Seattle Finds Waiting Game Just as Difficult

Friday, January 13, 2006

SEATTLE. Jan. 12 -- The practice ended quickly, and Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren stood around the team's practice bubble looking as if he wanted to charge onto a field carrying his clipboard on Thursday. It seemed 48 hours before this playoff game with the Redskins, Holmgren was ready to play right then.

"I think I might be peaking a little bit early here," he said. "I might need to go home and have a glass of wine tonight just to wind down."

There does seem a concern around the Seahawks that they haven't played a meaningful game in almost a month. They beat the Colts on a day Indianapolis rested many of its regulars, sat several of their own starters in a final game loss to the Packers, sat last week and finally have been practicing in earnest again this week.

They took off much of the first week of the playoffs, occasionally going out to the field for informal workouts. Their first regular practice was Tuesday. Thursday was their last. They will hold a walkthrough Friday.

"You prepare all season looking to get the first-round bye. Then you get it, and you say 'Oh my goodness, what do you do with it?' "


The morning dawned gray and foreboding but dry, giving hope that maybe the stretch of rain -- now almost four weeks long -- was over. But in the afternoon, the skies broke, and the rain poured and poured and poured, making it the 25th straight day of rain in the Seattle area.

Forecasters were optimistic, however, that the deluge would end this weekend, thus sparing Seattle the opportunity to set a record for consecutive days of rain, which now stands at 33. The only problem with their hopes is that the dry day will be Sunday, not Saturday. Thus it appears now the Redskins and Seahawks will play in some kind of gloomy, dripping slop.

The latest prediction is for showers and a high of 46.

Turning Point

The Seahawks left their game in Washington in October a broken team. They had just lost a heartbreaker, were 2-2 and seemed headed for another sluggish 8-8, 9-7 season. But something happened after the Redskins game, and the Seahawks couldn't lose. In fact, they didn't lose for another 12 weeks until they rested many of their starters and lost the final game of the season in Green Bay, 23-17.

Asked what happened that day, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck shrugged. Must have been the Redskins.

"They are a good defense. They made us grow up as an offense I guess I would say," he said. "They made us mature in some areas; learn how to handle some things. They give you a lot of different things to prepare for, and it was a good learning experience for us. Sometimes you learn more about yourself through adversity than success.

"There was certainly a lot of adversity to go around in that game."

Health Report

Right tackle Sean Locklear's injured left hip turns out not to be significant. He practiced lightly Thursday, and Holmgren said Locklear will play against the Redskins. He was also confident linebacker D.D. Lewis, who has an injured right foot, will play, but when asked if Lewis -- a starter for much of the year -- would start on Saturday, Holmgren became hesitant.

"You always want to pin me down," he said to the reporter who asked.

Which was probably as good as a yes.

Cornerback Andre Dyson, who missed the last four games of the year with a high ankle sprain, has been practicing and is also expected to start even though he is listed as a backup on the depth chart.

Holmgren was not so sure reserve tackle Wayne Hunter, nursing an ankle injury, would be available for the game.

-- Les Carpenter

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company