A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 29:
The rush continues. How is it that the Seahawks have been able to run for 100-plus yards in six of their past seven games, while losing three starting linemen during this stretch?
The linemen point to Tom Cable, while the team’s first-year assistant head coach/offensive line coach points to his system – and his approach to those who make the blocks that have helped Marshawn Lynch rush for a league-high 855 yards in the past eight games.
Breno Giacomini (for right tackle James Carpenter), Paul McQuistan (first for right guard John Moffitt and now for left tackle Russell Okung) and Lemuel Jeanpierre (for Moffitt) have been able to step in with the running game missing nary a beat because they’ve been treated like starters since training camp opened in late July.
“It’s the teaching, the coaching,” Giacomini said when asked the key to unlocking the continued success in the running game. “Every guy in the room prepares like they’re the starter, especially seeing all this change.”
Giacomini said his “moment” with Cable came during the second week of the season, when the Seahawks were not running the ball well but Cable stuck to his plan.
“That’s when I was like, ‘OK, I’m really going to listen to everything this guy says – every sentence; every “i” he dots and every “t” he crosses,” Giacomini said. “It’s been gradual, but you could see it pretty quick.”
It’s just the way Cable always has coached the position, and always will. And that starts with always treating all the linemen the same.
“I never have liked, or understood, how you can make this guy ‘all that,’ or this guy ‘all that,’ ” Cable said. “It’s B.S. to me. They’re all just tough guys who work hard, and want to get a job, and play professional football. So I think they ought to be treated that way.
“In our room, there’s no one bigger or greater than anyone else.”
With the possible exception of Cable, who has proved to be one the Seahawks’ best “gets” in a year where they’ve made 231 transactions.
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced for 105 minutes in the indoor practice facility as they continued to prepare for Sunday’s season finale against the Cardinals in Arizona. Linebacker Leroy Hill, rookie cornerback Byron Maxwell, practice-squad corner Coye Francies and cornerback Brandon Browner came up with interceptions on the final Turnover Thursday of the season. Browner made his in the end zone, while Maxwell’s came off a ball that was tipped by defensive end Chris Clemons.
IN ’N OUT
Leading tackler David Hawthorne and starting split end Ben Obomanu sat out practice for the second day, and were joined this afternoon by Giacomini and defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove.
With Giacomini out, Allen Barbre and Jarriel King got work at right tackle with the No. 1 line. K.J. Wright and Heath Farwell continued to replace Hawthorne at middle linebacker.
Obomanu ran sprints as well as routes on the side under the supervision of assistant trainer Donald Rich.
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
MLB David Hawthorne (knee)
WR Ben Obomanu (knee)
OT Breno Giacomini (abdominal)
DT Anthony Hargrove (calf)
CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
DT Clinton McDonald (concussion)
LB Malcolm Smith (concussion)
For the Cardinals:
Did not practice
OT Brandon Keith (ankle)
CB Patrick Peterson (Achilles)
S Rashad Johnson (knee)
QB Kevin Kolb (head)
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring)
RB Chris Wells (knee)
S Kerry Rhodes (ankle)
CB Michael Adams (shoulder)
S Sean Considine (foot)
Rhodes got some work today after being sidelined on Wednesday, and it’s looking like John Skelton will get the nod over Kolb because the Cardinals’ starting QB continues to be bothered by concussion-like symptoms.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks’ defense heads into Sunday’s season finale with a chance to do something only five other defenses in franchise history have accomplished: Finish in the Top 10 in the league in average yards allowed. If they pull it off, it will be the first time since 1997 it has happened. The Seahawks currently rank No. 9, allowing an average of 328.5 yards – only 2 yards fewer than the 10th-ranked Browns and 6.6 fewer than the 11th-ranked Chargers. The Cardinals are averaging 354.2 yards, so …
Here’s a look at how this year’s unit stacks up against the other Seahawk defenses that ranked in the Top 10:
Year Rank; average yards allowed
1984 No. 6; 310.2
1990 No. 9; 288.1
1991 No. 8; 293.9
1992 No. 10; 286.4
1997 No. 8; 303.1
2011 No. 9; 328.5
The final Friday of the regular season. The players will have a walk-through, practice and meetings in their final full day of preparation for Sunday’s season finale.
YOU DON’T SAY
“ ‘Lock’ came a long way. He was kind of a deer in headlights when he first got here; just running real fast. Like Forrest Gump, just running. Just running. He’s gotten better throughout the season. He’s come out here and worked real hard every day. You see every day; he’s making a great catch or outrunning somebody. That shows his ability. But he’s building on it and working on the mental aspects of it. He’s come a long way since Day One of training camp. He’s got a long ways to go. But he can definitely do it.” – QB Tarvaris Jackson on rookie free agent wide receiver Ricardo Lockette