After 10 tackles and one sack, after three pass breakups and one forced fumble, Ken Hamlin used one word to describe his performance yesterday. Disappointed. That's what happens when...
After 10 tackles and one sack, after three pass breakups and one forced fumble, Ken Hamlin used one word to describe his performance yesterday.
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That’s what happens when your personality falls under perfectionist. And while defensive backs around his locker praised the second-year free safety for his play, Hamlin was more disappointed with the two potential interceptions that he dropped.
It was that kind of day for the Seahawks defense, as linebacker Solomon Bates dropped another chance at a pick. But the Seahawks did intercept two passes from Josh McCown, including an acrobatic grab from Pro Bowl alternate Ken Lucas and a read-and-react pick from Marcus Trufant.
“We should have had four or five picks,” Lucas said. “But we have a little thing we say: ‘You make a bad play — flush it.’ Just forget about that play. You can’t dwell on that type of stuff.”
Koren Robinson made an uncelebrated return to the Seahawks. He missed the past five games — one after a benching for violating team rules and four from the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy.
And yes, Robinson did return, although he didn’t make a catch and his name didn’t appear in the box score. Jerry Rice started opposite Darrell Jackson at wide receiver.
“It felt great,” Robinson said. “It’s what I do for a living, baby, so it’s easy.”
No Seahawks game, win or loss, seems complete without some kind of injury that casts a pall over things.
Yesterday, the Seahawks had three.
Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones limped off the field early in the second half with a left-ankle injury that coach Mike Holmgren did not specify. Jones was taken to the locker room for X-rays, which were negative. He did not return to the game and was replaced by rookie Sean Locklear.
Jones was trying to make a block, but got his leg caught. He couldn’t stand up properly afterward.
Fullback Mack Strong left the game late in the first quarter with a quadriceps bruise, and was replaced by Heath Evans for the remainder of the afternoon. And strong safety Michael Boulware sprained his left foot on the Cardinals’ last extra point try and was taken off the field on a cart for X-rays.
Holmgren said the injury situation would be re-evaluated today.
Additionally, punter Ken Walter appeared to have injured his ribs after taking a hit from Arizona linebacker Gerald Hayes following Walter’s second punt. Walter never the left the game but struggled with his consistency, averaging 36.9 yards per kick.
The news of former NFL great Reggie White’s death yesterday morning stunned Holmgren, who learned of White’s passing during chapel service before the game. White was 43.
Holmgren coached the star defensive end in Green Bay during the mid-1990s.
Holmgren offered his family’s condolences to the Whites, then praised his late friend.
“He had a lot to do with my success in the National Football League,” Holmgren said. “He was just a wonderful player to have on your football team, first of all as a player. Then, as a person, he was just the best. I’m a better person for having been around Reggie.”
Holmgren, who admitted that White’s death was on his mind during game preparation, said White stood out through his enthusiasm and how much fun he had playing football.
“I’ve never seen a guy enjoy it more,” Holmgren said. “He set the tone for the whole football team that way. You couldn’t help but get caught up in it, players and coaches.
“My life is better for having been associated with him.”
Evans makes good
Evans had not played extensively on offense since Week 3 against San Francisco, when he gained 21 yards on six carries and played on every special teams unit. When called upon to replace Strong, he was up to the test, throwing several good blocks for running back Shaun Alexander while handling some roles on special teams.
“I had to knock the dust off,” Evans said. “It took me about a quarter.”
Evans was hobbled by a sore ankle but played on most special-teams units despite the pain.
Monday night plans
The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West title if St. Louis loses to Philadelphia tonight. Holmgren will try not to watch too much, and Alexander might avoid the game altogether.
“I get a little too nervous if I’m watching another game and there’s something at stake,” Holmgren said. “My daughters usually phone me with updates, even though I tell them not to.”
Alexander said: “I’ll probably be getting a massage. I hope the Eagles go out there and play well and get us a win, and then we’ll go from there.”
The Seahawks are 3-5 in games in which they have lost the opening coin toss.
MLB Niko Koutouvides made his first career start and had two tackles and a special-teams tackle.
K Josh Brown set a career high with his 23rd field goal of the season.
DT Rocky Bernard, limited by a knee injury, played for the first time since Dec. 6 and had four total tackles.
WR Taco Wallace saw his first action of the season, playing special teams.
A group of Army Rangers from Fort Lewis raised the 12th Man flag before the game in honor of the late Pat Tillman, who played for Arizona before joining the armed forces. Tillman trained at Fort Lewis before getting deployed to Afghanistan, where he later was killed.