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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

November 16, 2009 at 3:18 PM

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Mora sends 17 plays for NFL to review, including forearm to Hasselbeck's throat

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had trouble breathing after Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett thrust his forearm into Hasselbeck's throat after a second-quarter sack in Sunday's game.

A day after the game, coach Jim Mora still had a tough time swallowing that and 16 other plays from Seattle's 31-20 loss to Arizona.

"I turned in 17 plays to the National Football League officiating office today, which is probably three times as many as I have in any game," Mora said Monday. "So whether or not were legitimate pass-interference calls, I'm still waiting to hear back from the league on."

One of those plays was a second-quarter sack of Hasselbeck. The sack was credited to Cardinals linebacker Clark Haggans. After Hasselbeck was tackled, Dockett landed on top of him and had his forearm underneath Hasselbeck's facemask on his neck. A television camera captured Dockett pushing down with his forearm on Hasselbeck, who rubbed his throat after he got up, obviously affected. There was no penalty called on the play.

"I didn't see it until today," Mora said Monday. "If they're not going to call it -- and it's a vicious game -- and they're not going to call it, I don't know. I don't like it when it's our quarterback, but if they're not going to call it then I'd like to see our guys do it to their quarterback. If they're not going to call it.

"I don't know what the rule is. I haven't heard back yet so I don't know what they're seeing there. But if that's not going to be called, then we should be doing it."

But shouldn't that be a play that is called for a penalty?

"Yeah," Mora said. "Absolutely, but if it's not going to be then we should be doing it."

That's some biblical stuff right there. An eye for an eye, a choke for a choke. A coach can't really advocate for his team to respond in kind to that kind of play can he?

"If it's legal I can," Mora said. "If it's illegal than it would be called. If it's legal then we should be doing it. If it's legal. I would never advocate us doing anything that's illegal nor would I advocate us doing anything would hard -- intentionally harm -- another player.

"But if that's legal, if the league is not going to call that then we should be doing it because it has an effect on the quarterback when he can't breathe. When Matt's getting up (making choking/gagging/wheezing sounds) and he can't breathe, boy, I'd like to see their quarterback doing that. It's a vicious game."

But don't you think the referees just missed that call?"I don't know," Mora said. "I can't tell you because I haven't heard back from them and even when I do, I can't tell you."

Update: This being the Internet era of instant communication, Darnell Dockett has already addressed the matter via his Twitter feed @ddockett. "Dear coach mora, its football (stuff) happens if u ever played the game ud understand, really I would try to hurt matt. He's a good guy."

An earlier post from Dockett -- which has since been deleted -- read, "Look lets me make this clear, the forarm to Matt Hasselbeck was by accident TRUST ME I like matt and got mad respect for him."

Mora did not elaborate on each of the 17 plays, however, one was the pass-interference penalty on Josh Wilson in the first quarter when he was defending Larry Fitzgerald.

"The one where Fitzgerald grabbed him by the facemask and pulled his head down?" Mora asked rhetorically. "Yeah. I questioned that one. We'll see what they say."


Mora was asked about New England's decision to for it on fourth-and-2 inside its own 30 on Sunday night. "Who am I to say?" Mora asked, laughing. "I went for it on for fourth-and-1 on the 38 last week and it was the first quarter. That's a tough call. I'm not going to second guess Bill Belichick, I can promise you that."

On Seattle's third possession against Detroit, Seattle was stopped on fourth-and-1 on its own 38, turning the ball over on downs.

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