Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck on notice
By Mike Sando
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called out quarterback Matt Hasselbeck following the Seahawks' defeat. Hasselbeck: "He was tough on me. He was pretty hard on me. He did call me out right after the game on the turnover thing. And I expect that. And I have no problem with that. And the standard has kind of been set. He has told us what he expects, so we know what he is looking for and the kind of football he wants to play. He wants to be a team that doesn’t turn the ball over and gets turnovers. That’s the most important thing in the world to him."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times has this to say about Hasselbeck: "Hasselbeck's interceptions can't be attributed solely to pass pressure. Seattle's quarterback has been picked off 14 times in his past six starts going back to last season. He was intercepted 17 times in his previous 17 games before that. Hasselbeck had plenty of time the first time he was picked off Sunday, he chose to try and lob a ball over the head of cornerback Champ Bailey. While Hasselbeck was facing pressure from his left on the second pick, the real reason that was picked off was because he either underestimated the velocity he needed on the pass or overestimated his arm strength. He definitely misjudged safety Brian Dawkins ability to get to the ball."
Also from O'Neil: injury updates on Leroy Hill and Russell Okung.
More from O'Neil: Hasselbeck has Pete Carroll's backing.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks' Golden Tate is averaging 44.7 yards every time he touches the football, one reason it'll be tough to keep the rookie off the field. Johns: "Absolutely. We've loved what he's done so far. If you noticed in preseason, every time he's in there we're throwing the ball to him and doing stuff with him. It's really an interesting factor for us if we can get this thing really going because he's a very special player."
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is still trying to figure out his team. McManaman : "With so many new faces this season and just as many more in new starting roles on both sides of the ball, Whisenhunt said it's bound to take a few more weeks to gauge the pulse of his players." The Cardinals do have more new players than most teams, but they also have a core group of veterans. Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson have been with Whisenhunt for years. The change at quarterback is the big difference, but the Cardinals were not always consistent even when Kurt Warner was under center. The team lost a tough game on the road in Week 2 and it was a blowout -- not unlike a few previous Arizona games.
Also from McManaman, with Kent Somers: Kerry Rhodes regrets one of his penalties against the Falcons. Also: Whisenhunt isn't sure whether Beanie Wells will return this week.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com describes an even-keeled Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt: "You have to try and stay in the middle. I know the perception out there [of the Cards] is not the greatest. But listen, I think we are excited about showing you we can be a good football team."
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams could benefit from a greater sense of urgency. Burwell: "There are so many greatly flawed teams in the NFC West that it wouldn't surprise me if a 7-9 record could win the whole thing. That's just one more reason there should be a greater sense of urgency around this franchise as it tries to fight its way out of the dregs. The climb back to a division title just doesn't look all that daunting right now. But the Rams made it far more difficult than it needs to be by letting two very winnable games slip away."
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' are getting outcoached after halftime. Miklasz: "In the first two games, the Rams' coaches simply do not seem to have many if any real answers when it is time to counter an opponent's strategy. Frankly, it's glaring. We've seen the coaches on the opposite sideline alter the initial plan and then outperform the Rams in the second half." The biggest adjustment the Raiders made, I thought, was switching quarterbacks. Sometimes a quarterback change can jump-start a team, and that clearly happened for the Raiders against the Rams in Week 2. But there's also no question the Rams did not have answers when Oakland loaded up against the St. Louis running game.
Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are hurting at tight end. Billy Bajema could miss several weeks.
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com offers news and notes regarding the Rams. Wagoner: "Clifton Ryan will have a second opinion on his migraine headache issues this week after he was unable to play against the Raiders. The Rams are hopeful everything will come back OK from that ailment, especially with Scott out this week. The Rams could bring DT Jermelle Cudjo back to the varsity if Ryan and (Darell) Scott are both not likely to play."