KIRKLAND – When he took his family out for dinner after Saturday night’s 21-20 win over Dallas, Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren received a standing ovation from the other patrons.
When he showed up at church Sunday morning, several football fans thanked him for the win, then grabbed their chests and begged him to make the next game less dramatic.
If people in Seahawk Nation were lying in the weeds last week, they certainly aren’t anymore.
“A game like we won certainly has to increase enthusiasm and (bring in) new fans, perhaps,” Holmgren said during his Monday press conference.
The win over the Cowboys, which set up a date with the Chicago Bears this Sunday, has the whole city buzzing about the Seahawks again.
The frustration of a mediocre regular season is a thing of the past. December’s three-game losing streak has been forgotten. The city of Seattle is back on the bandwagon, and the coaches and players can feel the surge of enthusiasm.
“You see people with Seahawk gear all over town,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “When I first got here, it wasn’t that way.”
Hasselbeck said the only surprising thing about the increasing fan base is the number of female enthusiasts.
“There were so many women that really had good comments on the game,” he said. “They were like, ‘Hey, that crossing route to Bobby Engram was my favorite throw.’ I’m like, ‘OK. Mine too.’
“It’s fun to see how educated our fans are. As players, it makes it fun. Definitely, you get an adrenaline rush from that.”
Jackson expected to play: Holmgren said that wide receiver Darrell Jackson has a good chance of practicing this week and playing on Sunday.
Jackson missed the final two games of the regular season with turf toe, an injury he aggravated during the first half of Saturday’s win over Dallas. While Jackson was unable to finish that game, Holmgren said he expects him to be available this week.
“Actually, he is feeling better now than he did Monday last week,” Holmgren said. “So he’ll probably get to practice a little bit at the end of the week.”
The news regarding receiver D.J. Hackett was not as good. Holmgren said that Hackett could miss this week’s game because of an ankle sprain, although there is no official word on the receiver’s availability.
One player who is definitely out is safety John Howell. He tore his left hamstring Saturday and is out for the season. The Seahawks are likely to place Howell on injured reserve, clearing a spot on the active roster.
Trufant not finished? Holmgren said that cornerback Marcus Trufant has a “chance” of playing in next week’s NFC Championship game, should the Seahawks make it that far.
Trufant suffered a high ankle sprain in the Christmas Eve loss to San Diego and has not played a game since then.
No All-Pros: The Associated Press released its list of All Pros on Monday, and no Seahawks were on the first team.
It marks the first time since 2002 that Seattle has been shut out. Last year, four Seahawks were named first-team All-Pro.
Left tackle Walter Jones made this year’s second team. Jones, fullback Mack Strong, and linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson will represent the Seahawks at next month’s Pro Bowl.
The All-Pro team is made up of the best 25 players in the NFL, while Pro Bowl teams are broken up into AFC and NFC squads.
Big play, Babs: Holmgren was certainly paying attention to Saturday’s game, but he didn’t realize until Sunday morning how close the Cowboys were to scoring the go-ahead touchdown after a botched field goal attempt.
Holmgren praised Jordan Babineaux’s diving tackle of holder Tony Romo, who muffed the snap but quickly got up and headed toward the end zone late in the fourth quarter.
“It’s unbelievable how close that was,” Holmgren said. “I talked to the team (on Monday morning) and said, ‘Hey, Babs: unbelievable, heads-up play.’
“Romo did a nice job after the fumble, picking the ball up and trying to score. I mean, that was close.”
Too much information? During his Monday press conference, Holmgren was asked about Bears defensive tackle and University of Washington product Terry “Tank” Johnson, who recently got charged with gun possession.
Holmgren openly admitted that several Seahawks players have brought guns to training camp, adding that the weapons had to be turned in to director of security Rick Ninomiya for the duration of the camp.
“I’m always a little surprised by that,” Holmgren said of how easy it is for people to get guns. “I’ve never walked around with a gun.”
Quick slants: Fans who have the NFL Network can watch a replay of Saturday’s 21-20 win over the Cowboys today at 5 p.m. … Special teams coach Bob Casullo has spent the past three games working from the coaches’ booth upstairs. Holmgren said he made the move so that Casullo could see the field better and give more accurate evaluations over the course of a game.