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Hasselbeck optimistic Seahawks can fix mistakes

RENTON, Wash. -- Pete Carroll scoffed at the idea Monday that a quarterback change in Seattle would even be considered, despite Matt Hasselbeck's four interceptions in two games.

Carroll is too concerned with the other Seahawks mistakes that were glaring in its 31-14 loss at Denver on Sunday.

"That's not even in our minds right now. We're going with Matt, and he's the guy that's going to take us," Carroll said. "We're going to ride him and make sure we support him and do all the things around him to support him and make sure he's successful."

Hasselbeck's three interceptions -- two deep in Denver's end of the field -- were the most obvious blights on an otherwise miserable day in Denver that only continued Seattle's struggles on the road. The Seahawks have gone nearly three years without a road victory outside the NFC West, a streak that will continue until at least Oct. 17 when Seattle visits Chicago.

Aside from Hasselbeck's mistakes came a pair of untimely penalties that erased a first-quarter touchdown, a muffed punt on special teams that set up Denver's first score and an inability by the Seahawks defense to get off the field on third down all afternoon.

"In a way it's almost encouraging because the stuff that we did wrong, or I did wrong we know we can fix," Hasselbeck said. "I think in a strange way there is a lot of optimism because we see how good we can be."

Seattle traded away a third-round pick and moved down in the second-round to bring in Charlie Whitehurst in the offseason to compete with Hasselbeck and now serve as his backup. Carroll made it clear Monday that it's not Whitehurst's time, even with Hasselbeck making mistakes.

Hasselbeck's first throw of the season in the opener against the San Francisco 49ers was intercepted by Nate Clements. Hasselbeck was outstanding otherwise in the Seahawks' 31-6 rout, but poor throws crept in again against Denver.

Seattle raced to the Denver 1 on the opening drive of the game before new right guard Stacy Andrews was called for a false start. Backed up to the Denver 6, Justin Forsett ran for a touchdown, only to have that brought back on a holding penalty against right tackle Sean Locklear.

Now outside the Denver 15, Hasselbeck tried to drop a throw along the sideline over Champ Bailey and into the arms of Deion Branch. It never reached Branch as Bailey grabbed the interception at the Denver 4.

Asked Monday where he should have gone with the ball on that play, Hasselbeck said, "probably row five."

"He was pretty tough on me, pretty hard on me. He called me out right after the game on the turnover thing," Hasselbeck said of his head coach. "I expect that. I have no problem with that. The standard has kind of been set. He has told us what he expects so we know what he is looking for."

Hasselbeck threw another interception deep in the Broncos' end in the second quarter when he was late with a throw to tight end John Carlson, allowing safety Brian Dawkins to step in front. He was also intercepted late in the fourth quarter.

"Matt is our guy. We know he gives us the best chance to win," Carroll said. "We know he is doing everything to prepare and busting his tail and all that. He is doing a good job. We feel fortunate to have Charlie waiting in the wings, but it's not his time yet."

Defensively, the Seahawks were the polar opposite of the previous week. After forcing two turnovers and holding San Francisco to just 1 of 15 on third downs, the Broncos made it look easy. Kyle Orton was extremely efficient in his passing and the Broncos converted 14 of 20 third-down attempts.

"What I thought Orton did was a really nice job of going to his next options," Carroll said. "We stopped some of the primary things he was going for and had been successful with in preseason and games last year and he was able to get to the next level of the read and execute it beautifully."

The Seahawks lost linebacker Leroy Hill, making his season debut after a one-game NFL suspension, with a strained right calf. Hill was wearing a protective boot on Monday.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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