Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 20.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his story as the Seahawks returned from their bye week yesterday afternoon, “The Seahawks were one of the last four teams in the NFL to get a week off, their bye coming later than it had in any season since 2000. Players reported back to the team’s headquarters at noon Monday and took the field to practice at 2 p.m., followed by a team meeting. ‘They came back with a lot of energy,’ Carroll said. ‘They feel really like you’d expected. You could tell. You could tell just by the way they ran around today that they had a lot of spring in their step.’ “
O’Neil says offensive guard James Carpenter has yet to be cleared to return to practice from a concussion he suffered over two weeks ago, “He was the only player absent from Monday’s workout as linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive linemen Clinton McDonald and Greg Scruggs were back after missing Seattle’s last game. Carroll was asked if he was optimistic Carpenter would be cleared to resume playing. ‘Let’s wait and find out,’ Carroll said. ‘I hope so. He’s had a lot of time to break. We just want to make sure we had everything squared away. We’ll see what happens.’ “
O’Neil also does his best to rank the seasons of the five rookie quarterbacks starting in the NFL this season.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the good health of the Seahawks as they return from the bye, “Carroll said that he and general manager John Schneider finally got a chance to put together a more comprehensive approach to preparing players mentally and physically for the season, with director of health and player performance Sam Ramsden leading the charge. ‘We’ve done a lot of things this year that are different to what we’ve done in the past,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ve taken a more holistic look at the athletes in general – everything from their rest, to their eating habits, to the way we bring them back – in every phase of it. … I don’t know if that has anything to do with it at all, but we’ve tried to take care of these guys from the time they came back to us in OTAs (organized team activities) throughout in a little different manner.’ “
Williams also has his notes following Monday’s practice session, “Carroll said the team used this extra day of practice to look at a couple ideas they had to on both offense and defense and experiment with those schemes. The coaching staff also used the extra reps to get some of the younger players more turns working with the first and second units during team drills. Carroll also said he and the coaching staff took a close look at what the issues are on third down, both on offense and defense, during the break. ‘I think both sides of the football can benefit from better execution and successes on third down,’ Carroll said. ‘We’re not right on our numbers. For as good as we can play on defense at times, to be at 40 percent, that’s not good enough for us. We need to knock that thing down. And we’re still at low 30s on offense, and we’ve got to get that taken care of.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald details the Seahawks’ return from the bye, “…so often the difference between a mediocre season and a very good one can be as simple as health. Were the 49ers a very talented team last year? Absolutely, but part of their amazing turnaround was the fact that they placed four players on injured reserve all of last year. ‘It’s a tremendous difference,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s who you’re playing with when you finish the season. The teams you’re playing against, you’re not always playing against the same guys that you might’ve played earlier in the year. The teams that have good health usually have the best chance of being consistent.’ “
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com takes a look at how coach Carroll spent his bye week, as he recaps the latest conversation between coach and 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk”, “Carroll and his coaching staff took a step back to do some self-scouting, something he said is difficult to do during a normal week. The Seahawks’ own tendencies were a focus. Improving on third down – on both sides of the ball – was a priority. ‘You don’t get that clear thought to step back in that sense until you get to the bye week,’ Carroll said. Same goes for watching games on television. Carroll, a defensive-minded coach, was impressed by how Stanford held Oregon’s prolific offense to 14 points in an upset win over the top-ranked Ducks. ‘I thought that was one of my favorite games that I probably will see all year,’ he said. ‘I can’t wait to get the film. I want to watch the Stanford-Oregon game. I want to see how they did it and what they did to get it done.’ “
The staff at SportsPressNW.com highlights the Seahawks’ return from their week off, “The Seahawks, who won their last two, defeating Minnesota (30-20) and the New York Jets (28-7), will play the next two on the road. After meeting Miami, which has lost three in a row, Seattle plays in Chicago against the Bears, who were crushed 32-7 by San Francisco on Monday Night Football. ‘It’s fun to be back,’ Carroll said. ‘These guys really appreciated the break, they’re fired up about our prospects of being able to do something good here, and they came back with a lot of energy.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday, “Carroll said that he believes CB Walter Thurmond will be ready to go for them this week. Thurmond has practice the last three weeks and was activated to the 53-man roster from the physically unable to perform list prior to the Jets game, though he was inactive for the game. ‘I think he is ready to go. I would hope that Walter would be involved this week,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s been battling Marcus Trufant at the nickel spot, but he’s been battling to play outside so we’ll see. He’s a special football player so we’d like to get him involved some. It might be in some dime situations as well so we’re looking for a spot for him.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com shares the how the ESPN staff voted in their latest NFL Power Rankings, and the Seattle Seahawks sit at No. 12 on their list.
The staff at NFL.com debates who will take hold of the final wild-card playoff spot in the NFC, and several analysts like the Seahawks’ chances. From NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal: “I picked the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West before the season started, and I have not given up on that possibility. Seattle (6-4) remains undefeated at home, where it will get one more shot at the division-leading San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1). San Francisco, meanwhile, has games against the Saints, Chicago Bears and New England Patriots. Seattle has the toughest defense to prepare for in football and a rapidly improving rookie quarterback. In short, I like the Seahawks to stay ahead of all of the wild-card contenders. But don’t be surprised if the Niners, and not the Seahawks, wind up taking that last wild-card spot.”
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, recapping the club’s “Bonus Monday” practice session.
We have coach Carroll’s full video press conference from yesterday available here.
Finally, our team photographer Rod Mar has a look at Monday’s practice in photos.