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Erickson Keeps Head Up

Thu., Sept. 7, 1995, midnight

Dennis Erickson stressed what he sees as an important distinction Wednesday.

That his Seattle Seahawks have lost a game. But not their optimism.

“The mental mindset is good,” the Seahawks coach said of his team’s attitude after Sunday’s dismal 34-10 season-opening loss to Kansas City.

“It’s not like we lost 14 in a row,” Erickson said. “We played our first game, we played poorly and we made mistakes. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.

“(The players) understand that and they also understand that we have to play better, so the mindset is good and we’ve got another opportunity this week at San Diego.”

A positive mindset didn’t help the Seahawks cover Kansas City receivers last week, nor did it lead to good coverage on kickoffs as Erickson’s first NFL game was soured by a series of botched plays.

Still, “there’s no negativism at all,” he said of the team’s attitude.

In fact, the dubious debut serves as a great motivator heading to San Diego this week.

“They want to go out and prove things like that aren’t going to happen again,” Erickson said. “They’re embarrassed about what happened, and when you’re embarrassed, you want to go out and prove yourself. That’s the attitude right now.”

Seahawks fans rewarded Erickson - a native of Everett - with a honeymoon of 20 or 30 minutes, as boos started bouncing around a partially-filled Kingdome before halftime Sunday.

Erickson heard them, but as much as possible, tried to tune them out.

“I can’t worry about that,” Erickson said. “I can’t react to that. We’ve got a lot of work to do; we had a lot of work to do when I got the job, and we still have a lot of work to do.

“All we can do is continue to make steady progress, practice hard and play hard, and good things are going to happen to us. I can’t worry about what people say or what the fans say; neither can our players. That’s just the nature of the business.”

While Erickson has maintained his optimism, he has likewise kept his sense of humor.

Questioned about the differences between coaching in college and in the NFL, Erickson offered that there is more time to spend on the actual coaching of football in the NFL, with fewer distractions.

Is there, then, a danger of over-coaching? he was asked.

“(The Seahawks) obviously haven’t been overcoached,” Erickson laughed. “There’s a long way to go before there’s danger of that.”

Cover boy

The Seahawks have been shopping, and the best they could come up with off the cornerback rack is the slightly used Selwyn Jones.

Jones, a Colorado State product, was the seventh-round draft choice of Cleveland in 1992 and made three interceptions for the Browns in 1993. He was waived by Cleveland, signed and then waived by New Orleans.

“We really felt we needed to get a cover corner,” Erickson said of signing the free agent. “We studied him a bit and knew he could cover people; that is his strength. We really feel he can help us out.”

Dion Lambert, a converted safety slowed by injuries, was waived to make room for Jones.


The magnetic resonance imaging test on Antonio Edwards’ injured knee was surprisingly positive.

“He’ll be ready to play, they say, in the Denver game in three weeks,” Erickson said of the third-year defensive end. “It wasn’t a torn cartilage. It was a partial tear and they didn’t have to take anything out of it, so it’s just a matter of healing now.”

Michael McCrary will take Edwards’ spot and will be asked to turn up the heat in the Seahawks’ pass rush - which was non-existent against Kansas City.

Also, linebacker Dean Wells is expected to miss three to five weeks with torn ligaments in his right elbow.

, DataTimes

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