RENTON — After promising changes earlier this week, Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren appears ready to deliver.
Cornerback Kelly Jennings and wide receiver Billy McMullen are expected to be demoted after subpar performances in Sunday’s 44-6 loss to the New York Giants.
Josh Wilson will replace Jennings in the starting lineup when the Seahawks host Green Bay on Sunday, while Koren Robinson is likely to take McMullen’s place.
“You kind of have to earn that every week,” Holmgren said Wednesday. “And so that’s why we did a couple of things.”
Jennings gave up a long touchdown early in Sunday’s game. A few minutes later, he came out because of a concussion.
Jennings practiced Wednesday, but Wilson saw most of the action with the No. 1 defense.
“I feel like I have a job to do on the defense, and right now I don’t feel like I’m getting it done,” Jennings said after the practice. “It’s a coaches’ decision, and if I was a coach, I would do it the same way. For me personally, I can only try to get better. I can only do what I can do.”
Defensive backs coach Jim Mora said that Jennings’ health — he broke a rib in Week 2 — has affected his play.
“It’s a multitude of things,” Mora said. “No. 1, we want to get Josh more reps because he’s worthy of more reps. No. 2, Kelly had the mild concussion and a little bit of a stinger on the seventh play Sunday, and he has the broken rib, so he’s a little beat up.
“We’ve got 12 games left to go, so we want to be prudent in how much we put him out there and expose him when he’s not 100 percent.”
Said safety Deon Grant: “Kell’s been banged up. He’s been hurt the whole season. He just hasn’t had the chance to be himself.”
Wilson, who made his first NFL start against St. Louis 18 days ago, said he is looking forward to the opportunity.
“My dad always taught me that anytime you get an opportunity, you’re only going to get it once — and you’d better take advantage of it,” said Wilson, whose father Tim played fullback in the NFL.
Robinson is likely to make his first start as a Seahawk since 2004. He has been out with a sore knee since re-signing with the team last month.
“My goal is to play on Sunday,” Robinson said. “I had a productive day (at Wednesday’s practice). I got some balls, I felt good in and out of my breaks, my leg’s not bothering me. We’ll just see what happens.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said during a Wednesday conference call with the Seattle media that Robinson’s knee problems — he had surgery after the 2006 season — were a factor in the team’s decision to release him in May.
“There are always a number of different factors and the dynamics of the roster,” McCarthy said.
Robinson said that the knee is feeling a lot better.
“I’m in and out of my breaks no problem, and last year that was a problem,” Robinson said. “But that was my first year after surgery. The second year is always better than the first year, and I feel good. I have confidence, and I’ll try to go back to my old ways.”
Hasselbeck sits, but should play: Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was among the players held out of Wednesday’s practice, but Holmgren said he will play on Sunday.
Hasselbeck, who was not made available to the Seattle media on Wednesday, did a conference call with reporters who cover the Packers and told them that he was disappointed he was not allowed to practice.
“That wasn’t my choice,” he said. “I wanted to get out there (Wednesday). It should be fine (for today’s practice).”
Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace was also sidelined after straining his sore calf muscle in a morning workout. That left Charlie Frye to handle all the snaps with the No. 1 offense as well as the scout team Wednesday afternoon.
“It was pretty tiring,” Frye said.
Starting linebacker Leroy Hill also sat out most of Wednesday’s practice because of a strained knee that happened in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Giants. D.D. Lewis practiced in place of Hill, who attended practice but was wearing a large bag of ice over the knee for most of the session.
Taylor returns: One day after getting cut by the team, wide receiver Courtney Taylor was back as part of the practice squad.
“Anytime you lose a job, it’s pretty tough,” said Taylor, who was released to make room for Jordan Kent. “But at the same time, you take it for what it is and take it for what it’s worth and keep getting better. And that’s my goal now.”
Taylor started the first two games of the season but was soon demoted. Holmgren said Wednesday that Taylor was released because he did not perform up to expectations.
“Early on, we wanted him to be our starting flanker, and he wasn’t quite ready to handle that,” Holmgren said. “I had a good talk with him (Tuesday), one-on-one, and he knows how I feel about him.
“I think he has a bright future. It’s just that he needs a little more seasoning, in my opinion. So that’s why we did it.”
Taylor admits that he did not perform up to expectations.
“It’s in the pudding,” he said. “I didn’t produce. I didn’t put up the numbers that I wanted to put up, and that they wanted me to put up, so the proof is in the pudding. I’ve got to go back to work.”
Rodgers expects to play: Although he might be limited in practice this week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday that he will play against the Seahawks on Sunday.
“I feel strongly I’m going to play this week and hope to be effective, similar to the way I was last week,” said Rodgers, who threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Atlanta on Sunday. “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
Rodgers did not practice Wednesday but is expected to join his teammates in the next day or two.
“Hopefully, we’ll get him some practice (today) or on Friday,” McCarthy said, “get him ready and see how he comes out for the game.
“… Based on how sore he is (today) from the rehab (Wednesday), we will make a judgment after that.”
Quick slants: Holmgren did not have an injury update for wide receiver Deion Branch, who is out indefinitely because of a bruised heel. … Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones did not practice Wednesday because of what was termed as a “team decision.” … During his Wednesday conference call with reporters in Wisconsin, Holmgren reiterated his desire to get back into football after a one-year hiatus in 2009. “After one year, who knows?” he said. “I’m going to be open to any number of things. We’ll see.”