Holmgren and Seahawks Break Camp

Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren just wrapped up his eighth training camp in Seattle and he's a man who's seen just about everything you can in his coaching tenure in the NFL. Now that the team has finally broken camp and they're drawing close to the first big cutdown next week he reflected on camp being held in Kirkland as well as other issues related to the start of the approaching season.

"I think the guys have worked very hard" Holmgren told the assembled media Thursday. "You know, I was concerned about having camp (in Kirkland). I like the idea of going away somewhere to camp. That appeals to me. I will say this: the players upheld their end of the bargain beautifully. I asked them to and we talked about that.

"They have good leadership on the team. I think they did a nice job. They had time off between practices. They had an evening off, the normal nights off. They handled it pretty well so I appreciate that. I told them that today.

"Whether you're here or in Cheney your practice planning and your schedule for your practices are the same. We've installed, pretty much, what we're going to install. Now I want them, next week, to get used to the regular season schedule as far as practice and meals. The young players haven't been through it yet so they have to understand how we do that. Then, of course, the following week you're getting ready to play Tampa"

Holmgren's team is coming off one of its worst performances since he arrived in the Emerald City and the head man expects more from his team as he state earlier this week. He plans to play most of his starters into the third quarter and said it's all about preparing for that gameday feel once the regular season arrives.

"Mainly to get them knowing how it feels to come out in the second half and play," Holmgren noted. "The preseason, you're still working on other things. We don't game plan, even the third preseason game. They do have to have the feeling of playing the first half, going in at half time, eating their oranges or whatever they do, and then come out in the second half and play. That's what we work on now for this week."

QB Matt Hasselbeck, who sat out last week's debacle in Green Bay, will play most of the first half according to Holmgren and another veteran, DT Marcus Tubbs, will be playing along the front line of Seattle's defense come Saturday.

"We're going to play him," Holmgren said. "He's going to play a little bit; probably ten snaps, ten, fifteen snaps.

"We've all been waiting. He's been waiting. We all have our fingers crossed. He's a good football player when he can get on the field. He's been a little bit unlucky that way but he's really worked very hard to get himself ready. His weight is down. It's all good so now we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope the knee holds up. "He's right no schedule. If I'm smart with how we practice him during the week. You don't want to overload him. It is what it is. The surgery was a big surgery. If we're smart with how we do that they're telling me it'll be okay."

Seattle faces the Minnesota Vikings at Qwest Field on Saturday and then they will have to get their roster cut down to 75 players on Tuesday (August 28th) and then they'll face the Oakland Raiders on Thursday August 30th before their final cut-down to the 53-man official roster on September 1st.

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