Hasselbeck on a short leash


Matt Hasselbeck wants to play. Mike Holmgren wants to talk.

The Seahawks quarterback and coach were to have what Holmgren called a "heart-to-heart" discussion about Hasselbeck avoiding contact on his surgically repaired non-throwing shoulder throughout the final three exhibition games, beginning Saturday at Green Bay.

"If I can keep him from getting banged around, it's to our advantage. The best way to do that is to not let him play," Holmgren said Thursday.

"It really isn't what Matt wants," the coach said, smiling. "Matt certainly would like to play. I give him a lot of leeway on decision making around here &

but that's one I have to make the call on."

Holmgren added that Shaun Alexander, Marcus Pollard, Deion Branch and many other starters on offense may play through the first quarter, but no more. That is the coach's usual preseason plan for veteran starters.

Holmgren surprised Hasselbeck by starting him in the exhibition opener Sunday at San Diego, after doctors had Hasselbeck bracing for four consecutive weeks of watching from the sideline.

Hasselbeck played one series, completing 4 of 5 passes for 65 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown pass to Branch. Holmgren said he called plays that minimized the quarterback's chances to get hit. And that might be the most Seattle sees of Hasselbeck until the real games start Sept. 9 against Tampa Bay.

Seneca Wallace, who played the final 31/2 quarters against the Chargers because Holmgren wanted the backup to correct many early mistakes, is likely to play most if not all of the first half Saturday. The Seahawks want to use most of the second half to see if David Greene, a slow-to-progress, third-year veteran, should remain in their long-term plans or be released.

"I'm doing what they say," Hasselbeck said. "I realize that I am just one guy on this team and that they have to get a look at other guys and also find out some things about different positions.

"I would love to play as much as they put me in there. And if they don't, they don't. Either way I have to prepare like I am playing each game. I think it's good practice getting ready for the season."

Greene set a Division I record with 42 career victories at Georgia but has been erratic with throws in very limited work during practices the last two seasons.

"I would say this game is very important to him," Holmgren said. "I've also said this, 'One preseason game doesn't make you or break you.'

"But Dave's been here awhile now."


HOLD THAT TIGER: Ben Obomanu, who made a one-handed catch for a touchdown at San Diego, continues to impress while vying for a wide receiver spot behind Branch, Bobby Engram, D.J. Hackett and Nate Burleson &

whom Holmgren said will likely retain his kickoff and punt return jobs this season.

Holmgren said Obomanu, a seventh-round pick from 2006 out of Auburn, "has done nothing but good things in this training camp" and is also helping himself with good play on special teams &

a proven route for young backups to win roster spots.

"I like his work ethic. I like how he conducts himself," Holmgren said of the man teammates call "Oboe."

"If he continues to do what he's doing I'd say his chances are very good."


STAYING: Holmgren said Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones (sore shoulder) and right tackle Sean Locklear (bruised knee), both of whom have missed practices this week, will not travel to Green Bay. Neither will WR Courtney Taylor, TE Will Heller, TE Leonard Stephens, LB Leroy Hill and DB Jordan Babineaux.


OUCH: Rookie guard Mansfield Wrotto got poked in the eye during a running-game drill against the defense and was driven away for tests while his eye was swollen closed. Holmgren didn't think the injury was serious, just painful. "For guards, it's nice to have both eyes &

but not absolutely necessary," Holmgren joked.

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