Hasselbeck didn’t seem to start off on the right foot in Seattle. Immediately following his arrival as Holmgren’s hand picked protege’, Trent Dilfer showed up fresh off a Super Bowl. Hasselbeck eventually lost his starting job to Dilfer as a result of poor decisions and trying to force the ball into bad situations. I can’t say for sure, but it seemed to me like Hasselbeck was not happy with the Hawks as he was watching his career in Seattle dissolve in the shadow of Trent Dilfer.
Eventually Matt would get his starting job back, however, 2 things needed to happen first:
1. Difer had to give Matt the discipline he lacked as an NFL quarterback. I can’t help but think of a selfish Jeff Garcia going to the Raiders and refusing to help their younger quarterbacks in fear of losing his own starting job. I hate selfish guys who put their own needs in front of the team, and that is exactly what Garcia did. Dilfer on the other hand, the consummate professional and friend, did the exact opposite. In fact, I would go as far as to say that a big part of the Hawks success was due to Dilfer’s ability to put his team before himself. He was a good quarterback and a great guy. Why he is on NFL Live and not a quarterback’s coach somewhere is mighty surprising to me.
2. Matt needed to listen. I am going to paraphrase this rather than spend an hour trying to find the quote. I remember him being asked what he (Matt) thought was the turning point of his career with the Seahawks, and he stated, “I just started listening to Mike.” Sounds simple… right? Not for me. I hate being told exactly what to do. I prefer to make my own mistakes and learning from them myself regardless of the experience of those around me. What’s the word I am looking for? Stubborn. I think Matt was the same way when he first came on the scene in Seattle, however, time and adversity helped shape into a Super Bowl caliber quarterback. My point is that I think Matt is not listening again but for different reasons this time. Before he was a cocky, brash kid from Boston with an age appropriate ego. Now he is a pro bowl quarterback reaching for just one solid year to retire on, so he can rest well at night unlike his previous mentor Brett Favre who is probably still sleeping on the couch dreaming about what life would be like had he retired the previous year. Matt just wants to go out on top, and I can’t say that I really blame him all that much.
I am still not sure what to do with Matt. Part of me is ready to move on right now and see what Whitehurst has to offer. I am not expecting much, but one will never know until one tries. Another part of me still believes in Matt because of everything he has been through as a Seahawk. All the ups and especially the downs. He’s been there with all of us for a decade now, and it’s hard to say goodbye.