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Offseason spotlight: Can Hasselbeck lead Seahawks back?

  • By NFL.com
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Elaine Thompson / Associated Press
Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck is healthy again after missing nine games last season due to injury.


As part of NFL Network's 32 teams-in-32 days series, airing daily on Total Access, NFL.com takes a look at a key question facing each NFL team.

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger and NFL Network host Paul Burmeister discuss the return of Matt Hasselbeck. Can a healthy Hasselbeck lead the Seahawks to the playoffs?

Read their takes and then enter the discussion below.


Baldinger: Health is key for Seahawks


I think Hasselbeck can lead the Seahawks to the playoffs, but he needs to be healthy. But it's not just Hasselbeck. His receivers need to be healthy, the offensive line -- everyone needs to be healthy.

The Seahawks really have nothing behind RB Julius Jones at this point. If Jones can stay healthy and be productive, I think this offense behind Hasselbeck can be very good. I think T.J. Houshmandzadeh helps, I think Deion Branch and Nate Burleson come back healthy and then there's John Carlson, too. They have enough weapons there. The offensive line needs to stay intact.

A key to Hasslebeck leading this team to the playoffs is the defense under new coordinator Gus Bradley. Defensively, they have a chance at being very good. They've gotten bigger in the middle. They'll attack the line of scrimmage and be very, very aggressive. They'll need to be.

Hasselbeck does need to learn a new offense. He'll have to put his nose in the playbook and learn how to play with Houshmandzadeh.

 

Burmeister: High on Hasselbeck


I'm a believer in Matt Hasselbeck. I never understood the Seahawks' supposed interest in Mark Sanchez with the No. 4 pick in the draft.

If Hasselbeck is healthy, he's an upper-echelon NFL quarterback. My understanding is that he is indeed healthy, and that makes Seattle a playoff-caliber team.

I think Hasselbeck will benefit from the new energy that comes with new coaches and learning a new system. He'll also benefit from the improvement an already-good John Carlson will make from year one to year two, and from the combination of production and professionalism T.J. Houshmandzadeh will bring.

I do, however, worry about Seattle's RB situation. History says Julius Jones will need help to make it through an entire season, and I've never been a fan of T.J. Duckett. That could prove to be this team's Achilles' heel.

I don't see a return to the high level in which Seattle played in 2005. But I do believe 10 wins and a run at the NFC West crown is a realistic goal.


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