Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Thanksgiving Day, November 22.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times highlights two former Canadian Football League stars – Miami’s Cameron Wake and Seattle’s Brandon Browner – who will meet at the NFL level this Sunday, “Wake, 30, ranks fifth in the NFL with 9 ½ sacks and is regarded as a candidate for defensive player of the year. The defensive end earned a Pro Bowl berth with a 14-sack season in 2010. Browner, 28, made the Pro Bowl last year after leading the Seahawks with six interceptions and setting the franchise’s season record for return yards (220). Now, in his second year starting at cornerback, Browner has become an anchor in one of the NFL’s best secondaries. Both players are testaments to perseverance in the face of obstacles, and also to the vagaries of evaluating football players.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the weekend’s matchup between Wake and Michael Robinson – two former college teammates at Penn State, “Wake said he’s looks forward to getting to hit Robinson, who was usually off limits in practice as a quarterback at Penn State. ‘He’s an athlete obviously,’ Wake said. ‘But if you would’ve told me back then this guy is going to be a fullback in the NFL and you guys are going to play each other, I probably would’ve told you that you were crazy.’ Robinson, who still calls Wake by the first name that he went by at Penn State — Derek — says bring it. ‘He had a chance (to hit me in college),’ Robinson said. ‘He missed — for real. I’m serious. Go watch some tape. Ask some people.’ ”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Sunday’s matchup in Miami is a good time to compare the play of rookie quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill, “The 6-foot-4 Tannehill was taken with the eighth overall pick in the draft, following No. 1 Andrew Luck (6-4) and No. 2 Robert Griffin III (6-2). Cleveland also took a tall quarterback at No. 22 (6-4 Brandon Weeden). Wilson waited until the third round to be picked by the Seahawks, a lengthy delay caused not by his skills, attitude nor collegiate performance, but because of his 5-105/8 stature. ‘I don’t pay attention, really,’ Wilson said of the efforts of his fellow rookie quarterbacks. ‘I see it on ESPN or whatever and all that, but I’m so focused on our football team and what we can do and what we can control and what I can control to help our team win.’ As it turns out, Wilson can control a whole lot more than almost everybody expected. Through 10 games, Wilson has the second highest passer rating of any of the rookie quarterbacks, his 90.5 trailing only Washington’s Robert Griffin III. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes with eight interceptions. Tannehill has a 70.8 rating with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Most relevant, the Seahawks’ 6-4 record with Wilson starting is matched only by Luck’s Colts as the best among rookie starters.”
The Sports Network’s John McMullen previews Sunday’s game in Miami, “It’s hard to imagine either team lightning up the scoreboard here. Wilson hasn’t shown anything on the road yet while Tannehill has been struggling mightily and will be facing off against one of the NFL’s best secondaries. Expect a late Dan Carpenter field goal to get Miami back in the win column here. ‘I haven’t slept as well as I’d like to be sleeping (during the losing streak),’ [Miami coach] Philbin said. ‘But at the same time you have to have faith and belief in something, and we’re going to stick to this process that we have in place. There’s a lot of football left to be played and most importantly excited about this opportunity against Seattle.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dolphins 20, Seahawks 17″
Like Stone, John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a look at Seattle and Miami’s Canada connection, “It’s rare that a player makes the leap from the CFL to the NFL and has a lasting impact. It’s even less common when they do what Wake and Browner have both done by not just winning starting jobs, but playing at a Pro Bowl level. Wake signed with the Dolphins in 2009 after spending two years with the Lions. In an odd twist, Browner and Wake both worked out for the Dolphins at the same time back in 2009, though only one landed a job. ‘When he got signed to Miami, I was down there and it was down to me and him,’ Browner said. ‘They told both of us, ‘We’re going to sign of one of you guys.’ And they took him.’ Wake wasn’t a starter in his first season with the Dolphins, but he still managed 5.5 sacks. He then enjoyed a breakout year in 2010, piling up 14 sacks while earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors. Browner took a similar route, proving himself in Calgary before the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll, who coached against Browner when the cornerback was at Oregon State, brought him in for a look prior to last season. Browner finished his first NFL season with six interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and went to the Pro Bowl. And when Wake and Browner both take the field Sunday it will be a reminder of just how inexact a science talent evaluation can be in football.”
Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman, contributing to 710Sports.com, describes his experiences playing on the road in the NFL, and offers some explanation as to why the Seahawks struggle away from home, “‘ll give you this: it’s a little more difficult to go to sleep at midnight when it’s only 9 o’clock back home and it definitely sucks getting up at 8 a.m. when your body clock is telling you it’s 5 a.m. But once you’re up and going, that never enters your mind. Here’s what I’ve always said about the time change: it doesn’t matter what time it is back home – right here and right now, it’s time to play. Linebacker K.J. Wright offered one solution to the problem on the air with me and Colin Paisley on Monday. K.J. brought up the fact that crowd noise bothers the offense on the road but has no effect on special teams or defense: ‘If you can get those two things going, defense and special teams, they control the game and they’ll get us rolling.’ ”
Liz Matthews of 710Sports.com has her practice report from Wednesday, noting the return of offensive guard James Carpenter, who sat out of the club’s “Bonus Monday” practice earlier this week as he had not yet cleared concussion testing, “Carpenter cleared the mandated concussion protocol testing in order to return to the field. Carpenter was inactive the last two games and was unable to practice last Monday following the bye. Head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday he was uncertain whether Carpenter would start Sunday in Miami. ‘We’ll see,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how the week goes and what happens. I just want to take it one day at a time and see how that goes.’ Carroll did say that John Moffitt, who has started at left guard in Carpenter’s absence, is ready to go if needed.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press highlights the reunion between head coach Pete Carroll and Dolphins running back Reggie Bush. Bush played for coach Carroll while the pair was at USC, “Carroll believes Bush has matured as a runner, no longer just rushing as fast as he can to the line of scrimmage, but displaying more patience for running lanes to open up. ‘Reggie has really found his tempo coming to the line of scrimmage and seeing things and using his quickness and darting and using his quickness into open spaces. He looks like a more mature runner now,’ Carroll said. ‘He used to run it up in there as fast as he could and hit it hard and it wasn’t to his advantage all the time in his career, but he’s really on it now.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice session, “Wilson has played 14 games this season going back to the preseason, more than any of his seasons in college. Yet, Wilson always played baseball in the spring and is used to always playing a sport at a competitive level. It’s kept Wilson fresh for the final six game stretch of the regular season. ‘My body feels tremendous, actually,’ Wilson said. ‘It feels like I haven’t even played a game yet. …I feel great. The bye week definitely helped but I’ll be ready to go.’ The bye came at a perfect time for the Seahawks as it allowed everyone to get healthy. Seattle had everyone back at practice Wednesday as the team began game-week preparations for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his updated “MVP Watch“, where Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has climbed two spots to No. 5 on his list of 10 potential candidates, “Lynch still ranks second in rushing yards following the Seahawks’ bye week. He now faces a Miami Dolphins defense that has ceded 132.2 yards rushing per game and 4.7 per carry over its past five games. That is up from 61.4 yards per game and 2.7 per carry over the first five games. Doug Martin recently passed Lynch for second in yards after contact. Miami has given up 366 yards after contact, the eighth-fewest in the NFL.”
Sando also breaks down the play of rookie QBs Wilson and Tannehill heading into Sunday’s matchup, “Tannehill and Seattle’s Russell Wilson are both starting despite preseason expectations they would serve as backups first. It would have seemed unfathomable when free agency began to think Matt Flynn would be backing up Wilson heading into a Week 12 matchup featuring the Tannehill-led Dolphins. That is indeed the case even though Flynn visited both teams in free agency after playing for Philbin and Seahawks general manager John Schneider in Green Bay. ‘We certainly like our quarterback,’ Philbin told reporters Wednesday. ‘I think Seattle’s quarterback is playing very well.’ Both have made positive impressions overall, particularly in light of rookie expectations. Wilson is outperforming Tannehill by leading statistical measures as the Seahawks and Dolphins prepare to face one another for the first time since 2008.”
The crew at NFL Films previews the Seahawks’ Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins in this short video.
Yesterday, the Seahawks added wide receiver Charly Martin from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, and brought in rookie Corbin Louks out of Nevada to take Martin’s place on the practice roster.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps “Wednesday in Hawkville“, with a focus on running back Marshawn Lynch.
Farnsworth also notes the return of second-year linebacker K.J. Wright, who missed the club’s Week 10 game against the New York Jets with a concussion, “It’s impossible to overstate what getting Wright back can mean to the NFL’s No. 3-ranked defense as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami. He was, after all, leading the team in tackles before getting his concussion. ‘It’s a huge get-back,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘K.J. comes back to us and he brings savvy and awareness in our system. He’s a great communicator on the field. He helps the guy up front. He helps Bobby (Wagner, the rookie middle linebacker). It’s just a big deal. ‘Plus, he’s a terrific playmaker for us. So it’s a big boost for us to get him back out there.’ ”
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, recapping what coach Carroll called “one of the most important practices of the year.”
Finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at yesterday’s practice in photos.