Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 2.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times highlights the play of running backs Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson, who will be featured in Sunday’s Seahawks-Vikings matchup at CenturyLink Field, “They were the first two running backs chosen in the 2007 draft, Peterson No. 7 out of Oklahoma and Lynch picked five choices later by Buffalo. And in a league where the average career lasts less than four seasons, they both have made a living in the most inhospitable place on the field: running between the tackles. “I think of both of those guys as angry runners who are really determined to get extra yards,” said Darrell Bevell, Seattle’s offensive coordinator [who coached both players, having been in Minnesota prior to joining Seattle last year].”
O’Neil also has the team’s injury reports from Thursday, noting that wide receiver Doug Baldwin and offensive lineman John Moffitt were full participants in practice. Defensive end Greg Scruggs also appeared on the injury report for the first time this week with an oblique.
Steve Kelley says it’s “crunchtime” for the Seahawks, who sit at 4-4 at the season’s midway point, “The Seahawks play five of their last eight at home. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has a half-season of experience. It’s time to ask him to do more. But his receiver corps is decimated, and in this pass-first league, the Seahawks will only go as far as their ground game takes them. And in the second half of this season, the defense has to play even better. It has to create more turnovers. This is a great time of the year for a football fan. Every weekend feels like a high-wire act. Every game means something. The Seahawks can (should?) finish 10-6 … Time is left to turn mediocre into marvelous.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with wide receiver Sidney Rice, who will face his former team in the regular season for the first time this weekend, “Rice said nine of the 11 defensive starters he practiced against on a regular basis when he played in Minnesota are still with the club. That number includes three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield. At 6-foot-4 and 202 pounds, Rice has a size advantage over the feisty Winfield, who comes in at 5-9 and 180 pounds. ‘I definitely feel like I have a slight edge on everybody else, going with those guys for so many years,’ Rice said. ‘Antoine Winfield, probably their best corner, is a guy I played against my entire four years there. He’s really smart and talented, and probably one of the toughest small guys I’ve ever seen in my life. So on our offensive side as receivers we have to be prepared for him.”
John MCMullen of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s Seahawks-Vikings matchup, “The Seahawks own of the NFL’s best homefield advantages and tend to be far more dynamic as the host. Carroll will want to rely on Lynch and his defense this week while hoping Wilson can effectively manage the game against a defense which doesn’t produce many turnovers. Seattle is already 3-0 at home for the second time in three years and Wilson has been far more effective at CenturyLink Field than on the road. Ponder, meanwhile, hasn’t shown the mental toughness to weather the bad times and it’s hard to imagine him navigating all the pitfalls that will be awaiting him in one of the NFL’s toughest places to play. ‘Their fans do a good job of getting in the game early and making it hard on offenses and teams in general to function,’ Frazier said. ‘You don’t want to fall too far behind in that environment, it can be tough.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 28, Vikings 13″
John Boyle of the Everett Herald rehashes quarterback Russell Wilson’s press conference from yesterday, when the rookie Wilson donned a Seattle Sounders FC scarf in support of the club’s run in the MLS Cup Playoffs, which begins tonight, “Wilson says he doesn’t changed his expectations going forward, because he was already expecting big things from himself, but he is expecting to win more games. ‘My expectations are still the same,’ he said. ‘I always have high expectations, so the first expectation is to go 1-0 every week and just win. That’s the main thing, it doesn’t matter how we win. Obviously with eight games under my belt, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable and I’m trusting my offense, trusting my guys. The chemistry with the guys is a lot better, and you just continue to grow. I respect the process.’ Asked if he is worried about hitting any sort of rookie wall–including preseason games, rookies have now played the equivalent of an entire college season, Wilson quickly dismissed the idea. ‘I think people forget that I played college football and professional baseball all in one year, so this isn’t anything for me,’ he said. ‘I can go all day. It’s one of those thing, mentally you have to be focused, you have to get in a routine–I’m on scheduled routine in terms of getting here early, waking my body up, getting in the hot tub, cold tub, stretching a lot–and that kind of gets you alive and awake when you get here. And more than anything, when you love the game, you never get tired of it.’ “
Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has his report from yesterday’s practice, offering insight from Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, “The inability to close quickly on checkdown passes burned the Seahawks many times in their last two games against San Francisco and Detroit. Bradley said Minnesota is a run-first team, so his defensive ends and linebackers will need to set the edge, preventing Peterson from cutting outside for long runs. Gang-tackling will be essential, Bradley said, because Peterson looks like the back of old, capable of running through people and making them miss with great fakes when he bursts through the line.”
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle discuss the dangerous do-it-all threat that is Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin in this short video.
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice report from Thursday, detailing the return of Baldwin to practice, “Baldwin returned to full participation in practice exactly two weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football. Carroll said Wednesday that Baldwin was better than expected and he proved it by returned to limited duty in practice Wednesday. With Baldwin being a full-go during Thursday’s workout, it seems increasingly more likely that Baldwin will be able to play against the Vikings. If Baldwin can play, it could take some significant strain off a receiving corps that looked as if it may only have four healthy receivers on Sunday. Baldwin being active would allow the Seahawks to not have to put too much on the shoulders of the recently promoted WR Jermaine Kearse.”
Crabtree, contributing to the Associated Press, also writes about the growth of the Seahawks’ quarterback Wilson, “Wilson has managed to keep the Seahawks in every game they’ve played this season and has led go-ahead touchdown drives in the fourth quarter in three of Seattle’s four victories. All four of Seattle’s losses have come by less than a touchdown. Still, Wilson knows there were opportunities he let slip away at the end of the game in the first half of the season. ‘I wish I had a couple more wins on my belt,’ Wilson said. ‘We’ve lost a couple games right there at the end but the great thing about it is that, for me as a rookie playing the quarterback position, all those games have come down to the end of the game. I don’t think it can get any better in terms of being a rookie for this organization, and for me personally, to be in those situations, and understand those situations that much better, and still play at a high level during those tough situations.’ “
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com shares his thoughts on Wilson, who now has eight games as an NFL starter under his belt, “Asked after Wednesday’s practice how he would grade himself at mid-season, Wilson disdained any false humility. ‘I think I played well,’ he said in his usual undemonstrative way. ‘Obviously, I wish I had a couple more wins on my belt. We lost a couple of games there at the end. But the great thing about it is, for me as a rookie playing the quarterback position, all of the games lost have come down to the end. I don’t think it can get any better in terms of this organization and for me personally to be able to understand those situations that much better and still play at a high level.’ No argument here. The 4-4 Seahawks aren’t that far from 8-0, and they aren’t that far from 1-7. They are in the great, bloated middle of the NFL, but are doing it with a imperturbable rookie at QB who seems to get steadily better despite so often being the crucible of the last moments. The kid knows he’s good; why not say so? He’s always given proper credit to his coaches and teammates, deflecting praise and accepting criticism. He may be little, young and temporarily unsteady, but no backhoe is going to dig this kid out by his roots.”
Lindsay Jones of USA Today takes a close look at cornerback Richard Sherman, “Before the 2011 draft, Carroll said he watched film of Sherman ‘knock the crud out of some guys,’ and decided to draft him in the fifth round. At 6-foot-3, and with that sort of knock-you-on-your-backside mentality, Sherman was a good gamble. ‘I particular picked him out and loved the potential that he had. I didn’t know that he was going to make it or not, but he was a rare opportunity,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s really smart, he’s really competitive, and he has great hands, which we knew that from playing receiver. All of that added up and we said, ‘Let’s take a shot out on him and see.’ It’s worked out great.’ “
Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com offers up some second-half predictions for the NFL, including a note on the Seahawks, “…the Seahawks, who feel like the average team that can sneak into the playoffs almost by default. Their schedule going forward is actually pretty friendly, especially considering the fact that they get to play five of their eight remaining games at home, including three games against their NFC West brethren. Their three road games include trips to Buffalo and Miami, which aren’t exactly the most fearsome locations in the league. Barring some miraculous run by the Cowboys or Bucs, Seattle feels like it’ll be the ‘surprise’ average team to come out of the NFC.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com writes that for all the impressive things the Seahawks’ quarterback Wilson has done in his first eight starts, third quarter production is an area where he can improve.
NFL Films previews the Seahawks’ Week 9 game against the Vikings.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps the activities surrounding “Thursday in Hawkville“, and says Wilson has not looked, acted, or felt like a rookie this season.
Sidney Rice tells us what it’s going to be like going up against his former team this weekend.
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” detailing the growth of the rookie Wilson.
And our team photographer Rod Mar has an updated look at the week of practice in photos.