Notebook | Seahawks look for help from receiver Courtney Taylor
Seahawks wide receiver Courtney Taylor has struggled to start this season, not what the Seahawks had hoped for especially in light of their injury situation at the position. Even newly signed Koren Robinson is ailing, as a knee problem makes him questionable for Sunday's game.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Courtney Taylor is two catches away from eclipsing his season total of five from 2007. But his dropped passes and mental errors in games seem to be a cause for concern for the Seahawks.
Especially now. Taylor is the one healthy receiver returning from last season's team. Seattle opened the season without Deion Branch, Bobby Engram and Ben Obomanu. Now the Seahawks have lost Nate Burleson, Logan Payne and Seneca Wallace.
Taylor was a starter to open the season, but from the looks of practice on Friday, he won't start Sunday when Seattle hosts the St. Louis Rams, though he will see action. And the jury is still out as to whether the team can count on him, coach Mike Holmgren said.
"I don't think that question's been answered yet," Holmgren said. "I'll do what I have to do to try and move the football, but at the same time, just like anything else, my confidence level in choosing a play is in direct proportion to how that player has practiced or what he's shown me so far during a game."
Taylor has said all the right things about stepping up and rallying to the aid of the team and said he has what it takes to be a go-to receiver. He said after last Sunday's game that he expects to have more balls thrown his way. Now that the Seahawks have Keary Colbert and Billy McMullen, the two possible starters this week, and Koren Robinson, who is questionable with a knee problem, it remains to be seen just how many passes will be thrown to Taylor.
"I feel like I still have a lot of room to improve," Taylor said. "This is my second year but it's still like my first year actually getting on the field, actually playing a lot and getting more reps.
"I am making strides and I just want to keep making plays, and that's it."
The Seahawks have Taylor playing exclusively at flanker. He has had good practices but is still looking for his breakout game.
Offensive coordinator Gil Haskell said he didn't know why those practices aren't translating into games. Haskell did indicate that the Seahawks prefer to keep Taylor at one position, settle him down and bring him along.
"I mean, of all the guys that are left, he's the guy I've got the most comfort level and the biggest experience with, the most amount of time together," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said Monday, before the acquisition of Robinson, who was a Seahawk from 2001 to until he was released in 2005. "So it would be nice to get him some more productivity."
As for Robinson, who was limited in practice all week, Holmgren said his status will be determined by game time Sunday.
"I don't think it's serious," Holmgren said of Robinson's knee problem, "but I want him to feel good when we put him out there, and he hasn't been playing much football in the last four or five months."
• OT Sean Locklear took part in all of practice Friday, working at left tackle for Walter Jones at times, and Holmgren said he thinks Locklear will play Sunday. Locklear, normally the right tackle, has yet to play this season because of a knee injury. Jones is expected to play despite missing some practice time this week with pain in a hip and in his lower back.
• CB Kelly Jennings, who has sore ribs, practiced for the first time this week and is expected to play.
• DE Patrick Kerney has a sprained right wrist and practiced with a cast over it, but said he's worn such a device before and continued to play. "We are leading the league in casts on hands," Holmgren joked. Lofa Tatupu and Marcus Trufant also have devices over injured hands.
• DT Rocky Bernard came back after missing Thursday's practice with a hip problem and is expected to play.
• The NFL fined Julian Peterson $7,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct following his first-quarter sack in last week's game, a league spokesman confirmed Friday. Peterson was penalized 15 yards.
• The Seahawks said Friday afternoon there were 400 tickets available for the game. The tickets were returned from the St. Louis allocation and are for sale at Ticketmaster and Seahawks.com.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
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