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

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August 13, 2008 6:53 PM

Josh Wilson OK, Sean Locklear sore knee

Posted by Danny O'Neil

I just finished a radio interview, and was reminded that I posted a mention of Josh Wilson appearing to come up limping after a play in the morning practice. He was on the field in the afternoon for special-teams practice and appeared fine.

Also, right tackle Sean Locklear did not practice Wednesday because of a sore knee. It is not believed to be anything serious. Something like tendinitis where he's given a day off. We'll see if Locklear is on the field Thursday.

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August 13, 2008 3:22 PM

Getting a kick out of punts -- 8.13.2008 P.M. practice coverage

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Punter Ryan Plackemeier got his most extensive punting of training camp so far, returning to the field after recovering from surgery to repair a pectoral muscle.

He returns to the field in a competition with Reggie Hodges.

"I think Reggie has punted well enough to make it a competition," said Bruce DeHaven, Seattle's special teams coach.

Hodges is likely to be the only one punting in Saturday's exhibition game against Chicago as Plackemeier hasn't yet had a full week of practices. As for what Plackemeier has shown so far, the special teams coach offered some praise.

"He's punting better right now than he did last year," DeHaven said. "The third year is usually a lot of times the year that punters start to kind of get it all together. Punting is kind of an inexact science. It's not like you're hitting a golf ball. You've got to drop, chase it in there and kick it. Everything happens very fast. You don't find a lot of punters come into the league that are really polished their first couple of years."

Plackemeier averaged 45 yards per punt as a rookie in 2006. That average dropped to 40 last season. That's a little misleading, though, because Plackemeier had great placement on his punts later in the season, putting eight punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line over the final four games. That also coincided with Seattle straightening out the difficulties it had with its long-snappers.

"People don't understand how important a snapper is to a punter," DeHaven said. "It's really even more important than a kicker because you get the ball back to the holder and you put it down in the same spot every time and there's some variance on the timing. But with the punter, if the snap's not right on him, he has to move his feet to catch it. Once he moves his feet, he has to re-set."

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August 13, 2008 1:16 PM

Seahawks transportation plans Bus-ted

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Here's an announcement from the team regarding game-day bus service that was available last season, but won't be this upcoming season. The team's release, which is copied below, explains it:

KIRKLAND, WASH. - Seahawks fans that normally use King County Metro Transit’s Seahawks game day bus service from park-and-ride lots will need to secure alternate transportation to the preseason games, the team announced today.

This past April, the Federal Transit Administration ruled that if any private bus operators are interested in providing game day transportation services for fans then Metro would not be permitted to operate the bus service. The Seahawks were obligated to negotiate with those charter bus companies.

The Seahawks received one bid which included an increase in passenger fares by $14. In addition, the bid did not include approvals to use roadways, park-and-ride lots and staging areas that are necessary to operate the service safely and effectively.

“We are very disappointed,” said Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke. “We have made the game day experience one of our highest priorities. The bid we received did not address our requirements for a safe, effective or reliable bus plan. We will continue to work toward a resolution to meet the needs of our fans.”

For those impacted fans, the Seahawks recommend using regular Metro service, Sound Transit ST Express buses and the Sounder Train. ST Express buses offer transportation from areas throughout Pierce, King and Snohomish counties with service every 30 minutes and stops within three blocks of Qwest Field.

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August 13, 2008 11:18 AM

The Heater turned back on -- 8.13.2008 A.M. edition

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Rookie linebacker David Hawthorne is back at practice after missing the past three days because of a sore foot. Hawthorne was a standout in the first exhibition game, forcing two fumbles with big-time hits and showing why his nickname is "The Heater."

Lofa Tatupu came up with that nickname, and actually, it's the second moniker he came up with. Tatupu initially tried to tag him as "Heathorne" but that didn't really catch on. The Heater is much more popular.

Patrick Kerney returned to practice Wednesday morning, but only briefly. He took part in drills early in practice, went back into the locker room to be retaped and then came back out toward the end with the rest of the rehabbing players.

The new absence was right tackle Sean Locklear. Coach Mike Holmgren didn't answer questions afterward, and we haven't been given an injury status by the team yet. I'll let you know when they do. Update at 4:39 p.m.: Locklear is out with a sore knee. Apparently he has some tendinitis, but his absence is characterized as more precautionary, just to give Locklear a break.

There was also one roster move: Seattle signed Tim Lindsey, a long-snapper. Rookie Tyler Schmitt is currently out with an injury so Lindsey was signed as a temporary fix for the position. The team terminated the contract of linebacker Eric Wicks to make room for Lindsey.

The other injury to watch is Josh Wilson, who was watching a drill when secondary coach Jim Mora waved him onto the field, and told him to play left cornerback. Well, Wilson promptly gave up a deep ball to Jordan Kent, who caught a precisely thrown pass from Seneca Wallace. Wilson fell to the ground and stayed there, having apparently injured his leg. He watched the rest of practice.

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August 13, 2008 9:39 AM

Picking the drafts apart

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The Seattle Times' Seahawks' coverage today focused upon the fate of recent first-round picks, noting that Marcus Tubbs becomes the latest to leave the team. Here's a link to the story.

An analysis on this sort of topic is usually applied to explain how things go wrong. Certainly, you could use that perspective to explain the struggles of the Rams and the 49ers. The recent failings resulted partly from the failure of first-round picks to pan out.

Now Seattle has only four of its previous 10 first-round picks still on the roster yet the Seahawks have made the playoffs five years running. That success has come in spite of watching those first-round picks depart in one way or another.

I had an E-mail this morning that made a very salient point. What about coaching? Doesn't that have something to do with the success? And yes, it certainly does. That's a very good point so I make a nod to Hackabout1 for his note this morning.

Here's a look at the teams with the highest attrition rate among first-round picks from 2000 to 2008 and the highest retention rates:

The best The worst
1st rd. picks
still on team
1st round
picks gone
1st rd. picks
still on team
1st round
picks gone
Dallas80 N.Y. Jets76
Pittsburgh81 San Francisco66
New England81 St. Louis56
San Diego81 Seattle46
Indianapolis71 Detroit55
Tampa Bay61 Arizona55


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