KIRKLAND, Wash. – Mike Holmgren has had enough of his Seahawks running futilely for three yards and a cloud of dust.
“Actually, 2 1/2 yards and a cloud of dust,” the Seattle coach said Monday, modifying the nickname for Woody Hayes’ old conservative style of offense to better fit what stalled Seahawks runners have done this season.
So, to heck with that dust.
Sunday, the Seahawks failed twice to convert on fourth-and-1 and fourth-and-inches with runs – the latter in overtime immediately before Cleveland won 33-30 to send Seattle to its third loss in four games. Monday, Holmgren said he is likely to abandon some of the running game and focus on having Matt Hasselbeck throw more – like he did while going 30 of 47 for 318 of Seattle’s 423 total yards against the Browns.
“That might be the way we have to go now – play to our strengths just a little bit – how we’re going right now,” he said.
“Instead of striving for balance, maybe we have to tip the scales just a little bit to be at our most productive. We’ll see. It puts a lot on Matt’s shoulders, clearly, but in the long haul it might help our running game.”
Shaun Alexander ran for just 32 yards on 14 carries while twisting his left knee and ankle Sunday. He has just 139 yards over his last four games and 492 in eight games this season, the last seven of which he’s played with a cast over a cracked left wrist. That’s his lowest eight-game rushing total since 2000 as a rookie backing up Ricky Watters.
Holmgren said Alexander, who turned 30 in August, was sore Monday and had his leg wrapped, though he walked through the parking lot of the team facility without a noticeable limp.
“It’s my understanding they did the X-rays and scanned it, and it’s pretty sore and he got it twisted – but he’ll be OK,” Holmgren said.
He added Alexander is unlikely to practice much before Seattle (4-4) hosts San Francisco (2-6) next Monday night, but will play if he feels up to it.
Holmgren said Alexander’s cast will remain on through season’s end.
Expected back this week are leading receiver Deion Branch, who has missed three games with a sprained foot, and tight end Marcus Pollard, who missed last week’s game following arthroscopic knee surgery during the bye week.