By Mike Kahn
As a former high school history teacher, the impact of Barack Obama becoming president on Tuesday night was not lost on Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren.
As the first African-American president and the change in the voting by the country in the landslide resulted, he conceded his democratic wife Kathy – a social worker and nurse - was overwhelmed with emotion. Even the big guy himself was touched, and very impressed by Obama's acceptance speech, as well as the classy concession from John McCain.
In fact, he's not above stealing some ideas.
"I thought (Obama's speech) was exceptional," Holmgren said. "I enjoy listening to smart fellas give speeches. I don't mind that. I like it. My son-in-law who's a pastor is a wonderful speaker and I take notes on what he says. Politics aside, I thought John McCain did a wonderful job with his concession speech. Obama is a special order, he's excellent. And it's inspiring. I enjoyed it very much.
"Aside from football, it's a special time. I was inspired by the whole evening. Being an old history teacher, it's remarkable. Regardless of how you voted, you have to say this is a remarkable time in our history. I'm tempted to talk to the players about it as well, but they'd all look at me kind of funny."
The president of his high school and junior high in San Francisco, that was the extent of his political aspirations, though. Once he went to Southern California on a football scholarship … that was about it for politics.
"Delving into my background in college, killed me, right there," Holmgren said. "I don't want them to dig too deep on that kind of stuff."
When asked why he wouldn't talk to the players about the impact of the new world order with Obama, he thought for a moment, then firmly inserted tongue-in-cheek.
"I might," Holmgren said. "Right now I want them to think about how to get a first down. Let's walk before we can run here, you know. And then we'll get into the broader topics at another time."
• It was a comment that brought everybody back to football on this weekly 30-minute chat with the media. Beginning with the injury report, he said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's back rehabilitation program has advanced enough that he's hoping he'll be the scout team quarterback some in practice. That means Seneca Wallace will start for the fourth week in a row, but there is hope Hasselbeck can play in the Nov. 16 game at Qwest Field against the division-leading Arizona Cardinals.
• Patrick Kerney's shoulder surgery on Monday revealed he had not re-torn the labrum and it was more a process of cleaning out some areas and should allow him to play again this season. Once again Darryl Tapp and Lawrence Jackson will start at the defensive end spots, with Kerney for at least a few weeks.
• Deion Branch's bruised heel has improved enough that the staff will push him Wednesday to see how it responds Thursday from all the work. If so, he also could be ready for Arizona. In the meantime, it will be Bobby Engram and Koren Robinson starting at wide receiver.
• Rookie defensive tackle Red Bryant will be out an indefinite period of time due to the high ankle sprain he suffered. Howard Green will return to the rotation in Bryant's absence.
• Right guard Floyd Womack won't practice Wednesday because of an injured foot from the game, with Ray Willis taking his place in practice and in the game if Womack can't go.
• Both linebacker Lofa Tatupu (groin) and fullback Leonard Weaver (foot) are going to see limited practice time early and the week with the hope they'll be ready to go in the game. If not, D.D. Lewis will again be at linebacker and rookie Owen Schmitt at fullback.
With regard to his optimism flickering in the wake of all these injuries as the season reaches the midway point, Holmgren chuckled to himself a little bit.
"I always say the glass is half full," Holmgren said. "(Now) I measure everything to see if it's half full or a quarter (full)."