In his weekly press conference, Mike Holmgren said QB Matt Hasselbeck will miss practice today because he is beat up and sore from Sunday's game. He is expected to practice tomorrow, though, and will play on Sunday.
The 34-minute proceedings were dominated mostly by discussions regarding Washington coach Jim Zorn, for obvious reasons. One of the more humorous items was Holmgren discussing some of Zorn's unorthodox techniques, including having Matt work on the slip-and-slide. "Basically, when he tried to slide, Matt was a train wreck," Holmgren said.
One of the most interesting items though came about with Holmgren discussing the defense (the exact quotes of which I will have later). He said the secondary has been victimized by a lack of size. He called some of the players talented, try-hard guys, but said they are just too small in some instances. He also said the pass rush has not been very good, or not near what it was last year. When I brought up the point that some players have pointed out that they are still top 10 in sacks, Holmgren said that is why he doesn't follow the stats; you can get them to say whatever you want. He said if they are top 10 in sacks, then the 12 they should have had would put them first in the league. He cited specifically Baraka Atkins last week, jumping and missing Kurt Warner, and Deon Grant the week before jumping and missing Chad Pennington. That does not even take into account the three additional they should have had against J.T. O'Sullivan, as well as the all-out blitzes that were picked up, including against Tampa Bay and Green Bay that resulted in touchdowns. I'll post the quotes later, as I said, but they are pretty interesting comments.
Holmgren clarified that he is not going to play backups in place of starters in order to develop them. He said that is not fair to the guys who are trying to win, and not fair to the players who are better than the backups. If you are better, you will play because you deserve it. There is no favoritism.
Holmgren said that he had some questions about letting Shaun Alexander go. He said he did not necessarily think that Alexander had lost his quickness. He said the injuries had slowed him in the past, obviously, but he felt if he had gotten healthy he could be productive again.
TE Jeb Putzier has been re-signed. Jamar Adams has been sent back to the practice squad.
Mike Wahle is doubtful for this week. Same with Patrick Kerney. Red Bryant is questionable, depending on how he practices this week. Holmgren said he was not sure about C.J. Wallace.