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Originally published Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Seahawks' young receivers get their chance to shine

The window for Ben Obomanu and Courtney Taylor has been opened, and the pair of pals has jumped right through. The young wide receivers...

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND — The window for Ben Obomanu and Courtney Taylor has been opened, and the pair of pals has jumped right through.

The young wide receivers from Auburn are taking advantage of extra snaps in practices over the past two weeks to show what they can do and how well they have learned the Seahawks' offense. Not that they haven't in the past, it's just that the Seahawks are down three experienced receivers with the absence of Deion Branch and Bobby Engram and the departure of D.J. Hackett via free agency.

If the season started today, Nate Burleson, Obomanu and Taylor would likely be the Seahawks' top receivers (Taylor didn't practice Wednesday). They'd certainly be Seattle's most experienced at the position, even though Obomanu is entering his third season — one of those on the practice squad — and Taylor his second after limited action as a rookie.

"I'm confident in my abilities. I'm confident with my standing with the team that I pretty much know the offense well," Obomanu said. "My personal goals are just to critique myself a little bit more, work on some of the fundamentals and knowledge of the routes and knowledge of the playbooks and how coach [Mike] Holmgren really wants things run."

Obomanu, who caught his first 12 career passes for 180 yards and a touchdown last season, is seeing time at all of the receiver spots this offseason, as is Taylor. The versatility to play flanker, split end and slot receiver will bolster the depth at the position for Seattle.

Taylor sees all of the receivers holding each other accountable for their performance in practice. That he is a sixth-round draft pick and Obomanu a seventh-rounder gives the Seahawks two largely unknown commodities, at least outside the organization.

"I love it," Taylor said. "I know all of us guys are capable of doing great things, making big plays and helping this team any way possible. So I know a lot of people don't know too much about us. We hear what people say ... nobody's proven until they get their opportunity."

Welcome back, Mike

Holmgren made a quiet return to practice Wednesday after missing the previous two days due to what the team called a "minor medical procedure."

Holmgren oversaw practice but wasn't as hands-on as he had been in previous sessions. He spent some time talking to Sonics head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who along with his coaching staff attended practice at team headquarters.

Holmgren was not available for comment after practice, but is expected to talk with reporters following today's session.

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck refrained from comment on Holmgren's return except for a some sarcasm.

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"Yeah, well, you know, he's always preaching to the team 'You gotta know the difference between being hurt and being injured,' " Hasselbeck said with a smirk.

Notes

• Former Rainier Beach and current New York Knicks star Jamal Crawford was at Seahawks team headquarters to promote a fundraiser event that takes place Saturday. Some Seahawks and other local NBA players are expected to attend. Details are at Crawford's Web site, www.jamalcrawford.org.

• LB Lance Laury was back with the team after missing the past two days to attend to a personal matter.

• S C.J. Wallace watched practice, his first appearance with the team since an emergency appendectomy before the start of the minicamp.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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