As Darrin posted for me earlier, Matt Hasselbeck has been listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Patriots. Mike Holmgren, usually very upbeat on Fridays, seemed about as down in the dumps as I have seen him -- which is saying a lot given this season.
It sounded to me like Matt is having some residual affects from the beating he took in Dallas last week and his back has acted up again. Holmgren said he does not have the exact same symptoms as before, with the weakness in the leg, but enough of the same that his availability is now in doubt.
Also, it sure sounds like Walter Jones is not going to play. The offensive line this week has been, from left to right, Sean Locklear, Pork Chop, Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto and Ray Willis. We spoke with Wrotto in the locker room and he certainly sounded excited to get getting his first career start. He also said he was the backup center for this game because Steve McKinney is not familiar enough with the offense -- though he was taking snaps with the second unit. Officially, Holmgren is saying that Walter is a game-time decision, but Wrotto made it sound as if he was in. So it looks like Tim Ruskell may get that chance to evaluate Locklear on the left side after all.
If Matt does not go, Seneca will start. I did not see Wallace in the locker room and did not get a chance to speak with him. Holmgren said it does have an affect on what they do, but he will not know precisely what that is until Sunday.
I asked to speak with Jim Mora regarding the hiring of Steve Sarkisian, but Mora was not made available to me.
We did however get Lawrence Jackson, who was with Sarkisian at USC only a year ago. Jackson said he is a hard-ass who knows football. Interestingly, Jackson said he thinks Tyrone Willingham was let go too soon. He said Ty was taking steps to a goal, and it is not his fault that the people in charge were not willing to be patient with him to reach that goal. Personally, I think Jackson is kooky. Ty was and is terrible, which his record proves. But Jackson was adamant that Ty got let go too early.
I asked him if Ty recruited him at Notre Dame, and he said he enjoys experiencing new things and that Notre Dame is too steeped in tradition for him. He said he also took a visit to Tennessee, but couldn't get over the autumn colors of Knoxville -- too much orange, he said, since the Vols colors are the same as the leaves.