Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck talked to reporters after practice this afternoon, and I asked him about Pete Carroll’s comments on Wednesday, when the Seattle head coach said he would like to have the veteran quarterback return for the 2011 season.
Hasselbeck is in the final year of his contract which pays him a base salary of $5.75 million this season.
“I went and gave him a hug,” joked Hasselbeck. “No, I mean I’m very focused on this year. We’ve talked all year, even from last year, Pete, me and everybody here. We’ve been very open about everything, and I would love to be back, absolutely. No doubt about that.
“But my focus isn’t really there. My focus is definitely on trying to get this team winning game, trying to play well. And if you do that, just like in a football game, if you focus on just doing things right everything else takes care of itself. And that’s my mindset with what happens beyond this year.
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“But obviously I love it here – all that stuff. But right now is really not the time to talk about that. Right now is the time to focus on football and try and beat the Bears.”
Unlike in years past, when Seattle had a more experienced team heading into the postseason, Hasselbeck said he’s been focused on making sure this young team understands the situation they are in.
“If anything I’m feeling the desire to really get everybody to focus in a little more and just tighten screws just a little bit,” Hasselbeck said. “And like understand this isn’t just another game. I mean it is just another game, but we really got to focus in.
“I mean there’s going to be so many opportunities for us to be distracted. The game that’s played the day before is an opportunity for us to be distracted. All the things during the week are opportunities. We’re going to one of the greatest cities in the world in Chicago, with a lot of free time on our hands – those are opportunities to be distracted.
“It’s not a shopping trip, it’s a business trip.”
We talked to Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who said he had a tough decision to make, but ultimately chose to take the offensive coordinator position at the University of Miami because of the opportunity it presented to coach at one of the better college programs in the country down in Florida. Fisch was with Seattle for only one season, joining the Seahawks after a stint as offensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota.
“With all the NFL players that they’ve produced, it’s a chance to coach the best of the best in college football,” Fisch said. “And to be able to coordinate and coach quarterbacks at a place like that with a head coach like Al Golden, who is starting everything from scratch, I think it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Fisch went on to say what made the decision the easiest was the support of Carroll.
I’ve used him obviously as a mentor, but I relied heavily on him for this one,” Fisch said. “We spent a couple days talking about it, and he was extremely supportive of it.”
“I wish him the best at Miami of Ohio,” joked Hasselbeck, when asked about his quarterback coach moving on. “I think he’ll do a great job there.
“I’ve had a lot of coaches that have meant a lot to me, and they’ve all gone on to have great success. And Jedd has done an awesome job. Just in one year I think he’s really brought that quarterback room together. “
Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said his staff will look at every game Chicago has played this season as they put together a game plan for Sunday.
“We’re not going to really focus on the last game too much,” Bates said. “This is a brand new game. It’s playoffs. Everyone plays faster and stronger, and they’re going to have new coverages and new blitzes for us. So we’re going to go into it with a fresh mind and know that we have to bring our “A” game.”
Linebacker Lofa Tatupu (concussion) did not practice for a second straight day.
Cornerback Charles Tillman return to practice for Chicago today. LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) did not practice today, and DT Anthony Adams (calf) was limited.