With the news out about NFL official Bill Leavy admitting that he made some mistakes during the 2006 Super Bowl the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10, the players finally got a chance to talk to reporters this morning.
According to the players I talked to, Leavy also told Seahawks players the same thing he told a group of reporters on Friday evening before his review of the rule changes of the upcoming season, that he blew a couple calls late in the game.
Still, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, one of nine Seattle players from the Super Bowl team still with on the roster does not blame Leavy for the loss.
Hasselbeck said he talked with Leavy last season before the team’s game at San Francisco against the 49ers, the first Seattle game he worked since the 2006 Super Bowl, and he understands how mistakes can be made.
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“It’s a game,” Hasselbeck said. “It’s not a perfect science. There’s a lot of human involvement there. I played some games that I remembered because I feel like I did a good job, and then I feel some other games where I have some regrets. And that goes for any sport, any player.
“I’m sure coaching is no different. And in that same I’m sure officiating is the same thing.”
Hasselbeck still takes ownership of the fact that the players lost the game on the field that day, and the officials didn’t have a role in that.
“We lost the game,” he said. “Like I said, Bill Leavy, like all of our officials, is a stand-up guy. It happened a long time ago. We lost the game.”
Hasselbeck said it was a good thing that he had a chance to talk with Leavy now that some time has passed.
“I think just like Seahawk fans, I myself had to sort of get to the point where I could get past everything,” Hasselbeck said. “And he’s a great guy. And he’s actually a really good official. So it’s just one of those things where, like I said, you don’t have your best day as a player, same thing as a coach.”
Asked if he is over the Super Bowl loss, Hasselbeck had this to say:
“I’m still a little bit upset about losing my high school championship game. There’s just some games you’re never going to forget. So put it on the list.”
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill, who also played in the game, appreciated Leavy coming out and making the comments.
“I certainly don’t have any hard feelings against him,” Terrill said. “There were plenty of things that we did in that game that kept us from wining. So he can’t take responsibility for us for the mistakes that we made. But I appreciated the comments.”
“Well, it’s tough,” he said. “Anytime you’re in the Super Bowl, that’s the highest of the high. When things go bad, they always tell you not to worry about the refs and stuff like that. Things do happen. Nobody’s perfect.
“It’s just one of those things. Everybody I think has moved on. I’ve tried to move on. But like I said, that’s in the past. We’re going to keep playing and we’re trying to get back. That’s the goal.”
As far as practice this morning, today was pretty light with just helmets and shells, as the team worked through a steady drizzle out on the field.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen is here this morning with the NFL training camp tour bus, which you can see above.
Hasselbeck was again limited this morning, with Charlie Whitehurst and J.P. Losman getting most of the work.
Others sitting out include Aaron Curry (headaches) E.J. Wilson (wrist), Kevin Vickerson, Lawrence Jackson (hamstring), Ryan Powdrell and Louis Rankin.
Ray Willis and Lofa Tatupu were on the veteran maintenance program. Chester Pitts and Josh Pinkard remain on active PUP. Linebacker Joe Pawelek made it back on the field today, so the team had better depth out there today at that position.
With Willis out, Russell Okung worked with the first unit at left tackle. So what head coach Pete Carroll said would take seven to 10 days actually only took 15 hours – with Okung working with the first unit.
Running back Julius Jones dropped a wide open pass down the sideline from Isaiah Stanback as the Seahawks attempted a double pass during team drills.