Hasselbeck: Over-Trying Led to Mistakes

I don’t think anyone believes Matt Hasselbeck had a good season in 2009. In fact, Hasselbeck’s poor showing has led a lot of folks to believe he can no longer produce at a competitive level in the National Football League.

Last season, Hasselbeck threw 17 interceptions – more than any other season in his career. He even threw less to opposing defenders in 2003, his first full season as Seattle’s starting quarterback.

His quarterback rating of last season was a dismal 75.1; aside from an injury-plagued 2008 campaign, Hasselbeck hasn’t posted a lower rating since his inaugural season with the Seahawks. Reminiscing about Seattle’s pathetic offense at Husky Stadium in 2001 should put things in perspective.

The Seahawks weren’t very good last season. And Matt Hasselbeck, the quarterback and informal leader of the offense, was less than good.

Before you continue begging the front office to find another quarterback not named Charlie Whitehurst, consider a report from The News Tribune yesterday. According to Pete Carroll, Matt Hasselbeck “tried too hard” last season.

“It was clear that he was over-trying,” said Carroll after watching film from last season. “Tremendously over-trying. He was trying to make things happen, in classic fashion to try and make a play and that caused him to make decisions where he would throw the ball into trouble.

“He wouldn’t read everything out. He wasn’t patient enough because he felt like there wasn’t room enough to be patient. And so those decisions, it takes you to … another level of production that goes totally against you. And you have to play within the system and the concepts or you’re just making stuff up. And so he pressed too much.”

Hasselbeck, a savvy veteran who knows he must play better if the Seahawks are going to be competitive, agreed with Carroll’s evaluation:

Hasselbeck agreed with Carroll’s assessment, and said he’s trying to learn from his errors. One way he is doing that is by watching a Kobe Bryant video that discusses how to handle trying to take on too much as one of the leaders on the team.

“I can see myself last year in a lot of the stuff Kobe was talking about,” Hasselbeck said. “And I would have been totally blind to it until it kind of came up the other night in a team meeting. And Gus Bradley had talked about it, and Pete (Carroll) talked about it. And then he showed this Kobe video and it all started to make sense a little bit.”

We shouldn’t confuse Matt Hasselbeck with Kobe Bryant, and the Seahawks aren’t a dominant dynasty like the Los Angeles Lakers. But Hasselbeck’s individual situation is a lot like Bryant’s, and he can learn a lot from what Bryant went through during his struggles.

Pete Carroll may not be an offensive architect or genius like Mike Holmgren, but in my opinion, he is already proving himself more capable than the last coaching staff.

Hopefully, Matt Hasselbeck’s development as a leader will improve his production on the field. And hopefully, a better Matt Hasselbeck translates into more wins for the football team.

Shaun Dolence: dolencesm@gmail.com
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Tags: Charlie Whitehurst Kobe Bryant Matt Hasselbeck Mike Holmgren National Football League Pete Carroll Quarterback Seattle Seahawks

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