Hawks Notebook | Kerney gets roughed up
He sat in the locker room after Saturday's game with blood on the bridge of his nose and on a forearm, and dirt and sweat mixed in with...
Seattle Times staff reporter
He sat in the locker room after Saturday's game with blood on the bridge of his nose and on a forearm, and dirt and sweat mixed in with faded eye-black.
Just another day at the office for Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney, one of the stars of a defense that shined in Seattle's 35-14 NFC wild-card playoff win over the Washington Redskins.
Kerney, who was second in the NFL with 14 ½ regular-season sacks, didn't have any Saturday. He did have four hits on Washington quarterback Todd Collins, however, and was such a disruptive force that he was often double- and triple-teamed.
"That's life. I came into this game expecting that, I know that's going to happen, and I expect the same thing to happen this week," Kerney said of Seattle's game Saturday at Green Bay. "It's something you have to will your way through."
The extra attention paid to Kerney helped free up pass rushers Julian Peterson and Darryl Tapp and linebacker Leroy Hill for sacks. Collins was hit 13 times.
"I think he was fired up to play," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said of Kerney. "A week ago [at Atlanta], we didn't do much with our pass rush at all. All of our defensive linemen ... including Patrick, looked forward to this game for that reason, to make amends a little bit."
Cromwell off to A&M
The Seahawks will lose longtime assistant coach Nolan Cromwell at season's end after he was hired to be offensive coordinator at Texas A&M on Saturday.
Cromwell has been the Seahawks' wide receivers coach since 1999, when he came over with Holmgren from Green Bay.
Texas A&M, which has a new head coach in Mike Sherman, contacted Cromwell about the job about two weeks ago, Holmgren said.
"I'm very, very happy for him and his family," Holmgren said of Cromwell. "He'll do a great job for Mike."
TD for Trufant
Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant returned an interception for touchdown for the second time this season. He had an 84-yard scoring return against Arizona on Dec. 9 at Qwest Field.
Trufant's 78-yarder Saturday set a franchise record for the longest return in the playoffs, eclipsing Kelly Herndon's 76-yard play in Super Bowl XL.
Defensive back Jordan Babineaux also ran back an interception for a touchdown, marking the first time one team returned more than one for scores in a playoff game since Tampa Bay had three in Super Bowl XXXVII.
"Guys don't know, but I used to play offense in high school," said Trufant, who played for Wilson of Tacoma. "A lot of guys don't believe that. So I think I showed a little bit of skill out there, a little bit of shake and bake."
Seahawks punter Ryan Plackemeier had a big impact when it was a field-position war in the first half.
His first punt was downed at the Washington 4-yard line. He was run into on his second punt, but it traveled 50 yards and went out of bounds at the 2. A punt was fair-caught at the 12, and another at the 9.
"I really just tried to make a play, instead of punting not to miss," Plackemeier said. "It really changed my attitude. In a tight game, you need your special teams to make plays."
Plackemeier wasn't the only special-teamer to contribute. Kicker Josh Brown hit a 50-yard field goal into a breeze in the second quarter.
Plackemeier thought he could have done more had he drawn a 15-yard roughing-the-kicker penalty instead of a 5-yard running-into-the-kicker flag in the first quarter. The Seahawks would have gotten the ball back with the longer penalty.
"I didn't sell it, I guess, good enough," Plackemeier said.
Deon Grant wasn't the only Seahawk sporting shoes colored neon green on the bottom. About half the team wore the statement-making shoes.
Peterson said he started the trend.
"I'm a stylish type of guy," he said. "When I first got these, I'll tell you what they [teammates] told me. They said, 'Man, those are so ugly.' But now you see the whole team wearing them. That lets you know how much I set trends."
Peterson said his teammates liked how the green looked on TV, and bought into the look. It also extends to gloves some of the players wear.
• The Seahawks played without WR Deion Branch, inactive with a sore right calf.
• The predicted high in Green Bay for Saturday's game is 23 degrees, with a projected low of 13.
• Head linesman Tony Veteri was injured when his left leg was accidentally taken out from behind by Seahawks LB Lance Laury at the end of a first-quarter punt return. Veteri left with a knee injury.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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