By SCOTT M. JOHNSON
KIRKLAND – The AFC’s fourth-ranked rushing attack and nearly 200 rushing yards a week ago led one local reporter to present Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren with a tongue-in-cheek nickname Friday: Ground Mike.
“Yeah, that’s me. Three yards and a cloud of dust,” Holmgren joked. “(Offensive line coach Tom) Lovat likes me now, after eight years.”
Running the football might not be Holmgren’s favorite thing to do, but it has been the main offensive weapon for the Seahawks this season. So when Seattle and inexperienced quarterback Brock Huard head to Carolina to face the Panthers’ 24th-ranked rushing defense on Sunday, running the football again might be the featured attack.
“If we can continue running the ball like we did last week, it would certainly help us. There’s no question about that,” said Holmgren, whose Seahawks rushed for 189 yards against Kansas City on Monday night. “Couple that with the fact that our quarterback is getting the first start of his life. But we will always strive for balance.
“We ran the ball very well Monday night and lost the football game. So I don’t care that we ran the ball great; we lost. So, I’ve got to figure out a way to win the game.”
McIntosh plays right tackle, which would be left-handed quarterback Brock Huard’s blindside, and he will have to face Reggie White, the NFL’s all-time sack leader.
“Right now he’s ticketed for a series,” Holmgren said of McIntosh, the 22nd overall pick in the April draft. “After that, we’ll just see. I’d like him to play more. How the game’s going and how he does when he’s in there, that always affects some stuff.”
Todd Weiner will start at right tackle, despite missing one day of practice this week with the flu.
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