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Seahawks far from giving up on Hasselbeck

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
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Posted Sept. 25, 2010 @ 10 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Forget Denver.

Even though Matt Hasselbeck had a very forgettable performance against the Broncos in Week Two, which instantly triggered painful memories of his ugly four-game stretch at the end of last season, we hear he remains firmly entrenched as Seattle's starting quarterback.

"It's pretty easy to start reading too much into it," said one team insider of Hasselbeck's three-interception outing in Seattle's first loss of the season. That performance made some observers on the scene wonder whether head coach Pete Carroll might be starting to think about replacing Hasselbeck with newcomer Charlie Whitehurst.

"But the leash really isn't even tight yet."

Not even despite the fact that Hasselbeck, who turned 35 the day before Seattle's Week Three encounter with the Chargers, had thrown 14 interceptions in his last six starts dating back to last season entering the Seahawks game.

"Pete called Hasselbeck out right after the (Denver) game," the insider said. "The mistakes were so obvious to both of them. It was another case of Matt trying to force the issue more than anything and make something out of nothing."

But the way we hear it, Carroll has a number of reasons for remaining committed to Hasselbeck over Whitehurst, one of the biggest being that Whitehurst has yet to throw a single pass at the pro level in a regular-season game.

"Hasselbeck has never thrown a real good deep ball, which is something Whitehurst does do pretty well," the insider said. "But Whitehurst can't handle the short- and medium-range passes that are such a key in this system nearly as well, and that's always been Hasselbeck's strength."

A new facet of the offense is more motion plays involving the quarterback, and Hasselbeck has shown surprisingly good mobility, as evidenced by his TD runs in each of the first two games.

"And the way he's running shows that he's feeling a lot healthier," the insider said of Hasselbeck, who has had his share of injury issues the last couple of seasons.

We hear Hasselbeck also continues to command great respect as the team captain of the offense — just one more reason why the Charlie Whitehurst era is still a long way off in Seattle.

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