A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 8:
Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks’ Skittles-back was a focal point at VMAC as well as in St. Louis, where the Rams are preparing for Monday night’s nationally televised game at CenturyLink Field.
“Marshawn is a great back,” Rams defensive end Chris Long said today during a conference-call interview. “I think he’s a powerful guy, a guy who obviously makes something out of nothing. He’s the kind of guy that breaks tackles and you can’t go to sleep on him.
“I think he’s the guy that makes that offense go. No disrespect to anybody else on that offense, but I do think Marshawn is kind of that X-factor and they’ve built around him and they’ve kind of decided to settle into a certain scheme with him – a zone scheme – and he does a great job with it.”
Lynch definitely is on a roll. He has rushed for 100-plus yards in four of his past five games and scored in his past eight games – which ties for the second-longest streak in franchise history. He’s also coming off a 148-yard, two-TD effort against the Eagles last Thursday night.
But the one game in his run where Lynch did not crack triple digits came three weeks ago against the Rams in St. Louis. He gained 88 yards on 27 carries, for a 3.3-yard average that was his lowest in the past five games.
Despite that minor bump in his road to a 1,000-yard season, and the loss of three starting linemen to injuries, the Seahawks remain committed to featuring their Beast Mode back.
“With a back like Marshawn, things may look dead and he’s going to squirt out of there,” left guard Robert Gallery said.
That was obviously the case on Lynch’s 15-yard TD run against the Eagles, where he disappeared into a pile of players only to pop out and score.
“He kind of got stuck in there, then all of a sudden he’s coming out,” Gallery said. “It’s a tribute to him to be able to keep his feet moving and pop out of there when the time calls for it.”
Russell Okung. Out of sight, but not out of mind. That’s the Seahawks’ left tackle who is on injured reserve after tearing his right pectoral against the Eagles.
“Obviously he’s had his share of freak things happen,” said Gallery, who has talked to Okung since the injury. “But it is what it is. It’s part of the game. Obviously he’s upset. You don’t want to get hurt. You want to play.
“But he’s in good spirits. He got it taken care of and now he’s just got to get healthy and be ready for next year.”
Okung, last year’s first-round draft choice, will be missed because he had been playing at a high level.
“Really good. Big time,” offensive line coach Tom Cable said when asked about Okung’s performance in recent weeks. “He was playing like you’d expect a guy you draft that high to play. Particularly the last five or six weeks, I don’t think anybody was playing at his level at that spot. It was just dominant, protecting the quarterback and you can run to him you can run away from him.”
IN ’N OUT
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne sat out practice to rest a sore knee and was replaced by K.J. Wright, who in turn was replaced by Mike Morgan at strong side linebacker. But quarterback Tarvaris Jackson took all the starter reps in the 95-minute practice that was held in the indoor practice facility.
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
MLB David Hawthorne (knee)
DE Raheem Brock (calf)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)
CB Byron Maxwell (illness)
QB Tarvaris Jackson
For the Rams:
Did not practice
QB Sam Bradford (ankle)
QB A.J. Feeley (right thumb)
DE Chris Long (ankle)
KR Quinn Porter (abdomen)
DT Fred Robbins (back)
OT Mark LeVoir (chest)
DE Eugene Sims (ankle)
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said today that he is hopeful Bradford will be able to play Monday night, but that No. 3 QB Tom Brandstater will get most of the work in practice.
“We’re always going to put the health of the player first and foremost,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s kind of where we were at last week (going into the game against the 49ers) in deciding that we didn’t want to put (Sam) in a position where it could go backwards. We just felt, and we’re hopeful, (with) another eight days that he’ll feel better and be up on his toes and just get him out of any kind of danger zone.
“Should we get to the end of the week and think that that’s not the case, then we’re going to protect Sam first. … What we’re trying to do is get him to the game. So his reps will be very, very limited and then we’ll see where we’re at when we get to Monday.”
STAT DU JOUR
Despite that 16-points-in-10-minutes blip against the Redskins two weeks ago, the Seahawks’ defense remains one of the stingiest in the NFL when it comes to allowing fourth-quarter points and touchdowns. Here’s where they rank in the league in both categories:
Fourth-quarter points allowed
Fourth-quarter touchdowns allowed
Only five teams have scored fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Seahawks’ defense, but four of the eight TDs it has allowed have come in the past four games: Giants, 68-yard pass; Cowboys, 6-yard pass; Ravens, 11-yard pass; Redskins, 28-yard run and 50-yard pass; Eagles, 2-yard pass.
Opponents also have scored four fourth-quarter TDs against the Seahawks on returns: 49ers, 102-yard kickoff return and 55-yard punt return; Bengals, 56-yard punt return and 75-yard interception return.
The week that really isn’t as it seems continues, as the players will hold their Thursday practice on Friday and their Friday practice on Saturday in preparation for Monday night’s game.
Tickets remain for the game against the Rams and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think it’s contagious. It gets everybody excited. We all know the ability that he has. … That’s what we always felt about him, that he can make those big plays and that he has that ability.” – offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell when asked about Lynch’s style of play and its affect on the entire offense