A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Chris Clemons. His performance against the Arizona Cardinals looked as good on video as it did on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
We examined the against-all-odds efforts of the Seahawks’ “Leo” defensive end in our “Monday Metatarsal Musings,” and the coaches’ review showed that Clemons was all that and more.
“He had a great game,” coach Pete Carroll said. “When we went back over it, Clem was the big point-getter for the day with the knockdown and also contributing to Leroy’s sack. It was right to credit Leroy (Hill), but Clem’s rush; he was the first guy there.
“He had a big play in short-yardage. He has another tackle for a loss. He influenced the quarterback a couple different times. He had an excellent football game and he really looked like he was flying.”
Clemons came out flying last season, after being acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to fill the pivotal “Leo” spot in Carroll’s scheme. He finished with a career-high 11 sacks. But this season, he got off to a slower start after having offseason ankle surgery and then twisted the same ankle during a walk-thru the week of the season opener.
“I said that to you guys a couple weeks ago, that it didn’t look like he was quite back yet,” Carroll said. “He looked like it (Sunday). This was the guy that we watched last year, and he was on fire. I thought he had a very, very good game.”
Clemons also is one of the guys that Seahawks will unleash against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field this week, as QB Matt Ryan already has been sacked 13 times – compared to 23 all of last season – and hit 21 times.
Steven Hauschka. The kicker who was claimed off waivers on Sept. 4 – as a fourth option to replace Olindo Mare after the veteran signed with the Carolina Panthers in free agency – hit a 52-yard field goal against the Cardinals.
It wasn’t the longest of his career, as he kicked a 54-yard in 2008 while with the Baltimore Ravens.
But Hauschka has a league-low one touchback on his kickoffs.
“We knew he would kick the ball into the end zone,” Carroll said. “We didn’t know what would happen, but they’re returning 5-, 6- and 8-yard deep kicks. So it’s just an unusual year for evaluating.”
Five of Hauschka’s nine kickoffs have been into the end zone, but the opposition has returned them for 19, 28, 102, 23 and 51 yards.
“I think Steven’s got a big leg,” Carroll said. “He kicks the ball very controlled – really smooth motion. He banged a 52-yarder, no big deal, and came back and kicked the ball out one time. I think we’ll see more of that. I really do think he’s got more leg than we’ve seen so far.”
In addition to the one kick that was out of the end zone against the Cardinals, Carroll also credited Hauschka with doing “a really good job of placing the football” on two other kicks.
“We’re learning about him,” Carroll said. “I think he’s got enough potential about him. He’ll be pounding the ball here before long.”
STAT DU JOUR
Sunday’s game could feature two of the youngest starting offensive line in the league, according to Elias Sports Bureau. With an average age of 25 years, 212 days, the Seahawks are No. 3, while the Falcons are No. 4:
Team Average age
Steelers 25 years, 29 days
Broncos 25 years, 136 days
Seahawks 25 years, 212 days
Falcons 26 years, 80 days
The five Seahawks who will start against the Falcons have 52 NFL starts between them: center Max Unger (20), left tackle Russell Okung (13), left guard Paul McQuistan (13), right guard John Moffitt (three) and right tackle James Carpenter (three).
The Falcons starters last week have 345 combined starts: center Todd McClure (167), right tackle Tyson Clabo (72), left guard Justin Blalock (65), left tackle Sam Baker (38) and right guard Garrett Reynolds (three). But this unit could be different on Sunday, as Falcons coach Mike Smith is threaten to make changes.
The players return from their “off” day to begin preparing for the Falcons. Practice is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., and Carroll will hold his midweek news conference which will be carried live at Seahawks.com starting at noon.
JUST THE TICKET
YOU DON’T SAY
“(Kam) Chancellor’s block was a beautiful, textbook block that sent tight end Todd Heap flying. It’s the kind of block that will get you a highlight on SportsCenter and congratulated by coaches and teammates in films the next day. It’s also the kind of play that totally ignited the 12th Man, just as it would in any NFL city. It’s a momentum builder. It’s the essence of the hard-hitting legacy of the NFL and the kind of play that can turn an entire game around.” – former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman, writing on the mynorthwest.com blog at 710 ESPN