A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 13:
The rookie class. We’ve written a lot about the rookies, and for good reason. They’ve done so much to help the team already win more games this season (eight) than the Seahawks won in their first two seasons (seven) under coach Pete Carroll.
What’s news is how quickly the rookies realized they could be special.
“I knew that as soon as I got here for rookie minicamp,” rookie QB Russell Wilson said today of the first time the rookies gathered in May. “I had a great, great feeling about it. The passion and energy we brought to the practice every day. You wanted to see if that was going to continue into the summer and into the season.
“Everybody talks about that rookie wall. Well, we haven’t hit it. I really don’t believe we’ve hit it. We’re not even close and we’re ready to go.”
And the Seahawks can go to the postseason in the rookies’ first season, if they continue to take care of business one game at a time – starting with Sunday’s game against the Bills in Toronto.
While Wilson, a third-round draft choice, already has done things no other rookie QB in the history of the league has, first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin leads all rookies this season with eight sacks; second-round pick and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the team with 108 tackles; fourth-round pick Robert Turbin had his first 100-yard rushing effort in last week’s game against the Cardinals; and cornerback Jeremy Lane (sixth round), guard J.R. Sweezy (seventh round), defensive lineman Greg Scruggs (seventh round) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (free agents) also played a lot, and made plays, against the Cardinals.
“That’s the great thing about it, our energy and our passion for the game and for this franchise is very, very high,” Wilson said. “So we want to do our best to represent very, very well.”
That opinion on the rapid, and continuing, impact of the rookies is not a one-man band.
“Probably the first day of OTAs,” Wagner said when asked when he realized these rookies could be something special. “I saw Russell flinging the ball, and Bruce rushing the passer, and just everything we were doing.”
Richard Sherman. This time, the view comes from a teammate – Wilson, who was with the free-spirited second-year cornerback when a group of players visited Seattle Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.
“Richard is a tremendous guy,” Wilson said. “He’s very, very intelligent. You can see that. He has this love for football, just like I do. He may express it in a little different way, but that’s not a bad thing. That’s his personality in terms of competing. He brings that fire to his teammates. He brings that compassion and fire to himself. That’s how he motivates himself. That’s great.
“It’s the National Football League, he’s just having fun.”
The off-field view of Sherman isn’t that much different.
“I think the biggest thing is, when we’re in Children’s Hospital and stuff like that, you can see his love for people and just how he likes to talk to kids,” Wilson said. “And that’s great. To be around a guy like Richard Sherman who, for sure in my opinion, is a Pro Bowl-type player, to see him be around young kids is pretty awesome.”
The official report, as issued by the team:
Did not practice
DE Red Bryant (foot)
SS Kam Chancellor (groin)
WR Sidney Rice (foot)
CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)
CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)
Limited in practice
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
WR Charly Martin (calf)
With Thurmond sitting out after injuring a hamstring in practice on Wednesday, Byron Maxwell and Lane split the reps at right cornerback. Bryant and Chancellor sat out for the second day and were replaced by Jason Jones and Jeron Johnson. Rice was out of the walking boot he was wearing on Wednesday.
For the Bills:
Did not practice
LB Nick Barnett (knee)
RB Fred Jackson (knee)
C Eric Wood (knee)
Limited in practice
S Jairus Byrd (shin)
DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder)
DT Spencer Johnson (knee)
CB Leodis McKelvin (groin)
DT Kyle Williams (ankle)
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)
WR Donald Jones (calf)
S Da’Norris Searcy (hand)
RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder)
CB Aaron Williams (knee)
DE Mario Williams (wrist)
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE
It’s OK to text. It’s OK to drive. It’s just not OK to do both at the same time. Just ask Wilson, who is partnering with Verizon to reward the high school that gets the most pledges from students to not text and drive.
“I have an awesome partnership with Verizon Wireless, it’s ‘Save it Seattle,’ ” Wilson said. “Basically, we’re trying to get as many pledges as we can from all the high schools and all the high schoolers to not text and drive.
“I’ve texted and driven before, and you don’t want to do that. I’ve made that pledge myself.”
The school that gets the most pledges by next Wednesday will get a visit from Wilson.
STAT DU JOUR
With three games left in the regular season, the Seahawks’ postseason opportunities run the gambit from claiming the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs to not even making playoffs. How’s that for disparity in a league that loves parity?
How can the Seahawks leapfrog from the top wild-card spot, which they currently hold, to the No. 1 seed? It starts with the Seahawks beating the Bills, 49ers and Rams to finish with 11 wins. It also would entail the top-seeded Falcons (11-2) losing their three remaining games; the 49ers (9-3-1) losing two of their remaining three; the Packers (9-4) finishing with no more than 11 wins, because the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker with their Week 3 victory over Green Bay; and the Giants (8-5) losing another game.
How can the Seahawks leapfrog the 49ers to win the NFC West? This dare-to-dream scenario is more intriguing, and also closer to reality. If the Seahawks beat the Bills and the 49ers lose to the Patriots (10-3) in Foxboro on Sunday night, the Seahawks could move into first place with a win over the 49ers next Sunday night at CenturyLink Field – and then clinch with a win over the Rams at CenturyLink on the 30th.
What’s the fallback scenario? The Seahawks win two of their final three to earn a wild-card spot with 10 wins.
What’s that last option? We don’t want to find out.
The team will fly to Toronto on Friday afternoon following a midday practice, and then hold its Saturday walkthrough in the Canadian city.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You’ve always talked about how coach Carroll was such a great inspiration to you, can you elaborate on that?” – Carroll, sticking his head into Wilson’s weekly Q&A session to ask a mock question, and make Wilson laugh