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Friday cyber surfing: Pass rushers and passers

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 30:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com discusses the Seahawks’ biggest need in the NFL Draft with Brock Huard and Mike Salk at 710 ESPN. Sando opts for a pass-rusher: “I lean toward making pass-rush help a higher priority while the team finds out whether (Matt) Flynn has the ability to maximize the existing weapons and make full use of additional ones. The chart shows which players accounted for the Seahawks’ 33 sacks last season. Five of the players with at least 3.0 sacks are unsigned and/or will not return.”

One of those players who won’t be back is Anthony Hargrove, who agreed to terms with the Packers in free agency. Tyler Dunne at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the details: “Green Bay only had 29 sacks in 2011, as the loss of Cullen Jenkins lingered all year. The 6-foot-3½, 272-pound Hargrove probably isn’t a savior. This will be his fifth team in eight seasons. The 28-year-old has played for the St. Louis Rams (2004-’06), Buffalo Bills (2006-’07), New Orleans Saints (2009-’10) and Seattle Seahawks (2011). But he should offer the Packers’ defensive front something it sorely lacks – speed.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with the media at the NFL owners meeting on Wednesday, and was asked about the Jets’ QB situation now that Tim Tebow has joined Mark Sanchez. Clark Judge at CBSSports.com has the details: “Carroll coached Sanchez at USC, so he knows the guy. But he knows about Tebow, too, with Sanchez saying he once played host to him as a recruit at USC. ‘I think Mark will respond the way you need to,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s smart enough. He gets it. He’s said all the things he could say at this point. Now it’s back to: Let’s go play football. And Mark will be ready for that. There’s no question there’s a ripple in the force there in their locker room. Tebow is that extraordinary of a person and a player. I was just as much a fan watching that thing happen this year as anybody, and I was just amazed at his ability to do it.’ ”

Speaking of Carroll, he, GM John Schneider and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell attended the Pro Day workout of QB Ryan Tannehill at Texas A&M on Thursday. Charean Williams at the Fort Worth Star Telegram has the details: “Seattle’s contingent was larger than expected considering they just signed free agent Matt Flynn to a three-year, $26 million deal. General manager John Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were in College Station. ‘He did a really good job,’ Carroll said. ‘He should feel very proud of the workout today and the preparation that he and Chris (Weinke) put in to get here. He did a really nice job.’ “

 
Mike Mayock at NFL.com has more on Tannehill’s workout: “He’s a big, strong kid that can rip the ball. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds, but we all knew he was athletic already because he’s a former wide receiver. His foot is fine. He threw the ball extremely well on short, intermediate and deep passes. His movement skills in the pocket were excellent; he had good feet and good accuracy on the run. Everything checks out.”

Also at CBSSports.com, Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com updated his mock draft this week and it includes a new selection at No. 12 for the Seahawks: “Luke Kuechly, Boston College, inside linebacker. A year ago the Seahawks’ starting three linebackers were Aaron Curry (strong side), David Hawthorne (middle) and Leroy Hill (weak side). After trading Curry to Oakland during the season, Seattle doesn’t appear particularly concerned about the possibility of losing Hawthorne or Hill to free agency. Perhaps that’s because they’re targeting the All-American Kuechly, who’d be an upgrade in the middle.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we caught up with Michael Jackson, the former University of Washington linebacker who also led the Seahawks in tackle for three consecutive seasons: “Now 54, Jackson was a broadcaster for one season with NBC after he retired and then moved to Los Angeles briefly to pursue an acting career. But he moved back to the Seattle area after only six months because, as he put it, ‘There were dog-eat-dog people down there.’ He works for Diamond Parking, in their real estate division. He and his wife, Kathy, have three sons – Christopher, Justin, and Marshall; a daughter – Donnall; and eight grandchildren. ‘Everybody is doing well, and everybody is happy,’ he said.”

We’ve also got guard John Moffitt and center Max Unger helping spread the word on an agreement with KCPQ to televise the team’s preseason games in this video.


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All the right moves?

Who needs “Dancing with the Stars”?

A highlight of just about every Seahawks practice in the just-completed season was rookie cornerback Richard Sherman bustin’ a move – or three – along the sideline. What did it look like? Think one of those air-motion windsock figures that are used to draw attention by some businesses.

Late in the season, the practice dancing spilled over to the locker room when defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove challenged Sherman to a dance-off – Brooklyn (Hargrove) vs. Compton (Sherman), if you will; or at least vet (Hargrove) vs. rookie (Sherman); or perhaps bulk (Hargrove) vs. bravado (Sherman).

The competition was captured on video by Michael Robinson and posted on the fullback’s website – RealRobReport.com. You can check it out here – the dance-off is after the report on Justin Forsett’s “shower pill.”

And who won this battle of almost-stars?

“I am definitely claiming victory,” Sherman said, moments after the dance-off – and uproarious response it ignited with teammates – had subsided. “I put a couple of things on tape that he was unable to match. He put a lot of good moves out there with the ‘wheel chair.’ He pulled out all the stops. It was an incredibly impressive effort from a 300-pounder.”


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Friday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 30:

FOCUS ON

Three blasts of the horn. That’s the daily signal that practice is over – three toots from the air horn manned by assistant equipment manager Kyle Stillwell.

Today, the horn blasted three times for the final time this season, as the Seahawks will play their finale on Sunday against the Cardinals in Arizona. It’s the first time in Pete Carroll’s two seasons as coach that he knew his players were practicing for the final time, because last year the Seahawks made the playoffs and got to the divisional round before losing to the Bears in Chicago.

“I did say something to them. I did applaud the fact that here we are (23 weeks) into it, or whatever it is, and they practiced like crazy today,” Carroll said. “And with great attitude and energy and all that. That’s a tribute to what’s going on in the locker room, because they brought it out on the practice field again.

“And that’s going to help us always be effective and do the best we can do.”

Still, there was an odd feeling in the locker room after the final practice.

“It’s a little weird,” center Max Unger said. “It was a pretty quick season, though. You think back and the season just went by real fast. We were just talking about it, and it feels like we’re packing our bags to go to Pittsburgh right now.”

That was for the Seahawks’ Week 2 game against the Steelers. Part of the reason the season seemed to go so quickly is that it took so long for this season to finally get here after the 136-day lockout that erased the spring minicamps and OTA sessions. So once training camp opened, it’s been a mad dash to the finish.

“It’s a little surreal,” Unger said. “But you don’t really think about it because you’re working away, then you pop your head out and it’s all over.”

INJURY REPORT

Middle linebacker David Hawthorne, wide receiver Ben Obomanu, right tackle Breno Giacomini and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove returned to practice today. Hawthorne and Obomanu sat out Wednesday and Thursday, while Giacomini and Hargrove did not practice Thursday.

“Guys that were banged up, it looks like they’re going to make it back,” Carroll said. “So we’ll go in pretty healthy.”

Giacomini and Hargrove are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, and their final status is expected to be determined after they work out Sunday.

Here’s the official end-of-the-week status report:

Questionable

OT Breno Giacomini (abdominal)

DT Anthony Hargrove (calf)

Probable

CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

DT Clinton McDonald (concussion)

LB Malcolm Smith (concussion)

MLB David Hawthorne (knee)

WR Ben Obomanu (knee)

S Jeron Johnson (illness)

For the Cardinals:

Out

OT Brandon Keith (ankle)

Questionable

S Rashad Johnson (knee)

QB Kevin Kolb (head)

RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring)

RB Beanie Wells (knee)

S Kerry Rhodes (ankle)

CB Patrick Peterson (Achilles)

Probable

CB Michael Adams (shoulder)

S Sean Considine (foot)

Kolb continues to experience concussion symptoms, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters after the team’s practice today. So it looks like John Skelton will start at quarterback on Sunday.

Four other starters also were limited in practice: leading rusher Beanie Wells, cornerback Patrick Peterson, free safety Kerry Rhodes and kickoff returner LaRod Stephens-Howling. Whisenhunt said Peterson’s status will be a game-day decision.

STAT DU JOUR

If you don’t know that Marshawn Lynch is the NFL’s leading rusher over the past eight games, you haven’t been paying attention. But it’s even more impressive when you look at the other backs who trail Lynch and his 855 yards during that stretch – and those who aren’t even in the running. Here’s the list:

Player, team                                     Att.   Yards    Avg.   TD

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks          192    855      4.5       9

Reggie Bush, Dolphins                     141    751      5.3       6

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars         152    627      4.6       5

Arian Foster, Texans                         143    692      4.8       6

Chris Johnson, Titans                        140    684      4.9       3

UP NEXT

One final walk-through on Saturday morning before the team flies to Phoenix for Sunday’s season finale.

The players will clean out their locker on Monday morning, prior to a final team meeting.

YOU DON’T SAY

“This is an important game for us and we’d really like to play well. We know (the Cardinals) are doing really well and they want it just as badly as we do. So it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes. We’re looking forward to it.” Carroll on teams that started 2-6 (the Seahawks) and 1-6 (the Cardinals) playing for the chance to finish 8-8


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Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Dec. 23:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times takes a big look at the Seahawks’ big, and big-play, secondary – cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas: “Seattle has 21 interceptions this season, already its most in any season since 2004. The secondary has accounted for all but five of those picks, and of the five turnovers Seattle forced in Chicago last week, the secondary produced four of them. The Seahawks have the youngest secondary in the NFL. They might also have the most unlikely.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune stays on the turnover theme, as the 49ers have the most in the NFL and the Seahawks rank in the Top 5 entering Saturday’s game at CenturyLink Field: “ ‘It’s absolutely the No. 1 philosophy in how you play the game for us,’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said about his team’s recent turnover streak. ‘It’s all about the ball, and guys are doing it.’ One of the reasons for Seattle’s success creating turnovers has been the offense’s ability to get ahead. The Seahawks have been ahead or tied at the end of the first half in five of the past six games, which allows the defensive linemen to pin their ears back and rush the passer.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald takes a closer look at Earl Thomas, the Seahawks’ free safety who has stepped up his game despite the fact that his interception total is down from his rookie season: “Last year Thomas, the 14th overall pick in the NFL draft, had five interceptions as his incredible speed and athleticism allowed him to make plays even if he wasn’t always in the right place. Yet for all the big plays, there also were times when Thomas’ inexperience led to miscues in the secondary. This season he has just two interceptions, but Thomas has been a much better player overall.”

Tim Booth at the Associated Press, via PI.com, looks at the playoff implications for both teams: “Meanwhile, Seattle (7-7) has won five of six to get back to .500, but needs plenty of help to complete its second-half charge and reach the postseason for a second straight season. Foremost is Seattle must win its final two games and see either Atlanta or Detroit drop its final two games to even have a hope. ‘Some things got to happen for us to get to the playoffs. If that happen it happens, if it don’t, it don’t,’ Lynch said. ‘I’m just proud to see the turnaround that we had, especially with all these young guys and pieces that we’ve had.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks’ leading receiver who turned an ankle in practice but it expected to play against the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh, his coach at Stanford last season: “ ‘Well, I should have drafted him,’ was Harbaugh’s first response this week when asked about Baldwin. ‘Kicking myself for not doing that. And at the same time, really happy for Doug. I’ve seen him really grow the whole season, from preseason. He’s been relentless. … He lines up in a lot of different places and does a lot of different things for Seattle. It’s been great to see him, knowing him the way I know him. I can’t say enough.’ ”

We’ve also got Red Bryant’s reaction to the birth of his first child and Richard Sherman’s reaction to his locker room dance-off with Anthony Hargrove in “Thursday in Hawkville,” as well as Tony Ventrella’s video recap.

For a look at the rest of the league, there’s John Clayton’s “First and 10” at ESPN.com, which includes this note on the Seahawks: “The Seahawks have become a hot defense that now ranks eighth in the league. The best showdown will be the 49ers’ run defense, which hasn’t given up a rushing touchdown, going against Seahawks halfback Marshawn Lynch, who has a touchdown (11 rushing, one receiving) his past 10 games”; and Peter King’s “Weekend Pickoff” at SI.com where he likes the 49ers, but also the Seahawks: “I like the 49ers a lot, and think they have a heck of a shot to confound the offense-lovers in January and win one or two playoff games. I like Seattle a little more in this game because I tend to like the desperate team late in the season. And because you 49er fans get SOOOOOO angry when I pick against your team. It’s such a cute trait. Pick: Seahawks 17, 49ers 10.”


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Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 22:

FOCUS ON

Red Bryant. Or, actually Joseph Brooks Bryant, Red’s son who was born last night.

Coach Pete Carroll caused a mini-stir when he tweeted, “We heard he was 17.2 lbs.” Actually, the first child of Bryant and his wife, Janelle, weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces. But that doesn’t mean Joseph doesn’t have much bigger things in his future.

“My wife, she definitely was happy it wasn’t 17 pounds,” Bryant, who weighs 330, said in the locker room after today’s practice. “He’s just the same size I was when I was a baby. My mom said I actually doubled my weight in two weeks. So I’m assuming he’s going to do the same.

“But he’s the exact build and everything that I was. A lot of people thought he was going to be humungous, but I knew he was going to be an average baby. But I also know he’s going to grow to be a big, strong man.”

Joseph also is Red’s given name, but the baby is not a Jr. because of his middle name.

“We named him after my Godmother, Sue Brooks,” Bryant said. “She passed away two years ago from cancer. So we named him to honor her.”

But will anyone call the latest member of the Bryant/Green family Joseph? Or will he become “Little Red”?

“I don’t know,” Bryant said. “His grandma, my wife’s mom, she’s worried that people are going to call him ‘Little Red.’ It’s probably going to come with the territory. I want him to have his own identity. But I’ll be surprised if people didn’t call him ‘Little Red.’ ”

So, will the starting left defensive end for the Seahawks in 22 years be named Joseph Brooks Bryant, and wear No. 79? Janelle’s father, Jacob Green, filled that role and jersey from 1980-91 when he set the franchise record with 116 sacks. Now, her husband and Jacob’s son-in-law is playing the same spot and wearing the same number.

“That would be a huge coincidence,” Bryant said with a huge smile. “You never know. You never know. I’m pretty sure his grandfather is going to be in his ear. I’ll be in his ear. So we’ll see where the chips fall.”

Bryant then paused, as if to let the events of his sleepless night and the entire year wash over him.

“I’m just extremely blessed,” he said. “My wife is doing great. My son is doing great. 2011 has just been a great year. I can’t thank God enough. He’s truly been good to me.”

ON THE FIELD

The players worked without pads or helmets for 90 minutes in the indoor practice facility, their final full workout before Saturday’s game against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field.

“We had a great week,” Carroll said. “This has really been the kind of week you hope for this late in the season. The guys are really on it. We’re looking forward to a tremendous opportunity to play at home for the last time this year. We’re excited about that.

“And the fact that every ticket is sold, that’s exciting that the fans are ready to go and the 12th MAN will rockin’. So we’ll make it one great event for everybody, hopefully, by playing well.”

DANCE FEVER

After practice, rookie cornerback Richard Sherman and veteran defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove strutted some different moves in the locker room. With teammates watching, cheering and capturing the action on their phones, they ripped through a dance-off. It was only fitting, because these two are always dancing on the sideline during practice.

And the winner was? “I am definitely claiming victory,” Sherman said. “I put a couple of things on tape that he was unable to match. He put a lot of good plays out there with the ‘wheel chair.’ He pulled out all the stops. It was an incredibly impressive effort from a 300-pounder.”

IN ’N OUT

Leading receiver Doug Baldwin did not practice today after turning his left ankle in practice yesterday, but Carroll said he expects the rookie to be ready to play against the 49ers.

Bryant returned to practice, as did fellow D-linemen Raheem Brock and Clinton McDonald.

Here’s the official injury report:

Did not practice

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

CB Kennard Cox (hamstring)

LB Malcolm Smith (concussion)

Limited participation

DT Clinton McDonald (concussion)

Full participation

OG Robert Gallery (pelvis)

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

MLB David Hawthorne (knee)

FINAL JEOPARDY

The Seahawks were the question to the Final Jeopardy answer on the popular TV quiz show last night. Well, the proper response was Seattle Seahawks, because the answer was which NFL team has the same three letters in its nickname as the city it represents.

“I know there’s a lot of important stuff going on, but do you realize we were on ‘Jeopardy’ last night?” Carroll said. “Pretty good.”

Asked what the question was, Carroll didn’t hesitate before offering, “Will you pose that answer in the form of a question, please?”

STAT DU JOUR

Brandon Browner has etched his name into the Seahawks’ record book in his first season with the team. The free-agent cornerback from the CFL has more interception return yards (220) than any player in franchise history, as well as the longest return (97 yards). He also has tied a club record with interceptions in his past four games. Here’s a look at that list:

Player (year)                          No.

Cornell Webster (1978-79)    4

John Harris (1980)                   4

Dave Brown (1983-84)            4

Kenny Easley (1984)                4

Eugene Robinson (1991)        4

Brandon Browner (2011)       4

UP NEXT

Friday, which of course is Saturday in this mismatched week at VMAC, because the Seahawks play on Saturday. So the typical day-before-the-game walk-through will be held Friday morning.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I should have drafted him. Kicking myself for not doing that.” – Jim Harbaugh on Baldwin, who played for the 49ers coach at Stanford last season


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 29:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Silver Linings” from the Seahawks’ loss to the Redskins on Sunday, including this one: “Seattle’s offensive line generally played well, helping to limit the Redskins’ Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan to a half-sack between them.”

Sando also wonders if the Seahawks should take a look at No. 3 QB Josh Portis before the end of the season, something several on our game-day online chat also have asked about. Says Sando: “This season was about discovery at the quarterback position and building other positions before drafting a QB in 2012. The Seahawks have seen enough from backup Charlie Whitehurst, who likely will not be back next season. Tarvaris Jackson proved he’s tough and capable enough to serve as a bridge to the team’s next starter. Portis’ talents have intrigued the coaching staff. When else will the team have a chance to give Portis a look in real games?”

Speaking of Jackson, Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says Jackson’s sore shoulder could put the Seahawks in a bind with the short week to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles: “His passing yardage has declined in each of the past four games, and his health will be a central issue when the Seahawks play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday. That’s the day Jackson has just begun throwing in practice the past couple of weeks. Forget all the questions concerning Seattle’s quarterback of the future, because there’s a question of how long Jackson can stay in the pocket in the present.”

O’Neil also has “Three Things we Learned” from Sunday’s loss, including this one: “Three yards in a cloud of dust has its risks. The Seahawks have established a formula for winning, which includes a heaping helping of Marshawn Lynch and a gob of defense thick enough to choke out the opponent. Lynch surpassed 100 yards rushing for the third time in four games, but when the Seahawks gave up two touchdowns on third-down plays in the span of 3 minutes, 33 seconds in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were in a position where they had to throw and they simply couldn’t. Having an offense that is as repetitive and as run-based as Seattle’s has been leaves a team very vulnerable should it fall behind. To repeat: If Seattle is put in a position where it has to throw, it’s in trouble.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at Jackson’s situation: “At this point, no one can question Tarvaris Jackson toughness, his desire, or his dedication to the team. What Sunday’s loss to Washington showed we can question, however, is if the Seattle Seahawks quarterback should still be playing. That’s not to say Jackson is the primary reason why the Seahawks lost. His receivers let him down by repeatedly dropping passes, the defense gave up some unforgivable big plays, and penalties on both sides of the ball again played a big role. But what was evident watching Jackson play Sunday is the Seahawks quarterback is playing hurt, and that the pectoral injury is affecting his play.”

Also at the Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “The Game of My Life” series with a look at Keith Simpson: “Atop the desk of Keith Simpson’s office at his Houston-area home, a photograph greets him each morning. The black-and-white, unframed photo is a keepsake of a time when young football players were in the prime of their lives, when they felt indestructible. In the picture, four men celebrate arm in arm after their Seattle Seahawks recorded a dominating win and made history in the process. Two of the men, Pro Bowl safety Kenny Easley and defensive backs coach Ralph Hawkins, are beaming with pride. The others, cornerbacks Keith Simpson and Dave Brown, are too tired to even grin. Easley and Simpson hold a football under their arms, signifying the touchdowns they scored that afternoon. Brown, he has a pair of footballs, having made it to the end zone twice. And Hawkins grins like a proud father: These are my guys. Four men, having the time of their lives.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the Seahawks’ penalty problem, and how it’s not a new problem for coach Pete Carroll: “According to statistics compiled by the Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen, during his time at USC (2004-09), Carroll-led teams were the fourth-most penalized team in the Pacific-10 Conference, averaging seven penalties per game for 61.44 yards. The Trojans led the Pac-10 in penalties in 2007 and 2008, with an average of eight a game. USC finished a combined 23-3 those two seasons largely because the Trojans had more talent than the rest of the Pac-10.”

Here at Seahawks.com, in our “Monday metatarsal musings” we take another look at Red Bryant’s block party on Sunday and exactly what’s going on: “It’s the scheme, of course, as special teams coach Brian Schneider and assistant Jeff Ulbrich have devised ways to allow Bryant to come free for those blocks. It’s also team work, as Raheem Brock, Anthony Hargrove and David Hawthorne have to do their assignments properly to allow Bryant to do his thing. ‘For that entire group, it’s become extremely important to them,’ Ulbrich said on Monday. ‘You look around the league and a lot of defenses take that snap off. But these guys have really approached it like it’s the most important defensive play.’ It’s also Bryant, too. A 6-foot-4, 330-pounder with long arms, he has the ability and agility to wedge his body through the slightest of gaps and a drive that borders on the demented. ‘Obviously Red is very talented,’ Ulbrich said. ‘He has great get-off and then he has great length. That makes a big difference.’ ”

We’ve also got a look at this condensed week in “Monday in Hawkville,” and a look back at Sunday’s game in Tony Ventrella’s video review.


Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 25:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at how the key to the Seahawks’ run defense starts with its super-sized front line: “And in this case, the Seahawks’ strength is just that: their strength. Seattle’s defensive line is so stout it forced the past two opponents to shy away from deploying their Pro Bowl running backs. The Ravens’ Ray Rice got only five carries in the Seahawks’ upset two weeks ago while the Rams’ Steven Jackson was held to 42 yards — his second-lowest output of the season — last week in St. Louis. Seattle’s four starting defensive linemen average 303.3 pounds, which isn’t all that heavy. It ranks 11th of the league’s 32 teams, but fourth heaviest among teams that use the 4-3 defense with four down linemen.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at punter Jon Ryan, and his Pro Bowl-worthy efforts through the first 10 games: “Asked what’s been the driving force for Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan’s productive season so far, long snapper Clint Gresham pointed to the long, ginger-colored locks – the kind that would make a heavy metal drummer proud – he shaved off just before the season started. ‘Honestly the most important thing that he’s done differently this year is cut his hair,’ deadpanned Gresham. ‘It’s kind of like the reverse Samson effect. And he’s just all power.’ Ryan, who turns 30 on Saturday, would like to believe there’s more to it than that. In his fourth season with Seattle, the Canadian – born in Regina, Saskatchewan – has combined a tireless work ethic with a good deal of talent to develop into one of the best punters in the league.“

John Boyle at the Everett Herald does a little early Christmas shopping on Black Friday and picks up this gift for Pete Carroll: “What he needs is a franchise quarterback. The good news for you the gift giver, however, is that the always optimistic Carroll will be able to smile and put a positive spin on anything you get him. Yes, even that ugly Christmas sweater will be beautiful and have him pumped and jacked from now until New Years Day.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press, via PI.com, looks at Leroy Hill, and how the linebacker is making up for lost time after missing just about all of last season: “When Carroll threw on the film of last Sunday’s 24-7 win over St. Louis, he didn’t point out Hill’s second sack of the year where he blew through the line to plant Rams QB Sam Bradford. Instead, Carroll pointed out a trio of plays where Hill ran all the way across the field trying to help make a tackle. They are the plays that Carroll loves and the type that could give Hill a future in Seattle beyond this season. ‘You always wish you could make more plays, but a lot of the plays you make aren’t in the stats,’ Hill said. ‘I wish I could have made more critical plays, but in terms of performance I think I’ve been playing pretty well.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com, we profile Anthony Hargrove, the against-all-odds defensive linemen who arrived in Seattle this season with quite a story to tell: “Where to start with this tale that deserves to be made into a movie, and not just another story on another website? ‘If half the stuff I’ve read about you is true, it’s pretty amazing that you’re sitting here being interviewed for this story,’ Hargrove was told as he settled into a chair outside the locker room. Hargrove laughed and said, ‘Well, more than half of it is true. You want to start at the beginning?’ ”

We’ve also got a Turkey-day recap of the Seahawks’ activities in “Thursday in Hawkville,” as well as Tony Ventrella’s weekly “Seahawks Insider” and his special Thanksgiving Day edition of “Seahawks Daily.”


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Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 23:

FOCUS ON

Talking turkey. What else would you do on Thanksgiving Eve? And that exactly what Tarvaris Jackson did today. After, of course, discussing Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks’ quarterback is cooking Thanksgiving dinner – or actually deep-frying his birds – with an assist from wide receiver Sidney Rice. Or, “the assistant chef,” as Jackson called him.

Asked what he was thinking about heading into the holiday, Jackson offered, “I’m thinking about eating good. I’m cooking, too, so hopefully we can get out of here a little early – hint, hint.”

Coach Pete Carroll is on the same page – or schedule – with his QB. The players will practice earlier on Thursday so the players can spend the afternoon with family, friends and teammates.

“I’m just looking forward to laying back, chillin’ and spending time with the family,” Jackson said. “Maybe some of the teammates will come over and get a taste of my cooking.”

Carroll also is doing the players a favor by having the weekly weigh-in on Thursday, rather than Friday like other teams.

“We get to weigh-in before we go eat, so that’s good,” Jackson said.

That wasn’t the case when Jackson and Rice played for the Vikings.

“We had to weigh-in on that Friday,” he said. “And with Thanksgiving on a Thursday and you got to weigh-in Friday morning, you can’t really enjoy your food because you’re thinking about how you have to weigh-in.”

What else is on the Jackson-Rice menu? “A little dressing, potato salad, mac-and-cheese,” Jackson said. “We’re going to try to do it up.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Roy Helu. The Redskins’ running back is averaging a team-leading 4.9 yards per carry and is in line to get more carries against the Seahawks after Tashard Choice was released on Tuesday.

As has been the case with so many players the Seahawks face, Carroll has a history with the rookie from Nebraska.

“Pat Ruel (assistant line coach) and I went and saw him in high school and we talked to him and visited him in recruiting,” said Carroll, who was coaching at USC at the time. “And we didn’t go after him.”

So Helu, who played at San Ramon Valley High School in California, headed to Nebraska.

“Kicked butt at Nebraska,” Carroll said. “Here he is now … running like crazy, catching balls everywhere.

“We definitely missed on Roy. He’s a really good player and he’s really fast – way faster than I ever thought he was if we had taken him.”

IN ’N OUT

Rice and fellow wide receiver Ben Obomanu sat out practice today, so Golden Tate got a lot of work with the No. 1 offense opposite Mike Williams. Defensive tackle Alan Branch also did not practice, so Clinton McDonald filled in for him.

Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove and safety Atari Bigby returned to practice after missing Sunday’s victory over the Rams in St. Louis with hamstring injury they got the previous week in the win over the Ravens at CenturyLink Field.

Official injury report:

Did not practice

WR Sidney Rice (knee)

WR Ben Obomanu (ankle)

DT Alan Branch (ankle)

CB Byron Maxwell (ankle)

Limited participation

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

Full participation

S Atari Bigby (hamstring)

DE Anthony Hargrove (hamstring)

For the Redskins:

Did not practice

LB London Fletcher (ankle)

WR Niles Paul (toe)

Limited participation

OT Jammal Brown (groin)

S DeJon Gomes (knee)

OG Maurice Hurt (knee)

OT Sean Locklear (ankle)

OT Trent Williams (knee)

CB Josh Wilson (hamstring)

Full participation

LB Keyaron Fox (infection)

S LaRon Landry (Achilles)

WR Santana Moss (hand)

WR Donte Stallworth (foot)

STAT DU JOUR

Not so much a stat as a really? Chris Clemons’ selection as NFC Defensive Player of the Week makes him the first Seahawks defensive end to be honored since Michael McCrary in 1996, and only the third since the league started the weekly awards in 1984. Really. Pro Bowl end Patrick Kerney? Nope. Do-it-all end Jeff Bryant? Not him, either. Sack-master end Michael Sinclair? Another no. Grant Wistrom and Chike Okeafor? No, and no. Here’s the short list that Clemons became a part of today:

Year (week)    Player

1986 (12)       Jacob Green

1988 (2)          Jacob Green

1990 (17)       Jacob Green

1996 (17)       Michael McCray

2011 (11)       Chris Clemons

UP NEXT

Pigskin, then turkey. At least for the players, as they will practice earlier on Thursday so the players will have time to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Tickets are available for Sunday’s game, as well as next Thursday’s game against the Eagles and the Dec. 12 “Monday Night Football” game against the Rams. They can be purchased here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“That’s what we want. We want people to expect us to win. … We want to go into the game expecting to win and just take it from there.” – Jackson when asked about outside expectations being heightened because of the team’s two-game winning streak and its next three games being at home against teams with losing records


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Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 21:

FOCUS ON

Two thumbs up. That was coach Pete Carroll’s review from the video review of Sunday’s 24-7 victory over the Rams in St. Louis.

The convincing victory gave the Seahawks back-to-back wins for the first time since midseason last year and sets the table for even better things to come with the team playing its next three games at home – starting with Sunday’s matchup against the Washington Redskins at CenturyLink Field.

“There’s a lot of energy in here today,” Carroll said during his weekly day-after news conference. “The guys were really excited about the defensive effort, and the special teams, and winning on the road, and winning a division game and all that kind of stuff.

“It wasn’t pretty, particularly in the beginning, but we rallied and we played really hard and really tough. Across the board, we were physical.”

As you can tell, the coach was pretty pumped, too, because the Seahawks played the style of ball he envisions becoming the team’s calling-card: a tough, physical, aggressive defense, supported by a strong running game.

“I liked that we stayed with the running game and it kind of complemented the way we played on defense,” Carroll said. “We kept hammering away and good things started to happen. So it was a good day.”

By the end of the day, the Seahawks were 4-6 because they limited the Rams to 185 yards – only 42 rushing – and continued running the ball even though the yards were tough to come by. The Seahawks had more than 100 rushing yards for a third consecutive game, and for the first time since the end of the 2008 season.

 “We put together a nice win,” Carroll said. “And to get back-to-back wins for us at this time is important.”

POSITION WATCH

Right guard and right tackle. That’s where Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini played against the Rams, and will continue to play, because rookies John Moffitt and James Carpenter were lost to season-ending knee injuries last week.

“I thought Breno really held up his own,” Carroll said. “I thought Paul had a little harder time getting started. He had two penalties that are going to distract me from giving him a real good grade on the day. But I was impressed with Breno … I thought he looked a little farther along and comfortable.”

This was Giacomini’s second NFL start, while McQuistan filled in at left guard for three games earlier this season when Robert Gallery was out with the groin injury.

“When Paul played earlier in the year, he started slowly in the first game,” Carroll. “He did a little bit of that in this game, and then got more comfortable.

“We really functioned a lot better in the fourth quarter than we did early in the game. So that’s a good sign.”

INJURY UPDATES

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu got a sprained ankle and knee injury against the Rams that could force him to miss practice time early in the week.

Asked if the situation could prevent Obomanu from playing, Carroll said, “I don’t know that yet. He’s pretty sore today. We’ll get to Wednesday and see what happens. It’s not so bad that they can call that he’s ‘out.’ It’s not that kind of deal. But he’s a really tough dude and comes back from stuff. We’ll give him a chance because he’s overcome a lot of stuff in the past.”

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who has a sprained pectoral in his throwing shoulder, came out of the game “the best he has felt the day after a game,” Carroll said. “I don’t know what that means. But we’re encouraged by anything on the positive side.”

Safety Atari Bigby and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove did not play against the Rams because of hamstring injuries, but Carroll said he expects them to practice on Wednesday but that they’ll be eased back into it.

“Both were running at the end of last week, and both were kind of making a pitch for themselves that they could play,” Carroll said. “So they’re really close. I would think that they’ll be all right.”

REMEMBERING HALMAN

Carroll began his news conference by extending his thoughts to the family of Mariners outfielder Greg Halman, who was stabbed to death today in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“I want to take a moment to pass out our condolences to the family of Greg Halman and the loss to the whole Mariner organization,” Carroll said. “It’s a tragedy and a terrible thing to happen. We’re aware of it and we’re talking about it, so we want to make mention that we’re concerned.”

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawk have faced three pretty-productive running backs in their past three games and held each to below-average performances. Here’s a look at the numbers those backs put up against the Seahawks compared to those averages in their starts leading up to the matchup with Seattle:

Week 11

Back, team                             Avg. yards         Per-carry avg.

Steven Jackson, Rams               78.6                5.1

vs. Seahawks                              42                   2.8

Week 10

Back, team                             Avg. yards       Per-carry avg.

Ray Rice, Ravens                       66.5                 4.0

vs. Seahawks                             27                    5.4

Week 9

Back, team                               Avg. yards       Per-carry avg.

DeMarco Murray, Cowboys   163.5                 9.9

vs. Seahawks                             139                    6.3

UP NEXT

The players are off Tuesday before returning on Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday’s game – the first of three homes games in a row, including Thursday night and Monday night matchups with the Eagles (Dec. 1) and Rams (Dec. 12).

Tickets are available for all three games and can be purchased here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s rare. Really, he had to reach back into yesteryear to pull out that drop. And if you saw him, he broke down really good, had his hands out and was ready to go.” – Carroll on defensive end Red Bryant dropping into coverage and coming up with the first interception of his career against the Rams on a pass that tipped by nose tackle Brandon Mebane


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Photoblog: Seahawks vs. Bengals

The Seahawks returned home to CenturyLink Field for the first time in nearly a month to face the resurgent Cincinnati Bengals.

Hours before kickoff, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and head coach Pete Carroll conferred on the field. Jackson, hampered by injury, would eventually enter the game in the second quarter.

Cornerbacks Richard Sherman, left, and Brandon Browner got face-to-face right before being introduced as starters.

Cincinnati's Bernard Scott is tackled low by Seattle's Brandon Mebane and hit high by Brandon Browner.

The 12th MAN raised their voices loud enough to force Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to shout adjustments to teammates at the line of scrimmage.

Charlie Whitehurst started at quarterback for the Seahawks and was sacked on Seattle's opening drive.

Defensive line coach Todd Wash talks with defensive end Red Bryant during a break in the action.

Seattle's Leroy Hill (56) and Earl Thomas (29) pounce on Bengals running back Bernard Scott.

Anthony Hargrove talks strategy with his defensive teammates on the sidelines between plays.

Heath Farwell made his home debut with the Seahawks and showed his special teams prowess with this hard tackle of Bengals returner Brandon Tate.

Seahawks defender Kam Chancellor brings down Cincinnati's Brian Leonard.

Chris Clemons celebrates a tackle with teammate Alan Branch.

Head coach Pete Carroll talks to an official after Cincinnati's Andy Dalton lost the ball near the end zone. The play was ruled an incomplete pass.

Players from both teams try to find the football after a fumble by Seattle's Marshawn Lynch that was eventually recovered by the Bengals.

Tarvaris Jackson entered the game and sparked the Seahawks offense, throwing for a career high 323 yards.

Wide receiver Sidney Rice races upfield after a catch as Russell Okung looks to make a block.

Rookie cornerback Richard Sherman, in his first NFL start, makes an interception on a long pass near the end zone.

Doug Baldwin celebrates with Sherman after the interception. The two were college teammates at Stanford before entering the NFL this season.

Seattle's receivers found space to work in the second half, and Tarvaris Jackson delivered the ball on the mark to Ben Obomanu for 55 yards on this play.

Doug Baldwin caught this pass in traffic along the sideline to keep a drive alive.

Sidney Rice got open near the Seahawks sideline to make this diving catch.

Cincinnati's Brandon Tate splits punter Jon Ryan and linebacker David Vobora on this 56-yard punt return as the Bengals scored 17 fourth quarter points to put the game out of reach.

Tarvaris Jackson was sacked and then threw an interception as Seattle's offense faltered late in the game.