Redskins - Seahawks: Family Affair

Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will be facing the Washington Redskin and possibility his younger brother when the Seahawks face the Redskins on Sunday.

Q: Your brother is now playing for the Redskins.
Matt: "I'm happy that he's back in the league and has another opportunity. But it's a little bit like when we faced Philadelphia last year and he was with them. It's going to be fun and I'm going to enjoy seeing him, but I have a job to do. That is to help the Seahawks win a game, and he has a job to do too. You can't mix business and pleasure."

Q: Will the family reunion be toned down this time?
Matt: "It will be toned down. Maybe my Mom and Dad."

Q: Your thoughts on the Redskins.
Matt: "They're good. I think the strength of their team is probably their two corners. They have two great corners. Champ Bailey is always in the Pro Bowl and is usually the leading vote getter at cornerback, and he's playing well. And obviously they have some guys who can run at linebacker. It's going to a tough challenge for us."

Q: The last game at Washington wasn't a pretty one.
Matt: "No, no. I don't remember a lot. I played about one half and that was about it."

Q: Was it a learning experience?
Matt: "It was. I think that's one thing, it's tough to go play on the road. They were a team that I think started out 0-5 that year. We went in there thinking we would take it to them and they took it to us. You learn from that experience, you learn to play on the road, which we are hopefully getting better at, and this is an opportunity for us to go get a win."

Q: The Redskins have a lot of tradition.
Matt: "They have a lot of tradition and history. There are certain teams around the league like Green Bay, Washington, Pittsburgh, where there is so much of that and their fan base goes back forever. I think Sam Huff and Sonny Jerguson are their radio guys. It's an unusual situation. There is a lot to the tradition and history there."

Q: What do you expect from their corners?
Matt: "Well, they're going to be physical. They're going to be up in our face. They're not going to let our receivers off the line cleanly. Our receivers are going to have to do a great job this week studying the technique that these guys use, working on their releases and not letting them disrupt the timing of our routes."

Q:  Is it a measuring stick for a young receiver to play against good corners?
Matt:"I think so. I think if you look at the great receivers it doesn't matter if a guy is playing off them or pressing up there or have bump and run on them, it doesn't matter. All receivers get excited when a guy does that because they think it is an opportunity for a big play, especially the great ones."

Q: How big of an impact would it be if Koren doesn't play?
Matt: "It would be tough. There's no question he's a great player and he has helped us out quite a bit. But we have played without him this year. We played against Arizona this year without him and he has gotten hurt a few games this year where he hasn't practiced. It would be tough, but I think that is one thing good teams do, somebody gets hurt and the next guys steps up and hopefully plays well."

Q:  Did having a lot of home games early in the season help the team?
Matt:"We knew that going into this and that's why we knew our games at home were so important, we needed to get wins early because we do have some tough road games coming up. We also have some tough division games; we have to go to San Francisco and to St. Louis, so it's going to be tough for us. But I think, again, one thing good teams do is go out and win games on the road. That's something, hopefully, we can get better at."

Q: What makes it so difficult to play on the road?
Matt:"I think, offensively speaking, the crowd noise is huge. So much of your communication in today's football is audibling, there is so much communication going on with the offensive line and the snap count. If you have a team with a great pass rusher who gets a jump on the snap count then you can no longer use the snap count to your advantage. That's tough, it is tough to pass protect and it's just tough every way that way. But, that is something you have to overcome. It's a reality that you have to go on the road and win."

Q:  What kind of tricks do pass rushers like Bruce Smith use?
Matt: "Well, the good ones use your snap count on you. They're crafty and a little dirty. The good thing is we have a couple of those guys on our team too."

Q: How important are turnovers on the road?
Matt: "Well, I think it really gets the crowd back into the game. Sometimes when you're controlling the ball, you're running the ball and not turning the ball over, it kind of deflates their crowd and keeps that momentum or energy-swing to your advantage. Obviously turnovers, field position, all that stuff counts, especially when you're not at home."

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