NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Mike Holmgren said the preseason would be
important for Seneca Wallace, and Wallace rose to the challenge.
Wallace, tapped as Matt Hasselbeck's backup after Trent Dilfer
was traded to Cleveland, scored on a slashing 24-yard scramble and
passed for another touchdown in the Seahawks' 34-15 victory over
the New Orleans Saints on Friday night in the preseason opener for
The third-year reserve out of Iowa State played from early in
the second quarter through the third, completing 12 of 20 passes
for 137 yards. His touchdown pass was a perfect toss that dropped
softly over the shoulder of former Saints receiver Jerome Pathon
for a 28-yard score.
"He's a really fine passer. That gets overlooked because he is
quick and he can run," Holmgren said. "His touchdown run was
really something, but he threw some very, very good passes. ... We
have to get him ready to play in (regular season) games if it's
Half of Wallace's incompletions were dropped balls, including
one bullet over the middle that appeared to be a certain touchdown
until it slipped through D.J. Hackett's hands in the end zone. That
drive ended with Josh Brown's 30-yard field goal.
"I felt really comfortable, and also the line gave me great
protection and the running backs ran the ball well. All that just
helped me out," Wallace said. "It was all up to Mike to keep me
in there and keep seeing things."
The game was largely an exercise in humility for the Saints, who
finished 2004 on a four-game winning streak, then talked throughout
the offseason about looking even better and being eager to get back
on the field. They turned the ball over three times in the first
half, all leading to Seattle touchdowns. The Seahawks had a 24-3
lead by halftime, when a number of fans booed the Saints as they
walked off the Louisiana Superdome turf.
"It's not exactly the way we wanted to get going," Saints
coach Jim Haslett said. "The thing that hurt us the most was the
three turnovers. ... We have a long way to go but I think there are
a lot of positives we can take out of it."
New Orleans' new-look, run-oriented offense still needs work.
Deuce McAllister fumbled three plays in when he was stripped
behind the line of scrimmage by Niko Koutouvides. Seattle
linebacker Michael Boulware recovered the ball on the Saints 18,
setting up Hasselbeck's 13-yard scoring pass to Bobby Engram.
Hasselbeck went to the bench for good early in the second quarter,
having completed 6 of 10 passes for 40 yards.
New Orleans only score with the starters came on the second
drive. It was comprised of three strong runs by McAllister and a
couple of short passes from Aaron Brooks. John Carney capped it
with a 50-yard field goal.
"I had some holes out there, we've just got to try to sustain
it for four quarters," McAllister said.
The final numbers for the Saints' marquee players were
unspectacular. McAllister finished with nine carries for 38 yards,
his longest run going for 12 yards. Brooks was 3-for-7 for 15
yards. Joe Horn had no catches and one drop. Donte' Stallworth's
only reception, a 25-yarder along the sidelines, was wiped out when
top draft pick Jammal Brown was flagged for being lined up too far
behind the line of scrimmage.
New Orleans' other turnovers were backup quarterback Todd
Bouman's fumble on the Saints' 35 and an interception an
underthrown bomb into double coverage.
"Turnovers happen. ... This locker room has to be strong and
know we can win football games," Horn said. "We'll respond,
because we have those type of guys in the locker room."
Seattle reserve fullback Leonard Weaver broke free for a 40-yard
touchdown run in the fourth quarter. And Marquis Weeks ended up
being Seattle's leading rusher with 59 yards on eight carries, all
in the second half.
Saints injuries included linebacker Cie Grant (left patella
tendon), Devery Henderson (sprained right shoulder) and Fred Booker
(right hamstring). The severity of Grant's injury was not
immediately known and he was scheduled for an MRI, a team spokesman
said. ... For Seattle, reserve cornerback Michael Harden was
believed to have had a concussion after a heavy hit, while Andre
Dyson left the game in the first quarter with a sore shoulder after
an attempted tackle on Saints fullback Mike Karney. ... Seattle's
Shaun Alexander carried the ball only three times for 18 yards. ...
Saints reserve quarterback Kliff Kingsbury had a 57-yard completion
to Michael Lewis. Adrian McPherson, Kingsbury's competition for the
No. 3 spot, passed for 28 yards and rushed for 25 in his lone
drive, which stalled on a fourth down incompletion deep in Seahawks
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