Seahawks riding Hasselbeck; Carroll says ‘Matt’s our guy’
RENTON – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn’t hesitate to get in his quarterback’s ear following Matt Hasselbeck’s three-interception performance on Sunday.
“He was pretty tough on me and pretty hard on me,” Hasselbeck said Monday. “He called me out right after the game on the turnover thing. I expect that and I have no problem with that.”
A day after Seattle’s 31-14 loss to Denver, however, Carroll made it clear that while he is unhappy with some of Hasselbeck’s decisions, there is no quarterback controversy in Seattle. When Carroll and general manager John Schneider traded for Charlie Whitehurst in the offseason, they touted him as the team’s possible quarterback of the future. For now, however, the job is Hasselbeck’s and Carroll doesn’t seem to even be thinking about a change.
“Matt’s our guy, and we know that Matt gives us the best chance to win,” Carroll said. “He’s doing everything he can to prepare and he’s busting his tail and all that. He’s doing a good job. We feel fortunate to have Charlie waiting in the wings, but it’s not his time yet.”
At some point, the Seahawks will probably want to see what they have in Whitehurst, but Carroll isn’t in a hurry to get the former San Diego third-stringer on the field.
“That’s not even in our minds right now,” Carroll said. “We’re going with Matt and he’s really the guy that’s going to take us. We’re going to ride him and make sure that we support him and do all the things that he needs to help him around him so that he can be successful.”
Still, the fact remains Hasselbeck has thrown 14 interceptions in his past six games going back to last season. He opened the season with a pick, but then was nearly perfect in leading Seattle to a win in the season opener. On Sunday, however, two first-half interceptions were a big part of the reason Seattle lost – and why Hasselbeck heard from his coach.
“(Carroll) wants to be a team that doesn’t turn the ball over and that gets turnovers,” Hasselbeck said. “That’s the most important thing in the world to him. So, you know, there’s also a fine line there. As a quarterback you have to play with aggressiveness and confidence and that kind of thing, but at the same time you have to be ultra-conservative and careful with the ball.
“But I’m not worried. I’m not worried day-to-day. In this league, you could be the hero one week and the goat the next, and the hero the next, and the goat. It’s just how it goes.”
Hasselbeck got plenty of credit for Seattle’s Week 1 win, and this weekend he received a good amount of blame for the loss. He doesn’t plan to let either change what he does.
Linebacker Leroy Hill (calf strain) was the only injury from the game, but it sounds at least somewhat significant. Carroll said Hill is in a boot and that “He’s going to be out a bit.” … Rookie tackle Russell Okung was able to run on a treadmill last week, and this week will run on the ground. He could return to practice next week. … It comes as no surprise, but Carroll confirmed that Golden Tate will continue to return punts for the Seahawks. The rookie receiver was inactive for the season opener, and didn’t return a punt until the second half Sunday, but when he did get a chance, Tate took his first NFL touch 63 yards. He also added a 52-yard reception the second time he touched the ball. “We can’t afford to take him out of there,” Carroll said.