Thursday, June 5, 2008

6/3/08 Hasselbeck Transcript

by: Michael Steffes

Here is a transcript from Matt Hasselbeck's meeting with the press from Tuesday. Matt covers everything from personnel to NBA Finals predictions. He also has some positive things to say about John Carlson. If you want to check it out....

(On practicing at Husky Stadium…) “I thought it was great. Mike Holmgren said it best, ‘practice was a sloppy start.’ He said, ‘Guys this was not in the plan but sometimes stuff happens and sometimes you go out there and you play a game and you’ve got a blizzard and you just have to deal with it and adjust, or it’s raining or whatever.’ He made that analogy and I thought it was a good one and your focus has to be the same. You can’t be thinking about that or make excuses. You just have to adjust and improvise and do the best you can.”

(On the young receivers...) “They’re working really hard. We are asking a lot of them. We’re moving them around and having them play at different positions but I think they’ve done a nice job. They are all great guys and they’re having a lot of fun with Coach Gilbertson coaching them. Each day it seems like one guy will stand out but we have a long camp here and then we have training camp and then we have preseason games, so there’s a lot of time. All in all I think it’s a great opportunity for these guys. I would say that they are doing the best to take advantage of it.”

(On the new running backs…) We have a new offensive line coach with some new wrinkles. We have a new assistant offensive line coach with some new wrinkles and a new running backs coach. It’s just all brand new right now. There is a lot of change but I think in the end it will make us tougher to defend.”

(On the change with coaches and players…) “There are all kinds of changes. There is no monotony right now, especially in our room, everything’s new. We have a lot of new coaches, we have a lot of new players and Mike’s (Holmgren) been very creative. He’s allowed his coaches to be creative and said, ‘Lets try some new wrinkles, lets try some of the old plays we’ve run from new formations, new people.’ Our running backs are even running the pass routes right now so there’s a lot of change.”

(On being able to participate in minicamp…) “It is way more fun getting to play football.”

(On the NBA finals…) “I’m making a prediction. I’m thinking Celtics in three. (laughter) That’s how good they are. They’re so much better than the Lakers. That’s my prediction. Write it down.”

(On John Carlson…) “He really hasn’t been taking too many snaps. I don’t think he’s been in there with me. I can’t remember him being in there with me. Mostly it’s been Will Heller and Jeb (Putzier). From what I’ve read he’s a smart guy and I’m sure he’ll pick things up and he’ll be in there. We’ll give him an opportunity to get in there with the ones. To be honest, I don’t think I can give you an answer yet.”

(On Carlson coming into the league and starting…) “He’s here a lot. I see him when I get here in the morning. He’s got a playbook and when I’m leaving he’s still here. He’s definitely doing double time and trying to get ready, trying to get up to speed. He has a great opportunity and he’s learning from some of the best coaches in this game and he’s also learning from some guys that have been around in Jeb and Will. We would like him to help out this year, if he can.”

(On the team chemistry…) “I think it’s pretty early but there are some real positive signs. Our offensive line has definitely come together and that’s a huge start. We have good guys in the running back room, competing for one football. At the same time we have guys in the wide receiver room competing for a spot on the team. It has been good healthy competition but I think we have the right ingredients so far.”

(On Hasselbeck playing in this minicamp…) “I think it’s nice. I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. That’s part of the reason why we’re not freaking out that Walt (Jones) isn’t out there, Chris Spencer’s not out there, Bobby Engram’s not out there. It’s definitely easier if you’re able to be out here and get these reps and have this time. If you’re not, if you’re Deion Branch, you just have to do what you can do and when your time comes to be healthy enough to play you have to do the best that you can but I’m happy to be out there.”

(On the young receivers being in minicamp…) “I think that’s huge, for those guys to get the reps with our first group. That is rare. Whether it’s young receivers or young tight ends, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re out there getting coached by your position coach and getting reps with the starters, it’s just a great opportunity to learn.”

(On Coach (Bill) Lazor…) “He’s great. He’s a real smart guy. He’s around my age but you wouldn’t know it. He’s real serious, much more mature than I, which isn’t that hard but I think he is going to be a great coach. I would not be surprised at all if he’s a head coach in this league very soon. He’s got the ingredients for what you look for in that and he’s already up to speed on offense. It’s not like we have to explain anything to him. He’s put the work in, he’s put the time in. He is very, very accurate with the information he gives and it’s nice. It makes it a lot of fun and it makes it easier to learn.”

(On Coach Holmgren and the receivers…) “He’s always been involved in the passing game. We have a lot of young, raw talented wide receivers right now and really all they need is some of that experience and they need some of that savvy and that is probably what he is doing, just trying to help that along a little bit.”

(On Nate (Burleson) being the only true veteran receiver…) “Nate’s awesome. I love Nate. He usually does a lot of things by example. We know what Nate can do. Nate can score. Get the ball in his hands and he’s going to score for you. He’s going to make plays. I think we are giving everybody else an opportunity to showcase what they can do. I know that if we are trying to absolutely win every time, we would put Nate somewhere and get him the ball and let him do his thing. He has been great.”

(On Hasselbeck’s relationship with Coach (Jim) Mora…) “We probably talk trash to each other a little bit because he is on defense. He initiates that. I probably see his wife at the club more than I see him at swim lessons.”