Seahawks notes

Seattle will treat regular season finale like a preseason game

The Seahawks are saying all the right things about trying to win this game at Green Bay on Sunday, but actions speak louder than words. Coach Mike Holmgren plans to substitute early and often, giving this season-ending game a preseason feel.

"We've just got to get healthy and get our minds right for the playoffs," Holmgren said. "Winning 12 games in a row, though, and finishing the season with a record of 14-2, those are all good things. Those are real positive, good things. We'd like to do that, yeah."

Spoken like a man whose team is 13-2 and already has home-field advantage wrapped up. Seattle can no longer improve its playoff positioning and Holmgren wants his players ready for the divisional-round game Jan. 14 or 15. In the meantime, he'll use this game against the Packers to take a look at younger players.

Quarterback Seneca Wallace is taking most of the snaps in practice, a clear indication that Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck won't play very much. Wallace was a running quarterback at Iowa State, but he also possesses a strong throwing arm and a strong desire to prove himself. Wallace played well during the preseason, hurting opponents on the ground and through the air. He has played only in mop-up roles during the regular season, but that will change in this game.

For the first time as a pro, Wallace will play a regular-season game in which coaches have prepared the game plan with him in mind.

"It means a lot," Wallace said of finally getting some first-team reps during practice. "Just not getting an opportunity all season and now it's finally here. I just have to go out there and play and have fun and run our offense, just get back to doing the things that I was doing in training camp."

Hasselbeck and running back Shaun Alexander will start the game, Holmgren said. But they won't play deep into the game.

Seattle has fewer options on defense. Defensive end Joe Tafoya and defensive tackle Chuck Darby might not play because of injuries. Cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Andre Dyson didn't even make the trip. All four players should be ready for the playoffs. Their absence Sunday would put pressure on other key players to pick up the slack.

Cornerback Kelly Herndon could play extensively in his first game back from a sprained knee. Seattle simply lacks alternatives at the position after Trufant left the most recent game with a back injury.

More Seahawks notes
-- Coach Mike Holmgren was caught off-guard at his weekly press conference when someone asked about the time one of his Green Bay assistants showed film of him singing in a 1950s band. The film dated to Holmgren's 1970s tenure as a high school coach in California.

Holmgren assumed the persona "Manifold Mike" while playing with "Big Bop and the Choppers" to raise money for school athletic programs.

Years later, when Holmgren coached the Packers, then-assistant coach Marty Mornhinweg inserted the film into a team video session. Mornhinweg had played quarterback at the same high school.

"The video is around somewhere," Holmgren said. "I used to be in a little rock-and-roll band and somehow the black market got ahold of the tape and somehow it appeared on one of our highlight films there one night. And of course the video director was fired. They've had a lot of fun with that - yeah, they have."

-- RB Shaun Alexander said he isn't concerned about passing Priest Holmes for sole possession of the single-season touchdown record. "The touchdown record to me, I already got it," he said. "That's how it feels like. When they say who has the most touchdowns all year, they are going to say Priest Holmes and Shaun Alexander. It could be mine by itself but I don't think too much about it."

-- Holmgren has been pushing offensive coordinator Gil Haskell as a head-coaching candidate if and when jobs open around the league.

"For the life of me I don't understand how teams go about it sometimes," Holmgren said. "Someone should hire Gil Haskell to be their head coach, for sure. Now that would be a big loss to me personally. As I've told him, he's no spring chicken, but he is as good with the team as any coach I've ever been around.

"And he's a very meticulous, high-work-ethic guy and I just don't understand that one. He's not a self-promoter, is one of the things, I think. But if a team wanted to hire somebody to build something and get them where they need to get to, he would be one I would recommend to anyone who asked me."


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