The following is an unedited version of a sidebar that will appear in Monday’s paper.
By Frank Hughes
The News Tribune
SAN FRANCISCO – The Seneca Wallace experiment has returned for the Seattle Seahawks.
For years Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren has wanted to use Wallace, his backup quarterback and best all-around athlete, in a role other than Matt Hasselbeck’s worst-case-scenario emergency backup.
David Greene, however, never permitted that.
But after acquiring Charlie Frye after the first week of the season, and Frye getting acclimated to Seattle’s offensive system, Wallace is again part of Holmgren’s game plan.
Holmgren used Wallace three times in three completely different roles in the Seahawks’ 23-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon, giving the Seahawks yet another offensive weapon with which opponents have to contend.
"This was the first time we’ve used all of his skill set," Holmgren said. "He’s so talented. Today you saw him running the ball, throwing the ball and catching the ball. He’s going to be one more threat in our arsenal."
Wallace had varying degrees of success. In the first quarter, he lined up as a wide receiver and Hasselbeck found his protégé for an 18-yard completion along the left sideline.
On another, he was sent in motion as a receiver, doubled back and took a handoff from Hasselbeck for a reverse that lost a yard. He also was used as a decoy on one play, where Hasselbeck threw to another receiver.
But it was the final play that makes Wallace so dangerous. He ran a play designed similarly to the reverse, only this time he pulled up. Deion Branch was open for a moment in the end zone, but Wallace underthrew the pass and it was knocked away by Walt Harris.
"I want (that pass) back, big time," Wallace said. "You got to try to take advantage and hit those. (Harris) made a good play. Maybe a couple yards deeper ee could have had a big one.
"If I can get on the field and just play a little bit, I am very happy. Even if it is only two or three plays a game, I am happy. Mike said, ‘Hey, I am going to give you an opportunity to play, just be smart.’ So I am going to go out there and give it 100 percent."
There is always the danger, of course, that Wallace could get hurt, meaning the inconsistent Frye would be in charge if Hasselbeck was injured.
Wallace said that while he is on the field, he has to gauge risk vs. reward on every play.
"You just want to make sure you don’t put yourself in a situation where you are going to take a shot," Wallace said. "I know I had one where I dove and you are out there playing but at the same time you don’t want to do soemthing where you hurt something and cost your team if you go down. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t put myself in a bad situation."
The Seahawks would not say how much more they plan to use Wallace in the future. But at the very least they know – and their opponents know – he is there if they need him.
"We are just trying different things," Wallace said. "We don’t want to leave nothing out here. Mike is doing a good job of drawing up those plays and calling them for us. It was fun just to get my first action as a receiver. Hopefully we can keep this thing rolling and do good things throughout the season."