Mike Holmgren said that he and Gil Haskell are going to sit down this week and try to figure out a way to get the offense going earlier in the game. He said that could include scrapping the scripting of 15 plays, which could give the offense more flexibility. I talked with Matt Hasselbeck a little bit to get an idea of what exactly that means. He said they script the plays in order to give the players something to study on Friday night, familiarize them with the game plan and how the first quarter could unfold. But Hasselbeck said the 15 plays are not called regardless of the situation. Flexibility is built in depending on field position and what the down and distance are. He said that of the 15 plays scripted, he guessed that eight of them are usually called and the others are ad-libbed.
I think the point here though is that Holmgren understands that something needs to be done to kick-start an offense that continues to struggle early on. He said that he likely is going to shake up the wide receiver rotation, in part because DJ Hackett is going to be back, but also because he acknowledged that wide receivers are cutting routes short. Nate Burleson was the obvious culprit because of the interception at the end of the game, and Burleson shouldered the blame, saying he gave up on it because he assumed the ball had been thrown somewhere else. When he realized it was thrown to him, he could not get to it. Holmgren wasn't specific about the changes, but a guess is that he may start Hackett and Bobby Engram and bring Burleson and then Obomanu in as third and fourth receivers. Holmgren said once again the linemen are blowing assignments in run blocking, which is, he admits, extremely frustrating. He also said Leonard Weaver was to blame for a few blitzes that turned into sacks, failing to recognize what was happening. The one where Hasselbeck got drilled hard is the most obvious. That is a sign of inexperience. Though Boling brought up in his column today the idea that Shaun Alexander should be benched, Holmgren said there will not be anything done more dramatically then refining the play calls.