Clayton: Hasselbeck must play smarter

Dec 13, 2010, 9:42 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:54 pm

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By Michael Simeona, MyNorthwest.com intern

If Sunday’s 40-21 loss to the division rival San Francisco 49ers revealed anything about the Seahawks, it’s how the long-term solution at quarterback is still up in the air.

12th-year quarterback Matt Hasselbeck committed five turnovers – four interceptions and one lost fumble – which were converted into 20 San Francisco points, the deciding factor in the 19-point loss. Hasselbeck has thrown eight interceptions in the past three games, and has thrown three more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (12) this season.

Taking care of the football is Pete Carroll ‘s mantra and turnovers are his biggest pet peeve. Hasselbeck better get his act together according to ESPN senior NFL analyst John Clayton, or his time in Seattle may be ending sooner than expected.

“It still comes down to being smart with the football – that’s a big edict from Pete Carroll – and if that continues, we may not see much more of Matt Hasselbeck,” said Clayton.

Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has thrown only 29 career passes in his five NFL seasons with San Diego and Seattle. Whitehurst filled in as starter for Hasselbeck in a 41-7 loss to the New York Giants in Week 9, completing 12-of-23 passes for 113 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions.

On Monday’s Brock & Salk show , Carroll regretted not giving Whitehurst some playing time during the second half of the 49ers game, considering the game was already well out of hand at that point. While one may question whether or not Carroll’s motives were sincere, one thing is clear, the team still feels comfortable with Hasselbeck as their starter.

“There’s something missing right now in Charlie Whitehurst and if that’s the case they still got to go out and get another quarterback,”Clayton said. “So at least you still want to win with a quarterback that still has the best chance at winning.

“Winning is still important to this team.”

Listen to John Clayton

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