Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck Conference Call Transcript - Jan. 9

(When the run game was struggling how did Holmgren approach you about getting more pass-happy?)

He actually didn't really approach me. I think he has a press conference on Mondays, and he mentioned it to the media, and I found out about it on Wednesday. I happened to see him in the hallway and he let me know, but I guess it was old news by then.

(You're obviously fine with that based on the numbers you put up?)

Truthfully I don't think I really believed him. You know, Coach Holmgren, he's a great coach and sometimes you don't always understand what his methods are and why he does certain things. I think for me that was one of those times. Why would you announce on Monday to the media what your plan was on how you're going to call the game, and is he lying? Is he just saying that? It wasn't until the night before the game that we kind of got the first 15 (plays) and we saw that he wasn't just saying it. He was being truthful and he was hoping to open things up a little bit and spread people out, and really the onus went to our offensive line and they answered the call and they played really well.

(What game was that change implemented?)

You know what I don't know. I think it was a nationally televised game. Do you know what game that was Lance? We don't know. We're not sure. Chris Myers might have been doing the game. One of those national guys was here and he says 'Is he telling the truth?' I said, 'I have no idea. You tell me.'

(How many of the first 15 plays were passes?)

I don't know exactly but usually we're pretty balanced. He's always been pretty balanced. It wasn't crazy. It might have been 70-30 or something like that.

(How are Holmgren and McCarthy similar and different in coaching quarterbacks?)

Mike Holmgren's never been my position coach. I've just known him as a head coach and when I've had the opportunity to meet guys like Steve Young or Joe Montana, or Jeff Kemp, guys that played for him as a position coach, the way they describe him is so different than what I have seen, and I can remember even as a young player hearing stories that Brett would tell about stories that he had heard about Mike as a position coach - as a practical jokester, one of the guys. It's not the image of him that I have as a head coach. Now I had that relationship with Mike McCarthy because he was my position coach. I learned so much football from him in my second year. You know, he's got those quarterback schools and I was in a fight for just a job, for a roster spot and he really, I think, helped me believe in myself a lot more and also understand not only the offense that we were trying to run but also defenses in the National Football League. I'd say the relationships are just different from my point of view.

(Has Holmgren mellowed over the years and what do you make of the retirement talk?)

I don't know anything about retirement but you could say he's mellowed to a certain degree. He's got maybe a different perspective on things. He's got a lot of grandkids now. I think he might actually have a grandson on the way, first grandson. But he's fiery. He about kicked us out of practice yesterday. He gets hot when we don't practice or we don't perform up to our potential and yesterday's practice we didn't practice very well. I think if we want to see a mellow Mike Holmgren we just need to play at a high level and if we want to screw around and make mistakes we're going to see the other version of Mike Holmgren and he's a tough, tough football coach.

(Do you recall a certain touchdown celebration at Minnesota?)

Oh yeah, far more embarrassing (than the coin flip remark). I think Ray Rhodes was the head coach. We were playing up at Minnesota. It was a big game, I think to get to the playoffs - either us or Minnesota - and you never like playing Minnesota. You always want to beat them. We had a fake field goal. Ryan Longwell was the kicker and the play I think it was a pass that I was supposed to throw to Jeff Thomason, and we had talked about it earlier, some kind of celebration that we were going to do, and we hadn't really finalized it. So he did his standard trademark, the 'Flying T' - you know he sticks his arms out to the side and I didn't know what to do. So I went and jumped up to try to like jump on him and I think Mike Flanagan and somebody else came and kind of pushed the pile away, so I'm midair, and I fall right on my face. I think it was Monday Night Football and I don't know if anybody noticed, but they talked about it the next day. When you get one play a year, or maybe two plays a year, and that's your play it kind of sticks out. I was excited for my first touchdown pass but I definitely had to start working on the celebrations.

(Did you have an inkling even early on that you'd have to leave Green Bay to get a chance to play?)

Oh yeah, I don't think I ever thought I'd have the opportunity to play in Green Bay. I mean that was not even a thought. Brett Favre is Brett Favre. I've said many times if they had ever come to me and said 'Hey, we would like to sign you to a long-term contract and be Brett's backup,' I would have done it. I would have done it in a heartbeat, but that's not what happened. I got traded and it was tough when I got traded. It was hard to leave but at the same time it was a huge opportunity for me, and I was excited for the opportunity. It's just the nature of being in Green Bay. It was a great learning experience for me and it was a valuable time but as a quarterback you just know you're never going to see the field. And I had kind of reached the pinnacle as a holder. I don't know if I could have gone much higher as a holder. I had pretty much mastered that at that point.

{sportsad300}(Is there a part of you that wants to come back here and really light it up after the last playoff game?)

For sure, but we played Green Bay the next year maybe the first preseason game, national TV. Probably moreso that game than now. There's been a lot of time between now and then, but every game, obviously. This is the playoffs, this is fun and like I've said many times, if you get a chance to play people you know, people you coach, people you look up to, people that you're friends with... I can remember when I was in Green Bay and Seattle came to Wisconsin to play on Monday Night Football and it was cold and everyone was excited for that game because Mike Holmgren and the Seahawks were coming back and all his assistant coaches. And Brett was excited for that game. Everyone's excited, that's just the nature of it. But obviously as a quarterback there's got to be a fine line between being pumped up and excited and also calm and playing your job at a, ... I don't have the word, maybe I've got to find the word. There's a word for it, but it's just one of those things. You've got to temper the emotions. That year that I went back to Green Bay I got so many speeches about, 'Hey, control your emotions.' The first time I went to Green Bay to play, I'm talking about, and I didn't play with any intensity or any fire or any emotion. It basically wasn't me. It wasn't good and the next time we got a chance to go back and play was in the playoff game and I tried to just go have fun. Don't do what you did the last time, don't play not to lose the game. Just go out and play, have fun, and I think that's the better way to play in every game.

(What differences do you see in Favre's play now?)

I really haven't seen too much. I've obviously watched the defense so I don't know too much.

(How would you describe Holmgren Way to someone who hasn't seen it?)

I think there's a Hooters there, isn't there? I'm trying to get T-shirts that say Hooters on Holmgren. I think that would be awesome.

(What have you and Brett talked about in your recent communications?)

I told him that I would give him all of our defensive signals if he would get me all of the Packers defensive signals. That way we could both have great games. Everybody wins. He told me I've got to look for the Gameday program this week. He said there might be a picture in there. That's all he said.

(How are your various injuries?)

The hand's fine, the wrist is fine. My thigh is a little bit swollen. It won't be a problem by tomorrow, it definitely won't be a problem by Saturday. We don't practice in pads. I'm just wearing a thigh pad on there just for one more day, just so I don't aggravate it, but it's fine.

(Did you know the microphone was on for the coin flip remark?)

I didn't know it was that kind of microphone, that's for sure.

(How excited are you to have all your receiving weapons back for the first time in a while?)

It's a great thing. We've been pretty fortunate to have depth at wide receiver. We've had our wide receivers hurt all year. I don't know if there's been a game where our two starting wide receivers, Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett, have finished a game together. We kind of joke about it when one's healthy the other one's hurt. It's been tough but hopefully we can get all those guys back at the right time, and this is that time. We're going to need them. This is a good defense and they're playing with a lot of confidence and they're playing well, so the more guys that can play, the better.

(How much of a difference does Branch make for what you do?)

He's a great player, he really is. He's just solid. When we got him from New England, Tom Brady was very upset because of the kind of player that he is, because of the kind of teammate that he is. We lost him in the Pittsburgh game and that's really the only game that we really came unraveled in. A lot of our offense is built around him. A lot of the plays are designed to go to him and we've actually I think improved while he's been out just because other guys have had to step up and I've had to get that rapport with them, but he's a great player. There's a reason we gave up what we did to get him.

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