A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 28:
Blue Sunday. The Seahawks are turning their regular-season finale against the Rams at CenturyLink Field into a fan appreciation day, and no one appreciates the team’s 12th Man following more than coach Pete Carroll.
“It’s been a great, great season here and the fans have been fantastic,” Carroll said after practice. “The response, the spirit the whole area as expressed to our crowd; the 12th Man has just continued to answer the call.
“Everybody talks about them and how big-time they are, and then we get to Sunday night football (last week) and they (the commentators) are talking about they’ve never heard anything like that.”
For Sunday’s game against the Rams, fans are encouraged to wear blue – turning the stadium into a blue wave. There also will be random selections of fans and entire sections for prizes – from Seahawks beanies to round-trip tickets anywhere in the 48 contiguous states or Canada.
As Carroll views it, the fans deserve it all, and more.
“The 12th Man is playing well right now at the end of the year,” Carroll said. “They’re doing a good job. So we’ll celebrate one more time and see if good fortunate hits and we get another shot at it. And if we do, they’ll answer the call. They’re not done yet.”
The Seahawks already have clinched a playoff spot. They can win the NFC West title, and host a first-round playoff game, if they beat the Rams and the Cardinals beat the 49ers in San Francisco.
For the second time in two weeks, wide receiver Deon Butler has been re-signed by the Seahawks.
Butler was with the team the past three seasons, but was released in August on the roster cut to 53 players. He was re-signed on Dec. 15, the day before the Week 15 game against the Bills in Toronto, but released on Monday. Butler was re-signed again this morning.
To clear a roster spot, cornerback Ron Parker was released. Parker was with the Seahawks for two games last season, but was released in August on the roster cut to 75 players. After spending time on the Panthers’ practice squad, Parker was re-signed on Dec. 5.
Steven Jackson. The battering-Ram of a back is no stranger to the Seahawks. Sunday will be the 17th time Jackson will have played against the Seahawks during the regular season. He has 33 100-yard rushing performances in his career, but none against the Seahawks – although he has come close with 93 yards in 2006, 91 in 2008 and 90 in 2007.
But this time, Jackson is chasing history. He needs 10 rushing yards to become the sixth player in league history to have eight consecutive 1,000-yar seasons. The others? Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, Thurman Thomas and LaDainian Tomlinson.
“The last four games that we’ve watched, Steven Jackson has really been taking off,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “In the Tampa game, I think that he really showed up. He’s running harder. I mean, he always runs hard. But it seems like he has stepped it up the last couple of games and is running like a different person.”
Jackson had 81 yards against the Bucs last week, and averaged 5.6 yards per carry the week before against the Vikings.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)
OT Breno Giacomini (elbow)
LB Leroy Hill (hamstring)
DE Red Bryant (foot)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
TE Anthony McCoy (back)
WR Sidney Rice (knee)
WR Golden Tate (illness)
FS Earl Thomas (ankle)
CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)
Trufant got the most work at nickel back that he has since returning last Friday from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the past four games. “Tru did well,” Carroll said. “He’s ready to play. It’s great to have him back.”
Giacomini participated in all phases of practice today after being limited on Thursday and sitting out on Wednesday. Hill was limited today after not practicing on Wednesday or Thursday. “We’re not sure if he’s full speed yet,” Carroll said of Hill.
On Thurmond, Carroll said, “It hasn’t been as smooth as we’d like. He’s really been pushing, and just hasn’t been able to get out of the discomfort with the hamstring. You’ve got to comeback feeling nothing. You can’t be nursing it or you’re too vulnerable. So he’s still feeling it and that’s not a good sign for this week, obviously. And it’s going to be hard for him to get back next week, too, I would think.”
For the Rams:
S Craig Dahl (knee)
CB Cortland Finnegan (thigh)
RB Steven Jackson (illness)
LB James Laurinaitis (back)
WR Austin Pettis (shoulder)
CB Scott Wells (knee)
STAT DU JOUR
The 2012 Seahawks are attempting to go where only two other teams in franchise history have: Finishing unbeaten at home during the regular season. Here’s a look at the Seahawks’ top home-victory teams:
Year Home record Overall record
2003 8-0 10-6
2005 8-0 13-3
2012 7-0 ?-?
1984 7-1 12-4
1986 7-1 10-6
2007 7-1 10-6
“To have a championship team you have to dominate at home,” Carroll said. “You have to. There’s no other way to get it done. Over the long haul, you have to be great at home. You have to finish great, as well, but you’ve got to be great at home.”
After holding their final full practice of the regular season outside today, the players will have a walkthrough on Saturday.
Monday, cornerback Brandon Browner is eligible to return from his four-game suspension, just in time for the playoffs.
“It’s kind of like putting the band back together next week,” Carroll said. “It will be good back there.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m still here with a vengeance.” – cornerback Richard Sherman when asked if he was back with a vengeance after winning his appeal of a league-imposed four-game suspension