The Seahawks announced today that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck won the Steve Largent award. It’s the first time Hasselbeck has earned the honor, which was opened up to the coaching staff as well last season and is voted on by the players.
The award is given to the player best exemplifying the spirit, dedication, and integrity of former Seahawk wide receiver Steve Largent.
“I thought there were more deserving this year,” Hasselbeck said. “But it’s a very cool trophy and I’ll find a place for it.
“It’s a special honor. And they opened it up to coaches as well, so it’s more competition. And it’s voted on by your teammates, so that’s very important.”
Mike Holmgren won it last year.
Asked to pinpoint a couple reasons why the team is struggling offensively, Hasselbeck had this to say.
“There’s some common themes,” Hasselbeck said. “One would be lack of focus or just forcing things. Maybe just trying to do to much and not just focusing in on the play. And just realizing despite what it feels like, it’s Okay to punt. You know, punting is not a terrible thing.”
Hasselbeck also talked about his team going against Tennessee running back Chris Johnson, who is only 128 yards away from reaching 2,000. He talked about his former teammate Shaun Alexander being in a similar situation in 2004, and the Seahawks not knowing about it.
“One year I think we weren’t aware of it, and the next year we were very aware of it,” Hasselbeck joked.
Of course, the incident Hasselbeck is referring to is in 2004, when head coach Mike Holmgren was not aware that Alexander needed one yard to tie Curtis Martin for the league rushing title when Matt Hasselbeck scored on a one-yard plunge to help Seattle defeat Atlanta 28-26 to clinch an NFC West division title.
Alexander later said after the game that Holmgren had stabbed him in the back by not giving him the ball on the goal line.
Hasselbeck said in 2005 against the Packers all of the offensive starters stayed in the game for Shaun Alexander to get the single-season touchdown record of 27 touchdowns, since broken by LaDanian Tomlinson (28) in 2006, and then came out after he scored the touchdown.
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley also talked about what the Seahawks need to do defensively to contain Johnson.
“One of the things that happened last week is at times we played the run well, and then they broke out," Bradley said. "They had two, long runs on us and that’s what I talked to our defense about. They need to be exact, and that’s the NFL.”
Bradley went on to say that it’s even more important for his team to be precise and exact in their assignments this Sunday against Tennessee because of Johnson and quarterback Vince Young's ability to break big plays.
Bradley also said he’ll lean on his college experience in terms of the discipline it takes to stop the option game, with the Titans running some form of the option in about a third of their plays.
“You feel like you’re playing Oklahoma in the days’ past,” Bradley joked. “I mean there’s twenty-something option plays that the run. And all the different counter options, dive options and lead options with Vince Young, so it’s a lot to prepare for.”
The Seahawks also made a roster move today, adding tight end Jason Pociask to the team’s practice squad. The 6-foot-3, 259-pounder out of Wisconsin originally was a fifth-round pick (150th overall) by the Jets in the 2006 draft. He also spent time with Tampa Bay and Carolina.
Here’s the injury report.
For Seattle, Nate Burleson (ankle) is out. LB Aaron Curry (shoulder), RB Julius Jones (rib) and CB Josh Wilson (hip) did not practice.
For Tennessee, DT Tony Brown (knee, quad), C Kevin Mawae (elbow), CB Ryan Mouton (ankle) and OT Troy Kropog (calf) did not practice.