Why in the world are the Seahawks sticking with QB Matt Hasselbeck?
Does this mean Seattle coach Pete Carroll has already given up on Quarterback of the Future Charlie Whitehurst?
Carroll had some explaining to do to the Pacific Northwest media. Here is what he said:
"Well, I think it doesn't have anything to do with Charlie. It has to do with, we think that Matt can get the job done for us. We have to keep him in good situations. We've got to play good football around him. I can't emphasize that enough. For all quarterbacks, they play with a bunch of other guys on the field as well. We have to do well running the football and protecting and all that, and then the quarterback has got to do his job, and he's got to take care of the ball. We got careless with the football when we fell behind in a couple games here that was really obvious that we pushed too much and pressed too much with it. We'll stay out of that situation, and if we do that, I think we're going to be in good shape.
“I'm excited about Charlie's growth. We trust him. We believe in him that he can come in the game. I think we could see that again last week, and if we need him, we'll call on him. He has made good progress and he has gotten better and he was very comfortable in the game last week, and that's a good sign. If we need him, he's going to jump in there and go.”
Is Carroll ready to give Hasselbeck a quicker hook?
“I plan to go play the football game to win it, and we'll see what happens,” Carroll said. “I don't have any thought at all about taking the quarterback out. Not at all. We're going with Matt. Matt's our guy. We want him to play really well, and we're going to try and build up a great plan that he can carry off and get us a great win there in Tampa. That's really all we're thinking. I don't have any plan other than that.”
In Denver, meanwhile, the Broncos had no trouble trading out the old for the young. But the dawning of the Tim Tebow Era in Denver makes us wonder what will become of QB Kyle Orton, a solid fantasy producer this season despite his team’s failure. He is owed $5.5 million guaranteed next season.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Orton told the Denver Post. “I do know I’m not the one who’s going to be making that decision. I’m not the one who made this decision. But (if) the organization wants to go a different way the rest of the year, then hey, that’s just how it is. If I’m back next year, my belief is I’m coming back as the starter.”
Lions QB Drew Stanton boosted his NFL stock and helped his future employment opportunities. After separating his non-throwing shoulder, though, he might give the job back to Shaun Hill – since starter Matthew Stafford is recovering from HIS shoulder injury.
Hill (13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in eight starts this season) is recovering from a broken knuckle on this throwing hand. “It just continues to get better,” he told reporters. “I'm still adapting to playing with it and the more time I spend on it, the better off we'll be.”
Here are some other Week 16 story lines:
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t like to miss games with injuries, but could he sit this week with nagging knee problems? “I hope not,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio told reporters. “We're just, the way I look at it, we're always optimistic. We get the information to go through the week, get the feedback from the player, from the trainer, from the doctors and all that, then make a determination.”
Colts RB Joseph Addai appears to be finally ready to return from his shoulder injury. RB Donald Brown is coming off a strong performance, so Addai figures to provide depth if he is active. RB Mike Hart (ankle) is also close to coming back. This is good news for an offense dealing with the loss of WR Austin Collie (concussion) for the season.
It appears Chargers TE Antonio Gates is finally done for the year due to his nagging toe injury. He has valiantly played in pain, but even he has his limits. “Time is the key,” he told reporters. “There’s not magical treatment for an injury like this. Just because I hope to come back if we end up making the postseason, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to go. It gives me a chance.”