Pete Carroll ended a few days of speculation, naming Matt Hasselbeck the team’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s playoff game against New Orleans.
Up until Thursday, Carroll declined to say whether Hasselbeck, the starter all season, or Whitehurst, who played last week in place of an inju
red Hasselbeck, would get the start, but Carroll ended the mystery following Thursday’s practice.
“Matt had a great week for us, made it through the week,” Carroll said. “I told him early in the week that he was going to start if he could make it through physically. He’s done all of that, so Matt Hasselbeck’s going to start the game for us at quarterback. Charlie’s ready to go as well, both those guys split reps during the week so they’re prepared, and we’ll count on both if we need them, but I’m fired up that Matt’s going to go.”
Carroll said he told Hasselbeck on Monday that the plan was for him to start as long as he was healthy.
“He’s known it all week long in prep, but I just needed to insure that,” he said. “Really after last night’s practice and seeing the film, it was clear that that’s the way we were going to go.”
Carroll said it wasn’t really a difficult decision, and that he never planned to make a change so long as Hasselbeck was healthy.
“First off, he’s been our starter all year long, and that’s it,” Carroll said. “Nothing has changed in that, and I just wanted to make sure Matt was healthy. Last week he did everything he could, he was a warrior about it, he would have gone if we had called on him, but it was better that we didn’t have to do that, and Charlie came through and did a great job for us, so we know we have two really good guys that can play, and we feel confident that both of those guys can give us a chance to win.”
As for why Carroll decided to make the decision public Thursday after keeping it a secret up until this point, Carroll said: “I think it’s right for Matt right now to know that it’s out there. He needs to get his head clear, and he’s know what’s going on, but it’s still been hanging out there, so this decision is for us and to help us get right.”
Hasselbeck said he has been getting healthier as the week has gone on, and that he wanted to play last week, but just wasn’t quite able to get fully healthy.
“We had a similar conversation the week before and it was just one of those things where I wasn’t really sure what I was able to bring to the table,” Hasselbeck said. “What I said to him after that game was, ‘Hey, you can handle things however you want to handle them. I’m going to try to get as healthy as I can in the training room and just try to give you a choice to make.’ I wasn’t really able to get—I feel like I made a lot of progress last week—but I wasn’t able to get to the point where I was able to do everything in the game plan. I made a run at, wasn’t able to do it, and I think we felt good about Charlie’s chances and our plan, and it worked out perfectly. It was a great win for our team and here we are.”
Hasselbeck was also entertaining as usual, noting the influx of national media at practice this week (in case you haven’t noticed, the Seahawks don’t usually get a lot of love nationally).
“Look at this,” he said. “I didn’t know you guys covered the CFL.”
Other notes. . .
Right tackle Sean Locklear was absent again while dealing with a family issue. Stacy Andrews continues to practice at RT, but Carroll said Locklear is expected back tonight and should be able to play.
“I’m counting on Sean to play for us, but Stacy is ready to go,” he said.
WR Brandon Stokley (concussion) has been fully cleared and will play Saturday.