Hasselbeck Talks About Preseason

Last year, when Minnesota came to Qwest Field for an NFC inter-divisional showdown, the Seahawks were riding high after defeating divisional foe St. Louis on a last-second Josh Brown field goal. When the Vikings had finished, they left the home team battered and bruised, including Seattle's, Matt Hasselbeck, who was injured on a questionable hit.

Hasselbeck met with the local media on Tuesday and said while he's looking forward to playing against the Vikings this Saturday, there isn't any added significance to the game other than being another warm-up for the season.

"Not really," Hasselbeck said. "Obviously this is a game we would have liked to have won last year. It was a game felt we could've won but we didn't. It's an NFC game. Any time you play and NFC game you feel like maybe we'll meet these guys again."

Hasslebeck was injured on the third play of the third quarter last year when LB E.J. Henderson rolled into his leg well after the ball was released and that hit resulted in a grade two sprain to Hasselbeck's knee.

"I don't have an issue with him necessarily," Hasselbeck said. "I just have an issue with the rule. Like I've said before, I don't have a problem with a guy leading and hitting me in the ribs with his helmet. I have no problem with that. I don't have a problem with a guy even hitting me in the head.

"I do have a problem with a guy late around the quarterback's knees unnecessarily. I just think that's something that needs to be talked about."

Henderson was not penalized on the play and, after missing the next four weeks, Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to the NFC Divisional playoff game where they lost in overtime on the road to the eventual Super Bowl runner-up Chicago Bears. The Vikings stayed home after registering a 6-10 record.

But Saturday's game is about improving on a performance against the Green Bay Packers that looked more like the play of the Seahawks' old expansion teams rather than the team many expect to contend again for the Super Bowl.

"The film session, it was tough," Hasselbeck said understatedly about the game film from the Packers game. "Obviously that is one of the worst games we've played offensively since we've all been here. Like all film sessions there was a lot in there that we can learn from. We all had a lot of correcting to do and notes to take and we got through it."

So has the team started to make the necessary adjustments?

"I thought yesterday's practice was decent," Hasselbeck admitted. "We're not perfect. That happens sometimes when you're competing. We're doing a lot of ones versus ones drills. When you get that the speed of practice picks up. We're fighting through a lot of new stuff in our playbook as well.

"I think once we can really hammer it down in our playbook then we can start worrying about execution and just playing fast. That's kind of what this afternoon's practice (was) about. We try to go ten perfect plays on offense, ten perfect plays on defense, and do that three times."

Hasselbeck went through plenty of growing pains once he arrived in a trade from Green Bay back in 2001 and he had a veteran quarterback to turn to in Trent Dilfer when he struggled. Backup Seneca Wallace, who started last week's debacle versus the Packers, got some advice from Hasselbeck, but the eight-year veteran was diplomatic in his advice.

"It's not really my job to coach him," Hasselbeck said. "The way that they were playing their coverages, I expressed to him ‘if your first guy is not there or your second guy's not there, run. Don't worry about three and four.'

"They played a lot of combination coverages where they're doubling a guy on one side and doubling the guy on the other side so it's a good opportunity to run. He used his feet a couple times."

Hasselbeck expects to play this weekend against the Vikings and said this is a very important game to the offense and the coaching staff.

"Around the league typically this is the game you try to find out where you're at offensively," Hasselbeck said. "That's why I would expect this to be that game more so than the next game. Again, that's his call. I want to do well every time. I would've liked to have played last week but it's not my decision."

Even though it's not his decision whether he plays this week or not, Hasselbeck will be keeping an eye on his legs and number 56 in purple although that might be a problem…

"I'm not even sure what number he was…"


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