Seahawk Notebook -- Jon Kitna's Back, For NFL Tutelage

KIRKLAND - Jon Kitna spent the last week moving into a new place, playing golf and relaxing.

But yesterday, he was delighted to bring his forced vacation to an end. Signed to the Seahawk practice squad a week after he was waived off their roster, Kitna began his new job: Learning to be an NFL quarterback.

Seahawk Coach Dennis Erickson has said several times he believes Kitna has the raw tools to play professionally, but needs time - a few years, perhaps - to develop. To Erickson, that is the main function of the practice squad.

Kitna, running back Dou Innocent, wide receiver Grayson Shillingford, fullback Oscar Gray and defensive tackle Riddick Parker were brought back for the practice squad.

"Coach (Dennis) Erickson told me the Wednesday before the Indianapolis game (Aug. 17) what was likely to happen," Kitna said. "As much as there's a sure thing in the NFL, I felt it was pretty sure I was going to come back. They let me know when they released me last Sunday I'd be back in a week."

The only hitch would have been if Kitna was claimed by another team, but the former Central Washington University quarterback wasn't worried.

"No one knew about me before I came here," he said. "And I didn't play that much in the preseason, especially not enough for someone to say, `Hey, we've got to have this guy.' "


-- The Seahawk players voted quarterback Rick Mirer and running back Chris Warren as their offensive captains, linebackers Winston Moss and Terry Wooden as their defensive captains, and punter Rick Tuten as special-teams captain.

-- Strong safety Robert Blackmon missed yesterday's practice. He was given permission to go home to Houston on personal business. He was to return today.

-- Starting left guard Pete Kendall, who had a screw and two pins inserted into his fractured right thumb Saturday, was held out of all but conditioning yesterday. His hand is covered by a fiberglass cast. Veteran Ed Cunningham is working out at guard, and Erickson said Cunningham or rookie Frank Beede would replace Kendall, if necessary.

-- Tight end Christian Fauria, who missed the exhibition season with a fractured finger, returned to practice yesterday. "He caught the ball, ran routes and looked like he was in good condition," Erickson said. "It didn't look like he was in any pain. I still don't think he has full flexibility, but he'll be able to play."

-- With the final roster cuts in place, many players seized vacated jersey numbers. Fauria changed from 85 to 86, guard Derrick Graham from 73 to 77, Kendall from 65 to 66, wide receiver Mike Pritchard from 9 to 85, and linebacker Eric Unverzagt from 47 to 53.

-- Seahawk players Joey Galloway and Sam Adams will "fly" with the famed Tuskegee Airmen tonight in Lynnwood, using a flight simulator to embark on a cyberspace mission. The event is to aid the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Fund.