Seahawks Insider Blog

Hasselbeck relishes battle of wits with Urlacher

Seahawks quarterback Hasselbeck talked about the game within the game between himself and Chicgao middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. Hasselbeck said Urlacher is one of the better students of the game, specifically in his ability to audible after the opponent’s quarterback calls a play to get his team in the right defense.

“He’s a good player,” Hasselbeck said. “And he’s well coached. He’s been playing in that scheme for a long time. And you’ll see when a quarterback checks, he’ll check. Or if he gets the sense that you’re pretending to check, then he’ll call it off. It’s one of those things where you make eye contact with him, you’re making a check and he’s like, ‘No, let’s just leave this one on.’ Or other times he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, let’s check it.’

“So he’s a great player. And mentally he knows his stuff about every offense he faces. But also how all 11 guys on their defense are really tied in together, they really play great defense.”

Tight end John Carlson is back at practice after his wife Danielle gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 7:25 p.m. last night. William Daniel Carlson was 8 pounds 6 ounces and 20 and ½ inches long.

Carlson said he didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night.

“I’m going on adrenaline right now,” he said. “It’s probably good we’re leaving on Friday this week so I can sleep at the hotel.”

Hasselbeck said he went to the hospital to visit Carlson.

“I saw him," he said. "I saw the new baby. I gave him some advice, but he didn’t need it. He’s doing a great job.”

Seahawks offensive line coach Art Valero worked in Tampa Bay when Chicago defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was there, so he has healthy dose of respect for what he does schematically and understands his front five will be put to the test this week.

“They’ve got great talent and they’re going to play hard,” Valero said. “That’s one thing – they’re going to be technically and fundamentally extremely sound. So it’s always a challenge.”

Specifically, rookie Russell Okung will face a challenge this week in Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers. But as Valero pointed out, the NFL is a big boy league and everybody can play.

“They’re all good in this league,” Valero said. “It’s just like a rodeo, you’ve got to ride the bull that comes out of shoot A, that’s yours whether you want him or don’t. You have no choice. If you’re afraid go to church. They are all on full scholarship, so they’ve got to go play.”

As far as the comparisons to Walter Jones, Valero said Okung needs time to develop as a player.

“I think the thing they need to do is they just need to give him a chance to grow,” Valero said. “Everybody remembers Walter Jones. Who could forget? But the learning process that Walter went through to where he felt very comfortable within his game, and found out about the league and everything else proved that he’s one of the greatest of all time.

"And I think that everybody, especially young guys, need to be given an opportunity. You don’t replace people. You don’t step on for people. You’ve got to make your own mark.”