NFL betting handicappers may also find that veteran Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is ready for a comeback year and could be a key NFL gambling asset.
Carroll arrived with much fanfare and as something of a surprise hire last winter as the Seahawks were preparing for a season finale news conference with Jim Mora, Jr., who was their head coach at the time.
Carroll was the long time and highly successful national championship coach of the University of Southern California who shocked everyone in football by taking the Seattle job almost immediately and without any prior warning or leaks to the media.
One of the first things that Carroll did was get in touch with Hasselbeck, who was immediately impressed with the new coach’s confidence and system.
“I just felt his confidence come through the phone,” said Hasselbeck. “His big point of emphasis was competition.”
Carroll soon showed Hasselbeck he was serious about the concept of competition as he traded for Charlie Whitehurst, who was a third string signal caller for the San Diego Chargers. Carroll spent $8 million to bring in Whitehurst and it was a definite wake up call for Hasselbeck.
“That put a new spin on the whole ‘competition’ thing,” said Hasselbeck. “I said ‘wait, not at my spot.’”
Hasselbeck, a three time pro bowler, rose to the challenge with an outstanding off season in which he cemented his position as the number one starter, which has been his job with Seattle since the 2003 NFL betting season.
Carroll has indicated that he doesn’t have a lot of patience and wants his team to be considered among the favorites with the NFL preseason odds to win the NFC West Division. Hasselbeck is considered a key to Seattle reclaiming its status of being a top contender.
“Matt’s play last year was not indicative of what he’s capable of doing,” said Carroll. “By the end of the year, he was pressing, trying to do too much. He made mistakes that would horrify any quarterback coach or offensive coordinator.”
Cornerback Lawyer Milloy has been impressed with Hasselbeck’s improved work heading into action with the football odds.
“He’s leading this team in a way he wasn’t last year,” said Milloy. “When he came in this offseason he had his chest puffed out and a different swagger about him.”