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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
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September 30, 2006

Kacyvenski released

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:39 PM

The Seahawks have released LB Isaiah Kacyvenski to make room for RB Marquis Weeks on the 53-man active roster.

The team had until 1 p.m. today to make a roster move.

Kacyvenski, a seventh-year pro who had been with the Seahawks since they drafted him in the fourth round in 2000, was a key special-teams contributor who had starting experience. The Seahawks carried seven linebackers with him on the roster.

The team had to have a backup for Maurice Morris this week, so the signing of Weeks was imperative. Weeks signed a two-year deal Friday.

The Seahawks can still re-sign Kacyvenski if he is not signed by another team. They can release Weeks, re-sign Kacyvenski and sign Weeks back to the practice squad if Weeks isn't immedately signed by another team. But it isn't clear right now if the Seahawks will do that.

September 29, 2006

Time to hit the road

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:25 PM

The Seahawks have completed Friday's practice, and it appears they'll have their right side of the offensive line healthy enough to play Sunday night.

Coach Mike Holmgren said he thinks right tackle Sean Locklear and right guard Chris Gray "are going to be OK" for Sunday. Both had Wednesday and Thursday off to rest sore knees, but practiced Friday and are expected to start.

With almost two days before the game, the rest should make the two ready for the game.

Also, tight end Itula Mili, who missed last week's game with a knee injury, is back and ready to start this week. Mili practiced all week.

DB Jordan Babineaux didn't practice all week because of a concussion, and a decision on his status has not been made. He's been downgraded from questionable to doubtful for Sunday.

The Seahawks will likely wait until tomorrow morning to make a roster move for some depth at running back. Marquis Weeks is a candidate to be signed from the practice squad to back up Maurice Morris in the absence of Shaun Alexander, but Holmgren said there are still discussions about what move to make, whether it's Weeks or someone else and whom to release from the 53-man roster to make room.

Holmgren said if Weeks gets the call, he'll be happy for the second-year player.

"Good for him," Holmgren said, "because it's one of those stories where he came in kind of a longshot, and through hard work and perseverance he made the football team. And now he might get a chance to play."

Weeks, who was on the Seahawks' practice squad all of last season,earned a place on the team as an undrafted free agent.

Game balls from last Sunday's win over New York went to QB Matt Hasselbeck on offense, FS Ken Hamlin (the NFC Defensive Player of the Month) on defense and DE Joe Tafoya on special teams. Tafoya is out for the Chicago game and is a few weeks away from returning because of a sprained left knee.

September 28, 2006

Hamlin wins honor

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:04 PM

Seahawks FS Ken Hamlin is the NFC's Defensive Player of the Month for September, the NFL announced today.

Hamlin, who missed more than half of last season with a fractured skull and other injuries from a nightclub fight in October 2005, had two interceptions and 18 tackles for the NFL's ninth-best overall defense in September.

He also had a sack and forced fumble as the Seahawks went 3-0 for the month.

Hamlin is the first Seahawk defender to win the honor since Chad Brown in November 1998.

From the Associated Press:

"The biggest thing for me was just being able to run out of that tunnel again," into the Seahawks' home of Qwest Field, Hamlin said today.

The safety had two interceptions in the first half against the New York Giants on Sunday, a large reason Seattle had a 35-3 halftime lead in an eventual 42-30 win.

"It's definitely a big honor," a smiling Hamlin said. "I don't take anything for granted. Even practice, I don't take that for granted."

More odds

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:35 PM

These from

Season Odds (pre-season odds in brackets):

Odds to win the Super Bowl: 8-1 (pre-season odds were 10-1)

Odds to win the NFC Conference: 4-1 (4-1)

Odds to win the NFC West Division:

Seattle 1-7 (2-7)

St. Louis 9-2 (5-1)

Arizona 8-1 (7-2)

San Francisco 25-1 (20-1)

Seattle vs. Chicago Game Odds:

Spread Over/Under

Seattle +4.0 35.5

Chicago -4.0

Betting Trends:

Percentage of total dollars wagered:

Seattle: 44%

Chicago: 56%

Complete NFL Week 4 Game Odds (home teams in CAPS):

Favorite Underdog Spread Over/Under

Indianapolis NEW YORK (Jets) 9 46

ATLANTA Arizona 7 40.5

San Diego BALTIMORE 2.5 33.5

BUFFALO Minnesota 1 34.5

Dallas TENNESSEE 9.5 37

KANSAS CITY San Francisco 7 40

CAROLINA New Orleans 7.5 42

Miami HOUSTON 3.5 40

ST. LOUIS Detroit 5 43.5

CINCINNATI New England 6 45.5

Jacksonville WASHINGTON 3 34

Cleveland OAKLAND 2.5 34

CHICAGO Seattle 3.5 35.5

PHILADELPHIA Green Bay 11 48

Odds from

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:15 PM

Here they are...

Which of these remaining unbeaten NFL Teams will win the most games before losing their first?

Indianapolis 5/2

Cincinnati 7/2

Chicago 7/2

Baltimore 4/1

Seattle 5/1

San Diego 8/1

New Orleans 10/1

How many total rushing yards will Maurice Morris gain versus Chicago?

0-30 +450

31-40 +350

41-50 +200

51-65 +160

65+ +180

September 27, 2006

Shaun confirms the crack

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:39 PM

Shaun Alexander confirmed the Times' earlier report today that he still has a crack in the "ring toe" or fourth metatarsal, of his left foot.

Alexander, who spoke after Wednesday's practice, said the swellling in his foot had gone down, but that he feels he won't play Sunday.

He also said he isn't sure when he suffered the fracture in the New York game last week. He also doesn't know when exactly he'll be back in action.

"I'd like to say two days...but we don't know. We're just going to keep on getting treatment and keep on praying and whatever happens, happens."

Alexander said he still has "wishful thinking" that he'll heal up enough to play Sunday, but that his foot will hurt the most when he has to be on the sideline unable to be on the field with his teammates.

Asked if he has a prediction as to when he'd be back, Alexander said he's
"not good with that type of stuff" and that he would "not be the one you'd want to take to Vegas with you."

He expects to get another MRI either later this week or early next week.

Also, free safety Ken Hamlin missed practice with an unspecified shoulder injury. He is probable for Sunday and will likely practice tomorrow.

Make it a vacation

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:45 PM

After the serious news of the day -- Shaun Alexander and the rest of the Seahawks' injuries -- was discussed, coach Mike Holmgren shared his thoughts on the team playing an exhibition game in China next summer.

"I love it. I absolutely love it," Holmgren said. "I think it's the greatest thing in the world.

"To expose your players to other cultures and other places, I think that's a healthy, good thing for your team."

Holmgren did ask for a couple of conditions, which he believes the league and the Seahawks have met.

"It's important to know that when we get back, for about four days you can't do anything," Holmgren said. "You really have to just get your body back on track."

So the Seahawks, per Holmgren's understanding, won't play an exhibition game for some time after returning from Beijing.

The plan is to let the Seahawks rest and get in a few workouts, but nothing extensive. Holmgren isn't sure if the Seahawks how many exhibitions the Seahawks will have to play.

Shaun Alexander not ruled out ...

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:49 AM

The Seahawks just released their injury report, and Shaun Alexander is listed as doubtful, but he's not out. Coach Mike Holmgren will address his status:

Alexander (foot) and DE Joe Tafoya (knee) are doubtful.

S Jordan Babineaux (concussion), G Chris Gray (knee) and T Sean Locklear (knee) are questionable.

TE Jerramy Stevens (knee), DT Marcus Tubbs (knee) and G Floyd Womack (knee) are out.

September 26, 2006

Moving up the popularity charts

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:38 PM

Here's a blurb out of today's Puget Sound Business Journal that talks about a popularity poll involving the Seahawks. Mil gracias a (A thousand thanks to)Esteban, one of the blog readers, for calling my attention to it:

Basically, it says that the Seahawks are the 12th most popular NFL team in the country, according to a recent Harris Poll, up from the No. 23 position last year.

September 25, 2006

Victory Monday

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:22 PM

The Seahawks were given today off from their typical Monday afternoon running session. Coach Mike Holmgren said the players celebrated in the locker room after Sunday's game when told they would get a break, which they labeled "Victory Monday."

The news of Shaun Alexander's fractured foot dominated the day, but Holmgren also talked about injuries to starting right guard Chris Gray and defensive end Joe Tafoya.

Gray could be back from a sprained knee in time for Sunday's game, and Tafoya has a knee injury that could cost him a few weeks.

Holmgren also was asked if he considered taking Matt Hasselbeck out of the game in favor of backup quarterback Seneca Wallace. Hasselbeck played the whole game. Holmgren said he did not because he like how Hasselbeck was controlling the game, even though Hasselbeck threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter.

One pass was tipped and one happened because of a missed blocking assignment that led to pressure on Hasselbeck and a hurried throw.

More on Alexander injury

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 4:19 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren isn't willing to even broach the timeline for Shaun Alexander's recovery from a fracture in his left foot. He said the hope is a couple of weeks, and when he was asked whether that means Alexander might only miss one game because of the bye on Oct. 8, Holmgren said he wasn't willing to address that potential return date.

The lack of a definitive timetable is going to invite a ton of speculation on just how long he's going to be out.

What we know: It's a non-displaced fracture. That means it's a crack. The bone was not broken clean through. Here's a description from the Web site for the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: "Displacement refers to the amount the two broken pieces have moved from each other. Non-displaced fractures are ones where the pieces haven't separated at all. Displaced fractures have some separation between the broken pieces."

What we don't know: Which bone was broken. There are 26 bones in the foot. We won't know the exacty type of fracture, either (i.e. was it a stress fracture?).

In November 1996, quarterback John Friesz suffered displaced fracture of his leg -- not his foot -- after a game against Detroit. Here's an excerpt of Larry Stone's coverage of the injury for The Seattle Times:

"The Seahawks were shocked yesterday when X-rays revealed what is a 'non-displaced fracture of the tibia plateau.' Friesz described it as a vertical crack on the weight-bearing part of the lower leg. He won't require surgery or a cast, though he is on crutches. The injury is expected to sideline him six to eight weeks."

Friesz did not play the rest of that season.

Quarterback Dan Marino suffered a non-displaced fracture in his ankle in September 1996, and he missed three games that season.

Shockey jock

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 10:31 AM

Qwest Field wasn't the only thing rumbling on Sunday. The Giants locker room was a long way from silent.

We ran a story on that here. It's understandably big news for those reporters who cover and those fans who follow the Giants. All of the papers covering the team have stories on it. The New York Daily News. The Bergen Record. The Newark Star-Ledger. The New York Times' John Branch has a great game story from a Giants perspective here. has posted the Associated Press story, but they have linked to a video clip on the right-hand side from a TV station. You can hear it how he says it.

Something funny to watch. Tackle Luke Petitgout getting dressed in the locker next to Shockey. It was Petitgout who was answering questions when Shockey piped up. He had been silent for about half an hour in the locker room, waiting to get dressed. He was the last player out of the locker room, but there wasn't one reporter who was gone. Everyone was waiting for him to say something, and he did. He piped up over a question asked of Petitgout, took over the answer and Petitgout got dressed silently and then walked away.

Best headline of the day: Coughlin gives Burress a hook route. That was in the Star-Ledger. Burress had one pass go off his hands, which was intercepted. He also fumbled. He did not play in the second half. He was bothered last week by a sore back, and he said after the game the coaches must have seen he was not at 100 percent. He also said it was a coaching decision to remove him. In other words, he didn't tell them he couldn't go.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren will give his day-after summation later this afternoon in Kirkland. Health updates on Chris Gray and Joe Tafoya will be available. The Seahawks finished Sunday's game without the two opening-day starters at guard.

September 24, 2006

Post game thoughts

Posted by Jose Romero at 7:54 PM

The Seahawks are 3-0 for the first time since...2004. This is the fifth time they have been 3-0, and they've never been 4-0.

The Seahawks play at Chicago next weekend -- the Bears are also 3-0 and are another NFC championship contender -- but I'll save the Chicago stuff for Monday through next Sunday.

If the Seahawks spread the ball around the way they did today, they can be almost unstoppable. The Giants are a good team and they were thoroughly confused by the four-receiver sets, the substitutions and pretty much everything the Seahawks did.

Darrell Jackson was surprisingly giddy in the locker room after the game. He didn't have the tone of a guy who could lose catches and yards to newcomer Deion Branch. But two touchdowns will make anyone happy, and to Jackson's credit, he is still producing and playing hard.

Shaun Alexander was clearly hobbled and it showed. Fortunately, the Seahawks haven't needed big production from him.

Matt Hasselbeck probably should have been taken out of the game sooner, and coach Mike Holmgren admitted he would have liked to have put in backup Seneca Wallace. Holmgren liked how Hasselbeck was managing the game despite the turnovers in the fourth quarter.

This game wasn't and should never have been this close. The Seahawks were an offensive juggernaut and their defense is still coming up big. And it looks like the future of the offensive line, at least at guard, is here with Chris Spencer and Rob Sims pressed into action. The experience can only do them good.

Fullback Mack Strong continues to come up with big runs when his number is called. And the role players on special teams -- Josh Scobey, Ryan Plackemeier, Jordan Babineaux, Isaiah Kacyvenski and others -- are doing their jobs well.

Going from 42-3 to a 42-30 final score isn't a good thing, but the Seahawks can rejoice in how well they played for three quarters and keep learning how to close teams out in the fourth.

The crowd was amazing. You had to have been there. They get as rowdy for defensive big plays as they do for touchdowns.

Fun times again here at Qwest.

Seahawks Beijing bound

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:02 PM

The NFL will make it official today, annoucing the two teams who will play in Beijing in an exhibition game next summer. One will be the Seahawks, with the New England Patriots expected to be the other.

There will be an announcement live at Qwest Field on the stadium big screens at the end of the first quarter, so the fans here today will get the news first.

The NFL will officially announce the Beijing game later in the afternoon.

The Seahawks have released their inactive players for today's game against the New York Giants. They are WR D.J. Hackett, S Oliver Celestin, LB Kevin Bentley, T Ray Willis, G Floyd Womack, TE Jerramy Stevens and DT Russell Davis. David Greene is inactive but is the emergency third quarterback.

September 23, 2006

Branch activated

Posted by Bill Reader at 5:50 PM

The Seahawks made the activation of WR Deion Branch official today when they added Branch to the 53-man active roster.

The team released DL Chris Cooper to make room for Branch. Cooper made the team after a good exhibition season, but the Seahawks entered the regular season with 10 defensive linemen, and Cooper's role did not expand to special teams, unlike that of defensive ends Joe Tafoya and Darryl Tapp.

The Seahawks had a two-week roster exemption after acquiring Branch in a trade with the New England Patriots on Sept. 11. Branch was not activated for last week's win over Arizona, but had to be activated today with the exemption nearing its end.

September 22, 2006

Shaun Alexander, Itula Mili practice

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 2:36 PM

Shaun Alexander was back at practice today after missing the previous two days with a sore foot. Coach Mike Holmgren said he expects Alexander to play Sunday.

Same for tight end Itula Mili, which is a marked change from last Sunday, when the team feared he would miss extended time. Holmgren said he expects Mili to play, but is still leaning toward starting Will Heller at tight end.

Game balls from last Sunday's game were awarded to Darrell Jackson, Lofa Tatupu and Josh Parry, whom the Seahawks acquired from the Eagles for their final regular-season roster. Parry is a fullback, but was awarded the game ball for his play on special teams.

September 21, 2006

Alexander :"It hurts"

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:32 PM

Practice has ended for the day, and running back Shaun Alexander spoke to reporters afterward.

He said he hurt his left foot at Detroit in the season opener, but with all the contact he absorbed and players falling on him, couldn't say exactly when he injured it. Alexander has missed the past two days of practice, including today.

Alexander has had trouble putting weight on the foot and still feels pain, but said it feels a lot better and that he's hoping to practice on Friday.

Alexander also talked about the two horse-collar tackles made on him in the Arizona game, neither of which drew penalties, although the NFL is trying to stop such tackles, made by grabbing the inside of the pads below the neck.

Alexander said teams have tried to tackle him in that way more in the past two years.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said this week he thought the first tackle, which happened in the trenches, wouldn't be called by officials. But the second one, which happened far downfield near the sideline and end zone, was the one Holmgren thought the officials were looking for in emphasizing the rule.

What are the odds?

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:58 PM

Odds on how many field goals Giants kicker Jay Feely will miss this weekend, from

0 Even

1 -200 (means a bet of $2 returns $1 plus the original $2 bet)

2 +450 (means a bet of $1 returns $4.50 plus the original $1 bet)

3 +600 (means a bet of $1 returns $6 plus the original $1 bet)

Nothing more than Feely

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:51 AM

I had to laugh a little when a reporter who covers the Giants sent me this little item about New York kicker Jay Feely:

Feely, he of three missed field goals that would have won the game for the Giants last season at Seattle, became the center of a "Saturday Night Live''
skit about the Giants' plane ride home after the loss.

Feely has been reminded over and over again about his only bad day of the 2005 season. Yet he countered with a quote he attributes to words of Hubert H. Humphrey: "Smooth water never made a good sailor."

"Everywhere I went this offseason, whether it was speaking at a school, speaking at a church, talking with senators," Feely said Wednesday, "that question always came up: How did you deal with that game?

"Anytime you go through tough times in life, and everybody is going to go through tough times, the way in which you respond to those situations is going to define you."

Feely responded two weeks later by kicking the winning field goal in overtime in Philadelphia, even -- and this is the funny part -- after clips of his already infamous three Seattle misses were flashed on the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard.

Gotta love those Philly fans.

Feely said he never lost the support of his teammates and coaches after last
year's game, and coach Tom Coughlin said the kicker's handling of the postgame situation contributed to that.

"He spoke immediately to his teammates, he made no excuses," Coughlin
said. "He had great resolve. He worked his tail off the following week and ended
in the same situation shortly thereafter and came through."

"You can't allow your mind to wander," Feely said of erasing the past. "You
can't allow yourself to think about the implications of what you're doing on your
career, or on the season or on your team. You have to stay focused on the task at
hand, on the present.

"Tiger Woods talks about it all the time. And he's one of the greatest at being able to stay focused on what he's doing right then, at that moment.

"If I miss a field goal, even if a make three more, I still had a bad game. There's very little room for error. It's very similar to a closer's role in baseball. He comes in, he hasn't been involved in the game, but now the game rests in his hands."

Giants sounding off

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 9:29 AM

The issue of crowd sound was blanketed by the reporters covering the New York Giants, too. The New York Daily News mentioned in its story that rumors of inflated sound have been circulating in the NFL since Qwest Field opened four years. The New York Post's story doesn't cast the same degree of suspicion and includes a quote from Giants CEO John Mara who said the Giants didn't complain about the sound.

In more football-oriented news, Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey has a sore ankle though tests didn't detect a serious injury, according to the Daily News. Rookie wide receiver Sinorice Moss was forced out of practice when he reaggravated a strain of his quadriceps, according to the Post. The New York Times also has a story on Amani Toomer, the Giants franchise leader in receptions.

September 20, 2006

Rain, rain go away

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:25 PM

This would have been a good day to have had headquarters in Renton with the new permanent indoor facility. The Seahawks practiced in the cold rain.

The most notable absence from practice was RB Shaun Alexander, whose sore left foot kept him out today. Alexander is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the New York Giants, and might not practice Thursday.

Coach Mike Holmgren said Alexander played in pain last week but did not miss any practice. He injured the foot in the Detroit game in the season opener.

Also, tight end Itula Mili is questionable with a left knee injury and did not practice. Mili might not take part Thursday, either, though Holmgren said there is an outside chance Mili will play Sunday.

For now, Will Heller is the starting tight end and is taking snaps with the first-team offense.

12th man not on steroids, Seahawks say

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 12:57 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren said he laughed a little bit when he saw the memo from the league regarding the noise at Qwest Field for this weekend's game.

"I know our fans are the best fans in the world," Holmgren said. "We have a great home-field advantage now. It put a little smile on my face when I saw this memo ... If I'm a fan, I take that kind of personally. Like, 'If you think last year was loud or the championship game was loud, wait until Sunday.' "

The Giants and Seahawks were notified that the league will be monitoring this weekend's game for compliance with the NFL's crowd-noise policy and mentioned that there had been allegations that Seattle had enhanced or artificial crowd noise.

Is it enhanced or artificial?

"Absolutely, unequivocally, no," said Tod Leiweke, Seahawks CEO. "There's one noise, and it has been heard around the country and it's our crowd."

Holmgren even cracked a couple of jokes, mentioning that he was on the competition committee when it enacted rules about speakers on the playing field.

Holmgren recalled that during the mid-1990s, there were speakers in Minneapolis trained on the opposing bench, making conversation on the sidelines difficult.

"The speakers were there so their version of the Seagals would stay in time during the routines," Holmgren said. "It had nothing to do with football. It was the dance groups."

Alexander on injury report

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:54 AM

RB Shaun Alexander is on the Seahawks' first injury report of the week with a left foot injury. He's listed as probable for Sunday. Coach Mike Holmgren should shed some more light on this at his news conference in a few minutes.

TE Itula Mili is questionable with a left knee injury and LG Floyd Womack is out with a right knee injury.

Coughlin asked about noise at Qwest Field

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 8:59 AM

Tom Coughlin, the Giants head coach, just concluded his weekly telephone conference call with reporters here in Seattle and he was asked if he thought the crowd noise at Qwest Field had been enhanced.

"No, I'm not sure about any of that," Coughlin said. "I know it was very loud, and it certainly served their purpose very well, but I'm not aware of anything other than the normal crowd noise."

He was then asked if anyone in the Giants organization had complained to the NFL.

"Not that I know of," he said.

He was also asked if the volume of the crowd at last year's game took him by surprise.

"I played before there, and I really didn't remember it being that loud," Coughlin said. "Last year, it was very loud."

A notice from the NFL was sent to the Giants and Seahawks, which mentioned allegations that crowd noise at Qwest Field had been enhance and emphasizing the league would be monitoring this weekend's game.

September 18, 2006

Sibling rivalry

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 4:20 PM

There are a couple of brotherly bonds to this weekend's game. Matt Hasselbeck's younger brother, Tim, is a backup quarterback for the Giants. Also, Will Lewis is the Seahawks director of pro personnel, and his brother, Tim Lewis, is New York's defensive coordinator.

Matt Hasselbeck joked that his brother will be able to perform a good imitation of him in practice for the Giants this week. He was asked whether his brother would sell a scouting report short, leaving out some secrets or weak spots.

"He said, 'You know what, I would tell them everything, but nobody asked,' " Matt joked.

Matt is the oldest of the Hasselbeck brothers, and Tim is in the middle. Matt said that there was a little bit of controversy after last year's game between the Giants and Seahawks because Tim felt his parents were favoring the Seahawks. Specifically, they weren't celebrating after Jeremy Shockey's touchdown catch.

"No one was cheering when Shockey scored, so he was upset," Matt said.

"They promised they would always root for the offense, and that wasn't the case, as Tim would say," Matt said. "Again, he's claiming the middle-child syndrome."

Monday add

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:32 PM

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said Deion Branch will be activated for the game Sunday against the New York Giants. That seemed to be a foregone conclusion after he sat out Sunday's game.

Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram will maintain their roles in the lineup at flanker and as the slot receiver, while Branch and Nate Burleson will split time at split end.

Monday update

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 2:59 PM

After Sunday's game, coach Mike Holmgren said the knee injury for Itula Mili would be more severe than the one to Floyd Womack. That wasn't the case.

"It's just flipped," he said.

Holmgren didn't have a timetable for either one, but Womack's injury is more severe, with the possibility it could be as long as a six-week recovery process. Mili's status will be clarified later this week, but it doesn't sound like it's a long-term injury at all.

That said, Seattle still has a shortage at tight end. Jerramy Stevens is looking to return after the bye week, at the earliest. That leaves Will Heller as the only healthy tight end, and Holmgren said the position will be a topic of discussions when he and president Tim Ruskell meet this afternoon. The team does have Leonard Stephens on the practice squad.

Monday morning reading

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 10:34 AM

Peter King, Sports Illustrated's longtime NFL writer, is one of my favorites to read on Monday and Tuesday mornings. He assembles a pretty long file. There's too many mentions of his phone conversations with players to my taste, but there are gems sprinkled throughout. Like this week. You're four or five pages in, and you get to a note that he wouldn't be shocked if the Seahawks were to trade Darrell Jackson. Now, he's not predicting a trade or saying one has even been discussed. But the guy is a veteran observer of the NFL, and it's worth thinking about. Then the very next item is this quip:

I think my biggest question about the Raiders is not whether they can go 0-16. It's this: What on God's green Earth is Art Shell writing down every time the camera focuses on him? And why is he writing instead of yelling?

Classic. He has the Seahawks rated seventh in what he calls his "Fine 15" and that seems a little low for an unbeaten team that played in the Super Bowl last season. Then again, consider that they have three touchdowns in two games against teams that had losing records last season ... and, well ... you can't fault King's logic.

September 17, 2006

A win is a win

Posted by Jose Romero at 7:30 PM

It wasn't pretty and it should have been more lopsided, but the Seahawks got the job done today.

That they are 2-0 going into what will be a tough game against the New York Giants next week is critical. That game will be a matchup of two of the NFC's elite teams.

Looks like there is still work to be done on the offensive line for the Seahawks. Matt Hasselbeck was sacked three times and hurried six more, and left guard Pork Chop Womack was injured again. Coach Mike Holmgren said Womack could have come back into the game if the situation was dire, so Womack's knee injury might not be so bad. We'll find out Monday.

Chris Spencer came in and at least held his own at left guard. A change could have been coming at that position anyway, if Womack would have struggled, so maybe the Chris Spencer era is now here.

Spencer was drafted as a center, and is still viewed as the future at that position.

The way RB Maurice Morris ran, it makes me wonder if he'll be used more in the offense. He's come off the bench for some big runs the past two weeks.

Five dropped passes today -- and I thought they were past that problem. Let's see what happens next week.

Twelve tackles for MLB Lofa Tatupu, and he still is his own worst critic. Also CB Kelly Herndon had a second straight good game with 10 tackles and a forced fumble.

LB Leroy Hill was also pretty active -- not bad at all for his first game of the season.

It's Seahawks 8, opponents 8 in sacks and sacks allowed after two games. And congratulations to the first Seahawk to intercept a pass in 2006, Michael Boulware.

Let's see what Deion Branch provides to the offense next week, assuming he plays. They might need to go with more four-receiver sets if TE Itula Mili is out.

Finally, let me take this chance to apologize for a mistake I apparently made on the scouting report in Sunday's paper. It seems the Cardinals' linebackers were given a check mark as the unit with the advantage in the game. That advantage should have gone to the Seahawks, and perhaps I failed to move the check mark to the Seattle line. In no way did I believe, nor do I after today, that the Arizona linebackers are better as a whole than the Seahawks group.

Inactives and pregame thoughts

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:16 PM

The crowd is filing in to Qwest Field with kickoff 45 minutes away. Everyone has been handed a Seahawks green pompom so that should be fun to see during the game.

The Seahawks and Cardinals have announced their inactive players for the game. Seahawks WR Deion Branch is still exempt and won't play.

Other Seahawks inactives are DT Russell Davis, who doesn't get a chance to play his former team, DL Chris Cooper, injured TE Jerramy Stevens, OT Ray Willis, OG Rob Sims, S Oliver Celestin, QB David Greene (emergency third QB) and LB Kevin Bentley. Bentley played last week when Leroy Hill was held out with a shoulder injury, but today Hill is back in the lineup so a linebacker had to be held out.

The most interesting inactive for the Cardinals is CB David Macklin, who started at right cornerback last week but is apparently no longer in the good graces of the Arizona coaching staff.

Interesting note: The NFL on Fox pregame crew will be in Seattle next weekend for the Giants-Seahawks clash. The broadcast group includes Joe Buck, former players Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw and former coach Jimmy Johnson.

September 15, 2006

Who's picking the Seahawks?

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 1:34 PM

A look around the nation's media to see their early picks for the Arizona-Seattle game:

From Dale Goldberg, AP football writer: "The Cardinals playing for a division lead? Seahawks, 31-20.''

From Mark Potash, Chicago Sun-Times: "Seahawks started slowly last year, but loss of Steve Hutchinson seems huge now. Cardinals 20, Seahawks 17."

From Larry Brown, Contra Costa Times: ''Seahawks 31, Cardinals 20: True, new Seahawks weapon Deion Branch doesn't start at wide receiver. Instead, he jumps into one of those rubber sumo-wrestling suits and fills the void at left guard. If only the Raiders were so clever years ago when they signed a former Super Bowl MVP, legendary cornerback Larry Brown."

From Greg Cote, Miami Herald: "The Seattle offense that sprung Shaun Alexander for a record 28 TDs last year didn't look itself last week. The solution? An Arizona defense that, even in winning, gave up almost 400 yards to the Niners. 'Zona is improved but not enough to start 2-0 for first time since 1991. Seahawks swept Redbirds by a combined 70-31 last year, and are on a 22-3 roll at home, including 10 straight.''

From Vinny Ditrani, New Jersey Media Group: "Seahawks over Cardinals, giving 7: Seattle should explode offensively in what could wind up a high-scoring affair.''

From Daniel Brown, San Jose Mercury News: "Look for the Seahawks to send a message in this early showdown between NFC West contenders, with that message being: Y'all wasted a lot of money trying to keep up with us.''

From Nancy Gay, San Francisco Chronicle: "Fantasy leaguers, prepare for pumped-up stats: These explosive offenses will pile up big points; the Cardinals were prolific in a Week 1 victory over the 49ers and the Seahawks want to avenge last week's touchdown-less victory over the Lions. Key: Shaun Alexander ran for 140 yards and four TDs in his last game vs. Arizona. Pick: Seahawks.''

From Scouts, Inc., on "Divisional matchups are always intriguing to watch and this game could help determine who takes an early share of the divisional lead. This is a matchup of two high-powered offenses as the Seahawks return home for their season opener in front of a sold-out capacity crowd. The Seahawks survived a scare in Week 1 when they used a last-second field goal to secure a victory against the Lions. They were unable to get their run game going, but managed to come away with the victory. The Cardinals looked impressive in their home opener, as they moved the ball effectively against the 49ers.''

From Seth Wickersham, "Cardinals 27, Seahawks 24: Upset of the week.''

Branch decision yet to come

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:25 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren said after today's practice he hadn't made a decision about the playing status of WR Deion Branch for Sunday.

"We're going to talk about it," Holmgren said. "I said it earlier in the week. I think it's a little unrealistic for anybody to come in with a couple of days of practice and play after he hasn't played in a long time. But he's a special kid now. And if anyone could do it, he could do it. So we'll make that decision tomorrow at the last second. I've been going back and forth with it, to be honest."

Branch, Holmgren said, is lobbying to play but respects that it's Holmgren's call.

Holmgren also talked about Cortez Kennedy, the former Seahawks defensive tackle being inducted into the team's Ring of Honor Sunday. Holmgren coached Kennedy for his last two seasons in Seattle, 1999 and 2000. "I would have enjoyed having him longer," Holmlgren said. "He's certainly deserving of this. Great football player and really a fun guy."

Game balls from last week's win went to G Chris Gray for offense, CB Kelly Herndon for defense and K Josh Brown for special teams.

September 14, 2006

Need tickets?

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:40 PM

Better get them while you can. The Seahawks just announced that a limited number of bleacher and standing room only tickets have been released for Sunday's game. They can be purchased by calling 206-622-HAWK or at the Ticketmaster Web site.

Former Seahawks DT Cortez Kennedy will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime of the game.

Starting linebacker Leroy Hill looks good to go for this weekend. He was upgraded to probable after taking part in all of practice today. He has a sore shoulder that kept him out of the Detroit game.

Special teams player Josh Scobey did not practice Thursday and is probable for Sunday with a concussion.

Off the field, I noticed Xbox 360s in the locker stalls of the offensive linemen and fullback Mack Strong. Right guard Chris Gray told me the video game systems were a gift from RB Shaun Alexander, who also had earlier given each of the players a copy of the Madden football video game, which features Alexander on the cover.

Zoning in on Arizona ...

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 9:18 AM

The bulk of the attention this week has been on a guy who might not even play in Seattle's game this Sunday. That's understandable since acquiring Deion Branch is a pretty big deal for the franchise's future. But now, the Cardinals stand front and center for Seattle.

Arizona has been predicted by many to be the breakthrough team in the NFC this year. Then again, that has been true several times in recent history, most noteably last year. But Arizona won its season-opener, and QB Kurt Warner was named the NFC's player of the week. They have a pair of the league's best wide receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, who last season became only the third pair of teammates in NFL history to catch 100 or more passes apiece in the same season. They now have an elite running back in Edgerrin James, and their defense is among the most unorthodox and aggressive in the league.

Couple of other things on Arizona: It appears coach Denny Green doesn't have as much patience this season. He yanked cornerback David Macklin in the season-opener after the first series. After the game, Green was unhappy with the team's defense, which allowed the 49ers to gain almost 400 yards.

In injury updates, tackle Oliver Ross is returning from knee surgery he underwent in training camp and has said he expects to play Sunday. Also worth watching is Karlos Dansby's status. He is listed as probable on the team's injury report.

September 13, 2006

Seal and the Seahawks?

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 6:48 PM

An e-mail just landed in our in-box, announcing a concert in the new WaMu Theater (in the Qwest Field Event Center to the south of the stadium) on Nov. 3: "A special evening with Seal in concert."

But the kicker is the warmup act: "Paul Allen's Band with appearances by the Seahawks."

Looks like tickets are $45 and $65, in presale now on Ticketmaster.

Darche out-update

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:05 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren said long-snapper J.P. Darche is very likely to be placed on injured reserved later today, which means he will be out for the season. Darche, in his seventh NFL season, will need hip surgery.

Darche played with pain last Sunday and Holmgren said watching him was "painful to watch."

The Seahawks have just moments ago signed Derek Rackley, a tight end most recently with the Atlanta Falcons, to be the new long-snapper. Rackley is wearing No. 48 and is practicing today.

Rackley had been the Falcons' long snapper since 2000 and has appeared in every game since that year, 96 in all. He was waived by the Falcons last month.

Darche out

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:29 AM

The Seahawks' first official injury report of the week is out, and the name that jumps out is long snapper J.P. Darche.

I saw Darche on crutches Monday but coach Mike Holmgren never brought up any injury to Darche that day. Now it is known that Darche is out for this week with a right hip injury.

Holmgren should clarify around noon at his Wednesday news conference in Kirkland. Darche's replacement could be starting right guard Chris Gray, who is listed as the backup on the team's depth chart.

Other injured Seahawks are OLB Leroy Hill, who is questionable with a left shoulder injury, and TE Jerramy Stevens, who will be out for a few more weeks with a left knee injury. Hill missed last week's game.

September 12, 2006

Branch arrives in Kirkland, gets to work

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 2:38 PM

Deion Branch had an introductory news conference today in Kirkland. He came dressed in a suit, flanked by his representatives.

He began by not only saying he was excited, but expressing his gratitude to the New England Patriots.

"I would also like to thank Mr. Kraft, coach Belichick and Scott Pioli and the organization of the New England Patriots for drafting me," Branch said. "And giving me the opportunity to be the player I have excelled to be."

That wasn't quite expected given that the two sides were locked in a pretty significant struggle for more than a month. Branch wanted a new contract, and held out fearing the Patriots might apply the franchise tag to him. He's got the new contract with the Seahawks now (his agent confirmed the sides had come to terms, but did not specify the years or money involved) and he arrived in Seattle on Monday night. It's the first time he has been to this city.

The contract is believed to be a six-year deal that is worth a total of more than $38 million. The most significant number is the total at the front of the contract. Branch is to be paid $23 million in the first three years.

Branch said he has been working out diligently with a trainer, and that physically he feels great. He was asked if his integration into the team's offense begins with practice on Wednesday (players are off on Tuesday), and he joked it started when he walked in the door. He has already met with Matt Hasselbeck.

More on Deion ...

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 12:35 PM

Here's some reading material on Branch as we await his introduction here at Seahawks HQ:

The Boston Globe has a detailed report of the Patriots' beef with the Jets over discussions with Branch. The Boston Herald also reports the Patriots have filed a tampering charge.

Providence Journal columnist Jim Donaldson says that Branch's departure makes the Patriots' passing problem more pressing, but that doesn't mean it was the wrong decision to cut ties with Branch.

The Boston Globe's Ron Borges has Branch's initial reaction to the trade on Monday.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King commented on the trade, saying that the Patriots do things their way. That has meant parting ways with players like Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law and now Branch.

Extreme Makeover: Sept. 24 with Hawk trio

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 12:15 PM

Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Lofa Tatupu will appear on the season premiere of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" airing Sunday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC TV.

The show presents a new and renovated home to the family of Betsy Rogers in North Pole, Alaska. Rogers, a single mother, who has spent her life caring for her 13-member family, is a well-known figure throughout the community as she's a team mother for both the football and wrestling teams and a second mom to most of the kids in the area. Her two eldest sons, Christopher and Jonathan, have also been on a two-week mission trip in Honduras to help build homes there.

Before the makeover, the 13-member family had been crammed in a two-bedroom home. While the "Extreme Makeover'' crew works on transforming the Rogers' house into a dream home, the family will go on vacation to Disneyland. Hasselbeck, Alexander and Tatupu bring their game to the build, the TV producers say.

September 11, 2006

Holmgren, Ruskell on Branch

Posted by Jose Romero at 2:37 PM

Obviously the coach and GM love the trade, which was reflected in both calling WR Deion Branch a proven commodity. They also said they see Branch as a good fit and good team player, which will be important on a team already stocked with three other veteran targets, Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram.

The Seahawks gave up their first-round pick in 2007 to get Branch.

Seattle has been granted a two-week roster exemption to make a move on their 53-man roster. If Branch was to play this weekend, they'd have to release a player currently with the team.

The Seahawks will use that time to teach Branch the offense. Holmgren didn't say when Branch would play.

On the injury front, guys like Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones and Michael Boulware are sore today but should practice Wednesday, Holmgren said.

Branch reading material

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 10:46 AM

The Seahawks have a new wide receiver after completing a trade for Deion Branch today so I'll start compiling a primer of sorts on Branch. Here's a start.

The quick news blurb from the Boston Globe.

The Boston Herald put together a timeline for Branch, from his arrival to the recent holdout. put a microscope on the the escalating tension between Branch and the Patriots last week.

Finally, here's Newsday's Bob Glauber offering his assessment of what the Patriots' options were with Branch.

September 10, 2006

The end of a long day

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:35 PM

Games are now over. I've eaten dinner and tomorrow it's back to Seattle. A couple of additional thoughts on the Seahawks game:

When Ken Hamlin drilled the Lions' Mike Furrey with his right shoulder in the second quarter, that was a good sign for the Seahawks that Hamlin is back. Credit Furrey for hanging onto the ball for the catch, but Hamlin lit him up like old times. I really like what I saw from Hamlin today. He was very aggressive and also very talkative, which I think serves to energize his teammates. There's a reason they picked him to be a co-captain.

The Seahawks are now 10-21 in season openers in team history. Not good, but it was a win.

CB Kelly Herndon also played well after missing a couple of tackles early. Herndon wrapped up thereafter, and provided good pass coverage.

It seems clear that Shaun Alexander is going to have a more difficult time running the ball. Not through lack of effort, but Seattle's offensive line has issues. Shaun Rogers of Detroit really worked over Seahawks left guard Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, and Tom Ashworth, the top backup at tackle, was taken out of the game after two plays when he gave up a sack. Maybe some defenses the Seahawks face won't be as tough as Detroit's -- after all, their head coach is perhaps the top defensive line coach in the game -- but the pass protection and run blocking have to be better.

Pregame in Detroit

Posted by Jose Romero at 9:07 AM

It's nice, in a way, to be back. The Super Bowl was crazy around here, but a regular season game is a much more relaxed and easy-going atmosphere.

From my perch in the press box I recall watching some of the Rolling Stones halftime show here in Ford Field at the Super Bowl. I'm only a few seats down from where I was for the big game.

OK, the inactives are out and for the Seahawks, the eight players are FS Oliver Celestin, G Rob Sims, T Ray Willis, TE Jerramy Stevens (injured), DT Chris Cooper and DT Russell Davis. Also, LB Leroy Hill, as I speculated Friday, is not active after dealing with a sore shoulder this past week. And No. 3 QB David Greene is the emergency QB but on the inactive list.

Davis is still coming back from a foot problem but was OK to play.

Julian Peterson has officially changed numbers from 44 to 59, but we'll see if he still dons the double-4 on Monday for the light workout in Kirkland. He might just keep No. 44 for the week but wear 59 in games.

September 8, 2006

Survey says...

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 6:10 PM

Tullamore Dew says it has polled 100 sportswriters and broadcasters across the country to get their take on what's coming up this season.

Here are the results of their survey:

Most Anticipated Game --18% picked the Cowboys vs. the Eagles (Oct. 8); 11% picked the Colts vs. the Giants (Sept. 10), and 7% picked the Bengals vs. the Steelers (Sept. 24).

Coach of the Year --11% say Bill Parcells, followed closely by Denny Green. Bill Belichick and Nick Saban tied for third with 7% apiece.

Best Offensive Team -- The Colts dominate this category with 48% of the vote, followed by the Bengals (12%) and the Seahawks (7%).

Best Defensive Team -- 23% named the Bears, followed by the Panthers and Steelers (13% apiece).

Who will win the Super Bowl? Survey says the Colts (19%) or the Panthers (18%), followed by the Patriots (11%), the Seahawks (12%) and the Cowboys (9%).

Most Overrated Teams: The Cowboys (19%), Colts (11%) and the Giants (10%).

Most Underrated Teams: The Jaguars (11%), Dolphins (10%) and the Cardinals (9%).

Most Overrated Player: Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys

Most Underrated Player: Tiki Barber of the New York Giants


Posted by Cathy Henkel at 12:09 PM

Maybe they're too far away to really know. But in an article for today's Calgary Herald, Bob Christ led his weekly picks with this:

Lions (+6) over Seahawks: Seattle returns to the site of its Super nightmare. By the way, the post-championship game hangover doesn't wait till mid-October or Boxing Day to strike. It happens right away. The previous seven runners-up in the Super Bowl have opened the next season with losses.

Other picks around the country:

From Dave Goldberg, AP's football writer: "The NFC champions had a major offseason loss on offense (left guard Steve Hutchinson) and a major gain on defense (linebacker Julian Peterson). The Seahawks remain the favorites in the NFC because their schedule is much easier than the rest of the conference's stronger teams. Detroit isn't a favorite for much, although who knows what will happen in the weak NFC North. New coach Rod Marinelli has installed some toughness in a team that's a league worst 21-59 since 2001, and demonstrated it by cutting Charles Rogers, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft.

From Jim Rich of the New York Daily News: There are always a handful of big upsets in Week 1, and this is one of them. The Seahawks come marching into Detroit with a chip still on their shoulder from their Super Bowl loss to the Steelers, but the Lions are just the team to knock it off for them. New offensive coordinator Mike Martz has this bunch believing it can score on anyone, and with Jon Kitna firing away to Roy Williams and Corey Bradford down after down, they should put up some points on a Seattle pass defense that ranked 25th last season. Detroit will be hard-pressed to stop MVP Shaun Alexander, but should surprise in a shootout.

From Peter Yoon of the Los Angeles Times: Seattle running back Shawn Alexander has 62 million reasons to prove the Seahawks' Super Bowl run was no fluke. Detroit is armed with a new coach (Rod Marinelli) and a new quarterback (Jon Kitna), but unfortunately, the defense remains intact. Th pick: Seattle. Detroit's defense will be caught with its pants down trying to stop Alexander.

From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: Seattle, 28-10. Seattle returns to the site of its Super Bowl loss all but guaranteed to fare better this time. 'Hawks are aging but superior across the board and should dominate Detroit's D with a Shaun Alexander-led attack that topped the NFL with 20 drives of 80-plus yards last year. New coach Rod Marinelli has tried to make the Lions' offense more physical, but can RB Kevin Jones carry the load? An even better question: Why trust any offense directed by Jon Kitna?

Who plays?

Posted by Jose Romero at 11:25 AM

Everyone, except injured tight end Jerramy Stevens and possibly linebacker Leroy Hill, coach Mike Holmgren said after this morning's practice.

Hill worked with the scout team but is still dealing with a sore left shouder and is questionable for Sunday's season opener in Detroit. His status will be determined on game day.

The rest of the previously injured Seahawks took part in practice and will play, if not start. Walter Jones, Itula Mili, Russell Davis, Marcus Tubbs and Darrell Jackson should all be ready to go, and Jackson could start but will likely take part in just half of the Seahawks' plays on offense. Bobby Engram will fill in when needed.

Holmgren also announced the Seahawks' captains for 2006. On defense they are MLB Lofa Tatupu and FS Ken Hamlin. Offense: QB Matt Hasselbeck and Jones. Special teams: LB Isaiah Kacyvenski and long snapper J.P. Darche.

D.D. Lewis will start if Hill cannot play. The Seahawks will have some interesting decisions to make as to whom to deactivate for the game, as the roster is more talent- and experience-laden than ever.

I'm thinking Hill won't play, and the team will also not activate an offensive linemen [either Rob Sims or Ray Willis or both]. Stevens and two defensive linemen won't be active, the choices being Chris Cooper, Davis and Tubbs. Also David Greene will be the emergency third QB. All of that is just my speculation, though.

"That's a tough call week, but that's a good call because they're all healthy," Holmgren said. "I'd rather have it that way... We had a number of games last year where we didn't have to make any decisions at all. All the guys down were hurt, and that's not a good thing. While the player who gets sat down, if he's healthy, if he can't play in the game he's going to be disappointed, but that's part of the deal. They know it and while they might not like it, they know the reasons why and we're pretty clear to them about that."

One of our reporters, Greg Bishop, is in Detroit, and offers this tidbit from Lions QB and Tacoma native Jon Kitna, who starts against his former team Sunday.

Kitna said he'll have plenty of friends and family watching the game back in the Northwest.

"I've been teasing my friends," Kitna said. "Because, of course, after the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl, everybody is a Seahawks fan in Seattle now. I have to tease some of my friends."

Bishop asked if those folks will be wearing split jerseys. "They better be in their Kitna jerseys," Kitna said. "If not, that would be kind of weak. I'd have to re-evaluate some friendships."

September 7, 2006

Thursday practice

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:31 PM

LB Leroy Hill did not practice Thursday, and it won't be officially known until tomorrow if he will be able to play.

If Hill cannot, D.D. Lewis figures to start in his place. Lewis and Kevin Bentley shared Hill's duties in practice.

Hill's absence will be missed if he can't play, but consider this: The Seahawks have starting experience among all of their linebackers, even the backups: Lewis, Bentley, Niko Koutouvides and Isaiah Kacyvenski each have started at least two career games.

Koutouvides was back in practice Thursday from an excused absence Wednesday. C Chris Spencer was not present, excused from the team for a personal matter.

Hill on injury report

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:24 PM

The Seahawks just put out their latest up-to-date injury report, and starting outside linebacker Leroy Hill is on it.

Hill is questionable with an unspecified left shoulder injury. That means he has a 50 percent chance of playing this weekend.

Hill hurt his left shoulder in practice Wednesday and was favoring it heavily. He came out of a drill late in the session and didn't return, replaced by D.D. Lewis.

Lewis would likely start in Hill's place if he can't play Sunday.

Practice starts shortly. I'll be looking to see if Hill is participating.

ESPN's Sports Guy prediction.

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 12:48 PM's Bill Simmons won't ever be mistaken for a football insider, but he is frequently pretty funny and he has the Seahawks pegged for a 7-9 record. You have to read a ways. It's below his skewering of Matt Leinart for selling out a buddy on MTV's Punk'd and above his shameless pandering about Tom Brady's determination based on the expression on his face. Here's a quote from Simmons' Seahawks assessment, which is introduced with a thumbs-down graphic:

"To the poor Seahawks for battling two insurmountable curses at the same time: The Super Bowl Loser Curse (no 21st-century Super Bowl loser has ever bounced back to win even eight games) and the Madden Cover Jinx (which replaced the SI Jinx in terms of relevance, cultural impact and undeniable consistency)."

Warrick in Detroit

Posted by Greg Bishop at 11:49 AM

Ran into a familiar face this morning at the Lions facility here in Allen Park, Mich. I was talking to Jon Kitna, and all of a sudden, he launches into the card game "spades" and how he taught Peter Warrick everything he knows about it. This seemed strange. Why would Kitna be talking about the receiver the Seahawks cut recently? And then I turned around ...

And saw none other than Peter Warrick. Warrick said he was surprised by his release, but also said he understood that the Seahawks made a "business decision." He said he went through a workout at the Lions facility on Wednesday, but didn't know if he would end up on the team or not. Warrick, not coincidentally, played with Kitna on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Does he hope they play together again soon?

"Oh, yeah," Warrick said. "I hope so."

September 6, 2006

Check out this story

Posted by Jose Romero at 7:06 PM

Here's a link to a story involving the Lions.

The terrible towel returns

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 4:11 PM

Sick of the terrible towels?

Nobody in Pittsburgh is. The Steelers will be feted with an official "Terrible Towel" wave at 8:30 a.m. EST Thursday, to be led by Corey O'Connor, the son of Pittsburgh's late mayor Bob O'Connor.

They are asking that Steeler Nation around the world wave their towels in unison at that time.

If you'd like to learn more, see

We're guessing you won't.

Wednesday practice report

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:30 PM

Itula Mili, Walter Jones, Russell Davis and Darrell Jackson all took part in practice and if they continue to make progress this week, should start (except) Davis, who is a reserve.

Maurice Mann, the receiver cut from the team Wednesday when the Seahawks signed WR-KR Willie Ponder on Tuesday, was back with the team on its practice squad. The Seahawks released CB Gerard Ross from the eight-man squad to make room for Mann, who was on Seattle's practice squad for part of last season as well.

Backup MLB Niko Koutouvides was allowed an excused absence to attend to a personal matter.

The Seahawks will use both Josh Scobey and Ponder as kickoff returners, simultaneously. Scobey is also valuable as a gunner, or kickoff and punt coverage player who runs down the sideline trying to be the first tackler to get to the opposing return man.

Spirits seem pretty high around headquarters.

Holmgren's noon briefing

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 12:39 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren just completed his weekly news conference with reporters.

Tight end Jerramy Stevens remains the only Seahawk ruled out for Sunday's game, and that's no surprise. He's not expected back until October.

Tight end Itula Mili is not on the injury report so he will be expected to play.

Tackle Walter Jones (shoulder), wide receiver Darrell Jackson (knee) and defensive tackle Russell Davis (foot) are each listed as probable.

"Shorty" and more

Posted by Jose Romero at 10:19 AM

Lions first year head coach Rod Marinelli revealed a funny detail about Seahawks defensive tackle Chuck Darby this morning: He was nicknamed "Shorty" when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Marinelli was the Bucs' defensive line coach and assistant head coach before moving on to the Lions. He started his question-and-answer session with Seahawks media on a conference call with general thoughts about being a new head coach and commenting on certain players and Seahawks president Tim Ruskell. Then Marinelli turned super enthusiastic when talking about Darby, blocking and new offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

Darby is a popular Seahawk known for his hard-nosed play. He became an invaluable member and leader of the defense during last season's Super Bowl run.

"Oh, I love Shorty," Marinelli, said, then repeated it amid laughter. "He knocks out people. The short, and he's a little stump, and he's tougher than nails. And I fall in love with men like that because they've earned it. Everything he's gotten, he's earned in this league. He's earned his playing time. Earned his Super Bowl ring. He's been in two Super Bowls, and he's tough and he's got unbelievable character. I'm going to keep looking for guys like that."

Darby is listed as 6 feet tall in the Seahawks media guide. Marinelli thought differently.

"His spikes are elevated," Marinelli said. "I know he's 5-10. Me and him would look eyeball to eyeball. He is something else. He is built-in pad level."

Marinell was also asked about how longtime fullbacks like Seattle's Mack Strong and Detroit's Cory Schlesinger are able to stay so effective for so long.

"It's a beautiful thing to me to see men who really love blocking. God, I love that!" Marinelli gushed. "I'm one of those old guys. I love the lead blocker. I love the scoop block. I love that part of the game. I love tackling and I think it's terrific. More people should zero in on those guys and what their jobs are because it is something else. It's a beautiful thing."

Marinelli wasn't done. He went on to say that he has a big "L" on his head for "Lucky," because he has Martz as his offensive coordinator.

Unofficial count: Marinelli said the word "beautiful" six times in seven minutes.

September 5, 2006

Peter Warrick in Florida

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 2:23 PM

Peter Warrick was perhaps the most noteworthy name of the Seahawks' final cuts before the regular season as they parted ways with the receiver chosen with the fourth overall pick.

He talked to a reporter near his home in Florida about the decision over the weekend, and here's the story from the Herald-Tribune.

Warrick expressed frustration about a lack of opportunities. "I said, 'Come on, y'all have never seen me play,' " he said. " 'Call some plays for 'P-Dub'. I really felt everybody got a chance to get their shine on but me."

There was a follow-up story printed Tuesday, which said Tampa Bay does not appear interested in acquiring Warrick.

Maurice Mann was chosen as the team's fifth receiver ahead of Warrick, and Jimmy Williams will return punts for the Seahawks.

More odds

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:42 PM

The Seahawks resume their preparations for the regular-season opener at Detroit tomorrow. Things I'll be looking for: How much Itula Mili, Walter Jones, Marcus Tubbs, Russell Davis and Darrell Jackson practice
If betting odds are your thing, here's some more Seahawks odds from

Seattle To Win Super Bowl XLI: 11/1

Seattle To Win NFC Championship: 5/1

Seattle To Win NFC West: 4/11

Total regular season wins by Seattle Seahawks

Over 10.5 wins 10/11

Under 10.5 wins 1/1

Seattle at Detroit

Seattle -6

Detroit (home) +6

Back in Detroit

Posted by Greg Bishop at 10:59 AM

As I drove to downtown early Monday morning -- in town to cover the Mariners-Tigers series, advance the Seahawks-Lions game on Sunday and cover the Seahawks opener -- I couldn't help but feel like I had traveled down this road before. In fact, it was pretty recent, and the memories remained fresh from my last trip here in February for the Super Bowl.

I thought of Warren Moon on my drive, and how he broke down in tears on the same freeway after learning he had made the Hall of Fame. I also passed all the places where the parties were during Super Bowl week, remembering The Madden Bowl and the league party and all the memories from those nights. At my hotel, I thought of Durran Alexander, Shaun Alexander's brother, who made the trip down Radio Row during the prep week leading up to the Super Bowl. And, of course, I thought of the game itself -- memories of referees, blown calls, blown plays and the Seahawks loss in the most important game they ever played.

Things are similar and different here at the Renaissance Center, the RenCen to the locals. Compared to the circus that is Super Bowl week, the place is a ghost town. You don't need wristbands to get to the elevator, and you don't run into Mike Ditka in the lobby, like I did in February. At the same time, I have the same view out of my hotel room of the monstrous casino across the river in Canada. The room service is the same. And the streets around downtown still have some momentos of the Super Bowl -- I saw a few Super Bowl XL flags still hanging and a few Super Bowl XL T-shirts.

My guess is this game will be anticlimatic after the 10 days we spent here in February. The Super Bowl is the ultimate circus, the ultimate party, the ultimate sporting event. This is the Lions home opener. Note the difference. But I will also always remember Detroit and the RenCen for the first Super Bowl I covered. That's why this week is so different and so similar all at the same time.

A historical footnote

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 9:46 AM

On Sunday, we looked at how the past five teams to lose the Super Bowl had a losing record the following season.

The provoked an e-mail that made me laugh out loud when I saw it, and I asked the author, Aron Mellich, if it was OK to post it here and he said sure. Here it is:


Did any of the previous Super Bowl losers dominate the winning team on both sides of the ball and every phase of the game except for the category of close or questionable officiating calls? Just wondered.

Federal Way"

September 4, 2006

Monday practice update

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 4:44 PM

Darrell Jackson practiced today for the first time since training camp began, and when coach Mike Holmgren was asked if Jackson would immediately move to the first string, the coach said the priority will be making sure Jackson, and his knee, stay healthy.

Tight end Itula Mili and left tackle Walter Jones did not practice, but Holmgren expects both will practice Wednesday and should be available for this weekend's season opener. Mili suffered a sprained knee in the third exhibition game. Jones hurt his shoulder in that game, which was against San Diego. Tom Ashworth started in Jones' place at left tackle in the exhibition finale while Will Heller was the only tight end on the 53-man roster participating in Monday's practice.

Holmgren said at this point tight end Jerramy Stevens is the only one ruled out for the season opener, and he expects Mili, Jones and defensive tackle Russell Davis to be on the practice field Wednesday. Davis has been recovering from surgery to repair his plantar fascia.

The players will have Tuesday off, which they normally do in the course of a regular NFL week.

Jimmy Williams will return punts for the Seahawks after Peter Warrick was released in the final round of cuts. Fullback Josh Parry arrived, too, and was on the field for practice.

The other housekeeping note is Holmgren said Stevens' knee injury is a little bit different than his previous knee injury, which had required surgery.

September 2, 2006

Hawks pick up Eagles FB

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:50 PM

The Seahawks have made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for fullback Josh Parry.

Parry, 28, did not start the Eagles' exhibition finale against the New York Jets Friday, though he was listed as a substitute in the final game statistics. Parry, 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, is in his third NFL season.

He has also been a special teams contributor for the Eagles.

Parry apparently lost the starting fullback job to Thomas Tapeh, making him expendable. The Seahawks lost Leonard Weaver, who was projected to be their backup fullback, to a high ankle sprain Friday night. So this move makes sense.

The Seahawks dealt a 2008 conditional draft pick to the Eagles for Parry.

September 1, 2006

D. Branch on the move?

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 10:18 AM's Len Pasquarelli has reported that Deion Branch has reached an agreement with the Jets and one NFC team, which Pasquarelli believes is the Seahawks.

The Boston Globe also has a report on the deal.

Now, that's only half the equation. Branch is under contract with the Patriots, who must agree to a trade before Branch could join another team. Pasquarelli reports the Patriots have set a deadline of 1 p.m. Pacific today for a deal to get done. The team had previously given Branch and his agent permission to inquire about a trade. More on this at

Branch's agent did not return a phone message on Friday morning.

Branch was the Patriots' top receiver last season, catching 79 passes. He is still playing on the deal he signed as a rookie, and has not reported to the Patriots this season because he wants a new deal.

People might remember this offseason when the Seahawks had half of a deal completed. They had an agreement with the Jets on trade compensation for defensive end John Abraham. Seattle, however, never got a contract agreement in place with Abraham, who wanted to play in Atlanta. Eventually, the Jets and Falcons reached a trade agreement.




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