“We’re going to work on showing them what Dallas runs because Dallas defense has a three man line,” Holmgren told the assembled media following their morning workout on Thursday. “It’ll be a short, light practice, as I’ve said before we don’t really game plan the preseason that much. Then the fellas who are not playing in the game will stay here. They will not travel to Seattle with us and there’s a sizeable list there, I’d say there is 12 to 15 guys here who are going to be here getting treatment.”
One of those players may or may not be second-year LB Leroy Hill who had an MRI on a bothersome foot, but Holmgren said that he still wasn’t ready to rule him out for the game.
On the competition front, the quarterback position isn’t one that is facing a heated battle. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck has it wrapped up and Seneca Wallace is the unquestioned backup. However, the third spot is a battle between two players – David Greene and Gibran Hamdan – and so the question was asked – who sees time in game one?
“I have a meeting today, probably around 3:30 pm, a coaches meeting, where we will define that for all the players,” Holmgren said about the number of plays for each quarterback. “I would suspect before going into the meeting that Matt typically has X amount of plays. If we have a long first series and are fortunate enough to punch it in there, that’s probably it for him, as an example.
“Then Seneca (Wallace) will play the bulk of the game and then we’ll finish up with the other two guys.”
Competition is always a good thing in any head coach’s mind and Holmgren is no different. He listed some positions he’s looking forward to evaluating in some live game action.
“There are a number of them,” Holmgren admitted. “The fullback position is one. For wide receivers the preseason games are always important to those guys – the safety position and corner.
“The linebacker position we kind of know, although there are a couple young kids that are showing pretty well. The quarterback thing is pretty defined and the tight end position is pretty defined, other than who is going to be our third tight end. There is competition at every position just about.”
Besides player evaluations, teams also work on different aspects of the game. Blitz protection, coverage schemes, and audibles. Holmgren said each team may come in working on different things and at that point one may look much worse than the other.
“If a team wants to come into a preseason game and they’re working on their blitz package, and it’s different than what they’ve shown on film in years past, they can make you look crummy out there,” Holmgren noted. “They have to work on what they have to work on, and we have to work on what we have to work on. If you don’t study film and are not prepared for certain things, it can be hard sometimes.”
Once the starters finish their reps in the first quarter, Holmgren admitted it’s not really set in stone yet who will get a bulk of the snaps, mainly because his team is pretty banged up.
“Because of our injury situation, the rest of it will be quite different,” Holmgren said. “I would suspect that guys that are joined at the hip with Matt, Shaun (Alexander) would be in that category, but not many players. That’s why we have to figure out in this meeting how we’re going to do this because we’re a little bit short. There are a lot of guys that aren’t going to play.”
One example is the offensive line.
“I know that Chris Spencer, I think right now, is going to start at left guard,” Holmgren said of his second-year center. “You’ve got (Robbie) Tobeck in there, and when Robbie comes out of the game, Chris goes to center and Rob Sims goes to left guard.
“I don’t want to leave Chris Gray in for the whole time, so we’ve got to juggle that. The young guys are going to wind up playing a lot; they are going to get real tired.”
And because of that, the coaches will be able to better evaluate that young talent.
“Those are the best grades that they get because it shows us how they handle game situations certainly, how they handle the noise in the stadium, how they handle it when the coaches are yelling their ears,” Holmgren said. “I’ve said this before, a guy has a tough game, a rookie or a young person has a tough game, that doesn’t ding them necessarily, but it certainly gives us a chance to talk to them about the things and how different it is then practice. They are good measuring tools.”
The Seahawks will face off with the Cowboys at Qwest Field on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Tez to the Ring of Honor: Former Seahawks DT Cortez Kennedy, named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, will be announced officially on Friday as the next inductee into the Ring of Honor at Qwest Field. Holmgren was surprised a bit by the news, but happy nonetheless.
“That’s tremendous,” Holmgren said. “He’s a wonderful guy, and certainly he was a good enough player to deserve that. He’s a great football player. My only regret is I didn’t catch him a little bit earlier; he was near the end when he was playing for me. He’s a wonderful young man, and when he comes into town, when I get a chance to visit with him I always enjoy it. This is a well deserved reward. He was synonymous with the Seahawks for many, many years. I’m happy for him, that’s great."