RENTON, Wash. – Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday the Seahawks would like to bring quarterback Matt Hasselbeck back for the 2011 season.
Asked directly about Hasselbeck’s future with the franchise during his weekly press conference, Carroll said the team would like to do “everything we can” to have Hasselbeck return for an 11th season with the franchise.
“We don’t know the timelines or how that’s going to work out, and all that kind of stuff, but that’s a big issue for us that we’re looking forward to. He’s had a terrific run for us and we want to see what we can do to keep that going,” Carroll said.
Seattle plays at Chicago on Sunday in the NFC divisional playoff.
Hasselbeck’s current contract with Seattle was signed before the start of the 2005 season and followed by Hasselbeck leading Seattle to its only Super Bowl appearance. That contract expires at the end of this season.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of that. I didn’t know he said that,” Hasselbeck told Chicago reporters during a conference call Wednesday. “We’ve had good communication all year long.”
Hasselbeck added that he wants to play on a winning team and one that’s “headed in the right direction.”
“That’s kind of been our goal here,” he said. “If we can get that done here and I can be a part of it, that’d be awesome. If not, I understand.”
Hasselbeck’s first season with Carroll has been a series of ups and downs, getting booed off the field less than a month ago, countered by the highs of last Saturday’s 41-36 upset of New Orleans to open the NFC playoffs in one of Hasselbeck’s finest performances.
Hasselbeck threw for 272 yards and a career playoff-high four touchdowns in engineering the Seahawks’ upset victory over the defending Super Bowl champions. He threw TD passes of 7 and 11 yards to tight end John Carlson, 45 yards to Brandon Stokley and 38 yards to Mike Williams.
It was a stark contrast to his previous start at home in Week 15 against Atlanta when Hasselbeck was booed off the field and eventually replaced in the third quarter by backup Charlie Whitehurst. Whitehurst also started the season finale against St. Louis and led Seattle to a 16-6 victory that clinched the NFC West title and a playoff spot for the Seahawks.
Hasselbeck walked off the field on Saturday to rousing cheers with his daughters at his side and his son, Henry, propped up on his shoulders.
“It was a great experience winning the game and then having them down on the field was special,” he said.
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