Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 1.
Danny O’Neil has his story on wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster earlier this week, “He’s going to be playing some special teams at the very least after being promoted to the active roster to replace Obomanu, who became the first Seahawk placed on injured reserve since the regular season began. Obomanu suffered a wrist injury that will require him to be in a cast for at least six weeks, and more likely eight. That creates an opportunity for Kearse, who was undrafted out of Washington, but signed with Seattle and worked himself from training camp to the practice squad to the 53-man roster. ‘Jermaine has done a very good job,’ Carroll said. ‘He has impressed everybody in everything he has done. He is going to be involved in special teams this week, extensively. He has made great impressions so we’re fortunate to have him available to pop up.’ ”
O’Neil also has the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings’ injury reports from Wednesday. Seattle’s Doug Baldwin returned to practice in limited fashion for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times highlights the Vikings’ Jared Allen, the outgoing defensive end who showed up to Minnesota’s practice facility yesterday in full Halloween gear, “Allen, now 30 and fully established as one the greatest pass-rushing defensive ends in NFL history — his 22 sacks last year were just a half-sack behind Michael Strahan’s 2001 season record — is still a wild and crazy guy. The only difference is now he limits his fun to such socially acceptable activities as knocking the stuffing out of opposing quarterbacks, and thrill-seeking activities like running with the bulls in Spain, boar (and bear) hunting, sky diving and zip-lining. He’ll be attempting to partake of the former Sunday when the Vikings meet the Seahawks, who know that slowing down Allen’s pass rush is a prime focus. ‘He’s long, lanky with a knack for getting sacks,’ Seahawks center Max Unger said. ‘You have to know where he is and what he’s doing all the time out there.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report from Wednesday, noting Baldwin is coming along better than expected from his high ankle sprain, “The Seahawks could use Baldwin because they lack depth. Ben Obomanu was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with a wrist injury and Braylon Edwards may not be available because of a swollen knee. That leaves four healthy receivers on the active roster. ‘He looks better than we expected coming into the week,’ Carroll said of Baldwin. ‘I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’ll see.’ ”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has praises from Kearse’s fellow receivers on his recent promotion, “Receiver Golden Tate, specifically, approached Carroll with his support for Kearse. ‘He’s a young guy who is going to be really good,’ Tate said. ‘From Day One he showed what he could do and hasn’t made many of those rookie mistakes. He has some wiggle, and is a strong guy with great hands.’ Kearse was set back early in the offseason with a foot injury, which made it more impressive that he landed on the practice squad. ‘I told him back then that I thought at some point this season he was going to be activated,’ Tate said. ‘He’s got a positive attitude, he works hard every day.’ ”
Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune also calls attention to the Vikings’ Allen, “Sure, he isn’t the pure speed-rushing spitfire he was back in 2004, fresh out of Idaho State University and a fourth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. But it doesn’t mean he isn’t effective. He might be a little slower, but he’s a lot smarter player. ‘I think I’m a different player from week to week or year to year, just trying to build and correct mistakes,’ Allen said. ‘Mentally, you learn to rush smarter. When you are younger, you are guessing. But I’ve always been a leverage, technique guy. I’m never going to get away from the base of what I do. I believe (in using) hips, hands and feet and out-leveraging and out-working the guy in front of me.’ Allen won’t be outworked in practice, a trait that has earned the respect of coach Leslie Frazier. ‘He’s a terrific player,’ Frazier said. ‘He’s on the pace again to have another double-digit sack year. So close a year ago to breaking an NFL record with sacks, and he’s just a joy to be around in practice because he works hard every single day.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a feature on Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung, who Boyle says is living up to his high expectations, “For much of his first two seasons in Seattle, the talk about Okung, the No. 6 pick in the 2010 draft and the man handed the unenviable task of filling Walter Jones’ sizable shoes, was about his inability to stay healthy. And when this season started, Okung found himself in the spotlight for one of the worst reasons possible for a lineman—a plethora of penalties. But lately, you probably haven’t heard much about Okung, and when you’re not hearing discussions about an offensive lineman, it’s usually because he’s doing his job. And when you do actually focus on Okung, you realize that now more than ever, he is living up to the lofty expectations that were placed on him when he was picked in the first round, then immediately named the starter at one of football’s most important positions.”
Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has his report from Wednesday, pointing to the similarities between the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, ” ‘Angry runners’ is the term Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell uses to describe Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Two of the top backs in the NFL will be featured front and center at CenturyLink Field Sunday. Bevell has drawn up plays for both elite backs and says their teammates must assume both Peterson and Lynch will keep a play alive after the initial tackle attempt. ‘They have many similarities in their running styles,’ said Bevell, who came to Seattle from Minnesota. ‘If you’re blocking for them downfield, you have to assume they will break free from the first contact.’ ”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes that the Seahawks could potentially be down to just four receivers on Sunday against the Vikings, “Rice is one of the few certainties the Seattle Seahawks have at wide receiver going into this week’s key home game against the Vikings, which could have long-term effects on the NFC playoff race later in the season. With Ben Obomanu on injured reserve and questions about the health of Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards, the Seahawks could head into Sunday’s game with just four healthy wide receivers. Rice, Golden Tate, Charly Martin and practice squad call-up Jermaine Kearse are the only receivers expected to be fully healthy for the Vikings. ‘It’s going to be pretty tough. We have a couple of guys that are down,’ Rice said. ‘… It’s definitely going to have to be on those guys. That’s a talented smart group on that side of the ball, a lot of vets that move around very well and some of our guys that haven’t played so much it’s going to be tough for them to process all the information.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has a look at the Seahawks’ defensive struggles on third down, “Overall, Seattle is allowing teams to convert 43.9-percent on third down, which is 27th out of the 32 teams in the league. Only Pittsburgh (44-percent), Minnesota (44.2), the New York Jets (45), Tennessee (45.7) and Buffalo (47.3) are allowing teams to convert more frequently on third down. LB K.J. Wright said it’s not something they’re worried about because they know it’s something they can get corrected. ‘It don’t worry me at all,’ Wright said. ‘I know we’re a good defense and I know we can adjust to anything so I’m not worried.’ Wright said it’s partly an experience issue in getting used to see the various route combinations and being able to react faster to what they’re seeing. Between Wright in his second year, rookie LB Bobby Wagner and CB Marcus Trufant adjusting to a new position, the Seahawks have been just out of position at times. It’s a chemistry that is still developing between the group. ‘I recognized one (route combination) last week but it was a little too late and they got the first down so it just comes with experience. We’ll be able to get the job done. We’re still learning,’ Wright said.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com comments on the Seahawks’ recent struggles on defense, “Against the past three offenses, the Patriots, 49ers and Lions, the defense was learning the hard way. There is really no other way. ‘You watch film, but you can’t really get used to it until you get on the field,’ said Bobby Wagner, a rookie starting at middle linebacker — the quarterback of the defense. ‘A lot of rookies mess up on plays they’ve never seen. It’s just experience, seeing plays come so fast. We take false reads that (veterans) don’t, because of experience. A team like the Carolina Panthers (against whom the Seahawks have their only road win), which runs read options, we tend to have a good feel for it because that tends to be what we have seen (in college). You just have to have experience (with the more standard pro offenses), and I feel like we’re catching on pretty quick.’ ”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at injury situations around the NFC West, “The Seahawks are light on receivers after losing Doug Baldwin to a high-ankle sprain and Ben Obomanu to a season-ending wrist injury. Braylon Edwards missed practice with knee trouble Wednesday. Baldwin was limited. The team still has good enough quality at the position with Sidney Rice playing well (except for a drop in Week 8 ) and Golden Tate bouncing back from a tough game against San Francisco. Depth is a concern, however, particularly without a strong No. 2 receiving tight end to pair with Zach Miller. Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) missed practice. Seattle’s nickel defense missed him against Detroit. He could test the ankle later in the week. The nickel defense figures to play less this week based on Minnesota’s personnel tendencies. Seattle did not list fullback Michael Robinson on its injury report. He hurt a wrist against the Lions.”
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as the team kicks off their first practice of the second half of the season.
And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at “Competition Wednesday” in photos.