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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Engram early leader for Robinson’s spot

Scott M. Johnson Everett Herald

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Needing just five minicamp practices in the post-Koren Robinson era, the Seattle Seahawks already have an idea who might be their starting split end next season.

Coach Mike Holmgren said Tuesday that slot receiver Bobby Engram has the inside track on the starting job that came open when Robinson was cut 13 days ago.

“Right now, Bobby’s our starting split end,” Holmgren said. “Bobby’s a good player. I know this: When he was hurt last year, we weren’t as good on offense. Engram’s kind of the forgotten man, but he’s a good football player.”

Engram worked mostly in the slot last season, but Holmgren likes the way that veteran newcomer Joe Jurevicius has played that inside position in minicamp. If the season were to start tomorrow, Holmgren would probably have Darrell Jackson and Engram in the starting lineup, with Jurevicius filling the No. 3 role.

“I’m just going to keep working,” Engram said. “It’s early in the year, but it’s good to know that you’ve got a chance to battle for a starting position. That’s what everybody in this league works to get.”

Holmgren’s praise stopped at veteran Jerome Pathon, who has underwhelmed the coach thus far.

“Jerome has to get going a little bit,” Holmgren said. “I don’t think he’s in great shape. Our receivers run all the time. They’re going all the time. He’s just got to learn how to do things.”

Jerheme Urban and Taco Wallace appear to be Engram’s toughest competition for the starting spot.

Engram never factored into the split end position last season despite the fact that Robinson missed five games because of suspensions.

“I guess when Jerry Rice comes to town, things change,” said Engram, who battled a sprained ankle through the second half of the 2004 season.

Calling all veteran QBs

While Holmgren continues to be impressed by the play of quarterback Seneca Wallace, he wouldn’t mind finding a more experienced player to back up Matt Hasselbeck.

“If we get a chance to bring in a veteran, we probably will,” Holmgren said. “But sometimes you can’t. I’m not going to bring in a guy just to bring in a guy. In that case, Seneca has to do it. And right now I’m feeling more comfortable with that every day.”

Wallace has been working with the No. 1 offense this week because Hasselbeck had to tend to a family emergency. Hasselbeck is expected to be back today.

Bouncing back

Engram said he’s still getting over the final play of the 2004 season, which saw a Hasselbeck pass bounce off his hands in the end zone. If Engram had caught the ball, Seattle could have gone into overtime in a postseason loss to St. Louis.

“It’s just a part of the business. It’s an awful part,” Engram said. “It’s frustrating for me because I’m one of those guys who wants to be in that situation. All my life, I’ve made those plays to win.”