Seahawks digging their new digs in Renton
The morning practice ended, and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren finished his comments to reporters. Then he wasn't sure where to go. He asked a team...
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — The morning practice ended, and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren finished his comments to reporters.
Then he wasn't sure where to go. He asked a team employee how to get to his office from the indoor practice field.
Coaches and players — and just about everyone else at the Seahawks' new headquarters on Monday — began the process of finding their way around the 19-acre, 225,000-square-foot megaplex along Lake Washington. Monday was the first full day of practices at the facility.
"I have no idea where things are," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck admitted.
The place is a maze, but on the first day, the Virginia Mason Athletic Center proved its $60 million worth. The Seahawks began the morning practice outdoors under threatening skies, but instead of staying out in heavy rain as they would have in Kirkland, everyone moved to the 88,000-square-foot indoor field.
Indoors, as in part of the main structure. No inflatable, moldy, stuffy practice bubble like the team used in Kirkland for years.
"I wish we had practiced better, but it feels nice," Holmgren said.
Hasselbeck agreed that getting out of the rain was a good idea. "Somebody would have pulled a groin," he said. "Or all the quarterbacks would have been inside icing their arms. It is nice to finally have an indoor facility that you can actually throw a deep ball in."
The FieldTurf inside is soft and forgiving like the surface at Qwest Field. A crowd of onlookers watched from a terrace perched two stories up from the field. Glass doors from a hallway into the indoor facility give the feeling of walking into a warehouse superstore.
Receiver Nate Burleson said he grew attached to the bubble, but added, "We can let that bubble die."
The team wouldn't have been able to use the bubble anyway because a Kirkland ordinance prohibited it from being used until October.
"We would have been out there with thunderstorms grazing over our helmets," Burleson said.
Defensive back Jordan Babineaux also looked on the bright side.
"If you wake up and not have so good of a morning, or get up on the wrong side of the bed, you can look out the window and grab a sense of peace just by looking at the lake," Babineaux said.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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