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.