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Seahawks arrive at Pro Bowl

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (Feb. 9, 2006) -- Matt Hasselbeck says he's still upset about a game he lost in high school. So it's way too soon for him to be over Seattle's Super Bowl setback to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And the Seahawks' quarterback made it clear that he didn't agree with several decisions made by the officiating crew last Sunday.

"I certainly don't want to add fuel to that fire," Hasselbeck said after going through his first Pro Bowl workout Wednesday. "They're not trying to screw calls up. Sometimes, you get it right, sometimes, you don't. They're doing the best they can.

"We've got to move on, say, 'Hey, we didn't get it done. We didn't do enough to win the game."'

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren caused a stir Monday during a rally at Qwest Field when he said: "We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts as well."

Said Hasselbeck: "I think it was sort of a joke. I know coach Holmgren has a lot of respect for the officials. I don't think he meant it to be mean."

Hasselbeck and six teammates arrived in Hawaii late Tuesday for the Pro Bowl, to be played Sunday at Aloha Stadium. Three Seahawks -- rookie Lofa Tatupu and veterans Mack Strong and Robbie Tobeck -- are making their first Pro-Bowl appearance.

"We're hazing rookies who are old guys," Hasselbeck said, referring to the 34-year-old Strong and 35-year-old Tobeck. "This game's a lot of fun. This is quite an honor to be here. To be here with a lot of my teammates is a special thing.

"The Super Bowl was a great experience until the end of the game. This is a nice way to get your mind off it."

Strong agreed, saying: "I'm glad I'm here and not at home stewing over it. I'm doing great. You couldn't ask for more -- I'm out here in Hawaii."

Shaun Alexander, the NFL's Most Valuable Player, said he didn't know if he'd be able to play Sunday because he sprained his right foot in the Super Bowl.

"I've just got to heal up a little bit," he said. "It's a little sore."

Alexander called his feelings bittersweet.

"You lose the Super Bowl, you are disgusted," he said. "You just have a constant numb feeling. You have to laugh to keep from crying."

Alexander is one of several unrestricted free agents on the Seattle roster. Among the others are Strong, Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson, wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and safety Marquand Manuel.

"We're almost like dispersed," Alexander said. "That might have been like the last hurrah. There are four or five of us who need to be re-signed."

Regarding his status, Alexander said: "I'm an optimistic person -- I always have been."

Asked about the Super Bowl officiating, Alexander said: "I just think no one's perfect. You can't take anything back. Pittsburgh won. If you look at any game, there might be questionable calls. They didn't do it on purpose."

When asked what he believed to be the most damaging call, Alexander laughed and replied: "All of them."

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