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Hasselbeck apologizes to Cardinals; Holmgren speaks about future

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 17, 2008 at 3:42 pm with 43 Comments »
November 17, 2008 3:42 pm

Matt Hasselbeck just met with the media, and was far more lucid today than he was last night. He even joked about how out of it he was, saying they probably should not have allowed him to speak to the media while he was in such a goofy state.


The one thing he did do was apologize to the Cardinals for his comment about expecting fines to come down. He said they played hard, they played within the rules and, though there were some hard hits, he did not hope that anybody gets fined. Mike Holmgren said he thought Adrian Wilson’s hit was borderline, but the rule dictates that the QB is not be hit in the helmet.



Hasselbeck never really answered why he was so out of it last night. He said he has been asked that several times already, and he doesn’t have an answer. When he was asked if it had anything to do with some of the hits he took, he said he didn’t know. Holmgren said Hasselbeck did not have a concussion and that during the game, when he was speaking with him, he seemed lucid.


Of the goals changing, Holmgren did not reveal anything tangible, though he did bring up a fair point about personnel changes; they have so many injuries and their roster is so depleted that they don’t have a ton of options regarding going young. What will they do, play Justin Forsett instead of Julius Jones? The one name I brought up was Brandon Coutu, and he said he had not even thought about that. He didn’t dismiss it outright, but that was not at the forefront of his mind.


One other thing that I thought about: If you start playing young guys, it could severely anger veterans who may have performance-based incentive clauses in their contracts.


Mike Wahle could be on the shelf for a while, but they don’t have a clear diagnosis on him yet. The one thing they know is he did not tear his labrum. But he will not practice this week. Marcus Trufant is OK after his concussion. Leonard Weaver will play this week, Patrick Kerney probably not.


I asked Holmgren about the fundamental stability of this team; essentially, does it have what it needs in place to be successful in the future, or do they need to make wholesale changes at spots similar to what they did with the running game last year. He said A) he is not the person to answer that question since he won’t be here next year, and B) now is not the time to answer that. But the people making those decisions have to look very hard at that very question, and be honest with themselves about the answer. Because injuries can’t explain everything, like the secondary’s lapses this year.

Leave a comment Comments → 43
  1. Did Holmgren actually say that: "Because injuries can’t explain everything, like the secondary’s lapses this year."

    Hallelujah Brother!!

    All I have heard from the coaching staff is that our problems this year are due to injuries, and that is a bunch of bunk. The injuries have hurt, but there are many problem areas that have not been hit with injuries. The faster we take off our rose colored glasses and start being realistic about our team, is the faster we can start making decisions to help our future.

  2. Wow, so he is finally dishing it out to Mora and Ruskell.

    …people making those decisions have to look very hard at that very question, and be honest with themselves about the answer. Because injuries can’t explain everything, like the secondary’s lapses this year……..

    That means you timmy, coach is saying you screwed up his team and you need to take responsibility for that. Also your secondary coach Su*ks.

  3. Angering veterans of a 2-14 team which ranks among the worst on offense and defense with the only victories against 2 of the worst teams in the league?

    That’s hilarious!

    The defense was poor last year, they just faced a ton of backup QBs who no longer start for their teams. And it took one Chris Redman to expose them.

    Holmgren must know that if he does indeed go 2-14 by playing Forsett, Adams, Vallos, etc, his 10 year Seahawks tenure will end up near .500 and he will have zero shot of heading to the HoF on that.

  4. Why are we supposed to care if the veterans lose money because of “performance” clauses in their contracts? A lot of us fans are unhappy with the “performance” we’ve seen from them so far.

    Any veteran who has been playing just so-so (or worse, like Russell), should sit down and not embarrass himself even more by complaining about not getting more money.

    If these guys care more about their individual accomplishments and compensation than they do about the team, well, I think we’ve put our finger on the problem.

  5. Also, I think:

    …people making those decisions have to look very hard at that very question, and be honest with themselves about the answer. Because injuries can’t explain everything, like the secondary’s lapses this year……..

    are Frank’s comments and not Holmgren’s. Those comments are right on though.

  6. And, your drafting skills s*ck too. By the way, who’s to say Timmy pick up lofa and Hill. Remember the guy who left for the GM job at Tennessee. He was the brain behind our top picks, and Carlson was picked up because of Holmgren, and not timmy.

  7. nick saban once said, “i am not interested in the head coaching position at alabama.”

    bobby petrino once said, “i am not interested in the head coaching position at arkansas.”

    jimmay! mora has said, “i am not interested in the head coaching position at washington.”

    what are the chances he’s speaking the truth?

    what are the chances that paulie allen finally steps in and says, “enough,”?

  8. mike reinfeldt.

  9. I don’t think Ruskell likes the idea of revamping next year. After this debacle, I don’t think Allen is going to give him a few years of “rebuilding” with records of 2-14 each year. If Timmay! takes a QB in round 1 — I doubt he will be here long enough to see that QB take over the team in a few years.

    We need a playmaker on offense and not another swing and miss (Shaun extention, Hutch lack of extention, #1 and millions for Branch, #3 and millions for Burleson, etc.). All Timmay! has done is swing and miss on the offensive end.

    What does he have to show for it? A crappy defense.

    Timmay! the Good
    Lofa, Hill, Willis ’05
    Mebane ’07
    Signing JoeJoe in ’05

    Timmay! the Bad
    Paying Grant like Kenny Easley in his prime
    Paying JP like Lawrence Taylor in his prime
    #1 pick Chris “I am a bust” Spencer
    Jamie Sharper

  10. Before you begin the “Mike Reinfeldt” is God crap… lets not forget that he was the main one who wanted to transitioin Hutch and Ruskell bought into this crappy idea. Yeah, Reinfeldt — derrr…

  11. Randy Effing Mueller. At least all of his top picks can play…

    In fact, most of them are still playing…

  12. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal, He’s a shoe-in for the H.O.F.. He is respected too much around the league, regardless of how his tenure in Seattle ends up.

  13. danjsloan says:

    I think we need to begin to take an honest look at Ruskell. Certainly this is not all his fault, but we were winning until he go here. The defense is terrible and that’s him and Mora’s strong suit. That doesn’t bode well. He gets so much credit for putting together the Super Bowl defense, but the fact is that was his first year. It was Holmgren’s team that went to the Superbowl. This team is Ruskell’s and it’s not good. GIVE THE POWER BACK TO MIKE HOLMGREN and let Mora coach the Huskies!!!

  14. Dukeshire says:

    “Because injuries can’t explain everything, like the secondary’s lapses this year.”
    No way Frank puts those words into Holmgren’s mouth. It was a refreshing and candid statement from someone who has personnel differences with the General Manager and perhaps questions the secondary coaches ability.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    A paraphrase a most.

  16. OutSydeDog says:

    Somewhere on this internet, there has to be a transcript of Holmgren’s words, no? And to quote our great coach, “It is what it is”. Ruskell isn’t going anywhere soon, and Mora’s taking over, so deal with it. I think it’s way too early to determine the legacy of our GM. Holmgren’s stamp is still all over this team, and Ruskell’s total responsibity begins next year. Hindsight is 20/20, so that explains why so many are sharpshooters on here.
    GO SEAHAWKS!!!

  17. CowboysP says:

    Why can’t Holmgren just say what the truth is? He needs to come clean, and just admit that Mike Holmgren was a big part of the problem this year. That he, along with his “good old boy club” friends John Marshall, Defensive Coordinator, and Gil Haskell, Offensive Coordinator, have done a lousy coaching job, that the game may have passed them by.

    I know those words are not easy to say, but the Hawks and the fans could move on once he admits this as the truth.

    And Matt Hasselbeck has seen his best days. Time to move on at quarterback too.

  18. CowboysP says:

    OS Dog, good post.

  19. CowboysP says:

    Actually Dog, more like GREAT post.

  20. Leroyhill says:

    Cypreen: I wish more fans will call out Timmie Rascle who is been hiding behind all of these losses. I don’t see him going onto Q13 pregame show any more.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    CowboysP, Ridiculous.

  22. Leroyhill,

    All I know is this: in 2005 we had the number one offense in NFL and we had a OK defense. In 2005, we also went to superbowl. We lost the superbowl to Stealers which most football fans in the country believed we were robbed. During 2005, there were other very good teams in the league. For example, cowboys, Redskins, Stealers, Giants, and so on. In 2008, we have no offensive line, offensive line makes your offense. The receivers we had are mostly gone due to our GM, and once a potent offense is now ranked with teams like Lions, and Raiders.

    Since 2005, our great GM has spent most of the money on the D. Well, our D is a very average defense and can not compete with the elites of the NFL. Now, after 3 years we are at the bottom, while teams that were good in 2005, are still good and even better.

    So, you tell me who should get the blame. I am glad that Holmgren is starting to give hints of his displeasure on the way this franchise has benn handled.

  23. OutSydeDog says:

    Well, thank ya kindly Cowboy, but I see you packin a scope, too! :P Actually, I think you just like stirring up us passionate Seahawk fans. Holmgren has been the best coach the Seahawks have ever had, with Knox next, so will never bash him. I thank him. I do think he is set in his ways, which makes him a bit predictable. I hope we have continued success, but time will tell…

    I’d put Holmgren in the HOF with a win over Dallas on Thanksgiving :)

    GO SEAHAWKS!!!

  24. OutSydeDog says:

    Here’s a scenario for ya. Next year, with a two and six record at the midway point, Paul Allen buys Mount Rainier National Park and gives it to Holgren to ride his motorcycle in during the summer. Holgren agrees to come back ala Parcells, if he throws in either the Space Needle or EMP.

    Man…I think my kool-aid is starting to sour.

    GO SEAHAWKS!!!

  25. freedom_X says:

    Some of these comments are completely ignorant.

    1) Mike Reinfeldt was Seattle’s salary cap specialist and contract negiotator, not their personnel guy. To say he picked the successful guys and Ruskell picked the losers is George W. Bushlike in nature.

    2) Randy Mueller??!!! He’s the guy that put Seattle into the salary cap mess (pre-Holmgren) in the 1st place! Why not ask Miami how much they loved his drafting prowess? A nice guy but he tends to be a checkbook GM (if he has a need, he just overpays for the best available person to fill the need, whether the talent is really there or not.)

    And that’s something everyone needs to keep in mind when selecting players. Everyone talks about getting tall shutdown corners in the draft. But when I ask how many of them have come out in the last 10 years, no one replies. You can’t go into the draft and say “we need this, so let’s draft that.” If the talent is thin, you don’t overvalue the talent and waste picks or free agent money on it.

    The best picks Holmgren made were when he drafted players for talent, not need. (Hutchinson, Alexander.) They just picked the best available players at their relatively low position.

    But Holmgren blew a lot of picks because he didn’t value character highly enough. I think it’s because in the dual coach/GM role, he tended to think, as a coach, he could personally turn a player around. I think he’s learned that lesson, and if he were to become a pure GM/Pres type guy, he wouldn’t make those picks again (because it would be someone else who he would have to trust to coach up the flakes, and his own ego wouldn’t be tricking him into thinking it’s possible.)

  26. ……..Mike Reinfeldt was Seattle’s salary cap specialist and contract negiotator, not their personnel guy. To say he picked the successful guys and Ruskell picked the losers is George W. Bushlike in nature……..

    I disagree. Mike was the salary cap guy, but because he was a former NFL player, he was also very much involved with players selection. If you don’t agree with me, research it. I distinctly remeber reading about Mike’s ability to select talents in an article believe to be written by Mike Sando the year Mike Reinfeldt left the Seahawks. why do you think a salary cap guy became a GM in the first place, I tell you why….He knew how to pick talented players. Have you noticed Tenessee’s record?

    Look, I am just sick and tired of fans that give Ruskell a green for go. He is the freaking GM of this organization and that is were the buck stops.

  27. freedom_x — Good post. I agree with it all.

  28. OutSydeDog says:

    good comments freedom_x
    That’s what I was thinking, Holgren would do much better as a GM the next time around.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  29. OutSydeDog says:

    Yes, the buck stops with Ruskell, but Holmgren has a LOT of imput, much more than Mora will have next year. If Ruskell blows this draft, he’d better brush up his resume.

  30. freedom_X says:

    I’m not saying Reinfeldt lacks talent evaluation skills, but that wasn’t his main job in Seattle.

    It’s a big stretch to go from “he had an eye for talent” to “he drafted the good players for Seattle and Ruskell drafted the duds.”

    Indeed, while Reinfeldt should get credit for the current success of the Titans, I could just as easily compare that to the Ruskell scenario. Most of the big-time players for the Titans were drafted by Reinfeldt’s predecessor. (Albert Haynesworth, Kerry Collins for example.) Reinfeldt added a few key pieces (Chris Johnson, LenDale White) and, just like the Ruskell scenario, already had a strong, quality coach and staff in place (Jeff Fisher.)

    So really the more I think about it, the more the Reinfeldt scenario looks like like the 2005 Ruskell scenario. But if you put a guy with Haynesworth’s gigantic impact on Seattle, I guarantee you that Seattle is no worse than .500 right now.

  31. smithcharles says:

    Holmgren will take at least one year off so I dont know if he would take the GM job. But why is Mora going to be the coach next year. Our defense is not very good because of a combination of personnel on and off the field. That includes the coaches, players, and Ruskell. Start at the top and work your way down if this team is going to get better. If Allen is willing to pay Holmgren 10 million a year then why not go get Bill Cowher and let Mora go his own way(personally i think he would stink at UW). I know “The Chin” is an east coast guy but 10 million is 10 million. Marshall and Mora should probably leave and take Brian Russell with them. The one thing the Hawks have is the ability to spend a ton of money to get personnel in the front office and great coaches.

  32. Leroyhill says:

    cypreen: I agree with you 100%. Holmgren wasn’t that good of a GM. He failed miserably on defense. But in 4 years, he was able to build a offense that became dominant. You asked the exact same question that I asked myself. What has Ruskell been able to build?

    People give out grades to GMs on draft day. I am guilty of this too. But true fans know that you have to wait at least 2 to 3 years to see if the drafts are good. Ruskell has been here almost 4 years, and it’s time to look at how he has done. His drafts have been mediocre. The defense line that did not put any pressure on Warner or most of the QBs this season was built by Professor Ruskell. He drafted Tapp, Atkins, Jackson, and Mebane. With the exception for Mebane, every one of them stinks. Tapp is too small and doesn’t have an explosive first step or any speed. He can’t beat the tackles off the corner.
    I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, Professor Ruskell doesn’t come on to Q13 before the games anymore. He doesn’t go onto KJR for weeks now. Before, he loves to go onto these shows and preach about how things were done in Tampa. Those talks used to drive me crazy because I know he was just prostituting from other people’s work! The fact is Jerry Angelo (Bears now) and Monte Kiffin are the geniuses behind it. The defense is still dominant more than 6 years after Ruskell left. We know it wasn’t Professor Ruskell that was responsible for it. But the guy loves to take credit for it.

    Now, his mouth is clammed shut and he is nowhere to be seen. The true character of a person comes out when things don’t go well.

  33. Leroyhill says:

    freedom_X: You brought up a lot of good points. I think you are a very knowledgeable fan and I respect that. In regards of your point about cornerbacks, you’re right! I can count on my hands the big corners like Charles Woodson and Ashomuga (Raiders) coming of college in the last 20 years. It is more common to see CBs, who are very good, the size of Trufant.

    But first round pick on Kelly Jennings? You will be very hard pressed to find one of his size. I can’t. Second round on Daryl Tapp? I know hindsight is 20/20. But these guys have significant size disadvantage but they don’t have any special speed to compensate for it. Those things have not changed since draft days.

  34. “And Matt Hasselbeck has seen his best days. Time to move on at quarterback too.”

    Credibility-losing comment CowboysP. Guy had maybe the best year of his career last year, and has been hurt and w/out even reasonable WRs all year. Way too early to make that judgment.

  35. Ray Lewis is well beyond his best days but he is still a great player on that Baltimore D. And that is just one specific example

    Just because a player”has seen his best days” does not mean that he needs to be replaced immediately! That would mean that 80% of the NFL needs to be replaced at this point in time (okay 80% is exaggerated but it is high)

  36. Dukeshire says:

    “Credibility-losing comment CowboysP.” He lost that long before this post.

  37. redneckhawk says:

    I think it is too soon to bash Mora. The secondary is horrible, but you can only do so much with 2 midgets and a below-average athlete (Russell).
    Like Leroy Hill said this week…Mora will be a breath of fresh air. I am looking forward to him and a new DC.

  38. CowboysP says:

    “And Matt Hasselbeck has seen his best days. Time to move on at quarterback too”

    “Credibility-losing comment CowboysP. Guy had maybe the best year of his career last year, and has been hurt and w/out even reasonable WRs all year. Way too early to make that judgment.”

    pdway – I think you have to look at a few things with Matt.

    1. Nobody really knows how bad his back problem is, but there is much speculation that it may be a “career” type problem.

    2. Hasselbeck will be 34 next season. And next season will be a transition year for the Hawks. So in 2010, he will be 35.

    3. Favre almost retired, and he has NEVER missed a game.

    4. Wallace is… maybe ok. But not Hasselbeck.

    What I said was “I think that Matt has seen his best days.” Do you really think he will have another season like 2007 again, with changes to the Seahawks coming?

    So don’t you think that it might be time to start looking for another QB for the Seahawks?

  39. CowboysP – it’s not just Favre, look around the league right now, we’ve got Warner, Garcia, Collins, all playing very well, all older than Hasselbeck – now, if his back is a career-type issue, all of what I’ve said is out the window, but it looked to me like he was moving around pretty well on Sunday (just rusty on timing and how fast the DB’s can move).

    Even though this has been a disastrous year, I’m not in the blow it all up, this team has no talent mode, not yet. If our receiving corps starts with Branch, Burleson and Carlson, and we can add a receiver in the draft, then along with Jones and Weaver, I think our skill positions on offense are not in terrible shape.

    So to answer your question, I don’t see a reason why Matt couldn’t duplicate his ’07 numbers. And while I agree that it wouldn’t hurt to be looking for his eventual replacement, I wouldn’t spend say a #1 or #2 pick in this upcoming draft on a QB.

  40. CowboysP says:

    pdway – You know, you are obviously correct. I believe that until you know how serious his back problem is, you really can’t speculate on Hasselbeck’s future.

    Although his numbers were not great, he did seem to be moving and throwing the ball pretty well on Sunday.

  41. OutSydeDog says:

    Barring physical reasons, Matt should have several more good seasons in him in Seattle. He’s the offensive leader and I think it showed in the rest of the guys when he was out there. I said on another post, that if Matt was throwing the ball to the AZ receivers, he’d be completing 70% like Warner is. Receiver drops have done more damage to Hasselbeck’s record than picks or sacks.

    GO HAWKS!!!

  42. its time for Homegren to move on. he’s been great for us, no doubt there, but there comes a time when its time to go on.

    I still don’t like his play calling in key situations, primarily the short yardage plays, and being so overly conservative. he’s lost us a lot of close games with his crappy play calls.

  43. reshumate says:

    I’m tired of hearing about our undersized secondary. They are not midgets. Look around the league. Most CBs are no more than 5’11, which is what Jennings is. Wilson is as tall as Asante Samuel. Find me a team with good pass coverage and all 6’0″ corners. Doesn’t exist.

    Jennings does need to gain weight though. Obviously someone in the organization feels he doesn’t need it, which is wrong. He needs some strength to play press coverage and at least control some of the big WRs. Any good strength coach can put 10 lbs of muscle on him in the offseason. If it makes him slow, so be it. Put on a bit more muscle and become a safety.

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