Matt Hasselbeck has expressed no desire to hang it up. John Carlson is entering just his fourth year in the NFL.
So what exactly were they both doing at a meeting of retired NFL players Tuesday night?
“Well, it’s the lockout,” said Hasselbeck. “We’re doing all kinds of different things. John and I have been working out. We cross the bridge (from the east side) every day to do that. We crossed the bridge tonight to get together with some former Seahawks.”
A number of retired NFL players convened Tuesday evening for a meeting at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. Former Seahawk Sam McCullum, who played with the team from 1976-81, was in attendance, as were Norm Evans (1977-78), Nesby Glasgow (1988-92), and Orlando Huff (2001-04), among others.
“Some of these guys have gone through work stoppages before and it’s good to hear their side of it — what they did to stay in shape, how they kept their teammates together, communicating and those kinds of things,” Hasselbeck said. “The reason that we are here is that I think it would just be wonderful for new guys as they come to town if they had guys that have sort of been there and done that. So I just told them how when I was struggling here as a player in Seattle, all the former quarterbacks in this area — whether it be Warren Moon or Jim Zorn or Jeff Kemp or Tom Flick — guys that just played, they were just there as a resource. ‘Hey man, I get it.’
“It wasn’t necessarily a teammate that you let down that Sunday or a coach that is going to berate you on Monday. They’re just someone there that’s kinda been there that you can just learn from. So I thought, ‘Hey, it’s just crazy that our current Seahawks don’t know many of the guys that used to play for the Seahawks.’ So I thought, ‘is there a way that we can hang out once a year, twice a year?’
“I don’t know, girls do it, I think guys should get to do it too.”
With the lockout now firmly in place and the appeal not scheduled until June, Hasselbeck and the rest of the local Seahawks are doing what they can do to keep it business as usual.
“Really, this is just a time when players are hanging out together more than normal. There’s a lot more free time than normal,” said Hasselbeck. “Just kind of supporting each other during this lockout. It’s kind of a weird time for us and I think the biggest thing that we can do right now is stay in shape, get ready, because this thing could end at any day and you’ve got to be ready to go.
“It’s been a different kind of an offseason, but I think that all in all, we’re pretty prepared for it and we’re making the most of it.”
Teams around the league have been handling their workouts differently, meeting at local schools or parks to piece together an offseason. New Orleans for example, has up to 40 players a day reporting for workouts.
Are the Seahawks doing the same?
“We might be, we might be,” said Hasselbeck. “There are teams that are advertising their workouts — how wonderful they are. That’s great for them. I think we are kind of taking more of the New England Patriots route, we’re going about our business, having a good time, doing our thing. We’re not necessarily inviting the world to our workouts, but we’re on track.
“I say we, but there aren’t really a ton of guys in town,” Hasselbeck continued. “This is Seattle, it’s not (one) of the warmer places to live in our country, but it’s been good. We’ve been having a great offseason so far in terms of workouts. It was a challenge getting going, it started out a little slow but we’ve rectified that. We’ve gotten kicked out of a few places, but we’re rolling now. We’re ready to roll.”
Hasselbeck said the number of players at the workouts varies, and not all of them are Seahawks. The Rams, Cardinals, Titans, Browns, Ravens and Lions are also represented at the practice sessions.
“It’s too bad that we can’t just have our team, but we just don’t have the numbers for that. All in all, it’s sort of competitive that way. It’s like this unspoken, you know, you don’t want to get outdone by the guys in your division.”
So how exactly do these practices work?
“At this point, everybody is sharing everything,” said Hasselbeck. “It doesn’t matter, there isn’t really anything that secretive.”
Except maybe, the playbooks.
“I didn’t get one,” said Hasselbeck. “It definitely hurt my feelings, but it’s alright because all my teammates gave me theirs. So it worked out. It worked out fine.”
And if you’re wondering if there’s anything new with Hasselbeck on the contract front…
“Absolutely nothing has changed for me,” he said. “I know that my name gets thrown out there for fun when someone has to talk, but absolutely nothing has changed for me. It’s sort of boring.”