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

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August 20, 2008 3:21 PM

C.J. Wallace: Innocent of blocking violation

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Safety C.J. Wallace was tagged the guilty party for blowing a block on one of the two punts blocked by the Bears on Saturday. Not so. Wallace wasn't assigned to block that man, someone else was assigned to make that block on the play.

A couple other notes from the special-teams practice: Nate Burleson is the No. 1 receiver, which puts him out of the mix as a punt-returner. That leaves Ben Obomanu, Justin Forsett and Josh Wilson as the top candidates for that position. Marcus Trufant and Seneca Wallace have also caught punts in practice.

As for the kickers, Brandon Coutu and Olindo Mare will mix up responsibilities more in the final two exhibition games. In the first two exhibition games, one was responsible for all field-goal attempts, the other handled kickoffs. Also, Ryan Plackemeier is expected to be ready to punt in Monday's exhibition game.

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August 20, 2008 3:04 PM

Roof it

Posted by Jose Romero

The real fun of special teams practice, which just ended, came after its conclusion. CB Kelly Jennings tried a punt just for fun, whiffing completely on the first one. And then real punters Ryan Plackemeier and Reggie Hodges swung their legs in an effort to blast a punt so high that it would hit the ceiling of the mammoth indoor practice field.

Plackemeier claimed to have hit it already, but that was questioned. He took all the questions out of it, though, this afternoon when he hit the ceiling twice.

Granted, Plackemeier had to kick the ball to the lower part of the ceiling, which slants upward from east to west.
The lowest point of the roof is 95 feet rising to 112.

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August 20, 2008 11:28 AM

Aug. 20 morning practice and updates

Posted by Jose Romero

Rookie DT Red Bryant didn't do much, but he made his first practice appearance since July 30. Bryant needed minor knee surgery and hasn't been able to practice since that procedure.

Looks like Charlie Frye will get the start again on Monday night against the San Diego Chargers. Matt Hasselbeck missed Wednesday's full-team practice (there is special teams in the afternoon) and coach Mike Holmgren said Hasselbeck's back is still "tight and sore."

Holmgren didn't seem too concerned. He feels Hasselbeck will be OK for the start of the regular season, though he added it was too early to say if Hasselbeck will play in the San Diego game.

Holmgren said is encouraged by the progress of C Chris Spencer. But he was ambiguous about WR Deion Branch, who was running backwards up the berm at the new headquarters during practice.

Holmgren told Danny O'Neil this: "I was hoping we'd have him for the first ball game. And I said it before, the important thing is how he feels about it. You come off that particular surgery and it's a bugger, it's tough."

Holmgren said he was hopfeul Branch would be back soon, but wondered how Branch might react when he gets into a game, based on what he has seen from other receivers coming back from ACL surgery.

"It doesn't really matter what I think," Holmgren said. "It's important how he feels and how he's going to do this."

QB Seneca Wallace took some snaps in the team portion of practice. He's been dealing with a sore groin.

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August 20, 2008 9:44 AM

Catching the clues on the receiver debate

Posted by Danny O'Neil

When Seattle traded a first-round pick for the privilege of signing Deion Branch to a six-year, $39 million contract, the Seahawks had Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram from Seattle's Super Bowl season and had signed Nate Burleson as a free agent over the offseason.

Two years later, the Seahawks needs at wide receiver appear more drastic, Joe Horn is a free agent after being released from Atlanta and Anquan Boldin has requested a trade from the Cardinals.

Don't expect the Seahawks to make a move to bring in a veteran, though. For one, the Seahawks have invested a great deal of money in the position with the contracts Branch and Burleson were signed to. Then there's the reality that even if Arizona considers trading Boldin -- something the Cardinals have said they won't -- the team that would acquire him presumably must be willing to rework his contract otherwise the main problem causing Boldin's unhappiness would remain.

Finally, the Seahawks have a group of young wide receivers that they felt so strongly about that they didn't choose a receiver in the draft or sign one in free agency. To think they're now going to press the panic button because Engram's out is a little silly.

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August 20, 2008 9:23 AM

Mike Holmgren provides injury roundup

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Coach Mike Holmgren appeared on Mitch Levy's show on KJR-AM (950) this morning before going out on the field for practice. He discussed some of the personnel specifics at the midway point of the exhibition schedule, and he also rounded up the injuries. Here's a roundup of what Holmgren said to Levy:

  • Center Chris Spencer has shown a great deal of improvement in the recent days and his presence on the practice field Monday was a positive step even though Spencer did not participate in 11-on-11 drills. Holmgren anticipates Spencer will be ready for the regular-season opener in Buffalo, and the coach went so far to joke he would push Spencer of the bus to make sure he was on the field to play.

  • The hope remains that tackle Sean Locklear will be ready for the regular-season opener. If not, Ray Willis will take his place, and Holmgren said Willis graded out pretty well from the exhibition game against Chicago. The issue was penalties.

  • Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck may not play in Monday's exhibition game at San Diego, Holmgren said. Hasselbeck sat out Tuesday's practices after his back tightened up. In most years, the third exhibition game is the one Holmgren plays his starters most extensively. Usually, they remain on the field to start the second half. Not this year, Holmgren said. "We're not doing that," Holmgren told Levy. "With the numbers and injuries we've had, I have to play it a little more carefully." Foremost in that group is Hasselbeck, who may not play. "It's only because he has to be just right for Buffalo," Holmgren said.

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