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Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
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August 31, 2006

Thoughts from the exhibition finale

Posted by Jose Romero at 9:45 PM

First of all, the once-vaunted Raiders, are barely a shadow of their former selves. They were outgained 360 to 104 in total offense and had just 39 rushing yards.

Oakland gained 72 yards on one punt return.

Several Seahawks made cases to remain on the final 53-man roster, which will be decided by Saturday morning. Other players could find a place on Seattle's eight-man practice squad when all the cuts are final and waivers are cleared.

WR Maurice Mann finished off a good exhibition season with four catches for 25 yards. His 10 receptions for 90 yards in the four games made him Seattle's leading receiver.

RB Marquis Weeks had 22 carries for 78 yards, giving him a better shot at making the team.

WRs Justin Surrency and C.J. Jones each made a difficult catch in the fourth quarter. Both can be return specialists -- Surrency was punt returner in the second half -- and could be candidates for the Seahawks' eight-man practice squad.

DL Chris Cooper made some nice plays to thwart runs in the backfield and appears to have improved his chances to make the team.

A couple of other things to ponder: The Seahawks finished 2-2 in the exhibition season, which was their record last year. A good sign? We'll see.

And tonight was kind of special for me, as I met one of my sports heroes, former Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett. He was in the press box. We spoke briefly, and I told him that his autobiography was one of the first big books I read when I was a kid.

How much are the Seahawks worth?

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 3:54 PM

According to the annual Forbes magazine list of NFL team values, the Seahawks are now worth $888 million, which is $10 million below the average team.

This year the average NFL team's worth is 212 percent more than when Forbes began calculating team values eight years ago. The Seahawks rank 16th of the 32 teams. No. 1 is Washington, valued at $1.4 billion. Bringing up the rear is Minnesota at $720 million

Paul Allen purchased the Seahawks for $194 million in 1997.

The value breakdown include three areas: sport (the portion of the franchise's value attributable to revenue sharing); market (the portion attributable to its stadium; and brand management (portion attributable to its brand).

The Seahawks were valued at $823 million last year in Forbes ratings.

For more information, go to www.forbes.com.

An oversight

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:36 PM

Thanks to a reader named Michael, who e-mailed me about my story on Joe Tafoya in today's Times.

I asserted that the Seahawks have seven defensive linemen who are virtual locks to make the roster. Let's make it eight with defensive tackle Craig Terrill, whom Michael correctly pointed out I did not mention.

That means Tafoya might very well have to surpass Chris Cooper, and that's only assuming the Seahawks keep nine defensive linemen.

We'll see who steps up and plays big tonight in the last opportunity to shine for a roster spot. Keep an eye on Cooper (No. 92), Tafoya (No. 69), LB Lance Laury (No. 47), LB Isaiah Kacyvenski (No. 58), LB Cornelius Wortham (No. 50), S Oliver Celestin (No. 40), S Etric Pruitt (No. 35), TE Matt Murphy (No. 89), WR Maurice Mann (No. 17), WR Ben Obomanu (No. 87), FB David Kirtman (No. 34) and RB Josh Scobey (No. 33). Those players are on the bubble to make the final 53-man roster.

Hawks odds

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:30 PM

For those of you who are into these kinds of things, here are some odds for the Seahawks courtesy of Bodog, an online sports betting service:
Odds to win Super Bowl:11/1
Odds to win NFC: 4/1
Odds to win NFC West: 1/3

Win totals
Seahawks over 10 1-2 regular-season wins: -125
Seahawks under 10 1-2 regular-season wins: -105

Player performance odds (all odds open at -120, unless otherwise noted)
How many passing yards will Matt Hasselbeck throw for during the regular season?
Over/under: 3,700 yards

How many TD passes will Hasselbeck throw in the regular season?
Over/under: 24 1/2 TD passes

How many yards will Shaun Alexander rush for during the regular season?
Over/under: 1,700 yards

How many rushing touchdowns will Alexander score during the regular season?
Over/under: 22

How many receiving yards will Darrell Jackson get during the regular season?
Over/under: 1,120 yards

How many receiving touchdowns will Jackson score during the regular season?
Over/under: 7

Which Seahawk will have more sacks during the regular season?
Rocky Bernard: 11/10
Grant Wistrom: 11/10
Bryce Fisher: 3/2

August 30, 2006

Odds in Alexander's favor

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 2:46 PM


Shaun Alexander, last season's MVP, is the early betting favorite to capture the NFL's regular season rushing title, with 7-2 odds from Sportsbook.com.

Kansas City's Larry Johnson, comes in next at 4-1 odds, and then the Giants' Tiki Barber, at 6-1.

Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning is the early favorite to pass for the most yards during the regular season, at 9-2. Two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady is next at 5-1, followed by Kurt Warner (8-1), Trent Green (8-1), Carson Palmer (10-1) and Matt Hasselbeck (10-1).

Receivers were too close to call, apparently. Fur players were tied at the top with 7-1 odds: Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Steve Smith and Larry Fitzgerald.

August 29, 2006

Boulware, Morris back

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:39 PM

Starting safety Michael Boulware, who didn't practice Monday, was back in action this afternoon at team headquarters. So was backup running back Maurice Morris, who rested a sore ankle Monday.

Coach Mike Holmgren hasn't decided yet if second-year quarterback David Greene, who now is the team's third quarterback, will get to play in the first half Thursday night in the Seahawks' exhibition finale. Look for it to happen, though, or look for backup Seneca Wallace to leave the game sooner after he relieves starter Matt Hasselbeck.

The starters will play about a quarter, Holmgren said.

Center Robbie Tobeck isn't likely to play again until the regular-season opener Sept. 10, Holmgren said. Tobeck is coming back from elbow surgery.

The Seahawks will have their final 53-man roster set by Sept. 2. In looking at the roster on the surface, it appears that the decisions on whom to keep will be made at wide receiver, running back, safety and defensive line.

The Seahawks could keep an extra back or receiver but would have to give up a spot at another position to do so.

August 28, 2006

Cuts are coming

Posted by Jose Romero at 6:17 PM

The roster cuts have yet to be officially announced, but roll call at practice revealed the 15 missing players. The Seahawks had to cut at least 14 players by Tuesday.

Gone are the following: P Gabe Lindstrom; QB Gibran Hamdan; WRs Taco Wallace, Tony Brown and Keenan Howry; CBs Lance Frazier and Reggie Austin; FS Brandon Haw; FB Ran Carthon; FS Shaunard Harts; TE Keith Willis; LB Evan Benjamin (formerly of the UW); C Taylor Schmidt; OG Jeff Bolton and DT Alex Guerrero.

The Seahawks waived one extra player than required because they are believed to have used that roster spot to sign free agent tight end Leonard Stephens, who most recently was in the Tampa Bay Bucanneers' training camp. The team's top two tight ends, Jerramy Stevens and Itula Mili, are out for some time with injuries.

The signing of Stephens, who is 6-foot-3 and 258 pounds and played five games for Washington in 2002, has yet to be made official.

Hamdan's release was a bit of a surprise given his training camp effort. It means that second-year pro David Greene has a firm grip on the No. 3 quarterback job for now, despite struggling in the exhibition season and camp.

August 26, 2006

Viva los Seahawks!

Posted by Jose Romero at 7:37 PM

OK, the Seahawks, to my knowledge, have yet to sell Spanish-language merchandise at the team pro shop. But it sells pretty good down here in San Diego Charger Land, where one of the most popular T-shirts for sale says "Viva Los Chargers!" with a Mexican flag underneath a Chargers lightning bolt logo.

Makes sense. After all, Mexico is just a few miles south of here.

Looks like Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack will start tonight, his first of the exhibition season. Also, Rocky Bernard and Grant Wistrom worked with the No. 1 defense in warmups before tonight's game and figure to start.

I ran into Karen Tafoya, mother of Seahawks defensive end Joe Tafoya, and we spoke briefly before leaving our hotel for the game. She's obviously thrilled to see her son play tonight for the first time in the exhibition season. She drove all the way from Pittsburg, Calif., in the East Bay Area, to see her son play.

Joe and I practice a couple of Spanish words on one another every so often. It was nice to see another part of his life.

August 24, 2006

Hasselbeck a fashion model

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 2:38 PM


Matt Hasselbeck will team up with Sports Illustrated and Perry Ellis for a fashion event from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the downtown Macy's, on the men's metro level. The event is free.

And before Hasselbeck begins to feel too cocky about becoming a Seattle fashion icon, he might note that Perry Ellis is doing the same thing Aug. 28 in Pittsburgh -- with Steeler Troy Polamalu.

Rice retires

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:32 PM

Former Seahawk WR Jerry Rice has announced his retirement. The Seahawks had him for part of the 2004 season, and Rice created a buzz when the team "unretired" jersey No. 80 for Rice (Steve Largent's old number) to wear.

Here is a story from ESPN.com that says Rice will be honored when the Seahawks play at San Francisco Nov. 19.

Personally, it was an honor for me to have the chance to talk to and write about a good guy and one of the NFL's legends. I wish him well.

So long, Cheney

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 10:38 AM

Camp Cheney has concluded, the second-to-last time the team will be out this way to begin its season preparations.

Coach Mike Holmgren gave his state-of-the-union address, first to the players and then to reporters.

He overall said he's very happy with his progress. He cited Leonard Weaver, Seneca Wallace and Kelly Herndon as three players whose progress stood out to him in this camp.

Weaver is playing some tailback in addition to fullback this season, and he also needs to be a special-teams contributor, something he struggled with last season. Wallace showed more consistency, and Herndon worked with the first-unit defense at left cornerback even after Kelly Jennings' arrival as a first-round pick.

It's worth noting that Wallace was the first one off the field, and while no one sprinted to the locker room, there wasn't anyone idling far behind, either.

Just saw Robbie Tobeck at the Starbucks. He didn't practice because he's still recovering from surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, and he was on his way out of town.

August 23, 2006

Wednesday roll call

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:09 AM

LG Floyd Womack was back on the field for all of practice Wednesday morning, and worked with the first-string offensive line on Wednesday. He suffered a strained hamstring about two weeks ago.

WR Bobby Engram was back at practice. He was excused from Tuesday's workout because of a family situation. He had received permission to fly to South Carolina after the game in Indianapolis.

OL Tom Ashworth was the only new absence from practice. He was excused from practices the final two days of training camp. He will rejoin the team in Seattle.

The team has an afternoon practice today and the a final workout on Thursday morning.

August 22, 2006

Tuesday morning, practice roll call

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:12 AM

Absent: WR Bobby Engram, who flew to South Carolina after Seattle's game in Indianapolis. He was excused from practice for personal reasons, which involved his family. He could be back for practices on Wednesday.

Injured: FB David Kirtman did not practice. He has a bruised quadriceps. He watched practice.

Still out: WR Darrell Jackson and DT Marcus Tubbs won't return to practice until next week. Jackson is recovering from offseason knee surgery, Tubbs is coming back from an Achilles injury. Coach Mike Holmgren had been hoping they would be back this week. Instead they will work on a treadmill this week with the goal of being back on the field next week.

On the mend: LG Floyd Womack was back at practice, participating in individual drills. He was not on the field for team drills. WR D.J. Hackett was on the field throughout practice. DE Grant Wistrom, DE Joe Tafoya and DT Rocky Bernard also practiced throughout the workout on Monday. Also, LB Lofa Tatupu was practicing with the first unit. He did not play this weekend because of a groin injury.

Robbie Tobeck isn't practicing, but he was on the field snapping the ball in seven-on-seven passing drills. He didn't have his helmet with him, which may or may not have been intentional since the NFL Network is here, filming the Seahawks training camp today.

August 21, 2006

A few more tidbits from Sunday

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:39 AM

It's almost time to catch my flight and head back to Seattle. But here is some more news and information from Sunday night's exhibition win over the Indianapolis Colts.

RB Maurice Morris was nursing a sore ankle, discovered before the game, and did not play Sunday. Neither did linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who has a groin pull. They were among the 12 Seahawks who either didn't make the trip or did not play.

The others who missed the game were DTs Rocky Bernard, Russell Davis and Marcus Tubbs; DEs Grant Wistrom and Joe Tafoya; WRs Darrell Jackson, D.J. Hackett and Skyler Fulton; C Robbie Tobeck; TE Jerramy Stevens and LG Floyd Womack.

Hackett is expected back to practice tomorrow when training camp resumes. Jackson and Tubbs might also participate in some of practice tomorrow.

LB Niko Koutouvides and KR Josh Scobey both sustained deep thigh bruises in the game and WR Keenan Howry re-injured his hamstring, but that was the extent of the Seahawks' injuries for the night.

DL Chris Cooper, already having a good training camp, bolstered his cause with an assist on a tackle for loss and a 7-yard sack of Colts QB Shaun King in the fourth quarter.

CB Kelly Jennings came in with the No. 2 defense in the second quarter and opened at right cornerback. He moved to the left side in the second half.

RB Shaun Alexander had a couple of nice runs in limited action, rushing for 20 yards on five carries.

C-G Chris Spencer played the most of the game, starting at center and then moving to right guard in the second half.

QB Gibran Hamdan came on as the last Seattle quarterback midway through the fourth quarter and completed two passes. He was also sacked once.

August 20, 2006

An impressive win

Posted by Jose Romero at 9:21 PM

This was a complete about-face from the first exhibition game, I thought to myself a little while ago as I made my way down to the locker rooms following the Seahawks 30-17 win over Indianapolis Sunday night.

Here some of my impressions from the game:

Both Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace looked sharp. The top two quarterback positions are secured.

Bobby Engram is as consistent as ever right now. He and Hasselbeck have a great rhythm, and it was good to see Nate Burleson and Peter Warrick make a couple of plays, too.

Leonard Weaver increased his chances of making the team again this year, but might need another good exhibition game to solidify that.

The Seahawks had a couple of breakdowns on the No. 1 offensive line. Walter Jones got beat by Colts DE Dwight Freeney for a sack, and Gilbert Gardner got in for a clean hit on Hasselbeck.

DL Chris Cooper improved his chances to make the roster with his play, and Holmgren singled him out after the game. He also said TE Matt Murphy played well. Murphy is trying to beat out Will Heller for the third tight-end job.

Mike Green has had two good exhibition games, and tonight's was better than last week. He's a physical guy who makes a very good group of safeties even better.

Marcus Trufant is a good cover man, but he gave up too many completions in his time on the field. That might not have been all his fault, though, but the Colts exploited him.

Live from Indianapolis

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:22 PM

It's game day in Indy, and I'm coming to you live from the RCA Dome press box.

The game won't start for another couple of hours or so. But Julian Peterson, Mike Green and Marcus Trufant are already out on the field doing some warmups.

The dome is nice but small (capacity 55,531) by NFL standards. It's the smallest stadium in the league. But the Colts are building a new home, Lucas Oil Stadium, next door, and its supposed to open in 2008.

The NBC broadcast crew is in the house, and they just got through making nice with the military personnel down in the stands. It's Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Sterling Sharpe, and that guy Seahawks fans love to hate - The Bus himself, Jerome Bettis.

They're taking pictures and shaking hands with the defenders of America. A nice touch.

August 18, 2006

Time to head for home

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:09 PM

My time in Cheney is up, practices are over for the day and the car is packed.

I'm ready to head back home to Seattle.

There are still three practice days of camp left, all next week, but I won't be in Cheney to cover them. The blog, however, will go on.

My three weeks here were long but rewarding. Camp becomes a daily grind for us writers, but I come home a better person.

I get the chance to work out more often, I eat good meals and I get a nice tan. Beyond that, seeing the players and coaches again and getting reacquainted is not only good but important for what I do, and everyone is so approachable and friendly.

This afternoon's practice was my last at camp for 2006. I'll leave you with a couple of lists, based on my observations while I was here:

Top performers
CB Marcus Trufant
CB Kelly Herndon
LB Julian Peterson
DE Darryl Tapp
WR Maurice Mann
WR C.J. Jones
WR Nate Burleson
WR Peter Warrick
WR Bobby Engram
QB Matt Hasselbeck
QB Gibran Hamdan
LB Lofa Tatupu
DT Chris Cooper
P Ryan Plackemeier
TE Itula Mili
S Mike Green
FB Mack Strong
LB D.D. Lewis
DT Chuck Darby

Guys who struggled
CB Kelly Jennings
OL Tom Ashworth
OL Jeff Bolton
DT Russell Davis
OL Floyd Womack
LB Evan Benjamin
QB David Greene
RB Marquis Weeks
RB Ran Carthon

A little of both
RB Leonard Weaver
RB Jimmy Dixon
P Gabe Lindstrom
OT Ray Willis

Best defensive player
Julian Peterson

Best offensive player
Bobby Engram

Class clowns
Nate Burleson
Jimmy Williams
Joe Tafoya
Grant Wistrom
Robbie Tobeck
Matt Hasselbeck

Best play
Special teams coach Bob Casullo's fantastic, over-the-shoulder catch of a punt during a curfew drill in which selected coaches were asked to field punts after a morning practice.

Best rookies
Darryl Tapp and Ryan Plackemeier


Extreme Makeover: Seahawks style

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 11:26 AM

Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Lofa Tatupu will appear in an episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," airing Sept. 24.

In the episode, a family runs outside to see their new backyard , finding not only an "extreme" football field, but the trio of Seahawks standing there, waiting for them.

According to an ABC publicist, Alexander runs over to the 16-year-old daughter of the family and sweeps her up in a big bear hug, while Hasselbeck teaches the 12-year old quarterback of the family the proper way to perform the 3-step drop.

It concludes with three Seahawks and the Rogers family playing an old-fashioned game of touch football.

No word on who wins.


News to Mike

Posted by Jose Romero at 10:57 AM

For some reason, Mike Holmgren was not aware that tight end Jerramy Stevens would be out six weeks with a knee injury.

Holmgren admitted to a reporter that he had not heard the prognosis for Stevens' return until picking up a newspaper earlier this morning.

Did Holmgren have any explanation for not hearing about Stevens? "I don't know," the coach said. "Life is strange sometimes."

As for Sunday's exhibition game, the quarterback rotation will go similar to the first game. Matt Hasselbeck will start and play a series or two, depending on the length of the possession and when the Seahawks get the ball.

Holmgren also said two players who are coming back from surgeries should play, SS Michael Boulware and CB Jordan Babineaux. MLB Lofa Tatupu will make the trip but might not play because of a pulled groin.

Tatupu and Boulware didn't practice this morning, but WR D.J. Hackett returned after two weeks away to recover from a hamstring injury.

Gibran Hamdan, who is trying to win the No. 3 quarterback job, will play Sunday. He did not play last weekend.

August 17, 2006

Stevens out for 6 weeks

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:08 PM

The first major injury of the season has struck the Seahawks.

Tight end Jerramy Stevens tore cartilage in his surgically-repaired left knee in practice Thursday morning, the MRI he had taken later in the day revealed. The Seahawks say Stevens will be out six weeks, putting him on target to return in time for the regular-season game at Chicago Oct. 1.

This is a big loss, because Stevens is tall, rangy and athletic and has good hands and speed. He's an ideal third-down target and is coming off the best of this four seasons in the NFL.

The Seahawks will turn to tried and true veteran Itula Mili to be the No. 1 tight end, though the team likes to use two tight ends in offensive sets. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the No. 2 tight end -- the incumbent is free agent acquisition Will Heller, but Matt Murphy has pushed him in camp.

More details about Stevens' injury appear in tomorrow's Times.

Stevens to undergo MRI

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:41 PM

The morning practice was eventful, to say the least.

Tight end Jerramy Stevens reinjured his surgically-repaired knee during the morning practice and had to leave the field. The severity of the injury is unknown for now, but Mike Holmgren said Stevens was to have an MRI later today.

Also, the first big altercation of training camp happened when C Chris Spencer and LB Isaiah Kacyvenski got into a scuffle after a running play. Spencer yanked off Kacyvenski's helmet.

DEs Grant Wistrom and Joe Tafoya and DT Rocky Bernard got some work in a team drill that didn't involve hitting. Wistrom took part in the one-on-one pass rush drill.

Stevens was hurt on a pass play when he came down with all his weight on the knee. Itula Mili stepped in as the No.1 tight end in practice.

Stevens was being prepared to play in Sunday's exhibition game at Indianapolis. That doesn't appear likely now.

After practice, Holmgren talked to a nun who was trying hard to get his attention. When the conversation was finished, he walked over to his golf cart and offered a joke to those standing nearby, "What, you guys don't think I have friends in higher places?"

A movie -- and some fines for Hasselbeck, Alexander, others

Posted by Jose Romero at 9:31 AM

It's Seahawks Day at the movies, and for that reason, the team is holding just one practice.

Practice is scheduled to start at 10 this morning, then Mike Holmgren is planning to take the team to see the soon-to-be-released motion picture "Invincible," the story of Vince Papale, a bartender-turned-Philadelphia Eagle who made the team through an open tryout and ended up spending three-plus seasons in the NFL.

The show starts at 4:30 p.m.

This should be fun. I've been to the movies with the Seahawks before -- they watched the remake of "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler. The theater in Kirkland was filled with laughter at various times of the movie, and the guys seem to have a pretty good time.

If you saw today's Times, than you now know that six Seahawks -- Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander, Leonard Weaver, D.D. Lewis, Tom Ashworth and Nate Burleson -- face fines for missing curfew Sunday night. That was the night I flew back on the same flight with those players. It appears Holmgren wants to send the message that no players, captains or veterans or stars, are above discipline if they break a team rule.

Even though the flight from Seattle to Spokane was late that night, and the players had apparently notified Holmgren that they would be on that flight, the coach seems still intent on doling out a penalty.

One player involved didn't seem too happy about the situation yesterday.

August 16, 2006

Three DLs return

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:07 AM

The story of the day at camp is the return of DEs Grant Wistrom and Joe Tafoya and DT Rocky Bernard, who made their training camp practice debuts this morning.

The three were limited --Wistrom took part in one team drill play and the others sat out that portion -- and will be held out for part of practice in the coming days. They aren't going to be ready to play this Sunday in Indianapolis.

Also, MLB Lofa Tatupu has a groin pull and did not practice. His status for the exhibition game has yet to be determined. But coach Mike Holmgren said it was mainly rest for Tatupu and not serious.

WR D.J. Hackett could be back from a hamstring injury this Friday in practice. But he isn't likely to make the trip.

Neither is LG Floyd Womack, but Womack could be back to practice by next Tuesday, Holmgren said. Womack also has a strained hamstring. DT Marcus Tubbs and WR Darrell Jackson might also be ready to return to practicing a little next Tuesday.

Former Seahawk Jerry Rice is at camp today for a radio show. He and Holmgren exchanged pleasantries after the morning practice.

And Holmgren also commented on the arrest of former Seahawk Koren Robinson on suspicion of drunk driving. He said he felt sad for Robinson and that he prays for him to get his life in order before something bad happens.

Holmgren would not comment on the meeting he had with eight players, including Matt Hasselbeck, after the Tuesday afternoon practice. He said it was an "in-house" issue.

August 15, 2006

A meeting of the minds

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:21 PM

The afternoon practice was shortened by about 20 minutes, as coach Mike Holmgren apparently was satisfied with the morning's effort enough to let players go early.

Safety Mike Green intercepted a pass, as did linebacker D.D. Lewis. And wide receiver Justin Surrency made a difficult catch in the end zone of a David Greene pass deflected into the air.

Running back Maurice Morris did not take part in team drills.

But two of the more intriguing developments happened away from the field and after practice. A fan in the bleachers wore a Pittsburgh Steelers cap and full-length poncho despite the heat, capturing images of practice with a video camera.

He was interviewed by a Fox Sports Northwest reporter during practice.

When practice had ended, a group of eight Seahawks stayed on the field for a confab. QB Matt Hasselbeck, Lewis, RB Leonard Weaver, OL Tom Ashworth, RG Chris Gray, RB Shaun Alexander, FB Mack Strong and WR Nate Burleson formed the group that met.

Asked if the meeting was for players on this year's Seahawks players' committee, Hasselbeck said the group was not that committee. It got me to thinking, though, because six of those eight players (not Strong or Gray) were on my flight back to Spokane from Seattle Sunday night and were late for the 11 p.m. curfew.

Williams returns

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:10 AM

Cornerback Jimmy Williams came back to practice this morning after having missed nine days of practice and the exhibition game.

Other than that, not much from the early morning practice. But special teams coach Bob Casullo was quite vocal, even chastising kicker Josh Brown for a low line drive kickoff that didn't allow for a good look at the return team.

After practice, Shaun Alexander spoke to reporters. He talked about getting used to new players on the offensive line, currently depleted by injury, and spoke highly of backup running back Maurice Morris, who is very quiet and doesn't do many interviews.

He also talked about how much he missed the verbose Robbie Tobeck, who is recovering from elbow surgery and is unable to practice.

Alexander turned in the play of the day when he raced downfield ahead of MLB Lofa Tatupu and made a catch on a deep pass from Matt Hasselbeck. The play was breaking down and Hasselbeck scrambled to his right and made the throw on the run down the right sideline.

August 14, 2006

Flight 392

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:06 PM

So I get to the airport in plenty of time last night to catch my flight back to Spokane for training camp, and look who walks up to the gate -- wide receiver Nate Burleson, linebacker D.D. Lewis, running back Leonard Weaver and Maurice Kelly, the team's director of player development.

Sunday was the players' day off, and while many went back to Cheney earlier in the day, this group of veterans stayed behind for some more time with their loved ones.

Burleson said he celebrated his birthday with his parents and brothers and his own family. Burleson turns 25 on Aug. 19

Later on comes Matt Hasselbeck with offensive lineman Tom Ashworth. Upon realizing that they were all on my flight, I saw Hasselbeck seated in Gate D11, which was full of people with no one even approaching him. I'm thinking, "Do people know that this is the quarterback of the NFC champs?"

One guy finally did. He had the boldness to walk up to Hasselbeck and have him say hi to someone on a cell phone, or so it appeared to me.

Hasselbeck, always engaging with a dry sense of humor, cracked me up when he said he'd seen one of the TV commercials in which he appears on an airport monitor, and that he had to turn his head and slump in his chair to avoid being recognized as that guy on the TV.

Shaun Alexander came up right when boarding began. The players sat in first class, Alexander even going into the cockpit before the flight to say hello to the pilots.

The players, because of the delayed flight, were not going to be in their dorms before last night's 11 p.m. curfew. Hasselbeck was a little concerned, but at least they had Kelly to vouch for their whereabouts. And all of them made it to practice this morning.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot -- deplaning in Spokane, I walked by Alexander, who in the jetway was signing a copy of the Seattle Times sports page from yesterday for a fan.

Back to work

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:32 AM

The Seahawks were back at it this morning minus a couple of important players, C Robbie Tobeck and DT Russell Davis.

Tobeck was scheduled to have left elbow surgery to remove bone chips today in Seattle. He could be out from seven days to a few weeks.

Davis tore a heel ligament and is in a protective boot, but Mike Holmgren said the tear was clean, which will make recovery easier and more swift. Davis is expected back for the regular season opener in Detroit next month.

Holmgren and QB Matt Hasselbeck spoke of the team's sloppy, penalty-ridden play in Saturday's exhibition game and related it to how the team practiced last week. There were signs of improvement today.

The wide receivers seemed to line up in the proper spots and then went out and made nice catches. Hasselbeck and Wallace displayed good accuracy, and defensive backs Ken Hamlin and Marcus Trufant were very good in coverage.

Hamlin intercepted a pass and celebrated by rolling the ball up the field after running with it.

The Seahawks also welcomed back WR Keenan Howry, LB Isaiah Kacyvenski and SS Michael Boulware to practice after they missed considerable time with injuries. Boulware was not in for team drills.

August 13, 2006

More from the game

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:39 PM

The Seahawks' No. 2 offensive line consisted of Tom Ashworth at left tackle, rookie Rob Sims at left guard, undrafted free agent Pat Ross at center, Chris Spencer (who started the game at left guard) at right guard and Ray "Big Die Slow" Willis at right tackle.

That really is Willis' nickname from college. He told reporters so on the day he was drafted by Seattle in April 2005.

The No. 2 defensive line last night had Robert Pollard (a practice squad player last season) and Kemp Rasmussen as the defensive ends and Russell Davis and Chris Cooper at defensive tackle. This speaks to the depth the Seahawks have on the line -- Rasmussen, Davis and Cooper have all played extensively for other NFL teams.

Kevin Bentley and D.D. Lewis played well as outside linebackers. Both looked very aggressive. Niko Koutouvides played middle linebacker.

Kelly Jennings and Lance Frazier were the left and right cornerbacks. Shaunard Harts and Oliver Celestin, a pair of NFL veterans, were the safeties.

Evan Benjamin, an undrafted rookie from the UW, made a couple of nice plays on special teams on Saturday.

David Greene, who entered camp as the No. 3 quarterback, was up-and-down in his limited action. He made a nice throw to C.J. Jones for 15 yards, but botched a handoff to Marquis Weeks that turned into a fumble and turnover.

I liked what I saw from WR Peter Warrick. He made some nice catches and turned a couple of those into more yards with his running after the catch.

I'll pick up the blog again on Monday when I am back in Cheney. Let's hope SeaTac has calmed down a little.

August 12, 2006

Exhibition observations

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 7:11 PM

The Seahawks' nickel package in the first quarter had Kelly Jennings as the fifth defensive back. When Jennings came in, defensive end Darryl Tapp was substituted out, and linebacker Julian Peterson lined up at right defensive end.

Chris Spencer played the entire game at guard. He was at left guard in the first half while Robbie Tobeck started at center. In the second half, Pat Ross started at center, and Spencer moved to right guard. Rookie Rob Sims was at left guard.

The Seahawks' nickel package had Kelly Herndon moving to the inside slot receiver with Jennings playing left cornerback.

The Cowboys had five completions gaining 9 yards or more on their second drive. Three of those completions went to the player Herndon was covering.

Maurice Mann caught two passes in the first quarter, each for a first down. He was the No. 3 receiver in the rotation on Saturday night.

Ryan Plackemeier's first punt of the game was 41 yards. The distance wasn't as important as placement, though. His kick was fair-caught at the Dallas 11. Plackemeier is a rookie, and there's no question about the strength of his leg.

Saturday night start ...

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 6:48 PM

Ken Hamlin wasn't the first Seahawk on the field, but he was the first to reach midfield, stopping and flapping his arms to encourage more noise from the crowd at Qwest Field before Seattle's exhibition against the visiting Dallas Cowboys.

Hamlin, quarterback Seneca Wallace and linebacker D.D. Lewis led the team out of the tunnel.

Captains for the exhibition: QB Matt Hasselbeck, LB Lofa Tatupu and LB Niko Koutouvides. Dallas won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff.

August 10, 2006

Jennings, Hill OK?

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:06 PM

Looks like CB Kelly Jennings and LB Leroy Hill will be available for Saturday's exhibition game.

The two missed the morning practice but took part in the afternoon session, which likely means that Mike Holmgren will take them to Seattle with the team tomorrow for the purpose of playing them in the game.

Holmgren had yet to decide if they would play as of this morning. The team has a 45-minute game-simulation walk-through practice tomorrow morning before heading off to Seattle for the weekend.

The Seahawks also announced that they have waived TE Mike Gomez, who was injured and unable to practice in recent days, and signed G Jason Murphy, a rookie who was with the San Diego Chargers.

And Holmgren said he was thrilled for former Seahawks DT Cortez Kennedy, who this season will be added to the team's Ring of Honor. The induction will be officially announced tomorrow in Seattle.

"He's a wonderful guy, and certainly he was a good enough player to deserve that," Holmgren said. "This is a well deserved reward. He was synonymous with the Seahawks for many, many years."

Might not have a blog tomorrow since I will be traveling back to the west side of the state, and the Seahawks don't have a formal practice. I'll pick it back up on Monday at the latest when camp resumes.

Countdown is on

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:11 AM

It's two days until the Seahawks put on the helmet, pads and uniforms for real. Well, sort of. The exhibition season begins Saturday night in Seattle against the Dallas Cowboys, and preparations are under way as far as who plays, how long to play, who will play with what unit and what the coaches want to see.

Playing time will be predicated on the current depth situation, and injuries are the biggest factor. The Seahawks could have up to 14 players that won't take part in the game, six who are or were projected starters. Translation: The younger players and reserves will get a lot of snaps.

The Seahawks took some time in this morning's practice for their No. 1 offense to work against a 3-4 defense and blitz packages, for which the Cowboys are known.

Fourteen Seahawks did not practice and a decision as to who will play in the game will be made by the coaching staff later today. Most are the same players who have been on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but some of the others included LB Leroy Hill, CB Kelly Jennings and LB Isaiah Kacyvenski.

The Times will have a full list of players who will be out and those who are question marks for the game in tomorrow's paper.


Strange disease hits writers

Posted by Greg Bishop at 9:00 AM

Crazy night on Wednesday. Four men (myself and partner in crime, Times Seahawks writer Jose Romero, Scott Johnson from the Everett Herald and Gregg Bell from the Associated Press). Two microphones. One song.

Physical. As in, Let's Get!

Let's be clear: Johnson picked it. And Olivia Newton-John would have been proud -- or mortified -- by our karaoke rendition of her hit.

It was that kind of night in Cheney, or should I say away from Cheney. Dinner at the Onion in Spokane, then off to Trick Shots, a local karaoke bar/dance club/ribaldry establishment. The place had a mechanical bull -- sources say Romero has previous experience on it -- no less than 99 bouncers and a local dentist and night-out MVP, Dr. Bob.

Romero turned in the best vocal performance of the evening, belting "If it isn't love" from New Edition to an adoring crowd. Johnson earned the Dance Fever award for his moves on stage.

The Seahawks got an extra hour of curfew Wednesday night. A few of us reporters took advantage. We trudged back in the dorm sometime after 2 a.m. -- sober and weary and giggling like schoolgirls over the night's events. This is what Cheney does for you, makes you long for a big city like Spokane and a bar named Trick Shots and, God loves us, karaoke. We have a term for the disease.

Cheneyitis.

Maybe we should go see Dr. Bob.

August 9, 2006

Thanks, Ted

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:04 PM

I'll start this one off by thanking Ted, who posted his comments on this blog, for his suggestion. Should anyone have questions in their comments to me, I will try to answer those in the blog.

Ted's question was about Shaun Alexander. The Seahawks are apparently trying to keep their star running back fresh and injury-free, so Alexander isn't taking part in all of practices. He stays on the sideline for running plays that involve heavy contact, especially in team drills, and does most of his work in individual drills.

It seems that no healthy player gets more time off in practice than Alexander, but Mike Holmgren still wants to see him get hit a little.

As for this afternoon, the Seahawks had special teams practice. Nothing earth-shattering. It's a pretty loose and fun-loving group out there, and guys seem to be finding ways to make the most out of the long days in camp.


Pork Chop hurt

Posted by Greg Bishop at 12:24 PM

Morning practice for the Seahawks started on a low note, an injury to starting left guard Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, and ended on a higher one ...quot; one hour later curfew tonight secured by special teams coach Bob Casullo.

First, the news: Womack injured his hamstring ...quot; a first-degree strain ...quot; in the morning during team drills, and second-year center Chris Spencer filled in at left guard.

Coach Mike Holmgren said that Womack would be the Seahawks starter when he returned. In the interim, Spencer and rookie Rob Sims will both be used at the guard spot opposite longtime starter Chris Gray.


Other news included Jerramy Stevens returning o the football field for the first time since he had meniscus surgery and the first time since the Super Bowl. And, well, we all know how that went. Say this for Stevens, though: he never ducks a question, even though I wouldn't blame him if he did. I mean, how many questions can one man answer about Jerry Porter?

He answered several about the Super Bowl for about six minutes after practice. Expect a barrage of Stevens stories in the newspapers tomorrow (including ours).

But the biggest news of the day came from neither Stevens nor Pork Chop. It came after practice, when five coaches attempted to catch punts from Gabe Lindstrom. Three needed to catch their punts, with the whole team watching and the wind whipping to extend curfew by an hour.

Neither offensive line coach Bill Laveroni nor linebackers coach Zerick Rollins caught their punts. Both quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn and defensive backs coach Teryl Austin hauled theirs in.

That left one coach. Casullo.

Players started chanting, "Bob! Bob! Bob!" Lindstrom boomed a punt over Casullo's left shoulder. He turned around, sprinting backward ...quot; sprinting being relative, of course ...quot; and hauled in an over-the-shoulder basket catch. Players mobbed Casullo on the field.

The problem? He's on curfew duty tonight, meaning he gave himself an extra hour of work. But the reaction was well worth it.

"I hope there's a cardiologist in the training room," Casullo said. "There was no doubt in my mind. That was all the way. I just made it a little tricky for the crowd, that's all. Easy catch."

Linebacker Lofa Tatupu walked by as Casullo held court with reporters.

"They love you when you're on top," Tatupu yelled at him.

August 8, 2006

Like I never left

Posted by Greg Bishop at 6:33 PM

Touched down at Spokane International earlier this afternoon and repeated the same routine — baggage claim, taxi, check into the dorm — we do every year coming to Cheney for camp. Except for one thing: My Russian cab driver, who never gave his name, but gave me plenty of advice. He told me it's easier to get a date in Cheney because college students live there. He played Russian pop music at a high volume, with the windows down, and insisted I sit next to him in the front seat.

I might be in the minority here — might be in the majority, too — but I've never been so happy to see the rolling hills of Cheney. Maybe it's because there are only two more Seahawks training camps left here. Or maybe it's because I'm only staying until Friday. But every year we leave Cheney, and every year we come right back, and every year it feels like we never left.

Now if only we could do something about those dorm roooms ...

A few good pops

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:30 AM

The Seahawks put the pads on this morning, and there was more hitting than in any other practice in camp to date.

On a pitchout to RB Leonard Weaver, LB Kevin Bentley's helmet came off.
But Bentley came back later to drag down RB Maurice Morris on a running play to the left.

DE Kemp Rasmussen blasted through the offensive line to trip up RB Shaun Alexander on a sweep play. And FS Ken Hamlin gave and took his hardest hit of camp when he collided with Weaver trying to bring down the hefty runner on the sideline.

Hamlin was OK and finished practice.

The capper of the morning was LB Lance Laury's collission with FB Jimmy Dixon, on which Laury sent Dixon sprawling behind the line of scrimmage when Dixon tried to block him.

Teammates cheered the contact.

The Seahawks signed WR Justin Surrency and released kicker Ryan Killeen. Surrency played in college at Northern Iowa. He took part in yesterday's practice.

The team also had another visitor at practice -- legendary coach John Robinson of USC and Los Angeles Rams fame. Robinson spent practice talking to coach MIke Holmgren and ate lunch with offensive coordinator Gil Haskell.

August 7, 2006

Special teams day

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:11 PM

Some players got the afternoon off because of special teams practice this afternoon, so the session didn't even last an hour.

The Seahawks held another tryout for some receivers today, but I've yet to find out if anyone was signed.

Big-play Babs is back

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:21 AM

Good news for the Seahawks today as Jordan "Big Play" Babineaux, one of the many heroes from last season, practiced for the first time since training camp began.

Babineaux, who enters his third pro season, is coming back from shoulder surgery. He took part in a few drills in the morning practice but didn't go full bore.

Still, getting Babineaux back is key because it gives the Seahawks more depth. Babineaux will start out working at cornerback, even though he can play safety as well, and coach Mike Holmgren said Babineaux can figure in the competition to be the starting left cornerback.

Babineaux said he felt good and that he looks forward to competing. It wasn't clear if he was going to be available for the first exhibition game Saturday.

In other news, Holmgren confirmed my report today that TE Jerramy Stevens is scheduled to return to practice Wednesday.

Also this morning, a camera crew from MTV2 was on hand to film a segment about the Madden 2007 video game. Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander is on the cover of the game.

August 6, 2006

"The Heat Is On"

Posted by Jose Romero at 5:19 PM

Can you believe I actually lipsynced that song, by Glenn Frey, for an assignment in my drama class in 7th grade? Got an A.

But I digress. Practice has ended for the afternoon, and it looks like C.J. Jones is the latest longshot wide receiver who is making a statement that he will compete hard for a roster spot.

The position is stacked with talented guys, as seems to be the case every year with the Seahawks. Jones made a few nice grabs Sunday, and he also did some technical things well in Saturday's scrimmage.

The reason I mentioned the heat is because today's practice temperature of 86 degrees was the warmest at camp so far.

The Seahawks tried out three wide receivers this morning whom I could not recognize, and their names were not provided. But none were signed.

No news

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:00 AM

Truth be told, this morning's practice offered slim pickings as far as any developments, other than the return of CB Reggie Austin from a sore knee. The Seahawks also had a few players working out for GM Tim Ruskell and pro personnel director WIll Lewis after practice, so perhaps they are looking to sign someone. None of those players was a quarterback.

On a personal note, I just want to thank that kid at the scrimmage yesterday who stuck his hand out to slap me a high five. I was walking to the stadium for the scrimmage and he saw me and put his hand out, just because. Little things can sometimes brighten a day... .

Oh yeah, Hasselbeck was wearing a Detroit Lions ballcap after the scrimmage. What's up with that? Here are my two theories: He got it at the Pro Bowl with all of the apparel and headwear exchanging that goes on there, or that it matched with the lighter blue long sleeve shirt he was wearing at the time.

August 5, 2006

Today's scrimmage

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:09 PM

The scrimmage ended just about 30 minutes ago, and here are a few observations:

• When the scrimmage began, at least 10,000 fans were in the seats at EWU's Woodward Field and even more ringing the track around the field. It made for a full house.

• Coach Mike Holmgren held out Pro Bowl running back Shaun Alexander and fullback Mack Strong and limited the play of his other Pro Bowl players and top regulars, saying he knows what they can do.

• Matt Hasselbeck engineered a 70-yard touchdown drive on the opening drive of the game simulation. Highlights of the drive were a 10-yard diving catch by WR Nate Burleson and a pitch play run to RB Leonard Weaver for 22 yards. The drive ended with a third-down, 17-yard TD pass to WR Maurice Mann, a sprawling catch in the back of the end zone with two defenders on him.

• K Ryan Killeen missed two field goal attempts badly but hit two more later.

• Hasselbeck hit Burleson for a 20-yard TD pass in red-zone drills.

• WR Taco Wallace made some nice catches and was a favorite target of backup QB Seneca Wallace.

• Seattle had LB Julian Peterson lined up at defensive end on a third-down play.

• K Josh Brown hit field goals of 49 and 53 yards.

• DE Chris Cooper, LB Lofa Tatupu and LB Niko Koutouvides had nice tackle. LB Kevin Bentley, S Etric Pruitt and CB Marcus Trufant broke up passes.

Stats leaders: Hasselbeck 4-6, 43 yards passing, 1 TD. Rushing: Marquis Weeks 7-44. Receiving: Taco Wallace 4-61, 2 TDs. Tackles: S Shaunard Harts 7 total. Sacks: Cooper, DE Bryce Fisher, DT Alex Guerrero 2 each.

August 4, 2006

Redemption -- sort of

Posted by Jose Romero at 5:02 PM

The Seahawks got through the afternoon practice today in its entirety -- that is, they weren't sent to the locker room by a frustrated coach Mike Holmgren as was the case this morning.

QB Gibran Hamdan continues to throw the ball well at camp and has to be ahead of second-year QB David Greene, a former third-round pick, in the competition for third quarterback.

There was quite a crowd at practice on one of the warmer afternoons of camp. Many have arrived from west of the mountains and other points for tomorrow's scrimmage.

But the best moment of the afternoon came when practice had ended, and a group of players gathered around 11-year-old Stephen Miller. Stephen came all the way out from Georgia to meet his favorite Seahawks, courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Stephen, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair, was in all his glory, sporting his own No. 37 Seahawks jersey and shaking hands with the likes of Peter Warrick, Nate Burleson, Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck and David Greene.

Several players posed for a photo with Stephen, who came out to Cheney with his parents and sisters, as did Holmgren and team executives Tim Ruskell and Tod Leiweke.

The weekend was only getting started for Stephen, who was to eat dinner with the players and attend tomorrow's intrasquad scrimmage, where he'll watch from the press box at Woodward Field.

Sudden end

Posted by Jose Romero at 10:49 AM

Practice was going along this morning as scheduled when, following a normal drill, coach Mike Holmgren called the team together in the middle of the field. After several minutes of talking to them, he called an end to the session and the players jogged off the field at a quick clip.

No explanation has yet to be given about why practice ended, but Holmgren seemed unsatisfied with some things he saw and had a few choice words for players during earlier drills.

Holmgren then met with his assistant coaches on the field for a few moments. A large crowd that had gathered to watch practice, with the team's intrasquad scrimmage set for tomorrow, was left disappointed and stunned as the players left the field without signing autographs.

CB Reggie Austin was carted off the field with an unknown injury early in practice.

I'll try to get more details on what led to the abrupt end of practice later today.

August 3, 2006

An official meeting

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:14 PM

NFL officials met with reporters this afternoon, with veteran referee Ed Hochuli showing a video presentation about the rule changes and points of emphasis in the league this season and then answering questions about calls and of course, the Super Bowl.

Hochuli addressed specific calls that went against the Seahawks in the game. First, he said that the officials are graded and evaluated thoroughly each week, and the grades determine if an official gets fired or whether that person works a postseason game.

Hochuli was not the referee in the Super Bowl, nor were any of the other three officials who were at camp Thursday.

No rules changes made for this season had anything to do with what happened in the Super Bowl, Hochuli said.

"The Super Bowl was one of those games where it seemed like the big calls went against Seattle," Hochuli said. "That was just bad fortune for Seattle. The league felt, actually, that the Super Bowl was well officiated. That doesn't mean there were no mistakes. There's always going to be some big mistakes...That offensive pass interfence call (against WR Darrell Jackson that nullified a touchdown) will be called 10 out of 10 times. As officials looking at that, we're saying that's a no-brainer...But to a Seattle fan, it's going to look like you got robbed."

There were no changes regarding the ball crossing the plane of the goal line to be ruled a touchdown. The Steelers scored on a close call in that situation on a quarterback sneak, and after Seattle challenged the ruling, replays were deemed inconclusive. Had the official who made the touchdown call ruled the play otherwise, Hochuli said, it would also have been too difficult to overturn that call, so it was a 50-50 judgment.

"I think they (the Seahawks) ought to feel good about what they accomplished," Hochuli said.

As far as rule changes, one is that the referee will have a maximum of 60 seconds to review a challenged play on the field, that is, from the time he looks at the sideline replay screen. At 60 seconds, the screen goes blank and a decision must be made.

With regard to touchdown celebrations, officials will penalize a team if an individual's antics involve a prop, including the ball, and if the demonstration involves a group of players in an orchestrated move. Individuals may celebrate a score as long as the player is upright, i.e, jumping into the stands, saluting the crowd, or jumping into a teammate in impromptu fashion.

Officials will call a penalty for grabbing a player by the inside of the pads around the neck to make a tackle, but grabbing the jersey is OK.

The buff guy

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:26 AM

NFL official Ed Hochuli has taken on somewhat of celebrity status because of his workouts and muscular physique. But Mike Holmgren had other kinds of compliments for Hochuli, who joined a group of league officials to help with the Seahawks practice this morning at training camp.

"The fellas working our camp are really good at their positions," Holmgren said. "Ed's the top referee in football, in my opinion."

On the surface, it would appear that the Seahawks' -- and Holmgren's -- issues with the officiating from the Super Bowl are forgotten. The officials are in camp for their annual visit, where they explain calls they would make in a game and talk to players and coaches about points of emphasis in the rules.

"We lost the game, we're going to try like crazy to get back there this year and make up for that," Holmgren said when asked if he'd gotten over the Super Bowl and the questionable calls.

In other news from practice, the red-zone offense shined a day after both the first and second units struggled in practice. Matt Hasselbeck led the first unit to three scores in three possessions, and backup Seneca Wallace took his group to three touchdowns as well.

RB-KR Josh Scobey watched practice but is still recovering from illness and did not participate, and CB Jimmy Williams was helped off the field and back into the locker after he rolled an ankle.

August 2, 2006

MRI for Hackett; Scobey has flu

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:22 PM

It turns out that wide receiver D.J. Hackett, who hurt his right hamstring on a touchdown catch on the last play of today's morning practice, had to have the leg further examined via an MRI today.

Hackett was one of the pleasant surprises of last season with his play as a fill-in starter and a reserve. It wasn't clear last night how long he'd have to be out, but he appeared to be in considerable pain after the play though he remained upright.

The afternoon practice was shortened so players could get a jump on their night off. Many often head into nearby Spokane for dinner and/or a movie.

Kick returner Josh Scobey has the flu, which kept him out of practices today.

NFL officials arrive to work practices for the next couple of days.

Mili returns, Scobey missing

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:31 AM

Tight end Itula Mili returned to practice on Wednesday morning, and took part in drills. He had missed the past two days with a sore back. Center Chris Spencer was also back at practice. He had rolled his ankle on Tuesday.

Running back Josh Scobey was not present, and afterward coach Mike Holmgren said he needed to check on where Scobey was, but he didn't believe he was injured.

The morning workout had the most spirited offense-defense drills in training camp so far. The offense got the ball 50 yards from the end zone in a real-game situation complete with 40-second clock.

In the first-unit defense vs. first-unit offense, Matt Hasselbeck was intercepted by Kelly Herndon on the second play of the first possession. The second-unit offense fumbled away the ball on its second-play when Kevin Bentley stripped the ball.

The first-unit offense was back on the field, but failed to get a first down. Then, the second-unit offense scored on a scramble by Seneca Wallace, who yelled "We good. We good," after scoring on a scramble of 12 or so yards. The first-unit offense scored on its third and final possession on a pass to D.J. Hackett. Hackett grabbed at his right hamstring after the play so his status will bear watching in the afternoon.

The biggest hit was by Lofa Tatupu, who tackle running back Jimmy Dixon for a 4-yard loss after a short pass.

Wednesday's morning practice ended with a punt-catching contest among lineman. Five linemen were chosen, and if they fielded three punts successfully, the team would have its curfew extended by an hour.

Defensive linemen Alex Guerrero and Craig Terrill caught the first two punts, but Chris Gray and Ray Willis missed the next two. That brought up center Robbie Tobeck for the final chance at earning the extra hour.

Rookie punter Ryan Plackemeier's punt was a little long, and Tobeck had to backpedal. He fell attempting to catch the ball, which bounced off his hands. Holmgren gave him another chance. This time, Tobeck only had to take a few steps in to get in position, but the ball bounced off his chest and hands.

"I gave him two chances," coach Mike Holmgren said of Tobeck. "He has no one to blame but himself."

The team practices again this afternoon, but the position meetings will end earlier than normal, stopping at 6 as the players get the night off.

August 1, 2006

Tuesday afternoon

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 3:12 PM

The afternoon workout was a special-teams practice. It lasted about an hour. Special teams coach Bob Casullo ran the workout, and coach Mike Holmgren was was also active in providing instruction.

Backup center Chris Spencer suffered an ankle injury at the end of the morning practice. His status is day-to-day. Matt Henshaw hurt his foot, and tight end Itula Mili is still out with a sore back. Their status is also day-to-day.

Looking back on Cheney

Posted by Steve Kelley at 12:18 PM

Sometimes it takes a trip east to remind you exactly how much of a regional team the Seattle Seahawks are. During practices in Cheney fans watched enthralled. They line the fences around the field. They rub on sun tan lotion as they sit on the dusty bank. They cheer when Nate Burleson makes a catch in traffic. They cheer even louder when linebacker Julian Peterson tracks down tight end Mike Gomez and steal the ball from behind as Gomez is heading for the end zone. Some take notes.

And at the end of every practice, they crowd along the fences that lead from the practice field to the locker room and they crowd the fences that lead from the locker room to the players' dorms, holding helmets and jerseys, note pads and photographs, hungry for autographs. One guy asked every Seahawks' player he saw to autograph the sides of his new, white pickup truck and took pictures of the players as they agreed to his wishes.

After this training camp, the Seahawks will have only one more training camp at Eastern Washington University before they settle into their new permanent facility in Renton. And, although it absolutely is the right thing to do -- the facility will be state of the art, better weight room, better fields, an indoor facility in case there is a day like last Sunday when they winds howl at almost 45 miles-an-hour -- there will be a small sense of lost innocence when they leave Cheney.

This is eastern Washington's only chance to see the team it shares with Seattle and Portland and both Vancouvers. They Seahawks might play in Seattle and train in Kirkland, but they also belong to Spokane and Yakima, Moses Lake and Wenatchee. It's never more evident here. A barista at a nearby coffee shop, a student at Eastern, sees my media pass around my neck and says, "I'm going out there tomorrow. I'm so excited. I love Matt Hasselbeck, but I've never seen him in person." This is her chance and next year will be her last chance.

I remember summers my father used to take me to Hershey, Pa. to watch the Eagles train and to see in person the players I idolized -- Sonny Jurgensen, Tommy McDonald, Tom Brookshire, Irv Cross, Clarence Peaks -- was a thrill. My buddy and I would spend three of four days there, stay at the Hotel Hershey, smell the chocolate-filled air of that great, small town. We'd compare autographs and talk about what it was like to stand on the sidelines and watch Jurgensen sling passes to McDonald.

The Seahawks haven't decided if they will open their Renton preseason practice sessions to the public. They should. It's great public relations. It will be a thrill for unknown thousands of kids. It is a link to the fans that every team should maintain.

There will be some melancholy next year when they leave the east and move into their new home. Cheney is a warm place, with real fans and judging by the looks on the faces of the people who line the fences, the Seahawks will be sorely missed.

a.m. update

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:04 PM

The morning practice was full of big plays from several players, but the true star of the session was middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu.

Tatupu showed his Pro Bowl form, defeating blocks in one-on-one blocking drills against the running backs and flying around during team drills. He stripped WR Nate Burleson of the ball after a catch, batted away passes and was his general disruptive self.

The veteran Burleson dropped a pass and heard it from WRs coach Nolan Cromwell. "Get your head in the game!" Cromwell shouted.

The defense shined, as DE Bryce Fisher, CB Marcus Trufant, S Etric Pruitt and LB Isaiah Kacyvenski had interceptions.

QB Matt Hasselbeck hardly had a voice from all of his cadence calls from the morning. He praised the play of the tight ends who are filling in for injured incumbents Jerramy Stevens and Itula Mili. Those include WIll Heller, Mike Gomez, Matt Henshaw and Keith Willis.

Dissed by nflshop.com

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 9:27 AM

Another thing happens when a team loses the Super Bowl, apparently. They are virtually ignored by nflshop.com.

In the August catalog just delivered, there are 245 images of helmets, jerseys, watches, coats, chairs, hats, footballs, lamps, pillows, clocks, aprons, flags, shoes, bags, golf clubs and even a steering wheel.

But a Seahawks fan would be hard pressed to find a Seattle logo among them. In fact, only three of the images bear a Seahawks logo in the 30 pages of offerings. You'll find the Seattle name or logo displayed only on a duffle bag, a Shaun Alexander jersey and a putter.

The "official catalog of the National Football League'' does tout the Steelers with 25 images, nearly one per page. The San Francisco 49ers, just for comparison, has seven namesake images even though they finished last in the NFC West.

And something for everybody: a CD from Super Bowl XL, described as "The Steelers 2005-06 Super Bowl season." No mention anywhere of who Pittsburgh played.

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