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

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Notebook | Home finale is a keeper

Seahawks players already knew Sunday was going to be special. Then they watched as Mike Holmgren was introduced before the game, their coach...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seahawks players already knew Sunday was going to be special. Then they watched as Mike Holmgren was introduced before the game, their coach jogging out of the tunnel toward them.

After beating the New York Jets 13-3 at Qwest Field, some Seahawks packed away their game jersey, to be preserved as a memento.

"After everything we've been through this year, with all the ups and downs, and for us to stick together as a team and persevere and send Mike out of here on a note like that was special," wide receiver Bobby Engram said. "He's a special coach."

Quarterback Seneca Wallace reflected on what Holmgren has meant to his career.

"I came in as a guy that a lot of teams kind of passed on and said, 'He can't play quarterback in the National Football League,' " Wallace said. " 'He's too short. He can't do this, he can't do that.' And Mike gave me that opportunity since Day 1.

"When I first got here, he said, 'Hey, you're a quarterback, and that's exactly what you're going to do.' And he's given me the opportunity to do that and to prove to people that I can play this game. And that's why I got a little choked up, because I know he's stayed with me since Day 1."

Linebacker Julian Peterson had never seen a coach come out of the tunnel to join the players in pregame introductions.

"I told him he should have had something coming out of the fog," said Peterson, joking. "He should have done some kind of dance or something for his last one, but he wasn't with it."

An "A" for the D

The Seahawks' defense was at its best on Sunday.

The Seahawks gave up 265 yards, more than the season low of 240 against St. Louis in a 37-13 victory in Week 3. But they allowed the Jets only three points and made four sacks. They had one sack in that early season win against the Rams.

The pass rush generated 12 quarterback hits, four by defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.

"We knew we could have been doing this the whole season," safety Deon Grant said, "but you know, things just aren't falling our direction. Sometimes when the cookie doesn't crumble in your area, you can't eat anything."

Peterson said this was the game the defensive unit wanted to play all season.

"It was a lot of a combination of coverage sacks and guys just kicking butt up front," Peterson said. "Obviously, we didn't do all the things right, but we made enough plays out there to impact the game. If we continue to do that, we should carry the success on next year."

Bye-bye, Bobby?

Engram admitted he might have played his last game at Qwest Field as a Seahawk. The 13-year veteran's contract expires at the end of this season. Engram had sought a new deal following his 94-catch season in 2007. He has been with Seattle eight seasons.

Engram missed the first three games this season with a shoulder injury but has 41 catches for 439 yards in 12 games since. He led the Seahawks with six for 65 yards against the Jets, and was inspired to stay on the field to watch Holmgren's postgame victory lap and goodbye to fans.

That got Engram thinking about his career.

"There's no certainty that I'll be back," he said. "I wanted to make sure that I took in that moment in its fullest. So I just said a quick prayer ... and was very thankful and very fortunate having spent eight years out here and played in as many games and had the type of success I've had around here. Very blessed."

Pass the catfish, Brett

Holmgren was asked what he said to New York quarterback Brett Favre after the game when the two met at midfield. Holmgren coached Favre in Green Bay.

"I just wished him well, and said next year when I'm riding my motorcycle around, I want to come down and have a little catfish with him. And just sit down in a different setting and see where he lives. That could happen," Holmgren said.


• WR Courtney Taylor's roller-coaster season continued with two important catches for 35 yards against the Jets.

He was a starter in Week 1, then was waived before being signed to the practice squad and brought back to the 53-man roster.

Taylor's catches were his first since Nov. 23 against Washington.

"He is my project," Engram said of Taylor. "I keep him as close to me as I can, and I was happy for him. The guy works like a dog in practice. ... He'll be making a lot of plays here in the future."

• Second-year LB Will Herring made his first career start. LBs Leroy Hill and D.D. Lewis were inactive with injuries. Herring made four solo tackles. OL Na'Shan Goddard and DE Brandon Miller, signed in the past few weeks, made their game debuts. Miller made one special-teams tackle.

• When the Seahawks put OT Sean Locklear on injured reserve Saturday, they signed S Jamar Adams to the active roster. Adams was one of eight inactives, including QB Matt Hasselbeck and DB Jordan Babineaux.

• The Seahawks announced 68,181 tickets distributed, but there were plenty of empty seats.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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