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Originally published Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Seahawks

Notebook: Job battle puts Herndon back in familiar territory

The biggest change for Kelly Herndon, in his first season with the Seahawks after three with the Broncos, has been training camp itself...

Seattle Times staff reporter

CHENEY — The biggest change for Kelly Herndon, in his first season with the Seahawks after three with the Broncos, has been training camp itself. In Denver, the veterans are allowed to go home and sleep in their own beds. Here, the beds are of the first-year-in-college variety.

What hasn't changed is Herndon being in the mix for a starting cornerback job. He never locked one down permanently in Denver, but still started 27 games the last two seasons.

And here Herndon is again — competing with former Tennessee cornerback Andre Dyson for a starting position opposite Marcus Trufant.

"That's all you can ask for," Herndon said. "A chance to compete."

With the experienced Herndon and Dyson joining a young but established defensive backfield, the Seahawks could be set there for years to come. Trufant and free safety Ken Hamlin are entering their third seasons, and second-year strong safety Michael Boulware rounds out the starting unit.

"It kind of reminds me of my brother's [Peter] team in Baltimore," Boulware said. "They got there, and they were kind of young like we are, made a lot of mistakes. Sooner or later they came around to be the No. 1 defense of all time. That's what I'm hoping will happen here."

And on the 17th day ...

They rested. Coach Mike Holmgren gave the players this morning off — with a chance they won't practice this afternoon — saying they earned it and they looked sluggish this week and needed rest.

An example of the sluggishness came yesterday morning when Seneca Wallace botched the fourth snap exchange between quarterback and center in three days.

"That's unprecedented," Holmgren said of the day off. "So they didn't know what to say. They thought I was kidding. This is my nice, warm, fuzzy side you're seeing right now."

Added quarterback Matt Hasselbeck: "We were all in shock. I think Hutch [guard Steve Hutchinson] was crying. I thought about going over to kiss coach Holmgren."

Notes

Mike Haynes, a former Pro Bowl DB with New England, Denver and Oakland, met with the players yesterday afternoon. He's the NFL's director of player programs, running things like the NFL Rookie Symposium, which gives rookies a jump-start on life in the NFL.

• CB Michael Harden suffered a concussion Friday against New Orleans, but yesterday he was walking around with a brace on his right knee.

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