Kevin Lynch, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, September 27, 2004



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Quarterback Ken Dorsey looked dejected in the *****' locker room after Sunday's game. He sat on a stool in front of his locker, head hung, wrapped in a combination of towels and T-shirts.

Dorsey, who went 38-2 at the University of Miami and 18-2 in the regular season at Miramonte High in Orinda, was asked the last time he was on the wrong end of a blowout. The earnest Dorsey thought for a few moments and said, "I really don't remember."

That's why the second-year quarterback constantly said the 34-0 loss was a learning experience.

"I just didn't execute my position and that's what happens," Dorsey said.

Coach Dennis Erickson admitted that Dorsey, who was making his second NFL start, lapsed back into the habit of holding the ball too long. He was stripped of the ball twice on sacks.

Dorsey also threw two interceptions, one when he fired a pass behind wide receiver Cedrick Wilson and another when he tossed a lobbed pass into double coverage.

Dorsey appeared disappointed, but not crushed.

"Ken Dorsey didn't lose this game 34-0," wide receiver Curtis Conway said. "We all lost this game."

However, Dorsey's unimpressive performance didn't further his cause to become the regular starting quarterback. In fact, Erickson said Tim Rattay, who's still recovering from a separated throwing shoulder, is the starter, no matter what Dorsey would have done in this game.

Smith at peace: Linebacker Derek Smith voiced his displeasure this week after the NFL refused to let him wear a No. 40 decal on his helmet as a tribute to his fallen friend Pat Tillman.

Smith, who played with Tillman at Arizona State, wanted to wear the decal for the rest of the season. All NFL players wore the decal the previous Sunday in a day of remembrance for Tillman, who was killed April 23 as an Army Ranger on patrol in Afghanistan.

Tillman quit his NFL career to join the fight against terrorism.

"I don't like it, but I'm not going to fight it," said Smith, who honored Tillman Sunday with a piece of tape on his face mask with the No. 40 on it. "I'm not going to bite the hand that feeds me."

Peterson's attempt: Todd Peterson didn't realize his 46-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter would turn out to be the only chance for the ***** to score. The shutout was the *****' first in 420 games, by far the longest streak in league history. The Vikings' current streak of 207 games is second.

"You don't even think about that stuff," said Peterson, who had his first missed field-goal attempt of the season when his kick struck the crossbar.

Fox television commentator Tim Ryan thought Peterson hit under the ball too much to give it a chance. But Peterson said he doesn't try to hit line drives on long attempts.

"I hit the ball the same every time," he said. "You start playing with your swing, you start missing kicks."

The moves: The ***** were without wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, who sustained a Grade 1 tear of his left groin in Thursday's practice. Conway started for him. With Lloyd down, the team was without five starters.

At right defensive end, the ***** were down to starting newly activated Brandon Whiting, with Andrew Williams (broken leg) out and Otis Leverette (ankle) ailing.

To shore up the defensive line before the game, cornerback Joselio Hanson was released and defensive end Josh Cooper was brought up from the practice squad.

Briefly: There were no serious injuries in this one: Cornerbacks Ahmed Plummer (stinger/knee) and Shawntae Spencer (sprained finger) are both probable for Sunday's game against the Rams. ... Former Seattle quarterback Dave Krieg, who once played under Erickson, was inducted into the Seahawks' ring of honor.