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Saturday, May 6, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Hawk Notes: "A good start" as Seahawks open 2006 camping season

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND — They might never forget the pain of their Super Bowl loss.

But Friday was about moving on as the Seahawks opened their first team minicamp with two practices on the day.

Attendance was near perfect, with only tight end Jerramy Stevens not present because he is rehabilitating from recent knee surgery.

Aside from Stevens, the entire roster, injured or not, was on the field at the beginning of practice.

"It was a good start," coach Mike Holmgren said. "Guys were enthusiastic. I was trying to kind of walk around and look at our draft choices in particular. I think they did fine for the first day."

First-round pick Kelly Jennings saw snaps with the first-team defense. Defensive end Darryl Tapp, the team's second-round pick, found himself going against Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones during drills and also played with the starting group.

Tight end Itula Mili, who has missed opening minicamps in past years, was in attendance. He's the only healthy Seahawks tight end with extensive starting experience, even though backup Will Heller ended the morning practice with the catch of the day, high over two defenders.

For many, the season began in earnest with the start of Friday's practices.

"I don't think you ever forget about it where it won't come up on occasion, but for the most part, with minicamps, you start your 2006 season, really," Holmgren said. "Last year was last year and now we have to focus on what we want to do this next year."

Return of the Hammer

The Ken Hamlin that Seahawks fans knew was back on Friday.

And even though he didn't talk about his return from severe head trauma, Hamlin's presence spoke volumes.

The free safety took part in his first practice since October, when he suffered serious skull damage during a fight in a night club, and looked a lot like his old self.

Hamlin, who got snaps with the starting defense in full team drills, intercepted a pass during practice, prompting offensive line coach Bill Laveroni to shout, "Hamlin, that's a football!"

"He moved very well," Holmgren said. "Now we'll monitor and see how he feels after each practice. But I think he got the OK from the doctors, and he's seen a number of doctors, so I think it's full speed ahead."

Holmgren said Hamlin won't put on pads until training camp, assuming all goes well with his comeback.

"You kind of felt not too long after the incident that he was going to get well," Holmgren said. "The question in everybody's mind was could he play professional football. He's happy to be out here ... and everybody's happy he's out here."

Injury update

Other injured players who did not practice included wide receiver Darrell Jackson, strong safety Michael Boulware, cornerback Jordan Babineaux and defensive end Grant Wistrom — all on the mend from offseason surgeries.

Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (sore knee), defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs (right ankle in a cast), defensive ends Jeb Huckeba and Joe Tafoya and wide receivers Alex Bannister and Jerheme Urban also missed practice.

Check your programs

When last we saw Nate Burleson, the newly-signed Seahawks wide receiver held up jersey No. 83 at his introductory news conference.

But Burleson bore his coveted No. 81 to open practice, the number which he obtained from teammate Peter Warrick, who switched to No. 83.

Burleson said Warrick was willing to part with the number in exchange for a small fee and "a few dinners."

"I had to promise to be his friend," Burleson joked.

Here are current jersey numbers for a few of the other new Seahawks, draft picks and free agents: Jennings, No. 21; safety Mike Green, No. 32; Tapp, No. 55; defensive tackle Russell Davis, No. 95; linebacker Julian Peterson, No. 44; fullback David Kirtman, No. 34; offensive lineman Tom Ashworth, No. 68; offensive guard Rob Sims, No. 67.

Peterson was No. 98 at San Francisco and said he switched to 44, his old junior-college number, in case he is needed at defensive back. Kick returner Josh Scobey switched from No. 39 to No. 33.

Notes

• RB Shaun Alexander and QB Matt Hasselbeck did not do much in practice but are not injured.

• Hasselbeck, in an interview for the NFL Network, made his best attempt at wishing fans a happy Cinco de Mayo in Spanish.

• Peterson had an interception Friday morning.

• Kirtman appeared to injure his left hamstring during the morning practice and missed the afternoon workout.

Josť Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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