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Originally published October 3, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

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Notebook | NFL season begins anew for healthy Hawks, coach says

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, with all of his players back in practice earlier this week, told his team the season is starting over. The Seahawks started the...

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, with all of his players back in practice earlier this week, told his team the season is starting over.

The Seahawks started the season 1-2 with a rash of injuries, and after a bye, Holmgren felt it was time to proclaim a fresh start.

The Seahawks now face 13 straight weeks of regular-season games. But practices won't change, they'll just get a little shorter as the season goes along and will be done without pads. There will be less time spent in meetings with each passing week.

If the Seahawks can stay injury-free, maybe the hardest part of their season is behind them.

"It's always a challenge, but there was a little extra in the first three weeks," Holmgren said. "Now, fortunately we won a game. Would have liked to won more, but we won one. Then we had the bye and hopefully guys come back refreshed. I sense that on the football team."

The latest challenge the team faces is winning on the East Coast. Seattle has lost five of the past six games played three time zones away. Holmgren said he believes there are no excuses and doesn't want to hear about the time difference and the adjustment of body clocks.

"The simple fact is it has not a single thing to do with sleep levels or anything. Nothing. It's that we fumble the ball. We played a lousy game against Buffalo," Holmgren said. "Anybody that gets too concerned about your biorhythms and your seat on the airplane and all that stuff, it's a bunch of bunk. You lose a football game for the same reason you lose a football game at home, on the road, a two-hour time change, when we go to Arizona or San Francisco — you lose because you played lousy."

Holmgren models the Seahawks' travel schedule after the way Bill Walsh set it up in San Francisco when Holmgren was a 49ers assistant coach. Seattle typically is among the league leaders in air miles year after year.

"It's not really necessarily been the East Coast," linebacker Lofa Tatupu said. "I would say we haven't played exceptional in road games. Whatever the matter it is, we have to fix that."

The only thing Holmgren hears every now and then is that if the game is at 1 p.m. Eastern time, which it is this week, the players' body clock is on 10 a.m. He made his point very clear when addressing the issue Wednesday.

"But we practice in training camp at 8:30, 9 o'clock in the morning, and so it's too much of a crutch," Holmgren said. "If you start the game slowly, you say oh well, it's 10 in the morning. Well so what! So what! So what if it's at 6 in the morning. You put on the pads and you got out there and you play. Don't give me this stuff."

Notes

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• Seahawks DT Rocky Bernard has apparently had his contract reworked. He was scheduled to make $4 million in base salary this season but is listed at just less than $2.94 million, according to NFL database information. Bernard, a seventh-year pro who has been a Seahawk longer than any other starting defensive player, is in the final year of his contract.

• WR Koren Robinson did not practice Thursday and left the field while wearing a black protective stocking over his sore knee. It seems unlikely he will be activated to play Sunday.

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

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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