Thursday in Hawkville: Looking beyond the Patriots’ offense

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 11:

FOCUS ON

The Patriots’ defense, through the eyes of Russell Wilson. Sunday’s game at CenturyLink Field is being billed as the NFL’s No. 1 offense (Patriots) vs. the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense (Seahawks). And rightfully so, since the last time such a matchup took place this late into the season was in 2007.

But the Seahawks’ offense and Patriots’ defense also will be on the field, and that matchup also will be a factor in which team emerges 4-2 and which team ends up 3-3.

Are the Seahawks feeling any pressure to “keep pace” with a Patriots offense that is averaging 33 points and 30 first downs?

“I think more than anything, it’s about what we can control,” said Wilson, the Seahawks’ rookie QB. “How I control our offense and how we can score points and do the great things we can do, and not worry about that.

“You’ve just got to play one play at a time and the goal is to score one more point that they do.”

What concerns Wilson most about the Patriots’ defense? “They’re all in the right spot at the right time,” he said. “I think that’s the main thing. They’re coached extremely well. They attack the football, even after guys catch it or when guys are running it.

“So we have to really protect the football and just play our game.”

Good read by the rookie, as the Patriots have forced 14 turnovers (six interceptions and eight fumble recoveries), which is tied for second in the league; and are plus-10 in turnover differential, which shares the league lead.

PLAYER WATCH

Make that former player, and make it Cortez Kennedy. The Hall of Fame defensive tackle will have his No. 96 retired during a halftime ceremony at Sunday’s game.

“It’s the icing on the icing on the cake,” said Kennedy, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August and the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor in 2006.

In addition to joining Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent (80) and nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones (71) as the only players in franchise history to have their numbers retired, Kennedy also will receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring during the ceremony and the Seattle City Council has proclaimed Sunday as Cortez Kennedy “Tez” Day.

OPPONENT WATCH

Stevan Ridley. The Patriots are actually running the ball (191 plays) more than they’re passing it (185 plays), and Ridley is their leading rusher with 490 yards, a 4.8-yard average and four rushing touchdowns.

But who is this guy? The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Ridley was a third-round draft choice out of LSU last year.

“He’s pretty good,” Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill said. “I’ve been watching film on him. He’s a big back. They find the holes and he hits it.”

The Patriots have had a lot of success running from passing formations, as Ridley has rushed for 106 and 151 yards the past two games.

“One-back powers,” Hill said. “One back, pull a lineman, he gets in behind – especially on short yardage, they’re doing it a lot. And he’s hitting it. He’s getting 10, 11 yards a pop sometimes.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as released by the team:

Out

OG John Moffitt (knee)

Did not practice

C Max Unger (hip)

DT Clinton McDonald (groin)

DL Jaye Howard (foot)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Unger sat out practice for the second consecutive day, so Lemuel Jeanpierre worked at center with the No. 1 line.

For the Patriots:

Did not practice

S Steve Gregory (hip)

TE Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion)

LB Tracy White (foot)

Limited in practice

RB Brandon Bolden (knee)

DE Brandon Deadarick (ankle)

Julian Edelman (hand)

Justin Francis (ankle)

TE Rob Gronkowski (hip)

TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)

LB Donta Hightower (hamstring)

OG Logan Mankins (calf/hip)

C Nick McDonald (shoulder)

CB Sterling Moore (knee)

RB Shane Vereen (foot)

OT Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee)

WR Wes Welker (ankle)

Full participation

DT Kyle Love (knee)

QB Tom Brady was removed from the injury report today after being listed as limited on Wednesday because of a sore right shoulder. Edelman returned to practice on a limited basis after missing the past two-plus weeks.

STAT DU JOUR

Call this the Russell-o-Meter, as we continue to check Wilson’s progress against that of Matt Hasselbeck, who became a starter in the NFL in 2001 with the Seahawks and then led the team through the most successful five-season run in franchise history (2003-07). Here are Wilson’s stats through five games, compared to what Hasselbeck did in his first five starts:

Player                      Att.   Comp.   Yds.   TD   Int.   Rating

Wilson                     125      79       815      5      6       75.3

Hasselbeck              126      65       764      2     5        59.1

FOOTBALL 101

The Seahawks Women’s Association is hosting its annual Football 101 workshop on Saturday, and billing the event as a chance for women to increase their knowledge of the fundamentals and strategy of the game.

But how has heading the workshop the past two years affected the football IQ of Michaela Bradley, whose husband just happens to be Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

“I know she has a great time doing it, and there are a lot of great people out,” Bradley said after practice. “They talk a little bit of football and if they can just get one or two things and learn more about the game it’s great.”

But what about Michaela’s knowledge of the sport?

“I don’t know. I’ve got to be home to ask her,” Bradley said with a laugh, as his week has been consumed by visions of Brady and all the things the Patriots offense can throw – and run – at a defense.

“We don’t talk much football. When I come home we just talk about the family and the kids. She’s got a lot of going on, too, so she doesn’t need to hear my sob stories.”

The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and you can register here.

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday” gives way to “No Repeat Friday” as the players will put in their last full day of work before Sunday’s game. But cornerback Richard Sherman and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner played to today’s theme by intercepting passes.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s spectacular. When you hand the ball off and some of these runs he’s making, say he gets his first 10 yards and the last 5, 8 yards, just watching his feet. There’s nothing like it. The way he moves his feet, he has great, great balance, tremendous vision and great determination to get the first down.” – Wilson, when asked about Marshawn Lynch during a conference-call interview with reporters who cover the Patriots