Such has become the mantra of the Seahawks' quarterback as of late. It's not just his mantra, however -- the other 52 players on the squad need to bear those words in mind heading into this weekend's game in Arizona.
Coming off a come-from-behind win at home against a team that was left winless last season looks to have injected a heavy dose of reality into Hasselbeck. In a way, winning that game the way the team did was a good thing. It showed them that no victory in this league is going to be a given; that nothing will be handed to them. The wisdom of Any Given Sunday never fails to translate into real life: "You gotta fight for that inch!"
But Hasselbeck imparted some of that perspective onto reporters Sunday evening after the win.
“If we screw one of these up, (our goals are) not going to be there forever,” he said. “You only get so many chances, so winning this game was absolutely necessary. Winning the next game is absolutely necessary. Like I’ve said, we’ve made it hard on ourselves. But we still have a chance. We’re just going to have to do it the hard way.”
And a statement such as "Our goals are still in front of us" not only means the team hasn't reached its potential yet, but it also means some of its problems are definitely still there. As the article notes, the team's road woes are far from over. They're 0-3 on the road so far in 2009, and have been outscored 95-44 combined against the Cowboys, 49ers and Colts. On a team with this much talent, why is this still happening?
Injuries are partially to blame, and that's not an excuse. If Hasselbeck was healthy against the Bears, the team would've likely won that game despite what the officials had to say about it. By the way, why is nobody making more of a full-blown outrage at the fact that the league called up the Hawks' front office after that game and blatantly said "Sorry, the refs blew the game for you?" Why has this been swept under the rug?? Why isn't every official in the league under an intensely higher amount of scrutiny right now? And if it is, why haven't we heard about it? Ridiculous.
But besides that, that Bears game was easily within the Seahawks' grasp. It just didn't quite end up that way, and they can't spend a second more dwelling on what could've been. Watch the film, learn what not to do, and go play better on the field. And that's precisely what needs to happen against the Cardinals on Sunday. The Seahawks will hopefully be back to some semblance of 100 percent healthy, provided Sean Locklear returns from his ankle injury. Damion McIntosh has played reasonably well at left tackle, especially considering he's the fourth player to start there this season. But McIntosh is a stop-gap solution at best, and Locklear's health has been an issue for a few years.
And coming up in the second half of the season, the Seahawks face opponents with less-than-impressive records. Visits from the Bucs (1-7) and Titans (2-6) will be more than welcome at Qwest Field, and a rematch with the Rams (1-7) in St. Louis is a favorable matchup. But stealing another road victory is essential, and it doesn't matter when it happens or where -- it just needs to happen.
No more excuses. No more wishing for a stronger start. As Hasselbeck said, they have to do it the hard way now.
“We went 1-3 the first quarter, and 2-2 the second quarter. Now we’ve got to try and improve on that. That’s what we’ll do. That’ll be our focus.”