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

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July 31, 2008 4:56 PM

No update on Red Bryant on Thursday

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The rookie defensive tackle was watching the morning practice wearing glasses, not a helmet. He had a legging on his left leg, and has a sore knee coach Mike Holmgren said will be evaluated further.

Bryant underwent season-ending surgery his junior season at Texas A&M, but that was on his right knee. The legging he wore Thursday indicated this injury was to his left knee.

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July 31, 2008 4:03 PM

Warren Moon apologizes

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Warren Moon, Hall of Fame quarterback and Seahawks radio broadcast, talked about his remorse over two DUI arrests from 2007. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of negligent driving in both incidents, the most recent of which was resolved on Tuesday in Kirkland Municipal Court. The link to the news story can be found here.

Moon remains part of the Seahawks regular-season radio broadcast, and he said Thursday that he was embarrassed by what happened and understands that he can have no more incidents.

Moon: First of all, I want to say I'm just glad to have this whole incident behind me, this whole traffic incident. I have been very hesitant about talking about it just because of the legal ramifications of it. But now that it's kind of behind me, I just want to make a statement how deeply sorry I am, first of all. I'm just sorry that something like this had to happen to me, especially again, because I really look at myself as being a person that has high integrity and high character and I've worked a lot of years to get to that. To have these type of errors in judgment is something that's not part of my character. It's something I’m deeply sorry about. I'm sorry that I've put myself, my family and also the Seahawks organization in this type of position.

Continue reading this post ...


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July 31, 2008 1:08 PM

Patrick Kerney back to practice; Red Bryant out -- 7.31.2008 A.M. practice

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Defensive end Patrick Kerney returned to the practice field, returning from a calf injury he suffered in practice over the weekend. Kerney took part in some individual drills, but wasn't on the field for team practice (Baraka Atkins worked out in his spot).

Defensive tackle Red Bryant did not practice, and coach Mike Holmgren said his knee will be evaluated. Bryant was watching at the beginning of practice, his left leg covered in a black legging. He was wearing glasses.

Also, linebacker Lofa Tatupu was limited in practice, which Holmgren said was because of a "bump or bruise" but he did not specify further. D.D. Lewis worked out in place of Tatupu with the first-unit defense in 11-on-11 drills.

Tatupu did participate in a pass-rush drill in which running backs try to pick up a blitzing linebacker who has a running start. Fullback Leonard Weaver put Matt Castelo on his back, and Holmgren said after practice that Weaver is the best blocker out of the backfield. I'll write more about Weaver later today.

One other clarification: Chris Spencer was on the field for the first practice of training camp, but was limited and he hasn't participated in practice since. The assumption was that it was an issue with his shoulder, which was operated on during the offseason. Holmgren said Thursday that it's Spencer's back, which tightened up that first practice. Neither Spencer nor Chris Gray will participate in Saturday's scrimmage.

Other notes: Kelly Jennings played great coverage on a deep pass thrown to Bobby Engram during a seven-on-seven passing drill ... Ben Obomanu caught a slant over the middle and then juked away from a defender, drawing 'Oooohs' from the offensive teammates watching. Those turned to groans when cornerback Kevin Hobbs poked the ball away from Obomanu. The defense recovered the fumble ... A pass intended for Logan Payne was defended well by safety Jordan Babineaux. The ball hit Payne's hands, but it was the defense on the play that caused the incompletion. And had it been a game, Payne probably would have gotten clobbered by another safety in the middle ... The team worked out in the dime package in the morning, Lawrence Jackson moving inside to tackle with Atkins and Darryl Tapp at the ends. That's something that was speculated about when Seattle drafted Jackson in the first round.

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July 30, 2008 4:06 PM

Josh Wilson: A rookie for at least a few more weeks

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The Seahawks completed a special-teams practice in the afternoon. Not much to report as the work was primarily on kickoff coverage and returns. No place-kicking competitions or punting.

The thing worth noting is Josh Wilson and Jordan Kent were working out together on kickoff return, Justin Forsett and Ben Obomanu were paired together on the other return unit. Julius Jones and Maurice Morris mostly watched during the kick returns.

Wilson and Kent are two of the fastest Seahawks. Kent competed in track at college, and Wilson was an elite Junior Olympics runner. He even remembers his time from high school when he placed second in nationals at the 400 meters.

According to the roster, Wilson is in his second season. According to the veterans, though, he's still a rookie. At least until he reaches the end of the exhibition schedule.

And as a rookie, Wilson was the recipient of some pretty persistent pranks, the most common coming when the clothes hanging in his locker were dropped onto the floor of the locker. In fact, that happened just Thursday to Wilson.

"Still cleaning up my locker," Wilson said. "Picking up my clothes, hangers down and stuff. But you've got to love it. It just shows they care."

At least he's back in one of the permanent wooden lockers reserved for the veterans. Last season he was evicted from his locker along the row of defensive backs. Safety Jordan Babineaux complained Wilson was too messy, his dirty clothes piling up and negatively affecting property values. So Wilson was transplanted among the defensive linemen, but soon enough he was bumped from there, ending up in a black temporary locker with no one to his left or his right.

This season, he's got a more permanent locker right between linebacker D.D. Lewis and cornerback Kevin Hobbs.

"They kind of take care of me," Wilson said.

As for who dumped his clothes on Wednesday, Wilson said he's got a pretty good idea.

"I've got a prime suspect," Wilson said. "No other suspects. I know who did it."

Who?

"I can't give that away because he doesn't know what I know," Wilson said.

Well, Rocky Bernard was one of Wilson's main tormentors a year ago so Wilson was asked if the guilty party went to college in Texas.

"No," Wilson said. "He was a prime suspect before, but not this time. It's another specific guy. Yeah, Pac-10 guys, gotta' love them."

Hmmm, that doesn't narrow it down too much. Fifteen of the 81 players at training camp went to Pac-10 schools.

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July 30, 2008 3:41 PM

DeHaven on long snapping

Posted by Jose Romero

Here's what special teams coach Bruce DeHaven had to say about long snapper Tyler Schmitt, the rookie sixth-round pick who is the only long snapper in camp. The Seahawks are seeking to solidify the position after using three guys last season, the final one being Jeff Robinson.

"The thing I don't hear was that our snapping situation was fixed at the end of the year...Tyler's a rookie and I think he's going to be a pretty good snapper, but he's not where he needs to be yet and we still have a lot of work, so I don't think that I'd say he’s the answer to all our problems there."

The position is critical on field goals and punts and is very specialized. Schmitt needs to develop some consistency, which makes camp crucial for him.

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July 30, 2008 11:57 AM

Kevin Hobbs picks Charlie Frye -- 7.30.2008 A.M. practice

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The morning practice ended with a spirited scrimmage between the third-unit offense and third-unit defense. The first series ended when quarterback Charlie Frye was intercepted by cornerback Kevin Hobbs who jumped in front of Logan Payne to pick off the pass.

Hobbs ran downfield until he was tackle by T.J. Duckett, who made a pretty punishing hit.

The offense moved the ball well on the next series, getting inside the 10 before three plays stalled with a short run by Owen Schmitt, an incomplete pass and then a play in which Frye was flushed from the pocket.

Other notes from the morning practice:

  • LB D.D. Lewis made a great play in coverage, breaking up a pass intended for FB David Kirtman, who was coming out of the backfield. Lewis also was part of a big collision involving RB Julius Jones.

  • Jones is not shy about contact. For the second consecutive day he lowered his shoulder and turned into a collision. On Tuesday, it was Jordan Babineaux. On Wednesday, it was Lewis he ran into.

  • DT Larry Tripplett got penetration on a couple of plays, including the one that ended with Jones colliding with Lewis. The competition for the No. 5 defensive tackle is one of the hot spots on the roster with Tripplett, Howard Green and Marcus Tubbs part of that mix.

  • TE Jeb Putzier did not practice. Update, 2 p.m.: Putzier was out with a sore hip. Neither did LB Wesly Mallard (hamstring), C Chris Spencer (shoulder), WR Courtney Taylor (hamstring), DE Patrick Kerney (calf) and C Chris Gray (back). WR Deion Branch, DT Marcus Tubbs and P Ryan Plackemeier remain on the physically unable to perform list and LB Will Herring has a non-football injury.

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    July 29, 2008 5:30 PM

    K.C. and no sunshine

    Posted by Jose Romero

    I was trying to go for the "K.C. and the Sunshine Band" reference with the title. The K.C. here is veteran Seattle sports broadcaster Kevin Calabro, who is watching practices this week in preparation for his gig as television play-by-play man for the Seahawks' first exhibition game on Aug. 8 at Minnesota.

    Calabro is stepping in for Verne Lundquist for that game only. Lundquist, who will call the second and fourth exhibitions games, has another commitment the weekend of the first game.

    ESPN is handling the third game -- it's a Monday night on national TV Aug. 25.

    As for the sunshine, well, it rained during both practices and was cloudy all day. And for QB Matt Hasselbeck, things just seem quieter around camp this year.

    "We used to have a lot of louder people," Hasselbeck said. "We're in a different environment here. There aren't a lot of fans here and this is not a real media circus like it is in some other camps right now. It's just different. It is quiet here. It's gloomy, it's been raining. [Deep breath here] Just different."

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    July 29, 2008 4:55 PM

    Josh Wilson, Pick Six -- 7.29.2008 P.M. practice

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Josh Wilson's biggest impact as a rookie last season came when he returned a kickoff for a touchdown in St. Louis. He didn't have much of an impact last season as the third cornerback because Jordan Babineaux served as the team's fifth defensive back in nickel packages.

    Now, it's only the first week of training camp, but Wilson is making a pretty big push for more playing time in the defensive backfield. He made plays to bat down three passes on Sunday when the team began practicing in pads, and in the afternoon practice on Tuesday he made a great break, anticipating an out route and intercepting a pass Seneca Wallace intended for Trent Shelton. Now, in some cases, that's the result of a lazy throw. Not this one. Wallace zipped the pass, but Wilson made a great break, picked the ball off and he was gone the other way. It was such a good play that Mike Holmgren complimented Wilson instead of reprimanding Wallace.

    As Wilson ran toward the end zone of the practice field, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck -- who was not on the field for the play -- came sprinting over as if he was going to stop Wilson before he got to the end zone. Nope. Too late. Maybe in Canada, though, where the fields are 110 yards long.

    Coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that Wilson is off to a good start in training camp.

    "He's really a good inside cover guy," Holmgren said. "As your nickel corner, as your third corner to move inside and work in there on the two-way guys like an Engram, that's going to be a strength of his ... That's really where he earns his money, inside."

  • Also worth noting that Jordan Kent was one of the players working out on kickoff return during that portion of practice. WR Michael Bumpus, CB Josh Wilson, WR Ben Obomanu and RB Justin Forsett were the others working on kickoff returns.

  • Punt returns were handled by Ben Obomanu and Justin Forsett and the usual trio of Nate Burleson, Bobby Engram and Seneca Wallace.

    WR Courtney Taylor and LB Wesly Mallard did not practice in the afternoon. Neither did Walter Jones, Ray Willis and Chris Spencer, who are all recovering from offseason surgery.

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    July 29, 2008 12:42 PM

    Brother, can you spare an umbrella

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    [Editor's note: This has been rewritten at the request of Truehawk.] Rookie Red Bryant asked right guard Rob Sims if he had an umbrella. Sims said , 'No,' and laughed. In four years covering the Seahawks, I've never seen one Seahawk ever duck under an umbrella to hide from the rain. Rain is something that they don't mind at all. In fact, it can be a badge of honor. A few years ago, the Seahawks were practicing in the rain and afterward, Robbie Tobeck refused to answer questions from reporters who chose to stand under a tent, out of the rain. The only ones he talked to were those who stood out in the rain and got wet.

    Bryant is a rookie defensive tackle from Texas A&M. He plays with a lot of strength and a little edge to him, but he's a very jovial person. The kind of guy who plays dominoes, not video games, and describes himself as being very country.

    He was also my leader in the clubhouse for being the first participant in a training-camp skirmish because of how hard he plays in practice. Instead, that went to fullback Owen Schmitt who exchanged head slaps with safety Brian Russell during Monday's practice.

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    July 29, 2008 11:48 AM

    Courtney Taylor sits back down -- 7.29.2008 A.M. practice

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Receiver Courtney Taylor was back at practice Tuesday morning after his hamstring tightened up on him during Monday's workout. By the end of the morning practice, though, Taylor was back on the sidelines, watching practice with an ice bag wrapped to his right hamstring. Don't expect him back for the afternoon workout.

    Rookie Justin Forsett was back on the field. He didn't participate in Monday's special-teams practice, watching in a baseball cap. He was back and participating in Tuesday's workout.

    LB Wesly Mallard missed Tuesday's morning practice. Centers Chris Spencer and Chris Gray remain out. WR Deion Branch, DT Marcus Tubbs and P Ryan Plackemeier remain on the physically unable to perform list.

    Some notes from the morning practice:

  • RB Julius Jones turned the corner in one play, got into the secondary and as safety Jordan Babineaux closed in, Jones lowered his shoulder and knocked Babineaux into a somersault. Been a while since we've seen a Seahawks halfback turn into contact instead of away from it.

  • QB Charlie Frye has looked better this training camp, and he had a spot-on fade that he threw to Trent Shelton in the corner of the end zone behind safety Brian Russell, who was in perfect position on the play. Frye's adjustment to the Seahawks has included the center exchanges. No shotgun like he grew accustomed to in college. He's solidly the team's No. 3 quarterback, but he has improved from his time last season.

  • S Kelin Johnson flattened receiver Joel Filani a step out of bounds during the morning practice. Maybe two steps. He was urged to knock that off by several offensive players observing that play.

  • DT Brandon Mebane is an absolute handful during pass-rush drills and watching him go up against Mike Wahle is something to behold. Wahle is a very accomplished professional. Someone who is focused on technique and very earnest in his practice and he you can see him getting frustrated trying to block Mebane. It's very simple physics. Mebane is 6 feet 1, more than 300 pounds and that gives him some serious leverage.

    Here's what Wahle had to say on Monday when asked about blocking Mebane.

    "Getting underneath that guy is very difficult," Wahle said. "There has been a couple times this camp where I've had good hand placement on a pass or a run and then tried to throw him on the ground, like just smash him. His legs just keep moving, which is very, very rare for a guy his size. A lot of talent there for sure."

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    July 29, 2008 9:36 AM

    The Virginia Mason Athletic Center

    Posted by Jose Romero

    Target date for move-in: Aug. 18.

    Danny and I joined others on a tour of the Seahawks' new facility yesterday. It is quite the upgrade from Kirkland, though I have come to enjoy this place whose days are numbered.

    The indoor practice area is as big as a Boeing airport hangar. The team's weight room has garage-style doors that can open on a sunny and warm day. There is extra space everywhere, and even the training and equipment rooms are immense.

    GM Tim Ruskell's corner office is not as big as the one he has in Kirkland but it has a view of Lake Washington on one side and the outdoor practice fields (three of them) on the other.

    Oh yeah...they are building a boat dock along the lake next to the facility.

    We must have walked around the place (in hard hats and orange vests) for a good hour at least. And we didn't see everything.

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    July 28, 2008 5:59 PM

    Seattle's running game: Sharing is caring

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Coach Mike Holmgren reiterated on Monday his desire to split the role of featured back between Maurice Morris and Julius Jones.

    "They're both starting," Holmgren said. "Who runs out of the tunnel, I might alternate that, I don't know."

    It's pretty unequivocal. The story from Monday's newspaper talked about that philosophy and explained how it meshed with a league-wide trend in which fewer backs had an overwhelming workload last season.

    Holmgren said Monday he had talked to both Morris and Jones about that, explaining his hope is that spreading the load can help both Jones and Morris stay healthy.

    OK. So let's check in with Morris and Jones, which we did on Sunday.

    Start with Maurice Morris.

    Q: This whole approach of a two-back system, are you on board or does it matter?

    Maurice Morris: "It doesn't matter in my approach," Morris said. "I approach it the same way I approach these past six years. Just go out there every day, work hard and be prepared to play."

    OK, now for Jones.

    Q: Sharing a role, Holmgren has talked about that. How are you with that?

    Jones:: I don't know anything about sharing a role. I'm just coming out here and practicing every day. That’s really not on my mind right now. It’s really not. I’m new here. I’m still learning the offense and things will work themselves out. But that’s so far from my head right now.

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    July 28, 2008 3:09 PM

    7.28.2008 P.M. -- Special teams practice, C.Taylor, J.Forsett and W.Mallard watching

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    A quick afternoon special-teams practice. WR Courtney Taylor, RB Justin Forsett and LB Wesly Mallard were watching. Taylor and Mallard had hamstring muscles that tightened up during the morning workout. Not sure what's bothering Forsett, but he was watching in a baseball cap.

    Ben Obomanu and Michael Bumpus caught punts during the latter part of the workout, and Bumpus had a hard time holding on. The former WSU receiver dropped several punts, including two in a row.

    Ryan Plackemeier remains out, recovering from pectoral surgery. He's getting closer to coming back, said special teams coach Bruce DeHaven, but his absence certainly isn't helping him. The team wants to see more consistency from Plackemeier this season.

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    July 28, 2008 1:48 PM

    Marshawn Lynch won't be suspended vs. Seattle

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Seattle plays Buffalo in the season-opener for both teams, and there was a question as to whether running back Marshawn Lynch would be suspended for a hit-and-run violation in Buffalo.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicated Monday that Lynch will not be disciplined. Here's a link to that story from the Buffalo News. A Porsche SUV owned by Lynch struck a woman and drove off. Lynch pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and lost his license. He told the judge he did not konw he had struck anyone with his car.

    "I spoke with Marshawn this morning. He understands his responsibility as an NFL player. I think the facts are clear at this point in time and I don't plan any discipline."
      -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Buffalo News

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    July 28, 2008 11:52 AM

    7.28.08 A.M. practice -- Courtney Taylor's hamstring tightens up

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Courtney Taylor's hamstring is not pulled. It's not tweaked. It's not dinged or any of those other words that football coaches throw around to imprecisely diagnose an injury.

    Taylor's hamstring is tight, however, which is why coach Mike Holmgren said the receiver was taking it easy toward the end of Monday's morning practice.

    Center Chris Spencer and backup center Chris Gray remain out, and Holmgren said the pair will miss another five to six days. Gray tweaked his back in practice, Spencer is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Defensive end Patrick Kerney is out with a calf injury.

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    July 28, 2008 8:51 AM

    The mystery of the 81st member of the roster answered

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    It's a question that has kept you up at night, right? A puzzle worthy of some serious CSI attention. How oh how do the Seahawks have 81 players on an 80-man roster.

    OK. So maybe no one really cares all that much or notices, but in the effort of being complete -- if not informationally overbearing -- I have the answer. Offensive lineman Samuel Gutekunst, a friendly enough German who's here in training camp. He's part of the league's international development program and was placed with the Seahawks for this season. He will compete in training camp and be part of the team's practice squad, but he doesn't count against either the 80-man roster limit in training camp or the eight-player allotment for the practice squad.

    So there you go. No you can sleep easier with the mystery of the 81st player solved.

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    July 27, 2008 4:56 PM

    7.27.2008 P.M. update -- Hasselbeck back at practice

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Anyone holding their breath can exhale. Matt Hasselbeck is fine. He was on the field with a little extra wrapping on his left ankle, but otherwise he was fine. There was no apparent effect on any drills.

    The Seahawks practiced in the afternoon without pads. Chris Gray was not on the field, while Chris Spencer, Ray Willis, Walter Jones, Marcus Tubbs and Deion Branch came out to watch practice after their rehab work.

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    July 27, 2008 11:28 AM

    7.27.08 a.m. practice -- Hasselbeck ends up limping, Gray still out

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Seattle held its first pads-only practice. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck came up limping on the second-to-last play of the morning practice. He was not hit on the play, but something happened during his drop back as he went to plant. He limped away from the play, went and sat on a water cooler while talking to the trainer and practice was over. He talked with coach Mike Holmgren after practice, and walked off on his own. He was favoring his left leg, but was not limping terribly.

    The center for the first-unit offense: Steve Vallos, a second-year lineman. Starting center Chris Spencer did not practice, but appeared on the field in a jersey after rehab work. Chris Gray was in shorts and a T-shirt when he walked out of the Seahawks facility early in practice. He tweaked his back during Saturday afternoon's practice and was not on the field Sunday morning.

    Ray Willis and Walter Jones both practiced. Patrick Kerney was in pads early, but was not participating by the end, taking off his pads. He is coming back from offseason shoulder surgery.

    Marcus Tubbs, Deion Branch and Ryan Plackemeier are not practicing. Neither did Will Herring.

    Punter Reggie Hodges was downright impressive this morning with his booming kicks. In one impressive succession of punts, he had punts of 53 yards, 45, 47, 35 and then back up to 50 and those kicks are from the line of scrimmage, not from the point of the punt. The 53-yarder sent Bobby Engram scurrying backward to catch it and it still ended up over his head.

    Lineup updates: I posted some of the information on first-unit and second-unit earlier on Sunday. With both Willis and Jones practicing, it's worth updating.

    1st unit O-line, Sunday A.M.: LT Walter Jones, LG Mike Wahle, C Steve Vallos, RG Rob Sims, RT Sean Locklear.

    2nd unit O-line, Sunday A.M.: LT Floyd Womack/William Robinson, LG Pat Murray, C Mansfield Wrotto, RG Ray Willis, RT Kyle Williams.

    1st unit D-line, Sunday A.M.: LE Baraka Atkins, DT Rocky Bernard, DT Brandon Mebane, RE Darryl Tapp.

    2nd unit D-line, Sunday A.M.: LE Chris Cooper, DT Howard Green, DT Craig Terrill, RE Jason Babin.

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    July 27, 2008 9:23 AM

    Line depth notes

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Here are some observations from the first two days of practice. Note, these are observations, and it reflects the practice repetitions and nothing more. Also, the number of injuries mean that players are constantly being juggled. In short, it's too early to start sketching out a depth chart or talking, rather these notes should provide a general guide for where things stand in roster competition. Most interesting is the defensive tackle spot, which figures to be one of the roster hot-spots.

    Offensive line
    1st team: LT Walter Jones (Ray Willis), LG Mike Wahle, C Chris Gray (Steve Vallos), RG Rob Sims, RT Sean Locklear

    2nd team:LT Floyd Womack (Kyle Williams), LG Samuel Gutekunst, C Mansfield Wrotto, RG Pat Murray, RT William Robinson

    Defensive line
    1st team:LE Patrick Kerney (Baraka Atkins), DT Rocky Bernard, DT Brandon Mebane, RE Darryl Tapp.

    2nd team: LE Jason Babin, DT Howard Green, DT Craig Terrill, RE Lawrence Jackson.

    3rd team: LE Chris Cooper, DT Red Bryant, DT Larry Tripplett, RE Nu'u Tafisi.

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    July 26, 2008 4:48 PM

    Sore back sidelines Chris Gray in the afternoon

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Chris Gray started a team record 121 consecutive games for the Seahawks. That tells you he's not the kind of guy who gets knocked off the field too often.

    He's also 38 and after 16 years of earning a living in the NFL's boiler room as an interior lineman, well, eventually some of those things are going to catch up to you.

    He walked off the field on Saturday afternoon after going down early during the team's second practice of the day, fourth practice of training camp. The team is not required to give an injury report, but indicated that he has a sore back.

    Gray is the Seahawks backup center, and he was working with the first unit on Saturday as starter Chris Spencer missed the day of practice. Spencer is on a limited practice schedule as he comes back from offseason surgery.

    Gray's departure left the Seahawks with Steve Vallos working out at center. Vallos played tackle in college, was drafted with the hope he would play guard and now is working at center. Mansfield Wrotto played center for the second-unit offense after Gray's departure.

    Ray Willis practiced in the afternoon after sitting out the morning session. Patrick Kerney and Walter Jones did not practice in the afternoon.

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    July 26, 2008 1:21 PM

    Position paper: Wide receiver

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    The Seahawks didn't sign a free-agent wide receiver in March, they didn't draft a rookie receiver in April and seven of the 11 wide receivers in training camp were on the team last season.

    No need for introductions, really. Veteran Bryan Gilmore was signed before training camp started and there's a couple new faces like former Cougar Michael Bumpus, but for the most part, the Seahawks have a group of familiar names at the position:

    Returning players New players
    Bobby Engram (12) Joel Filani (1)
    Nate Burleson (5) Michael Bumpus (R)
    Ben Obomanu (2) Trent Shelton (1)
    Courtney Taylor (1) Bryan Gilmore (8)
    Jordan Kent (1)  
    Logan Payne (1)  
    Deion Branch (6)*  
    *On physically unable to perform list

     

    The competition is going to be tight for a spot on the roster. Because Branch's availability will be a question, the Seahawks might be inclined to have some padding on the roster at that position. In the past six years, they've started the season with as many as seven receivers on the roster and as few as five. Here's how the 53-man roster broke down at that position from 2002-2007.

    200720062005
    657
    Deion BranchDarrell JacksonDarrell Jackson
    D.J. HackettBobby EngramBobby Engram
    Nate BurlesonNate BurlesonJoe Jurevicius
    Bobby EngramD.J. HackettD.J. Hackett
    Ben ObomanuMaurice MannJerheme Urban
    Courtney Taylor Alex Bannister
      Peter Warrick
    200420032002
    645
    Koren RobinsonKoren RobinsonKoren Robinson
    Darrell JacksonDarrell JacksonDarrell Jackson
    Bobby EngramBobby EngramBobby Engram
    Alex BannisterAlex BannisterAlex Bannister
    D.J. Hackett James Williams
    Jerheme Urban  

     

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    July 26, 2008 11:39 AM

    John Carlson tries to catch on quick

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Tight end John Carlson was thrust right into the mix on his first practice after reporting. The rookie tight end caught one pass even as safety Deon Grant spun him to the ground.

    He also got a pointer from Julian Peterson, a linebacker who is considered one the best in the business at covering the tight end.

    "When I was on the top of my route, I slowed down a little bit to give a head fake," Carlson said. "He said, 'Just don't do that.' He said I would have beaten him if I had just kept running. It's little things like that that are going to help me make a smoother transition. So I appreciate that."

    Zac Alcorn was not present at the morning workout. The team has not made an announcement regarding Carlson's signing, and it will have to trim one player from the active roster. Looks like that could be Alcorn although he suffered a back injury during Friday's morning practice so maybe he's just injured.

    No significant changes in the practice routine. Walter Jones was on the field for the morning practice, Ray Willis and Chris Spencer were not. Patrick Kerney participated in individual drills, but was limited in the 11-on-11 portion of practice.

    Marcus Tubbs, Deion Branch and Ryan Plackemeier continue rehabilitation while on the physically unable to perform list.

    12:37 p.m.: Carlson's agent has not returned calls regarding the tight end, and the Seahawks do not announce contract terms. Adam Schefter of NFL.com reported the four-year contract totals $4.52 million, with Carlson assured of earning $2.5 million of that.

    Carlson didn't discuss the contract terms, but he did talk about his relief that his introduction to the business end of the NFL is over.

    "Being a rookie, I'm new to the business aspect of the game of football," Carlson said. "Now I can move on, get back in the playbook, get in these meetings this evening and get out on the practice field."

    2:04 p.m.: The Seahawks waived Zac Alcorn to make room for Carlson on the 53-man roster.

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    July 26, 2008 9:26 AM

    John Carlson agrees to terms

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Tight end John Carlson was on the field for stretching at the morning practice, which means the team and his agents reached an agreement on a contract.

    Carlson is the last of Seattle's rookies to agree to terms and he missed only one day of practice. No word on the terms of the deal yet. In fact, the team hasn't announced the signing, but his presence on the field shows there is an agreement in place.

    The team will have to cut one player to make room for Carlson on the 80-man roster. There's no announcement on who that player will be.

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    July 26, 2008 9:01 AM

    Nate Burleson still gets a kick out of returns

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    As a starting receiver, Nate Burleson already has a pretty full plate of responsibility. That's why coach Mike Holmgren previously floated the possibility of taking Burleson off punt-return duty.

    "For me, like I told Mike, I'm open and willing to try and juggle both returns and being the starting receiver," Burleson said.

    That's quite a change from the attitudes of some players. Former UW Husky Jerome Pathon comes to mind. He was at Seahawks training camp in 2005, and playing on special teams was a sticking point with him. He wasn't altogether pleased about it. He missed one special-teams meeting, which may have been a miscommunication or it may have reflected his lack of enthusiasm for that endeavor. Either way, he ended up waived before the regular season began.

    Burleson, Bobby Engram and Seneca Wallace fielded punts in the special-teams drills at practice Friday afternoon.

    "I really don't want to relinquish the punt returns position," Burleson said. "For one, it's just such an adrenaline rush. It's a big part of a game. It's such a great momentum swing. And two, it was a big part of me getting my confidence back when I switched teams, coming in here to Seattle, struggling with my thumb and the confidence issues. That was one thing that helped me find myself a little bit, find an identity on this team."

    Maybe adding punt returns to starting at split end is too taxing, and Burleson confessed that if the coaches make the decision that he'll play receiver exclusively, that's their discretion and he even brought up the possibility of being used occasionally on returns as Brian Westbrook was.

    "But at the same time, I know it's going to take some wear and tear on my body," Burleson said. "Pretty much, I'm just open and willing to do whatever. They want to utilize me as a situational guy, kind of like Westbrook was in Philadelphia, I'm up for that, too. "

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    July 25, 2008 4:55 PM

    Afternoon attendance

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Ray Willis was on the field, participating in practice after sitting out the morning session. Center Chris Spencer and tackle Walter Jones were not. That's going to be standard-operating procedure this training camp as coach Mike Holmgren indicated those three will be taking a more reserved practice program.

    The only injury subtraction from the afternoon was tight end Zac Alcorn, who appeared to injure his back during the morning session. He did not participate in the afternoon practice.

    Will Herring update: The second-year linebacker is on the list for non-football injuries, and the training-room lingo for his status is that he's being evaluated and tested to determine the cause of reoccurring joint inflammation.

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    July 25, 2008 12:14 PM

    There's no nostalgia to this. Not yet.

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    The question was straightforward enough.

    Coach Mike Holmgren was asked about the kicking competition.

    His answer took a few sharp turns before characterizing last season's long-snapping fiasco as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride from the Wind in the Willows.

    Two hours into the first day of his final season and already the Seahawks coach was in midseason form. The big man even showed some mobility in the pocket when the topic turned to Brett Favre and reports the he's going to show up at Packers training camp on Saturday. Holmgren was asked to put himself in the Packers' shoes.

    "I don't have to," Holmgren said.

    Nope, certainly not, but if you were in that situation?

    "I'm going to stay away from that one, OK?" Holmgren said. "I know everybody, they're friends of mine. I have great fondness for everybody involved in that thing. We're going to deal with the Seahawks."

    Fair enough. Nine minutes later, he reacted to another blitz when he was asked putting the Packers aside, if he was surprised at anything regarding Favre.

    The coach lowered his head, raised his eyes and delivered a punchline.

    "You misunderstood me," Holmgren said. "I'm sorry. I'm not talking about any of that."

    Holmgren, he's the coach whose comic timing says so much even when he's saying nothing. Someone who can make a routine Q&A after the first of 43 training-camp practices into something that's at least a little entertaining.

    He is earnest, he is honest and he'll make any press conference at least a little more enjoyable. On Friday, he was asked if he remembered what it was like back in 1999 when he arrived, the grand poobah of all things football for the Seahawks.

    "It was certainly an adventure," Holmgren said. "It's hard to believe it has been 10 years. But it's the same for me. It has been honestly the same every year, the start of training camp. This time of the year, getting all the players in here and getting going again, and anticipating a great season, that's always very exciting. That's why I've been able to do it for a long time."

    Just don't think he's going to get too nostalgic. Not yet at least. Maybe when things get closer to the end. But on this morning, it was one more start to one final season in charge of the Seahawks, but did he find himself thinking about this being the start to one final lap?

    "Honestly, no," Holmgren said. "But I will admit to the fact I've had a little talk with myself about that. That doesn't help anybody if I'm thinking about it. At the end, there will be some time, I'm sure that I'm thinking about it. But for now, it's a new year. I'm the same person. My staff clearly understands that, the players understand it. Business as usual."

    So that's what he said to himself, right?

    "Well, of course, my wife chirped in a little bit," he said.

    Cue the laughter because this coach knows how to perform.

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    July 25, 2008 11:56 AM

    Morning attendance

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    The only absence was tight end John Carlson, who is the lone remaining Seahawk draft pick who is unsigned.

    With the signings of rookies Red Bryant, Owen Schmitt and Lawrence Jackson, releasing defensive tackle Kevin Brown, fullback Dan Curran and safety Mike Green to make room. Green was with the Seahawks for two years. He suffered a season-ending foot injury in an exhibition game in 2006 and played as a backup fullback last season. He underwent three surgeries this offseason before being let go.

    Bobby Engram was at practice. That was something that was expected, though, and he told Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley several weeks ago.

    Linebacker Will Herring was not practicing. Coach Mike Holmgren was not specific in what is affecting Herring, indicating it was an illness that is affecting him. It is not a football injury that is affecting him.

    Wide receiver Deion Branch was on the field for individual workouts. He did agility drills and caught some passes, and Holmgren said afterward the hope is Branch will be ready for the first regular-season game.

    Marcus Tubbs and Ryan Plackemeier are also recovering from injuries. Holmgren said Plackemeier is able to punt and should be back in a week or two. With Tubbs, Holmgren said the goal is to have him ready for the first regular-season game.

    Center Chris Spencer did not participate in much of practice. Neither did lineman Ray Willis. Both are recovering from offseason surgery, and Holmgren indicated their practice time will be limited in training camp.

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    July 25, 2008 9:29 AM

    Lawrence Jackson on the field for practice

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    The Seahawks have reached an agreement with their first-round pick, Lawrence Jackson, who's ready to be on the field for the first practice. The parameters for this deal were put in place when the players taken both before and after Jackson reached agreements on Thursday.

    There has been no announcement of the signing, which means that the final paperwork hasn't been filed, but Jackson's presence on the field indicates that they've reached an accord. No contract specifics at this time, but again, the final paperwork isn't even in.

    The agreement is believed to be a five-year deal that totals $11.25 million with about half of that guaranteed.

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    July 24, 2008 2:49 PM

    Action on Jackson?

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Nothing yet as of mid-Thursday afternoon, but the players chosen in front of and behind Seattle's first-round Lawrence Jackson reached agreements on contracts. That should pave the way for an agreement between Jackson and the Seahawks.

    Antoine Cason agreed to a five-year, $12.1 million contract with San Diego, according to the NFL Network's Adam Schefter. Cason was the 27th pick, chosen one player in front of Jackson.

    The player chosen immediately after Jackson -- defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer -- reached a five-year agreement with San Francisco though the San Francisco Chronicle reported that terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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    July 24, 2008 2:29 PM

    M.Tubbs, D.Branch and R.Plackemeier expected to be sidelined

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Seahawks players report for training camp Thursday with the first practice set for Friday morning at 9:15. Wide receiver Deion Branch, defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs and punter Ryan Plackemeier are expected to be on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. The status of linebacker Will Herring is a question, too.

    What does that mean? Not too much. At least not yet. Branch underwent reconstructive knee surgery after tearing a knee ligament in the playoff loss to Green Bay and it has been very clear that his training-camp status would be a question mark. Ditto for Tubbs after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery following his reconstructive surgery last fall.

    Being on the PUP list to start camp isn't a huge deal. Whenever they pass a physical exam, they can join the team on the practice field. Tubbs started out last season on the PUP list and then got going later in training camp before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

    The question will come if they're still on the PUP list when the roster gets cut down to 53 players before the season, though, that means they will miss at least the first six weeks before they can be activated.

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    July 24, 2008 12:26 PM

    Holdout history

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    The Seahawks are a day away from the first training-camp practices of the season and neither of their top two draft picks are under contract yet. Agents for Lawrence Jackson and tight end John Carlson continue to negotiate with the team.

    That's pretty standard, really. Four of the team's last five first-round picks were a few days late reporting to training camp. That's an improvement from early in Mike Holmgren's tenure with Seattle when he experienced a couple of prolonged holdouts.

    YearFirst-round pickDays in holdout
    2006CB Kelly Jennings2
    2005C Chris Spencer5
    2004DT Marcus Tubbs8
    2003DB Marcus Trufant0
    2002TE Jerramy Stevens4
    2001WR Koren Robinson0
    2001OL Steve Hutchinson0
    2000RB Shaun Alexander0
    2000OL Chris McIntosh22
    1999DE Lamar King11

     

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    July 23, 2008 8:27 PM

    Position paper: Linebacker

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Training camp is days away, but we'll get a running start by offering a rough sketch of the roster and how it breaks down position by position.

    Let's start in the middle. In the middle of the defense that is, looking at the unit that was considered the weak point of the defense when Tim Ruskell took over as president in 2005 and is now a strength with a pair of Pro Bowlers in Julian Peterson and Lofa Tatupu and then there's Leroy Hill, a player whom some consider to be one of the more overlooked stars in the league.

    The Seahawks have nine linebackers curently on the roster for training camp. Here's a breakdown with seasons of NFL experience listed in parentheses:

    Returning players New players
    Lofa Tatupu (3) Wesly Mallard (5)
    Julian Peterson (8) D.D. Lewis (6)
    Leroy Hill (3) Matt Costelo (R)
    Lance Laury (2) David Hawthorne (R)
    Will Herring (1)  

     

    Now, here's a quick sketch of the roster history over the past six seasons, which shows that Seattle generally has seven linebackers on its final 53-man roster. That means there are four players competing for a total of two spots on the 53-man roster.

    200720062005
    777
    Lofa TatupuLofa TatupuLofa Tatupu
    Julian PetersonJulian PetersonJamie Sharper
    Leroy HillLeroy HillD.D. Lewis
    Kevin BentleyKevin BentleyLeroy Hill
    Niko KoutouvidesNiko KoutouvidesNiko Koutouvides
    Lance LauryIsaiah KacyvenskiKevin Bentley
    Will HerringD.D. LewisIsaiah Kacyvenski
    200420032002
    787
    Orlando HuffAnthony SimmonsAnthony Simmons
    Isaiah KacyvenskiRandall GodfreyIsaiah Kacyvenski
    Chad BrownChad BrownChad Brown
    Niko KoutouvidesD.D. LewisMarcus Bell
    Solomon BatesOrlando HuffOrlando Huff
    Tracy WhiteIsaiah KacyvenskiTim Terry
    Anthony SimmonsTracy WhiteD.D. Lewis
     Solomon Bates 

     

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    July 22, 2008 11:36 PM

    Seahawks new home

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Seattle begins training camp Friday in a familiar setting: Kirkland. The team's new headquarters will be waiting though and the team will make that a new home during training camp.

    The team's official site has an explanation of the benefits of the new facility. Here's a link to the story.

    "We’ll find out what kind of effect it has on free agency. We want players to realize it’s a building they can work in and live in year round. We want players coming to Seattle when they see we have the best facility in the NFL."
        -- Tim Ruskell, Seahawks president

    The story says that the first meals are slated to be served up on Aug. 17 so that's a date to circle on when the Seahawks are expecting to relocate in Renton along the shore of Lake Washington. Want a look sooner? There's also a photo gallery on the team's site.

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    July 22, 2008 7:20 PM

    Lawrence Jackson remains unsigned

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson, Seattle's first-round pick, hasn't signed. That's not unusual, though. So far, only seven of the 31 players taken in the first round of April's draft have signed an agreement. Here's a link to the list of first-round signees from the league's official Web site.

    Tight end John Carlson -- Seattle's second-round pick -- also remains unsigned. Agreements with fourth-round pick Red Bryant and fifth-rounder Owen Schmitt are in place, but have not been announced by Seattle so the paperwork may not be final yet.

    The status of those picks is something that will be monitored closely over the next few days.

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    July 18, 2008 12:58 PM

    Lofa Tatupu "haunted" by DUI arrest

    Posted by Jose Romero

    The Seahawks linebacker said he was "haunted" by his DUI arrest during an interview with KJR-AM's Dave "Softy" Mahler on Friday.

    Tatupu apologized again and promised it would never happen again. He said players are role models and he is proud of being one. See this story for more.

    Tatupu has fast become a star and one of the Seahawks' most popular players, and is a face of the team. So image, like they say in that old camera commercial, is everything.

    Tatupu was to have served his sentence of one day in jail before the start of training camp, which opens a week from today.

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    July 16, 2008 4:12 PM

    Preliminary training camp info

    Posted by Jose Romero

    The Seahawks have made it official...the first training camp practice is Friday, July 25, starting at 9:15 a.m., at Kirkland team headquarters. Practices there are not open to the public.

    It will be two-a-day sessions until Aug. 2, when the annual intrasquad scrimmage is held at Qwest Field. The first practice in pads is on the morning of Sunday, July 27.

    Camp breaks after the morning practice on Aug. 21, a Thursday.

    More on the scrimmage: It begins at 11 a.m. on Aug. 2. Should last about an hour and a half. Tickets go on sale starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster outlets and ticketmaster.com . Prices are $12for adults, $5 for youth ages 6-17, and kids under age 5 get in free. Gates to the stadium open at 9 a.m. that day.

    More from an official statement from the team on the scrimmage:
    "All proceeds from the scrimmage will benefit 'Play It Smart' programs in King & Pierce Counties. The Seahawks, in partnership with the National Football Foundation, fund 'Play It Smart' programs at Clover Park and Rainier Beach High Schools during the 2008-09 school year."

    "'Play It Smart' is an educational program designed to transform student-athletes' passion for sport and intense dedication to their team into a force for greater good in their lives... "

    "Prior to the scrimmage, the team will host a two-hour Gatorade Jr. Training Camp (ages 8-14) at 8 a.m. Participants will have the chance to work with local high school coaches to learn football fundamentals, techniques and skills. Participants must register through seahawks.com. Campers will be admitted into the scrimmage for free. Parents/guardians of the campers must have a ticket to attend the scrimmage.

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    July 15, 2008 2:43 PM

    Stop: Hammer time

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Dallas re-signed safety Ken Hamlin, giving him a six-year contract that totals $39 million. The Associated Press reports the deal includes a $9 million signing bonus and about $15 million Hamlin is guaranteed to see. A link to the full story is right here.

    Hamlin left the Seahawks for Dallas in 2007, but only after Seattle had signed Deon Grant and Brian Russell in a single 24-hour span. That made it clear the Seahawks were upgrading the safety play.

    Well, Hamlin went to Dallas, made the Pro Bowl his first season as a Cowboy and now has a big contract extension.

    And for all his success, there has been almost no bemoaning Hamlin's departure here in Seattle. Why? Well, some of that is because the Seahawks allowed a league-low 15 touchdown passes in the regular season. The other is that Seahawk fans don't have amnesia. They remember all those over-the-top passes Seattle allowed in 2006, especially the bomb to Bernard Berrian in the divisional playoffs.

    Well, there's a reference to the move in the Seahawks chapter in "Pro Football Prospectus 2008" -- which I find to be a great resource, by the way. Here's a link to it on Amazon.com. Here's the excerpt:

    "Like almost everyone on the Cowboys last year, Hamlin made the Pro Bowl, but astute Dallas fans may now realize why the Seahawks did not make a concerted effort to re-sign him: Yes, Hamlin hits hard when he's in position, but there are plenty of times when he takes the wrong angle and lets his assigned receiver burn him deep. That never happens with Grant, although he must get frustrated watching his backfield companion Brian Russell whiff on tackles so frequently."

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    July 15, 2008 11:08 AM

    Bobby Engram talks with The Seattle Times' Steve Kelley

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Meant to post this on Sunday, but somehow it didn't get published, so belatedly, just want to make sure to point everyone toward the column Steve Kelley wrote on Bobby Engram, which was published on Sunday.

    The column thoroughly discussed Engram's feelings, but it also underscored that he intends to report when training camp begins at the end of this month.

    "I'll be ready to go. I'm going to be me. I'm going to be ready to work hard, because I don't hold any bitterness. I'm not going to be upset about something that didn't happen. Everybody has to handle his business individually, but I realize nobody is bigger than the team."
        -- Bobby Engram

    The news isn't a total shock. Engram is under contract so he would be subject to fines were he not to report to a mandatory workout. More importantly, however, had he held out that would have given more practice repetitions to younger players like Logan Payne and Courtney Taylor. That would be an opportunity to not only work with the first-team offense, but to gain the trust of coaches and quarterback.

    But that's all idle talk at this point because Engram said he intends to be at training camp to pick up where he left off last year in what was a career season.

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    July 14, 2008 7:22 PM

    Seahawks set to sign O. Schmitt

    Posted by Jose Romero

    Owen Schmitt, the fullback and fifth-round draft pick from West Virginia, has agreed to terms of a contract with the Seahawks, and an announcement should come as soon as tomorrow.

    It's likely a four-year deal.

    That would make four picks signed -- Schmitt, LS Tyler Schmitt, K Brandon Coutu and RB Justin Forsett.

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    July 11, 2008 2:37 PM

    Favre asks out of Green Bay

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    It was an emotional moment for Brett Favre, a time when he talked about his belief that he wouldn't be back for another football season.

    His teary-eyed March press conference? No. Try three years ago on Jan. 1 aboard the Seahawks team plane when he hopped on board and told his former coach, Mike Holmgren, that was it. He was done.

    Well, he changed his mind that time, coming back to play in 2006. And Favre's apparently done changed his mind again. He retired back in March, but now he wants back in. He indicated it first with a text message, now a formal letter and finally a press-release response from the Green Bay Packers saying that Favre could apply to the commissioner for reinstatement and at that point he would return to the Packers active roster.

    So what will happen then? That's up for speculation.

    There is a connection between Favre and Holmgren and some may wonder if a reunion is in order, but there's no way that move makes sense for either the Seahawks or for Favre. First, Seattle has a quarterback. A very good one in fact. Matt Hasselbeck is coming off what was probably the best season of his career when you consider the Seahawks' overall lack of a running game. Hasselbeck passed proficiently even though everyone knew he was going to pass.

    Continue reading this post ...


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    July 10, 2008 12:14 PM

    Seahawks make changes in personnel scouting assignments

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    The team sent out an announcement regarding some changes in the front office. The Seahawks added Matt Berry, who previously worked for the Falcons, to serve as their southwest area scout. Ed Dodds will move from pro personnel assistant to midwest area scout, and Eric Stokes -- previously the team's midwest scout -- will now be the West Coast scout. Mike Phair, the team's previous West Coast scout, will join the coaching staff this season, working on defense.

    Got all that? OK, good. Last thing, Jason Barnes becomes the pro personnel assistant.

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    July 9, 2008 4:19 PM

    Dilfer ready to hang 'em up

    Posted by Jose Romero

    I think it's safe to say that Trent Dilfer still has a place in a lot of Seahawks' fans hearts for his efforts on the field and the tragedy of his young son Trevin's death in April 2003.

    Dilfer has persevered and forged a 13-year NFL career that included four seasons in Seattle -- 2001 to 2004 -- and certainly played a part in building the confidence of and mentoring QB Matt Hasselbeck, who is today one of the NFL's best.

    Plus Dilfer is, as a person who shall remain nameless (Initials D.O.) says, "straight outta Aptos," as in the town of Aptos, Calif., a sleepy hamlet along California's Central coast.

    These days Dilfer, 36, is headed for retirement from the game, which he discussed in a conference call with reporters today in Stateline, Nev., at the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament at Lake Tahoe.

    An injured Achilles just made the decision come faster. You might remember that crazy Dallas game in 2002 (my first season covering the team, by the way) when Dilfer started, tore his Achilles early in the game and was replaced by Hasselbeck, who has held the starting QB job except for injury ever since. That game was also the one in which Emmitt Smith broke the NFL record for career rushing yards and when former Seattle WR Darrell Jackson suffered a seizure in the locker room after the game.

    But back to Dilfer...

    "I was going to retire anyway. This just gives clarity to the situation. There will be a formal announcement in the next few days about that," Dilfer said. "And I'm just really thrilled and looking forward to what's next for me. And obviously miss football. It's been a huge part of my life. But from here on out I'm excited about the possibilities and looking forward."

    Dilfer is married with three daughters and said he's thinking about living in Tahoe year-round.

    Dilfer was also asked about his football memories. Here's on from his time in Baltimore, where he won a Super Bowl after the 2000 season.

    "My fondest memory is probably the AFC championship game, going back home to Oakland and playing in front of so many friends and family and winning the way we did."

    "You have to go back and remember that season. They were the favorites from the AFC and one of the hottest teams going in and nobody gave us much of a chance. So to beat them the way we did, and to make the big play with Shannon [Sharpe] and to do it in front of so many friends and family was probably the highlight."

    Added Dilfer about what he would miss: "The camaraderie. I think everybody I talked to says that that's about the hardest thing to get away from, is just the locker room, just being around the guys each day, the routine of the season. And then just being part of the team. Being part of the team is a special thing."

    "And that's what I've always enjoyed most about football, the team sport. And so that's going to be very difficult. But I knew this time was coming, and here it is. So it's a hill you've got to climb."


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    July 9, 2008 1:44 PM

    OMG ... Favre 2 return??

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    These are a few of the slowest weeks in the NFL schedule. Rosters are set for the most part, coaches are holding their breath that no other players land in hot water and training camp is still a few weeks away.

    So consider the surprise over the suddenly simmering question about Brett Favre's un-retirement. Now let's not get into the whole question of whether a person can un-retire before he's actually even missed a game because of retirement because there's something much more pressing. Favre communicated his potential return the same way teenagers talk about going to the mall: text message. At least that's what ESPN.com has been reporting. Here's a link to the story right here.

    I can't stop laughing at the idea of quarterback Brett Favre texting Ted Thompson to ask about coming back to the field. If he's sending a text, he's got Thompson's phone number, right? But maybe Favre just prefers to let his thumbs do the talking, which brings up the next question. Did he use text shorthand?

    FAVRE: BTW I'm thinking about coming back. Rgds, B.F.#4

    THOMPSON: ?

    FAVRE: Kinda bored. Would like to come off retired list.

    THOMPSON: OMG!! R u serious?

    FAVRE: Yes. Want 2 B a QB again.

    THOMPSON: LOL. 2 b continued.

    FAVRE: l8r

    Now I'm all for technology. I've got a smart phone, email and just last week I managed to log my computer onto a wireless network in France. But does a Hall of Fame quarterback really need to use text messaging to talk to the general manager of the team he played for?

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    July 8, 2008 12:38 PM

    Seahawks, the unchosen ones

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Michael Lombardi formerly worked in the Raiders front office and spent some time with the Broncos last season. Well, he's been writing a "Frankly Football" column for CNNSI.com this offseason, and I came across a 53-man roster he picked that fit under the league's salary cap.

    He included no Seahawks. If you want to double check, here's the link to the story. He picked five players apiece from the Packers, Giants and Jaguars and even chose three from the Raiders, but no Seahawks. Not that this could be a complete shock that Lombardi is not enamored with the Seahawks personnel decisions. After all, he is apparently uncertain of how to spell the last name of the fellow who picks the players, referring to "Tim Ruskill, the president and GM" in a story he wrote last month that you can read here.

    Bucky Brooks also compiled a 53-man roster for CNNSI.com. Like Lombardi, no Seahawks. His list is linked right here. Brooks picked his share of Chargers -- six of them, in fact -- and plucked five Panthers off the Charlotte roster. No Seahawks, though.

    There were only two teams that didn't have a player included on either list: the Seahawks and the Dolphins. Well, one of those teams won one game last season and the other has made the playoffs five seasons running. Go figure.

    Now, those lists don't reflect skill or talent, but are based on the value of a given player at a given salary-cap number. It will inevitably favor standout players who are still playing on rookie contracts and were not drafted too highly. That's where you get the most bang for your buck. But it is amazing that neither personnel guru found a single Seahawk they wanted at his 2008 price.

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    July 8, 2008 11:51 AM

    The fine print of Lofa Tatupu's guilty plea

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Lofa Tatupu pleaded guilty to driving under the influence for his offseason DUI arrest. José Miguel Romero reported the story in today's paper, which is linked right here. Tatupu will serve one day in jail and have the remaining 364 days of his sentence suspended and he will be on probation for five years, said Sarah Roberts, the Kirkland prosecutor.

    According to the terms of the sentence, he must not drive without a valid license, must have no criminal law violations and was ordered not to refuse an officer's request for a breath test if there is reasonable suspicion. Also, Tatupu's license will be suspended for 90 days and he is ordered to comply with the Department of Licensing regarding any order for an ignition interlock system.

    Permalink/Comments (8) | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

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