Hasselbeck: “I feel like I let the guys down”

Published on December 13, 2010 by     Tacoma News Tribune (Feed)

There were plenty of glassy-eyed looks from players in the locker room after Seattle’s 40-21 loss to San Francisco. To a man, no one expected the game to go like it did, with Seattle turning over the ball five times, resulting in 20 points for the Niners.

Perhaps fullback Michael Robinson said it best.

“They came out swinging, and we didn’t match it early in the game,” Robinson said. “And they did a great job of holding onto the ball offensively. They didn’t give us anything. And we knew were going to have to come out and take it to win this game. We gave it to them.”

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck stood up and owned his poor performance. Hasselbeck has thrown eight interceptions in his last three games, and now has more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (12) on the year.

“More than anything I feel like I let the guys down in terms of protecting that ball, because that’s my No. 1 job, and I didn’t do that job well,” Hasselbeck said afterward.

Both Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Hasselbeck said there was never any discussion about Hasselbeck coming out of the game in the final quarter, even though Seattle didn’t have a chance to win at that point.

“Really what Pete said to me on the sidelines was, ‘Hey, let’s just try to get better,’” Hasselbeck said. “Let’s try to catch them on the scoreboard. If there’s not enough time to catch them, then there’s not enough time.’”

Players discussed Deon Butler’s apparent broken leg that occurred on the final offensive play of the game, a 2-yard touchdown reception by Butler. As he hauled in the catch, Butler’s leg was struck by another San Francisco defender, and he remained on the ground clutching his right leg.

Doctors put his leg in an air cast and carted him off the field to the locker room. Butler stayed in San Francisco at a local hospital overnight.

“You could see something sticking out of his leg, so it didn’t look good,” said Ruvell Martin said. “It was one of those things when you see one of your teammates in a situation and you can’t do anything. He just looked at me and goes, ‘My leg.’ All I could do was just give him my hand and say a prayer for him and try and comfort him as much as I could.”

The Seahawks twice went for it on fourth down, again throwing a fade ball on fourth and four from San Francisco’s 32-yard line. Hasselbeck’s attempt was over the head of Martin.

“It’s kind of what this offense is,” Hasselbeck said. “You want to leave that guy by himself one-on-one, we’re going to throw it. We’ve done it with Mike (Williams). We’ve done it with Golden (Tate) some. Ruvell was playing that position, and we don’t mind that throw.”

Hasselbeck also failed to connect with fullback Michael Robinson on a throwback pass that could have been a touchdown had he hit him in stride, but should have at least been completed for a first down if Robinson could have tracked the ball down.

Seattle is now 3 for 13 on the year on fourth down.

Brandon Stokley suffered a hamstring injury in the second half and did not return.

Carroll also was fired up about the slippery footing on the grass field at Candlestick Park, and felt it contributed to his team’s poor play on defense.

“We missed so many tackles and banged right off guys because your footing doesn’t dig in like it normally would,” he said. “I’ve seen it for years. I’ve watched it happen here and made an adjustment about it. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen and I should have done something about it.”

I talked to the players in the locker room about it and nobody said it was an issue.

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