After throwing three interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos in Denver, Matt Hasselbeck used the return flight to Seattle to come to grips with his poor performance.
Back in the day, Matt Hasselbeck would watch the movie on the flight back to Seattle after a poor road performance and then replay his mistakes over and over as he tossed and turned during a restless – and often sleepless – night.
Not Sunday night. On the return flight from Denver, where Hasselbeck threw three interceptions in a 31-14 loss to the Broncos, the Seahawks’ quarterback took advantage of some new technology.
“It’s tough for all of us players and coaches to sleep on a Sunday night, because plays are running through your head,” Hasselbeck said Monday.
Enter Thom Fermstad, the team’s director of video, and that aforementioned technology.
“He’s got a way where we can actually watch the game film, on the plane, on a laptop,” Hasselbeck said. “Which is way better than watching a movie or something.”
Hasselbeck watched the game film once with center Chris Spencer to review the run game and pass protection. He then watched it with backup QB Charlie Whitehurst. Later, Hasselbeck saw Whitehurst watching it with left guard Ben Hamilton, while Hasselbeck and tight end John Carlson huddled to review a play where there was a miscommunication between them.
“You just get closure that way,” Hasselbeck said. “Then you come in today and you’re watching it with your coach, and they’ve watched it as a staff.
“You end up watching the game four times, five times. And you just learn from them. They just become ingrained into your memory and hopefully you just don’t make the same mistakes twice.”
The error-plagued performance actually has some wondering if coach Pete Carroll is close to making a move to Whitehurst. Think again.
“I don’t feel like that at all,” said Carroll, looking a bit perplexed that the subject was even being broached two games – and one subpar performance – into the season.
“Matt’s our guy. We’re counting on him. We know Matt gives us the best chance to win. And he’s doing everything he can to prepare and he’s busting his tail and all that. He’s doing a good job. We feel fortunate to have Charlie waiting in the wings, but it’s not his time yet.”
It was then asked if Carroll is eager to see what Whitehurst can do in a regular-season game.
“No, I’m not looking at in that regard,” Carroll said. “When Charlie gets his chance to play, then we’ll see how far he takes it. But that’s not even in our minds right now. We’re going with Matt and he’s really the guy that’s going to take us. We’re going to ride him and make sure that we support him and do all the things that he needs to help around him so that he can be successful.”
Carroll, however, is not pampering his quarterback, who will turn 35 on Saturday.
“Pete was pretty tough on me, pretty hard on me,” Hasselbeck said. “He called me out right after the game on the turnover thing.
“I expect that and I have no problem with that. The standard has kind of been set. He has told us what he expects, so we know what he’s looking for and the kind of football he wants to play. He wants to be a team that doesn’t turn the ball over and that gets turnovers.
“That’s the most important thing in the world to him.”
On a day when Hasselbeck had problems with some of his passes, he used his legs to score on a 20-yard run. The dash to the end zone helped the running game crack triple-digits for the game – and made Hasselbeck the only player with a rushing touchdown in the first two games, after he also scored on a 1-yard run in the opener.
“I don’t think you should continue to look for that,” he said. “That’s not something I know how to duplicate, for sure.”