason was just knowing that we were trying to win now. That we were trying to be good this year and every year, not just in some distant year in the future – that was important to me. So the fact that we were able to accomplish that to a small extent this year, yeah, that mattered. I think just that feeling of winning again, and the excitement that we felt from our fans, from the crowd, it just makes it so much more fun and it reminded of how it used to be. So it's a good start, it's a good start."
Wide Receiver Mike Williams
"Still got a bitter, bitter feeling about how it ended. Yesterday's still bothering me a little bit but the year was a good start. I don't think it was great. I don't think—you know maybe from where I came from but in the big scheme, I could have done a little better so I'm looking forward to this offseason and coming back and playing at a high level."
"It couldn't have been any better, I guess, for the first year. Getting a taste and knowing what it takes and knowing that you can't have errors, you can't give things away. We learned a good lesson – we learned what it was like to defend your home turf in a playoff game and we know what it’s like to go on the road in a hostile environment with all the elements that factor in and it got away from us. We can look back and say, ‘If you do catch that ball,’ or ‘If you do make that block…’ There are different things that hurt us yesterday and we learned a hard lesson so we'll know. We're built for what it takes to move forward."
Safety Lawyer Milloy
"This day, I've had it fifteen times and it's never a good feeling unless the one time I was able to have this day with the trophy. It was an up and down season. A lot of things were awkward at times. The one thing that this team did was stay together and when we had a chance to end, everything started to feel normal around here, started to feel like it's supposed to feel.
"This is a team thats going places. When you have a new coach, when you have new players, it's a process. We took a big step in that process to being a very good team, not only in the near future but to be dominant, especially in our division, for awhile. That's the thing I'm proud about."
Left Tackle Russell Okung
"My rookie season was obviously tough. I had two ankle injuries didn't have the rookie season I thought I was definitely going to have but as a team, we fought back and we did something that's never been done around here before so I'm excited for the future."
"I got to thank God first for giving us the opportunity that we've had. There's guys that have played nine, ten years that haven't been able to even sniff the playoffs. Just being a rookie and being able to come here in my first year and getting the opportunity and getting the experience under my belt, I'm already looking forward to next season."