Finally, after a long training camp, the 2006 regular season begins this weekend when the Seahawks head to the Motor City to face off against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Head coach Mike Holmgren addressed the local media on Monday and he noted the challenges facing Seattle in their first game this Sunday, including an offensive coordinator they have seen plenty of times before.
“I think that probably helps a little bit,” Holmgren said about new Lions offensive coordinator and former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz. “It helps the defensive guys prepare a little bit. Mike is going to do what he does, although he is very unpredictable. That is one of the reasons he is good. He is going to do the things he likes. I am sure some things we have seen before.”
Detroit’s rookie head coach Rob Marinelli will handle the defense and Holmgren said that is the side of the ball where they may not know what to expect.
“You watch them on film in the preseason but a lot of times teams don’t show you everything in the preseason,” Holmgren noted. “You could go back and look at last year’s film, which we do, but you are really looking at players. You aren’t really looking at schemes because they have new people. That first game against a team that has a new coach, it is a tough game anyway, but it probably makes it a little tougher.”
Also making it tough will be some new players dressed in Detroit’s powder-blue and silver uniforms – including rookie LB Ernie Sims, who already has a reputation as a devastating hitter.
Seattle will also have some rookies seeing plenty of playing time this weekend and Holmgren said he has faith in the youngsters to go out there and make plays.
“I think Kelly Jennings and (Darryl) Tapp are going to play and they are going to contribute,” Holmgren said. “(Ryan) Plackemeier is going to be our punter. Our draft class must contribute because they are all going to play.
“Rob Sims is a good football player. Chris Gray, in my opinion, had the best training camp out of any offensive lineman and scored higher in the games. But it is nice to have Rob Sims. It is nice to have Chris Spencer. It gives us some flexibility inside when we have young, strong, good looking linemen. Rob Sims had a good training camp.”
FB David Kirtman and WR Ben Obomanu both ended up on the practice squad and there is a very good chance they too will be called upon this fall.
Now that the team has its 53-man roster set, Holmgren and the team began their normal practice week with a short workout on Monday, to get the players back in the swing of things.
“Just to introduce a little bit of Detroit to the squad,” Holmgren said about their time on the practice field on Monday. “They had a couple days off this weekend. Just getting them back in here and to see our injured guy and see how they work. Getting them thinking about stuff again.”
Speaking of injured players, Holmgren and the team welcomed back WR Darrell Jackson yesterday after a long rehab from a knee injury held him out of training camp last month. Holmgren also said all but one player is expected to be able to practice this week and play in Sunday’s game.
“I don’t think we will have anyone who won’t be able to play in the game other than Jerramy Stevens,” Holmgren said.
Seattle will take Tuesdays off this year and will resume preparing for Detroit on Wednesday at their Kirkland headquarters.