Seahawks-Redskins News and Notes


Posted Jan 4, 2008


The biggest asset the Seattle Seahawks have to offset the Sean Taylor-created emotion of the Washington Redskins is their home-field advantage. That grew even stronger on Thursday, after the Seahawks and Seattle's notorious 12th Man learned that Redskins fullback Mike Sellers accused the Seahawks of pumping noise into the stadium.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

"That place has to be miked up because the last time we played there, it was ridiculous -- we couldn't hear ourselves talk," said Sellers, a native of the Pacific Northwest. "For a stadium that small, it can't be that loud."

In fact, though, Qwest Field is that loud, causing a league-high 68 false start penalties by opponents since the 2005 season.

"For one thing, everyone that knows us and has been here knows that we don't pump in anything artificial," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "It's all our fans. They have learned to do that. I think it's a learned activity for them and they realize how much they help us so you don't have to encourage them a lot.

"Now I would suspect that if they think people are accusing us of doing something like that they might even come with a little more voice."

The Seahawks are 7-1 at home this season, second only to their 8-0 record in 2005, when they went to the Super Bowl. They have outscored opponents by an average of 16.7 points in those seven victories.

The Seahawks players just laughed when they heard about Sellers' comments.

"Oh man, that's the worst thing he could possibly say," linebacker Julian Peterson said.

PLAYER NOTES

--WR Deion Branch, who has a strained calf, did not practice on Thursday, though he ran on the side. Holmgren said Branch, who missed the last game, was a game-time decision.

--LB Niko Koutouvides, who missed the last game and two practices this week with a knee injury, practiced on Thursday and is expected to play on Saturday.

--QB Matt Hasselbeck, who injured his wrist on Sunday, practiced for a third straight day and will play on Saturday.

--RB Shaun Alexander, who has a cracked bone in his wrist and suffered a minor rib injury Sunday, practiced on Thursday and will play on Saturday.

--DT Rocky Bernard, who has skipped several practices a week for six weeks and has missed the past two games with a sore groin, has practiced all week and will play Saturday.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The popular explanations for how the Redskins rebounded from a 5-11 season in 2006 and a 5-7 record on Dec. 5 involve quarterback's Todd Collins' stardom after 10 years of obscurity and the players playing in honor of murdered safety Sean Taylor.

But the untold keys to the turnaround were the late-summer acquisitions of linebacker Randall Godfrey and receiver Keenan McCardell.

Both veterans have now made the playoffs with five different teams, one shy of the NFL record according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Former cornerbacks Tim McKyer and Terrell Buckley reached postseason with six teams.

Godfrey's previous playoff teams were Dallas, Tennessee, Seattle and San Diego. McCardell's were Cleveland (previous incarnation), Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and San Diego (with Godfrey).

"When you get chemistry right, it's not just me, it's everybody in this locker room," McCardell said. "People ask me why I keep coming back. They say, 'You've already won a ring (with the 2002 Buccaneers).' You play this game to be in the playoffs. You play this game to have a chance to win the title."

Unlike the 37-year-old McCardell, Godfrey has yet to do at 34.

"That's what's driving me," Godfrey said. "I realize how hard it is to get one and my years are numbered. Last year was so disappointing for me to go 14-2 and lose in the first round."

McCardell, middle linebacker London Fletcher (1999 St. Louis Rams) and receiver Antwaan Randle El (2005 Pittsburgh Steelers) are the only Redskins with rings.

PLAYER NOTES

--WR James Thrash is in a walking boot with a left high ankle sprain. Thrash didn't practice on Thursday and likely won't play in Saturday's wild card game at Seattle. He missed four games in November and December with a similar injury.

--QB Jason Campbell remains sidelined with a dislocated kneecap and won't play against the Seahawks.

--LB H.B. Blades is the son of Bennie Blades and the nephew of Brian Blades, both of whom once played for the Seahawks.

--CB Shawn Springs was Seattle's first pick (third overall) in the 1997 draft and started seven seasons for the Seahawks.

--DE Phillip Daniels was Seattle's fourth pick in the 1996 draft and played four seasons for the Seahawk, starting three.



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