On the first day Seahawks players could show up at the VMAC, several did, but one who was not here, and won’t be again, is quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who reportedly will not be re-signed by the Seahawks. A league source has also confirmed that Seattle has reached an agreement with former Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson.
So what do Seahawks players think of the move? Well all are sad to see Hasselbeck go, but understand the business side of things. Some were also surprised by the news. Here is a sampling of th
e player reactions from today:
QB CHARLIE WHITEHURST
Have you heard the news?
“It looks like Tarvaris Jackson, and not Matt. It’s an opportunity for me obviously, and I’m exciting about this season for the Seahawks. I hate to see. . . I know Matt’s been here a long time. I haven’t spoken with him yet, but I’ll probably call him later today. He was a good friend to me, and I’d love to quarterback this team this year, for sure.”
What about the reports of Leinart possibly coming too?
“I knew there is going to be three of us here competing, and I think it’s a pretty good bunch. Whoever it is is going to be a good player and do well, and I’m going to do everything I can for that to be me.”
What did you learn from Hasselbeck in your year with him?
“Matt’s passionate about the game for sure, and that was something he brought to the table for sure. He was cerebral about it, he was prepared, he was a true professional about the way he went about his business, and you definitely take that from him.”
Do you see this as an opportunity to finally be a starter?
“Absolutely. I think it’s as good of an opportunity as I’m going to get and I’m looking forward to it. “
TE JOHN CARLSON
“We knew that was a possibility all along. I wish him the best, I wish he was here, because he’s a good friend of mine and he’s a leader for this team and this organization. He’s beloved in this city for what he does on the field but also what he does off the field, so he will be greatly missed. But this is football and there’s a business side to football, as we all saw in this lockout, and he’s going to be playing football somewhere else. I wish him luck.”
“Wherever he ends up I wish him luck and wish him well except for when he’s playing against us.”
“Matt’s a great guy and he’s such a tremendous asset in the locker room, but there’s been a lot of turnover over the last couple of years. I’m going into my fourth year here and I’ve had three head coaches and four offensive coordinators, and a lot of turnover in the locker room and the front office, so that’s just kind of the way football is, at least in my experience. That’s just how it works.”
What will you miss about him?
“He’s just such a great guy, and you can go to him with anything, football related or not, so I will miss that.”
Can Whitehurst lead this team?
“Charlie is tremendously talented, but he obviously hasn’t had that opportunity yet. There’s going to be a lot of excitement in the next couple of weeks. A lot of things are kind of up in the air right now.”
Were you told that Hasselbeck would not be coming back?
“No, I don’t think the front office needs to call every player to tell them what moves they’re going to make. It’s just what I’ve heard.”
WR GOLDEN TATE
Tate seemed genuinely surprised when told the news:
“Oh man. Wow, I don’t know where to start. I was hoping Matt was going to come back, because I learned a lot from him last year, and I could have learned more from him this year. Wow. It’s weird because you think of the Seattle Seahawks, (you think) Matt Hasselbeck, and now he’s not going to be a part of the team. I’m sure a lot of people are hurt like I am, especially the fans because they’ve been repping No. 8 for a long time now.”
“I hope the best for him, but wow, I’m going to have to call my girlfriend and vent or something.”
What did he mean to you as a rookie?
“He was a captain, so you knew he just knew the game. I don’t know what to expect now, because I’ve only had two quarterbacks in my life, and that was Jimmy and Matt, and both in my eyes were great quarterbacks.”
Do you know anything about Tarvaris Jackson?
“I don’t know, I’m just as anxious as you guys now because I just heard this news from the media. . . He played for the Vikings, so if you think about it, it makes sense. He knows the system, so we won’t have to worry about him having to learn it.”
Is Whitehurst ready to lead the team if he wins the job?
“I think so. Being under Matt last year, he learned a lot along with a lot of other people. If we didn’t think he could play, why would we bring him here? Charlie is ready, but you know how Coach Carroll is, he’s all about competing, so you know he’s not going be like, ‘Hey, here’s the job.’ Charlie’s going to have to compete with whoever they bring in.”
WR DEON BUTLER
“That’s a tough situation, but we all know the business of football. He’s been a great leader for this organization. Everybody wishes him the best. We wish it would have worked out here, but he’ll do good wherever he goes. It’s just time to move on and look to another leader. Younger guys have to step up now.”
What did you learn from Hasselbeck over the past two seasons?
“You just learn so much. He taught me everything about every position as far as the NFL goes, and how to be a professional about it, and the little nuances of the game. Coming in as a rookie trying to do everything by the book, Matt was the guy who said, ‘Look, you don’t have to be by the book, I just need you to get to where I need you to get to, and I’ll get it there.’ So just kind of learning the little things you don’t see in the Xs and Os in the book. That’ll be tough to replace, but every organization goes through that.”
Know anything about Jackson?
“I have no clue about him, but if he comes here he’ll come in and join the Pete Carroll camp of compete. Charlie’s already here, and they’ll compete for the job.”
Can Whitehurst lead this team?
“Definitely. Charlie’s learned a lot since he’s been here. He’s got a feel for the offense—obviously it has changed, but some of the terminology is the same—and he’s learned from Matt, and before that Phillip Rivers. He’s learned from a lot of QBs, it’s his time to shine now. He’s definitely a guy that’s capable of stepping up and taking the reins.”