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Originally published November 5, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 5, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Catches add up for Engram, but he's not counting

Veteran receiver has 14 receptions against Cleveland to be one of the only steady elements of the Seahawks offense.

Seattle Times staff reporter

CLEVELAND — Time is supposed to catch up with everyone.

But a little time is all that Bobby Engram needed Sunday to work his way open for a career-high 14 receptions.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck found that time in the pocket, Engram found his way open and the two ad-libbed their way to the biggest chunk of offensive success Seattle found against the Browns.

"If he can stay alive, then more times than not, we can shake open," Engram said of Hasselbeck.

Engram's receptions outweighed his number of NFL seasons, and that's really saying something. He's 12 years deep into his professional career. He finished with 139 yards and is filling the void that remains at one starting receiver spot since Deion Branch missed his third game because of a bruised foot.

D.J. Hackett returned for the first time since the season opener. He caught six passes for 58 yards and scored a touchdown, but it was Seattle's most experienced receiver who had the biggest day.

"I think coach is looking for me to step up," Engram said, "have some leadership and make some plays."

Engram was a free agent this offseason. He visited New Orleans, and his decision to re-sign with Seattle didn't receive the attention of free-agent additions such as Patrick Kerney or Deon Grant.

But halfway through the season, Engram leads the team with 48 receptions.

Seattle's signature this season has been the inconsistency of its offense, but Engram was steady as a metronome on Sunday. He caught seven passes in the first half, seven after halftime. Engram didn't know he had that many catches until he was told by a reporter after the game. He's been doing this long enough that he doesn't count every little catch.

"I was just so into the game," Engram said.

There were times it looked like something from a playground, Hasselbeck scrambling to his right and waving an arm to direct Engram to an open spot on the field. Just enough to buy a little time.

"Matt did a good job of scrambling and staying alive in the pocket," Engram said. "Maybe four or five of those catches came on scramble plays that I probably wasn't the first option."

After 12 years in the NFL, Engram knows how to make time work to his advantage.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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