Seahawks Notebook: Seahawks are poised to make big splash
Win over Rams would be first 4-0 start in franchise history

By CLARE FARNSWORTH
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

KIRKLAND -- Not even practicing in a downpour yesterday could dampen the Seahawks' spirits.

Their final full workout before tomorrow's showdown with the defending NFC West champion St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field capped what has been a focused week of preparation for the 3-0 Seahawks.

"We had a good week, and I thought we picked it up as the week went along," said coach Mike Holmgren, rain still dripping from the bill of his hat. "We finished on an upbeat note."

There's a lot on the line tomorrow, starting with winning a game after their bye week for the first time in six tries under Holmgren -- and only the fourth time in 15 tries overall. There's also the chance for the first 4-0 start in franchise history.

"We're going into some areas here where we haven't been before, and it's kind of fun," Holmgren said. "The players are responding that way. We know how important the game is. We know how good the Rams are. So it probably adds a little bit to practice."

Free safety Ken Hamlin agreed.

"The focus has been there," he said. "But we're approaching it pretty much the same. It's another game, another big game. I think everybody is taking it as just that -- it's a must win."

In other news yesterday:



<LI>Defensive end Chike Okeafor returned to practice after sitting out Thursday with a sore hip. He is expected to start tomorrow.




<LI>The one starter who could be in jeopardy is middle linebacker Orlando Huff, who was added to the injury report Thursday with a sore hamstring. Huff practiced yesterday. It might not matter, since the Rams use their three- and four-receiver sets so often the middle linebacker likely will see limited snaps tomorrow.



<LI>Holmgren handed out game balls after practice for the Sept. 26 win over the San Francisco ***** to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (offense), defensive tackle Cedric Woodard (defense) and punter Tom Rouen (special teams). Rouen became the first two-time winner this season. He was the special teams recipient after the Week 2 win in Tampa.



<LI>Matthew Ballard, an 11-year-old Seahawks fan from South Carolina, attended practice and will run the game ball to midfield before the kickoff tomorrow as part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation program.



In St. Louis, punter Sean Landetta was added to the injury list as probable with a strained groin.