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Originally published Monday, November 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Notebook | Morris gets the call

Julius Jones' name was announced, but Jones didn't run out of the tunnel during pregame lineup introductions.

Seattle Times staff reporters

Julius Jones' name was announced, but Jones didn't run out of the tunnel during pregame lineup introductions.

Apparently, someone forgot to tell the public address that Jones wasn't the Seahawks' starter at running back Sunday in Seattle's 20-17 loss to Washington. Instead, Maurice Morris got the nod.

So, with the pyrotechnics going and the smoke machine billowing, there was a gap in the introductions that left some folks wondering what was up. But there weren't many gaps Morris had problems getting through on his way to a 14-carry, 103-yard day.

The yardage total was Morris' best in two seasons. Being familiar with Washington's defense, which the Seahawks have faced the past two seasons in the playoffs, helped Morris.

"We knew it was going to be a physical game, so we were going to just hit them as hard as they hit us," Morris said. "We just went out there with a physical mentality."

Morris scored on a screen pass and caught a total of three passes for 10 yards. He said he and Jones don't care who starts games, but starting is beneficial.

"Once you get into a rhythm, you kind of get the feel of how the defense is playing you and get the flow of things," Morris said.

And the lineup snafu?

"Mo was going to start the game today, and then, as we have done with those guys when they've both been healthy is, if one guy is hot to start with, we let him play a little bit more," coach Mike Holmgren said. "Mo had a really fine game, I thought, running the ball. On Thursday [at Dallas], it could be different. But that's how we tried to handle the both of them all year. Julius has had games where he was kind of feeling it ... so he would play a little bit more."

Jones, the Seahawks' leading rusher this season, had a 19-yard run as part of his 21 total yards but played sparingly.

Swinging at Wilson

Washington receiver Santana Moss drew a penalty for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter when he threw a punch at Seahawks cornerback Josh Wilson.


Wilson was rather amused about the whole incident.

"I don't know what he got so hot about," Wilson said. "We were going and playing football, and he got a little upset."

Wilson has made his biggest impact as a return specialist, with runs of 55 and 30 yards Sunday. After the game, though, the punch from Moss was what he was asked about most.

"Hey, he overreacted and we got a 15-yard flag," Wilson said. "I got a helmet on, so it doesn't matter what you're throwing at me. Unless you've got a cement block, it's not going to hurt me."

Wilson did take his licks, legally. He had a shiny red bruise and bump on his forehead from a hit he took on a return.

Portis pushes on

Clinton Portis suffered an injury to his right hip, had blood running down both arms and legs and absorbed so much punishment Sunday that he asked reporters to help him take inventory of the injuries.

"You sure I don't have a black eye?" he asked. "It was rough out there, man."

Portis may have been more responsible than any other Washington player for beating Seattle. He rushed for 143 yards, the most rushing yards allowed by Seattle since December 2006.

But it wasn't just the total, it was the timing. Portis ran for 61 yards in the fourth quarter, and when Washington was backed up on its own 4, he carried three consecutive times and gained 40 yards to dig the team out of a hole.

After three quarters, Seattle held an advantage in rushing yards, 127-110. But Washington ran for 77 yards in the fourth quarter, while Seattle ran for 12.

A familiar sight

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said Washington cornerback Shawn Springs had his back turned when he released his final pass of the game.

Springs still knew what was coming. That's because it was a play Washington runs and one that he'd seen in film. Springs intercepted the ball, cinching Washington's victory over the franchise that drafted him.

"Matt gave me a gift," Springs said as he left the field after the game. "Thanks Matt, that's all I can say."

Another TD for Carlson

Rookie tight end John Carlson caught a 10-yard touchdown pass, his third of the year, and he leads the Seahawks in scoring receptions.

His catch came in the fourth quarter and tied the score at 17. Carlson ran through defenders on his route to the end zone, and turned up wide open when Hasselbeck got him the ball. Wide receiver Bobby Engram was the No. 1 option on the play, but Carlson was the best choice.

"I just had a corner route. They were in press coverage, and I got by the safety and Matt made a great throw," Carlson said.

Said Hasselbeck: "He has opportunities, and he did a nice job of taking advantage of one of those for the touchdown."

Shaun sits

Former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander ran out of the tunnel to little fanfare in his first game back in Seattle after being released in the offseason. Alexander, who signed with Washington in October, didn't play but was active in case Portis couldn't be effective.

Alexander did take a few steps on the field after Portis was injured when Washington had the ball at Seattle's 1-yard line in the second quarter.

"I was going to run the goal-line run," Alexander said. "But we just didn't know what was going on with the personnel."

Alexander was pulling on his helmet when the coaches called him back. He made a U-turn and returned to the sideline.


• OL Mansfield Wrotto was active for the Seahawks and played on special teams. Wrotto had been inactive the past six games, but without a healthy Mike Wahle, he was given an opportunity.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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