Seahawks Insider

Hasselbeck opposed to 18-game schedule

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm with 31 Comments »
August 25, 2010 5:11 pm

The topic of the league moving to an 18-game season was broached with reporters interviewing Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck after practice.

NFL owners met in Atlanta today. And during that meeting league commissioner Roger Goodell reaffirmed his support of moving to an 18-game schedule.

Goodell is targeting 2012 to begin the new schedule, reasoning that fans want fewer preseason games and more regular-season action.

Owners also see the added games as a way to generate more revenue during a struggling economic period, and plan to bring up the issue as part of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement once the current deal runs its course at the end of this season.

Like most players, Hasselbeck is not in favor of an 18-game season.

“I haven’t met a player that likes the sound of that, or thinks that’s a fair trade,” he said. “But our focus right now is trying to get ready for this season. And next year is looming, there’s this big question mark. It can be a distraction if you allow it. And right now it’s there, but I think everybody is trying to do the best they can to focus on this year.”

Hasselbeck, who is a player rep alternate for the Seahakws and attend the NFL players association meetings in Maui during the offseason, admits the 18-game proposal could be a potential stumbling block in negotiations.

“I am very hopeful that everyone can work something out,” he said. “I think everything is really good. I know on the players’ side, we want to play. If we’ve got to make a sacrifice like that, I for one would be willing to make a sacrifice.

“But there’s got to be a tradeoff there. And I don’t know what exactly that would be. Whether it’d be health care later on in life or whatever, something has got to be a win-win there.”

On the game against Minnesota, Hasselbeck understands Seattle’s is facing one of the best defensive fronts in the league, so the Seahawks’ offense needs to be ready.

“The Vikings are really, really good on defense,” he said. “They’ve probably get the best d-line in the league in terms of getting sacks. I think they were No. 1 last year. And they rush four guys and they’re able to get tremendous pressure that way.

“But there’s nothing we can do to change that. So we’ve just got to go out and do the best we can against them, and just realize that, Hey, they’re going to win some, so just stick to the plan and stay focused.”

Some tidbits:

*Offensive tackle Chester Pitts was in uniform today but did not do any work on the field, working with the trainers before practice got started. Guard Ben Hamilton also sat on the sidelines icing what appeared to be an injured knee, so the starting left side for Saturday appears to be Mansfield Wrotto at left tackle and Mike Gibson at left guard.

* Running back Leon Washington looked explosive running with the first unit today. He appears to be playing with a lot of confidence, so it will be interesting to see how he performs against a good defense like Minnesota on Saturday, particularly with the struggles of Julius Jones and Justin Forsett in the first two games with the first unit.

* TE Cameron Morrah was not in attendance for the second straight practice. No reason has been given for Morrah not being here.

* On the sidelines at practice were LB Leroy Hill (knee), LB David Hawthorne (unknown), DT Kentwan Balmer (ankle), DE Nick Reed (knee), Ray Willis (knee), Josh Pinkard (PUP, knee).

* TE Chris Baker returned to practice today and worked with the first offense in two, tight end sets.

* LB Will Herring played Will linebacker in place of David Hawthorne with the first defense.

* Jordan Babineaux and Marcus Trufant had back-to-back interceptions today during team drills.

* Safety Lawyer Milloy decleated receiver Deon Butler on a flat route today that brought out some “Oohs” and “Ahhs” from players on the sideline. Players are usually just tagging off and not bringing guys down to the ground at this point of the season, but I don’t think anyone is going to question Milloy at this point of his career.

* For the second straight day head coach Pete Carroll had the crowd noise going as the Seahawks prepare for playing in the Metrodome. Last year the crowd noise rivaled Qwest Field, but this is a preseason game.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. bird_spit says:

    “Safety Lawyer Milloy decleated receiver Deon Butler on a flat route today that brought out some “Oohs” and “Ahhs” from players on the sideline. Players are usually just tagging off and not bringing guys down to the ground at this point of the season, but I don’t think anyone is going to question Milloy at this point of his career.”

    Did Deon hold on to the ball?

  2. Making season ticket holders pay for 2 pre-season games is a crock. I don’t see anything wrong with making them pay for 1 pre-season game (if there’s less pre-season action, the product will probably include more of the “real” players as there will only be a total of 2 tune-up games).

    I realize the owners will lose revenue from this, so why not add an 18th week to the season (just give the teams an extra bye) to add an extra week of real t.v. revenue? That’s where a lot of ownership money comes from anyways.

    Would there still be a bye in an 18 week season (and extra t.v. revenue money)? Football is a physically demanding sport and it seems to be a good idea to have a bye in an 18 game season but then how long is the season going to last? We don’t need the Super Bowl friggin’ getting close to March. I realize they never had byes in 16 game seasons but when it too much, too much?

    Another crock is records. I hate it when new guys come in and play in more games and have more games to accumulate rushing yards, passing yards, TDs, etc.

  3. Extra games/if i were Hass I wouldn`t extra games more exposure to his getting injured. this with no Left Tackle to protect him….Dah

  4. By 2012 Okung should be in his prime. I’m sure we’ll still suck at LG, C, RG, and RT though.

  5. Pretty cool about Lawyer Milloy, but Butler does weigh about a “Buck oh five.” When I read that he did that to Mike Williams or Carlson, I’ll be really impressed. Regardless, it’s cool to see the veterans showing these young kids how to bring it. Just hope no one gets hurt.

  6. This is all about the owner’s greed. I suggest cutting pre-season from 4 down to 3 & staying with 16 games. If you think the injury situation us bad now………..

  7. The only bad thing about a 3 game pre-season schedule is that are the Hawks going to host 2 pre-season game or be away for 2 games? There are pros/cons to each. I guess they could alternate by year (2 home this year, 1 home next year, etc.). Season ticket holders really get screwed on years they have to pay crazy prices for a meaningless game.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    The only player I’ve heard express support for an 18 game schedule is Terrell Owens.

    It’s hard for me to imagine teams would be ready to begin the season after two preseason games. And the player evaluations would be cut in half. Consider how many players have actually made teams based on their performance in the 3rd and 4th games. Jeff Saturday acknowledged last week that he likely would never made the Colts without those extra opportunities. Or consider guys like Mack Strong or David Hawthorne.

    If this goes through I imagine inter-team scrimmages will become more popular for evaluations. Of course for teams in the mid-west, the logistics would be far simpler than a team like the Seahawks which are so isolated from any other club.

    I realize it’s about revenue for the owners, but it’s so hard to not believe the players health would be compromised further. I also find it hard to believe the owners are not making money hand over fist, at this point.

    And lastly, it wouldn’t be an 18 week schedule. It would be 19 weeks with 2 byes. As much as I love football and can never wait for it to come during the off-season and am depressed each year it ends, that’s just too long. The only beneficiaries I see from an extended season are the owners and I have no empathy for them.

  9. Duke,

    I agree. At first, I thought it may be a good idea to cut out two games, to mitigate injuries, but am watching this preseason knowing that wouldn’t be enough time to evaluate all our new players and pull it together.

  10. I still don’t like the 4 game pre-season idea. No matter what, there are going to be guys who don’t get a chance that should have. Instead of eventually becoming a Pro Bowler, they would sell insurance or have some 9-5 job and life will go on. The NFL will go on no matter what. When Dan Marino or Jerry Rice got season ending injuries in their careers, the NFL season went on and a Super Bowl champion was crowned. The Seahawks site had a feature on Bryan Millard a few weeks ago and he said that if rosters wouldn’t have expanded to 49 in ’82 (they are now more than that so players today have an easier time with respect to numbers) he doesn’t know if the Seahawks would have kept him that year (with or without the pre-season games). Instead, he became the greatest RG in Seahawks history. But he almost never got the chance. The Seahawks would have moved on with or without Bryan Millard ever having played the position (and I’ve always been a fan of his). I’m a firm believer that there is some person who never played in the NFL and for whatever reason were not given a chance or something came up — who would have been a better QB than Johnny Unites or John Elway. You want to talk about bad luck, maybe they died on the beaches of Normandy or they were African American in the 1960s and never got a chance to play QB b/c of their race. There’s always going to be an injustice, and I’d rather the fans have less of an injustice by being forced to pay for 2 meaningless games per season. With all of the practices they have today, you can’t tell me they wouldn’t be ready for a season opener with only a couple of pre-season games. Some guys only play in a couple of pre-season games anyways. And with all of the attention to detail and practicing, many of the practices are game like situations anyways. Back in the day, players showed up to training camp to get in shape. Today they are having “non-contact” drills with game like situations only a few months after the Super Bowl. Either way, there are going to be fringe players. For every Jeff Saturday, I’d be willing to bet there’s a guy who outpracticed a guy who made it but a couple of pre-season plays allowed someone else to jump over them and in the final analysis they would have ended up better than the guy who got the shot (while they never got another shot). I think the fans shouldn’t have to pay premium prices for crap games. And if they do want to keep the 4 pre-season games, the owners should do the right thing and make pre-season games at half price (but, as Duke said, they are greedy jerk-offs… he may not have said it that way, but you get the idea).

  11. wabubba67 says:

    Paragraphs are a good thing….especially for a fellow colleague (teacher). :)

  12. lol (I usually do) :)

  13. They tried 2 byes and an 18 week season in 1993 and found the slate of matchups each week were too watered down.

  14. When asked about the proposed 18-game schedule Matt Hasselbeck thought to himself: “how many games a year do they want to watch me quarterback with broken ribs? I thought 16 was too many.”

  15. I don’t know – I’m a pretty big football fan, and I know and talk to quite a few football fans (including all the talk on this board over the years), and I can’t ever remember any sort of movement/sentiment asking for an 18-game season coming from the fans. Not once. So it seems pretty disingenuous of Goodell and the owners saying that the fans are looking for this.

    It’s, of course, a money thing, as we all know.

  16. ballgame says:

    The other issue is how it would effect players under contract, for example right now if a guy makes 1.6 million base or 100k per game, would they have to increase to base to 1.8 thus having to adjust whatever cap there will be or would the owners what the players to take a pay cut?

  17. scottftlc says:

    “But there’s nothing we can do to change that. So we’ve just got to go out and do the best we can against them, and just realize that, Hey, they’re going to win some, so just stick to the plan and stay focused”

    In other words…we’re f***ed.

  18. BobbyAyala says:

    there’s no such thing as too long a football season.

    the correlation that more regular season games means more injuries is hogwash as well, players get hurt in practice, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.

    I agree that less preseason means less opportunities for bubble players, but, then again, if you cut it down to two, you don’t have to play your starters at all in the preseason.

    18 games sounds good to me.

  19. snydro22 says:

    I’ll take 20. Season is too short. I wait all year and then it’s over before I know it. Kind of like waiting for Christmas as a kid. Nothing worse than the day after Christmas. Same thing goes for the last week of football.

    If and when we make the playoffs, obviously I am excited by the thought of a Super Bowl win, but mostly I’m just stoked that I get a few more weeks of something to look forward too.

    Otherwise on Sundays it’s just me, stuck here with the wife and kids. And nobody wants that.

    And why is Hasselbeck complaining? He only plays 8 games a year anyway..

  20. snydro22 says:


    Marcus Trufant has come out in favor of the 18 game schedule..

    “I’d be for it just because it’s more football,” he said. “More opportunities. More for the fans. And just more time for guys to get out and play.”

    And that is why, at the risk of jinxing him forever, I bought a Trufant jersey (shortly before he hurt his back lol)..

  21. ljarllrajl says:

    Sounds like the classic fable of The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg.

    If I were the players I wouldn’t assent to an 18 game schedule unless:

    1. They improve the retirement pension/ health care system

    2. guarantee contracts

    3. increase minimum roster sizes

  22. Dukeshire says:

    I’m sure that there are more than just T.O. and Tru that are in favor of expanding the schedule, but we’re not hearing from many. It would seem that the overwhelming majority of players are not in favor of this.

    To BobbyAyala’s point that more games do not equate to more injuries, I couldn’t disagree more. Yes, injuries do happen in both practice and games. But there is no question that regular season games take a toll on the body that practice (especially practice during the season) don’t come close to matching. It’s my feeling that two additional regular season games are going to shorten careers. If not as a direct result of a specific injury than as a cumulative effect over seasons. (Of course that is speculation on my part.)

    But in any case, as fans we all have different feelings about this issue and I can understand those who would like to see more regular season games. But for me, the way the season is structured now, just feels like a perfect balance for all parties.

  23. kawrider1100 says:

    Hasselbeck gets paid good money to be an entertainer. If he doesn’t like it, he can go find work somewhere else.

  24. tylakewalker says:


    I think increasing the minimum roster size is a great idea. It makes a lot of sense if the season is going to be longer and with the high amount of injuries you have in football relative to other sports. The fans would also get to see more players and the individual teams could have more depth at every position. This might help the players health in the long run. Perhaps players would be less often rushed back into playing after an injury and given adequate time to heal. I believe there are also some new waiting rules for headaches/concussions. A larger roster would also help with that.

  25. Dukeshire says:

    To play devil’s advocate; wouldn’t that also thin the overall roster talent? Tough question for both sides. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the CBA negotiations and hear both sides try to sort this all out.

  26. Kevindot1 says:

    Is it being proposed to have an 18 game season or an 18 week season? There is a difference. Currently, we have a 17 week season with each team playing 16 games. Are they going to add one or two games?

  27. tylakewalker says:

    I remember when Seattle was signing guys off the street to play defensive back for a playoff game against Chicago. (maybe 3 years ago) Unfortunately guys brought in at the last minute to fill in for injured players simply don’t have adequate time to learn the system. The quality of play suffers greatly because of this. If you have a larger roster this doesn’t happen. Then you get to see great athletes playing a game instead of confused players running around lost, trying to quess where they are supposed to be on the field.

  28. chuck_easton says:

    The proposal is for an 18 GAME season with a reduction in pre-season (used to be called exibition games but then from a PR standpoint they couldn’t justify charging full price) games from 4 to 2 games.

    I see this as a situation where this is going to happen. The number of games doesn’t change. The teams still play 20 games it’s just that only 2 don’t count instead of 4 not counting.

    Instead of fighting the inevitable the Players should be pushing for larger roster sizes and/or more liberal movement from Practice Squad and IR and such to ensure that there are enough healthy players each and every week.

    If there can be a situation where an injured player doesn’t feel rushed to be put back on the active roster due to a situation of not enough bodies to field a team then it could be a win/win.

    Also if the roster size is increased there is not as much need for 4 pre-season games to evaluate those tough final cuts.

  29. mojjonation says:

    This is nothing but pure greed by owners and tv execs. Another two weeks for a guy to have a carer ending injury as opposed to maybe it happening in the playoffs. Another two weeks 32 tired football teams have to try and survive. If some team like Indy runs away with a division again, it will be another two weeks of watching back ups take the field. The league is already trying to tweak schedules so there are more meaningful games at the end of the season, with two more games added on, I can see some teams not taking things seriously until maybe the fourth or fifth week, therein watering down the beginning of the season. Honestly, stats will not change. Most of the time, people look at numbers per games played. Whether you play for a bad team, good team, or great team, I don’t see the stats getting skewed. Maybe an asterisk for those who so feel it is required. When they went from 14 to 16 games, was there this much fuss?

  30. I’m not in favor of it because of the records. Also, 16 games and 32 teams works well for scheduling. Is more football good? I guess, if it’s good football.

    Also, I fear change. LOUD NOISES!!!

  31. rramstad says:

    If they go from 16 regular season games to 18 regular season games, logically, the rosters should go from 53 to 60 (a bit more than the math suggests, which is 59.625… I dunno, maybe Branch would be .625 because he’s always injured? j/k) and they should add a second bye week. The second bye week could be linked with the first i.e. if you get stuck with an early first bye, you could be guaranteed a late bye for the second one, or some formula like that.

    Adding an extra week off for what is the same amount of football, just taking 2 preseason games and making them 2 regular season games, seems like a good trade off, and the extra seven bodies is pretty significant. Talent evaluation in preseason wouldn’t be nearly as tough, either, with seven extra slots.

    Obviously also they’d have to pro rate existing contracts, that’s logical as well.

    (FWIW, I’d actually be in favor of a league wide bye week, or doing byes by conference, or by division, so it’s less random. As an example, it would probably make sense to have all teams take off the weekend of the World Series, late October or early November. If you had two divisions, one AFC, one NFC, take the same week off each week in December, assuming an 18 game season that goes through mid January, that would be logical too, and would give teams a good chance to rest up guys for the playoffs. Early byes suck.)

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