RENTON – They weren’t earth shattering, but Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren followed through on making some changes at the team’s practice Wednesday.
The Seahawks lost a playmaker indefinitely when Deion Branch suffered a bruised heel, but they’ll get another one back this week if Koren Robinson can stay healthy.
And cornerback Kelly Jennings may have lost his starting job to Josh Wilson in the first significant lineup tweak Holmgren has made in an effort to shore up his team’s struggles in the secondary.
Those two changes were the main moves for the Seahawks as they prepare to play Green Bay on Sunday.
Robinson made it all the way through his first practice since he arrived at Seattle’s training facility three weeks ago, and is looking forward to an opportunity to make his return to Qwest Field as a Seahawk.
“The goal is to play on Sunday,” Robinson said. “I had a productive day today. I got some balls. I felt good in and out of our breaks. My leg’s not bothering me. We’ll just see what happens.”
Seattle chose to work Robinson in slowly because of his conditioning and a sore knee. While at Green Bay, Robinson had issues with his surgically repaired knee and eventually was released during the offseason last May.
Robinson said he had problems in his first year after the surgery last season.
“The second year is always better than the first year, and I feel good,” Robinson said. “I have confidence in it. I’m just trying to go back to my old ways.”
Robinson said he’s used his first couple of weeks in Seattle to his advantage, working himself back into shape, and his knee feels good.
“People see me out on the field, but you don’t see me in the weight room, in the swimming pool conditioning and the running and all of that,” Robinson said. “So I’ve definitely been working my butt off trying to get right and be prepared for when I’m ready.”
Holmgren did not say if Robinson will start or how much he’ll be used. But with Branch out, besides Bobby Engram, Robinson has the most knowledge of the offense.
And i so happens the Seahawks play the Packers, Robinson’s former team.
“I just look at this as an opportunity to play against some of my boys, and some of my friends that were up there,” Robinson said. “So I want to be good and be able to go, first of all. And then have a productive day.”
On defense, Wilson seems to have supplanted Jennings as Seattle’s starting right cornerback. The two split reps during drills on Wednesday, with Wilson moving inside to play the nickel back during passing situations.
Defensive backs coach Jim Mora said Jennings is more of an outside guy in the team’s coverage scheme, while Wilson works better on receivers inside the slot. Mora also said Jennings has been dinged up and the team wants to get more reps for Wilson, hence the open competition at corner.
“It’s a multitude of things,” Mora said. “No. 1, we want to get Josh more reps because he’s worthy of more reps. No. 2, Kelly had the mild concussion and maybe a little bit of a stinger Sunday on the seventh play (against the Giants) and didn’t come back then. And in the second game, he broke the rib, so he’s a little beat up.
“It’s a long season. We’ve got 12 games to go. So we want to make sure we’re prudent in how much we put him out there and expose him when he’s not 100 percent.”
Seattle needs to fix the defensive lapses in the secondary in a hurry. The Seahawks are second in the league, giving up 24 plays from the line of scrimmage of 20 yards or longer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Seventeen of those have been passing plays, according to NFL.com, tied for second in the league.
And Seattle already has given up seven passing touchdowns, with just one interception this season. In 2007, the Seahawks gave up a league-low 15 passing touchdowns, and tied for fourth in the league in interceptions with 20.
Defensive penalties also have plagued Seattle. The Seahawks have 12 penalties involving defensive holding, pass interference, illegal contact or personal fouls in pass coverage.
Facing a possible demotion, Jennings said his confidence is still high, and that he just has to do a better job bumping guys off the ball in press coverage and battling for jump balls at the end of the route.
“I’m a cornerback,” Jennings said. “We’ve got a Pro Bowl corner (Marcus Trufant) on the other side, so I know they’re coming my way. So I’ve got to step up and make a play, or we’ve got to do something different.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437