Notebook: Coming home, Looker aspires for playing time By José Miguel Romero
Seattle Times staff reporter






KIRKLAND — At the beginning of last season, Dane Looker would have been happy being the fourth wide receiver in St. Louis, let alone being on the active roster.

But the Puyallup native has had a full season of pro football, including two starts last year. He's been the Rams' third receiver, a position of importance on a team known for its passing game. He caught 47 passes for 495 yards and three touchdowns in 2003, getting his chance when two other receivers were injured.

He wants his spot on the depth chart back. But the Rams made it clear they want to see more of 2003 third-round pick Kevin Curtis, and Looker's playing time was diminished last week. He didn't even catch a pass after catching 10 for 144 yards in the Rams' first three games.

"It's a situation where Kevin is a very good player," Looker said. "But you have success and you want to be in there."

Who can blame the former Washington Husky for wanting to play? He made the pros as an undrafted free agent.

This weekend he comes home to play the team he cheered for as youngster.

"They (the Seahawks) were my team growing up," Looker said. "It's kind of surreal to go back there."

Looker used to watch his hero, Steve Largent, at the Kingdome. This time, he'll have friends and family in a suite at Qwest Field to watch him.

Always A.W.

Aeneas Williams, by normal standards, is a young man at 36.

By NFL standards, he's right there with the wizard from "The Lord of the Rings." But neither age nor injury have slowed the 14-year veteran, who went to the Pro Bowl last season, the eighth in his career.

Williams, now playing safety, has been to the Pro Bowl seven times as a cornerback and once as a safety. His next interception — he has 55 in his career — moves him into a tie for 15th place all-time in the NFL.

Many thought his career was over when Williams broke his leg against the Seahawks on Oct. 20, 2002.

"I always had faith that I would (come back), and all I can say is it's been a blessing ... to just get back and play," Williams said. "But not only to sustain football but to continue to get better and make plays."

Wish come true

Matthew Ballard, an 11-year-old Seahawks fan from South Carolina, is suffering from cystic fibrosis. But he was all smiles yesterday, visiting with players and coach Mike Holmgren after yesterday's practice as arranged by the Seahawks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Ballard got a ball and a mini-helmet signed as he wandered through the locker room dressed in his Seahawks uniform bearing No. 37, running back Shaun Alexander's number.



Notes

• Holmgren pronounced every player but linebacker Chad Brown, who has been out since before the season started, as healthy for tomorrow's game. MLB Orlando Huff could be a game-day decision because of a sore left hamstring. Huff practiced yesterday and is expected to start.

• Game balls from the win over San Francisco two weeks ago went to DT Cedric Woodard, QB Matt Hasselbeck and P Tom Rouen.

• Holmgren said he was satisfied with the past two days of practice. DE Antonio Cochran jumped a passing route and intercepted a Trent Dilfer pass yesterday. LB Anthony Simmons pulled down a one-handed interception of Dilfer, and SS Michael Boulware showed off his athleticism by bouncing up off the turf with a back handspring.

• Tomorrow's game is a sellout and will be shown on channel 13. • Rams P Sean Landetta has a groin injury and is probable for tomorrow. CB Travis Fisher, DT Jimmy Kennedy, G Chris Dishman and Landetta did not practice yesterday because of injuries.