Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 11.
Running back Marshawn Lynch has been nominated for NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Week after his 128-yard, three-touchdown performance in the team’s 58-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. He is up against the Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 119 yards and a score in a 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears. You can vote for Lynch here.
The NFL announced the Seahawks’ Week 16 home contest against the San Francisco 49ers has been flexed into the primetime slot – Sunday, December 23 at 5:20 p.m. PT on NBC.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes about head coach Pete Carroll’s reaction on the move to primetime, “Next up for Seattle is the Buffalo Bills in Toronto this Sunday. Then, Seattle returns home to play the NFC West-leading 49ers in a game that was moved to 5:20 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally by NBC. ‘Whatever, it’s moved back a little bit,’ Carroll said. ‘Two weeks from now.’ Come on, coach. How about a little something about the potential excitement of being moved into a featured time slot to face a 49ers team that has become quite a rival? ‘Nah, there’s nothing to talk about,’ Carroll said. ‘What does that mean? We’ll just stay in the hotel a little bit longer, and then go play.’ ”
O’Neil also takes some time to revisit his keys to Sunday’s matchup with the Cardinals, “2. Don’t let Larry Fitzgerald catch fire. Scouting report: He was targeted 11 times in the season-opener against the Seahawks, but caught only four passes for 63 yards. Result: Fitzgerald was targeted 11 times by Arizona — most of any Cardinal — but caught one pass for a total of 2 yards. He has caught six passes total over the past four games, and at this point the Cardinals could be accused of wasting a natural resource as they have one of the game’s best receivers playing for an offense with the league’s worst quarterback situation.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps the Seahawks’ Week 16 move to the national spotlight, “The upcoming rematch between Seattle and San Francisco will be the Seahawks’ third nationally televised game this season. The Seahawks defeated Green Bay, 14-12, in Week 3 on Monday Night Football, and lost at San Francisco in Week 7, 13-6, in a Thursday night game on the NFL Network. The Seahawks-49ers rematch has some appeal for a national audience because it could help decide the division title, with San Francisco (9-3-1) traveling to New England on Sunday, while the Seahawks (8-5), trailing by 11/2 games, play Buffalo in Toronto. If the 49ers lose to the Patriots and Seattle sweeps its final three games, the Seahawks would win the NFC West title for the second time in three seasons.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights the impact Lynch has had since coming to Seattle in a trade with the Bills in 2010, “Although it was a sidebar topic played below the headlines of the thrashing of the Cardinals on Sunday – by the largest margin in team history (58-0) – Lynch upped his rushing total for the season to 1,266 yards with a 4.9-yard average. He’s second in the league in rushing, trailing only the astonishing Adrian Peterson, who has 1,600 yards and 10 TDs after returning from a severe knee injury late last season. At his current rate, Lynch could crack 1,600 yards this season, a figure that would trail only Shaun Alexander’s totals in 2005 (1,880) and 2004 (1,696) as the best in franchise history. ‘The thing that comes to mind is his consistency, he’s been very consistent with his output and his effort and his style,’ Carroll said Monday. ‘Everything’s been there every single game. He’s been healthy; we’ve managed him well during the week and he’s come out strong and fast and looked sharp every single time he’s shown up.’ ”
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com details cornerback Richard Sherman’s first career touchdown that came off an interception that was very similar to a pick Sherman had last year against the same club, “It came in the fourth quarter of Seattle’s Week 17 loss in Arizona. Sherman jumped in front of a Cardinals receiver to pick off Skelton’s pass at Arizona’s 45-yard line. He raced 33 yards up the left sideline before he was caught at the 12 by speedy running back LaRod Stephens-Howling. That play came to mind – both mine and Sherman’s – when he picked off an underthrown Skelton pass at Arizona’s 19-yard line on Sunday – again near the left sideline – and returned it for a touchdown. ‘Yeah, I definitely had a flashback,’ he said. ‘My teammates still get one me for that. They’re like, ‘You still haven’t scored. You keep getting picks and you can’t score. Man, when you gonna score one?’ So I was like, ‘Oh man, I can’t get caught on this one.” ”
The staff at SportsPressNW.com has a look at the play of Seattle’s young cornerbacks who stepped in for the suspended Brandon Browner and injured Marcus Trufant in last Sunday’s win, “… the Seahawks deployed into the void third-year vet Walter Thurmond, second-year vet Byron Maxwell and rookie Jeremy Lane. They helped pitch a shutout, although the 58-0 outcome was as much about team-wide negligence by the Cardinals. ‘I was as fired up about that as anything,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday. ‘I was really pleased with play of those guys. Walter played really well. He was consistent, aggressive and he played with good confidence. He had a lot of different stuff to do, moving around playing inside and outside. Jeremy and Byron l did really well. They both looked disciplined, they played confident technique-wise. They both looked just about the same and, for their first outing, they really handled it well. There were very few plays that they didn’t get graded on the positive side. They both played well enough that I couldn’t tell the difference in play — if one came out ahead of the other — so that’s a really good sign for us.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday, “Carroll said the team came out of the game pretty healthy with only S Chris Maragos suffering a minor hamstring strain. Maragos was out of uniform for the late stages of the game and said he would be all right. LB Leroy Hill was active for yesterday’s game against the Cardinals despite an ankle injury, but LB Malcolm Smith started and played the entire game in his place. Carroll said after the game Hill could have played if needed but they wanted to give him another week if they could. Carroll spoke highly of the way Smith played for a second straight week. ‘This is the best that I’ve seen Malcolm over the years,’ said Carroll, who coached Smith at USC as well. ‘This is the most confident that he has been and he’s playing aggressively and chasing the ball really well. He’s kind of got a nose for the football. Things happen when he’s around it, and that has kind of always been the case so it’s good to have him out there.’ ”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com passes along how the voters voted in the site’s latest NFL Power Rankings, where the Seahawks come in at No. 10.
Sando has his latest “NFC West Stock Watch” as he notes the rise of tight end Anthony McCoy, who in Week 14 became the Seahawks’ first 100-yard receiver this season, “Anthony McCoy, Seahawks TE. The final score in Seattle got most of the attention. There was plenty of credit to go around in Seattle. McCoy’s first 100-yard receiving game could be a good sign for the Seahawks. McCoy made an important catch to help beat Chicago on the road last week. His 67-yard reception against the Cardinals set up Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run for a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter. Arizona hadn’t scored more than 17 points in seven of its previous eight games.”
Sando has a look at several reasons why the Seahawks have improved:
- The GM: General manager John Schneider led the way as Seattle defied convention by using a third-round choice for quarterback Russell Wilson.
- The coach: Carroll had the guts to start Wilson over Matt Flynn when the decision appeared risky.
- The QB: Wilson himself has made the biggest difference on the field. He has 15 touchdowns with three interceptions over his past eight games.
Sando also shares his thoughts on the Seahawks-49ers game moving to primetime in Week 16.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has his latest Power Rankings, and the Seahawks come in at No. 10 on his list – up two spots from a week ago, “They are surging. Are they the team nobody wants if they get to the playoffs?”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella review the Seahawks’ win over the Cardianls in this short video.
Farnsworth has his “Monday Metatarsal Musings” where he looks back at what worked and what needs work after the Week 14 matchup with the Cardinals, and he also recaps the activities surrounding “Monday in Hawkville.”
Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as he recaps coach Carroll’s Monday press conference.
And we have Carroll’s full video press conference from yesterday available here.
A recap of the Seahawks’ 58-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The entire Seahawks team. With a franchise-record 58 points, there was one for each of the 46 players who were active – with bonus points for leading rusher Marshawn Lynch (three touchdowns), cornerback Richard Sherman (two interceptions and a fumble recovery) and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (two interceptions and a team-high eight tackles).
“This was the true definition of a team victory,” is the way second-year linebacker Mike Morgan summed it up.
We obviously agree, in part because it would be too difficult to select Sherman over Lynch; Lynch over Wagner; Wagner over Sherman. All are deserving, but so are so many others because of the way the Seahawks won this game to up their overall record to 8-5 and their record at CenturyLink Field to 6-0.
“It’s a reward for all of the hard work,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks secured one more win than they had in their first two season under him – and look like a shoo-in to post the franchise’s first winning record since going 10-6 in 2007.
“You work so hard, and so often the games don’t afford you that opportunity. For everybody to play, everybody to contribute, so many guys can get on the stats sheets and all that stuff – and contribute – it’s really very positive.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The last, and longest, of Lynch’s three touchdown runs. It came on a third-and-4 play early in the second half. It covered 33 yards. It allowed him to tie his career-best for TDs in a game. It was the last of his three carries in the seven-play, 86-yard drive, when he gained 59 of his 128 yards. It was his last carry of the game, and put him at 1,266 for the season – surpassing his single-season rushing best from last year (1,204).
“Marshawn broke a personal record or something today, which is great,” Carroll said.
Defense: Sherman’s first interception, which he returned 19 yards for the Seahawks’ first defensive touchdown of the season. Cardinals QB John Skelton was going to Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, but instead found Sherman.
“I got my head around and they threw a quick fade,” Sherman said. “Skelton threw the ball with a little lower trajectory. I think he was trying to throw a back-shoulder fade and I happened to get a foot in the ground. Once I got my hands on it, Earl (Thomas, the free safety) did a great job of blocking and then it was just full speed.”
Said Skelton, “It’s a tight window, that is really the one place to go with the ball. I could have helped Larry by putting the ball into his chest. (Sherman) was coming inside, so if I led him he gets hit. It’s a play Larry usually makes. We expect him to make it. But it’s not an excuse for me.”
Special teams: Malcolm Smith’s TD play, which went down as a fumble recovery in the end zone, but actually was a midair pick of a muffed punt by the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson. Peterson couldn’t handle the ball, which hit the foot of rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane. That’s when Smith snagged the ball for the score.
“I don’t know how I ended up with the ball,” Smith said. “I know the ball was flipping around. Jeremy Lane tipped it up. It tipped off of someone’s hand. And then there was like three of us going for it. It was like a jump ball and I tipped it my way caught it. I guess I was in the end zone.”
Peterson later fumbled a punt return, and the Seahawks had a feeling they’d be able to separate him from the ball.
“We knew that Patrick Peterson was going to give us one, he’s been trying to force a lot of plays,” Morgan said. “It was just one of those things where the ball muffed out. It was big time.”
Lynch left the game in the first half with what was called a back injury. But he not only returned, he ran for that 33-yard TD on the seventh play of the second half.
Veteran linebacker Leroy Hill was active after missing last week’s game because of a sprained ankle, but Smith started on the weakside and finished with three tackles as well as the touchdown on the recovery of the muffed punt in the second quarter.
“He was ready to play,” Carroll said of Hill. “He had a good workout before (the game), so we dressed him in case we needed him. But we would rather hold him, if we could. I don’t know how Malcolm did, but I think he did pretty well again. He looked like he was active.”
The 58 points scored by the Seahawks were the most in franchise history and only the third time they’ve scored more than 50. They had 56 against the Bills in 1977 and 51 against the Chiefs in overtime in 1983.
The 58-0 score also is the largest margin of victory in franchise history, topping 45-0 against the Chiefs in 1984 and 42-0 against the Eagles in 2005.
The Seahawks’ six takeaways in the first half was a franchise record and their eight for the game ties for second-most behind the 10 they had against the Browns in 1981.
With Lynch rushing for 128 yards and rookie Robert Turbin adding 108, the Seahawks had two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since 2005 – when Shaun Alexander (141) and Maurice Morris (104) did it against the Texans.
The Seahawks’ 284 rushing yards were the fourth-highest total in franchise history. They had 320 in that 2005 game against the Texans; 319 in a 2001 game against the Raiders; and 298 in a 1986 game against the Broncos.
Lynch’s 100-yard effort was his seventh of the season, one more than his previous high from last season.
With his 128 yards coming on only 11 carries, Lynch also set a franchise record for rushing average (11.6). The previous record was held by Sherman Smith, who now coaches the team’s running backs. He averaged 8.9 yards in a game against the Falcons in 1976.
With his 20th TD pass of the season, Russell Wilson tied the mark for third-most by a rookie QB. Peyton Manning had 26 and Cam Newton 21. Andy Dalton and Dan Marino also threw 20. And Wilson has three games left.
Wilson’s second-quarter interception was his first at home this season.
Tight end Anthony McCoy not only surpassed 100 receiving yards for the first time in his three-year career, his three-catch, 105-yard day was the first 100-yard outing by a Seahawks receiver this season. He also became the fourth tight end in franchise history to surpass 100 receiving yards – joining Charle Young (140 in 1983), Itula Mili (119 in 2002) and John Carlson (105 in 2008).
The Seahawks passed the ball only 22 times – 7 of 13 by Wilson and 5 of 9 by Matt Flynn, who saw his first action of the season.
The Seahawks were penalized 10 times for 97 yards. “It was crazy stuff that happened,” Carroll said. “Other than that, that was really the only thing that we didn’t get done today.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“My feelings were hurt, he hit me so hard.” – wide receiver Sidney Rice, who took a vicious shot from safety Rashad Johnson in the fourth quarter but held on and got up to spin the ball for emphasis.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 26:
Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback has been on a “continued ascent,” as coach Pete Carroll said today during his day-after Q&A session with the media.
That’s one way to put it, because what Wilson has done in the past three games is historic stuff.
In Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Wilson became the first rookie in the 93-year history of the NFL to complete 16 consecutive passes – which also is one shy of the Seahawks’ franchise record that was set by Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon in 1998.
The historic feat that Wilson turned with his arm also led to another first-for-a-rookie achievement, which the league announced today. With his 125.9 passer rating against the Dolphins, he also has a three-game streak where his rating has been at least 125. Wilson had a 131.0 rating in the pre-bye week win over the Jets and was at 127.3 the week before against the Vikings – both victories in games played at CenturyLink Field.
Put those three games together and Wilson’s numbers inch closer to top-of-the-chart status, not for a rookie QB but any QB: 128.6 rating, 70 percent completions (49 of 70), 585 yards, seven touchdown passes, no interceptions.
The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers leads the league in passer rating (105.6), while the 49ers’ Alex Smith leads in completion percentage (.700).
As pleased as Carroll is with the progress of his first-year passer, he is not startled by Wilson’s development.
“Russell has really, really continued to improve,” Carroll said. “It’s not really a surprise when you look at how he goes about it, and who he is, and how talented a football player he is.
“I thought his talent really showed in (Sunday’s) game. I thought he was really adept at finding space to make his plays, and dumping the ball off really effectively, as well.”
Here’s a closer look at Wilson’s “sweet 16” against the Dolphins:
It started on the Seahawks’ first possession of the second quarter, after he threw incomplete to Golden Tate. Then it was Wilson to Sidney Rice for 26 yards on third-and-12; Wilson to Rice for 11 yards; and Wilson to tight end Zach Miller for 4 yards on third-and-3. That’s three in a row.
On their next possession in the quarter, it was Wilson to rookie running back Robert Turbin for 20 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to running back Marshawn Lynch for 7 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Tate for 32 yards; and Wilson to tight end Anthony McCoy for 3 yards and a touchdown. That’s seven in a row.
On the Seahawks’ first possession in the third quarter, Wilson was 7 of 7 during the 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with his 4-yard TD pass to fullback Michael Robinson: Wilson to Rice for 12 yards; Wilson to Miller for 4 yards; Wilson to rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse for 8 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to Doug Baldwin for 14 yards; Wilson to Turbin for 18 yards; Wilson to tight end Evan Moore for 6 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Robinson for the score. That’s 14 in a row.
Wilson then hit his first two passes of the fourth quarter – a 14-yarder to Tate and an 8-yarder to Miller – for No. 15 and No. 16.
His 16 completions went to 10 different receivers, with Rice (three), Miller (three), Tate (two) and Turbin (two) catching more than one.
“I think he’s got more room to improve,” Carroll said. “And I think he is a prime example of why a guy improves, because of the way he applies himself. He does it to the absolute nth degree. We’re seeing it right before our eyes. Pretty cool.”
THE POINT OF NO RETURNS
Heath Farwell and his mates on the kickoff and punt coverage units went without a tackle against the Dolphins because the Seahawks did not allow a return. Six of Jon Ryan’s seven punts were inside the 20-yard line, as four were fair caught, two went out of bounds and the other was downed; while each of Steven Hauschka’s four kickoffs were touchbacks.
“That’s one of the first games I’ve been in where they had zero return yards, and we didn’t have any tackles,” special teams coordinator Brian Schneider said. “Our guys love to fight for tackles. That’s a big deal to them in the locker room, like who’s going to get them. And there just weren’t any, because Jon did such a great job punting and Steven was crushing the ball.”
As a result, the Dolphins had 11 possessions and the last 10 started at (four) or inside (six) the 20-yard line.
“We’ll take that anytime,” Schneider said.
Linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) and left guard James Carpenter (knee) left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but each was able to return. Carroll said today that he’ll know more on Wednesday about their availability to practice.
STAT DU JOUR
Leon Washington returned his eighth kickoff for a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday, tying the NFL record that was set by the Browns’ Josh Cribbs. Here’s a look at Washington’s scoring returns – the first four with the Seahawks, the other four with the Jets:
Opponent (year) Yards Outcome
Dolphins (2012) 98 L, 24-21
49ers (2010) 92 L, 40-21
Chargers (2010) 101, 99 W, 27-20
Patriots (2008) 92 W, 34-31
Dolphins (2007) 98 W, 31-28
Giants (2007) 98 L, 35-24
Redskins (2007) 86 L, 23-20 OT
The players have their “off” day on Tuesday and will return on “Competition Wednesday” to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is running into the quarterback, not roughing the quarterback … (Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas) was trying to avoid it. He didn’t even hit him (Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill) hard, barely touched him.” – Tony Dungy, the former Colts and Buccaneers coach and now NBC analyst, on the fourth-quarter penalty that negated an end-zone interception by rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 18.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times calls Sunday’s victory over the Cowboys “the most complete demonstration of how coach Pete Carroll wants his team to play,” but questions whether or not that style can hold up against the high scoring Green Bay Packers, who visit CenturyLink Field Monday night, “The Packers could test Seattle’s makeup, though. If the Seahawks can’t dictate their style of play, they’ll find it difficult to match Green Bay point for point. ‘We’ll see what happens,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how it goes. That was a pretty high-flying (Dallas) offense this last week, and fortunately we could find a way.’ ”
O’Neil also notes that the play of backup tight end Anthony McCoy stood out in Sunday’s win against Dallas, and O’Neil admits he may have been too quick to judge the release of tight end Kellen Winslow the way he did a week ago, “McCoy’s performance Sunday followed up on an impressive August in which he had 106 yards receiving, most on the team. That emergence may have played a factor in Seattle’s decision to release Winslow before it was obligated to pay him $3.3 million for the season.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says that tackle Russell Okung should be able to play Monday against the Packers, according to coach Carroll, “Carroll said that Okung was well enough Sunday that he should be able to play against Green Bay on Sept. 24. ‘He should be able to make it – particularly with the next couple days … we can rest him,’ Carroll said. ‘So he won’t have to practice until Thursday. So that will give him a good break.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the play of backup tackle Frank Omiyale against the Cowboys was “solid” in place of the injured Okung, and says that other than an injury to cornerback Byron Maxwell, the Seahawks came out of Sunday’s game relatively injury-free, “With Okung sidelined, backup Frank Omiyale was solid in relief, helping limit the impact of Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware. ‘He got knocked around a couple of times — he was playing against a great player — but he held his own and had a good credible game and we’re thankful he was able to get that done,’ Carroll said of Omiyale. Okung’s potential return was just one piece of good news on the injury front for Seattle. Other than a hamstring injury to backup cornerback Byron Maxwell, which Carroll described as a “first-degree hamstring kind of thing,” the Seahawks came out of the game healthy.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press comments on the Seahawks’ style of play in Sunday’s win over the Cowboys, “The Seahawks were aggressive, physical, controlled possession and wore down the Cowboys Sunday. Seattle had played that way at times during Carroll’s previous two seasons as head coach, but the Seahawks were arguably never more complete than in taking Dallas apart. ‘We’ve had some fun wins and great games and stuff, but because we’ve been so specific, laid it out there, we told you for what we’re shooting for and how we want it to go. We’ve seen it in preseason and the first time we really got a chance to see it come to life, that is satisfying,’ Carroll said Monday. ‘We know now what we are really working toward and what we want to achieve with our effort with the style of play.’ ”
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has a look at McCoy’s career day, “McCoy’s 22-yard touchdown grab came in the third quarter with the Seahawks leading 13-7. Seattle lined up with three tight ends bunched to the right, a formation that screams run. Instead, Russell Wilson dropped back to pass and hit McCoy as he crossed the goal line. ‘Kind of a relief,’ said McCoy, a sixth-round pick in 2010, when asked how it felt to score his first career touchdown. ‘Now it’s like, now you’ve got your first touchdown, you got a couple catches in the game, now you can just relax and just go out and have fun now.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Carroll’s Monday press conference, including a note on guard James Carpenter, “Carroll said G James Carpenter will fully participate in practice this week after being held to 80-percent last week. Carpenter is ahead of schedule in returning from a devastating knee injury last Novemeber. Carroll said it will still likely be a while before he sees the field, however. ‘It’s still probably down the road a little bit from that, but he practice about 80 percent last week and that’s an enormous accomplishment for him,’ Carroll said. ‘So we’re going to see if we can get him a full week here and see what that tells us about him and how he handles it. He’s way ahead of schedule, and we’re thrilled with what he’s doing and the fact that he’s out competing and taking pass rushes and everything.”
The staff at SportsPressNW.com recaps Carroll’s Monday press conference.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com believes that quarterback Russell Wilson’s stock is on the rise after Sunday’s win, “Wilson followed up a so-so debut at Arizona with a far more efficient performance in the absence of the constant pressure the Cardinals generated. Wilson completed 15 of 20 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. He set a franchise rookie record for completion percentage in a single game (min. 20 attempts). Wilson, backed by Marshawn Lynch’s 122-yard rushing performance, completed 8 of 10 passes for 71 yards and five first downs on play-action attempts.”
Wilson is a nominee for rookie of the week on NFL.com, and you can vote for him here.
Also at NFL.com, the Seahawks move up seven spots to No. 16 on their Week 3 power poll.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com moves the Seahawks up 11 spots – to No. 11 – on his weekly power rankings, “I was impressed by what they did on defense against the Cowboys. The special teams came up big, too.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at the Seahawks satisfying win from Sunday, and recaps the activities surrounding Monday in Hawkville, noting that coach Carroll sees the NFC West as a division on the rise, as they have a combined record of 6-2 through Week 2 – the best of the NFL’s eight divisions.
From the video side, we bring you Carroll’s Monday press conference in full here, Tony Ventrella brings you his Seahawks Daily with a look at Sunday’s “blueprint” win, and Ventrella and Farnsworth review the 27-7 victory over the Cowboys here.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps the Seahawks 27-7 win over the Cowboys, “What Seattle demonstrated in the second half is that these are not the same old Seahawks. Seattle’s running game is built to wear down an opponent while its defense won’t wear out. Seattle hadn’t had a scoring drive longer than 52 yards over the first six quarters of the season. The Seahawks drove 90 yards for a touchdown on the second possession of the third quarter, rushing six of the eight plays on the drive that ended with tight end Anthony McCoy’s 22-yard touchdown catch. They drove 88 yards for a touchdown the next time they had the ball, nine of those 12 plays were rushes capped by Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard scoring run. ‘We found our stride a little bit,’ coach Pete Carroll said.”
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times describes Russell Wilson’s performance in his first career win with two words, “Stealthy good. He wasn’t electric. He was just efficient. He complemented a power run game with his accuracy, poise and patience. For a young quarterback who has already earned so much respect and fame, Wilson managed to operate with an offensive lineman’s slyness in the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over Dallas. He was invisibly effective for most of the game. At opportune moments, he flashed his talent and impacted the outcome. He made mostly inconsequential mistakes. And that, folks, is Pete Carroll’s dream situation for a quarterback. ‘I thought he played a really cool game for us,’ said the Seahawks coach, who is always striving to make the quarterback’s difficult job easier.”
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times writes that Sunday’s win is the ideal way this Seahawks team wants to play the game, “This was a win that was all wallops and welts. The Seahawks made Dallas look like Portland State. They were more aggressive, more energetic. ‘This is the way we’d like to do it,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We took care of the football all day. Special teams jumped on it and got something started in beautiful fashion for us. And then we just started pounding away.’ The Seahawks played as if their season depended on it. ‘It was something we had to have,’ Robinson said. ‘I called it before the game. It was a must-win for us.’ ”
John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says that Golden Tate’s block of Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in the fourth quarter yesterday is one that will be remembered as part of the wide receiver’s legacy, “Tate is blessed with quick feet and soft hands, two attributes necessary for somebody paid to catch passes. And yet on the longest gain of a pivotal drive that put the Seahawks beyond the reach of the Dallas Cowboys, Tate used neither of them. The receiver wasn’t in a receivership mode when he turned toward Dallas linebacker Sean Lee and impersonated a wrecking ball. Tate stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 202 pounds. Lee is listed at 6-2, 245. But the blocker enjoyed a substantial advantage: he knew where he was going and what he wanted to do when he got there. ‘The first half of the play, I was just trying to get open,’ said Tate, whose cold-blooded collision with the unwitting Lee sprang quarterback Russell Wilson for a 14-yard gain in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory. ‘And when I realized Russell was going to run, I looked for somebody to block, and somebody happened to be right there. Either I’d hit him hard, or he’d hit the quarterback hard. So I hit him.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune points to the success of backup left tackle Frank Omiyale, who started in place of the injured Russell Okung, in dealing with Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, “Omiyale started 14 games at left tackle for Chicago in 2010. The grizzled, eight-year veteran came into the game with 32 career NFL starts. Omiyale said the Sea-hawks didn’t do anything special to contain Ware. ‘I don’t know if it was a big strategy,’ Omiyale said. ‘As far as I know, they called regular plays. We slid to him. We slid away. So I felt like we stayed with our offense pretty well.’ But other teammates noticed Omiyale’s effort. ‘Frank came in without any idea of (Okung) not starting and he did a great job,” Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch said. “That goes to show the depth of those guys and the work they put into it.’ ”
Meg Wochnick of the Tacoma News Tribune credits the ‘Hawks defense for setting the tone in the victory, “Nearly a full season after Seattle’s defense allowed 442 yards of total offense in a 23-13 loss to Dallas in Week 6, the Cowboys got a completely different showing from the Seahawks on Sunday. The difference? A second-half defensive adjustment — holding Dallas to eight yards rushing, limiting running back DeMarco Murray to 44 yards on 12 carries, and causing all sorts of problems for a Cowboys team that seemed to have trouble finding an offensive rhythm. ‘They did a great job of neutralizing us and we needed to do some things to make some plays and we just didn’t do it,’ Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says that Wilson showed good progress in the win yesterday, “Russell Wilson was exactly that quarterback Sunday, completing 15 of 20 passes with a touchdown for a passer rating of 112.7 in the Seahawks’ 27-7 upset of the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field. As we urged fans to be patient with premature judgments on Wilson’s long-range potential after his ordinary statistics in a season-opening loss to the Cardinals, it’s fair to again withhold his deification after the win over Dallas. But it certainly looked as if the rookie from Wisconsin grew up – as an NFL quarterback if not in physical stature – in the second half against Dallas. The best thing about his contributions? They were proportional. And they were in the context of what the team needs from him. He took nothing away from Marshawn Lynch’s rushing; he did not put the defense in bad situations because of turnovers. He put the club in position to win.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the ‘Hawks second-half adjustments made up for a less-than-stellar first half, “In the second half, however, Wilson and the offense found their rhythm. And with the defense locking down the Cowboys — Dallas had just 85 yards in the second half, 51 of which came in garbage time on the last drive of the game — that was a formula for a blowout. ‘Our special teams spotted us 10 points, but we just weren’t clicking offensively,’ said fullback Robinson. ‘Second half, we stayed true to our game plan and it worked in our favor.’ ”
Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com says that the Seahawks were dominant in the 27-7 win, “The running game was awesome. The passing game was, in the context of their plan, awesome. The special teams were awesome. And the defense was, in the second half especially, nearly perfect. They lived up to their physical identity.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his take on the win over Dallas, “Wilson had what was nearly a perfect game from Carroll’s perspective: 15 completions in 20 attempts for 151 yards and no turnovers (passer rating 112.7), including a 22-yard pass for a TD to Anthony McCoy. That completed a 90-yard drive in eight plays, only two of which were passes. The next time they had the ball, the Seahawks went 88 yards in 12 plays over nearly eight minutes, a massive example of scrimmage control. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been part of 88- and 90-yard drives back-to-back,’ said center Max Unger. ‘We rotated through seven guys (through the O-line) and kept the communication going, which is something we didn’t do last week.’ ”
Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com says that the Seahawks defensive backfield – the “Legion of Boom” – lived up to their name yesterday, “Safety Kam Chancellor, who was bringing the hits all day long, said after the game that the way his defense played against the Cowboys was the idea all along. Like many on Pete Carroll’s young team, the third-year starter had to match his acumen with his athleticism, and it was obvious in this game that Chancellor and his teammates had done just that. The 6-foot-3, 231-pound safety delivered on anything over the middle, and eventually, even tough veterans like tight end Jason Witten appeared unsure of just what they might be in for on slants and drags. ‘That happened a couple of times,’ Chancellor told me after Seattle’s decisive win. ‘Guys remember the same play from earlier — they think you’re about to hit them again, so they’re trying to hurry up and turn around and face up without catching the ball first … Once that ball comes over the middle and somebody catches it, all I’m thinking about is lights out.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from yesterday’s victory, “Russell Wilson was efficient and completed 15-of-20 passes for 151 yards and a score for the Seahawks (1-1), who dropped their opener to the Arizona Cardinals. ‘We can’t hurt ourselves, that’s what we did last week,’ Wilson said. ‘We had great communication today. We messed up a few times, but that’s going to happen. We really have to focus in and not make any mistakes, that’s our goal. We weren’t quite perfect, but it was way better than last week.’ Tony Romo was 23-of-40 for 251 yards with a touchdown and interception for Dallas (1-1), which defeated the New York Giants last Wednesday. Miles Austin caught five balls for 63 yards and a score, while DeMarco Murray was limited to 44 yards on 12 carries in defeat. The Seahawks, who led 13-7 at halftime, outscored Dallas 14-0 over the final 30 minutes.”
Don Banks of SI.com touches on the physicality Seattle displayed in yesterday’s defeat of the Cowboys, “At its most fundamental and basic, football is about imposing your will on an opponent. You can do that at times schematically or mentally in the course of a game, but it’s always the most fun, players say, when you do it physically. At least for the winning team. Exhibit A on this Sunday was the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field — nicknamed in these parts, and wonderfully so, “The Clink.” The Seahawks didn’t just beat the previously high-riding Cowboys in this one, they beat on them, and beat them down until their will to win broke. And they did it with a style of physicality and aggressive brand of football that has not really been a trademark of Seattle football for quite some time.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up from yesterday, “What I liked: Malcolm Smith’s blocked punt and Jeron Johnson’s return bought needed breathing room for Seattle after the Seahawks drove to a field goal on their opening drive. Those are the types of plays that get a home crowd going. They can make the difference for teams with strong defenses. Seattle contained DeMarco Murray (3.7 yards per carry, long run of 9 yards) and Tony Romo. Romo had gone 3-2 in his past five road starts, tossing 12 touchdown passes with only two interceptions during those games. Seattle picked him off early and prevented him from getting comfortable.”
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth says that all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams – excelled in yesterday’s victory, and he names Lynch his player of the game. Tony Ventrella recaps the win, we bring you highlights from yesterday, and a look at the day in photos.
A recap of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Marshawn Lynch. There were so many candidates from this impressive performance, but the Seahawks’ Beast Mode-running back remains the metronome by which this team beats.
He finished with 122 yards on 26 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that slapped the exclamation point on this one. As always, it wasn’t so much that Lynch got the yards, but how he got them. He averaged 2.2 yards on 10 first-half carries, then exploded for 100 yards on 16 carries in the second half – including a 16-yard run on the first play of the half and a 36-yarder on the eight-play, 90-yard drive in the third quarter that was capped by rookie QB Russell Wilson throwing a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Anthony McCoy.
“It was very much needed, and I’m glad we got it,” Lynch said of the running game producing 182 yards and the offense getting 315 yards.
Offered Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, “You might get pumped up to hit 24 (Lynch) in the first quarter and he might get three yards. But in that fourth quarter, you really don’t want to hit him. He gets stronger. Our offensive line gets stronger.
“When we’re rocking like that, that’s what we want to do. We want to run the ball, we want to play-action (pass) off that and give our defense a rest so they can go out there and dominate.”
UNSUNG PLAYER OF THE GAME
Frank Omiyale. Russell Okung was expected to start at left tackle, despite bruising his left knee in last week’s opener against the Cardinals. But after working out before the game, the coaches decided he couldn’t go. That put Omiyale in harm’s way – or at least in the line of the fire that Cowboys’ pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware in capable of generating.
Ware’s stat line: no sacks, one tackle for a loss, one QB hit.
“Frank is a guy who’s been around the League for an extended period of time,” Wilson said of Omiyale, who started 31 games the past three seasons for the Bears but was making his first start for the Seahawks.
“He has great knowledge of the game. He works extremely hard. The fact that we thought Russell was going to be able to play, but he couldn’t go today, so Frank stepped up and did a tremendous job. I mean an unbelievable job. He’s been doing that for years, so you kind of expect that out of him. Just the way he goes about his business, the way he approaches the game, approaches the week. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Asked about the game plan against Ware, coach Pete Carroll said, “Our plan was to hope he didn’t kill us.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Wilson’s TD pass to McCoy, which came from a three-tight set on the right side. McCoy was in the middle, between Zach Miller (inside) and Evan Moore (outside). When they broke from the line, the cornerback had to take either McCoy or Moore.
“We kind of put the corner in a big predicament,” said McCoy, who had a team-high five receptions in addition to his first NFL touchdown catch. “He had to cover both me and Evan on the play. He chose one and left me open.”
Yes, the way the play unfolded caught McCoy by surprise.
“I’m like, ‘Man, we’re in the red zone and I’m this open?’ ” McCoy said. “I was kind of expecting someone to be there on the catch, but no one was there. It was a great play call.”
Defense: With the Seahawks holding a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cowboys had driven from their 20-yard line to the Seahawks’ 24. But on a second-and-10 play, Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted Tony Romo’s pass that was intended for tight end Jason Witten.
“I’m kind of mad that I got caught,” said Browner, who returned the pick 35 yards. “I felt like I had a shot to go all the way, but I was a little gassed out there.”
Special teams: The Seahawks forced (Robinson) and recovered (Earl Thomas) a fumble on the opening kickoff to setup a field goal. But the next time the Cowboys got the ball, the Seahawks’ special teams scored. Second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith blocked a punt and second-year safety Jeron Johnson picked up the ball on a hop and ran three yards for a TD.
“Malcolm was inside of me and I was rushing to the outside,” Johnson said after scoring his first TD since he was a senior at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. – and playing middle linebacker. “Nobody blocked Malcolm and the ball bounced right to me.
“It was a big play. Special teams showed up big today.”
Big hit of the day: Golden Tate, come on down. The 202-pound wide receiver drilled Sean Lee, the Cowboys’ 245-pound linebacker, with a vicious block on Wilson’s 14-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.
“Now I see why Kam (Chancellor, the team’s Pro Bowl strong safety) likes defense,” said Tate, who was making his 2012 debut after sitting out the opener with a knee injury. “It felt great.
“It’s a momentum boost. All of sudden we had momentum and drove the ball all the way down the field.”
Eight plays later, Lynch scored his TD, but only after Tate caught an 8-yard pass on third-and-4 to give the Seahawks a first down at the Cowboys’ 3.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell left the game with a hamstring injury and wide receiver Sidney Rice did not finish the game.
But Carroll said he was unaware that anything was wrong with Rice. “He looked OK in the locker room,” Carroll said. “I didn’t see anything. I don’t have any update on that. He was not on the injury list.”
The Seahawks have won four consecutive home openers, and nine of their past 10.
The defense got their hands on seven of Tony Romo’s passes, including two each by Leo end Chris Clemons and linebacker K.J. Wright.
Chancellor had a team-high nine tackles.
Rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin got his first NFL sack. Or at least half of one, as he shared the team’s only sack with Jason Jones. Those are the two players the Seahawks added during the offseason – Irvin in the first-round of the NFL Draft, Jones in free agency – to improve their pass rush.
On the Seahawks’ 90-yard TD drive in the third quarter, they did not face a third-down situation.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I knew it was going to be electric, and it was more than I could ever imagine. The crowd is a huge, huge advantage for our football team. And when the 12th Man is that loud and that energetic, it really helps our offense, our defense, our special teams and just continues to boost us.” – Wilson, after playing his first regular-season game at CenturyLink FIeld.
Good morning, and happy Labor Day. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks after a busy weekend of roster transactions. You can take a look at the Seahawks’ up-to-date roster here.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times speaks to the roster’s continuity this season from a year ago, “This season, the subtraction of tight end Kellen Winslow was the only real surprise as Evan Moore will be added to take his place. The fact that things are so much more settled this year speaks to the quality of the roster that coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider believe they’ve assembled over the past two and a half years. There’s not nearly as much turnover on this year’s team. Of the 53 players currently on Seattle’s roster, 15 were acquired over the offseason. Compare that to last season, when 24 of Seattle’s 53 players were in their first year with the team. The year before that, the number was 27, more than half the team.”
O’Neil has a look at the somewhat unexpected release of tight end Kellen Winslow, “The release of Winslow came after he declined to take a pay cut from the $3.3 million he was scheduled to earn. That salary may have been a point of discussion for months now. Seattle is expected to replace him with Evan Moore, a tight end who played the past three years in Cleveland. Moore is 6 feet 6 and caught 34 passes in 2011, scoring four touchdowns.”
Lastly from O’Neil, we have his look at Seattle’s cut to 53 players, which occurred Friday afternoon, “Just as significant as who is not on the 53-man roster, though, is one player who is: offensive lineman James Carpenter. He did not practice at all during training camp as he continued his recovery from a knee injury he suffered in practice last October. Carpenter was last year’s first-round pick, and he was on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since training camp began. Had he been placed on that list to begin the season, he would not have counted against the 53-man roster limit, but also would have been ineligible to begin practicing with the team until after its sixth game.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, noting that Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s roster-churning days appear to have slowed down, “Currently, 37 of Seattle’s 53 players on the roster were with the team last season. Only six players on the roster remain from when Carroll took over the team after the 2009 season. And Seattle still has one of the youngest teams in the league, with only six players age 30 or older. Cornerback Marcus Trufant is the oldest at 31 – he turns 32 on Christmas Day. Linebacker Leroy Hill turns 30 on Sept. 14.”
Williams has a feature on rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who moved into the starting role this season with the departure of veteran David Hawthorne in free agency and has been making quick progress, “Bradley said he knew Wagner arrived when the headsets on the sidelines went down during the team’s first preseason game against Tennessee, the defensive coordinator had to signal in the calls. Wagner told Bradley he could read his lips from the sideline and get the calls that way. ‘I think for him the big thing is just getting used to using his hands,’ Bradley said. ‘He’s going to have linemen out on him, and he’s getting better at that, and attacking the line of scrimmage.’ ”
Williams also comments on the Seahawks’ highly-touted secondary, who has been given the nickname ‘The Legion of Boom‘, “Seattle boasts one of best young secondaries in the league, with safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, and cornerback Brandon Browner all making the trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season. Seattle finished No. 9 in total defense last season, the first time since 1997 the Seahawks finished in the top 10. While Seattle’s defensive front seven anchors the unit with its stout play against the run, the Legion of Boom creates turnovers, and plays with a ferocity befitting the name. ‘We all got that boom,’ safety Kam Chancellor said. ‘Whether it’s getting interceptions, talking trash, being a ballhawk or just knocking somebody out – it’s everything.’ ”
John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune admires quarterback Russell Wilson’s attitude and drive to be “great”, but says that average will be just fine for Wilson in this offense, as he advises the rookie to not try to do too much, “Average will work on this offense. Good will be just fine. An average-to-good quarterback who avoids turnovers is a better fit for Pete Carroll’s system than a great quarterback prone to the occasional, inevitable mistake. Take last season’s road upset of the New York Giants. The Hawks beat the eventual Super Bowl champions because Charlie Whitehurst, relieving the injured Tarvaris Jackson in the third quarter, didn’t try to out-Eli Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Whitehurst completed only 11 passes in the second half, for 149 yards and a touchdown, but none of his 19 attempts ended up in the hands of the defense. Manning, meanwhile, finished the day with gaudy stats – 24-of-39 for 420 yards and three touchdowns – but undermined by three interceptions. On the best day of Whitehurst’s life – and helping the Seahawks to that 39-26 victory qualifies for the short list – he is not half the quarterback that Manning is. But again, sometimes less can be preferable to more.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald recaps the Seahawks’ roster reduction, and says wide receiver Braylon Edwards is out to prove critics wrong after a down season a year ago, “That guy you saw wearing Edwards’ jersey last year? That wasn’t him, he’ll tell you. But saying it is one thing, proving it while playing on your fourth team in the last five seasons? Well, let’s just say Edwards knows a strong training camp and a few nice catches in preseason games don’t mean he’s back to being the player who caught 53 passes for 904 yards as recently as two seasons ago. But just getting a chance to show what he can do is a pretty good start. ‘I feel great,’ Edwards said. ‘I feel like I’m full speed, I feel like I can jump however high I need to make plays and get around. I just feel like my athletic ability is there again. Last year I just wasn’t able really to jump, move, make certain cuts, so I’m a much different player this year than last year.’ ”
Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews the Seahawks 2012 season, “Even before Wilson’s unexpected rise to the starting lineup and Carroll’s latest examples of unconventional wisdom, the Seahawks were being touted as a team potentially on the rise. Seattle went 5-3 over the second half of last year’s campaign, with the surge fueled by a string of productive games from running back Marshawn Lynch and a defense filled with relative unknowns gelling into one of the NFL’s better crews. And if preseason results can be used as an accurate measuring stick, the Seahawks may indeed be ready to take off in 2012. With Wilson leading the way, Seattle prevailed in all four of its warm-up contests and outscored the opposition by a convincing 122-44 margin.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his analysis of the Seahawks’ cut to 53 players, “Most significant move: The Seattle Seahawks emerged from last season with high hopes for Josh Portis as a developmental quarterback. The arrival of Matt Flynn in free agency and new starter Russell Wilson through the draft left Portis on the outside. The Seahawks released him, leaving Wilson and Flynn as the only quarterbacks on the initial 53-man roster. Some teams with rookie starters brace themselves for what they know will be a long season. The Seahawks think Wilson upgrades the position immediately. They appear unworried by rookie walls and all the other ominous metaphors that typically pop up with inexperienced players behind center. The team could always consider adding a third quarterback in the future, but the value wasn’t there given what Seattle thinks about its top two quarterbacks.”
Sando also has a breakdown of the Seahawks’ roster and practice available for download.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a position-by-position look at the newly-crafted 53-man roster.
Farnsworth also details what’s left at the tight end position after the release of Winslow, “Now what? The Seahawks still have Miller, and the coaches have been pleased with the more-consistent performance of third-year Anthony McCoy during training camp and the preseason. McCoy, a sixth-round draft choice in 2010, had six catches for a team-high 106 receiving yards during the just-concluded preseason. ‘Anthony has been a really good prospect,’ coach Pete Carroll said recently of the tight end he also coached at USC. ‘This was a great pick for us a couple years back. He’s really grown into a versatile tight end for us. He’s one of our best blockers. He’s not quite to Zach’s level, but he really does a great job on all the in-line blocking. He moves around well. He’s a great target to throw the ball to.’ ”
And finally, to round things out this morning, Farnsworth looks at the seven familiar faces that make up the Seahawks practice squad, “The release-and-return move with [quarterback Josh] Portis is shrewd. Waiving him opened a roster spot for an extra position player, but he’ll still be around to continue developing his raw, but obvious, skills by getting some reps quarterbacking the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense in practice. Last year, Portis made the 53-man roster as a rookie free agent, but was inactive for 15 games.”
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 23:
Captains. The players will vote on the captains for the regular season. But it’s up to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to determine the captains for each preseason game.
“Those are kind of randomly selected at the last second, when I remember to do it,” Carroll said.
But the honor still means a lot to those randomly selected, last-minute selections.
Against the Titans in the preseason opener, former Titans defensive lineman Jason Jones was a co-captain, along with veteran linebacker Leroy Hill, Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson and Heath Farwell, who led the league in special teams tackles last season.
“It meant a lot. Actually, it was my first time being a captain,” said Jones, who played the previous four seasons with the Titans. “I told coach Carroll after the game and before the game that I appreciate that. Going up against my old team, that meant a lot to me. It was cool.”
Against the Broncos last week, former Broncos kicker Steven Hauschka joined center Max Unger and nose tackle Brandon Mebane at midfield for the pre-game coin toss.
“It’s always nice to go out there and do the coin toss,” said Unger, who won it by calling tails which allowed the Seahawks to defer taking the kickoff until the second half. “Tails never fails.
“It was awesome.”
The captains for Friday night’s third preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City? Stay tuned, for those last-second selections.
“We could go on Twitter and have a little campaign here: Who will the next captain be?” Carroll said. “We’ll probably get eight or 10 responses on that one.”
Anthony McCoy. With the addition of Kellen Winslow in a trade with the Buccaneers and the return of Zach Miller, who was signed in free agency last year, there are four other tight ends competing for what likely will be one other spot on the 53-man roster. McCoy is doing his part to make sure it’s him.
“Anthony has been a really good prospect,” Carroll said of the former USC tight end who was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. “This was a great pick for us a couple years back. He’s really grown into a versatile tight end for us.
“He’s one of our best blockers. He’s not quite to Zach’s level, but he really does a great job on all the in-line blocking. He moves around well. He’s a great target to throw the ball to.”
McCoy is averaging 13 yards on his three preseason receptions, and he caught 13 passes last season. But drops have been an issue for him.
“He does have really good hands,” Carroll said. “There’s been times when he’s coming up, getting ready to play NFL football, that he hasn’t been able to keep his concentration that’s needed to catch the football.
“But he’s on it now. His attitude that he brings and his effort every day is just really, really positive. I’ve never seen him so full of spirit and the kind of mentality that he has. It’s infectious. He’s been a real good factor for us. I’m really excited for him.”
ON THE FIELD
Quarterback Matt Flynn took part in this morning’s walkthrough after sitting out Wednesday’s practice to rest his arm. Also back was fullback Michael Robinson, who had been sidelined with a sore toe.
With Alan Branch (knee) and Jones (knee) watching, rookie Greg Scruggs got some work as the three-technique tackle with the No. 1 defensive line.
Also sidelined: running back Marshawn Lynch (back), wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), tight ends Cameron Morrah (toe) and Winslow (knee), offensive linemen John Moffitt (elbow) and James Carpenter (knee), defensive lineman Pep Levingston (knee), linebackers Matt McCoy (knee), Allen Bradford (hip) and Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and defensive backs Roy Lewis (knee), Ron Parker (knee) and Walter Thurmond (leg).
The team flew to Kansas City after the walkthrough for Friday night’s preseason game against the Chiefs.
The players will be off Saturday and have a review walkthrough on Sunday. The 89-man roster must be trimmed to 75 players by Monday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We’re really happy with Bobby Wagner. That was a big issue for us, to see if he could step in. He’s done a great job and we’re looking forward to him playing.” – Carroll on the team’s second-round draft choice winning the starting middle linebacker job
Nothing changed today as far as the three-man rotation in the competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job in the first practice of training camp, and none of the QBs did anything to alter the situation.
As he did all spring, incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson took the first reps on this first day, followed by free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and then rookie Russell Wilson. If coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and QB coach Carl Smith follow the same schedule they used in the spring OTA and minicamp practices, Flynn will be up first in Sunday’s practice and Wilson will get his turn to run the No. 1 offense on Monday.
When will all this sort itself out? As soon as one of the quarterbacks makes an obvious move at securing the job. And as Flynn said after practice, that was not the case today.
“There were some good points and some low points,” Flynn said. “It was just the first day, just getting some of the kinks out trying to get on the same page.”
Flynn got no argument on that assessment from his head coach.
“There was a little bit of everything today,” Carroll said. “We’re started. We’re underway. We’ve got a big-time formula that we’re unveiling as we go with the reps and how we do it and the timing and the patience it’s going to take to make really good decisions here. This is just the first step of it.
“There’s no reason to evaluate today.”
Pushed for more info on the how, the why and especially the when, Carroll dated himself by using a line from Johnny Carson’s Karnak sketch on the old “Tonight Show.”
“It’s on Funk and Wagnall’s porch, hermitically sealed (in a mayonnaise jar),” Carroll cracked, cracking himself up with the time-machine reference. “None of you guys have heard of hermitically sealed even.”
Cracking the hermitic seal as far as the practice-field performances of the three QBs involved, Jackson hooked up with wide receivers Ricardo Lockette and Golden Tate for long touchdown passes, but also had a pass intercepted and returned for a TD by cornerback Richard Sherman and another dropped by Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas that would have been an interception; Flynn used play-action fakes to setup a couple of nice throws, but also had two passes batted incomplete at the line; and Wilson converted a third-and-15 situation with a pass to tight end Anthony McCoy, but also had another throw go off a receiver that was intercepted by linebacker Mike Morgan.
The Seahawks not only wrapped up the second week of their OTA practices today, Doug Baldwin wrapped a bow around the drizzle-drenched session with a one-handed catch that had to be seen to really appreciate.
Since that can’t happen, an explanation will have to suffice.
“It was a regular corner route,” said Baldwin, the team’s leading receiver as a rookie last season. “The nickel corner that was playing me (rookie Jeremy Lane) kind of leaned to the outside, so I had to go over the top of him and Matt (Flynn) put the ball in a place where only I could get it.”
Even more impressive was why Baldwin made the one-handed grab for a 35-yard gain.
“You use these practices like a project, so sometimes you do things you wouldn’t normally do to try and make yourself better,” he said. “So I’m working on my ability to go up in different ways to catch the ball.”
The QB rotation system continued, with rookie Russell Wilson up first in the two-hour practice, followed by Flynn and then incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson.
Wilson kicked off one of the team drills with a nice throw that followed an even better read on a play that produced an up-the-seam touchdown pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Wilson later completed six of seven passes and also scrambled for a couple of first downs in a drive that started at the 12-yard line to get the offense in a first-and-goal situation at the 8. But the drive stalled when free safety Chris Maragos and linebacker K.J. Wright made impressive plays on a pair of 1-yard gains and tight end Kellen Winslow couldn’t get both feet down on a third-and-6 pass into the end zone.
Other highlights included rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie safety Winston Guy intercepting passes and Steve Hauschka drilling a 47-yard field goal.
The players are off until Monday, when they return for the final four OTA practices next week.