RENTON, WASH. (AP) - Matt Hasselbeck had never had a game like this before.
Hasselbeck knew this week’s film session wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience.
“Monday was a bad day. I wasn’t feeling good Monday for a lot of reasons,” Hasselbeck said.
The tape showed a quarterback trying to do too much with a receiving group that was missing two starters in Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu. His play helped put the Seahawks defense in a bind, facing short fields most of the afternoon.
“I think one of the main things is just wasted interceptions,” Hasselbeck said. “You can’t play one way when the game is tight and the score is close, and play another way when the game is out of reach. I know that lesson, and I’ve learned that lesson the hard way a few other times.”
“It’s like Pete (Carroll) told me, ‘No matter how many times you say it or do it, unfortunately sometimes you got to learn the hard way to actually get the lesson for real,’ and to really stamp it in there, tattoo it on your brain so to speak. So lesson learned and we just learn from it and keep going,” Hasselbeck said.
Carroll has continually stressed protecting the football and it made Hasselbeck tentative early in the season. Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction.
“I think Matt got caught up in the game this week of trying to make something happen and trying more than he needed to … ,” Carroll said. “You try too hard, you over-try, try to force the action and things usually go the wrong way. You need to stay within the system, stay within the style that we want to play and the way we prepare.”
The offense has struggled to find consistency in the passing game with Williams sidelined the better part of the past three weeks. Williams has become Hasselbeck’s go-to target. He’s thrown eight interceptions the past three games with Williams limited to just one series because of injuries. He’d thrown just seven all season until that point.
“Just like when the wideout drops a couple passes, you don’t want the quarterback to lose faith in you and stop throwing it to you,” Williams said. “When he has a bad game, he’s played this game long enough, he’s played this game at a high level long enough, that it doesn’t take one of us as a teammate to point him in the right direction. Matt’s a pro. He knows how to prepare and what to do.”
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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