Seahawks can’t afford mistakes like last Sunday’s
Pete Carroll scoffed at the idea Monday that a quarterback
change in Seattle would even be considered, despite Matt
Hasselbeck’s four interceptions in two games.
Carroll’s too concerned with the other Seattle mistakes that
were glaring in its 31-14 loss to Denver on Sunday.
”That’s not even in our minds right now. We’re going with Matt
and he’s the guy that’s going to take us,” Carroll said. ”We’re
going to ride him and make sure we support him and do all the
things around him to support him and make sure he’s
Hasselbeck’s three interceptions – two deep in Denver’s end of
the field – were the most obvious blights on an otherwise miserable
day in Denver that only continued Seattle’s struggles on the road.
The Seahawks have now gone nearly three years without a road
victory outside the NFC West, a streak that will continue until at
least Oct. 17 when Seattle visits Chicago.
Aside from Hasselbeck’s mistakes came a pair of untimely
penalties that erased a first-quarter touchdown, a muffed punt on
special teams that set up Denver’s first score and an inability by
the Seahawks defense to get off the field on third down all
”In a way it’s almost encouraging because the stuff that we did
wrong, or I did wrong we know we can fix,” Hasselbeck said. ”I
think in a strange way there is a lot of optimism because we see
how good we can be.”
Seattle traded away a third-round pick and moved down in the
second-round to bring in Charlie Whitehurst in the offseason to
compete with Hasselbeck and now serve as his backup. Carroll made
it clear Monday that it’s not Whitehurst’s time, even with
Hasselbeck making mistakes.
Hasselbeck’s first throw of the season in the opener against San
Francisco was intercepted by Nate Clements. He was outstanding
otherwise in the Seahawks’ 31-6 rout, but poor throws crept in
again against Denver.
Seattle raced to the Denver 1 on the opening drive of the game
before new right guard Stacy Andrews was called for a false start.
Backed up to the Denver 6, Justin Forsett darted in for a TD run,
only to have that brought back on a holding penalty against right
tackle Sean Locklear.
Now outside the Denver 15, Hasselbeck tried to drop a throw
along the sideline over Champ Bailey and into the arms of Deion
Branch. It never reached Branch as Bailey grabbed the interception
at the Denver 4.
Asked Monday where he should have gone with the ball on that
play, Hasselbeck said, ”probably row five.”
”He was pretty tough on me, pretty hard on me. He called me out
right after the game on the turnover thing,” Hasselbeck said of
his head coach. ”I expect that. I have no problem with that. The
standard has kind of been set. He has told us what he expects so we
know what he is looking for.”
Hasselbeck threw another interception deep in Denver’s end in
the second quarter when he was late with a throw to tight end John
Carlson, allowing safety Brian Dawkins to step in front. He was
also intercepted late in the fourth quarter.
”Matt is our guy. We know he gives us the best chance to win,”
Carroll said. ”We know he is doing everything to prepare and
busting his tail and all that. He is doing a good job. We feel
fortunate to have Charlie waiting in the wings, but it’s not his
Defensively, the Seahawks were the polar opposite of the
previous week. After forcing two turnovers and holding San
Francisco to just 1 of 15 on third downs, Denver made it look easy.
Kyle Orton was extremely efficient in his passing and the Broncos
converted 14 of 20 third-down attempts.
”What I thought Orton did was do a really nice job of going to
his next options,” Carroll said. ”We stopped some of the primary
things he was going for and had been successful with in preseason
and games last year and he was able to get to the next level of the
read and execute it beautifully.”
Seattle lost linebacker Leroy Hill, making his season debut
after a one-game NFL suspension, with a strained right calf. Hill
was wearing a protective boot on Monday.