S John Johnson III – Postgame Press Conference – January 9, 2021

(On if having the starting QB go out early lit a fire for the defense…)
“We’re going to fight for whoever is under center. We knew they were both prepared to play and it actually happened and went that way, unfortunately John (Wolford) went down. It was a seamless transition, but we were going to fight hard for whoever was playing.”

(On how the interception changed the early momentum for them…)
“It’s a momentum game. Anytime you score on defense it’s a huge boost, not just in the scoring column but just for the moral on the sideline. A turnover period is big, but getting in the end zone is even bigger. Tip my hat off to Darious (Williams), he’s been playing pretty well all year long.”

(On if seeing a player on offense like Akers play hard helps get the defense motivated…)
“For a young guy, a rookie to come in and just do his thing is unreal. I tip my hat off to him, tip my hat off to Coach Brown for getting all the running backs ready. If you can run the ball in these playoffs it can help the defense get rest and help you win games, so you got to keep that rushing attack going.”

(On the defense carrying this team this season and if they felt like they had to go out on their own and win this game…)
“I think we feel like that every game. Regardless of what’s going on on the other side of the ball, we want to come out, be a staple, want to be aggressive, want to limit yards, limit big plays. That’s what we’ve been doing all year, so regardless of what the offense is doing we know we have to hold each other down and just play hard for one another.”

(On what the defense’s attitude was like when Aaron Donald went out…)
“You hate to see him go down, but we’re just hoping he’s okay, ready for next week. It’s next man up, obviously it’s impossible to replicate what he does, but next man up, hold his own, make sure you get your job done and keep moving forward. Hopefully he’s okay.”

(On how much it pumps him up to see his Head Coach Sean McVay running down the sideline to celebrate a play…)
“It’s kind of hard for a head coach to keep his composure, but when he gets excited like this it fuels the whole team. That’s our leader and he’s going to keep leading us. It’s big time, especially when he can run! Some coaches in this league couldn’t make it up and down the sideline, so we got young, energetic coach who is behind us and setting the tone for us. It’s great.”

(On why they are able to have success repeatedly against this Seattle offense…)
“It’s familiarity. This is the third time we’ve played them this year. I can’t even count how many times I’ve personally played against Russell Wilson and this team. If you keep him in the pocket, try to limit him from extending plays, you’re going to have success. We’ve got a secondary that’s been lockdown all year, not giving up too many deep balls, that’s the recipe to beat this team and that’s what we showed today.”

(On if Seattle was doing much different than they had the previous two times they matched up this season…)
“They have an identity. I think they want to run the ball first, period. That’s just who they’ve been even back to Beast Mode. They want to run the ball first. If you knock the run out, Russell (Wilson) tries to get in his bag and be a Houdini, so just keeping him in the pocket, not letting him extend plays. You know the receivers are going to get open for him, so we really just try to keep our eyes on our luggage and make plays down the field and limit the explosives. That’s been the recipe for as long as I can remember.”