A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 28:
Michael Robinson. In official Pro Bowl parlance, the Seahawks’ lead-blocker is listed as the first alternate at fullback to the NFC squad that was announced Tuesday. But Tom Cable has a different take on the situation.
“I have a running joke, I think the fullback is just a pseudo guard,” Cable, the team’s assistant head coach/offensive line coach said today after practice. “I think he has to buy in like they do up front (on the line) about where he fits.
“You can’t fit in the middle; you’ve got to fit on the outside half. Or you’ve got to fit in the middle on this. Or whatever it is, to where you fit. So you’re just like a lineman to me. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Mike has been exceptional at growing that way.”
Whatever Robinson is doing, it’s working. Heading into Sunday’s season finale against the Cardinals in Arizona, the Seahawks have rushed for 100-plus yards in seven of their past eight games – after doing it twice in their first seven games. Saturday, in a two-point loss to the 49ers, Marshawn Lynch became the first player this season to score a rushing touchdown against the NFC West Champions, as well as the first back to rush for 100-plus yards against San Francisco since 2009.
And Lynch is the first to point to Robinson for his thankless contributions for everything Lynch and the running game has been able to accomplish as the Seahawks have won five of their past seven games.
Not bad for a guy who played quarterback in college, and didn’t become a true lead-blocking fullback until he signed with the Seahawks last season.
“No. No. I didn’t think that,” Robinson said when asked if he ever envisioned himself being a Pro Bowl alternate at the position when he entered the NFL. “But it’s definitely an honor to know that people thought that much of me to vote for me to be an alternate.
“But again, the coaches did a great job putting me in advantageous situations and all I had to do was go play.”
At a Pro Bowl level.
“He’s not maybe the most physical guy at it, but he’s very intelligent and he’s just continued to grow like everybody else,” Cable said.
IN ’N OUT
Leading tackler David Hawthorne and starting split end Ben Obomanu sat out today’s 90-minute practice to rest sore knees. Obomanu tweaked his in the Christmas Eve game against the 49ers, while Hawthorne has been playing with a sore knee for much of the season.
With Hawthorne out, strongside ’backer K.J. Wright and Heath Farwell both worked at middle linebacker with the No. 1 defense.
Coach Pete Carroll said he thinks Obomanu will be able to play Sunday, but when asked about the receiving crew if the 6-foot-1 Obomanu can’t play, he said, “Well, it’s getting thin. And we’re getting younger.” Carroll then laughed as he added, “And we’re also getting shorter.”
That’s because 6-5 Mike Williams, 6-4 Sidney Rice and 6-6 Kris Durham are on injured reserve. So with Obomanu watching today, the wide receivers were Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Deon Butler, all 5-10; and 6-2 rookie Ricardo Lockette.
“Ricardo Lockette is towering over everyone right now,” Carroll cracked.
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
MLB David Hawthorne (knee)
WR Ben Obomanu (knee)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
DT Clinton McDonald (concussion)
LB Malcolm Smith (concussion)
Cox, McDonald and Smith were back after sitting out the game against the 49ers and not practicing last week.
For the Cardinals:
Did not practice
OT Brandon Keith (ankle)
CB Patrick Peterson (Achilles)
S Kerry Rhodes (ankle)
S Sean Considine (foot)
S Rashad Johnson (knee)
QB Kevin Kolb (head)
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring)
RB Chris Wells (knee)
CB Michael Adams (shoulder)
John Skelton is 5-2 as the starting QB in Kolb’s absence, but the concussed Kolb was the Cardinals’ big acquisition this season.
Asked about his QB situation during a conference-call interview today, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt put it this way, “We’ve been preparing (Kolb) to play with the idea that he was going to get better and be able to do it and then he would have a setback. So we’re kind of in that cycle right now. As he continues to progress, he won’t have those and then he’ll be able to play. So we’re working Kevin, and we’re working John. And we’re trying to see if Kevin can be ready or not.”
STAT DU JOUR
Despite allowing a touchdown and three fields in the second half of Saturday’s two-point loss to the 49ers, the Seahawks’ defense still ranks second in the league in touchdowns and points allowed in the second half this season. Here are the leaders in both categories:
Second-half defensive TDs allowed
Second-half defensive points allowed
The players will be back at it on their final Thursday of the regular season, with meetings, a walk-through and practice as they continue to prepare for Sunday’s season finale.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He’s just a guy that really is open even when he’s not open. He makes a quarterback’s life easier. He’s a big target out there. Even when he does get covered, it attracts a lot of attention and it opens things up for other guys. Being a young quarterback and having someone like that in your development really helps.” – Skelton on teammate Larry Fitzgerald, who has caught 93 passes for 1,222 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 career games against the Seahawks