A recap of the day’s activities:
Quinton Ganther, through the smiling eyes of Marshawn Lynch. Ganther – the veteran, and versatile, running back – hasn’t just returned, he’s among old friends.
Ganther, who was re-signed Tuesday, had been released Sept. 28 – eight days before Lynch was acquired in the trade with the Buffalo Bills. They grew up together in Oakland and played on rival Pop Warner teams.
“I was 11 or 12, and Quinton was like 30,” Lynch cracked in the locker room before today’s practice – the first to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Raiders in Oakland.
“He was the only dude on the Pop Warner team who had a full mustache and a beard. And he used to drive to Pop Warner games. You’re not supposed to be doing that. It was crazy.”
Lynch was talking crazy, of course, but not that crazy. Ganther was, as they say, a man among boys in the Oakland Pop Warner league that served as a launching pad for the NFL careers of Lynch and Ganther, who are now teammates for the first time.
Lynch has grown into a 215-pound bruiser of a back whose running style is nicknamed “Beast Mode.” But he insists that Ganther was the same size in Pop Warner as he is now (5-9, 220).
“It was ridiculous,” Lynch said. “Every time he touched the ball he scored. That’s real. I’m not exaggerating. Every time he’d touch the ball he would score.”
So Lynch was a Ganther fan long before they finally became teammates.
“I was the little snotty-nosed kid playing for the Saints saying, ‘I want to be like Quinton when I get older,’ ” Lynch said. “He’d just run everybody over, just stiff-arming guys instead of jumping over. He’s a legend.”
Sunday, the “Legend” could be the lead blocker for the “Beast.” Ganther was re-signed because fullback Michael Robinson injured a hamstring in Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals and might not be able to play against the Raiders.
“I always wanted to play with Marshawn because he’s like family,” said Ganther, who also has the cubicle next to Lynch in the locker room. “We were always close, so it’s unreal right now.”
Left tackle. With Russell Okung sidelined again, with a high sprain of his left ankle after missing 5½ weeks earlier because of a high sprain of his right ankle, Tyler Polumbus is back at left tackle with the No. 1 unit today. Polumbus started the first three games when Okung was out and also stepped in against the Cardinals after Okung went out.
Just in case, guard Mike Gibson got some work at right tackle today, as well as left guard; and tackle Breno Giacomini was signed to the practice squad on Tuesday. With left guard Ben Hamilton being given the day off by coach Pete Carroll, Chester Pitts worked in his spot.
But Carroll is not counted Okung out for Sunday’s game.
“Russell is improving,” Carroll said. “We don’t know, so we’ll go day to day with that one.”
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced in full pads for 90 minutes on another one of those days along the shores of Lake Washington – not the wind and rain that ruled Monday and Tuesday, but sun and a slight breeze.
Nate Ness filled in at right cornerback with the No. 1 defense because starter Kelly Jennings remains sidelined and backup Walter Thurmond was given the day off. Ness took advantage of the opportunity on “Competition Wednesday” by intercepting one pass and reaching across a receiver to slap away another.
The official report, as released by the team:
Did not practice
WR Brandon Stokley (oblique)
FB Michael Robinson (hamstring)
OT Russell Okung (ankle)
OG Ben Hamilton (coach decision)
DE Chris Clemons (coach decision)
DT Brandon Mebane (calf)
LB Matt McCoy (hamstring)
CB Kelly Jennings (hamstring)
CB Walter Thurmond (head)
Raheem Brock and Kentwan Balmer stepped in for Clemons and Mebane on the right side of the defensive line.
Carroll said that Mebane could return to practice on Thursday, and Jennings will try. Mebane has missed the past two games, while Jennings aggravated an injury in the Bears games and then did not play against the Cardinals.
For the Raiders:
Did not practice
OG Robert Gallery (calf)
DT John Henderson (foot)
CB Chris Johnson (concussion)
WR Louis Murphy (chest)
WR Chaz Schilens (knee)
Limited in practice
RB Michael Bennett (hamstring)
S Hiram Eugene (pectoral)
LB Travis Goethel (back)
QB Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder)
LB Thomas Howard (knee)
TE Zach Miller (foot)
C Samson Satele (concussion)
DE Matt Shaughnessy (concussion)
LB Kamerion Wimbley
Raiders coach Tom Cable said today that Gradkowski remains the starting QB, when he’s healthy. He has missed the past two games, when Jason Campbell has started.
“Bruce Gradkowski has improved,” Cable said. “So we’ll see where that’s at, if he’s ready to do all the things we need him to do.”
The players will practice Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The team leaves for Oakland on Saturday, after at walk-thru at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
“It’s a very serious opportunity for us and I’m really anxious to see if we can put together the kind of week that we know we’re capable of and then take it down there and see if we can get a win against a team that really couldn’t be much more fired up about themselves right now,” Carroll said.
STAT DU JOUR
Justin Forsett is averaging 5.1 yards per carry in road games since joining the Seahawks in 2008 – with 575 yards on 113 carries.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s the greatest high school in America, the greatest place on earth. That’s where football should have been started. … I love that place. It’s awesome, awesome. Flat out awesome.” – Cable, who grew up there, on Snohomish and Snohomish High School