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Thursday, January 13, 2011
Shooting the breeze with Matt Hasselbeck

By Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- Matt Hasselbeck was at his best for the Seattle Seahawks against New Orleans in the wild-card round Saturday.

The quarterback might have been better during his weekly media session Thursday.

Loose and reflective, Hasselbeck congratulated quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch on landing a job at "Miami of Ohio" -- it was the University of Miami -- and deadpanned that he hugged coach Pete Carroll for saying the team wanted Hasselbeck to return next season.

The laid-back image Carroll projected when he answered a reporter's phone during a news conference Wednesday mirrors the tone he sets internally. That marks a change from former coach Mike Holmgren, who was more of a taskmaster behind the scenes.

"I can remember before some playoff games, myself feeling the need to break the ice, lighten the mood a little bit," Hasselbeck said. "Now, if anything, I'm feeling the desire to really get everybody to focus in a little bit more and just tighten screws a little bit."

Hasselbeck pointed to potential distractions surrounding a road playoff game in a major city. The team will arrive Friday, a day earlier than usual. Players will have free time.

"It's not a shopping trip, it's a business trip," Hasselbeck said.

The Seahawks have a good mix of personalities on their coaching staff, Hasselbeck said. He described offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates as having the demeanor of an old-school line coach, whereas Fisch is more relaxed. Carroll is ... Carroll.

"His style works with the group of coaches we have," Hasselbeck said.

A few other highlights from Hasselbeck's media session: