Hasselbeck and Alexander happy to be here

The Seahawks are blessed with some great talent on both sides of the ball, but two that stand out on Seattle's prolific offense are QB Matt Hasselbeck and RB Shaun Alexander. Both have been through plenty of training camps, but this one marks their first following a Super Bowl run that ended up just a bit short of their ultimate goal.

"I think that last year we set a goal to shock everybody, and show everybody that we were ready to go to the Super Bowl and be one of the teams," Alexander told the media in attendance on Saturday. "I think this year more people believe it. With that comes a little bit more work that you have to put in to it."

Hasselbeck said he didn't think the team was looking ahead to what they have down the road and expects his teammates, along with himself, to concentrate on the next four weeks at training camp in Eastern Washington University.

"There's so much that needs to get done this season," Hasselbeck said. "Forget about this season. A lot of us are just trying to have the best training camp that we can. Some guys, this is their chance to make the team. Some guys have been to a ton of training camps, and their goal is to get through it in a healthy manner.

"Without naming names, we got some guys that are in their late thirties now and that's their motivation this year. There is a lot of goals for us right now. That's probably every team in the league's goal right now, but there is so much that needs to be done before you can ever really even get there. If we take care of the first things first then we will have an opportunity for bigger and better stuff."

Goals are important for every team, but for a team that just missed out on a championship with some players who are considered the best at their position in football, there is still a lot of improvement to strive for.

Head coach Mike Holmgren had a meeting with the team before the opening of training camp and Hasselbeck, who appears to have taken up stenography, has a lot of notes to go over, in addition to his playbook.

"I have almost five pages of notes from that meeting," Hasselbeck noted. "Whether you're Shaun Alexander, last year's MVP, or Walter Jones, probably the best player in football, you can get better. All of us can get better. The challenge was find ways that you, yourself, can get better, and that'll make our team better. It's good advice."

And Hasselbeck has his own list, a long list, of things he needs to work on.

"I remember my rookie year going into Green Bay and Brett Favre was about to win his third MVP, and Andy Reid gave him a talk and I got to be there for it," Hasselbeck said. "It was ‘you can be so much better.' I don't know how many interceptions I had last year, but it wasn't a lot from what I've done before, but it was too many. More than half of them were dumb mistakes, things that I can definitely correct and get better at. There are so many things that I can improve on. Jim Zorn trusts me, he's all over it."

For the record, Hasselbeck finished with nine interceptions, but offset that with 24 touchdown passes.

Alexander is a player that has been familiar with the endzone in his six-year career and got the promised-land a league-record 28 times in 2005. Can he improve upon his own record? Alexander thinks so.

"It is definitely possible, there are more numbers," Alexander said. "I never want to be done and every year I have had the same goals to get a little bit better and I have been working hard this summer and hard through this whole training camp to just get a little bit better. Whatever that is were going to be happy with."

If you ask players what they miss most about playing pro football when they retire, most will talk about how much they miss the guys on the team. Hasselbeck is no different.

"It's nice. It's very nice," Hasselbeck said about returning to field. "I think the most fun thing for me is being around the teammates, being around the guys, having a lot of laughs at your teammates expense and laughing at some of the one's that are at your own expense.

"It's fun to be around everybody again. I think talking to guys that have retired that's what they miss most about the game. As tough as training camp can be, it's also a lot of fun."

The players are having fun and hopefully, that will translate to wins come September 9th.


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