Hasselbeck upgrades from two-pack to "maybe a four-pack"

Matt Hasselbeck loved the theme of competition that Pete Carroll sold to him over the phone when Carroll took the job as Seahawks head coach.

A few months later, Carroll called to tell Hasselbeck the team traded for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

“That put a new spin on the whole ‘competition,’ thing,” Hasselbeck told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports with a laugh. “I said, ‘Wait, not at my spot.'”

As we’ve detailed during camp, Whitehurst has not responded particularly well to the competition.  Hasselbeck, however, has acted like a 34-year-old in a contract year who just took a peek at his career mortality.   Safety Lawyer Milloy told Silver that Hasselbeck has changed.

“He’s leading this team in a way he wasn’t last year. When he came in this offseason, he had his chest puffed out and had a different swagger about him. Competition does that,” Milloy said.

Running back Justin Forsett on the difference: “He’s got a three-pack now, maybe a four-pack. Before, it was maybe a two-pack.”

Hasselbeck has looked mostly sharp in practices, but will have to prove he can stay healthy behind a shaky offensive line.  If he can beat the odds to rebound with a strong regular season, Hasselbeck will become very expensive for Carroll to retain in 2011.