Alexander’s future murky
MIKE SANDO; The News Tribune
Published: July 30th, 2005 12:01 AM

CHENEY – Will the Seattle Seahawks pursue a long-term contract with running back Shaun Alexander? Do they want him here beyond 2005?
Team president Tim Ruskell isn’t ready to say.

“We are going to assess as we go through the season,” Ruskell said Friday from training camp. “I like Shaun and obviously the production speaks for itself.”

Alexander, 27, set a franchise record with 1,696 yards rushing last season. He is the only player in NFL history to score at least 15 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons.

The Seahawks recently signed Alexander to a one-year contract. If the sides do not work out a long-term deal this season, Alexander will be free to sign elsewhere.

“We are going to talk,” Ruskell said. “This was step one, to get him into camp and get the whole team feeling like we have all our tools and are ready to go.”

Alexander is expected to report to camp in the next few days. His wife gave birth to their second child Thursday.

Ruskell, hired in February, has yet to watch Alexander up close on a day-to-day basis.

“I am going to take some time and evaluate that, not just Shaun but obviously the whole team,” Ruskell said. “The fit and the scheme, what we are trying to do, and going into the future.

“We will talk (about a contract for Alexander) again. I know their people real well and they are going to stay in touch with me and we will just see how that goes. You can’t put a timeline on that.”

Life without Dilfer

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck lost his best friend on the team when Seattle granted Trent Dilfer’s trade request in the offseason.

“It is strange,” Hasselbeck said. “He screens my phone calls, he doesn’t call me back.

“I called him recently and told him I hit our local coffee shop and the people that work there were asking about him. He called me right back and said, ‘Did they really ask about me?’ I said, ‘No, I made that up.’ ”

Dilfer wanted a starting job and the Seahawks obliged by trading him to Cleveland.

“He is one of those guys that is fun to be around and adds a lot of value to your team,” Hasselbeck said.

Extra points

Cornerback Marcus Trufant has switched to the right side because Andre Dyson and Kelly Herndon are more comfortable on the left, coach Mike Holmgren said. The coaching staff will evaluate the change before making it permanent. Dyson and Herndon split time with the No. 1 defense Friday.

First-round pick Chris Spencer and second-rounder Lofa Tatupu are “very close” to signing, Ruskell said. They missed camp Friday.

Former University of Washington coach Keith Gilbertson will help Bill Laveroni coach the offensive line. Seattle made the hire this month after Gilbertson informed Holmgren of his recovery from hip-replacement surgery. “The more I thought about it, the more I thought he could be a tremendous resource for us,” Holmgren said. “He is a good coach with a lot of experience and he knows the game. I always thought he was put in a tough spot during his last head coaching position.” Gilbertson also will help with special projects, Holmgren said.

John Jamison has switched from pro personnel assistant to assistant special teams coach. He and Holmgren played high school football together in San Francisco.