A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 16:
Michael Robinson. How good a lead blocker has the Seahawks’ fullback been this season? The best in the league, as selected by USA Football.
Coach Pete Carroll announced at the team meeting this morning that Robinson had been named to the third annual All-Fundamentals Team – which honors 26 players who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth football players to emulate.
“It was a surprise for Mike and the players to hear about his award,” Carroll said after practice, the team’s final full workout before Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago. “Mike is well-deserving. He’s a great football player and a great effort guy, a great team guy. He does everything right.
“So for them to recognize him is fitting, and the team rallied behind him and was exciting for him.”
In its release on the team, the organization said Robinson “is like another lineman in the backfield with his ability to run block,” and specified his “exceptional vision and pad level.”
The recognition is nice, but Robinson has other priorities.
“It’s cool, but it’s my job,” he said. “I just like to play football. It doesn’t mean anything if we’re not winning, so I’m just glad we won the last few games. Things like are nice as long as we can keep it going.”
As part of his selection, Robinson receives a $1,500 equipment grant from the organization to donate to a youth or high school football program and also a custom-made Riddell helmet trophy.
Also named to the team:
Offense – Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (throwing mechanics); Texans running back Arian Foster (following blocks/ball security); wide receivers Eric Decker of the Broncos and Donald Driver of the Packers (catching with hands); Steelers tight end Heath Miller (run blocking/catching); and a running-blocking line of Jets center Nick Mangold (also combo block), Giants guard David Diehl and Saints guard Carl Nicks (also drive block) and Panthers tackle Jordan Gross (also combo blocking) and Browns tackle Joe Thomas (pass blocking footwork).
Defense – Chiefs end Tamba Hali (pass rush); the defeating-a-block foursome of Bears end Julius Peppers, Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata (also arm over rush), 49ers tackle Justin Smith (also bull rush) and 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (also tackling); Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (tackling); 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (gaining ground downhill/tackling); Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes (pass coverage); Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (playing the ball); Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins (breaking up the pass); and Chargers safety Eric Weddle (footwork in coverage).
Special teams – Bears return man Devin Hester (kick catching/returning); Vikings snapper Cullen Loeffler (long snapping mechanics); Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee (kicking mechanics); Raiders punter Shane Lechler (punting mechanics).
And who selected this team? Jim Mora, the former Seahawks coach and now coach at UCLA; Charles Davis, analyst for NFL Network and Fox Sports; Herm Edwards, former Bengals coach and ESPN analyst; Merrill Hodge, former NFL running back and ESPN analyst; and Carl Peterson, former executive with the Chiefs.
LYNCH A WINNER, TOO
Marshawn Lynch has been voted the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week after rushing for 115 yards and a touchdown in Monday night’s victory over the Rams.
This is first such award for a Seahawks player this season.
For the first in a long time, all players participated in today’s 85-minute practice. Left guard Robert Gallery and defensive end Raheem Brock were back after missing two days, while cornerback Richard Sherman and offensive lineman Jarriel King returned after sitting out Thursday. Carroll expects all to be ready for the Bears, with the possible exception of King.
Here’s the official end-of-the-week status report:
OL Jarriel King (hamstring)
DE Raheem Brock (calf)
OG Robert Gallery (hip)
CB Richard Sherman (knee)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)
LB Leroy Hill (neck)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)
LB David Hawthorne (knee)
For the Bears:
QB Jay Cutler (right thumb)
RB Matt Forte (knee)
WR Sam Hurd (not injury related)
DT Henry Melton (shin)
Devin Hester (ankle)
CB Charles Tillman (knee)
OG Edwin Williams (calf)
S Major Wright (shoulder)
Cutler and Forte were not expected to play, and Hester also did not practice today.
STAT DU JOUR
With four interceptions in the past three games, cornerback Brandon Browner has a team-leading five in his first season with the Seahawks. His total ties him for the third most in the past 13 seasons. Here’s a look at the interception leaders in each of those seasons:
Year Player, interceptions
2011 Brandon Browner, 5
2010 Earl Thomas, 5
2009 David Hawthorne and Deon Grant, 3
2008 Josh Wilson, 4
2007 Marcus Trufant, 7
2006 Ken Hamlin, 3
2005 Michael Boulware, 4
2004 Ken Lucas, 6
2003 Reggie Tongue, 4
2002 Reggie Tongue, 5
2001 Willie Williams, 4
2000 Jay Bellamy and Willie Williams, 4
1999 Shawn Springs and Willie Williams, 5
The team flew to Chicago after today’s practice and will hold a walk-through there on Saturday. They will return Sunday night to a short week, as they host the 49ers on Christmas Eve at CenturyLink Field. Tickets are available for the Saturday home finale and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We think he’s a great player that can control a football game, so we have to respect the heck out of him. That means it’s in the plans in all areas – run and pass, and third down and early down stuff. He’s just a real problem. You’ll see how we do. We don’t know. But we have a lot of regard for what he can do and how he can control a football game. So we have to do something about him constantly.” – Carroll on Bears defensive Julius Peppers