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

October a rough month for the Seahawks

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 6:44 PM

Seattle allowed an average of 32.75 points in its four games in October, going 1-3 in those games. It was the highest scoring average against the Seahawks ever in the month of October, and it ranked right up there with Seattle's worst months in points allowed.

The Seahawks gave up 34.5 points in November 1983. They went 2-2 that month and that season they went to the AFC Championship game.

Seattle allowed 32.8 points in November 1980 and went 0-5 that month. The Seahawks allowed 35.5 points in September 1977, but played only two games that month.

Raiders reports

Posted by Jose Romero at 5:51 PM

The Raiders had some interesting news out of their camp. The guy they signed to be their starting quarterback, Aaron Brooks, has been cleared to practice. See the story here.

Also, it appears star receiver Randy Moss has a case of the dropsies. This article has comments from coach Art Shell about the situation.

October 30, 2006

Seahawks today

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:44 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren will review Sunday's game, and discuss whether RB Shaun Alexander is ready to practice and play this week, today in a few minutes.

FYI -- For those who want to relive the Seahawks-Chiefs game, it will be replayed on NFL Network in a condensed version at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

October 29, 2006

Wrapping it up at Arrowhead

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:52 PM

This is a funky looking stadium, I must say. Do you know that they flash a message on the stadium reader boards that reads "The loudest stadium in the NFL?"

It's true. I think the 12th Man at Qwest might beg to differ. But on to some game thoughts:

Larry Johnson is a special running back. He is so patient, waiting for something to open up before making his move. His cutbacks are sharp, his speed is better than average and four touchdowns in one game speaks for itself. This guy could be the next dominant NFL running back.

I don't get the little Diamond Dallas Page fingers triangle he does to celebrate touchdowns. Is that the Diamond Cutter signal or something else? Maybe someone can clue me in.

The Seahawks aren't just giving up big pass plays, they have some problems on run defense now, too.

Seneca Wallace, in my opinion, did all he could. He made a couple of bad choices, including at the end of the game, but he was efficient. An effort like that should be good enough to defeat the Oakland Raiders next week, provided the Seahawks can cover Randy Moss and limit Lamont Jordan and Justin Fargas.

The offense can always improve, and it will with Shaun Alexander's expected return next week. Sean Locklear will also be back at right tackle, and Bobby Engram should be back too. It's the defense that is of most concern. They are healthy but in need of fast improvement.

The Seahawks didn't really deserve to be that close on the scoreboard Sunday, but to their credit, they hung in there to the end. Let's see if that helps turn around a two-game losing streak.

The inactive list

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:49 AM

For the Seahawks, Gibran Hamdan is the emergency third quarterback. Those not playing are QB Matt Hasselbeck, RB Shaun Alexander, LB D.D. Lewis, T Floyd Womack, WR Bobby Engram and DT Marcus Tubbs. RT Sean Locklear is suspended; all the others but Hamdan are injured.

For the Chiefs, newly signed Casey Printers is the emergency third quarterback. Former Seahawks tackle Chris Terry is among the inactives.

Huard is active

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:45 AM

Just learned that the Chiefs have QB Damon Huard, who has a groin injury, on their active roster for today's game. I'll post the inactives in a few minutes.

October 28, 2006

Chiefs add QB to roster

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:58 PM

The Chiefs, in need of insurance in case they have to go with rookie Brodie Croyle tomorrow with Damon Huard injured, signed quarterback Casey Printers off their practice squad.

Had they not, Croyle might have been the only healthy QB on the game-day roster.

Northwest fans might recognize Printers from his time with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Here's more from the Chiefs' officiall Web site.

Fines for hits on QBs

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:48 PM

Matt Hasselbeck probably supported a fine against E.J. Henderson from last week's game, but the NFL didn't think so. However, another Viking was fined for hitting backup QB Seneca Wallace late. Here's the story from

I'll be in Kansas City in another couple of hours. Greetings from DFW Airport.

October 27, 2006

Locklear suspended by NFL

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:24 PM

Starting right tackle Sean Locklear has been suspended by the league, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said today after practice.

Locklear's suspension is for one game and is without pay, and that game is this week at Kansas City. He left team headquarters before practice had ended for the day.

Locklear was suspended for violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, according to a statement from the NFL. The third-year pro is eligible to rejoin the team next Monday, Oct. 30.

Locklear's suspension is believed to be a result of his run-in with Seattle police in January of this year. He was arrested hours after a playoff game in downtown Seattle on a charge of assaulting his girlfriend at a night spot.

The case was resolved in July when Locklear agreed to perform two years' community service, obtain an evaluation and pay court fees.

Huard update

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:16 PM

ESPN updated its Damon Huard story, which features information obtained by the Associated Press. Essentially, it reports that Huard did not practice today, and may not start Sunday against the Seahawks:

Huard hurt

Posted by Jose Romero at 9:58 AM

Here's an article from the Kansas City Star about the situation with QB Damon Huard, who apparently injured himself in practice Thursday. Chiefs media aren't allowed to watch more then the first 15-20 minutes of practice.

Also an article from that says it's his groin. Might we have a battle of backups this week in the city with America's best barbecue? For the Chiefs it would actually be their third QB, Brodie Croyle, because Huard is Trent Green's backup.

Damon's brother Brock told KJR this morning that the injury isn't as bad as it would appear, calling it a "tweak."

October 26, 2006

More injury problems

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:45 PM

The Seahawks received more bad news on the injury front Thursday when right tackle Sean Locklear was downgraded from probable to questionable for this Sunday because of a left ankle injury.

Locklear hasn't practiced this week, with Tom Ashworth working at right tackle in his place.

The bit of good news is that Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack returned to practice for the first time since the Arizona game in Week Two. Womack is coming back from a left knee injury and is questionable as well.

He worked at right tackle with the scout team.

"I'm a little rusty right now," Womack said. "The knee's fine. I just want to be back out there."

Womack, the season-opening starter at left guard, has battled injuries since training camp.

WR Bobby Engram was at practice but only watched. Quarterback Seneca Wallace made some nice throws as he continues his preparation to start Sunday.

If Locklear can't play, the Seahawks could be in trouble. Ashworth, a starter and key part of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl runs, has struggled since becoming a Seahawk. He gave up a sack when pressed into action at left tackle for just one play in the Detroit game in Week 1.

October 25, 2006

Upon further review

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:15 PM

The only real change in the starting lineup looks to be the Babineaux -for- Boulware move. Rob Sims and Chris Spencer will share time with the first-team offense in practice this week, as they did today, but it's unclear as yet if Sims will be named the starter.

Sims himself said he's withholding telling friends and family until he knows for sure.

Right tackle Sean Locklear did not practice and has been added to the injury report as probable with a left ankle injury. Tom Ashworth took Locklear's place in practice with the starters Wednesday.

The injury situation

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:54 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren said WR Bobby Engram will practice with the scout team this week as he comes back from a thryroid condition that has forced him out of the past two games. Engram is getting his strength back and gaining weight.

DT Marcus Tubbs had swelling in his knee and will not practice early in the week. He should OK to play Sunday, Holmgren said.

OL Floyd Womack will practice some this week on his healing left knee.

RB Shaun Alexander got on a treadmill Tuesday and his injured left foot responded well. His rehabilitation work load will increase this week.

QB Matt Hasselbeck will not be out to watch practice this week while he goes through intensive rehabilitation on his sprained knee, Holmgren said. Hasselbeck is on target to be back by his scheduled return date of the Nov. 19 game.

2 new starters

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:37 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren just completed his Wednesday news conference, at which he announced that Jordan Babineaux will replace Michael Boulware at strong safety, and rookie Rob Sims will be the starting left guard in place of Chris Spencer.

Boulware has started 34 straight regular-season games going back to 2004. He'll continue to play but will be used as the dime defensive back in such situations.

Spencer, whose natural position is center, was moved to guard in place of injured Floyd Womack. He started the past four game there. Spencer and Sims will share snaps with the No. 1 on offense in practice this week, Holmgren said.

Wallace college highlight reels

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 10:32 AM

Someone forwarded me a link to the Heisman promotional video made for Seneca Wallace his senior year at Iowa State in 2002. It's linked off YouTube, here.

There's a second link on You Tube that shows video from his 12-yard touchdown run against Texas Tech that season. You can see that here.

It's pretty incredible to watch the way he can move in the open field.

October 24, 2006

Why signing Hamdan makes sense

Posted by Jose Romero at 6:19 PM

Aside from the fact that this guy has a good arm and experience with the Seahawks offense, Gibran Hamdan is also a very good team guy. Hamdan was Mr. Positive Reinforcement during training camp practices and a hit around Camp Cheney.

He's a known commodity. The Seahawks have had him in training camp the past two summers and have seen what he can do. They didn't have to go with someone they saw in just a day or maybe one or two other workouts.

Hamdan may not be as experienced as some of the other veterans out there. But there is something to be said for a guy you can trust because there is a relationship there and a track record.

Let's be clear that it's highly unlikely Hamdan will play. The quarterback job belongs to Seneca Wallace until Matt Hasselbeck can return. This is Wallace's big chance.

Releasing Willie Ponder to make room made sense because the Seahawks were essentially carrying two kickoff returners with Ponder and Josh Scobey. Scobey gets his old gig back, the one he had in 2005. Ponder had a few nice returns in games when he first got to the Seahawks, but Scobey is, if nothing else, adequate.

October 23, 2006

Fourth-and-1 revisited

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:00 AM

The Seahawks went for it on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter. After watching it again on replay, I've decided the best comparison is that it was like playing Tecmo Bowl on the original Nintendo (NES) video game. That was the football game where you could choose between four plays and if your opponent happened to guess which play you were going to run on offense, every defender suddenly was able to toss his blocker off as if he were dryer lint. That's what it looked like as the Seahawks tried to run left, Maurice Morris evaded one tackle and he still got stuffed for a loss of 3 yards.

Holmgren on the air

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:24 AM

Coach Mike Holmgren didn't have any news on the status of injured quarterback Matt Hasselbeck this morning on KIRO radio, but said he'd know the extent of Hasselbeck's sprained knee later today.

The highlights from the five-minute segment:

• Holmgren said the Seahawks' main goals of this week are to work on getting the defense to keep from giving up the big-yardage plays and to figure out a game plan for Seneca Wallace, who replaces Hasselbeck at quarterback presumably for at least this week when the Seahawks go to Kansas City.

• Holmgren said he expects "most" of the Seahawks' other injured players back for the Oakland game on Monday, Nov. 6. That would include running back Shaun Alexander and guard Floyd Womack.

• WR Bobby Engram was at Sunday's game and told Holmgren he's feeling better. Holmgren said he hopes to have Engram available to practice this week.

October 22, 2006

Is there a bright side?

Posted by Jose Romero at 8:02 PM

Hard to see the silver lining in a loss like this, especially when you lose your quarterback to injury for who knows how long and you give up a trick play and two big plays, all three for touchdowns.

Seneca Wallace struggled, but he deserves some slack for being pressed into service without much practice time last week. Darrell Jackson and Deion Branch are a nice pair of receivers to have when the ball is in their hands, and when Bobby Engram returns that group will only be better.

Receiver D.J. Hackett made a couple of nice catches today. Tight end Jerramy Stevens will be worked back into the offense.

You can't win them all, and the Seahawks were simply outplayed. That Minnesota front seven is very good. They pressured the quarterbacks and stuffed the run.

The Seahawks should have been able to get more pressure on quarterback Brad Johnson, but give Johnson credit for making some nice throws and good decisions.

As for the shotgun formation, the Seahawks used it five times with Hasselbeck. He completed two of four passes and was sacked once off of it. The final time he was in the shotgun was when he was injured, though it happened after the play.

Hasselbeck return doubtful

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:04 PM

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was helped off the field just moments ago after Minnesota's E.J. Henderson rolled into Hasselbeck's right leg following a pass attempt in the third quarter.

Hasselbeck put no weight on his leg as he came off the field, and the media has just been informed that he has a sprained right knee and his return is doubtful. Seneca Wallace is in at quarterback.

Hasselbeck was 7 for 17 for 127 yards and a TD pass upon his exit. Hasselbeck was just taken into the locker room.

Inactives for today

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:09 PM

No real surprises here. Shaun Alexander, Floyd Womack and Bobby Engram were all listed as out at the beginning of the week. LB D.D. Lewis didn't practice this week because of injury. DE Joe Tafoya did practice but apparently the decision was that he would not play on his rehabilitated left knee.

Other inactives: DT Craig Terrill, OT Ray Willis and third QB David Greene.

A beautiful day here. It just never seems to rain on Seahawk Sundays at Qwest Field. Off the top of my head there have only been three or four games in the history of the stadium (fifth season) with any measurable rainfall.

Hutchinson hob-nobbing with former teammates

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:16 AM

Bad blood is not the right word to use for this matchup. Steve Hutchinson is someone who made a lot of friendships within the Seahawks locker room and whatever happened this offseason is the business part of the game. It's not personal. Hutchinson was chatting with Robbie Tobeck and Chris Gray for a long while about two hours before the game, standing at the 15-yard line. Bobby Engram came over and shook hands, too.

The reception fans give Hutchinson remains to be seen, but it's very cordial with his former teammates, which shouldn't be a surprise.

October 20, 2006

Who's picking the Seahawks?

Posted by Cathy Henkel at 3:06 PM

A look at media picks around the country for Sunday's Seahawks-Vikings game:

Seattle will be without reigning MVP Shaun Alexander for a third straight game because of a broken foot. In his absence, Maurice Morris has only 109 yards rushing. The Vikings have scored three touchdowns on defense and four on offense. The pick: Minnesota. There won't be any miracle field goals to help the Seahawks this week.
--Los Angeles Times

Interesting matchup. Minny, with a bye week to prepare, has an improving defense that has not allowed 20 points in six straight games, and Purples are on 11-2 run against the spread away from home. Plus, Seabirds continue weakened by Shaun Alexander's absence. Like Seattle's sackers vs. Brad Johnson, though. Venue call, too. 'Hawks have won 12 in a row and 24 of past 27 at home. The pick: Seattle, 27-20.
--Miami Herald

If rooting too loud is evil, Qwest Field's screamers are guilty. Seattle has won 13 straight there (11 covers) and should handle offensively challenged Minnesota. The pick: Seahawks

When you take an All-Pro, and the most dominant player at his position, out of the mix, any team is bound to suffer. Seattle has gone to battle without Shaun Alexander (last year's MVP), and the results have been lousy. The Seahawks squeezed out a 30-28 win against St. Louis Sunday, but failed to cover, and were blown away by Chicago before the bye week, 37-6. Maybe not an upset, but this is certainly a purple cover.
--Philadelphia Daily News

The Skinny: The Seahawks would love to have their former guard, Steve Hutchinson, who signed in free agency with the Vikings. But they'll settle for 13th consecutive home victory. Seahawks, 34-17.
--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How many times will the crowd make Steve Hutchinson jump early?
Seahawks, 19-16.
--Dave Goldberg Associated Press

Seahawks 27, Vikings 17.

--Calgary Herald

The Seahawks miss Shaun Alexander (out two more weeks with a broken foot), but they miss All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson (who signed with the Vikings) more. Seahawks are averaging 3.6 yards per carry and have allowed 17 sacks.
Pick: Vikings 24, Seahawks 21.
--Chicago Sun Times

Seahawks 33, Vikings 10: Instead of playing football, they resume their offseason fun of "red rover, red rover," in which Steve Hutchinson and Nate Burleson switched sides. Watch out, here comes Mike Holmgren barreling through those linked Vikings arms.
-- Contra Costa Times

The Seahawks (4-1) have not covered a spread this season without RB Shaun Alexander in the lineup. Alexander (broken foot) will not play this week, either. The Vikings' games have been decided by an average of just under five points. Minnesota (3-2) has also not given up more than 19 points this season. Chester Taylor (111 carries, 421 yards, TD) has shown signs of being a legitimate featured back for the Vikes. He will be tested against Seattle, which gives up only 76 rushing yards per game. The Seahawks needed a gift last week from the Rams to avoid what would have been consecutive ugly losses. If I were a betting man: Vikings and the under.
--NY Daily News

Stevens expected to play Sunday

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 1:30 PM

Tight end Jerramy Stevens is expected to play Sunday, coach Mike Holmgren said. Stevens had fluid drained from his left knee earlier this week, but that was caused by a cyst and Holmgren said it was not related to the arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent in August.

Stevens practiced last week, but did not play in Sunday's game in St. Louis.

Wide receiver Bobby Engram was back at the practice facility on Friday. Holmgren said his wide receiver has lost about 8 pounds after suffering from a thyroid problem. The results of his tests have come back, and Holmgren said the condition was both viral and related to Grave's disease. Engram is expected to begin practicing next week, but his availability for a game won't be known for a while.

Game balls were awarded for Sunday's victory in St. Louis. The offensive game ball went to Deion Branch, the defensive ball to Bryce Fisher and the special-teams game ball was awarded to Josh Brown.

October 19, 2006

Injury update

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:16 PM

The Seahawks just finished practice for the day and there were no changes to the injury report.

G Floyd Womack, RB Shaun Alexander, LB D.D. Lewis and WR Bobby Engram did not participate. Lewis is still questionable for Sunday.

By my observation, rookie CB Kelly Jennings got a few more snaps with the starting defense at left cornerback, where Kelly Herndon is still the starter. The Seahawks seem to feel that the rotation number of snaps is nothing out of the ordinary, however.

MLB Lofa Tatupu brought an abrupt end to Thursday's practice when he intercepted Hasselbeck on just the second play of the two-minute drill. That drill is the last of some practices and either ends in turnover or score.

Seattle is "a bit louder"

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:31 PM

An interesting item from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about how they figure to try and counteract the crowd noise at Qwest Field this weekend.

Check out quarterback Brad Johnson's quote. It seems the Vikings are concerned.

"Seattle is a little bit different scenario," Johnson said. "I think the Rolling Stones were there, and they said the games are little bit louder than the Rolling Stones. So we'll have to deal with that."

Vikings center Matt Birk spoke to Seattle media Wednesday. I asked him about the crowd noise.

"Every place you play is loud, but Seattle is definitely one of those places that seems like it's a little bit louder," Birk said.

October 18, 2006

Wednesday update

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 12:42 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren just finished his midweek press conference.

Linebacker D.D. Lewis is suffering from an injury similar to turf toe. He has been bothered by it for the past several weeks. It tends to be aggravated each game, and Lewis is going to seek another appraisal of the injury.

Wide receiver Bobby Engram likely has a thyroid condition caused by a virus, Holmgren said, based on his positive response to medication. Holmgren said he saw Engram on Wednesday and the receiver will be around the building starting on Thursday. Holmgren said he hopes to have Engram back full time beginning next week.

Holmgren also discussed the 5-yard penalty for illegal formation assessed to the Seahawks on the second-to-last play of Sunday's game in St. Louis. The penalty has been characterized as a loophole in the rule by the Rams. Holmgren said he understood why the Rams were upset, and said he would probably feel similarly if he had been on the other end, but he pointed out the competition committee considered this exact situation and decided that there was a difference between a penalty for attempting to run the play (which the Seahawks committed) and incurring a penalty to stop the clock.

Rams coach Scott Linehan offered the possibility that one receiver could snap the ball to another receiver to stop the clock after a long completion. Holmgren said the referee has to give the ball before the snap, and he wouldn't place the ball to a receiver to snap it if the rest of the team was not downfield.

Shaun Alexander, Bobby Engram ruled out

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 11:55 AM

The Seahawks just released their Wednesday injury report.

RB Shaun Alexander (left foot), WR Bobby Engram (illness) and G Floyd Womack (knee) are out. DE Joe Tafoya (knee) and LB D.D. Lewis (big toe) are questionable.

The Penalty

Posted by Jose Romero at 10:48 AM

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a follow-up story on the final seconds of the Rams-Seahawks game, and how the NFL responded to claims that there was a false start penalty being discussed on the play that was called an illegal formation.

Brown honored

Posted by Jose Romero at 9:17 AM

Seahawks kicker Josh Brown is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the NFL announced this morning.

Brown was honored for his 54-yard game winning field goal last Sunday at St. Louis. It happened as the game clock ran out and propelled the Seahawks to a 30-28 win.

Brown is the only player to kick three field goals of at least 49 yards in the fourth quarter (49, 49, 54), which he did at St. Louis.

This is Brown's second career Player of the Week Award.

October 16, 2006

Monday update

Posted by Jose Romero at 2:59 PM

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren spoke this afternoon and went into further detail about the status of star running back Shaun Alexander. He said it appears Alexander will be out a couple of more weeks, even though Holmgren and Alexander met today and Alexander told him he is "champing at the bit" to come back and thinks he could practice.

Alexander's broken bone in his left foot is healing and is on schedule, according to his most recent MRI. Alexander was in the locker room today with no protective brace or boot , in fact only a flip flop, over his foot.

"It will probably be a week-to-week thing," Holmgren said.

Alexander has been doing upper-body workouts but no running yet in his rehabilitation, Holmgren said.

The team wants to see the bone completely heal before taking a chance and allowing Alexander to play.

In other news, wide receiver Bobby Engram, who missed Sunday's game to rest because of a thyroid condition, is feeling better, Holmgren said. The medication Engram is taking has helped, Holmgren said, but it's unlikely Engram will play this week.

"I'm hopeful that he can play against Kansas City (Oct. 29), " Holmgren said.

Tight end Jerramy Stevens is expected to be ready to play this week, depending on how he practices and reponds in practice, Holmgren said. Stevens was expected to play at St. Louis but was a scratch from the active roster because it was decided his surgically-repaired left knee wasn't strong enough.

Seahawks on NFL Replay

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:53 PM

You can relive the excitement of the Seahawks-Rams game Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. when the NFL Network, for those of you with digital cable, rebroadcasts a condensed, 90-minute version of the game.

These replays are well-produced. You hear the same announcers from Sunday and the action moves faster because there is no halftime and things not crucial to the outcome of the game are edited out.

If you miss tomorrow, you can catch an encore presentation of NFL Replay with the Seahawks and Rams on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

October 15, 2006

The aftermath

Posted by Jose Romero at 5:27 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren opened his postgame comments after today's game by telling reporters this:

"For those of you who like to get a jump on your stories, you had to change it about four times, I think. My goodness."

In my case, three times. It was that kind of a game, with ups and downs, twists and turns, big plays, wild plays, etc.

If you have NFL Network, I wouldn't be surprised if this game is one that makes the weekly NFL Replay, where the network airs condensed versions of the previous week's best games.

There are certainly some negatives to be taken from this win. The Seahawks still can't stop teams enough on third down. Their secondary is still getting burned too often, to the point that any deep pass down the field is cringe time. They need Shaun Alexander back and healthy, and they need a healthy Jerramy Stevens, too. We'll find out Monday if those two will be set to go for next Sunday.

Deion Branch showed what he can provide to the offense. Darrell Jackson is still making plays. And the offensive line, which has struggled to protect quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, hung in there well in the second half and that made a difference.

The penalty at the end of the game reminded me of the Seahawks-Baltimore game in 2003, when the officials failed to run time off the game clock for a penalty late in the game against the Ravens. That gave Baltimore the ball back with more time to go down the field and get a tying field goal, and ultimately win in overtime.

Officials admitted an error that cost Seattle.

This time the Seahawks were fortunate that a penalty against them was not the kind that calls for a clock runoff.

The day its over, the Seahawks are back in the first place in the NFC West and things are looking up for the team.

Stevens out for Sunday's game

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 8:49 AM

The list of inactive players for Sunday's game was handed out, and tight end Jerramy Stevens was included on it. That's a surprise. Stevens had returned to practice on Monday, returning from arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent in August.

Coach Mike Holmgren said he expected Stevens to play about 30 plays, but he also said Friday that Stevens would be checked by a doctor on Saturday before a final decision on his status for the game in St. Louis. We'll have to wait until after the game to hear why Stevens did not play.

Itula Mili replaces Stevens in the starting lineup. The other lineup change is that Deion Branch replaces Nate Burleson in the starting lineup.

Other inactive players: QB David Greene (third quarterback), RB Shaun Alexander, T Ray Willis, G Floyd Womack, WR Bobby Engram, Stevens, DT Craig Terrill.

October 14, 2006

"Catch a flight to St. Louie"

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:30 PM

Sorry, it's a line from an Ice Cube song from back in the day. He is one of my favorite rap artists of all time.

I'm here in the Midwest staying right across the street from the new Busch Stadium, where in about 90 minutes the Cardinals and Mets will be playing Game 3 of the NLCS. It turns out the Mets are staying at the same hotel as the Seahawks and me, so it was pretty interesting being down in the lobby and seeing Mets players Jose Valentin, Tom Glavine and Roberto Hernandez.

Golf carts shuttled Mets players and staff from the hotel across the street to the ballpark this afternoon. As I was coming back from getting something to eat, I saw first baseman Carlos Delgado getting a ride from the driveway. I yelled to him and he waved. That was kind of fun.

Hard to tell if any of the football guys know the baseball guys and vice versa. I know this: this is huge sports weekend in St. Louis with the Cardinals tonight through Monday, the Rams tomorrow and the NHL St. Louis Blues with a game tonight just one light rail stop west of where I am. It's a fun atmosphere.

October 13, 2006

Engram won't play

Posted by Jose Romero at 1:21 PM

Practice has ended for today and the Seahawks head to St. Louis tomorrow. They'll do so without veteran wide receiver Bobby Engram, who coach Mike Holmgren said is resting at home while he awaits more tests on his thyroid.

Engram missed practice again Friday. He was listed as questionable on the injury report but won't play and isn't expected to make the trip.

"It feels like his heart's racing and he's going a million miles an hour," Holmgren said. "It's really sapped his energy."

The way Holmgren understands, Engram's condition is very treatable and Engram just needs more time to get his strength back. Earlier tests confirmed the problem and now he needs to rest a while before more tests are taken.

"We don't know the extent of it," Holmgren said. "But every indication I'm getting is that he's on medication. After he goes through this series of meds, he should be OK. This is not a rare type of thing. It happens to people. He is missing time and that bothers me, because he's a good player...I don't think it's going to be real long."

It's not known how long beyond this week that Engram will be out. D.J. Hackett will be activated Sunday to take Engram's place on the gameday roster.

In other news, Deion Branch will start at one of the receiver spots Sunday, Holmgren said. Tight end Jerramy Stevens practiced well this week and his left knee appears well enough to allow him to get at least half of the normal number of snaps he'd typically get in a game, 40 or 45.

Defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs will also be available to play after athroscopic knee surgery a couple of weeks ago. He practiced all week and there is a chance he could start.

October 12, 2006

Scenes from the locker room

Posted by Jose Romero at 3:34 PM

Bobby Engram missed another day of practice, casting further doubt on his availability status for Sunday at St. Louis. Engram, who is thought be having a problem with his thyroid, is questionable.

I saw safety Mike Green in the locker room and he is still walking on crutches almost a month and a half after his Lisfranc injury (broken bone in the top of the foot) got him on injured reserve. Green will get off the crutches in a couple of weeks, he said, adding that the hardest thing about being hurt is not playing.

Green went to Chicago to see the Seahawks play his former team, the Bears, and watched from a suite at Soldier Field.

Lofa Tatupu had a helmet in his locker stall that seemed out of place. It's white with a gold bulldog and autographed by former NFL defensive lineman Howie Long.

"Congrats on the great season," the writing on the helmet, by Long, says. It's a trophy for being one Long's all-NFL Tough Guys team.

October 11, 2006

Taking shots

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:18 PM

One thing I've figured over the years on this beat is that Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and center Robbie Tobeck love to take potshots at one another, and each isn't afraid to do it in front of cameras or tape recorders.

It makes for some light moments after practice.

Hasselbeck was asked how much confidence he has in the offensive line's ability to get back to playing at the standards it set in the past.

"Yeah, Tobeck makes me nervous," Hasselbeck said. "He's undersized. Very average athletic ability. But the rest of those guys are good. So if we can just get those other four guys to play at a higher level, to make up for Tobeck's inadequacies -- is that a word? -- then we should be fine."

Tobeck wasn't in earshot. Too bad. But let's not knock the guy, after all he did go to the Pro Bowl last year. So did Hasselbeck. It's all in good fun.

Update on Engram, Rhodes

Posted by Jose Romero at 12:37 PM

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren just finished his Wednesday news conference. He said WR Bobby Engram, who is questionable for Sunday's game, went to see a doctor after Monday's practice and had to undergo a series of tests for feeling sick.

Doctors are still evaluating what Engram has, but Holmgren said they believe it might have something to do with his thyroid. Engram is resting at home, and doesn't have a lot of energy.

Ray Rhodes, whose situation with his health forced an emergency plane landing after the Chicago game, is back out to practice and is expected to make the trip to St. Louis with the team. Holmgren half-joked that Rhodes needs to eat more bananas to raise his potassium level and improve his diet.

"His diet and what he eats on the day of a game, by his own admission, he wasn't very smart about that," Holmgren said. He added that Rhodes was dehydrated and that the plane landed because the team wanted to safe rather than sorry.

October 9, 2006

Jerramy Stevens practices; D.D. Lewis, Bobby Engram don't

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 4:50 PM

Jerramy Stevens returned to practice Monday. He had reinjured his left knee in training camp, and underwent his second arthroscopic surgery of the year to repair damaged meniscus. He was on the field for only about three days in training camp before suffering the injury.

Coach Mike Holmgren said he thought Stevens was moving pretty well on the field. The question will be how Stevens feels Tuesday. He is expected to play Sunday in St. Louis, and Holmgren estimated Stevens could be on the field for about 30 plays, though that depends on how he feels as the game progresses.

Wide receiver Bobby Engram did not practice. He was ill. Linebacker D.D. Lewis watched practice with a plastic boot on his right foot. He is suffering from turf toe, but Holmgren said he expects Lewis back practicing Wednesday.

Running back Shaun Alexander had more tests taken of his injured left foot on Monday. Coach Mike Holmgren said there is still a crack in the bone, but that it is healing. He was asked if it was possible he could play this weekend.

"I'm not ready to say that," Holmgren said. "We don't know yet."

Holmgren said the injury is healing and headed in the right direction.

Also, defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs was back at practice. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee and missed the Chicago game.

"He had a chance to come back but he ran around feeling good, so that's all good," Holmgren said.

October 3, 2006

Kacyvenski signs with Rams

Posted by Jose Romero at 6:41 PM

The Seahawks were told Tuesday that linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski, whom they released last Saturday in a roster move to make room for running back Marquis Weeks, has signed with the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams nor Kacyvenski's agents returned phone calls today seeking confirmation, but it's believed that the Rams offered Kacyvenski a chance to play linebacker. Kacyvenski was a backup on the Seahawks' depth chart but was exclusively a special teams player for Seattle.

The Seahawks had been trying to re-sign Kacyvenski as recently as Monday, coach Mike Holmgren said. The need to sign Weeks from the practice squad because of an injury to Shaun Alexander forced the team to release a player from the 53-man roster before last Sunday's game, and that player was Kacyvenski.

Alexander might not be back until the end of the month, at the earliest, so Weeks remains on the team.

October 2, 2006

Holmgren day-after press conference

Posted by Danny O'Neil at 3:48 PM

Coach Mike Holmgren just finished his news conference. The players will be given this week off, and will return to for practice next Monday and begin preparation for the game at St. Louis on Oct. 8.

"We have the bye right now, and we need the bye because we're a little nicked up," Holmgren said. "It will give us a chance to get some other players back on the field."

There are only three players Holmgren anticipates won't be available for the next game: Shaun Alexander, Floyd Womack and Joe Tafoya.

The biggest returner will be Jerramy Stevens. Holmgren said Stevens will be running on the field this week, and the hope is he will be ready for practice Monday. He has not played since suffering a knee injury during training camp that required arthroscopic surgery.

Michael Boulware suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss at Chicago. He should be fine. Backup safety Jordan Babineaux, who was inactive for the game, is also expected back.

Holmgren said the team is hoping to re-sign linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski, and mentioned the team was working on that, "as we speak."

Holmgren said that both quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and left tackle Walter Jones -- while perhaps neither is perfectly healthy -- are both OK.

As for the week off after Sunday's 31-point loss?

"Well, I wasn't going to be punitive about it," Holmgren said. "Heck, we played a stinker and we took one on the chin. I mean that's what it is. It happens. They've been practicing hard, working hard. We have a number of guys who needed time off because of injury.

"We did this last year, and they very much held up their end of the bargain."

Seahawks team plane diverted

Posted by Bill Reader at 10:22 AM

On its return last night from Chicago, the Seahawks' plane landed in South Dakota for a medical emergency for someone with the team, according to KIRO Radio.

The plane landed in Seattle early this morning. The Seahawks said coach Mike Holmgren will address the situation later this afternoon.

UPDATE: The plane stopped when Ray Rhodes fell ill. Read the story here.

October 1, 2006

Final thoughts

Posted by Jose Romero at 10:33 PM

I'll keep it short and sweet: Ugly. I didn't think the Seahawks would win but I thought it would be close. Nothing seemed to go right tonight. But those games will happen, and at least the Seahawks got it early in the season. We didn't expect them to win them all did we?

The Seahawks were banged up on the offensive line, as Walter Jones, Chris Gray and Sean Locklear were all injured but played through it. They were missing Shaun Alexander. They were without Jerramy Stevens.

Not trying to make excuses. The Bears simply dominated. The bye week comes at a good time to allow these guys to rest up, then a big game against the Rams for the NFC West lead on Oct. 15. Let's face it, a close loss here against the Bears and it's harder to take. But this is a loss the Seahawks will remember and it could motivate them as the season progresses.

Let's not put too much on the defense tonight. They gave up some long drives and big plays but were put in a hole with turnovers. And let's give the Bears a lot of credit. If their offense plays like it did tonight and the defense stays consistent and close to dominant, the Bears could be in the Super Bowl.

Early flight tomorrow. I have to go.

In-game injury update

Posted by Mark McTyre at 6:40 PM

Seahawks SS Michael Boulware suffered a concussion in the second quarter of Sunday's game when he collided with Chicago TE John Gilmore and had to leave the game. He has yet to return and his status for the rest of the game is questionable. Oliver Celestin is in the game for Boulware.

Update: Boulware has been ruled out for the rest of the game.

Inactives and more

Posted by Jose Romero at 4:25 PM

All but two of the Seahawks' inactive players for today's game are injured, making the decisions as to whom to leave off the 45-man game roster far easier for the coaching staff.

David Greene was the third quarterback and wide receiver D.J. Hackett is not injured and could have played if not for the presence and good health of the four big-name receivers the Seahawks already have.

The injured players who were inactive were DB Jordan Babineaux, RB Shaun Alexander, DE Joe Tafoya, OT Floyd Womack, TE Jerramy Stevens and DT Marcus Tubbs.

• Here's a programming note from Ryan Craig, the director of programming for Seattle TV station KSTW Channel 11:

KSTW will be the local broadcast carrier for the Seahawks' two ESPN Monday night games on Nov. 6 and Nov. 27.

Also, KCPQ (Channel 13) will be the local broadcast station for the NFL Network Thursday night game between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 14.




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