Notebook | Ravens' Neuheisel stays mum on UCLA
Rick Neuheisel looked like he had hardly aged a bit since being fired as coach of the University of Washington football team in 2003. It made one wonder...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Rick Neuheisel looked like he had hardly aged a bit since being fired as coach of the University of Washington football team in 2003.
It made one wonder, had he been spending some extra time in the sun lately, maybe discussing college coaching opportunities at say, UCLA? Or was he in Las Vegas to see the Bruins play in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday night?
"No, no, no," Neuheisel said. "I don't go to Vegas for anything."
Neuheisel has been contacted by the Bruins about their vacant coaching position and reportedly has met with school officials from his alma mater. But this weekend was about returning to Seattle, spending time at a friend's new home on the Eastside — and hitting Qwest Field as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.
The Seahawks beat the Ravens 27-6, but Neuheisel still enjoyed his trip.
"It was exciting to be in Seattle," said Neuheisel, who was dismissed by UW following his participation in an NCAA basketball tournament pool, then received a large financial settlement after taking the school and the NCAA to court.
"I've had a lot of great memories here, and unfortunately we didn't make another one today, but that's a real good team. It wouldn't shock me if they go very, very far in the playoffs. Maybe they're the overlooked team in the NFC."
Neuheisel said the lawsuit and trial was a difficult time in his life, but that he enjoyed everything else about living and working in the area.
"We had a great run in the four years that I coached here," he said. "We had a lot of kids get the great college experience. We went to a Rose Bowl. We won it. I have no bad feelings at all about the job we did. It was just a very unfortunate ending where nobody really won. It was a sad ending to what otherwise was a very good time and a very productive time, I think, for everybody."
Neuheisel said he couldn't comment on his prospects at UCLA, because he's busy with his current team and will prepare for the Ravens' game against Pittsburgh next week. He did say he watched the end of the Las Vegas Bowl, in which Brigham Young edged the Bruins 17-16.
"I was disappointed we [UCLA] didn't pull it out," he said.
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck set a career high for touchdown passes in a season on Sunday with his 27th. It came in the second quarter on a screen pass to Shaun Alexander.
Hasselbeck's previous best was 26 touchdown passes, set in 2003.
After his 199-yard effort, he needs 23 yards to surpass his team record for passing yards in a season, set in 2003 at 3,841.
He also established a record for most pass attempts in a season by throwing 27 times Sunday. Hasselbeck has thrown 537 times, surpassing Dave Krieg's 531 in 1985.
But along with his two touchdown passes came two interceptions, the most he has had in a game this season since Week 3 against Cincinnati, when he also threw two. Hasselbeck hadn't thrown any interceptions since Week 13.
Another defensive TD
The Seahawks scored their second defensive touchdown of the season in the second quarter, when linebacker Leroy Hill scooped up a fumble and ran it back 20 yards for a score.
Cornerback Marcus Trufant had Seattle's first defensive touchdown in Week 14 against Arizona, running back an interception 84 yards.
Hill's teammates gave him a hard time for how he made the play.
"The old squat-and-pick it up," Niko Koutouvides said.
"Romanian dead lifts," Lofa Tatupu chimed in.
Hill said he had previous experience as a running back and fullback, but he hadn't scored on defense since early in high school.
Almost a shutout
The Seahawks were less than five minutes from their second shutout of the season and a sixth opponent held without a touchdown when Derrick Mason hauled in a 79-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Troy Smith with 4:41 to play.
Cornerback Kelly Jennings, who was covering Mason, said he got too greedy.
"It's so tough in the NFL to get a shutout," Jennings said. "I was the main person on the sideline saying, 'Let's shut them out, let's keep them under 100 yards passing.' But I got greedy."
He meant that he played Mason's route a little too aggressively and allowed the throw over the top.
Bench sees time
By the fourth quarter, a number of seldom-used Seahawks were in the game. One was backup quarterback Seneca Wallace, who entered with 7:40 to play, appearing in a game at quarterback for just the third time this season.
Wallace was 1 of 2 for 3 yards and rushed for 5 more.
"I know what I have to do when I get in there," he said. "Don't turn the ball over, manage the clock, and get out of there with a 'W.' "
• The Seahawks weren't penalized in a game for just the third time in team history.
• The team set a season attendance record with 545,551 tickets distributed in 2007.
• Robbie Tobeck, a Seahawk for 14 seasons who retired after the 2006 season, raised the 12th Man Flag before the game.
• DT Rocky Bernard was inactive with a groin injury that has limited him in practice in recent weeks. He could have played, coach Mike Holmgren said, but will now likely be rested for the playoffs. Craig Terrill started in his place.
• Ravens LB Ray Lewis, TE Todd Heap and DT Amon Gordon, a former Mariner High standout, were inactive.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 07:23 AM
NFL, union resume labor talks at mediator's office
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