Tuesday cyber surfing: Focus shifts to 49ers; New “Real Rob Report”

Pete Carroll, Michael Robinson

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 18.

Yesterday afternoon the Seahawks made a practice squad roster move, releasing rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei and adding rookie defensive end Monte Taylor.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times outlines the Seahawks postseason hopes heading into Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, “While Seattle is one victory away from clinching a playoff berth, Carroll said it’s not something he plans to hold out as a carrot heading into this week’s game against the division-leading San Francisco 49ers. ‘We’ve got another game after that one, too,’ Carroll said. ‘There’s still a lot of work to be done.’ And a wide range of postseason possibilities. Seattle has control of its own playoff fate, and still has a longshot chance of winning the NFC West. Earning a first-round bye isn’t impossible.”

O’Neil also has notes on the Seahawks injury situations a day after the club’s 50-17 win over the Buffalo Bills, “The Seahawks don’t expect to have cornerbacks Walter Thurmond nor Marcus Trufant practicing when the team returns to work on Wednesday. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is still holding out hope that they might return from hamstring injuries and be available for the game Sunday night against San Francisco. … Defensive tackle Alan Branch left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, which the Seahawks are hoping doesn’t turn out to be as severe as initially feared. … Kicker Steven Hauschka appeared to be limping after a kickoff in Sunday’s game, but Carroll said he’s fine.”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has an early preview of the Seahawks Sunday night matchup with the Niners, “Sunday’s game actually makes a broader statement than Carroll suggests, because this is a head-to-head duel for dominance in the division. Since the 2011 season, the Niners have played the role of the big brother who beats you in driveway basketball and then rubs it in every night at the family dinner table. They’ve taken four straight from the Seahawks, and last season made it to the NFC Championship game while the Seahawks stayed home and watched.  An added degree of difficultly is that San Francisco isn’t just the divisional bully; the Niners now are at the top of many of the NFL power rankings. So, for the Seahawks to be the best in the division, they have to beat the best in the league. With a 9-5 record, with a three-game winning streak, with a presumptive franchise quarterback in place, an offense clicking at record levels, and a defense remembering how to force turnovers, the Seahawks have worked themselves into the position of being a worthy nemesis to the Niners.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald breaks down quarterback Russell Wilson’s nine rushes that went for 92 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s win over the Bills, “Wilson’s runs, one through nine, ended in these outcomes — ran out of bounds, scored, ran out of bounds, scored, slid, scored, ran out of bounds, ran out of bounds, and slipped before being touched down by a defender. Nine carries, no hits. That, more than Wilson’s athleticism, more than his ability to read a defense, is why what the Seahawks are doing with the zone-read option is sustainable. In Washington, Robert Griffin III is undoubtedly one of the most exciting players in the NFL, but the Redskins’ quarterback has had a concussion and a knee injury in his rookie season. Wilson? He’s barely been hit, and he almost never takes contact when rushing the ball. ‘It’s hugely important,’ Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. ‘It’s part of us trusting to continue to work it. He knows the necessity of getting out of those plays without taking the big hit. He shouldn’t pull the ball unless he’s got a lot of space. He didn’t get it right every time, but it’s really important for the longevity of that aspect of the offense. I love when he runs it out of bounds, makes six or seven yard, and then gets out and gets down on the ground when he has to.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press looks ahead to the game against the Niners and showcases the impact of the Seahawks’ zone-read, “The zone-read was added to the run game, allowing Wilson the ability to keep and use his athleticism or handoff to Marshawn Lynch. That little wrinkle has paid off especially the past three weeks. Wilson ran for 71 yards in Seattle’s overtime win at Chicago three weeks ago – then a Seattle team record – then rushed for 92 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s win over Buffalo. At the same time, the holes have become larger for Lynch because the defense must now respect Wilson as a runner. In his past two games, Lynch has just 21 carries, but rushed for 241 yards, four touchdowns and averaged 11.5 yards per carry. Through the first 11 games, Lynch had 19 runs of 10 or more yards. In the past three games, he has 14. Wilson has vaulted up to third in the league in yards rushing among quarterbacks with a franchise single-season record 402 yards. ‘It all fits together. The problems that are presented with the quarterback runs make for some opportunities,’ Carroll said. ‘… What’s really exciting is what we’re doing up front too with the blocking and figuring out the schemes and reading well and taking advantage of the looks.’ “

Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” discuss rookie sack-leader Bruce Irvin’s impact along the defensive line in this short video.

Brock Huard and Mike Salk of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” talk about the Seahawks identity as a club in this short video.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday, detailing playoff scenarios and injury updates.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his latest “Stock Watch“, noting the rise of the rookie quarterback Wilson, “Wilson’s stock was already high, but he earned a spot atop the list with a record-setting performance during Seattle’s 50-17 victory over Buffalo. Wilson became the first player in NFL history to provide three rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown in a first half. His Total QBR score for the game was 99.3, the highest qualifying single-game score in the NFL this season.”

Sando compares Wilson’s and fellow rookie quarterback Andrew Luck’s stats against the same eight opponents here, and compares Wilson’s and Griffin III’s stats against the same four opponents here.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps the activities surrounding “Monday in Hawkville” and has a look at what worked and what needs work after Sunday’s game against the Bills in his “Monday Metatarsal Musings.”

Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella review the Seahawks victory over the Bills in this short video.

Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, rehashing coach Carroll’s Monday press conference.

We have coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday available for you here and you can relive several big play calls from Sunday’s win over the Bills from radio play-by-play man Steve Raible in this audio clip.

We leave you with fullback Michael Robinson’s latest episode of “The Real Rob Report”: