Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 21.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times focuses on quarterback Matt Flynn, who before the season began was expected by many to be starting under center on Monday Night Football against his former team – the Green Bay Packers, “Flynn is the other side to Seattle’s quarterback competition because he was vying for the opportunity Wilson earned. And while Flynn didn’t lose that starting job so much as Wilson won it, this must be more than a little disappointing for Flynn. On Thursday, he got to sit in his locker while half a dozen reporters tried to find a polite way to ask about the reality that he’s not the one starting against his former team. ‘It’s not my decision to make,’ Flynn said. ‘I’m proud of the way that I’ve played and I’ve picked everything up and how I’ve handled coming into a new situation. I can’t control anything. I’m just trying to make the team better and make myself better, and stay confident.’ ”
O’Niel also catches up with wide receiver Golden Tate, who has confirmed he was fine $21,000 for his block of Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, and plans to appeal the fine, ” ‘I’m going to ask them that: ‘What would you suggest that I do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again?’ ‘ Tate said. ‘Because I never have intentions on injuring a player, and I always want to play within the rules. So that’s a question that is going to come up when I have my appeal.’ ”
Steve Kelley details the play of tackle Frank Omiyale, who stepped in for tackle Russell Okung in the team’s win over the Cowboys, and has a look at the offensive line as a whole, “They sit together along a row of lockers at the training facility, anonymous hulks who understand their roles and support each other like brothers. Guard/center Lemuel Jeanpierre calls this group his football family. ‘We don’t have starters anymore,’ starting center Max Unger said. He was kidding, but there is truth in jest. Last year, when the offensive linemen started falling, Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan and Jeanpierre filled in and the Seahawks might have gotten better. Omiyale, Giacomini, McQuistan and Jeanpierre. In a league that loves its superstars, these are the team’s silent MVPs. They are the products of offensive-line coach Tom Cable’s system. ‘Our practices are as valuable to us as the games are,’ Jeanpierre said. ‘Around here, every day you’re getting watched, everybody’s getting watched. You have to be prepared every day. I think that’s the reason Frank was able to go in there on Sunday and do his job. There’s no big heads on the O-line around here, from the starters to the practice-squad guys. We take care of each other. We push each other. We’re in competition with each other. And we’re always trying to learn something new.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details Flynn’s adjustment to the backup quarterback role here in Seattle, “Fast forward to six months after he signed, and Flynn finds himself in the same position he was in Green Bay: backup quarterback. ‘I’m ready to go whenever I need to go,’ Flynn said Thursday as the Seahawks prepared to play his former team. ‘That’s how I’m going to look at it. I still have confidence, and I think I can get the job done if I needed to.’ Although understandably disappointed and frustrated, Flynn has handled the situation well, helping his new team prepare for his old one [the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football] by mimicking close friend Aaron Rodgers during practice. ‘I’ve been running that offense for four years,’ Flynn said with a grin. ‘So I guess if anybody can imitate him, I’m going to have a good chance of trying.’ ”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps a pair of Thursday teleconferences with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and head coach Mike McCarthy, “Both Rodgers and Packers coach Mike McCarthy used the term “fly around” to describe the Seahawks’ aggressive defense. ‘The one thing that always stands out when you watch the Seahawks play, particularly at home, is just the energy,’ McCarthy said. ‘When you talk about energy, I think it really describes their whole defense. So, it’s a very active football team. (They had a) big win last week against Dallas, and we know we’re coming into a rough environment.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald offers comments from coach Carroll, as well as offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, on Flynn’s handling of the role of backup quarterback thus far, “Disappointed or not, Flynn has handled being a backup — once again — as well as can be expected according to his coaches. ‘He’s responded well,’ Carroll said. ‘I asked him just walking out if it feels different to him and he said he’s fine about it. He’s helping in every way that he can, and he’ll do his best Aaron Rodgers this week and help us in that regard. It isn’t exactly how he had dreamed it, and maybe even us.’ ”
Boyle also has his report from Thursday’s practice, noting relatively clean bill of health all-around for the Seahawks, “Left tackle Russell Okung is expected to be back after missing Seattle’s last game with a bruised knee, and while Sidney Rice (knee) and Zach Miller (foot) may be limited in practice, both should be able to play again Monday. Carroll said it is too early to know the availability of cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring). ‘We have a pretty good health situation,’ Carroll said. ‘We think we have a chance to have most our guys ready, which is good.’ ”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes about the amount of attention Tate’s block of Lee has generated, “On Monday, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he believed the block was perfectly legal and would not draw a fine. By Thursday, Carroll was trying to find out from the league why the block was illegal and how to avoid the situation in the future. ‘We worked hard to understand what was going on with their evaluation of it. We worked behind the scenes and we’re still talking to the league to make sure we know because we need to teach our guys to stay within the guidelines,’ Carroll said. ‘It was a great effort by Golden to make the block that he needed it to make, but unfortunately they saw that there was a little contact to the bottom of his facemask and perhaps his chin, and that’s not OK. Why that’s important to us is that we need to understand clearly how we can avoid doing that.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice notes from Thursday, and previews the Seahawks Monday Night matchup with the Packers, “The game will be a firm test for Seattle to prove they belong among the possible playoff contenders in the NFC this season. It’s a chance for the highly touted defense to show they can slow down one of the most prolific offenses in the league and a chance for the team to gain some credibility nationally. The Seahawks are 5-0 in the last five appearance on Monday Night Football with three of those games being shutouts. Seattle is 2-0 against the Packers on Monday night with a 34-24 win over Green Bay in the snow in November of 2006 during their last Monday night meeting.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com looks ahead to Monday night’s game with the Green and Gold, and cites the similarities between the Seahawks and Packers, “[Seahawks general manager John] Schneider has deployed in the soggy moss what he learned on the frozen tundra: Go young, go big, go fast. ‘John had great respect for Ted Thompson and what they had done in their whole system, and he has come through a long line to get (here),’ said coach Pete Carroll Thursday. ‘He brought the line of thinking that they were (building) a young team; always filling the roster with guys from the bottom up to make it competitive, which fit perfectly with what we wanted to do. I think in so many areas (the Packers and Seahawks) are philosophically similar. (Green Bay coach) Mike McCarthy and John are really good friends. They have talked ball for years. There are a lot of similarities in what we believe in. We’re fortunate to have that here. John came through a great system and brought his own ideas, but he had to contribute at that end as well.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth looks at the role special teams could play Monday night, with the Seahawks holding the No. 2 ranked unit and Packers wielding the No. 5 ranked unit in the League – according to Football Outsiders weekly rankings.
Farnsworth also has a look at the events surrounding Thursday in Hawkville, and catches up with Tate on his block of Lee.
In his Seahawks Daily, Tony Ventrella catches up with players and coaches on beginning the week of practice and on their excitement toward playing on Monday night.
And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at Thursday in photos.