Mindset an issue for skidding Seahawks

BY foxsports • November 24, 2009

Of all the alarms going off while another Seahawks season crumbles, the one sounded by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck rings loudest. "We can't get used to this," the three-time Pro Bowl passer told reporters in Minneapolis immediately after Seattle sunk to 3-7 with a 35-9 loss to the Vikings. It was a repeat of what the team captain has been saying for weeks. "We can't get used to losing," Hasselbeck said. A sixth consecutive road defeat by double digits left the former four-time defending NFC West champions 7-19 since their last playoff appearance 22 months ago. First-year coach Jim Mora has leaned on his veterans - specifically Hasselbeck and senior defensive leader Lawyer Milloy - to keep the rest of the team from accepting all this losing. "That's a legitimate question," Mora said Monday when asked how his team is going to avoid getting used to an increasingly familiar and dark mood. "Vince Lombardi used to say winning is a habit - he also said that unfortunately, so is losing. "We've struggled here the last few years, so that's a legitimate question," Mora added. "I am going to rely on Matt and Lawyer Milloy to get the younger players to understand that losing is not acceptable." Milloy, who just turned 36 and is the oldest player besides kicker Olindo Mare on the team, said the Seahawks' resolve remains strong. "We have faith in our team. And that's not going to change," said Milloy, a former Super Bowl winner with New England. He's been a backup safety in his first season with Seattle, though he may start this week. Mora said Deon Grant is seeing a hand specialist Tuesday to examine ligament damage that could keep him out of Sunday's game at St. Louis. Mora, the former coach of the Atlanta Falcons, is four games under .500 for the first time in his four years as a head man. He installed a new offense that is supposed to be based more on the run under coordinator Greg Knapp. Yet Sunday, the zone-blocking scheme Knapp led to top-10 finishes in rushing for eight consecutive years until he got to Seattle set a franchise-record low for the second time this season: a stunning 4 yards on 13 carries. And the battered, malfunctioning offensive line can't keep Hasselbeck - who has had broken ribs and a sore shoulder this season - from getting beaten up each week. Mora is more directly involved in a new defense that has a rookie coordinator, Gus Bradley. The more aggressive scheme allowed 431 more yards to the Vikings on Sunday, and 40-year-old Brett Favre set a career high in completion percentage while going 22 for 25. "It's kind of what I thought. I knew it would be a process," Mora said. Asked how long that process will take to get back to winning, if not at least respectability, Mora said, "I can't put a time on it." Now would be a good time. The Seahawks have lost by double digits in all five trips this season. Seattle is 2-13 in its last 15 road games. The only solace this week: At 1-9, the Rams are even worse off than the Seahawks. Seattle won the first meeting, 28-0 in Week 1. That seems like a decade ago around Seattle. "You call it a step backward, say we turned the corner or hit a U-turn - whatever you want to say," wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said after Sunday's latest loss. "We just played terrible today. "I didn't break a sweat probably until like 5 minutes left the game," Houshmandzadeh said.

share story