Seahawks coach Jim Mora says changes are coming, but not at quarterback
Seahawks coach Jim Mora said Matt Hasselbeck will be the team's starting quarterback next season. Mora did say the Seahawks were facing an offseason of hard work and tough decisions.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The Seahawks will make changes this offseason, but coach Jim Mora doesn't envision the starting quarterback being one of them.
Mora made that clear when asked if Matt Hasselbeck was still Seattle's starting quarterback when he closed his eyes and imagined the start to next season.
So Mora closed his eyes, scrunched his face in thought and answered unequivocally.
"Yes," he said.
It was a funny moment in the final news conference that served as Mora's final word on the 2009 season. That one-word answer was also as close as Mora came to any clear-cut statement on Seattle's future, which is understandable given the fact the franchise is searching for a general manager.
Anyone who expected a big, navel-gazing discussion on the state of the Seahawks, the shortcomings of its roster or an indication of the franchise's direction in its GM search was surely disappointed by the 40 minutes of answers Mora provided.
Why? Because this is the NFL where teams don't go about discussing fundamental decisions on stage in front of television cameras and reporters. So while Mora was engaging, polite and occasionally humorous, he also held a firm poker face in the face of direct questions.
Will the coaching staff return intact?
"Right now, everything is under review," Mora said. "Everything is under evaluation."
How about his status? Has he been told by Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke that he will return as coach?
"I'm just proceeding forward with our evaluation process," Mora said. "I haven't talked to Tod in a day. Tod's busy with some other things, so I'm not too worried about that. I'm going to go work until I'm told not to work."
How about the specific needs and priorities of this team? Is there going to be an overhaul of the existing roster?
"It would be premature for me to make that statement," Mora said. "We don't have a general manager in place yet. That's an important discussion that takes place when a general manager is in place. So to be fair to your question, I just can't say that."
As for left tackle Walter Jones, Mora said he anticipates a determination of his prospects for returning in 2010 by February or March. Mora declined to offer a clear-cut pronouncement of whether Sean Locklear can be the team's left tackle if Jones can't return in 2010.
"That's something that really needs a tremendous amount of thought put into it, evaluation," Mora said of Locklear. "I'm not ready to say either way. I'm definitely not ready to say he can do it. I'm not ready to say he can't do it.
"I'm ready to say we're going to make sure we evaluate the heck out of it."
Just who will be evaluating the heck out of it is now the biggest question. Mora had nothing to say on the timeline for hiring a GM, his role — if any — in the selection process and even what characteristics he would like to see in that position.
"I don't think that it would be appropriate for me to speak to that question with all due respect to the question," Mora said. "That's not for me to say right now."
About the only thing that Mora made clear Wednesday was that the Seahawks have an offseason of hard work and tough decisions ahead.
"We have a lot of work to do as a football team," Mora said. "We're going to figure it out."
But as Mora wrapped up a disappointing season, he wasn't interested in specifying exactly where that elbow grease needs to be applied.
• S Deon Grant (wrist), DE Patrick Kerney (elbow) and WR Mike Hass (shoulder) are all scheduled to undergo surgery.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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