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Originally published Monday, September 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Seahawks Notebook | Mom's getting rookie's first touchdown ball

Michael Bumpus held the football from his first career NFL touchdown for anyone and everyone to see. This was the rookie wide receiver's...

Seattle Times staff reporters

Michael Bumpus held the football from his first career NFL touchdown for anyone and everyone to see.

This was the rookie wide receiver's moment to bask in the glory of accomplishing something of value in the NFL, and he already had a plan for the ball.

"Going straight to Mom," Bumpus said, beaming.

Bumpus, Billy McMullen and Keary Colbert were the Seahawks' main receivers in Sunday's 37-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. Not exactly the crew anyone who knows the Seahawks would have imagined taking the field at any point this season.

But that was where things stood. The Seahawks have lost three receivers for the season to injury and have two more, Deion Branch and Bobby Engram, who aren't expected to return until after this Sunday's bye date.

The situation had the Seahawks scrambling for help at the position, so Bumpus, undrafted out of Washington State, came off the practice squad to the active roster before last week's game. McMullen was signed two weeks ago after being cut by Washington last month and Colbert was acquired in a trade with Denver last week.

The Seahawks also had Koren Robinson back with them for the first time since the 2005 offseason, and Courtney Taylor, who had been with the team since last season and was the only healthy receiver with more than a few months working in the Seahawks' offense.

Sunday played out with more receiver drama. Robinson was declared inactive with a sore knee — coach Mike Holmgren said he could have played sparingly but he didn't want to risk further injury — and Taylor was relegated to the fourth receiver on the depth chart. Taylor, of whom more had been expected this season, saw action late in the game with the outcome already decided and had an 11-yard catch.

McMullen was the stat leader Sunday with four catches for 79 yards. One went for 34 yards and set up a touchdown.

"That's good stuff when you get guys off the street who get a chance and give it everything they have," Holmgren said. "I love that. It's just overwhelming to me sometimes.

"I can't tell you what their status is going to be when we get our guys back," Holmgren added, "but right now they're giving me everything they have, and as a coach that's all you can ever ask for."

McMullen started the game with Colbert, though Taylor was announced as the starter in the pregame introductions.


Bumpus, who also fumbled away a punt return, celebrated his 10-yard TD catch in the first quarter by flapping his arms, much the way injured teammate Nate Burleson celebrates his scores.

"Mine's kind of different," Bumpus said. "But you know what? Nate did start it and I'll call him later and see if it's all right that I borrowed it from him."

No party for J.P.

Linebacker Julian Peterson forced and recovered a fumble on his first-quarter sack of Rams quarterback Marc Bulger. This time, however, he didn't celebrate by himself.

Peterson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following his sack of 49ers quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan last Sunday. Later in the week he drew a $7,500 fine from the NFL for his actions, which appeared to consist of Peterson pointing to the back of his jersey with two thumbs. He was determined not to take a wallet hit the next time, and called the league's action "outrageous."

"Next time I'll make sure I choke him out, so I can really deserve the fine," Peterson said. "I just tried to make sure I didn't get anywhere around him [Bulger] and just celebrate with my teammates."

Peterson wondered where the justice was, claiming he saw Rams right guard Richie Incognito engaged in some very punishable activities.

"He was ... after the play was over trying to twist people's ankles," Peterson said, adding that he noticed Incognito trying to do that to Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill when Hill's feet were planted. "There was no flag. If they [officials] don't go through this film and give him any fines, something's going to be wrong."

Brown-town kicker

Holmgren spoke to kicker Josh Brown on the field before the game. The last time those guys talked was just before free agency when the kicker called the coach in an attempt to get a deal done.

Well, Holmgren went to bat for Brown and the Seahawks ponied up an offer they thought would meet Brown's asking price. The bonus still wasn't to Brown's liking, though, as it wasn't a signing bonus, but a roster bonus that would be paid at a later date.

Instead, Brown became a free agent and signed a five-year, $14.2 million contract. Brown made two field goals on Sunday and is perfect on five attempts this season.

Brown said earlier in the week that he'd hoped for some cheers from the fans. He was soundly booed each time he stepped on the field and heckled as he ran off it.

"I wasn't surprised by any level of booing," Brown said.


• Offensive tackle Sean Locklear and cornerback Kelly Jennings, a pair of starters, were limited Sunday because of injuries. Locklear played for the first time since spraining his left knee in the second exhibition game, and Jennings, who broke a rib last week, was used as an extra defensive back.

Locklear said he felt good. He came into the game as an extra blocker for the goal-line offense and finished the game at left tackle so Walter Jones could rest.

"They wanted to take it slow," Locklear said. "I wanted to get my feet wet just a little bit, get a push on somebody and get some live action in there."

• Seattle was penalized five times, cutting its penalties in half from Week 2. The Seahawks have been among the league's least-penalized teams since Holmgren became coach, but they were penalized 10 times for 75 yards against San Francisco. The Seahawks were penalized five times for 55 yards against St. Louis.

• Tight end John Carlson is now part of the Seahawks' two-minute offense at the end of halves, and his diving catch for 16 yards was part of Seattle's field-goal drive to end the first half. The Seahawks drove 54 yards in three plays and Olindo Mare kicked a 38-yard field goal.

• St. Louis gained 240 yards in Sunday's game, and Steven Jackson was responsible for 128 of those. He ran 23 times for 66 yards and caught five passes for 62 yards; his 50-yard screen pass in the third quarter was St. Louis' longest play of the game and led to the Rams' only touchdown.

• QB Seneca Wallace, listed as doubtful for Sunday's game after straining a calf muscle just before kickoff last week, was named the emergency third quarterback and could have "taken a snap from center and handed off," Holmgren said.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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