Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 17.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times previews tomorrow night’s matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, “The Seahawks suffered a season-opening 33-17 loss to the 49ers last year as Ted Ginn Jr. returned a kickoff and punt for touchdowns. And in Week 16, Seattle lost a 19-17 heartbreaker as quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was stripped of the ball late in the game. Running back Frank Gore, averaging 5.4 yards per carry this season, has always been a load for the Seahawks. ‘It’s going to be a brawl, and we know that,’ said Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill. ‘That’s how I remember San Fran as long as I’ve been in the league. Over my eight years, I’ve played them 14, 15 times. It’s a brawl when you play San Fran, and that was before Harbaugh even got there. They always had that personality. It’s always been tough. We know that. They’re even more so a pounding team now that Harbaugh’s there. … You have to get your body ready for it, especially in a short week. It’s going to be a tough one.’ “
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his practice report from Tuesday, noting that defensive tackle Clinton McDonald returned from a strained groin to practice in full.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights Niners running back Frank Gore in his Seattle-San Francisco preview, “Gore has twice rushed for more than 200 yards against Seattle. This season, he’s the No. 10 rusher in the league heading into Week 7, with 470 yards on 87 carries for a 5.4 yards-per-carry average. Gore has four touchdowns and leads a San Francisco rushing attack that’s tops in the NFL at 176.8 yards a game. While Gore has played well against Seattle over the years, the Seahawks have done better against him of late. Seattle held Gore to an average of 71 yards a game in two contests last year. So what’s the best way to slow down Gore? ‘You got to hit him hard and hit him early,’ Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright said. ‘Let him know that it’s not going to be your day to get a bunch of running yards. We’re going to come out and set the tone, and make sure he doesn’t get rolling.’ “
John McMullen of The Sports Network previews Thursday Night Football, and predicts a 24-17 49ers victory, “This contest pits strength against strength as both offenses will be trying to solve two of the NFL’s best defensive units. Smith, who is s 7-1 in past eight starts against NFC West teams, has a vast experience edge over Wilson and is the less likely to make the game-changing mistake. Meanwhile, the 49ers haven’t dropped consecutive games since Dec. 16-26, 2010, and will be shooting for a fourth straight win over the Seahawks at Candlestick. San Francisco has outscored Seattle 96-48 over that stretch. The 49ers’ next three games are against division foes and Harbaugh’s club will be trying to set the tone in the division with this one. ‘We need to go out and work and get ready for the Seahawks,’ said 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers. ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do. This game is going to count more because it’s in the division. This is our division to win.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: 49ers 24, Seahawks 17″
John Boyle of the Everett Herald details Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, “Last season, the Seahawks sent three of their four starting defensive backs to the Pro Bowl, but the scariest things for opposing offenses this year isn’t that they have to face three Pro Bowlers, it’s that a strong argument can be made that Seattle’s best defensive back this season isn’t one of those three. That’s how good Sherman has been through six games. With three interceptions and 13 passes defensed, Sherman is among the league leaders in both categories, but his ability to impact a game goes beyond that. That swagger, that ability to get in an opponent’s head, that isn’t just for fun — though believe me, Sherman is having fun out there — it can have an effect on opposing offenses.”
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com notes the play of rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “…the speed that Seattle’s second-round pick has shown through six games still surprises defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. ‘I don’t think we understand just how fast he is,’ Bradley told ‘Bob and Groz’ on Tuesday. ‘Some of the plays he makes on tape even jump out at me, and when you see him make the long runs and making plays you’re like, ‘Whoa.” ” Henderson also includes discussion from 710 AM ESPN’s “Bob and Groz” in a short video.
Henderson also rehashes a conversation on “Bob and Groz” with wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who says he is glad his slow start is behind him, “Both of Baldwin’s catches on Sunday came on the Seahawks’ second possession. The first was a 50-yard bomb on third-and-9 that kept the drive alive. Four plays later, Baldwin slipped coming off the line of scrimmage and fought off a jam from a Patriots cornerback before making a leaping 24-yard catch in the end zone. It was one of several impressive plays turned in by Seattle’s receivers, a group that had drawn some of the criticism for the team’s passing issues earlier in the season. ‘I would like to think that we have that capability to do it week in and week out,’ Baldwin said. ‘I don’t think it was just a coming out party. I think it’s just a sign of things to come from now on into the future.’ “
Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his report from Tuesday’s practice, “The Seahawks’ Tuesday injury report was a bit improved from Monday. Safety Kam Chancellor was limited in practice with an ankle issue. Defensive lineman Clinton McDonald (groin) was a full-go in practice. Guard John Moffitt is ruled out of Thursday night’s game against San Francisco with a knee injury.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Tuesday, “Seattle knows everything the 49ers will do offensively revolves around the running game and RB Frank Gore and that he will be the most important thing for them to try and stop. Doing so on the other hand will still be a massive chore. ‘He hits the hole right where it needs to hit every time, and he’s going 100 mph every time,’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. ‘If you’re not in your gap, it’s like a couple of years ago in 2009 he had like 190 yards rushing against us, one was for 70 and one was for 80, he hit it just perfect and if you’re not on it he has the ability to break a big one at any time.’ “
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com offers an extensive breakdown of the Seahawks’ defense, “In breaking down the Seahawks’ lineup, it’s obvious that Carroll has stockpiled ‘urgent’ athletes to create a fierce pass rush capable of overwhelming opponents with speed and quickness. Chris Clemons was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles (in exchange for Darryl Tapp) soon after Carroll’s arrival to provide the Seahawks with a disruptive playmaker off the edge. Clemons has lived up to expectation by nabbing 27.5 sacks in 38 games. The soon-to-be 31-year-old has developed into the dominant force that few envisioned based on limited production during his first five seasons (20 total sacks during stints with the Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins). Part of Clemons’ sack explosion should be attributed to the way Carroll utilizes him in the Seahawks’ hybrid scheme. As the “Leo” on the front line, Clemons typically lines up on the open-side tackle (away from the tight end) in a wind-nine alignment. This allows him to use his remarkable first-step quickness and burst to run past blockers on speed rushes.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his latest “MVP Watch” and Marshawn Lynch rounds out his top 10, “Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson broke out with a three-TD game against New England. Lynch had something to do with that, of course. Defenses must account for Seattle’s running game, opening up opportunities down the field. Lynch ranks third in rushing yards (549) and second to Adrian Peterson (253-250) in yards after contact. The Seahawks figure to need more from Lynch against San Francisco’s defense in Week 7. Lynch topped 100 yards against the 49ers in Week 16 last season, ending San Francisco’s streaks for games without allowing a 100-yard rusher (36) and games without allowing a rushing TD (15).”
Sando also passes along a chart depicting NFC West rookie playing time, and offers a few quick hits on the ‘Hawks, ” Bruce Irvin has 4.5 sacks, including one to help preserve a victory at Carolina. … Second-round choice Bobby Wagner has provided a significant upgrade at middle linebacker. He opened the season as a starter and member of the base defense. His has become an every-down player over the past two weeks, with positive results, including when he ran down Cam Newton for a loss. … Russell Wilson owns two fourth-quarter comeback victories in his first six starts, two more than Seattle managed last season. He is the first rookie since the 1970 merger to throw winning touchdown passes in the final two minutes of two games. … Robert Turbin’s speed and power have impressed. … J.R. Sweezy impressed in camp and started the opener, but he wasn’t ready. … Greg Scruggs is healthy again and figuring into the pass-rush rotation.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his “Tuesday in Hawkville” with a focus on the Ninja-Turtle-loving Wagner, he previews Thursday’s matchup with the Niners, and has a feature on a pair of Stanford standouts who have become cornerstone players with the Seahawks – Baldwin and Sherman.
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, highlighting the team’s physical and mental preparation on a short week of practice.
NFL Films previews Thursday’s contest between the NFC West rival Seahawks and 49ers in this short video.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice joined “NFL Fantasy Live” to discuss his increased role in the Seahawks offense here.
And finally, we bring you quarterback Russell Wilson’s full video press conference from yesterday.