The Seahawks players will hold their own practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, while the coaches will have most of the week off. The players will then get the weekend off before coming back to work next week. Mike Holmgren said he would have asked the players to stay in shape during the week anyway, but they chose to practice in part because they are not quite where they want to be record-wise.
When they do come back, Holmgren said he expects to have back Sean Locklear, Deion Branch, Bobby Engram, Mo Morris, Seneca Wallace and Koren Robinson.
Of Branch, he said it is kind of like check's in the mail; he is being told he will be back, but until he sees it he will be skeptical. He talked about the only thing that will get Branch comfortable with getting hit is getting hit. There is no substitute.
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Of Locklear, Holmgren said they are in a little bit of a conundrum. Now, with Pork Chop (who is OK) playing so well, they have three players for two spots, right guard and right tackle. He said they have not figured out whether to go (L to R) Willis and Locklear, Locklear and Willis or Pork Chop and Locklear. But he really likes what Willis has been doing at right tackle, and Chop has been good as well, certainly much better than Rob Sims.
They also are in a conundrum about the return of Mo Morris, and he said he will think on that one all week as well. Julius Jones has two consecutive 100-yard games and clearly is getting it going. Holmgren does not want to mess with that. He said in the fashion that he used Duckett to spell Jones yesterday, he said he likely will do the same thing with Morris, using him to spell Jones. But, he said, Duckett earned the right to have a role with the team as well, though that role may be short-yardage and goal line guy who is scoring and getting first downs. Still, he is noodling on that.
Of the run game itself, Holmgren said he would like to stay balanced in the offense even though the running game has fared so well. He does not like to be one-sided like yesterday, when they had 46 runs and 20 passes. At the same time, he sensed the offensive linemen hunkering down and getting lathered up because they were having so much success and wanted to keep it going. "I could kind of hear the drums beating," is how he phrased it.
He confirmed that Courtney Taylor had been demoted. He said that he planned to use Taylor to spell both the Z and the X spots, but then Keary was having a good day and McMullen started off the game so well that Taylor kind of fell by the wayside. He said they still like him, and he is handling his role well, but they had to go with other guys who could be productive. Imagine what happens to Taylor once Branch and Engram and Robinson are back. He will go from starting flanker to the inactive list.
Holmgren said he has not lost faith in Michael Bumpus's punt returning despite his muff. He said it was a great punt and Bumpus misjudged it but he is a good receiver of punts overall.
About their position, Holmgren said he feels that they should have one more win. They let the SF game slip away and should be 2-1. Buffalo, they just got beat. But, he said, it is early. Things will start to sort themselves out. And he feels good about where they are because they are going to start getting healthy. "The season starts all over again for us," he said. Imagine, he said, that they were talking in their meeting today about who they will have to put on the inactive list. That is a luxury they didn't appreciate before.