The Seattle Seahawks have not been good for the last two years – not even close actually. After a five season stretch of consecutive playoff runs from 2003-07, the Seahawks have only won nine games in the past two seasons combined. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has been a consistent piece of those highs and lows and has played important roles in the success and failures of the team. In 2008 and 2009, his 33 and 34-year-old seasons Hasselbeck endured injuries, coaching changes, and a regressing offensive line to play in just 21 games and throw 27 interceptions to just 22 touchdowns.
Hasselbeck will turn 35 in 2010 and has another new coach in former USC head man Pete Carroll. Seattle also just added Charlie Whitehurst to compete at QB and even has two first round (6 and 14) picks in next week’s NFL Draft and may target a quarterback early. The pressure will be greater than ever and Hasselbeck is not trending in the right direction. Luckily for him, the division is void of any other good, veteran quarterbacks and playoff aspirations are not completely unreasonable.
Does Matt Hasselbeck have a post-season run in him or will he soon join his brother and sister-in-law as a talking head in the media?
Matt Hasselbeck joined Mitch Levy on KJR in Seattle to discuss Pete Carroll, apathy from fans, job security, and his health.
On his first off-season under Pete Carroll:
“It’s different. I’ll say right away. This regime has come in and changed what we have done in the past a little bit. This three-day mini-camp that we have is very similar to a Thursday during the season. Breakfast starts at 7:00 and you are out of your last meeting around 5:15 and there is all kind of stuff in between. It’s definitely been high-intensity when you are on the field and a lot of classroom work and stuff like that. It’s been good. It’s been football all the time. It’s been a good taste of what it’s going to be like for the season.”
On how NFL players respect a college coach Carroll:
“He was very, very successful and, like you said, he has been in the NFL before. We have a guy on our team in Sean Morey who was drafted by Carroll with the Patriots way back when. And for the most part, I think we have a very young team. The guys, especially the young guys, are huge college football fans. Coach Carroll and his staff had a ton of success at USC. There’s a lot of Pac 10 guys that were probably on the wrong end of some of those games against USC. So I think there is a ton of respect right off the bat.”
On if he senses apathy from fans:
“I could see where it’s harder to keep up with the guys on the team. Some of the names that people loved over the years, they’re no longer here. And there’s been a revolving door at some positions. As a fan, it probably makes it harder to stay connected. And for two years, we have had really, really bad years. It’s hard to jump on board and be excited about that and have confidence that, ‘hey my team is going to do well this weekend.’ That’s what we are trying to fix. That’s exactly what we’re trying to fix. That’s exactly why the things that went down this off-season went down. That’s what we are working so hard to do. Right off the bat from yesterday’s practice, it was a great practice. One of our goals is to be the best practicing team in the league, the best practicing team in the world. If we accomplish that, I know that we can get back to having the kind of success that we used to have, that we were used to having around here. For the last two years, it has been totally the opposite.”
On if he worried about his job security with the regime change:
“Any time there’s a new GM or a new head coach, it’s a message to all the players that you better have your head on a swivel, that you better be on a month-to-month lease, that you better be ready to move.”
And on how he has prepared to make it through a full season:
“Well I started working out right away. It’s been different. Like the year we played in the Super Bowl or the years that we went deep in the playoffs, it was a long season and you kind of took some time off and by the time you get back to working out, it’s the middle of March. This year, I started working out when teams were still in the Playoffs.”