Seahawks Insider

Hasselbeck’s personal legacy

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on July 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm with 67 Comments »
July 26, 2011 5:00 pm
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck carries his son Henry on his shoulders off the field after the Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints 41-36 in an NFL NFC wild card playoff game (Ted Warren/AP).

Tarvaris Jackson might step in and be a competent quarterback for the Seahawks. But Matt Hasselbeck is going to be missed around here. Most of us who do this job are pretty good about maintaining objectivity in the course of work, but a lot of us in the media are going to be sad to see Hasselbeck depart. He was a first-class guy from Day One.

He was also one of the toughest guys they’ve had. In the locker room after games, his body often was absolutely tattooed with bruises. You’d ask him about something and he’d say he hadn’t noticed. It might come out after the season that it was a broken rib or something.

He played like that all the time. And that was the heart of his leadership of the Seahawks. Teammates surely noticed it when he came back on the field at Arizona last season and finished the second half with a broken wrist.

A couple extraordinarily gutsy plays stand out. A couple years ago at Arizona when Darrell Jackson fumbled the ball 20 yards downfield at a crucial point in the game, the Seahawk who made the recovery was Hasselbeck. He’d gone racing down the field to help and was there to dive into the pile and get the ball. Offensive coordinator Gil Haskell was mad at him after the game because it seemed so reckless for a quarterback, but then he admitted that he’d never seen another quarterback make that play, and that Matt was the “toughest guy on the team.”

In another game, he saw the ballcarrier cut back and Hasselbeck not only led him downfield, but chopped two defenders with a cross-body block.

He was the master of the press conference, mixing humor with serious and studied responses. Some athletes come off that way in front of the cameras but actually can be pretty surly or demeaning, or are rascals in the community. Hasselbeck seemed an even better guy when the cameras were put away. That carried over into the public, too. I don’t know how many times fans have come up with stories about their kids meeting Matt at a restaurant or store or something and that he made the kids’ day by being so generous with his time.

One year during the playoffs, he came into the media room at the old headquarters and was introducing somebody around. He accurately introduced every reporter in there – their names and media affiliation. A national magazine writer there that day was stunned and suggested he was the only quarterback in the league who could pull something like that off. Not that he spent a lot of time reading his coverage, but that he had respect for the job and the people who do it. Very impressive.

He played some stinkers in recent seasons as the team suffered across the board, but he was admirable in holding himself accountable, never blaming teammates, and standing in there to take the heat whether it was his fault or not.

A nice image of the guy was the photo taken of him coming off the field after the playoff win over New Orleans. He’d just had a terrific game, and he had his son on his shoulders. That was his last game for the Seahawks at Qwest Field, and it was a great way for a good man to go out.

Leave a comment Comments → 67
  1. SandpointHawk says:

    I am at such a loss for words…I will say once again…Ring of Honor…Retire the Number….Hell, rename a street…

  2. great writeup Eric.
    #8 !!

  3. chuck_easton says:

    Thank you for the write-up Eric. I don’t think anybody here is challenging Matt’s character or his personal demeanor. He was a class act from beginning to end.

    I think it just comes down to where the team is going. Realistically we really have little or no shot at the NFCW this year with or without Matt under center.

    As Stevos mentioned before, the Shaun Alexander contract comes to mind. He was at the end of his days here when he got that mega contract. He never regained the form of 2005 and in end people had a bad impression of a guy that should have gone down as the best RB in Seattle History. If Shaun would have been allowed to walk after the 2005 season or had not gotten that last big contract he wouldn’t be seen in such a negative way with the fans.

    Matt is leaving at a time where his best days are pretty much behind him. If he can get that big contract from another team GREAT. But I have my doubts that he will ever really earn it. He’ll likely be remembered wherever he lands as ‘that washed up vet that we overpaid for’.

    At least here in Seattle he’s still great! We don’t have to see the total collapse. Some day he’ll come back here to the ring of honor.

  4. Ditto on the great write-up Mr Williams. :-( I’ll sorely miss Matt H.

  5. Maybe Matt H is the next Trent Dilfer in SF?

  6. I’ll miss his toughness and leadership too – esp in his prime years. He always seemed to scramble for a first down when we needed it.

    Will be an interesting year without him. I’m still on board with Carroll/Schneider. But my expectations for the ’11 season are significantly lowered, and with such an absence of other sports to cheer for these days (no basketball, baseball not nearly as much my thing) – – it’s a bummer to have to again have to wait out what is likely to be a tough year.

    Then again, maybe one of these 3 QB’s will surprise me . . .

  7. bird_spit says:

    “We want the ball and are going to score”…
    I dont care that the Seahawks lost or how that game. I loved the character and attitude of Matt H. We will miss his toughness.

    Let the Pete Carrol era begin (again). Pete knowingly will be judged by his QB selection, and having a healthy younger squad of QBs will help there.

  8. Actually Dave Boling wrote the Hasselbeck legacy article.

  9. Rodman: Thank you. I was about to point that out.

  10. So who is now left from the Super Bowl team?

    Lofa, Trufant, Babs, is that it?

    Feels like a real long time ago now.

  11. Matt Hasselbeck: a First-Class NFL player. We were lucky to have him.

    Dave Boling: a First-Class sportswriter. Still lucky to have him.

  12. SeahawkFan12 says:

    SandpointHawk said: “I am at such a loss for words…I will say once again…Ring of Honor…Retire the Number….Hell, rename a street…”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself, SandPoint.

  13. Matt was tough but,his bones broke to easily. Injury seemed to always effect play.Farve was tough. Big ben,manning, also tough.Warner very tough the ability to take hits in my book is the most important part of toughness for a qb. Hass kinda has a glass body. The mind wanted to play but the body to often said no.I have no clue if any current seahawk QB can take a hit and not break.we will see . preseason games for hawks will be very important this year.Does anyone think Matt can make it through a 16 game season I doubt it.

  14. Tarcat88 says:

    Thank you Matthew for giving the Seahawks everything you had, and for being such a gift to the city of Seattle. You are a class act and you will be missed.

  15. Can’t wait for the Husky season, I could be wrong, but wasn’t Alexander asking for a hell of alot more than Hass plus a bigger house then that redheaded pastor?

  16. Matt
    Thanks for the memories, best wishes to finding team with an O line and showing us what you have left .
    Hope you do well, just not against the Hawks
    Please don’t sign in the NFC West

  17. Is this Leinert shit true now for real or is it speculation. Jackson, Leinert and Whitehurst. I can’t even say those three names with a straight face. Already getting shit from my homie who’s a Cowboy fan about the T. Joke signing. God this is going to be a long season. Man, we better sign a bunch of bad ass OL men with the money we’re supposedly saving by letting Hass go. Ground Pete will be an understatement.

  18. stingray77 says:

    I don’t care what anyone says, Matt you will be seriously missed. One hell of a great guy.

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Well wigman, Hasselbeck made it through 16 games last year then lead our team to the biggest playoff upset in NFL history so what are you smoking?

  20. chrisj122 says:

    Hass will indeed be missed, not just for his play on the field but for his action off the field as well.

    My 5 year old son will be devistated. Over the past 3 seasons my son wore a #8 jersey on game day w/ helmet and would mimic Hasselbeck on every offensive play. Every play for 3 seasons.

  21. Soggybuc says:

    It is a sad day Hawk land for sure. but we all knew it was coming sooner than later so maybe it will work out best for all.
    Loyalty can be a fickle thing and sometimes hurt a team more than help it. pretty sure Packer blogs looked a lot like this one did today but it turned out to be the wisest course for the franchise.

    Good luck Matt you’ll always be loved in Seattle and i hope you get that fat deal.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    Well said Soggy. And as Sandpoint said, as soon as he retires, #8 heads to The Ring.

    A class individual, a great leader and one tough son-of-a-bitch. I’ll miss him. For me, he’s with Largent, Easley, Warner and Strong as a player that I felt a certain connection to. For whatever reasons. Simply saying thanks fails to convey the thrills, joy, elation he provided for me, but it will have to suffice;

    Thanks Matt.

  23. kurtthekraut says:

    Great Article Eric, as season ticket holders we should all be upset that the team doesnt seem to want to win this season,…but thats for another post. Matt should without a doubt be in the Ring of Honor. He played his heart out …hurt or not and took us further than we have ever been. He is a great player,..a better family man,..and good or bad, this season WILL NOT FEEL the same not having #8 behind center and/or on the sideline. Matt…the 12thMan wishes you nothing but success. Now go sign with the Niners and give com-PETE something to ponder.

  24. kurtthekraut says:

    Oops my bad Dave,…thats what i get for not paying attention.

  25. Thanks for every day that you gave your all and tried to carry this team on your shoulders. I fondly remember the 2005 season, when Alexander went out against Washington and #8 ran for a touchdown and got us to the NFC Championship game. How we owned the Panthers to get to the Super Bowl. For taking this team to the playoffs 6 seasons out of 10. For never giving up. For that last flash of brilliance in taking down NO. Big shoes to fill. I only hope that we can have one of our 3 QBs lead this team this year with even a portion of the dedication and leadership that Matt brought to the Seahawks.

  26. Actually, the Leinart deal isn’t done. He is still looking at the Redskins.

  27. kurtthekraut says:

    I thought that nobody was going to be able to ” sign ” until Friday?? Correct??

  28. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “Packer blogs looked a lot like this one did today but it turned out to be the wisest course for the franchise.”

    Not well said Soggy! No one in there right mind will compare this situation to the packers! Do you or Dukeshire honestly think that we have a qb of Rodgers talent waiting in the wings to replace Hasselbeck?

  29. Soggybuc says:

    Nice to see you mention Strong there Duke.

    I went to the pre season game VS Tampa in Husky stadium (the roof repair stint) and saw this guy leak out on a swing pass right and take it 40-50 yards up the side line. i was “who the hell was that? #38″ looked in the program and thought “Mack Strong? rookie outta Georgia? they better keep that kid”

    Not only did the keep him but he was lock at starting FB for 3 coaching staffs no question about it ever!
    For many years every camp was a battle for 51 jobs because FB and LT where already taken.

  30. How can people compare this to GB, I didn’t realise we had a Aaron Rogers in wait.

  31. Dukeshire says:

    GeorgiaHawk – He was commenting on the fact a beloved and loyal player was moved aside, for the long range future and fan reaction, for good or ill. At least as I read it. Whether they have an Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings is irrelevant to his point. Again, at least as I read it.

    Soggy – I was worried about Strong when Holmgren came in. I was concerned he wouldn’t value his blue collar, warrior mentality. Then, in Holmgren’s first Seahawk training camp he re-upped Strong and said something to the effect that “you’ve got to have room for a player like him on your roster. You have to.” I was so happy.

  32. I rather us go get Volek, Trent Edwards, or even a broken Bulger then Lienert. I mean WTF, TJAX, CW, and Leinert, really, I mean really. Who saw that coming a couple of weeks ago?

  33. Soggybuc says:

    To be honest Georgia most packer fans did not think they had an answer in place at the time either. not that we do that will come next year.

    It was more reference to the very passionate condemnation of the move that breaks down into OMG the sky is falling and we will never win for 50 years panic that has ensued.

    i’m trying hard to figure out their thought process on this. only thing i conclude is that were not going to saddle future cap room with a ton of money on Hass. matt wants guaranteed money for a 2-3 year deal and they see a scenario where he gets hurt and IR’d because of age and history and would not gamble future money on a QB who is stepping stone for the long range plan.

    I love Matt and have defended him that first year when he struggled and “everyone” wanted him and Holmgren run out of town. I did because i knew big Mike needed some time get HIS ducks in a row. same thing here.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Pete Carroll said that signing Hasselbeck was a priority! Does that mean we should not trust in Pete?
    For some reason I smell fish in the air!
    Since Carroll has made the decision to tank it for Luck perhaps Arizona will be the the front runners of this division by signing Hasselbeck?
    “Good luck Hasselbeck wherever you go even if it’s Arizona or San Francisco!”

  35. chuck_easton says:

    Won’t be San Francisco since they just signed Alex smith to a 5 million one year contract

  36. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Soggbuc- the big difference between this situation with Hasselbeck and the Packers situation with Favre is that Hasselbeck never wavered on his desire to play. He wanted to be here despite having crap talent around him to play with.

    And with Favre it was a daily dose of redneck drama unheard of since the days of Tonya Harding!
    Infact I wouldn’t be suprised once his wife boots him out that he and Harding will hook up and move to Idiotville Oregon and start their own reality show.

  37. Soggybuc says:

    In better news reports flying that the Hawks and Vikes are the two horses in a fierce bidding war for Sydney Rice.

    LOL Georgia A Politicians words are the only thing I trust less than what an NFL head coach says.

  38. Soggybuc says:

    “And with Favre it was a daily dose of redneck drama unheard of since the days of Tonya Harding!
    Infact I wouldn’t be suprised once his wife boots him out that he and Harding will hook up and move to Idiotville Oregon and start their own reality show.

    ROFL, funniest thing ive seen days, well done! hope the rest of you are having as much fun with this frenzy of football as I am.

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I am having fun, however it does hurt a bit to lose Matt!
    Who knows, perhaps we will find a diamond in the rough with one of our free agent rookies.
    As we all know the Seahawks have had pretty good luck with free agent rookies in the past.

  40. Soggybuc says:

    HAHAHAHAHA, McNabb a Viking ROFL good luck with that!! Frazier better keep Favre’s number close by just in case.
    Hopefully that will be what it takes for Sydney to go “oh good lord” and tell the agent to call Sneider and get it done.

  41. Dukeshire says:

    Apparently Leinart hasn’t yet agreed to terms with Seattle and is only “in the picture”. Interesting twist to this.

  42. “Tarvaris Jackson might step in and be a competent quarterback for the Seahawks” Dave

    Really? He was third string for the Queens as was CW for the dolts. .

    I’m against trading for Kolb. Palmer won’t be traded by the Bengals so what is left? There had better be a better contingency plan. Leinart? Next years draft? So what of this coming year?! Heading into a season with this bunch of QB losers after advancing in the playoffs? Not Acceptable.

  43. I think we’ll all miss Matt. It’ll be hard to take if he ends up playing in SF or AZ.

  44. Soggybuc says:

    So what do want to do Excile? should we trade our first and second for Kolb and sign him to a 3 year 45 mil contract with 30 mil guaranteed and then pray he lives up to the hype?
    There is NO sure deal QB to make a move on right now so they went with a stop gap guy. patience, Rome was not built in a day and neither is a Superbowl winning team. and if you want evidence for just how well over priced desperate hump jumping moves do not win championships see the Vikings of the last few years or the Redskins of the last decade

  45. Dukeshire says:

    The news that they’ve agreed to terms with Menane can’t come soon enough. Now that would be a very tough blow.

  46. williambryan says:

    barry cofield has agreed to sign with the redskins, so yes duke, lets see that news soon!

  47. As the post said. No interest in Kolb but for a stop gap they could have signed Hass. He is the only QB in franchise history to take this team to a SB. He has lead the team to multiple playoff appearances. There would not have been a need for a move at the position.

    And that post, you read like an ____

  48. jarred767 says:

    Long time follower of this blog and subsequent posts, and figured there couldn’t be a better day for a first post.

    Being a younger diehard Hawks fan who moved to Seattle the same time Matt came, he is really the only guy I’ve ever watched lead this team, and it will be tough, awkward and sad for that not be the case this year. There are so many memories of him and for every great moment on the field he’s had just as many off of it with players and the community. All great things have to come to an end in sports, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

    I hope for nothing but the best for him, and will continue to support and follow him, but I could really do without cheering for him in the NFC West.

    Matt will always have a special part in this city; I can’t wait to see him raise that 12th man flag one day!

  49. Dukeshire says:

    Nice, welcome aboard!

  50. chuck_easton says:

    Looks like Jackson’s contract is 2years at 4 million a year. Not a steep price and identical to Whitehursts

  51. Soggybuc says:

    Re-reading it I do come across like an __, sorry not my intention. chalk it up to six months of mindless speculation and what if’s finally getting replaced with tangible what are’s to banter about.

    I believe Matt was their option #1 at the right price but he wanted more than they wanted to invest. so they went for a cheaper option (I really think Bevell see’s something we dont in T-Jack)
    If you view the situation as 3rd and 20 for the QB situation they decided to run a draw and punt instead of throwing the low percentage bomb IE Kolb, McNabb, Farve or even Matt.
    No matter what Tjack costs in salary he will still be cheaper than tossing draft picks around or big guaranteed contracts. and lets face it the plan is becoming clear our QB will be handing the ball to Justin and Marshawn a lot in 2011
    Makes sense really with a rookie right side run blocking is the way to go as it is pretty much hit the guy in front of you! ZBS is run to this point and then hit the guy in front of you!

  52. Very nice tribute, Dave.

    I knew this day was coming, but it still makes me feel sad, especially since Hass was my favorite Seahawk. I hope he goes to a non-NFC West team, so that I can root for him/them. I believe he still has a couple of solid years left, but I thought the same of Shaun Alexander and was proven wrong.

    Mike Williams is now my favorite Seahawk.

  53. GeorgiaHawk, Matt did not start all 16 games, Injury seemed to limit him almost all season> I love Matt and what he has done,Do you really think he will make it all 16 this year without injury problems? I just do not think he is rugged enough to be a choice for my starting QB. The seahawks also seem to feel this way.

  54. Matt was, in my opinion one of the greatest seahawks of all time. It is a shame he’s leaving but he deserves better than what the from office was offering him. No matter what team he goes to he will always be one of my favorite players. Good luck matt!

  55. Is UW’s Dorson Boyce a pretty good FB?

  56. Seahawkgo says:

    Best of luck Matt. I don’t have change to hate you as Seahawks anymore.

  57. Seahawkgo says:

    Best of luck Matt. I don’t have chance to hate you as Seahawks anymore

  58. bigmike04 says:

    I think Seahawks should bring back matt, let face it Whitehurts sucks, Jackson sucks, Leinart was just college QB at best & has been NFL QB, pretty much like Jackson & whitehurst.

  59. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Great news! Just a 4 hour drive away. For the most part Tennessee fans are thrilled to have Hasselbeck.
    Now we don’t have to go through that awkwardness of facing him twice a year if he had chosen the 49ers or Arizona.

  60. Dukeshire says:

    Yep. No surprise and a great fit for Locker.

  61. GeorgiaHawk says:

    The two things I wanted most for the Seahawks this year was 1.-Draft Locker. 2.-Resign Hasselbeck so he could mentor Locker.
    Well, it partly worked out the way I wanted.Lol.

    The money we save by not signing Hasselbeck should get us a decent left guard. And it will be interesting to see if the Seahawks can free up some more cash by restructuring Trufant, Tatupu, and Currys contracts.

    How much of a financial hit would the Seahawks take this year if they were to just cut Curry? Would they still owe him anything next year too? We could certainly use the extra cash for Luck next year.

  62. Dukeshire says:

    Georgia – I’d have to look it up again, but as I recall they’d have $10 mil in ghost money against the cap if they cut Curry. Pretty big hit.

    I’m very interested in hearing anything on Mebane and a Rice update. Yesterday was so fevered, I can’t wait to see what Friday will be like.

  63. SandpointHawk says:

    Seahawkgo ~ Is That you in the photo?

  64. Overall, the best Seahawk ever; the total package.

    He will be missed for a few seasons, and we’ll welcome him back in the RoH and probably beyond as I’d guess he’ll maintain a home in Seattle and continue to be active in the community.

    Bravo Matt, and thank you.

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