Real quickly, before we get started, if you want to a see a picture of the crash I wrote about this morning, which involved Seahawks linebacker Dallas Sartz's grandfather, you can go to this link, go to the left side of the page and click on the boats link, then click on the Miss Seattle Too. The picture is at the bottom. It is a pretty phenomenal photo of a spectacular crash.
On to today's practice, which Matt Hasselbeck missed again. There are some conflicting things going on here because without getting into specifics, there are some indications that Hasselbeck's back is not in that bad of shape. However, Mike Holmgren keeps saying that his back is tightening up. I guess if you look at it, there is no reason to risk Hasselbeck if there is any indication he is sore. On the other hand, this could be the time for him to develop some rapport with his young wide receivers, none of whom has sufficiently stood out, though all have made individual plays. Either way, Holmgren said it is too early to say whether Hasselbeck will play on Monday night in San Diego -- though I suspect he will since I doubt they will want him to play much in the preseason opener on Friday, four days after the Chargers game. Again, we'll keep an eye on it throughout the week, obviously.
Elsewhere, Holmgren kind of took a step back on the Deion Branch situation. If you ever listen to Holmgren, he rarely fully answers a question, but gives you some pretty good indication about how things are heading by the tone and the words he uses. Whereas he has been saying all along he thinks or hopes Branch will be back for the opener, he hemmed and hawed enough today to make one believe that is not going to be the case. He basically said that the player has to feel comfortable enough with the injury to be able to go out on the field -- leaving one to understand that Branch is not feeling comfortable enough. Though today he was running backwards of the steep berm that flanks the field. But I have yet to see him do drills that involve lateral movement. Everything is straight forward and backward.
I then asked Holmgren about the potential for Branch being placed on the PUP, particularly given Engram's injury. He said that was an option, but it is too early to make that determination.
Red Bryant was briefly back on the field today following surgery to repair cartilage, but he went back inside after about half an hour. They are working him slowly back, but I didn't get the impression that he was going to be ready for either this game or the next game. Holmgren also said Bryant will have to work his way back into the rotation.
Speaking of injuries, it turns out that Samuel Gutekunst has a herniated disc. Jeb Putzier missed practice today as well, I think with a sore back but I will check on that and post it later.
Holmgren said that for the first time that he can remember, they have this really quick turnaround between the third and fourth preseason games, which permits for only one real day of practice. For that reason, he said they have been trying to install more stuff this week -- part of the reason the offense has struggled so much. It also has been a reason for fatigue and mental gaffes. Having said that, Holmgren said it is his responsibility to push the players through all that and make sure they are performing properly.
Seneca Wallace was back at practice today and spent some time working with the first unit. Charlie Frye also worked with the first team.
I have to say, Joe Newton has been pretty impressive this week. He made several nice catches yesterday, plus had a couple nice grabs today, including one in front of Julian Peterson. #98 later made up for it though with the play of the day: On a pass into the left flats, Peterson jumped in front of the receiver, picked off the pass from Seneca, smiled at the media as he ran past, then pretended to take off his helmet and do the Seahawks wing flap. Even Holmgren laughed. Jamar Adams also had an interception after Josh Wilson tipped a ball.
John Carlson also had a good practice, catching several nice passes on deep post patterns. Once, he split Lance Laury and Deon Grant, another time he beat Leroy Hill.
Special teams practice is this afternoon.