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Originally published December 20, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified December 20, 2007 at 3:24 PM

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Hawks Notebook | It's an honor that's priceless

Lofa Tatupu offered some insight when asked what his first Pro Bowl was like. "Expensive," the Seahawks middle linebacker said of his 2006...

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND — Lofa Tatupu offered some insight when asked what his first Pro Bowl was like.

"Expensive," the Seahawks middle linebacker said of his 2006 Hawaiian voyage. "So now I get to enjoy it. There were some hidden fees, I guess you could call them. I go to check out [of the hotel] and my credit card couldn't cover it, so I had to use two cards."

It's all part of the Pro Bowl experience, which six Seahawks — including first-timer Marcus Trufant — will have in February. Traditionally, a player who gets voted in takes a teammate or two who helped him get there and pays for his way to the islands.

For first-timers, though, once their room number is known, the tradition grows larger — as in charging items to the new guy's room.

"Oh, we're going to tax him," Tatupu said of Trufant. "He's got to pay over there. Mine will be late-night food. ... I've got connections over there so he'll find out that even if he tries to change it, I'll find out."

All in good fun, of course. Wednesday was the day to bask in the glow for the six Seahawks named to the Pro Bowl.

"It's an indication that our team had a pretty good year up to the point of the voting [last week] and so on, and they absolutely deserve to go," coach Mike Holmgren said. "Now, it was also my opinion that we had two or three other players that deserved serious consideration. Bobby Engram certainly was on offense."

Engram didn't get voted in despite career numbers in his 12th season in the NFL.

"Just glad we got a bunch of guys that did make it," Engram said. "You get a little disappointed, but I'm a realist, man. I was probably a longshot to make it."

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck reiterated Holmgren's words that making the Pro Bowl is an individual honor and a team honor.

"All the guys that get to go play in that realize that it's your teammates that help get you there, absolutely," Hasselbeck said.

Left tackle Walter Jones is an eight-time selection, tying the franchise record.

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"You think about it, it's been fun," Jones said. "It's a great thing and I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Defensive end Patrick Kerney and linebacker Julian Peterson are the two other Seahawks who made the Pro Bowl.

Alexander's future

Holmgren was asked about running back Shaun Alexander's longevity and if he is re-thinking his earlier stance that being 30 years old was not a factor in the decline of any running back's skills.

Holmgren said no, and that Alexander's struggles aren't just his own doings because the blocking for him hasn't always been good.

"I think physically he can still do it. I think that [cracked] wrist, it bothered him more than he ever thought it might or I ever thought it might," Holmgren said. "He's a lightning rod and he's going to help us win games down the stretch, I know that, I believe that."

Holmgren said Alexander is in his future plans for the team and that the wrist will be fixed this offseason. Presumably, that means surgery.

"Of course I still have it," Alexander said when asked if he still feels he can play well.

NOTE

• Jones missed practice Wednesday with a sore shoulder. Others who didn't practice were DT Rocky Bernard (groin), S Mike Green (knee) and CB Josh Wilson (quadriceps). WR D.J. Hackett was limited to individual drills with his ankle injury, but Holmgren said he's optimistic both Hackett and Wilson will be able to play in the regular-season finale at Atlanta on Dec. 30.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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