Thanks to the bye week and the generosity of head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have the next several days off. But for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the time off won't be used for rest and relaxation. He plans on working.
"Well, it is an off week," Hasselbeck said. "Pete has really given us off, but I’m not going to treat it like I’ve treated other ones in the past. I’m going to treat it a little bit different. I’m going to really try to focus on Chicago, this is going to be a really, really tough game for us. We have to go on the road; they have a really good pass rush with four guys. They are a team that’s 3-1 right now and they’ve done a real nice job. So we have to find a way to improve, we have to find a way to show our best this next game."
So what exactly can he do in that time? It's not as though as he can get guys together to practice. And I doubt he'll be out running win sprints. Nope most of his work will be film study.
“Exactly (what), I’m not sure," he said. "But I’ve got a laptop which has all the plays; all their plays, all our plays from the year, similar to everything that I have at my disposal with the quarterback room. So I’m going to spend a good amount of time on that.”
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Hasselbeck knows that how this offense has played is unacceptable.
"We clearly need to be better, we know that," he said. "It’s been made clear, it’s evident. We can be so much better, we really can, but we have to do it. We got to come out here with a little more passion, a little more energy, a little more confidence, and just cut it loose. You have to play smart, but you also have to cut it loose. You have to have that emotion and you have to be aggressive. You can’t play hesitant; you have to be sure about what you’re doing and do it 100 miles per hour. And we’ve done it before we just need to do it again.”
Here's the full transcript of Matt's weekly meeting with the press
(On what he thinks of Marshawn Lynch’s first day) “He did a great job. For him to jump in like that and have no errors and no mistakes is pretty good.”
(On if he is pretty happy with the acquisition of Lynch) “Well, it’s always a bittersweet thing the first day, you know you lose a guy (Julius Jones) who has done everything we’ve asked him to do, but at the same time you get a spark. You really get a boost from getting a guy like that. He brings something to our team that we didn’t have; a big, powerful, strong back who loves football, has a good football IQ, and complements Justin (Forsett) and what he does well, and so it’s exciting to have him.”
(On having a bigger back like Lynch) “I don’t know if we’ve ever had a guy like him. He’s a beast. T.J. Duckett came in and did a great job for us in short yardage situations. One year we really struggled in short yards, the next year he (Duckett) came in and handled that for us, third and fourth down, and I think we went 100 percent for the year. It’s a boost to have that kind of a guy, that kind of a weapon. We’ve been talking about getting the running game going and this makes it a lot tougher for people to defend us. It gives us a huge opportunity in play-action, it gives us huge opportunities with the naked bootleg, and just all kinds of things; winning first down, winning second down, making third down more manageable. I know Pete (Carroll) is really excited about him (Lynch), I know the offensive coaches are excited about him, even Justin (Forsett) is excited about him, so it’s a good thing.”
(On how he uses this extra time off during the bye week to get the offense where he would like it to be) “Well, this week was partly good for that. A lot of younger guys got reps, but still we had a chance to get out here and work on some things, (and) focus on Chicago. We clearly need to be better, we know that. It’s been made clear, it’s evident. We can be so much better, we really can, but we have to do it. We got to come out here with a little more passion, a little more energy, a little more confidence, and just cut it loose. You have to play smart, but you also have to cut it loose. You have to have that emotion and you have to be aggressive. You can’t play hesitant; you have to be sure about what you’re doing and do it 100 miles per hour. And we’ve done it before we just need to do it again.”
(On Stokley coming out and doing what he did in the game after getting in only three practices last week) “He did a great job. That’s another thing that’s been good about this week…he did a great job, he really did a great job. But it’s still hard, it’s not ideal. So this week getting Marshawn (Lynch) in here, getting Stokley in here, there are some other guys that are fairly new, it’s a been a good week to kind of go back to fundamentals and have a (practice) similar to an OTA practice, where you get to focus on just the basics of our offense, the fundamentals. My hope would be that those relationships, Brandon Stokley included, would just continue to get better.”
(On coming out of the bye with more stability in certain areas, namely the offensive line or the skill position players) “I think that’s one thing we’re excited about is coming out of the bye healthy. The offensive line, more than anybody, they want continuity. The challenge to them is OK, well if you want continuity then everyone needs to practice, get out of the training room and get on the field. And I think that’s what everyone is excited about. I know the offensive line is excited about having everybody at full strength, and as they go we go in a sense. We really rely on them and we’ve got high hopes for them.”
(On his personal mindset going into the bye week) “Well, it is an off week. Pete (Carroll) has really given us off, but I’m not going to treat it like I’ve treated other ones in the past. I’m going to treat it a little bit different. I’m going to really try to focus on Chicago, this is going to be a really, really tough game for us. We have to go on the road; they have a really good pass rush with four guys. They are a team that’s 3-1 right now and they’ve done a real nice job. So we have to find a way to improve, we have to find a way to show our best this next game.”
(On what that means for him) “Exactly (what), I’m not sure. But I’ve got a laptop which has all the plays; all their plays, all our plays from the year, similar to everything that I have at my disposal with the quarterback room. So I’m going to spend a good amount of time on that.”
(On how much easier adding a guy like Lynch makes it on the quarterback and the quarterback’s ability to make plays) “I think the play-action and the naked bootleg; those are the two things that immediately improve, if we can improve our run game. And I think our run game is close, I really do. It hasn’t shown up always, but I think our run game can be close. We had a great week of practice last week with the run game, it didn’t transfer exactly how we wanted it to on Sunday, but again, if you can win first down, if you can win second down, then you’re dealing with third-and-two, third-and-three, third-and-six, instead of third-and-nine, third-and-12, third-and-13, and that’s critical. It just makes everybody’s job easier; play-caller, offensive line, quarterback, receiver, everybody.”
(On if he thinks they have found things they are good at and things they know they can go to on offense) “I don’t think we have really, I don’t think we have. That’s exactly what we need to do though.”
(On if that is part of what he is searching for by not taking all of this week off) “A little bit. And it’s a group effort, in terms of finding out what we’re best at. When we get people in the roles that we like them in it makes things easier. I think at the wide receiver position we’re talented there, we’re kind of figuring out what guys are good at. Mike Williams and Golden Tate, they’ve done a great job with certain things. Deion Branch and Deon Butler have done a great job with certain things. Brandon Stokley I think we all know what he can do. It’s just a matter of finding those pieces and putting them into this offense, this system, along with the other guys we have, tight ends and running backs and all that, and that’s all part of the process.”
(On quarterback’s getting a lot of attention when teams are successful and also when they are not successful, and if that is something he can just tune out) “I think it’s just part of the deal. You got to do it. If you allow it to affect you you’re not going to play well. If you lose your confidence even just a little bit you’re not going to be yourself, you’re not going to look like yourself. It’s a real thing, but it’s the difference between guys that make it and don’t make it in this league. Everyone’s watching you when things are tough, your teammates, your coaches, everybody, so it’s important how you handle it.”
(On if he has ever trash talked with an opponent over Twitter) “Not seriously. I’m rarely serious though.”
(On if that will ever replace what actually happens on the field, in terms of talking back and forth) “Typically the better the opponent the less they talk trash. That’s just usually how it is. Most of the time I’ve found the guys talking trash you weren’t even sure who they were, you have to kind of look at their number, and (you may not know who they are). It’s just usually the case.”
(On if Darnell Dockett is the best one he has heard talk trash) “He’s a good player; he’s a very good player. There are a lot of good players, a lot of good players in this league.”