Couch 2-of-11, sacked twice in Pack's loss

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Tim Couch still has a lot to learn about
the West Coast offense.

Fourth-string quarterback Seneca Wallace led Seattle on two
touchdown drives and the Seahawks took advantage of Couch's dismal
debut for Green Bay in a 21-3 exhibition victory over the Packers
on Monday night.

Couch, expected to be an upgrade over veteran Doug Pederson as
Brett Favre's primary backup, finished 2-of-11 for 18 yards, a
1.6-yard average, and was sacked twice.

"He didn't play very well, that's obvious," Packers coach Mike
Sherman said. "Part of it is he didn't practice a whole lot this
week. He said his arm felt well enough to go, so I put him in
there. I question whether that was the right decision. It wasn't a
good day for him or for us."

Couch, a former No. 1 draft pick who served as Cleveland's
starter most of the last five years, wasn't released by the Browns
in time to get a jump-start on Green Bay's intricate offense in the
June minicamp.

He sat out much of last week after overuse the first week led to
soreness in his throwing arm.

"You've got to realize it's a brand new offense. I've only been
in this offense a couple of weeks now," Couch said.

Favre completed 5 of 7 passes for 43 yards in two series, the
first of which ended on Ryan Longwell's 47-yard field goal, and
Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck completed 5 of 9 passes for 56 yards for
Seattle before giving way to Wallace, who was 14-of-26 for 135
yards and a score.

Couch looked nothing like those three.

He repeatedly overthrew or underthrew his receivers, was
indecisive in the pocket and unable to shake a troublesome hitch in
his delivery. His day came to a finish on a series in which he held
the ball too long and was sacked, then threw right into the
swatting hands of defensive end Omar Nazel as he backpedaled from
the pressure near his own goal line.

By then, the fans were letting him have it. Couch, who tearfully
criticized fans for booing him in Cleveland two years ago, said it
didn't bother him and he couldn't blame them.

"No, I'm pretty used to that, playing in Cleveland," he said.
"We weren't playing well and they should have (booed). We weren't
moving the football."

The loudest cheer from the crowd of 69,718 came when Pederson
replaced Couch in the third quarter.

The good thing about all of Couch's troubles was that it gave
third-round draft pick B.J. Sander plenty of chances to atone for
his 27.3-yard average in the Packers' intrasquad scrimmage on Aug.

Sander didn't distinguish himself, however, averaging an
ordinary 36.5 yards on 10 punts.

"We certainly gave him some opportunities, there is no question
about that. More than I would have cared to," Sherman said.

With Seattle's No. 2 and 3 quarterbacks, Trent Dilfer and Brock
Huard, out with back spasms, Wallace played most of the game. His
2-yard touchdown toss to Jerheme Urban made it 14-3 just before
halftime and his 19-yard completion to Chris Davis set up Kerry
Carter's 1-yard TD plunge with 3:44 left in the game.

The Packers may not admit it, but it was evident Monday night
they miss Mike McKenzie, their recalcitrant cornerback who has
skipped all offseason workouts in search of a trade.

"There is no update," said Sherman, who has vowed to quit
talking about McKenzie until there is.

McKenzie's replacement in the starting lineup, Michael
Hawthorne, surrendered two first downs on third-and-long on
Seattle's first touchdown drive, and first-round draft pick Ahmad
Carroll was whistled for pass interference, negating Mark Roman's
second-quarter interception.

After Hawthorne allowed third-down completions of 12 and 16
yards, fullback Mack Strong capped a 14-play, 68-yard drive when he
bullied in from 2 yards out.

"The 16-play drive (counting two penalties on defensive tackle
Cletidus Hunt) is a good thing to have in the preseason," Seahawks
coach Mike Holmgren said. "We caught lots of passes and ran a
little bit, so we put some things together offensively."

And defensively, as Couch can certainly attest.

Game notes
Seattle DT Rocky Bernard (knee) was carted off in the
second quarter, but Holmgren said he was more concerned about OL
Jerry Wunsch's injured ankle. ... Injured Packers were DB James
Whitley (concussion) and LT Atlas Herrion (knee).


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