Matt Hasselbeck was his honest, quirky self when greeting a throng of reporters, including several national outlets like the New York Times, ESPN and NBC not usually at the Seattle Seahawks facility, after head coach Pete Carroll announced he will be the starting quarterback for Saturday’s game against New Orleans.
“Look at this – I didn’t know you guys covered the CFL,” joked Hasselbeck just before he began fielding questions. He followed that up later with a South Alaska reference to Seattle, referring to the fact that the Saints had to travel to our outpost tucked away in the Northwest corner of the country.
Hasselbeck confirmed that he was told by Carroll earlier this week that he would start if healthy, and talked about trying to get ready for last week’s game against St. Louis.
“What I said to him after that game was, ‘Hey, you can handle things however you want to handle them, I’m going to try and get as healthy as I can in the training room and try to give you some options, or just try to give you a choice to make,’” Hasselbeck said. “I feel like I made a lot of progress last week. But I don’t think I was able to get to the point where I was able to do everything in the game plan.
“So I made a run at it and I wasn’t able to do it. But I think we felt good about Charlie’s chances and our plan. And it worked out perfectly.”
“I told him earlier in the week he was going to start if he could make it through the week physically,” Carroll said. “He’s done all of that, so Matt Hasselbeck is going to start the game for us at quarterback.
“Charlie’s ready to go as well. Both of those guys split reps during the week so they’re prepared, and we’ll count on both of them if we need them. But I’m fired up that Matt’s going to go.”
Carroll said he made the decision after Wednesday’s practice and watching the film from practice that Hasselbeck was ready to go. The Seahawks head coach went on to say that Hasselbeck has been the starter all season along, and that he just wanted to make sure that he had recovered from the hip injury.
Carroll said Hasselbeck’s playoff experience was a factor in the decision.
Hasselbeck said his health was the big question mark heading into this week because he had not had an injury like the hip issue he re-aggravated against Tampa Bay two weeks ago.
Hasselbeck also was asked if all the talk percolating around the team about who will be Seattle’s starter bothered him.
“I really tried to not pay too much attention to that stuff. It’s usually not hard because no one really pays to much attention to us as team,” joked Hasselbeck. “I’m serious. So it’s usually not hard. When you get near the playoffs, then there’s less teams to talk about, and so it gets to be a little bit everywhere. But it hasn’t been a big deal, really. More than anything, I’ve just been trying to get healthy, and I think as a team we’re just trying to get our game better.”
It appears that everyone for Seattle will be healthy heading into this one. Carroll said that receiver Brandon Stokley (head) is cleared to play. And offensive tackle Sean Locklear did not make it practice today because he’s still dealing with a family matter. Carroll expects him back this evening, but is prepared to go with Stacy Andrews at right tackle should Locklear not make it back.
“Stacy had a great week,” Carroll said. “This is Stacy’s natural position. He was excited about the opportunity to play it all week long. We could play with Stacy right now. He would do fine for us. We still have to see how Shawn is when he returns, because he’s been through a lot of stuff. But I’m counting on Shawn to play for us.”
Here's the full injury report
SeattleOT Sean Locklear (non-injury related).
New OrleansDanny Clark (hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (ankle), DL Anthony Hargrove (knee) and S Malcolm Jenkins (knee) did not participate in practice.
DE Alex Brown (shoulder), WR Marques Colston (knee), LB Anthony Waters (ankle), TE Jeremy Shockey (groin) and TE David Thomas (knee) were all full participants.