A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 12:
Rest and rehabilitation. That’s the focus for the week, not just the day, as coach Pete Carroll has given his players the rest of the week off during their bye.
There were other options, although limited, but none as appealing – and appropriate – as allowing the players some downtime before they return next Monday to begin preparing for the Nov. 25 game against the Dolphins in Miami.
“Taking everything into account, and the fact we’ve got to give them four days off (under the new CBA), it really doesn’t give you many options,” said Carroll, who was loose and relaxed as he looked toward his bye week as well.
“I didn’t feel like it was going to worth enough for what we could gain (in practicing).”
So he opted for rest and rehabilitation – although the players did leave today after a series of meetings with workout plans for Wednesday and Friday.
“Wherever they are,” Carroll said. “But I really don’t want them to try and do very much in terms of conditioning or strength work. We talked to them about, ‘Don’t go back to your guru workout guy and start carrying sandbags up hills.’ We’ve given them pretty strict guidelines.”
But Carroll also feels that the players have earned this break.
“I do feel good about where we’re going,” said Carroll, and he wasn’t talking about the trip to Miami. “We have worked really hard and the guys have performed very consistently. They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do in terms of the prep and the focus and bringing it week in and week out.”
With Carroll’s trust comes the need for reciprocal trust from the players.
“Now we do have to see how we respond to the break,” he said. “But the motivation for me is that I believe these guys get it and they understand what we’re trying to get done. Now we have to prove that by how we perform next week.”
TAKING THE FOURTH
After controlling the ball for 12 minutes, 10 seconds of the fourth quarter in their victory over the Vikings last week, the Seahawks held it for 12:05 against the Jets in final quarter.
“The highlight to me is that we again finished really well,” Carroll said. “We had the ball for over 12 minutes in the fourth quarter and ran the ball like crazy, and owned it, and scored a couple touchdowns, and finished really well – the way that we like to.
“So that’s a couple weeks in a row of really good, solid ball; playing in kind of the formula that we would like to play in. It was great to do it here at home.”
Against the Vikings, Russell Wilson completed 4 of 6 passes for 58 yards, while Marshawn Lynch carried for 23 of the team’s 43 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. Sunday, Lynch averaged 10 yards on six carries, while Wilson was 3 of 3 for 55 yards as the Seahawks scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns – one on Wilson’s beautifully thrown 31-yard pass to Sidney Rice; the other, again to Rice, on a 23-yard pass by wide receiver Golden Tate.
The Seahawks have played the past two games without left guard James Carpenter, and all of Sunday’s game against the Jets and most of last week’s game against the Vikings without strongside linebacker K.J. Wright. But Carroll expects both concussed players to be back for practice next Monday.
In fact, he is anticipating just about all players to practice next week, after as many as eight sat out last week.
“When we get back to work, we’ll have almost everybody,” Carroll said. “That’s a really good note this late in the season. We’ll have a bunch of guys who should feel rested, but then also to get the guys back from the head knocks they’ve had and the bumps and the bruises, we’re going to be pretty solid as we go into the Miami game.”
Carroll also said that Carpenter and John Moffitt, who has replaced him the past two games, would compete for the left guard spot in practice. But he then added, “Carp, if he feels good and he’s right, we’d like to get him back in there.”
STATS ’N STUFF
Lynch is second in the NFL in rushing yards (1,005) – 123 behind the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and 133 yards ahead of the Texans’ Arian Foster. Lynch also is third in the league in total yards (1,142) and tied for sixth in first downs (49).
Wilson has jumped to 12th in the league in passer rating (90.5), but he’s No. 6 in fourth-quarter passer rating (96.2). Wilson also has become the first rookie QB to win his first five home games since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.
Jon Ryan is third in the league in punting average (49.0) and fourth in net average (42.5), while Leon Washington is eighth in kickoff return average (28.3).
Cornerback Richard Sherman is tied for third in interceptions (four), while ends Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin are tied for 10th in sacks (seven). Irvin, who had two sacks against the Jets, leads all NFL rookies.
Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner continues to lead the team in tackles (81), while Heath Farwell has 10 coverage tackles to lead the special teams.
STAT DU JOUR
With 1,005 rushing yards after 10 games, Lynch is on pace for the third-best season total in franchise history (1,608). The only back with more yards in a single season is all-time leading rusher Shaun Alexander, who had a club-record 1,880 in 2005 and 1,696 in 2004. Here’s how Lynch’s 10-game totals compare to those of Alexander in ’04 and ’05:
Player (year) Att. Yards Avg. 100 TD
Marshawn Lynch (2012) 212 1,005 4.7 6 5
Shaun Alexander (2005) 232 1,229 5.3 7 19
Shaun Alexander (2004) 224 1,151 5.1 5 10
With the players off until next Monday, Hawkville also will go on hiatus for the rest of the week.
While the focus needs to remain on the Dolphins, Carroll stressed, he is aware of what awaits the team after its post-bye trips to Miami and Chicago – not only three of four at home to close the regular season, but three games at CenturyLink Field against the NFC West rivals who beat the Seahawks on the road in the first seven weeks of the season.
“It’s going to be a great finish in terms of the division,” Carroll said. “Because of our failures early, each one of those games is going to mean a ton to us as we finish the season.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“Marshawn Lynch, 27 carries for 124 yards. And we hardly noticed. We take his greatness for granted too much.” – Peter King in the “What I Liked” section of his Monday Morning Quarterback at SI.com