RENTON – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was more lucid on Monday afternoon, dramatically so.
To that end, he took back some of the things he said during a hazy press conference in the wake of Sunday’s 26-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, going far as to apologize to the Cardinals.
After the game, the admittedly disoriented Hasselbeck complained about some of the hits he took, saying that the only thing that would make him happy was that fines would be issued later in the week.
Hasselbeck reversed course Monday.
“They played hard, they played physical, but they played within the rules and with class,” he said. “I regret saying that; in fact I hope nobody gets fined.”
At least one of the plays Hasselbeck was referring to was a sack by Adrian Wilson, who may have hit Hasselbeck in the helmet with his helmet – though Hasselbeck was ducking to avoid Wilson on the play.
Earlier Monday, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt defended Wilson, who already has received a $25,000 fine this season and could be subject to a $50,000 fine and a suspension.
“I read where Matt Hasselbeck thought there should be some fines involved,” Whisenhunt told Phoenix-area reporters. “But I’ve looked at it from the coach’s tape, looked at it from my broadcast department, which has an excellent view of it, and with all due respect to Matt – he’s a good quarterback and I have a lot of respect for him – but I don’t see it.”
Wilson told the Arizona Republic after the game that Hasselbeck told him it was a good hit, but that he should expect something in the mail. Wilson said the play did not draw a penalty and that it was not dirty.
“I don’t think it was a helmet-to-helmet hit,” Wilson told the Republic. “Once again, they didn’t throw the flag.”
The News Tribune sent an e-mail inquiry to the NFL but no reply came before deadline.
Meanwhile, Hasselbeck emerged from a sauna Monday afternoon and joked about how out of it he was after the game.
“Do I get to redeem myself?” Hasselbeck quipped.
During the news conference, Hasselbeck’s comments were disjointed, and his thoughts seemed muddled, a dramatic departure from his normal demeanor.
“It probably wasn’t the right time for me to be in front of a microphone or talk to you guys,” Hasselbeck said. “I needed a couple hours and maybe a nap. It’s hard to come in and answer questions. I don’t know what it looked like. I haven’t seen it on tape. But it probably didn’t look too good.”
Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said Hasselbeck did not have a concussion, and he said Hasselbeck seemed normal during the game.
Hasselbeck did not have an explanation for his behavior.
“I don’t really know. I don’t have a good answer for you,” he said. “I’ve been asked that question, and I don’t have an answer.”
Holmgren was not specific about changes the Seahawks might make regarding new goals he cited after the game Sunday but did say the team will embrace its unfamiliar role as a spoiler.
Holmgren said he gathered both coaches and players and lectured them about the need to finish the final six games of the season strongly and professionally, if for no other reason than to maintain their jobs for next year.
“I’m not talking about wins and losses now,” he said. “I’m talking about: How do we practice? How do we lift weights? How do we prepare? How do we play the games? What kind of effort comes forth? All those things that are important. It says a lot about each person, how they handle it.”
Holmgren said he is not likely to make many personnel changes, in part because the Seahawks have been so inundated by injuries that he doesn’t have many options. He did smile, however, and said there could be some noticeable alterations this week.
“We’ll all find out together what those are,” Holmgren said. “I told them: Be flexible. We’re looking into everything right now.”
Guard Mike Wahle did not tear the labrum in his right shoulder, which already has been surgically repaired. Holmgren said Wahle is questionable because he is very sore. … Cornerback Marcus Trufant, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion, will play this week. … Fullback Leonard Weaver, who missed Sunday’s game with sore ribs, will return.