KIRKLAND - Rookie quarterback Rick Mirer is being kidded about his contract, especially the phrase that says he gets paid under all conditions "up to and including the end of the world."
Mirer was talking to reporters yesterday when his witty roommate, Jeff Graham, piped up from a nearby bench.
"Now, you're riding in a space shuttle and while you're in orbit the world explodes. Do you still get paid?"
Without missing a beat, Mirer said, "I keep the shuttle."
-- As expected, Coach Tom Flores said he expects to start Dan McGwire tomorrow night against the Vikings in Minnesota, with Mirer playing in the second half.
-- Guard Jeff Blackshear, one of the most promising rookies in camp, has lost 20 pounds and weighs 310.
-- High-school teammates in the same pro camp are a rarity, but the Seahawks have such a twosome in cornerback Carlton Gray and free-agent linebacker Marcus Evans. They played at Forest Park High School in suburban Cincinnati.
-- It was pick-a-rama at practice with Gray, Rod Stephens, Robert Blackmon and Dedrick Dodge making interceptions. Most came when the offense was running Minnesota's plays.
-- Players who won't travel to Minnesota because of injuries are receiver Tommy Kane (Achilles' tendon), linebacker Rufus Porter (hamstring), running back Muhammad Shamsid-Deen (foot), guard Mitch Frerotte (neck) and running back Alex Smith (back).
-- Held out of practice but traveling to Minnesota are cornerback Patrick Hunter (Achilles' tendon), safety Rafael Robinson (back), and linebacker Bob Spitulski (shoulder). Rookie receiver Terrence Warren felt a hamstring tighten during the practice and had to take it easy. Returning to practice and expected to play tomorrow were defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy (knee) and receiver Michael Bates (hamstring).
-- With oldest Seahawk Ronnie Lee, 36, gone, the only remaining players on the team born in the 1950s are center Ray Donaldson, 35, and linebacker E.J. Junior, 33. Nine roster players are at least 30.
-- Donaldson will start at center tomorrow in place of Joe Tofflemire, who continues to have shoulder pain. Tofflemire had shoulder surgery in the offseason, then held out eight days. Flores said the pain is to be expected. "He's going through now what he should have been going through a while back."