Countdown to kickoff

Aaronhead Stadium

Greetings from Arrowhead Stadium, one of the older but still nicer stadiums in the NFL.

Several of the Seahawks players already are on the field for their pre-padded warm-ups for tonight’s preseason game against the Chiefs.

Arrowhead is currently undergoing a $375-million renovation. I haven’t been here since the 2006 regular season, because the Seahawks moved from the AFC West to the NFC West when the league realigned in 2002. But this always has been a favorite venue – the closest to a college-game atmosphere in the NFL. The fans really know how to tailgate here, and they form a sea of red when they do settle into their seats.

Running back Edgerrin James, who was just signed Tuesday and didn’t join the team until Wednesday is not expected to play. But most of the starters are scheduled to play into the third quarter – in what will be their longest stint of the preseason.

Three ruled out

The Seahawks have ruled out only three players for tonight’s game, and they are the same injured players coach Jim Mora listed on Wednesday: cornerback Marcus Trufant (back), center Chris Spencer (thigh) and tackle Walter Jones (knee).

Four Chiefs will not dress: running back Kolby Smith, tight end Jake O’Connell and linebackers Zach Thomas and Derrick Johnson.

Pre-game moments

Former Seahawks wide receiver Bobby Engram is still No. 84, it’s just that the jersey is red. Engram signed with the Chiefs after the Seahawks signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh in free agency and it became apparent that there wasn’t a spot for Engram in Seattle.

Engram spent several minutes catching up with his old teammates, and one who wasn’t – rookie wide receiver Deon Butler, who broke Engram’s career records at Penn State.

As quarterback Matt Hasselbeck put it this week when asked about Engram, “He’s a good friend and always will be. It’s just the nature of the business that we’re in. You got to ship out and play for the enemy at some point. He was a tremendous Seahawk while he was here.”

Deion Branch also shared a hug and some time with Scott Pioli. Both were with the New England Patriots, before Branch was traded to the Seahawks in 2006 and Pioli became the Chiefs GM this year.

Withrow out, James in uniform

Add offensive lineman Cory Withrow to the list of Seahawks who won’t be in uniform tonight. But just-signed running back Edgerrin James is, despite the thought that he would not play against the Chiefs after not joining the team until Wednesday.

Priceless pre-game moment

Paul Skansi, who now scouts for the Chargers, just asked a member of the Chiefs PR staff for a media guide. Skansi, who played for the Seahawks and the University of Washington, was told the team was out of them.

The PR man then cracked, “That’s what you get for catching that pass in 1990.”

The reference, of course, was to Skani’s last-second catch of a TD pass from Dave Krieg, after the Seahawks’ QB had whirled away from what appeared to be an eighth sack by the late Derrick Thomas.

The Seahawks won, 17-16.

No James

Edgerrin James will not play tonight. Despite coming out in full uniform for pre-game warm-ups, the just-signed running back is now on the sideline in street clothes.


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