As you can imagine, a great deal of the questions aimed at Mike Holmgren during his weekly press conference were about Koren Robinson, and we will get into some of that. But I'll cover nuts and bolts first.
The team released Jason Babin in order to make room for WR Keary Colbert. Holmgren said they are keeping two kickers because they like Coutu very much and don't want to lose him. Colbert will be wearing #13, Koren will be wearing #18 (his old number reversed).
Holmgren said he does not envision using both Mare and Coutu even though both are on the roster, unless Mare starts struggling for some reason.
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Sean Locklear will begin practicing this week, though I didn't get the impression from Holmgren that he expected him to play. Holmgren said Ray Willis still needed to get his reps in. Bobby Engram is out. Deion Branch will practice but will not play.
Holmgren said he did not know yet how the receivers will be rotated, though he did say they will all get time. He said he is going to force Colbert and Koren in the game even if they are not ready because he needs experienced players playing. He said Koren also could be used as a kick returner. Bumpus will be doing the punt returning.
Holmgren said they did not have the luxury of signing a practice squad QB because they need legs more than arms for practice.
Walter Jones will not practice as much this week because of a sore hip/lower back, but he is expected to play.
Holmgren said he biggest concerns regarding the Rams are their offensive skill players (Bulger, Holt, Jackson), their willingness to blitz the Seahawks liberally last year and the sense of urgency St. Louis has because both teams are winless and feel a sense of desperation.
Regarding Koren: Holmgren said he felt in a way that he failed Koren the last time he was here. He said he is not going to apologize for the way he handled Koren, and while some people may feel like he did not handle it properly and should have cut him loose, those people did not know all the facts. He said Koren was never a locker room cancer and his teammates all liked him. He said he handled Koren the way he would have handled his own children, and he is not going to change the way he parents/coaches/teaches.
He said Koren has a pretty good memory of the system, but he is not in game shape yet. He said he hopes to get him close to game shape this week. He said he will have to wait to see how well things go in practice this week before determining how much each new player will play and what their role will be.
Regarding Colbert, he said he has some knowledge of the system because Mike Shanahan uses some of the same stuff that was shared in San Francisco. How much he knows, Holmgren did not know.
Oh yeah, Holmgren also talked a little about Josh Brown. He said he was surprised that Brown left because Holmgren got personally involved in the negotiations and he felt like they had reached some sort of accord. The money, Holmgren said, was not that much different. If, as Brown said, his feelings were hurt because of some of the things that were said in negotiations, he could understand that -- though it is not always fair because agents don't always disclose exactly what is said but disclose what they want their clients to hear.