Notebook: Guaranteed Delivery!


Posted Dec 6, 2006


The Seahawks owe four of their eight victories to Josh Brown's right foot. The kicker has hit four game-winners this season. "He's so clutch and he doesn't even let the pressure get to him," teammate Julian Peterson said.

Brown's late kicks have lifted Seattle to victories over Detroit, St. Louis (twice) and Denver. The team might easily be 4-8, not 8-4, if Brown had not played so well in the clutch. Brown is the first kicker since Ryan Longwell in 2004 to make four late game-winners in the same season.

"He's cold as ice," Peterson said.

Cold-weather kicking isn't a problem for Brown, who played at Nebraska. The fourth-year pro did miss twice in Denver, however, before making all three attempts in the fourth quarter. That included his second game-winner of the season from at least 50 yards. He hit a 54-yarder to beat the Rams as time expired in St. Louis. The kick to beat Denver was from 50.

Brown even laid out Broncos return man Brian Williams during a kick return. Teammate Kelly Jennings was stripping the ball free when Brown came along and blasted Williams. Joe Tafoya recovered for Seattle.

The turnover led to Brown's 44-yard field goal for a 17-13 lead in the final minutes. Brown is sturdy for a kicker. He's six feet tall and 202 pounds. He was an all-state small-school running back as a high school kid in Oklahoma. He also won two state prep titles as a 6-foot-8 high jumper. How many kickers can say that?

Coach Mike Holmgren, meanwhile, wasn't entirely pleased with Brown's big hit. The coach doesn't want his kickers sticking their nose into those situations.

"In his rookie year, he used to run down there and dive in the pile and try to get every tackle," Holmgren said. "Wouldn't it be something if he ran down there and just got clocked and we lost him for a couple of games or something? It makes no sense."

Kickers have become more valuable because they are more accurate as a whole, and because many have range out to 60 yards if conditions are right.

"I saw a clip of (Dallas coach) Bill Parcells talking about (Martin) Gramatica, who kicked the winning field against the Giants (on Sunday)," Holmgren said, "and he said -- and I agree with him -- that in this day and age, it's such a valuable guy, unbelievably important guy to your football team, and when you have one that's not wacky, you really have something going. And our guy's pretty good."

PLAYER NOTES

-- RB Josh Scobey suffered a cracked bone in his shoulder area Sunday night and was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

--QB Matt Hasselbeck's passer rating against the Broncos was in the high 50s. Seattle improved to 2-8 in road games when Hasselbeck's rating fails to reach 60.0. Coach Mike Holmgren tried to play things safe offensively, reducing the number of chances for Hasselbeck to throw the ball downfield.

--RB Shaun Alexander started slowly Sunday night but still finished with 90 yards rushing. Looking ahead to Sunday, Alexander has a history of monster games against Arizona. He had an 88-yard touchdown run in Arizona last season.

--RB Maurice Morris has gone back to his role as a runner who gets only spot carries. Starter Shaun Alexander determines how much Morris plays, largely. Morris goes into the game only when Alexander determines he needs a play off.

--TE Will Heller is serving as the Seahawks' backup fullback. Veteran Mack Strong should be able to practice this week and play Sunday. Heller went into the game Sunday night after Strong left with an ankle injury.

--TE Jerramy Stevens had a false-start penalty against the Broncos. He was open for what might have been a big pass play, but the Broncos tipped the ball incomplete.

--WR Deion Branch was gaining a rapport with QB Matt Hasselbeck when a knee injury knocked out Hasselbeck for a month. Hasselbeck has returned over the last two weeks, but the rapport with Branch will need some time to build again.

--WR Darrell Jackson continues to drop shorter passes, contributing to stalled drives. He leads the team in receptions (58) and drops (10).

--WR D.J. Hackett remains one of the team's top options on third down. He has eight catches without a drop on third down. The team has thrown to him 11 times overall on third down.

--LB Julian Peterson is the only Seattle defender playing at a Pro Bowl level. He has nine sacks in 12 games, or 3.5 more than he had in his previous 20 games, all with San Francisco.

--SS Jordan Babineaux was among the players who missed tackles on the Broncos' late 71-yard touchdown reception Sunday night. Babineaux's attempt at a tackle might have stopped CB Kelly Jennings from making the tackle. Jennings was hanging from the receiver when Babineaux flew into the play, bounced off the receiver and knocked Jennings to the ground. The play was inexcusable, coach Mike Holmgren said, because Seattle was not in a gambling defense at the time.

--CB Marcus Trufant nearly picked off an early third-down pass from Jay Cutler to Javon Walker on Sunday night. The Broncos didn't test him much after that play. Trufant is playing at a high level after a tough first month.

-- The Seahawks signed former New York Giants defensive tackle Marcus Green on Tuesday. Green, a fifth-year senior who graduated from Ohio State in 2006, was an undrafted free agent who had been on New York's practice squad. The 6'1", 295-pound tackle may be able to help a Seattle defense that has had trouble stopping the run with the absence of Marcus Tubbs.



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