Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll remained noncommittal on who his quarterback will be for a second straight week, again reiterating that both Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst will split time at quarterback during practice for a second straight day today, and the he will take more time to assess the situation before naming a starter.
“At this point there’s no reason to say anything more about it from my perspective,” he said. “You may think so. But we’re going to keep going and I’m pleased we’re in the position we’re in there.”
Asked if Hasselbeck is fully recovered from a hip injury he suffered in the first quarter against Tampa Bay two weeks ago, Carroll had this to say:
“I don’t know that yet,” he said. “He’s fully healthy in terms of what the demands of practice have presented for him. He looked great yesterday. So, we’re not going to hit him practice. And we’re not going to know that. He is running around and moving, and so he was able to everything we asked him to do yesterday.”
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So does Hasselbeck start if he’s healthy?
“We’ll find out,” he said. Carroll went on to further state he does not know if he will wait to game-time to make a decision like he did last week.
So Pete, do you know who’s going to start and you’re just not telling us?
“You’ll never know,” Carroll said with a wry smile.
Carroll played both sides of the fence during today’s press conference, noting the confidence Whitehurst developed with last week’s win against St. Louis.
“Charlie came out a winner in a championship opportunity,” Carroll said. “That was a great accomplishment in his second career start in the history of the NFL for him. That’s a great accomplishment for Charlie, and it adds to all of our opinions and expectations for what he’s capable of doing.
However, Carroll also acknowledged Hasseslbeck’s playoff experience, along with his knowledge of Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, having faced him in year’s past, most recently throwing for 366 yards against New Orleans earlier this season. Hasseleck is 4-5 as a starter in the postseason.
“It factors,” Carroll said. “And it’s a factor that Matt also played well against these guys, and has played against this coordinator before. And he remembers. It’s not like he’s blanked in the times he’s played against Gregg. … He understands the kind of stuff that he needs to expect, and the fact that it could change.”
So ultimately we're still where we were at on Monday, with no decision made publicly yet on who will start at quarterback for Seattle.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who missed last week’s game with a head injury, will get some work in during practice today and could play on Sunday.
“He’s made it through the bulk of his testing, so he should get a little bit of work today, a lot of work tomorrow and might be available to us come game time. So that’s a good thing for us,” Carroll said.
And Stacy Andrews is back in the fold, working with the first unit at right tackle while Sean Locklear attends to a family issue for the next, few days. With Chester Pitts on the injured reserve, Carroll does not have a lot of options right now. So Tyler Polumbus will stay at left guard, and Chris White will serve as the backup for all three interior line positions.
“We anticipate Sean will be back and everything will be fine,” Carroll said. “We’re a little bit stuck with how we’re doing it right now because we don’t have much flexibility.”
With the new overtime rule in affect for the playoffs, Carroll said the coaching staff has been going through the different scenarios so they are prepared should they be in that situation at the end of the game.