Wednesday in Hawkville: It’s a day for the players to cheer the fans

Matt Flynn

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for 12-12-12:

FOCUS ON

The Power of 12. Matt Flynn wasn’t really plugged into the energy generated by the 12th Man crowd at CenturyLink Field on game days when he signed with the Seahawks as a free agent in March.

Now, he is – especially after the backup QB saw his first action of the regular season in a 58-0 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday, when he completed 5 of 9 passes for 68 yards and directed a six-play, 62-yard drive to the final touchdown.

“Obviously it’s a huge advantage for us, noise-wise,” Flynn said today, when he and teammates shifted their focus to this week’s game against the Bills in Toronto. “And they’re smart fans. They know when to get loud and when to be quiet.

“I didn’t really know much about the Seahawks when I came up here. But they’ve opened my eyes and made me a fan of them.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman is sure the Seahawks have the best fans in the league, and says they’re deserving of any and all tributes that come their way on the numerical significant day.

“I’ve seen fans with tattoos of player’s faces,” he said. “They’re so passionate about the Seahawks around here it’s incredible. So I think it’s an incredible tribute to them. I would be happy to do anything we can to give back to the fans because they give a lot to us.”

OPPONENT WATCH

C.J. Spiller. Not surprisingly, the Bills’ suddenly fulltime feature back is no stranger to Pete Carroll. The Seahawks coach tried to recruit Spiller while coaching at USC when he came out of Union County High School in Lake Butler, Fla. Spiller opted for Clemson, but Carroll definitely remembers him.

“I have tremendous respect for C.J. Spiller,” Carroll said. “I saw him as one of the great players we ever came across. And boy, he has really torn it up. They build the offense around him and he’ll get even more activity now. That means you have a chance for them to score on every play, run or pass.

“So it’s a big deal for our defense to get ready for that.”

The Seahawks will see a lot more of Spiller on Sunday because Fred Jackson is out with a sprained right knee. The two had been splitting time, but Spiller and his league-leading 6.6-yard per carry average are now front and center.

“We want to make sure that we respect the heck out of that, because we know that he’s such a great player,” Carroll said.

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

WR Sidney Rice (foot)

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Limited in practice

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)

Rice was in a walking boot today after waking up Monday with a bruised foot. “He improved quite a bit from game day,” Carroll said. “But he’s got a pretty sore foot.” Carroll added that tests of Rice’s foot found nothing that should keep him from playing against the Bills.

Trufant has missed the past two games and Carroll said he’s still in process of returning from his injury.

Chancellor and Bryant sat out to rest injuries that have limited them in practice in previous weeks. Jeron Johnson and Jason Jones filled in for them. With Thurmond limited, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell worked at cornerback.

For the Bills:

Did not practice

LB Nick Barnett (knee)

S Jairus Byrd (shin)

DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder)

RB Fred Jackson (knee)

DT Spencer Johnson (knee)

CB Leodis McKelvin (groin)

DT Kyle Williams (ankle)

C Eric Wood (knee)

Limited in practice

DE Mark Anderson (knee)

CB Ron Brooks (hip)

TE Scott Chandler (groin)

OG Andy Levitre (knee)

CB Justin Rogers (foot)

TE Lee Smith (knee)

OG Kraig Urbik (knee)

LB Chris White (thumb)

Full participation

WR Donald Jones (calf)

S Da’Norris Searcy (hand)

RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder)

CB Aaron Williams (knee)

DE Mario Williams (wrist)

NO MORE PADS

The players practiced without pads today and will for the rest of the season because the team has utilized the allotted number of padded practices allowed under the CBA that ended the 136-day lockout in 2010.

“This is the first ‘Competition Wednesday’ that we cherish so much that we aren’t in pads,” Carroll said. “I talked at length with the guys about that so we still gear and get our tempo and our speed and all the things we need to get done and still compete.

“This is a bit of a transition, so it’s a huge day. There’s a change coming up, so I’m concerned about it and want to get this thing started right.”

CLOSE, BUT …

Lynch and Sherman were nominees for NFC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, but the selections were Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings’ win over the Bears, while Lynch had 128 yards and three TDs – on 11 carries – in the Seahawks win over the Cardinals. Kuechly had a career-high 16 tackles in the Panthers’ upset of the Falcons, while Sherman returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown and also recovered a fumble against the Cardinals.

The Seahawks have had four players selected this season: quarterback Russell Wilson (last week), defensive end Chris Clemons (Week 4), Sherman (Week 10) and kick returner Leon Washington (Week 12).

WHICH SEAHAWKS DESERVE YOUR PRO BOWL VOTE?

Fan balloting for the Pro Bowl ends on Monday, so you’ve only got a few days left to rock the vote for the worthy Seahawks.

Lynch is second (431,114) among the NFC running backs to Peterson (668,942), but there are others who need your help – including center Max Unger, nose tackle Brandon Mebane, free safety Earl Thomas, Chancellor, Sherman, punter Jon Ryan and special teams standout Heath Farwell.

You can cast your vote here.

Fan balloting counts one third toward selection of the NFC squad, with the coaches and players scheduled to cast their votes Dec. 20-21.

 STAT DU JOUR

Staying with this 12-thing, the 12th Man helped prod three false-start penalties out of the Cardinals on Sunday, raising the league-leading total at CenturyLink Field to 119 since the start of the 2005 season. For those not in the stadium to see the scoreboard graphic that ticks off the false starts as they occur, here’s a look at the league leaders in that category during that span:

Stadium (team)                                  False starts

CenturyLink Field (Seahawks)                  119

Metrodome (Vikings)                                115

Ford Field (Lions)                                        107

Edward Jones Dome (Rams)                     102

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to practice for their final road game of the regular season. With the game in Toronto, the team will travel on Friday following a midday practice and hold its Saturday walkthrough in Toronto.

YOU DON’T SAY

“He’s just totally out of character. I don’t know where that’s coming from. But, keep running.” – fullback Michael Robinson on the pile-moving Lynch bouncing outside to score on a 33-yard run and then hurdling a couple of fallen players on a 20-yard TD run against the Cardinals