For Hasselbeck, practice makes perfect

The old adage is "you play the way you practice" and the Seattle Seahawks showed that this past Saturday when they looked lethargic and, at times, lost in their first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. Today, the coaching staff turned up the heat and the man at the helm of Seattle's attack said he expected nothing less.

"My guess is that it will be a shorter fuse," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told the assembled media following practice about head coach Mike Holmgren's mood this week. "He can only say the same thing so many times. At some point somebody has got to do something about it, and unfortunately he's usually the last guy. If we don't correct our mistakes he will correct them for us.

"We've got a lot of new people though, too. I'm looking out there today and a lot of people that weren't on our team, not a lot of experience practicing right now. It's a veteran team, but that team Saturday night was not all that veteran. We've got to get everybody on the same page, teach everybody how we do it and then we all got to do it together as a team. That's probably the biggest things, we're not clicking on all cylinders right now and that'll come."

Holmgren stated that it begins and ends with his starting quarterback, one he puts a massive amount of faith in.

"He has to do his job," Holmgren noted to the media after the team's morning practice. "They all have their jobs to do and the quarterback's job is to set the tempo, get the huddle going, rally the guys, that's what he's supposed to do, regardless of who is playing.

"He has his job to do. He is very professional about it, he's good at it and they respond to him. If he goes into the game prepared and doing his thing, then the other guys usually respond."

Hasselbeck said the team practiced poorly last week and it showed in their woeful performance against the Cowboys.

"(Holmgren) was upset with us all week," the seven-year veteran said. "How we were practicing, sloppy, getting out of the huddle not knowing where to line up, jumping off sides, illegal motion. All the penalties that were called on us in the game, you could've called those same penalties in practice.

"I believe like our coaches do that if you practice a certain way that's how you're going to play, and that's what we did. We've got to fix it in practice; if we fix it in practice I think we will practice it in the game."

Now the unquestioned leader of the team, after his stellar performance while leading the team to the Super Bowl this past season, Hasselbeck said he is tailoring his leadership style to the type of team he believes he's leading.

"I think it's different every year and I think it's probably tougher every year, because you've got to adapt and change to your team," Hasselbeck admitted. "There's not one right way to do things, but I try to stay consistent. I try to be within the guidelines that the coaches say. ‘What are the coaches looking for today from our team', and then I try to do my best to do that by myself, number one.

"Number two, nudge guys or encourage guys to do the same thing for that day, whatever the points of emphasis are for our coaching staff. They're pretty clear about it. I don't think it's necessarily that tough, but you got to do it yourself first and hope everyone else has the same feeling about it as you do."

Because of an elbow injury, C Robbie Tobeck will miss approximately two weeks following surgery and Hasselbeck will need to get familiar with the snapping tendencies of second-year C Chris Spencer.

"(Spencer) has been here for a year, so we've gotten some work in, but that is something new, that's something added, and we worked on it a good amount today and everything was great, everything was fine," Hasselbeck said. "Your success rate at that center-quarterback exchange has to be hundred percent, ninety-nine's not good enough, so we got to make sure it stays one hundred percent."

Hasselbeck and his teammates will continue trying to improve while preparing for their game this Sunday night versus the Indianapolis Colts on the road.

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