Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren was asked today what he needed to see out of Matt Hasselbeck in order for Hasselbeck to start. His answer: "Breathing. That's all I need to see." Sounds like my love life in college. In any case, Holmgren said he fully expects #8 to be out on the field and taking the full complement of reps in preparation for the Cardinals game. Charlie Frye is likely to be his backup because Seneca still is smarting from his groin injury.
A reader emailed yestrday predicting that the Seahawks still are going to win the division at 8-8. I won't name names for protection purposes. Even Holmgren sounded skeptical about that possibility. He said that he talked to the team this morning about their goals -- and the conversation apparently did not include winning the division, given they are four games back with seven left to play. He said the goal is to win Sunday, and it is too soon to be throwing the youngsters out there for experience, but they are not too far removed from that state.
Speaking of youngsters, they cut Keary Colbert, according to Holmgren, not because of Colbert (wink wink) but because of Courtney Taylor, who they think is ready to start doing some of the things that they expected from him early in the season. With Branch coming back, this is the perfect opportunity for Taylor to be worked in slowly as the fourth receiver and not feel the pressure to produce that he felt in the first few games.
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With injuries, Pork Chop, Branch and Hasselbeck will practice this week. Leonard Weaver is questionable for the game and is not likely to practice much. Julius Jones will not practice today because he is ill. Patrick Kerney is week-to-week, but not this week. Holmgren said he hurt the shoulder pretty severely.
Regarding Branch, Holmgren said he thinks it is a string of misfortune regarding his injuries and not that Branch is too fragile. He is productive when he plays -- and they are crossing their fingers that he stays healthy in this stint.
Matt and Branch should speak with the media after practice for the first time in a long time. We'll post their stuff afterward.