Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Dec. 29:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at the mold-breaking strong safeties in Sunday’s season finale – the Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor and the Cardinals’ Adrian Wilson: “(They) tower over the other strong safeties in the NFC this season. That is true not only in their accomplishments – Wilson is a Pro Bowl starter, Chancellor a first alternate – but in their physical dimensions. They are the biggest starting strong safeties in the NFL at a time when the prevailing NFL trends have led teams in another direction at the position. Wilson stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 230 pounds. Chancellor goes 6-3 and 232. The other 30 starting strong safeties average 6 feet and 207 pounds.”
Sando also has a look at the injury situations that matter for both teams. First, the Seahawks: “The Seahawks, like the Rams, have a long list of players on injured reserve. Unlike the Rams, their 53 active players are relatively healthy, and they have developed young depth throughout the roster. Linebacker David Hawthorne and receiver Ben Obomanu missed practice Wednesday. Both have knee injuries. Depth at receiver is a concern for the Seahawks now that Sidney Rice and Mike Williams are on injured reserve. The team expects to have Obomanu against Arizona on Sunday.” But also the Cardinals: “It’s looking like John Skelton will remain the Cardinals’ starting quarterback while Kevin Kolb continues to work through concussion-related symptoms. Kolb is practicing on a limited basis. Skelton was the player Cardinals officials made available to Seattle reporters on a conference call Wednesday. Patrick Peterson’s injured Achilles’ tendon will not require surgery, but his availability for Sunday remains in question. Peterson, right tackle Brandon Keith and free safety Kerry Rhodes missed practice Wednesday. Playing without Peterson on Sunday would affect the Cardinals significantly in the return game and on defense. Running back Beanie Wells was limited. His knee injury remains a factor. Wells has not exceeded 15 carries in any of the Cardinals’ past three games. He has had no runs longer than 9 yards in the four games since setting a franchise record with 228 yards against St. Louis.”
Joshua Mayers at the Seattle Times looks at Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander in 2005: “ ‘I feel I became a pro this year,’ said Lynch.”
Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil checks in with Brandon Browner, who has gone from CFL cornerback to Pro Bowl alternate in his first season with the Seahawks: “ ‘I kept my room TV on the NFL Network,’ he said. ‘Throughout the whole time I was in the CFL. It never left the NFL Network unless I was playing a video game. That was a must-have.’ That long-distance relationship is what makes this season, and Browner’s selection as a Pro Bowl alternate, one of the most unlikely, endearing stories not just on the Seahawks, but in the entire league. ‘Brandon just comes out of nowhere,’ coach Pete Carroll said.
Eric Williams at the News Tribune says the selection of Earl Thomas to the Pro Bowl and the first alternate status of Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor indicates the secondary should be an area of strength for seasons to come: “Seattle defensive backs coach Kris Richard sensed this group was special during training camp. ‘I’m very humbled by the acknowledgement,’ Richard said. ‘And it’s a testament to the guys’ hard work and their dedication. And it’s been emphasized from Day 1. They set high standards for themselves, and have competed well to live up to or surpass those standards.’ ”
Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling says Thomas earned his Pro Bowl berth: “Many players in the NFL say they aspire to greatness. Far fewer are willing to put in the work it takes to earn it. Earl Thomas is one of those. And this week it was recognized when Thomas was voted the Seahawks’ first Pro Bowl starter since 2008. ‘We always know what we’re going to get out of Earl,’ defensive end Red Bryant said. ‘He’s the hardest worker. He studies hard. He’s all about his teammates and he’s all about business.’ ”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at how the depth on the injury-depleted offensive line has helped the second-half surge in the running game: “As seems to be the case every year with the Seahawks, offensive line injuries have piled up this season, but unlike the past couple of seasons when injuries have caused the offense to go stagnant, the Seahawks have managed to show continuous growth even as starters go down with season-ending injuries.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how Earl Thomas, a Pro Bowl starter, and cornerback Brandon Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor, first alternates, shared their recognition with their teammates on the Seahawks’ ninth-ranked defense: “Said Thomas, ‘As a whole, we’ve been playing great together. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those guys. You’ve got guys that deserve to be here – guys like ‘Big Red’ (defensive end Red Bryant); ‘Clem’ (defensive end Chris Clemons); Kam has been playing great; both our corners (Browner and rookie Richard Sherman). I could name the whole defense. It’s just great when you have that kind of chemistry back there and everybody knows each other.’ ”
We’ve also got a look at Michael Robinson’s real role in “Wednesday in Hawkville”: “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.’ ” And there’s also Tony Ventrella’s video recap.
Peter King at SI.com gives a thumbs-up to Thomas’ selection to the Pro Bowl in this video report. And Doug Farrar at YahooSports.com looks at hidden Pro Bowl players on defense, including the Seahawks’ Chris Clemons, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor; and on offense, including Marshawn Lynch, Michael Robinson and Doug Baldwin.