The Browns’ selection of Barkevious Mingo with the sixth pick overall in last month’s NFL Draft has prompted the folks at NFL.com to compile a photo gallery of the NFL’s all-time all-name team.
The fullback is Mack Strong, the former Seahawk whose parents must have known he was destined to block for three 1,000-yard rushers during his 15-season stay in Seattle.
Writes Jim Reineking: “This is the perfect confluence of first name and surname. In 15 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Strong was a lead blocker for three different 1,000-yard rushers (Chris Warren, Ricky Watters and Shaun Alexander). His 32-yard touchdown run in a 2005 divisional playoff game was a team record until Marshawn Lynch went on his famous ‘Beast Mode’ run (in a 2010 wild-card game) that set off a seismic event.”
But Strong was more than just a lead blocker. Only Joe Nash (218) has played in more games for the Seahawks than Strong (201) – and both made the team as rookie free agents; Nash in 1982 and Strong in 1993 (he spent his rookie season on the practice squad). No one won the Steve Largent Award more than times than Strong (five). He also was voted to two Pro Bowls, selected All-Pro in 2005 and named to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
Also on the all-time all-name team: offensive lineman Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack, who played with the Seahawks from 2001-08; long snapper Trey Junkin, who was with the Seahawks from 1990-95; and safety Atari Bigby, who spent the 2010 season with the Seahawks.
As for Mingo’s first name, at the NFL Scouting Combine he explained it this way: “My mom just kind of threw it together and wrote it on my birth certificate.”
A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 27:
1987: Dave Krieg passes for two touchdowns, including one to Steve Largent, who catches six passes for 95 yards. But Bill Kenney passes for three scores as the Chiefs prevail 41-20 at Arrowhead Stadium.
1992: The Seahawks close out their 2-14 season with a 31-14 loss to the Chargers at the Kingdome, despite rushing for 156 yards and Brian Blades catching six passes for 103 yards.
1998: In Dennis Erickson’s final game as coach, the Seahawks fall behind 28-7 before rallying to lose 28-21 to the Broncos at Mile High Stadium. Terrell Davis runs for 178 yards for the Broncos and John Elway throws four touchdown passes.
2003: In a Saturday game in San Francisco, Matt Hasselbeck passes to Koren Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown in the third quarter as the Seahawks rally to take a 24-17 victory over the 49ers. Hasselbeck finishes with 315 yards while completing 24 of 37 passes.
2009: Ryan Grant runs for two touchdowns and the Packers compile 417 yards, while Matt Hasselbeck throws four interceptions, as Green Bay slaps a 48-10 loss on the Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Atari Bigby, who now plays for the Seahawks, has two picks off Hasselbeck.
Monday Night Football returned to Seattle for the first time since 2007, and the Seahawks did not disappoint as they defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-13 at CenturyLink Field.
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 23:
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.”
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)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
S Atari Bigby (hamstring)
DE Anthony Hargrove (hamstring)
For the Redskins:
Did not practice
LB London Fletcher (ankle)
WR Niles Paul (toe)
OT Jammal Brown (groin)
S DeJon Gomes (knee)
OG Maurice Hurt (knee)
OT Sean Locklear (ankle)
OT Trent Williams (knee)
CB Josh Wilson (hamstring)
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
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
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 21:
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.”
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.”
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.”
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:
Back, team Avg. yards Per-carry avg.
Steven Jackson, Rams 78.6 5.1
vs. Seahawks 42 2.8
Back, team Avg. yards Per-carry avg.
Ray Rice, Ravens 66.5 4.0
vs. Seahawks 27 5.4
Back, team Avg. yards Per-carry avg.
DeMarco Murray, Cowboys 163.5 9.9
vs. Seahawks 139 6.3
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
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Nov. 8:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the Seahawks’ inability to finish comebacks, a situation coach Pete Carroll admits “is killing me.” Says O’Neil: “The Seahawks have made a cottage industry out of finding new and innovative ways to lose. They failed to reach the red zone in Week 2, they missed a historically long field-goal attempt in Week 4. They have allowed three kicks to be returned for touchdowns and had their own scoring punt return nullified by a penalty. They have been penalized 29 times the past three games and committed three turnovers in Dallas. But there is one common thread that’s woven throughout this 2-6 tapestry: a consistent inability to get over the hump in the fourth quarter.”
Also from O’Neil a trio of “three things” from Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, including this one: “Tarvaris Jackson’s return isn’t the antidote for all that ails Seattle. Up until Sunday, Jackson’s errors were largely ones of inaction such as the receivers he didn’t see or chances he just wouldn’t take. In Dallas, Jackson’s mistakes actively undermined Seattle’s chances at a second-half comeback. His three second-half interceptions led to 10 Dallas points and showed pretty clearly that while he may be the best quarterback on Seattle’s roster, he’s not going to right the ship all by himself. Seattle was already trailing when Jackson unleashed his hail of turnovers, but considering he’s a veteran, Jackson had some pretty elementary mistakes. The first interception came on a pass that he was trying to throw into the ground. The second interception was the worst decision, coming on a pass that Jackson threw: a) while he was on the run; b) jumping off his back foot; c) with an injured pectoral muscle. That it did not end well is not a surprise. Jackson underthrew Sidney Rice, allowing Dallas cornerback Terence Newman to settle under it as if he were fielding a punt. This was clearly Jackson’s worst game among his seven as a Seahawk.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at the same problems that continue to hinder the Seahawks: penalties and mistakes. Says Boyle: “A week earlier, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spent a good portion of his Monday press conference lamenting the penalties and mistakes that helped turn a close game into a double-digit loss for the Seahawks. A day after his team’s 23-13 loss in Dallas, it was more of the same for Carroll, whose team now sits at 2-6 at the midway point of the season, a far cry from where he hoped the Seahawks would be in their second season under his watch.”
Also at the Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “Game of My Life” series with Jim Zorn, the Seahawks original quarterback. Says Johnson: “Zorn didn’t know much about the city of Seattle, and he certainly didn’t know anything about the new expansion team. In fact, the Seahawks didn’t even have a head coach yet, as Jack Patera was still a few weeks away from signing on. But Zorn quickly endeared himself to both the Seahawks and the city of Seattle.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has “silver linings” from the loss to the Cowboys including this one: “Seattle’s league-leading goal-to-go defense allowed no touchdowns in two such situations Sunday. Brandon Mebane blew up one running play. Atari Bigby nearly sacked Tony Romo on another, forcing an incomplete pass.”
Brady Henderson at 710 ESPN passes along the answer to a question a lot of fans were asking during the game: Why didn’t the Seahawks use their no-huddle offense more? Carroll addressed that in an interview on the station: “Dallas was able to put pressure on Tarvaris Jackson, but only came away with one sack. The Seahawks had allowed 28 sacks, an average of four per game. Protecting Jackson against Ware was a priority, one that came at the expense of the no-huddle offense that has been successful in recent weeks. ‘We picked him up with the tight end, we motioned the tight end to block him, we used the backs, we slid in ways that would give us an advantage on him,’ Carroll said of Ware. ‘That was not a no-huddle mode. That doesn’t fit. The game plans didn’t match in the regard. That was a concession that we had to make to get that done.’ “
Here at Seahawks.com, we look back at how things that hadn’t been working did and things that had been working didn’t against the Cowboys in our “Monday Metatarsal Musings”: “Marshawn Lynch rushes for 135 yards and a 5.9-yard average. DeMarcus Ware is held without a sack for only the second time this season. The fans at Cowboys Stadium boo their offense – and their quarterback – off the field after two of the Cowboys’ first three possessions. This trio of events adds up to another upset victory over another NFC East opponents on the road for the Seahawks, right? Not on this given Sunday, when things that had been a given for the Seahawks were left in the locker room. So instead of a yee-haw victory, the Seahawks absorbed another I-don’t-believe-what-I-just-saw loss. This time it was 23-13, as they reached the midway point of Pete Carroll’s second season as coach at 2-6 and having lost three in a row.”
We’ve also got a closer look at the contrast between the Seahawks rushing offense and rushing defense and a recap of the day in “Monday in Hawkville.” Tony Ventrella also has video recaps of the game and the day after.
Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” had not been posted at SI.com when we compiled this yesterday, so we include it now because it’s a must-read and also because he had this to say about the Seahawks: “Red Bryant’s playing like a monster for Seattle. Speaking of Seattle monsters: Cornerback Richard Sherman, a rookie from Stanford, saved a Dallas touchdown with a bone-jarring forced fumble on Dez Bryant. No ifs, ands or buts – that hit by Sherman prevented Dallas from taking a 10-point lead in the second quarter.”
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Not that there hasn’t already been enough talk about the Seahawks’ young, but oh-so-talented, safeties. And rightfully so, since Chancellor (22) and Thomas (17) are the leading tacklers on a defense that ranks No. 10 in the league.
But before practice today, we caught up with John Lynch, a nine-time Pro Bowl safety during his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1993-2003) and Denver Broncos (2004-07). Lynch will be the analyst on Fox for the telecast of Sunday’s game between the Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field.
Lynch also did the Seahawks’ season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco, when Chancellor and Thomas combined for 17 tackles.
“I love the way they play. I’m a big fan,” Lynch said. “It’s neat to see young guys and you can tell the game is important to them. And they’ve obviously been blessed with some God-given abilities that lend themselves to the position.
“Just watching them, I can tell they want to be special.”
This dynamic duo might be broken up on Sunday, however. Thomas will start at free safety, but Chancellor is listed as doubtful with the deep thigh bruise he got in last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. If he can’t play, Atari Bigby will start at strong safety.
Regardless, here’s Lynch’s assessment of each safety:
On Thomas: “Earl, he’s a flash. Every time I’ve got the film on, I think I’m in fast forward. Then I realize that’s just him. He’s got tremendous instincts. I met with him the first week of the season and he realized there were a lot of things he needed to get better at. He’s worked hard at them. I think he’s got a very, very bright future. He’s got as much range as any safety I’ve seen. (Former Redskins safety) Sean Taylor is the last guy with that kind of range and the ability to get from centerfield over to the sideline.”
On Chancellor: “I remember last year, Pete (Carroll) raving, ‘John, wait until you see this kid.’ And then last week, I think we all saw it come together. Really, throughout the year, you study the three games and he’s played very consistently. He’s an impact player. He’s obviously very big for the position, but also moves extremely well and is a physical presence.”
Lynch had one final observation that bodes well for the future – of the team, as well as Thomas and Chancellor.
“I really think at that position, you can change a game because you’re asked to do so many things,” he said. “At times, you’re rushing the quarterback. At times, you’re down as another linebacker. At times, you’re covering a receiver. So you can have a huge impact. Particularly when you have two, and they don’t know which one’s doing it. And they complement each other extremely well.
“I’m real high on them.”
COACH ON A CART
Tom Cable. The team’s assistant head coach/offensive line coach had back surgery on Monday, but was back on the practice field today – on a cart. And it’s possible that Cable will be able to attend Sunday’s game, sit in the coaches’ box and “do his best coach Paterno thing,” as Carroll put it.
“This is a miraculous recovery for this guy,” Carroll said. “He had major, major surgery just a couple days ago.”
The team used Skype to keep Cable involved in practice and meetings, even when he was still in the hospital.
“There were some hilarious moments when we set (the computer) on the stage and all you could see was this big mug up there talking to the team,” Carroll said. “So he’s been in on the game plan, he’s been contributing throughout, he’s seen every bit of the film and all of the preparation work has gone with Tom knowing what’s happening.
“He has a lot of stuff he’s dealing with, and it’s most admirable that he’s even part of this thing.”
The official end-of-the-week status report, as released by the team:
OG Robert Gallery (groin)
SS Kam Chancellor (quad)
CB Byron Maxwell (ankle)
OT Jarriel King (ankle)
FB Michael Robinson (ankle)
LB Matt McCoy (shoulder/head)
Robinson practiced all week, after missing the past two games, and will start against the Falcons, Carroll said.
On Chancellor, Carroll said, “It’s not an injury that he can’t come back from. It’s just that he has to have enough flexibility to run, and right now he doesn’t have that.”
For the Falcons:
DT Jonathan Babineaux (knee)
DE Cliff Matthews (knee)
LB Stephen Nicholas (calf)
RB Jason Snelling (concussion)
WR Roddy White (thigh)
OT Sam Baker (ankle)
LB Curtis Lofton (foot)
CB Kelvin Hayden (hamstring)
White, the Falcons’ leading receiver, was limited in practice today, but did participate for the first time this week before the team flew to Seattle for Sunday’s game. Babineaux, the brother of former Seahawks defensive back Jordan Babineaux, recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the Falcons’ 34-18 win in Seattle last season. He also missed the past two games and has been replaced in the lineup by Corey Peters. Nichols, another starter, also has missed the past two games and been replaced by Mike Peterson.
STAT DU JOUR
For the first time this season, the Seahawks will start the same offensive line combination in back-to-back games. Here’s a look at the starting lines from the first three games:
49ers: LT Russell Okung, LG James Carpenter, C Max Unger, RG John Moffitt, RT Breno Giacomini
Steelers: Okung, LG Robert Gallery, Unger, Moffitt, Carpenter
Cardinals: Okung, LG Paul McQuistan, Unger, Moffitt, Carpenter
The players will have a walk-thru on Saturday morning and then gather for meetings on Saturday night at the team hotel.
JUST THE TICKET
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s a very, very big week and a big opportunity. And these guys prepared like they understood that.” – Carroll
The Seahawks traveled across the country to Pittsburgh in Week 2 to face the Steelers, who were runners-up in last year’s Super Bowl.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 18:
Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times checks in with Leon Washington to get his thoughts about the new rule change that has teams kicking off from the 35-yard line, rather than the 30. Says Washington: “Honestly, not to be bragging, but we work hard at it, so we feel like if we bring it out 5 or 6 yards deep (in the end zone), we’re going to at least get by the 20-yard line. … We’re not worried about that. We’re going to do our thing.” Washington certainly did that in his first season with the Seahawks, returning three kickoffs for touchdowns.
Eric Williams of the New Tribune has the word from coach Pete Carroll that Tarvaris Jackson will play the first half in Saturday night’s preseason home opener against his old team – the Vikings – after getting only two series in the opener at San Diego last week. And also Jackson’s reaction: “It’s going to be just like practice,” Jackson joked about facing the Vikings. “I saw them a lot. I practiced against them for five years straight, and that was always fun because the guys always competed. I’m pretty sure guys are going to try and get a hit on me – especially guys on defense because I always had that red jersey on in practice. I’m going to be in a different color jersey, so I’m pretty sure they’ll try and get a couple licks on me.”
Christian Caple of PI.com looks at Atari Bigby’s first day as a Seahawk. The former Packers safety was signed on Tuesday. And he already knows his role: “From what I get from it, is special teams,” Bigby said. “Come in a little bit on defense, but they told me that they have their starters.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a recap of the day’s activities, including an update on tight end John Carlson: “Pete Carroll said Carlson has ‘a shoulder that’s bothering him. He’s got a labrum issue that we’re working through.’ What exactly a ‘Labrum issue’ is remains to be seen, but it will certainly be something to monitor as training camp progresses.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we talk with linebacker Leroy Hill about his return – and almost rebirth – as the team’s weakside linebacker. Says Hill: “It’s definitely sweeter to be back after what I’ve been through. There was so much uncertainty. But when the uncertainty clears up, now I can just get back to focusing on what I love to do.”
Atari Bigby. Signed by the team on Tuesday, the former Packers safety practiced with the Seahawks for the first time today.
“It felt good to be back playing football and be back with a team,” Bigby said.
Bigby’s period of “unemployment” lasted longer than he anticipated.
“No player wants to really go through camp, because it’s the most grueling time of the football season,” he said. “But I didn’t expect to be out so long. I thought as soon as the lockout was over I was going to be one of the first guys picked. So that was hard. That was hard, swallowing that.”
The Seahawks “picked” Bigby to give them some experience on the last line of defense, and also to play special teams. The starting safeties are second-year players – Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Also in the mix for spots on the 53-man roster are rookies Mark LeGree and Jeron Johnson, as well as second-year man Josh Pinkard.
Today, Bigby was working at strong safety with the No. 2 unit.
“We see Atari as a guy who has had extended experience,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s been a nickel guy. He’s started some. He’s been all over special teams. A very well versed guy. Bright kid.
“Now we need to see him fit in and compete and see how he matches up with our guys.”
Special teams. The Seahawks have their punter in Jon Ryan and snapper in Clint Gresham. The kicker will be either veteran Jeff Reed or the less experienced Brandon Coutu.
As for the rest of the units, “That’s a work in progress,” as Carroll put it. “And it’s not anywhere near where we need it to be right now.”
But the addition of bigger, faster, stronger players in free agency and the draft should help special teams coach Brian Schneider cobbled together his units.
“It’s going to take us a few weeks before we get everybody a shot,” Carroll said. “The rookies that are here, they had one shot last week and some of them had a play or two. You just can’t learn enough in that amount of time.
“So we have to be patient and just wait it out and use all four games to figure out the young people.”
K.J. Wright. The fourth-round draft choice was moved to middle linebacker to backup David Hawthorne after veteran starter Lofa Tatupu was released. After an understandably slow start, Wright is taking to his new spot – as evidenced by his team-high eight tackles in the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego.
He also stands out for another obvious reason: Wright is 6-4.
“He’s a big kid. He’s different from most Mike linebackers,” Carroll said. “So he’s got a different look to him as he moves around. He’s very instinctive. He’s got a real quick knack to find the football. And when he gets there, he’s 250 pounds.
“He’s got some dimensions that make him unique in our group.”
As Wright’s efforts against the Chargers, Carroll offered, “He played better than I thought he would first time out. As the game sped up, so did he. And he made some nice hits.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Defense: The players practice in full pads and the D-linemen helped set the tempo in the first team drill. On the first snap, tackle Alan Branch laid a big hit on the running back as he reached the hole. A few players later, rookie tackle Pep Levingston popped the back to force a fumble.
Offense: Left guard Paul McQuistan sliding over to not only pickup a blitzing Wright, but stop the rookie linebacker in his tracks.
Special teams: Reed drilling a 52-yard field goal on the final play of practice. You could tell it was going to be good from the moment it left his foot because of the solid thump.
IN AND OUT
Tight end John Carlson continues to be sidelined with a shoulder injury. He damaged his labrum while diving for a pass in practice on Saturday.
Also sitting out: left tackle Russell Okung, cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Kelly Jennings, defensive end Chris Clemons, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback, safety Rickey Thenarse and defensive linemen Jimmy Wilkerson Pierre Allen and Ryan Sims, as well as the four players who are on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list – wide receiver Deon Butler, tight end Cameron Morrah, defensive tackle Colin Cole and cornerback Roy Lewis.
Tyler Polumbus continued to work for Okung with the No. 1 line, while Raheem Brock subbed for Clemons. With Jennings and Thurmond out, Brandon Browner continues to work at right corner with the No. 1 defense.
Returning after missing time with minor injuries: Reed, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and Kris Durham, defensive end Jameson Konz, cornerback Byron Maxwell and defensive lineman Jay Alford.
Believe it or not, the training camp that seemed like it would never arrive in this oddest of offseasons breaks after practice on Thursday afternoon. The schedule for the remainder of the preseason won’t be all that different, however, because teams were allowed to practice only once a day during camp under the rules of the new CBA.
Today’s practice was the final one open to the public and 1,653 were on hand.
After practice, players presented selected fans with autographed jerseys.
“We’re just telling them how grateful we are – that this is such a great place to play and how fortunte we are to be playing with a following like this,” Carroll said. “The 12th Man has been extraordinary in our first year, and I’m hoping we can fuel them up and get them all jacked up again for this season coming up.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“My intention is to go on Saturday. Most definitely. I want to see what I’ve got.” – Bigby, when asked about playing against the Vikings in the home opener