Nobody, it turned out, was in the locker room, so I am back sooner than expected.
Of the Kerney thing, I asked Holmgren if they have an interest in signing Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila if Kerney is done for the year. Holmgren said they have not yet had that discussion, but he is sure they have a “hot list” of people they want to sign if Kerney is out. Holmgren said he thought Jackson and Tapp did OK on Sunday, but that they wore down as the game went on because of the size of Philly’s offensive line.
Matt Hasselbeck is getting stronger but is not likely to come back this week. Holmgren said he did have his doubts that Hass would play again this year, but he said he thinks Hass will be back sooner rather than later. Lofa and Weaver are likely to practice on Wednesday.
Red Bryant has a high ankle sprain and is out for a few weeks. Holmgren did not have a time frame on David Hawthorne’s calf injury. Will Heller could play this week.
Deion Branch’s status is the same. They will test him this week and if the heel doesn’t react negatively they will bring him along slowly.
Of Mike Wahle’s false start penalty on fourth and 10, Holmgren said the play was designed to go on a quick count. Then Seneca tried to audible into a coverage. He needed to give the line a warning that he was going to audible because they were going on the first sound. When he started to audible, Wahle jumped.
I asked Holmgren if having Hasselbeck in the game would have prevented the third-down spike at the end of the half. My theory is that Hass is so good at managing a game that he is a crutch for Holmgren, who can trust Hasselbeck to make the correct decisions when there is chaos. He wouldn’t say that. He took the blame again, saying it was a bad play call (the draw), it was executed poorly, and it was the wrong thing for him to tell Seneca to spike the ball.
Holmgren talked a lot about his first job as a construction laborer, and he wanted to quit about 25 times because it was so hard. But he said he kept at it and found a sense of satisfaction at the end of the summer. He told his players the same thing. Keep doing the things that allowed you to make it into this locker room in the first place. It may not seem like you are being rewarded for all the hard work you have put in, but that doesn’t mean you stop working hard.
He was asked rather pointedly if there is a chance to turn around the season. Candidly, he said, he didn’t know. He needs to get back some of his injured players, he knows that. But he did not really want to touch that question.
Of the running game, he said teams are stacking defenses against them and daring them to throw. They are not afraid of the passing game so they are keying on the backs.
They are not seeing anything different schematically on the blitz packages. For whatever reason, they are just not getting home. And when they are not, it leaves too much room for error for corners trying to cover “receivers who have been there since training camp.”