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Seahawks notebook: NFL acknowledges TD needed review
Seattle Times staff reporter
KIRKLAND The NFL called Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren yesterday regarding a controversial Dallas touchdown late in the Cowboys' 43-39 win over the Seahawks, acknowledging that the play should have been reviewed.
Holmgren didn't mince words at his news conference.
"It was not a touchdown," he said. "It's been that kind of year."
Because the 34-yard pass from Vinny Testaverde to Keyshawn Johnson came with 1:45 left in the game, only the upstairs official, Bobby Skelton, could challenge the ruling on the field.
"Could he have?" asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. "Yes. But he agreed with the officials on the field."
Replays showed that Johnson landed only one foot in bounds before his body touched down out of bounds.
"You put it in slow motion, and it was clear that he was out of bounds," cornerback Ken Lucas said. "Hey, just another call that went against us this year."
The pass cut the Seahawks' lead to 39-36, setting up an onside kick that led to the winning touchdown. Whether or not Johnson was pushed out of bounds is what Testaverde would like to know.
"If he catches it cleanly, with nobody around, he's down with two feet," Testaverde told The Associated Press. "I don't think anyone would argue that."
The Seahawks couldn't afford another hit to their depleted defense, but after the injury report came out yesterday, they took two more hits anyway. Both injuries came at defensive tackle, with first-round pick Marcus Tubbs (high-ankle sprain) and Rocky Bernard (knee sprain) out for this week's game at Minnesota.
That left the Seahawks with seven defensive linemen at practice yesterday, and much of that group is already banged up, particularly at defensive tackle. Cedric Woodard missed practice and is listed as questionable with a knee injury. And Rashad Moore continues to suffer from a shoulder problem.
So where does that leave the Seahawks? At practice yesterday, it left rookie sixth-round pick Craig Terrill and defensive end Brandon Mitchell playing with the first team at defensive tackle.
Holmgren called Terrill a "lunch-pail-type guy," a compliment the rookie actually embraced. At 6 feet 2 and 294 pounds, Terrill sees himself as versatile agile enough to rush the passer but strong enough to stop the run. He plays rock guitar in his spare time.
"That's the kind of player I have to be," he said of the lunch-pail moniker. "That's what I base my game on. I'm not the biggest or the strongest, but I'm versatile."
WR Jerry Rice left practice early yesterday with an injured left quadriceps. His availability for Sunday was to be determined later this week.
LB Chad Brown (knee) practiced with the scout team yesterday. He probably won't return until next week at New York. Brown is listed as doubtful on the injury report, along with CB Bobby Taylor (knee), who did not practice. LB Tracy White (hamstring) did not practice yesterday but is expected to practice today and should be available against the Vikings. Holmgren said it would be difficult for White to start.
So what do quarterbacks do for the linemen who protect their backsides? Some buy them 1,000 pounds of meat. That's what Matt Hasselbeck did this week, and the coolers stocked with every kind of beef imaginable lined the wall of lineman lockers yesterday.
"This might be the greatest gift I ever got," tackle Walter Jones said.
Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or email@example.com
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