A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 4:
Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback is not into individual honors. He either pooh-poohs them, or uses them as an excuse to share the credit with his linemen, and his backs, and his receivers, and his coaches.
That was the case on Thursday, when he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for December; and also earlier this season, when he was selected NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
But Wilson also has been voted the Steve Largent Award winner by his teammates. He got the trophy that goes with the award before last week’s regular-season finale against the Rams at CenturyLink Field. He had not discussed what winning the award that has been presented annually to the player or coach who “best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks” means to him until this week – when the Seahawks have been preparing for Sunday’s NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Redskins at FedExField.
“To be voted the Steve Largent Award is an amazing award,” Wilson said. “Obviously Steve Largent is one of the best, if not the best, Seahawk players to play all-time and is a tremendous human being. So for the players and the organization to vote me the Steve Largent Award is pretty unbelievable to me and it’s very, very exciting.
“It’s a tribute to my faith, I believe, and also to my parents and just my teammates I have around me.”
He is the first rookie to win the honor, and his first-year status went into the thought process of those who voted for him.
“Just being around him and seeing what type of person he is, how strong he is in his religion,” wide receiver Golden Tate said. “He is a rookie quarterback, and you know how hard it is with all the criticism that comes with being not only a quarterback but a rookie quarterback. So for him to still find a way to show up every day with a positive attitude and become a leader so quickly, and lead this team to an 11-5 record and into the playoffs, how can you deny that?”
Not boo-hoo Blue, but woo-hoo Blue. Hawkville was expanded today to include the top of the Space Needle and even the skies over the Seattle area as the Seahawks were given the royal-blue treatment as a sendoff for Sunday’s game.
A huge 12th Man flag was run up the flag pole atop the Space Needle this morning by a rockin’ contingent that included Jason Finn of Presidents of the United States of America, Nick Harmer and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Macklemore, Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire Shabazz Palaces and Scott Mercado of Candlebox. Seattle mayor Mike McGinn also was on hand.
Another 12th Man flag was towed behind a plane along the I-405 corridor from 2-3 p.m.
“I’m sure (the fans) are jacked up,” coach Pete Carroll said today after practice. “We’ve shared so much excitement in the years we’ve been here already. I’m sure everybody is pumped up about it. … It should be a lot of excitement. Hopefully we can deliver for them. I’d love to bring it back home with a win behind us and we’re ready to go to the next level.”
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
CB Jeremy Lane (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
The Seahawks couldn’t be much healthier heading into their playoff opener, with Lane practicing today on a limited basis after sitting out Thursday because of a sore knee. “We’re very, very fortunate,” Carroll said. “You’re going to look at, I think, the same 11 on both sides that started the season. I can’t remember that happening.”
Leroy Hill is ready to go, Carroll said, and will split time at weakside linebacker with Malcolm Smith. Also back is cornerback Brandon Browner, who returned Monday from his four-game suspension. He will start on the right side against the Redskins.
For the Redskins:
CB Dominique Johnson (knee) was placed on IR
OG Kory Lichtensteiger (ankle)
S DeJon Gomes (knee)
LB Lorenzo Alexander (shoulder)
DE Stephen Bowen (biceps)
QB Kirk Cousins (illness)
LB London Fletcher (ankle)
WR Pierre Garcon (foot)
QB Robert Griffin III (knee)
CB DeAngelo Hall (elbow)
LB Ryan Kerrigan (ankle)
C Will Montgomery (knee)
WR Josh Morgan (hand, foot)
S Jordan Pugh (ankle)
P Saverio Rocca (right knee)
S Madieu Williams (elbow)
STAT DU JOUR
Wilson and the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III put up numbers during the regular season that where impressive for any quarterback, and exceptional for rookie QBs – not to mention eerily similar in some categories. Here’s a comparison:
Category Wilson Griffin
Victories 11 9
Attempts 393 393
Completions 252 258
Completion percentage .641 .656
Passing yards 3,118 3,200
300-yard passing games 0 3
Touchdown passes 26 20
Interceptions 10 5
Passer rating 100.0 102.4
Rushing yards 489 815
Rushing average 5.2 6.8
Rushing touchdowns 4 7
The team flew to Baltimore on Friday following the players’ midday practice. They will hold their Saturday walkthrough in the D.C. area.
The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the divisional round of the playoffs next weekend.
YOU DON’T SAY, NATIONAL EDITION
“One of the most anticipated Wild Card games I can remember. How stunning it is to see two rookie quarterbacks ranked 3-4 in quarterback rating (ahead of Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger), meeting in the postseason in their rookie years, piloting non-playoff teams from last year with a combined 21 wins? I pick Seattle because of quarterback health and defensive secondary. Each team has a bruising running back who could take over the game and rush for 150. Each team has enough front-seven weapons to make it hot for the rookie QBs. But Russell Wilson will be more evasive, if recent play stands up, because Robert Griffin III is slightly slowed from his Dec. 9 knee sprain against Baltimore. And with Brandon Browner returning to pair with the non-suspended Richard Sherman, the Seattle secondary is back at full strength just in time.” – Peter King at SI.com, who’s obviously “All In” in picking a 24-22 Seahawks victory on Sunday
YOU DON’T SAY, LOCAL EDITION
“Wasn’t that when Ronald Reagan was President? Really. Come on now. None of these guys even had a clue. They don’t know who Ronald Reagan is. So that should shed some light on how much that factors in.” – Carroll, when asked about the Seahawks not having won a playoff game on the road since 1983