The Seattle Seahawks got their first win of the preseason this past Saturday when they downed the Indianapolis Colts on the road 30-17. Several players came out with bumps and bruises, but, for the most part, the team came away healthy and intact. The return of several players this week was the focus of head coach Mike Holmgren’s post-practice comments.
“It was nice to have all those guys, Grant (Wistrom) and Rocky (Bernard), having those guys back on the field,” Holmgren told the assembled media. “It changes our defense a little bit, the energy is tremendous, they are good football players.
“Getting Porkchop (Floyd Womack) back at left guard, we have most of the guys back now. (Darrell) Jackson and (Marcus) Tubbs and (Jerramy) Stevens of course and Russell Davis, those would be the four ones that we were kind of counting on that we won’t have right now for this weekend.”
Jackson was scheduled to be back this week, but at this point it looks like it could be longer than Seattle’s head man was expecting or hoping for.
“(Jackson) felt in his own mind that he could be ready at a certain time and it’s pretty close to the time we’re going to be ready,” Holmgren said. “I thought I might have him a week earlier, but as long as I have him for the first game. He’s one of those veteran players that doesn’t need a lot of reps at camp, but the frustration comes with any of the players that have been hurt.
“Grant Wistrom, Rocky Bernard, any of the guys that had surgery and missed time in training camp I get a little frustrated with that. Injuries are what they are and if you rush them then that’s worse.
“The plan for (Jackson and Tubbs) is they’re going to be running on treadmills and stuff like that, and really back on the field to do some stuff next week.”
Womack is a player the Seahawks need as well and his presence in the line is a needed boost to the depth they have acquired over the past few seasons. That depth has been tested over the past few weeks, but it appears the team’s biggest lineman is finally going to be in the mix to start the regular season.
“You hold your breath and keep your fingers crossed really,” Holmgren admitted. “When he plays, he plays well, but he’s had things bother him. This was a hamstring pull. It’s not an unusual injury, it just happened.
“It’s important for him to stay healthy, but that’s a wait and see thing all the way. I’m hopeful he can do this because he wants to; he’s worked very hard to do this and get a chance to start and play. I’m kind of rooting for him that way, aside for the fact I believe he makes us better, but he’s got to do it now. He hasn’t shown that he’s resilient enough injury wise.”
Something that Womack has been unable to do when the opportunity for playing time has presented itself.
One player on the Seahawks squad who has seen lots of time during camp was veteran S Mike Green, who came over in a trade from the Chicago Bears.
“We lost Marquand Manuel, so Mike when we signed him, we kind of pictured him as that swing safety and certainly he’s a good football player,” Holmgren noted. “He absolutely could start for us, but we have two good safeties. It’s a nice feeling to have because he’s a real good player. He’s proved to be an excellent special team’s player. I’m very pleased with how his camp is going and how he’s been. That was a good pickup for us.”
Another player showing his worth this month has been TE Itula Mili who struggled with an abdominal ailment that almost ended his career in 2005, but now finds himself starting once again with the injury to Stevens that will keep him out for the next six weeks.
“In the situation we’re in, it’s very important because when Jerramy got hurt, and we have a bunch of young guys,” Holmgren said. “Having somebody that knows what we do and can run a little bit, he’s got good speed. It’s everything and he’s had a good camp, he really has. Last year was a tough year for him, so he wants to make up for what happened last year.”
As the team continues to add healthy players to their active roster, they will continue to prepare for this week’s preseason game at San Diego on Saturday night.
Missing, but accounted for: WR Bobby Engram was excused from practice to deal with a family matter; FB David Kirtman has a thigh contusion and was held out of practice today.
Tough to repeat, but not impossible: Holmgren was asked if it was harder to make a run for the title now than it was during his time in Green Bay. The coach, as usual, was thoughtful and almost philosophical.
“I don’t think so,” Holmgren said. “I was in Green Bay when free agency started and that’s the thing that’s changed things for the coach more than anything else. Hopefully the idea is to be smart with your cap, you got to take a chance now and then, but not be too reckless, find a quarterback you can have for a while, and then you have a chance to be a playoff caliber team for a stretch. That idea that you only have a two or three year window stuff, I’m not sure I buy into that, not if you manage things in the front office and on the field correctly in my opinion.”