Holmgren given Largent Award by players

SEATTLE (AP) - Everyone expected some sort of acknowledgment of Mike Holmgren's last home game as Seattle's head coach to come from his players.

This honor, however, caught Holmgren by surprise.

At the conclusion of practice Friday, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck presented Holmgren with the Steve Largent Award, an honor that's been reserved specifically for Seahawks' players in the 20 years it's been awarded.

"It was very special. Steve Largent, I've admired forever and ever and ever, and it really is a player's award. It really is. But these guys never cease to amaze me sometimes," Holmgren said. "Just when I think I got them figured out, they do something real nice for me."

Most players said the idea simply popped up and was checked out with the team administration, which agreed.

"I think most of the players were excited to do it. He's earned our respect. It's obvious," Hasselbeck said. "I think I remember someone asking if it was allowed because it's for players and I think the response we got was 'we just count the votes.' So we decided to do it that way. The goal was to surprise him."

The award was first given to Largent in 1989 and is presented to the player who "best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks." Bobby Engram was the recipient last year, while former fullback Mack Strong was honored five times from 2001-06, with Trent Dilfer breaking up Strong's run.

The presentation was just one of many emotional moments this week for Holmgren, who reiterated that he thinks he'll be able to keep his composure through Sunday's game against the New York Jets.

"When the game starts, I get in a little bit of a zone. I think I'll be able to do that," Holmgren said. "I think I'll be able to get in my coaching mode, and then after that, we'll see how it goes."


INCOMING WEATHER: Holmgren might have some fans missing from his home finale.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Western Washington for Saturday night into Sunday. The massive storm moving in from the Pacific Ocean is expected to produce high winds and the potential for 4 to 8 inches of snowfall in the Seattle metro area.

"We're aware of it," Holmgren said. "We've played games in bad weather before. It really boils down to trying to eliminate the elements, do the right thing, (and) play hard."

On the field, the biggest impact could be from gusty winds that might play havoc with the passing and kicking games of both the Seahawks and the Jets.

For fans, the Seahawks are recommending they plan on arriving early and dressing for cold weather. The team also said officials will be in constant contact with local utilities and the state Department of Transportation as conditions change.


LAST CALL: Holmgren's farewell might not be the only one on Sunday.

Wide receiver Bobby Engram is in the final year of his contract and has yet to have discussions with the team on returning in 2009.

"I haven't given it much thought. We'll address that, (but) I don't know," Engram said of returning next year. "I've said the same thing all along, I would love to retire here, but the business side of it has to dictate that as well. You have to be wanted."

Engram missed the first three weeks of the season with a shoulder injury and struggled to match his production of a year ago when he finished with a career-high 94 catches for 1,147 yards. Engram enters this week with only 35 catches and zero touchdowns.

"It's just been unfortunate we've had the injuries and had a tough season," Engram said. "We've had a very difficult season, but I love the guys in this locker room for their perseverance."


QUICK HITS: Hasselbeck will again be a backup quarterback on Sunday with Seneca Wallace getting his seventh start of the season. Also doubtful are LB Leroy Hill and OL Sean Locklear. DB Jordan Babineaux, WR Koren Robinson and LB D.D. Lewis are all listed as questionable. ... Volunteers will be collecting money for Medical Teams International and medical relief in Congo before Sunday's game.
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