With QBs iffy, punter is ready if needed

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Friday, October 27, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

KIRKLAND – Just a typical Friday afternoon in the life of Jeff Feagles.

The Seattle Seahawks punter stretched out, took a few practice punts, stretched some more, and worked with deep snapper J.P. Darche while teammates worked out the kinks on an adjacent field.

Then Feagles sat at his locker and answered questions from a small gathering of reporters – just like any quarterback would.

At one point, when teammate Cortez Kennedy motioned for Feagles to talk to him, the punter/quarterback quipped: “You’ll have to wait your turn. I’m enjoying the limelight right now.”

Scary as it sounds, Feagles could be two more concussions away from being the Seahawks’ quarterback on Sunday. With Brock Huard sidelined by a concussion – coach Mike Holmgren said Friday that Huard will be inactive – Jon Kitna will get the start, and Matt Lytle might be the only other active quarterback on the roster.

That means Feagles, who is 0-for-3 passing during his 13-year NFL career, is the emergency quarterback should the other two go down in Sunday’s game against Kansas City.

“Remember Danny White?” he said, referring to the Dallas Cowboys’ former quarterback and punter. “Three-and-out, and he dropped back and punted.”

Feagles’ only NFL passes came on two fake punts (“One was dropped,” he said, “the other was just a terrible throw”) and a fake field goal. Although he played quarterback in high school, Feagles’ only experience at the position since then came with scout teams while playing at the University of Miami and with the Philadelphia Eagles. On both occasions, injuries to other quarterbacks forced him onto the practice field.

There is a chance the Seahawks could sign quarterback Travis Brown from the practice squad today and make him the emergency quarterback behind Kitna and Lytle. But Holmgren said Friday that signing Brown would include a lot of red tape, including the fact that the team would have to place him on waivers and risk losing him once Huard returns.

“It’s a little more complicated,” Holmgren said. “You’re rolling the dice in some areas.”

Holmgren added that he expects Huard to return to practice next week, meaning Kitna’s time as starter could last only one week.

“He’s better,” Holmgren said of Huard. “His headaches are better, for the most part. He went through a couple of tests (Thursday) evening, and it’s going much better.”

  • Matt who? Sad as it sounds, Lytle has thrown three fewer NFL passes than Feagles.

    The second-year player out of the University of Pittsburgh spent all of last season on the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, then was signed by Seattle after the most recent training camp. His only regular-season action came last week, when Huard and Kitna left the game with concussions. Lytle was on the field for three plays – all handoffs.

    “He’s ready,” Holmgren said. “He got some reps in practice. He is prepared to play. He’s one play away from playing the game for us. You can tell. When the scene changes a little bit, those guys get a little more cranked up.”

    Quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard also said Lytle has been impressive this week.

    “Good athlete. Very strong arm,” Sheppard said. “Has worked hard since he’s been here to grasp the offense.”

    And how about that No. 3 quarterback?

    “Feagles has great desire,” Sheppard said with a wink.

  • Let ‘er rip: Kansas City coach Gunther Cunningham made no bones about his game plan this week. Just like he did in a 54-34 victory over the defending champion St. Louis Rams last week, Cunningham is going to open things up on both sides of the ball.

    Cunningham said the Chiefs started to be more aggressive in a 20-17 loss to Oakland one week earlier. Despite the loss, he liked what he saw.

    “I walked into the coaching meeting on Monday morning (after the Raiders game),” Cunningham said, “and said, ‘I know what we’ve got to do: let it fly. We’ve met the enemy, and the enemy is us.’ I said, ‘Let ‘em go. Let ‘em play football the way we’re capable of playing.’ And that’s what we went in the Rams game with.”

  • Park &Ride: Fans going to the game are encouraged to take advantage of the free bus service due to a lack of parking near Husky Stadium.

    The most convenient Park &Ride locations for Snohomish County residents are at Kenmore (7346 NE Bothell Way), Shoreline (Aurora Ave. N. and N. 192nd St. south of Aurora Village) and Northgate Mall.

    Bus service begins at 11 a.m. and continues every 20 minutes until the game’s 1:15 p.m. start.

  • Quick slants: The injury-depleted quarterback position is nothing new to Holmgren, who was QB coach of a San Francisco team that once played a game with only one healthy player at the position: Mike Moroski. While in Green Bay, Holmgren went into games with fullback Harry Sydney as the No. 3 quarterback. … Cornerback Willie Williams got a “charley horse” during Friday’s practice, but Holmgren said he expects the eight-year veteran to play Sunday.
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