Seahawks switch roles, hitting bottom of NFC West Print
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Thursday, 23 October 2008 14:16
NFL Headline News

 RENTON, Wash. (AP) - With Seattle's season on the verge of slipping away, Seahawks defensive coordinator John Marshall can't find any sympathy - even at home.
``I don't go home anymore. My wife won't let me in the house,'' the 63-year-old Marshall said with a laugh. ``Kids don't call anymore. Not even for money.''
Marshall was joking - but, yes, it's getting bad in Seattle.
After four consecutive division titles and five consecutive playoff appearances, the Seahawks (1-5) are in last place in the NFC West, three games behind first-place Arizona.
They remain without injured quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who will likely miss his third consecutive game this week when the Seahawks play at San Francisco (2-5).
``It stinks,'' said linebacker Leroy Hill, except he didn't say ``stinks.''
ento, Calif.
Wallace needed a pick-me-up chat from coach Mike Holmgren this week after he completed 12 of 23 passes for just 73 yards in a 20-10 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday.
``He's a better player than he showed in that game,'' said Holmgren, who is trying to avoid the first 1-6 start of his 17-year career as a head coach.
Maybe the second homecoming start of Wallace's career will help. The last time he started in San Francisco, in 2006 when Hasselbeck missed four weeks with another knee injury, he set career highs in completions (19), attempts (31) and yards (252) in a 20-14 loss.
The 49ers have their own issues, losing four straight then firing coach Mike Nolan this week and promoting linebackers coach Mike Singletary to replace him. But they're still one win better than Seattle.
``Oh, man. It's tough right now,'' Seahawks All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones said. ``But we haven't given up. We feel like we can still do something special. We're not out of it. ... We can still be in the playoffs.''
Before you think Jones - an eight-time Pro Bowl lineman - has taken too many bangs to his helmet, Holmgren insists that once they get all their injured veterans back, the Seahawks will be fine again. He dismissed those who don't believe as ``the doom-and-gloom group.''
gh Pro Bowl defenders Lofa Tatupu, Marcus Trufant and Patrick Kerney have been playing with injuries.
Branch, the former Super Bowl MVP who has done little since arriving in a trade from New England 25 months ago, missed another practice because of a bruised heel. He's played in one game since last January following reconstructive knee surgery.
And Hasselbeck wasn't exactly in his Pro Bowl form before he hyperextended his knee on Oct. 5 in a blowout loss at the New York Giants. He has completed just 49.2 percent of his passes, with two touchdowns and four interceptions in four games. He is the second-lowest rated passer in the NFL, ahead of only Kansas City's Tyler Thigpen.
As Jones said: ``We were still trying to figure out things when Matt was in there, too.''
Then there's this lingering question: What effect is Seattle's coach-in-waiting plan - assistant Jim Mora is already signed to replace Holmgren in 2009 - having on this season?
``The situation kind of begs the question,'' Holmgren said, adding he doesn't think there's been any effect.
``I don't sense it with the players. I certainly don't sense it on the practice field or during the game or the times it might show,'' he said.
receiver Logan Payne, right guard Rob Sims and long snapper Tyler Schmitt.
``Look at the team and see that it's not the team that we lined up the first day of training camp,'' Holmgren said. ``And really, you can read all sorts of things into everything, if you chose to. But the fact of the matter is, that's the reason.
``We have not been able to score enough points. It's been a problem.''
 

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