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Originally published Monday, September 18, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Darrell Jackson's open for business

Darrell Jackson had taken a step past cornerback Robert Tate when he raised his hand and gave a quick wave. It was almost like the grade-school...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Darrell Jackson had taken a step past cornerback Robert Tate when he raised his hand and gave a quick wave.

It was almost like the grade-school kid who knows he's got the answer and wants the teacher's attention.

"I don't know if I waved my hand or not," Jackson said.

He did. It's just that it wasn't necessary. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was already stepping into the throw that resulted in a 47-yard completion on third-and-12 on the game's first drive. Five years have taught him how to find Jackson, and he threw to him again for a 49-yard touchdown later in the quarter.

The game was just over 10 minutes old, and Jackson had caught three passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 127 yards to punctuate a week in which the Seahawks' acquisition of Deion Branch was the main topic of conversation.

Branch wasn't activated for the game, but don't go looking for any hints that Jackson is trying to stake a claim as Hasselbeck's favorite target. "I just think an opportunity presented itself," Jackson said. "We're out here to win games, we're not out here to take favorites or sides, and he threw the ball to the best option at that time."

It wasn't a surprise to Hasselbeck that Jackson twice found his way behind the Arizona secondary for the Seahawks' two longest plays of the game.

"I think he's a No. 1 receiver," Hasselbeck said. "Whoever says [he isn't] should put the film on. The guy gets open."

Jackson has undergone surgery on his right knee twice in the past year. He did not play in the team's four exhibition games before the season began, and he estimated that his knee is about 80 percent to 85 percent right now.

"[In] the preseason, we weren't as good without him out there," Hasselbeck said. "Having him back is great."

As for the addition of Branch?

"He's cool, man," Jackson said. "He's [from the] South, like me."

But this wasn't a game about first impressions of Branch, rather it was Jackson who left the most lasting impression.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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