An Interview With Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck!

I had the privilege to interview Seattle Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck. See how he feels about the team in 2006 and what strategies he uses to stay at the top of his game.

Matt Hasselbeck - Seattle Seahawks

Pro Stats:

Sponsor: EAS-sponsored athlete
Position: QB
Height: 6'4''
Weight: 223 lbs
Born: 09/25/1975
College: Boston College
NFL Experience: 8 yrs
NFL Profile:

Seahawks history was made this year with a first Super Bowl appearance. It must have been a great honor to play in but probably disappointing at the same time not to come away with the win. Do you believe you can use that outcome to make you and your team stronger?

Absolutely. The previous season we lost all three games that we played against the Rams, but we used it as motivation to come back stronger the next year and win the division. Last year we lost the super bowl, but we plan to do the same thing and come back hungrier and ready to work hard in order to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

Matt Hasselbeck
Matt Hasselbeck
Seattle Seahawks Quarterback.

Character & team unity seem to be emphasized more in the NFL than in other sports. How much of a role do you think character has played in your success & your team's success.

Character and Team unity is HUGE! The NFL is the ultimate team sport. This isn't the NBA where one guy can score you 81 points and win the game for you. Everyone depends upon each other. Even if you are on offense or defense, you still depend on the special teams to give you good field position.

To me, one of the biggest parts of being a good teammate is working hard when no one else is watching. If you are a wide receiver, do you block as hard as you run your routes. If you are a quarterback, do you take pride in the running game or do you just hand the ball off?

Hard work is so much a part of being a winner in football. In fact, last year I felt like our team was less talented than in previous years, but we were much closer as a football team and that's what I attribute much of our success in the playoffs to.

Could you describe your current training program? Is your off-season program much different than what you do in camp? Do you focus more on strength and conditioning than on actual football moves in the off-season or is it all pretty similar?

My training programs are very different depending upon the time of the year. In the off-season we focus on three phases:

  1. Adaptation
  2. Strength
  3. Power & Functional movement phase

These three phases allow us to gain strength & power in preparation for the upcoming season. Once we are in camp the emphasis shifts to strength maintenance and injury prevention.

You are quite a bit more mobile than most people realize. You aren't a pure scrambling quarterback like Michael Vick, but you were actually sacked 11 times less than Vick was last year. So though you may not run for a lot of first downs or touchdowns, it's obvious you know how to shift and move in the pocket to avoid pressure. Are their any exercises or drills that you perform that you can attribute your mobility to?

Yes, the quarterbacks on the team do a lot of work with Jim Zorn (the quarterbacks coach) on mobility. There are various drills we use including scrambling drills and dodging drills where we may have physio balls or bags being thrown or rolled at us and we have to dodge them.

It's funny because when coach Holmgren sees this he looks at us like he's thinking, "What the heck are you guys doing?" But the drills have really helped tremendously. When it comes to mobility in the pocket, the first step you take is so important when you are trying to avoid guys like LaVar Arrington or Dwight Freeney, so as a result much of our mobility training is focused on having a quick first step.

Staying with mobility, you lost left Guard Steve Hutchison to the MN Vikings this past year. Steve has been a rock for you on that left hand side. How do you plan to adjust for his absence? Have you made your mobility training even more of a priority because of this?

Not really. We have a lot of quality players to fill the left guard position including Pork Chop Womack. I don't think that is a really big issue. The thing we'll miss most about Steve is his leadership and the intimidation factor he brought. Steve was so physically imposing and had a real mean streak so when a defensive lineman showed up and saw him he would definitely think, "I've got my work cut out for me today."

Describe your nutritional program. What principles is it based on?

It all starts with keeping my protein high. I met with a nutritionist a few years ago who looked at my protein intake and said, "Matt you aren't even giving yourself a chance here." From then on I've focussed on eating 6-7 meals per day, each meal being a moderate portion size but high in protein and I also try to ensure I don't go longer than three hours without eating something.

I also place an emphasis on eating a good amount of fruits and vegetables every day and also eating. Since I have done this over the last few years my weight really hasn't changed much as I still weigh about 230 lbs, but my body composition has improved significantly.

During camp and the NFL season your schedule must be unbelievably hectic. How do you manage to eat properly? Do you employ the use of protein powders, bars or meal replacements?

EAS Myoplex Original Yes I utilize powders, MRPs, and bars. When I'm on the road quite often, I'll pack protein bars in my bag or I'll mix up a myoplex, myoplex lite, or myoplex ready to drink protein shake as one of my meals if I'm in a rush or I don't have whole food available.

I also make sure I eat immediately post workout and usually this is a shake or an MRP as well. I also take Cytovol in order to keep myself properly hydrated during training camp and the season.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve as an athlete?

The goal is the same every year, to bring home the Lombardi Trophy. Our fans are so awesome and they have been behind us so much the last few seasons and especially last season it was just inspiring to see how much they supported us so every year our goal is to do everything we can to bring the Lombardi Trophy home to Seattle.

Matt Hasselbeck
The Goal: Bring Home The Lombardi Trophy.