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Thursday, August 17, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Hawk Notes: In praise of ... Alexander doles out compliments

Seattle Times staff reporter

CHENEY — Shaun Alexander had some kind words for a few teammates the other day.

He started with defensive back Jordan Babineaux, an undrafted free agent in 2004 who made several big plays for the Seahawks in their run to the Super Bowl last season.

"He's probably the most underrated player in the NFL," Alexander said. "His value to our team is huge. He's one of those guys that could play corner every game and you wouldn't find any weak spots in his game at all. He can play safety at any time. He can play nickel [cornerback] at any time. People like him are what takes you to Super Bowls."

Alexander was also asked about practicing without center Robbie Tobeck, who had elbow surgery earlier this week and is out for at least a week.

"It's funny because he's always the one that's cracking all the jokes before practice," Alexander said. "We don't have anyone else to pick on Matt [Hasselbeck] or Mack Strong. I kind of miss his laugh in the huddle, but his play speaks for his self. Finally being a Pro Bowler and always being that guy who's there. He's the only center I know. It's one of those things that you really do realize what you have when it's missing."

And finally, Alexander was asked to talk about the contributions of his backup, Maurice Morris, who is quiet and doesn't do many media interviews.

"He likes being the person that you cannot mention him at all, and then you turn around and he's doing something amazing," Alexander said. "That's how he plays the game. He doesn't mind being the guy that's behind me, and at the same time he knows that he's got skills and that's a good thing."

And how many other NFL teams could Morris start for?

"Ten, easily 10," Alexander said. "He'd put up a thousand yards and he'd score about eight, nine touchdowns."

Disciplinary action

Six Seahawks, all veterans, have drawn undisclosed fines for missing curfew Sunday night.

The six, including Alexander and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, drew the fine for being late for the 11 p.m. player curfew when their flight from Seattle to Spokane was delayed.

Coach Mike Holmgren, along with two player representatives, met with the six following the Tuesday afternoon practice to discuss the issue, though the coach would not comment on what was said when asked about the meeting Wednesday morning. Players are expected to be in the dorms by 11 during camp.

The rest of the team returned to Cheney from Seattle earlier on Sunday; the six veterans were given extended time in Seattle to be with their families, and would have arrived in time for curfew if not for the 40-minute flight delay.

Nice with Rice

"Coach Rice!" Holmgren shouted upon seeing former Seahawks wide receiver Jerry Rice after the morning practice. The two exchanged pleasantries.

Holmgren did a radio interview with the future Hall of Famer, who was at camp with Sirius NFL Radio Wednesday for a show. "I enjoy seeing him a lot," Holmgren said of Rice. "He has made my life richer as a coach by being around him on two occasions [in Seattle and San Francisco].

Holmgren couldn't resist a little dig, though, one that referred to Rice's recent appearance on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars."

"He's a special guy, and now I'm sure, other than dancing, he has to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life," the coach said.

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

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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