Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll once again did a masterful job of deflecting questions on who his starting quarterback will be for Saturday’s game against New Orleans.
Carroll said that as of now both Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst will split reps with the first unit, and that he has not made a decision on who will start this week, leaving Seattle’s starting quarterback situation in limbo for a second straight week.
According to Carroll, Whitehurst also got banged up during one of his scrambles where he failed to slide yesterday.
“Right now our concerns are about health and making sure everything is okay,” Carroll said. “The way the game worked out, it really helped us. Charlie did a great job to survive that game and the rush was on him. He was running for his life sometimes, so it help us that he was out there.
“It was a game that would have been better for Matt not to be there under these circumstances in his short attempt at trying to return. He would have gone if we needed him, but the way it worked out, it helped us get ready for this week.”
Carroll went on to say that Hasselbeck looked good during pre-game in a controlled setting, but there was some concern how he would have dealt with the pass rush in a live situation.
Carroll did say that Hasselbeck will be practicing at full speed tomorrow, and that part of the issue with Hasselbeck playing on Sunday is the Seattle head coach had concerns about the veteran quarterback’s ability to fully function with the strained hip not fully healed.
“I hope you just understand that there’s no reason to call this like you want me to right now,” Carroll said. “And so we’re not going to until we get all of the information and we can make the best choice we can make. … Both guys are getting ready to start. Both guys are getting ready to play football”
Seattle will be missing a couple guys on Saturday. Offensive lineman Chester Pitts suffered a concussion on the first play he came in during the second quarter, and will not be available this week. And tight end Chris Baker suffered a fracture in his hip and will not play this week as well.
Carroll said receiver Brandon Stokley, who missed last week with a head injury, will be questionable for Saturday. However, Carroll said he believes there’s a chance he could play.
Carroll also gave props to defensive ends Chris Clemons and Raheem Brook. Both have career highs in sacks (Clemons lead Seattle at 11 and Brock is second with 9) and have a combined 20 on the season.
“They’ve been really good for us,” Carroll said. “This is one of the areas that we had to do is help us pass-rush wise, and John (Seahawks GM John Schneider) found a way to get Clem (Chris Clemons) here. And we were able to find Raheem when we got him. And both those guys have brought the kind of energy and pass rush that you really love.
“Both those guys are really quick. They have high motors. Raheem was all over the place yesterday, not just in the passing game. And both those guys bring an intensity that if you’re not getting off the line of scrimmage, they’re going to get you.”
Carroll also said he thought the offensive line struggled a little bit with Tyler Polumbus getting his first start at left guard.
“They had a lot of penetration on us and we did not protect as well as we had in other games,” Carroll said. “You saw them – they are a really good pressure team. And it’s not just with their front four guys, it’s the rushes that they combine and the looks and all they do. … So we have to be a lot more effective this week protecting the passer.”