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Originally published October 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 20, 2006 at 12:25 AM

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Hawks Notebook | Hasselbeck makes this snap decision

The Seahawks used the shotgun formation in Sunday's game, the first in which they have tried it with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. Holmgren said Hasselbeck has...

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND — The Seahawks used the shotgun formation in Sunday's game, the first in which they have tried it with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback.

Holmgren said Hasselbeck has the freedom to use the formation.

"It's up to Matt," Holmgren said. "We practiced the shotgun during the week, we've done it. We don't do it a lot, but we have done it on occasion. And then if he wants to do that in a game, he can do it. I don't call it. It's kind of up to him. You probably won't see it a whole lot other than third down."

Holmgren's main hesitation about the shotgun is the fear of the center snapping the ball over the quarterback. When Holmgren was an offensive assistant in San Francisco, the 49ers dedicated a full minicamp to the shotgun.

"The 49ers had never done it. Coach [Bill] Walsh had never done it. Then all of a sudden we had a minicamp dedicated to the shotgun and it was my job to research the timing on our routes, get the footwork, all that, done," Holmgren said. "We called it in the first game. The center snapped the ball over the quarterback's head. Never ran it again. One time. Never ran it again."

Hasselbeck said using the formation might make sense this week against the Vikings. He believes his center, Robbie Tobeck, is good at the long snap.

"It is one of those things that we can do, and hopefully it gives us a little bit of an advantage," Hasselbeck said.

Talking up Burleson

As the Seahawks have wished former teammate Steve Hutchinson well, the Vikings have in turn expressed appreciation for Seattle's Nate Burleson.

"He's one of the toughest wide receivers I've ever played with," center Matt Birk said.

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How tough?

"A couple of years ago, Randy Moss was out and Nate was playing," Birk recalled. "[Burleson] had a broken finger and a bad shoulder or something like that. ... Nate just stepped up, kept making plays, never complained about how bad he was hurt. And it really helped us out and helped us win some games."

The Childress effect

Brad Childress is in his first year as coach of the Vikings, and he's already had an impact on the team's identity.

"I think teams always kind of take on the personality of their coach. And Coach Childress, every day, he's prepared, he's ready to work, and it's just a different mood around here," Birk said.

Childress, 50, spent the past four seasons as the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator. He replaced Mike Tice at Minnesota, and has brought a variation of the famed West Coast offense with him to the Vikings.

"I know Brad believes in a strong rushing attack, and that's how they're playing offense now," Holmgren said. "Brad [Johnson] is a very smart quarterback, a very resourceful guy, and it's a nice balance. ... And then they found this young running back [Chester Taylor] who's a good one. And they have a big offensive line, so they're pounding it at you pretty good."

Note

• MLB Lofa Tatupu brought an abrupt end to Thursday's practice when he intercepted Hasselbeck on the second play of the two-minute drill. That drill is the last of some practices and either ends in turnover or touchdown.

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

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