December 20, 2010 in Sports

Hasselbeck keeps his job

Carroll says there’ll be no change at QB
Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. – Pete Carroll spent part of Monday just watching.

The Seahawks coach wanted to see how quarterback Matt Hasselbeck reacted in meetings to the blunt criticism of all the mistakes he’s made recently. Then Carroll sat down with Hasselbeck to make certain he was in the right state mentally after having been booed off the field less than 24 hours earlier.

With a division title still obtainable – even at 6-8 – Carroll decided he’s going to stick with his veteran quarterback instead of making a change to unproven backup Charlie Whitehurst.

“We’re going with Matt. Matt’s been our quarterback, he’s given us a chance all throughout, the best chance to finish off right and I’m excited in that sense he’s going to pull this thing together,” Carroll said Monday afternoon.

“We’ve got to play well around him. We’ve got to take care of the quarterback in all ways, protection-wise, running the football, we need to play better on defense so it’s not all tuned where the focus is to one guy and people can try and point the finger.”

Carroll put to rest what could have been a lingering debate all week as the Seahawks prepare to play at Tampa Bay on Sunday in a game that could end up being relatively meaningless to their chances at an NFC West title.

If St. Louis beats San Francisco at home on Sunday, then it doesn’t matter what the Seahawks do against the Buccaneers, the NFC West title will be decided on Jan. 2 when the Seahawks host the Rams.

And unless an injury occurs or Hasselbeck’s horrid turnover rate continues – 13, 10 on interceptions, the last four games – Carroll made clear that Hasselbeck will be the Seahawks quarterback for the final two games.

“I was very specific to our team and Matt today about how to handle it and giving us a chance to keep staying with the game plan and giving our special teams and our defense a chance, and our offense as well, a chance to get back into it by not overtrying, by not trying to force the issues,” Carroll said.

Hawks’ Lewis on IR

Special teams captain Roy Lewis was placed on injured reserve with a lingering knee injury that will require surgery, ending his season, and Seattle signed defensive back Marcus Brown to the active roster.

Carroll remains hopeful that cornerback Marcus Trufant will be able to play at Tampa Bay after he left Sunday’s game against Atlanta with back spasms.

Carroll said this is not related to the back injury that cost the former Washington State standout the first six games of 2009.

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