Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

Matt Hasselbeck and Deion Branch

FOCUS ON

Practice. Practice? Are we talking about practice? Yes, because the team not only practiced outside for the first time since, well, anyone could remember and coach Jim Mora also broke out that self-examination microscope/magnifying glass he has talked about since last week’s loss to the Houston Texans.

After the crisp workout, Mora gathered the players around him as he always does, but this was an extended session.

“Coach Mora went through kind of the statistics for the practice, which is not normal,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “Just to reemphasis what we did today. How we got better. Third-down situations. It wasn’t perfect. But that’s what we’ve got to do – we’ve got to make it better by Sunday.

“You’re not aware of it when you’re going through the practice. You realize you’re making mistakes, and the ball is on the ground here and there.  But to hear the statistics is good.”

As for getting outside as they continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Qwest Field, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said, “It was great. I think just the spirits of the guys, coming outside, getting back out here, it was good.”

Hasselbeck agreed. “We went outside for the first time in forever,” he said. “So it just felt good to be out there. Fresh air. Kind of less-than-perfect conditions. But I thought it was good energy and the kind of work we need.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as released by the team:

OUT

WR Nate Burleson (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION

LB Aaron Curry (hip)

LB D.D. Lewis (knee)

For the Bucs, RB Carnell Williams was back after sitting out Wednesday, and TE Kellen Winslow (knee) participated fully after being limited Wednesday. WR Michael Clayton (knee) and TE John Gilmore (head) remained sidelined.

CURRY UPDATE

Which was worse about the helmet-to-hip hit middle linebacker David Hawthorne put on Curry at the end of Sunday’s game against the Texans? The way it looked? Or the way it felt?

“It happened right in front of us on the sideline,” Bradley said. “So we saw it firsthand were kind of like, ‘Oh no.’ But he bounced back. He’s a tough kid.”

Offered Curry, “I thought it was going to be much worse. A lot of guys said the way I was hollering that thought my career was over.”

But Curry was able to take part in all phases of practice today after being very limited Wednesday.

“It’s just a blessing,” he said. “It was an unfortunate incident and I’ve just been blessed with the ability to heal.

“I think the best thing for me was being able to take yesterday off. My goal was to be able to practice, but it just wasn’t ready yet. So yesterday was a big key as far as my healing.”

Said Hawthorne, “I thought the worst when it first happened, only because of the way it looked. I put all my head into him. But for him to bounce back, it just shows that he has heart.”

BURLESON UPDATE

The team’s second-leading receiver was wearing a protective boot on his injured left ankle in the locker room.

“It’s similar to a severe ankle sprain, not too much ligament damage,” Burleson said. “So I’ll be all right.”

Eventually, but perhaps not in time to play in any of the three remaining games.

“That’s how it’s looking, probably,” Burleson said.

With Burleson out at least this week, Deion Branch will start at split end and rookie Deon Butler will step in as the No. 3 receiver.

“It’s a big loss, Nate has had a great year – probably the best year he’s had since he’s been here,” Hasselbeck said. “But it is nice to have depth at that position.

“Those other guys just have to step up, and I’m sure they won’t complain that with the ball there’s one less person to compete with.”

UNGER UPDATE

Day Two of rookie Max Unger being the starting center – rather than the right guard – progressed nicely. Especially when compared to his first couple of snaps after Mora decided to replace Chris Spencer with Unger.

“We worked Wednesday morning, we do our center-quarterback exchange,” Hasselbeck said. “The first three were not good, were not clean. It was not a good way to start Wednesday. But we haven’t had any balls on the ground so far this week in practice.

“It’s just one of those things with a quarterback and a center; you kind of develop a rapport and a timing. At this level, it’s got to be automatic.”

REMEMBERING HENRY

To say that wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was stunned by the death of former Cincinnati Bengals teammate Chris Henry would be an understatement.

“It’s unbelievable to me,” said Houshmandzadeh, who played the past eight seasons with the Bengals. “It’s surreal almost. It’s like, ‘Did this really happen?’ A guy that had basically turned a corner in his life, and then this happens. It’s almost like it’s fake almost. It really is.”

Henry died earlier today of injuries suffered when he fall from a pickup truck on Wednesday during a dispute with his fiancée.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is requesting that all clubs observe a moment of silence for Henry prior to kickoff in each game this week.

YOU DON’T SAY

“We’re fighting for a lot of things right now. We’re playing for a lot of things. Obviously we’re playing a game Sunday, but our goals right now are probably bigger than just getting a win this Sunday. We’re trying to reestablish something here that was here, and we’re trying not to let this thing slip away. That’s really important right now.” – Hasselbeck


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