THIS WEEK: The Packers kick off the preseason in a rematch with the Seattle Seahawks, televised nationally on ESPN. The teams are the last in the NFL to open preseason play.
TELEVISION: ESPN, with play-by-play man Pat Summerall (replacing Mike Patrick), color commentators Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire, sideline reporter Suzy Kolber, producer Jay Rothman and director Chip Dean...The ESPN broadcast will also air in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the North American Sports Network (NASN).
LOCAL RADIO: Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 62-station Packers Radio Network. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Larry McCarren (color) begin their sixth season together.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Seahawks:
All-time regular season: 5-4-0
Last meeting, regular season: Oct. 5, 2003,
Lambeau Field (Packers won, 35-13)
Last meeting, Seattle: Sept. 29, 1996,
Kingdome (Packers won, 31-10)
Only meeting, preseason: Aug. 12, 1983,
Kingdome (Seahawks won, 38-21)
*Former Packers head coaches Mike Holmgren (1992-98) and Ray Rhodes (1999) return to face off against former Holmgren pupil Mike Sherman.
*The Packers have had only 13 head coaches. The Oct. 5, 2003, contest was believed to be the first Packers game ever involving as many as three of those 13.
Mike Sherman: 45-24-0, .652, fifth NFL season, fifth with Packers
Mike Holmgren: 125-83-0, .601, 13th NFL season, sixth with Seahawks
SHERMAN...enters his fifth year as Packers head coach, and fourth as
executive vice president and general manager. Sherman also:
*Could become one of the fastest coaches in NFL history to reach 50 regular-season wins.
*Coached three seasons with Holmgren, in Green Bay as tight ends coach (1997-98) and in Seattle as offensive coordinator (1999).
*Since the merger, only three have posted a better regular-season record over their first four years as an NFL coach.
HOLMGREN...begins Year No. 6 at the reins of the Seahawks. He also:
*Led Seattle in 2003 to a 10-6 mark, its most wins since 1986.
*Returned the Seahawks to the playoffs in 2003, after a playoff berth in 1999, his first year as head coach (previously, last berth was 1988).
*With the Packers, won at least one game in five straight postseasons, joining John Madden as one of two coaches to accomplish the feat.
IN 2003: Green Bay won the two meetings, both at Lambeau Field, a 35-13 victory Oct. 5 and a 33-27 triumph in overtime, Jan. 4, in the Wild Card playoffs.
*Game 1 saw Ahman Green rush for 118 yards and two TDs in his first meeting with the team and coach (Mike Holmgren) who traded him before the 2000 season. Brett Favre added two TD passes, and Green Bay's defense shut out Seattle in the second half.
*Al Harris ended the second meeting on a sudden- death 52-yard interception return, the first time a defensive TD decided an NFL overtime playoff. Shaun Alexander (three) and Green (two) combined for five rushing TDs.
Other notable connections...Seattle offensive coordinator Gil Haskell coached in Green Bay from 1992-97...Rhodes and Packers receivers coach Ray Sherman were together on the 1991 San Francisco staff...Seattle S Ken Hamlin played with CB Ahmad Carroll, the Packers first-round draft pick, at Arkansas from 2001-02...Packers CB Joey Thomas was born, went to high school, began college and still lives in Seattle...Green Bay CB/S Michael Hawthorne and DE Chukie Nwokorie played at Purdue with Seahawks DE Chike Okeafor during the late 1990s...Packers CB Al Harris joined Seattle CB Bobby Taylor in Philadelphia from 1998-2002...QB Doug Pederson (Bellingham) and K Ryan Longwell (Seattle) are Washington natives.