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Trufant and Hill back at practice with Seahawks

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RENTON, Wash. (AP)

In recent seasons, former coach Mike Holmgren turned grandfatherly during the Seahawks' bye weeks. Turning 60 and already owning a Super Bowl ring, he boldly gave his players the entire week off. They'd go on far-flung vacations or just relax and heal at home with family and friends. It was wildly popular, of course, like Spring Break in October. Jim Mora is not Mike Holmgren. Demanding fewer mistakes, and downplaying that a dozen starters have been injured, the Seahawks' new coach has his battered, reeling team practicing Tuesday and Wednesday. Then he will give players an extended weekend break. "We're searching for consistency. That's a struggle for us right now, specifically offensively, with the situation that we are in. But we're fighting for it. We're not accepting that it's not happening," Mora said. "All the things that you need to do in order to overcome adversity, this team is intent on doing." So days after a sobering, 27-3 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals showed how far Seattle (2-4) has fallen in the NFC West, the Seahawks have other things on their minds during this bye week than kids, beaches or the Las Vegas Strip. "While we're all frustrated, just like our fans are frustrated and disappointed in our start, I'm an optimistic guy, and our players are," Mora said. "What I see in their eyes is a determination, and a group that's going to continue to work extremely hard." Rest has already taken a back seat to returns this week. Marcus Trufant was back Tuesday, practicing for the first time since July and saying he's healed from a frustrating back injury. A Pro Bowl cornerback two seasons ago, Trufant has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since the start of training camp. He said he hopes to play in Seattle's next game Nov. 1 at Dallas. So does Leroy Hill. The $38 million outside linebacker also practiced, for the first time since he torn his groin in the opener Sept. 13. These "free" bye week practices, in which the Seahawks are returning to basics and putting off game planning for the Cowboys until next week, are also a boon for Damion McIntosh. The veteran offensive tackle signed only last week, following six weeks at home in Kansas City after the Chiefs unexpectedly released their former starter. On Tuesday, Seattle cut Kyle Williams, a practice-squad player until two weeks ago. Williams made one, woeful start filling in at left tackle, against the swarming Cardinals. McIntosh is using this week to get fit and comfortable with the playbook. The 10-year veteran and 320-pound native of Jamaica is the only healthy left tackle currently on the roster, pending nine-time Pro Bowler Walter Jones' attempt to practice next week following two surgeries on his left knee. Trufant bumped and hounded starting receiver Nate Burleson in his return. He also turned a seemingly ho-hum practice during a bye week into hope for a team that needs some. "I think I'm healed," Trufant said, adding he still undergoes "a little maintenance" with his back. That includes strengthening core muscles in his torso. The exercises are similar to what quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has been doing for most of the last year to compensate for a bulging disk that cost Hasselbeck nine games in 2008. Trufant said his injury, which occurred when he twisted awkwardly breaking on the ball in a drill just before training camp, was similar. But he joked he's better off than the three-time Pro Bowl passer, and not just because he's 28 and Hasselbeck is 34. "He's a quarterback. I'm a DB. So I kind of see myself as a better athlete," he said, laughing. Hill said he initially thought his career might be over when he shredded his groin, his legs too wide while trying to make a tackle against St. Louis. "I'll try to not do that again," he deadpanned. The fifth-year veteran called it the worst pain he's ever had, but now feels "perfect" following surgery performed by a specialist in Philadelphia. He's optimistic Seattle can salvage the season over the final 10 games. Of course, he admits he's been on his couch instead of enduring some miserable game days in a season many thought would end with Seattle winning the division for the fifth time in six years. "We just have to get more consistent," Hill said.
Tagged: Seahawks

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