In continuing my series chronicling players entering training camp, I focus this article on the captain of this team: Matt Hasselbeck.
Matt Hasselbeck has been what has gelled this offense through the Mike Holmgren era. Although his first couple of years were rocky in Seattle, this team would not be what it is today without Matt Hasselbeck.
He came to the Seahawks in 2001 after being drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round in 1998. His reception in Seattle wasn’t the best to start out a career, as his arrival forced out fan favorite Jon Kitna and his erratic play for several years led to his benching.
He finally started winning fans over in the final three games of the 2002 season, when the Seahawks went 3-0 to close out the season 7-9.
As he entered the 2003 season, he became the starter and led the Seahawks to a 10-6 record, earning them a birth in the NFC Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers where he infamously made the proclamation “we want the ball, and were gonna score” call in the OT.
The Seahawks were finally gaining respect, being the team chosen by SI as the team to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl
2004 also happened to be another good year for the quarterback as his team flew out the gate to a 3-0 record. However, a late collapse against the St. Louis Rams in Week 4 really disrupted their season. They went on to finish 9-7 and lose to the Rams in the NFC Wild Card game. Hasselbeck finished with 3,382 yards and 22 touchdowns.
He really flourished in 2005, guiding the Seahawks to the Super Bowl and starting the 2005 Pro Bowl. He threw for3,459 yards and 24 touchdowns.
His best season statistically came in 2007, where he passed for 3,966 yards and 28 TD’s. The Seahawks again lost to the Packers in the playoffs that season, and Hasselbeck unfortunately kept his mouth shut.
It has been extensively covered that Matt Hasselbeck had a herniated disk last season, allowing him to only play in seven games. For the first time in his career, Hasselbeck heads into training camp with his health in question.
Although we have good reason to question if Hasselbeck is healthy, (can you name one guy who came back to play QB in the NFL after blowing a disk in his back?) Hasselbeck wants to silence his doubters.
As we enter training camp everyone’s eyes will be on Hasselbeck. So far he has looked good, but what will happen in the opener against St. Louis?
If the Seahawks plan to play their way back into the post season they will need their leader to have another Pro Bowl caliber season.
This article can also be found at: Seahawks Sideline