A recap of the activities on Day Two of wild-card playoff week:
Quarterbacks. Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst each got reps today during the Seahawks’ first practice for Saturday’s wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field. But coach Pete Carroll won’t announce who will start against the New Orleans Saints until later in the week.
Whitehurst quarterbacked the win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday night that clinched the NFC West title and playoff berth, because Hasselbeck’s mobility was limited due to the strained muscles in his left hip and buttock that he got the previous week in the loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa.
“I don’t need to determine that yet,” Carroll told reporters on Monday. “I know you all want me to nail that for you, but I’m not going to because I don’t know.”
There is no uncertainty in New Orleans. Drew Brees threw 658 of the 661 passes the Saints attempted during the regular season – including his 29-of-43, 382-yard, four-touchdown performance in the Saints’ Week 11 win over the Seahawks at the Superdome.
“Before we came out to practice, I just watched a 12-play series and he completed 10 passes – and there was one dropped pass in there,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “I think the longest was 14-15 yards and there were a couple of 8’s and 9’s and 7’s. He’s just very efficient. Very efficient. He doesn’t make many mistakes.
“In all the years he’s been playing, he’s seen a lot of different looks. He’s very poised back there.”
In that Week 11 game, Hasselbeck matched Brees almost completion for completion (32 of 44) and passing yard for passing yard (366), if not TD pass for TD pass (one).
“He’s a very accurate passer and the ball comes out very quickly,” Saints coach Sean Payton said this week when asked about Hasselbeck’s success in that first game. “I thought they did a good job in their third-down packages; they got up to the line of scrimmage with some quick counts and he was very decisive. He knew where he wanted to go with the ball.
“He plays with very good tempo. That’s something that’s harder to see on film, but when you see it in person and having been on teams that have played against him before, it’s recognizable once the game starts. So his tempo and his accuracy are things that you’re reminded of.”
ON THE FIELD
The players worked for 90 minutes in their indoor practice facility. The calendar might say it’s Tuesday, but the practice schedule says it’s Wednesday because this week’s game is on Saturday.
Defensive back Jordan Babineaux had an interception and also got a nice break on the ball to tip another pass incomplete during the “Competition Wednesday” practice.
For a peek at practice, check out Rod Mar’s photo gallery.
BAKER, PITTS TO IR
Tight end Chris Baker and guard Chester Pitts were placed on injured reserve today with injuries they received in Sunday night’s game against the Rams. Baker fractured a hip, while Pitts got a concussion.
Their spots on the 53-man roster may be filled later in the week.
PRACTICE SQUAD ADDITIONS
The Seahawks added two players to their practice squad: tight end Nick Tow-Arnett, who was with the team in training camp but released on the roster cut to 53 players; and rookie running back Andre Anderson, who was active for two games with the Buffalo Bills this season before being waived in November.
To clear spots, running back Chris Henry was placed on injured reserve/practice squad and linebacker Vuna Tuihalamaka was released.
Not today, even though the team practiced. The first official injury report will be released after tomorrow’s practice.
IVORY TO IR
The Seahawks won’t have to contend with running back Chris Ivory on Saturday. The Saints placed the rookie running back on injured reserve today because a foot injury he got in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Buccaneers.
Ivory gained 99 yards on 22 carries in the Week 11 game against the Seahawks, including 1-yard touchdown run.
Running back DeShawn Wynn was signed to fill Ivory’s roster spot. He has been with the team earlier this season before being released in October.
STAT DU JOUR
Middle linebacker Tatupu played all 54 defensive snaps against the Rams on Sunday night. It was the 13th time this season that the three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker has played every down.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s better. It’s a great feeling.” – running back Marshawn Lynch, when asked if going to the playoffs for the first time in his career was as good as he expected