Engram Leads Upcoming Minicamp Stories

The Seattle Seahawks will hold their second of three voluntary off-season mini-camps next week, with several subplots looming. The largest is whether wide receiver Bobby Engram will participate.

Engram skipped the team's last mini-camp because he is upset over a contract that will pay him $1.7 million, half of what two other receivers are making, despite setting the franchise record for receptions last season.

Also absent for at least the first day of the mini-camp will be defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, who has a pre-trial hearing on his domestic violence arrest for allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend in the forehead during Bernard's birthday party.

Though Engram is not likely to attend, it will give more opportunities to a young wide receiver group that needs as much time as it can get.

It also will be the first chance for the coaching staff to take a look at Chas Gessner, who it signed to a two-year contract shortly after the last mini-camp. Gessner could add size and speed to a corps that is lacking one player who can stretch the field.

While the defense is in many ways set, the offense still is trying to evaluate its running game, both in the backfield and along the offensive line, where two new line coaches, Mike Solari and Mike DeBord, are attempting to get acquainted with their players.

"I think the big thing we are excited about here are the athleticism of the offensive linemen here," said Solari, former offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. "It's a group that can move and can space and do some nice things. So we are just trying to develop some technique, consistency and being able to perform as a unit."

The offense also is trying to figure out how to use a whole new set of running backs that include Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett and Owen Schmitt, as well as Maurice Morris and Leonard Weaver.

In the last mini-camp, Jones ended up getting the bulk of the carries with the first team, while Duckett at times appeared either slow or lethargic.
Though they paid Duckett a handsome signing bonus, they have yet to figure out how they are going to use the 254-pound back.


--DT Rocky Bernard will have a pretrial hearing on his domestic violence assault case on June 2.
--LB Lofa Tatupu, arrested for DUI on April 21, still has not been charged by the Kirkland Prosecutor's Office.
--While the owners of the Seattle SuperSonics conducted a survey that says only 26 percent of Puget Sound residents would be unhappy if the team left town for Oklahoma City, the same survey said that 57 percent of residents are pleased with the Seahawks.
--CB Marcus Trufant just recently purchased a $2.96 million home near the team's new practice facility. Per the seller, Trufant also received a Mercedes Class C-300 for closing on the house before May 30.
--Former Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander, released a month ago, still has not found a team. Denver had an interest but signed Michael Pittman instead.
--QB Matt Hasselbeck and his two daughters will headline an NFL promotion that asks fans to submit photos of their fathers in NFL Gear.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Any time anybody in our family gets in trouble or gets arrested, it feels like a punch in the gut. We are a team of character, and we will always be a team of character. We're never going to be 100 percent, but that's our goal." -- Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell on Lofa Tatupu, who was arrested for DUI.

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