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Thursday round-up: Future Power Rankings; Seahawks NFL’s best defense?

The Seahawks partnered with the Microsoft Corporation to create a one week job shadowing program where left tackle Russell Okung, defensive end Gregg Scruggs, kicker Steven Hauschka, long snapper Clint Gresham & former Seahawk wide receiver Ben Obomanu were matched with Microsoft Finance & Research Managers

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Thursday, June 20, about your Seattle Seahawks:Cliff Avril

ESPN.com has rolled out their NFL Future Power Rankings, an exercise measuring the confidence their site’s experts (Herm Edwards, Mel Kiper, Mike Sando, Gary Horton, Matt Williamson, Field Yates, and former NFL GM Bill Polian) has in each club as they project three seasons ahead. The ranking takes into account the quality of the team’s roster, the quality of it’s quarterback, the quality of the 2012 draft class, the ability of the team’s front office, and the capability of a team’s coaching staff. It’s an ESPN Insider feature, so a subscription is required to view the full piece, but here’s a sampling of what was said about the Seahawks, who ranked at No. 3 (up from No. 21 in last year’s Future Rankings) behind the Green Bay Packers (No. 2) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 1), “GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have very quickly drafted a contender in Seattle. The emergence of Wilson as a dynamic player and leader has exponentially improved this club. The defense loses coordinator Gus Bradley but in essence Pete’s fingerprints are all over this group anyway. And a good group it is. The addition of Cliff Avril at a low price was one of the best free-agent pickups of the year. Avril and Irvin provide an outstanding tandem of pass-rushers.” – Polian

Several contributors over at NFL.com position the Seahawks as the League’s best defense.

NFL.com Around the League writer Gregg Rosenthal ranks the top 25 edge rushers in the NFL today, and second-year defensive end Bruce Irvin makes the list at No. 12. Rosenthal lists Avril as having “just missed” his top 25.

Russell WilsonNFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a chart breaking down NFL quarterbacks that have produced games with a QBR of 90+ from 2010-12. Perhaps not surprisingly, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tops the list, totaling 14 games with a 90+ QBR in 46 starts from 2010-12, but it’s Wilson who stands out on Sando’s list with five 90+ QBR games last season alone.

Sando also has his daily look around the NFC West and his Wednesday SportsNation chat transcript can be found here.

Dick Fain, on Sports Radio 950 KJR AM’s “Mitch in the Morning” show, chats with Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon about what he saw from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson through the team’s Offseason Program and what to expect from the club in the 2013 season. We have the podcast for you below:


Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth talks with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn about backup players stepping up.

Punter Jon Ryan is hosting a charity golf tournament today in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Free safety Chris Maragos, tight end Sean McGrath, kicker Steven Hauschka and long snapper Clint Gresham will also be in attendance.

And by way of NFL Network’s NFL AM, NFL Chief Security Officer Jeff Miller adds some clarity to the League’s new bag rule.


Ben Obomanu signs with Jets

Ben Obomanu

Former Seahawks wide receiver and special teams standout Ben Obomanu has found a new NFL home.

Obomanu signed with the Jets today, the team announced on its website.

A seventh-round draft choice in 2006, Obomanu was placed on injured reserve last October and released in March. He caught 87 passes for 1,209 yards and seven touchdowns in six seasons (he spent 2008 on IR) and finished second on the team in 2009 with 12 coverage tackles on special teams.


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Seahawks release Ben Obomanu

Ben Obomanu

Ben Obomanu had quite a run with the Seahawks, especially when you consider that the wide receiver was a seventh-round draft choice in 2006.

But the team announced today that Obomanu has been released, not a surprising move after wide receiver Percy Harvin was acquired in a trade with the Vikings earlier this month. Obomanu took to Twitter in announcing the move a couple weeks back:

And No. 87 caught 87 passes in six seasons with the Seahawks (he spent 2008 on injured reserve), including a career-high 37 in 2011. But last season he was limited to four catches for 58 yards before being placed on IR in late October with a wrist injury.

Obomanu’s best season came in 2010, when he caught 30 passes for 494 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season and then added nine receptions for 111 yards in two playoff games.


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Thursday cyber surfing: Kearse impressing everybody; Baldwin a limited participant in practice

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 1.

Danny O’Neil has his story on wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster earlier this week, “He’s going to be playing some special teams at the very least after being promoted to the active roster to replace Obomanu, who became the first Seahawk placed on injured reserve since the regular season began. Obomanu suffered a wrist injury that will require him to be in a cast for at least six weeks, and more likely eight. That creates an opportunity for Kearse, who was undrafted out of Washington, but signed with Seattle and worked himself from training camp to the practice squad to the 53-man roster. ‘Jermaine has done a very good job,’ Carroll said. ‘He has impressed everybody in everything he has done. He is going to be involved in special teams this week, extensively. He has made great impressions so we’re fortunate to have him available to pop up.’ “

O’Neil also has the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings’ injury reports from Wednesday. Seattle’s Doug Baldwin returned to practice in limited fashion for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times highlights the Vikings’ Jared Allen, the outgoing defensive end who showed up to Minnesota’s practice facility yesterday in full Halloween gear, “Allen, now 30 and fully established as one the greatest pass-rushing defensive ends in NFL history — his 22 sacks last year were just a half-sack behind Michael Strahan’s 2001 season record — is still a wild and crazy guy. The only difference is now he limits his fun to such socially acceptable activities as knocking the stuffing out of opposing quarterbacks, and thrill-seeking activities like running with the bulls in Spain, boar (and bear) hunting, sky diving and zip-lining. He’ll be attempting to partake of the former Sunday when the Vikings meet the Seahawks, who know that slowing down Allen’s pass rush is a prime focus. ‘He’s long, lanky with a knack for getting sacks,’ Seahawks center Max Unger said. ‘You have to know where he is and what he’s doing all the time out there.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report from Wednesday, noting Baldwin is coming along better than expected from his high ankle sprain, “The Seahawks could use Baldwin because they lack depth. Ben Obomanu was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with a wrist injury and Braylon Edwards may not be available because of a swollen knee. That leaves four healthy receivers on the active roster. ‘He looks better than we expected coming into the week,’ Carroll said of Baldwin. ‘I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’ll see.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has praises from Kearse’s fellow receivers on his recent promotion, “Receiver Golden Tate, specifically, approached Carroll with his support for Kearse. ‘He’s a young guy who is going to be really good,’ Tate said. ‘From Day One he showed what he could do and hasn’t made many of those rookie mistakes. He has some wiggle, and is a strong guy with great hands.’ Kearse was set back early in the offseason with a foot injury, which made it more impressive that he landed on the practice squad. ‘I told him back then that I thought at some point this season he was going to be activated,’ Tate said. ‘He’s got a positive attitude, he works hard every day.’ “

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune also calls attention to the Vikings’ Allen, “Sure, he isn’t the pure speed-rushing spitfire he was back in 2004, fresh out of Idaho State University and a fourth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. But it doesn’t mean he isn’t effective. He might be a little slower, but he’s a lot smarter player. ‘I think I’m a different player from week to week or year to year, just trying to build and correct mistakes,’ Allen said. ‘Mentally, you learn to rush smarter. When you are younger, you are guessing. But I’ve always been a leverage, technique guy. I’m never going to get away from the base of what I do. I believe (in using) hips, hands and feet and out-leveraging and out-working the guy in front of me.’ Allen won’t be outworked in practice, a trait that has earned the respect of coach Leslie Frazier. ‘He’s a terrific player,’ Frazier said. ‘He’s on the pace again to have another double-digit sack year. So close a year ago to breaking an NFL record with sacks, and he’s just a joy to be around in practice because he works hard every single day.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a feature on Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung, who Boyle says is living up to his high expectations, “For much of his first two seasons in Seattle, the talk about Okung, the No. 6 pick in the 2010 draft and the man handed the unenviable task of filling Walter Jones’ sizable shoes, was about his inability to stay healthy. And when this season started, Okung found himself in the spotlight for one of the worst reasons possible for a lineman—a plethora of penalties.  But lately, you probably haven’t heard much about Okung, and when you’re not hearing discussions about an offensive lineman, it’s usually because he’s doing his job. And when you do actually focus on Okung, you realize that now more than ever, he is living up to the lofty expectations that were placed on him when he was picked in the first round, then immediately named the starter at one of football’s most important positions.”

Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has his report from Wednesday, pointing to the similarities between the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, ” ‘Angry runners’ is the term Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell uses to describe Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Two of the top backs in the NFL will be featured front and center at CenturyLink Field Sunday. Bevell has drawn up plays for both elite backs and says their teammates must assume both Peterson and Lynch will keep a play alive after the initial tackle attempt. ‘They have many similarities in their running styles,’ said Bevell, who came to Seattle from Minnesota. ‘If you’re blocking for them downfield, you have to assume they will break free from the first contact.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes that the Seahawks could potentially be down to just four receivers on Sunday against the Vikings, “Rice is one of the few certainties the Seattle Seahawks have at wide receiver going into this week’s key home game against the Vikings, which could have long-term effects on the NFC playoff race later in the season. With Ben Obomanu on injured reserve and questions about the health of Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards, the Seahawks could head into Sunday’s game with just four healthy wide receivers. Rice, Golden Tate, Charly Martin and practice squad call-up Jermaine Kearse are the only receivers expected to be fully healthy for the Vikings. ‘It’s going to be pretty tough. We have a couple of guys that are down,’ Rice said. ‘… It’s definitely going to have to be on those guys. That’s a talented smart group on that side of the ball, a lot of vets that move around very well and some of our guys that haven’t played so much it’s going to be tough for them to process all the information.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has a look at the Seahawks’ defensive struggles on third down, “Overall, Seattle is allowing teams to convert 43.9-percent on third down, which is 27th out of the 32 teams in the league. Only Pittsburgh (44-percent), Minnesota (44.2), the New York Jets (45), Tennessee (45.7) and Buffalo (47.3) are allowing teams to convert more frequently on third down. LB K.J. Wright said it’s not something they’re worried about because they know it’s something they can get corrected. ‘It don’t worry me at all,’ Wright said. ‘I know we’re a good defense and I know we can adjust to anything so I’m not worried.’ Wright said it’s partly an experience issue in getting used to see the various route combinations and being able to react faster to what they’re seeing. Between Wright in his second year, rookie LB Bobby Wagner and CB Marcus Trufant adjusting to a new position, the Seahawks have been just out of position at times. It’s a chemistry that is still developing between the group. ‘I recognized one (route combination) last week but it was a little too late and they got the first down so it just comes with experience. We’ll be able to get the job done. We’re still learning,’ Wright said.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com comments on the Seahawks’ recent struggles on defense, “Against the past three offenses, the Patriots, 49ers and Lions, the defense was learning the hard way. There is really no other way. ‘You watch film, but you can’t really get used to it until you get on the field,’ said Bobby Wagner, a rookie starting at middle linebacker — the quarterback of the defense. ‘A lot of rookies mess up on plays they’ve never seen. It’s just experience, seeing plays come so fast. We take false reads that (veterans) don’t, because of experience. A team like the Carolina Panthers (against whom the Seahawks have their only road win), which runs read options, we tend to have a good feel for it because that tends to be what we have seen (in college). You just have to have experience (with the more standard pro offenses), and I feel like we’re catching on pretty quick.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at injury situations around the NFC West, “The Seahawks are light on receivers after losing Doug Baldwin to a high-ankle sprain and Ben Obomanu to a season-ending wrist injury. Braylon Edwards missed practice with knee trouble Wednesday. Baldwin was limited. The team still has good enough quality at the position with Sidney Rice playing well (except for a drop in Week 8 ) and Golden Tate bouncing back from a tough game against San Francisco. Depth is a concern, however, particularly without a strong No. 2 receiving tight end to pair with Zach Miller. Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) missed practice. Seattle’s nickel defense missed him against Detroit. He could test the ankle later in the week. The nickel defense figures to play less this week based on Minnesota’s personnel tendencies. Seattle did not list fullback Michael Robinson on its injury report. He hurt a wrist against the Lions.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps “Wednesday in Hawkville” with a focus on the rookie Kearse, and gets Sidney Rice and Heath Farwell’s take on the running backs Lynch and Peterson.

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as the team kicks off their first practice of the second half of the season.

We have coach Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell‘s full video press conferences from yesterday.

And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at “Competition Wednesday” in photos.


Wednesday in Hawkville: Kearse steps into very active role

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 31:

FOCUS ON

Jermaine Kearse

Jermaine Kearse

Jermaine Kearse. Now that the rookie wide receiver from the University of Washington and Lakes High School has been added to the active roster, he’s ready for any and all action that might come his way in the Seahawks’ game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

“It’s a dream come true to finally get my chance,” Kearse said today, when he was wearing a new number (11) as he practiced with the Seahawks’ offense rather than against the Seahawks’ defense. “I’m just going to try to do my best in any way I can to help the team succeed.”

And that could range from special teams duty to playing in the four-receiver sets because of the uncertainty over Doug Baldwin (sprained ankle) and Braylon Edwards (swollen knee). Coach Pete Carroll labeled their status as “wait and see.”

Kearse admitted he was wondering if his number would be called because of the injuries to Baldwin and Edwards, as well as the season-ending injury to Ben Obomanu that opened a roster spot for him.

“I mean I’m not going to say I wasn’t thinking about it,” he said. “I just knew that if I got my chance I was going to make the best of my opportunity, and that’s my plan for this weekend.”

For the NFL team he grew up watching in Lakewood, in the stadium his college team is sharing with the Seahawks this season.

“It’s like I can’t get out of Washington,” Kearse joked. “But I’m happy to be here. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be here. Not too many people get to live their whole life in the state and then play for a professional team in their state.”

Kearse has endeared himself to his coaches and teammates because of how hard he has worked, especially while filling the role of the opposition’s best receiver on the scout team each week.

“Jermaine has done a very good job,” Carroll said. “He’s impressed everybody in everything that he’s done. … We’re fortunate to have him available to pop up.”

One of the first to approach Kearse in the locker room was split end Golden Tate. And after he made a nice catch in the end zone during practice, running back Marshawn Lynch jogged over to congratulate him.

“They came and told me that they’re proud of me, that I deserve it, that I’ve worked hard,” Kearse said. “It feels good to have the older guys come up to me and say those type of things. It just shows they care about everybody on this team and they want everybody to succeed.”

Kearse was added to the 53-man roster on Tuesday when Obomanu was placed on injured reserve because he’s expected to have a cast on the wrist he injured in Sunday’s game against the Lions for six to eight weeks.

To fortify the receiving crew, rookie Lavasier Tuinei was today signed to the practice squad, as was rookie Phil Bates on Tuesday. Both players were with the team in training camp.

PLAYER WATCH

Zach Miller

Zach Miller

Zach Miller. The Seahawks’ tight end has caught 267 passes in his 5½-season NFL career, but where did the touchdown catch he made against the Lions in Detroit on Sunday rank on that list?

“I think it’s my best,” said Miller, who signed with the Seahawks last year after playing his first four seasons with the Raiders. “I can’t think of any better ones I’ve made, really. It was a tough one, but I think it’s probably my best catch.”

Miller used every inch of his 6-foot-5 frame and a fully extended arm to get to the pass from Russell Wilson in the end zone, tipping the ball with one hand before controlling it as he fell to the turf.

“I didn’t locate it until the last second, so just laid out and hoped that I could at least get a hand on it,” Miller said. “I got enough of it on there that I was able to tip it back to myself.”

What goes through his mind while all this is taking place?

“It’s just natural, just reacting to the ball,” he said. “That comes from playing football for so many years that you have a feel for it.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

WR Braylon Edwards (knee)

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

Limited in practice

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Carroll said Jones might try to do some work later in the week, but that he doesn’t know if he’ll be available for Sunday’s game.

For the Vikings:

Did not practice

TE John Carlson (concussion)

LB Tyrone McKenzie (not injury related)

Limited in practice

WR Percy Harvin (hamstring)

RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)

S Mistral Raymond (ankle)

CB Antoine Winfield (knee)

Full participation

DT Fred Evans (knee)

DT Letroy Guion (ribs)

LB Erin Henderson (elbow)

P Chris Kluwe (left knee)

QB Christian Ponder (knee)

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks are 4-4 for the 13th time in franchise history. Here’s a look at how they fared the other 12 times:

Year    Final record (playoffs)

1978        9-7

1980        4-12

1983        9-7 (2-1)

1985        8-8

1988        9-7 (0-1)

1989        7-9

1991        7-9

1993        6-10

1998        8-8

2001        9-7

2007      10-6 (1-1)

2010        7-9 (1-1)

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Vikings – their first of two in a row at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks’ Tackle Hunger drive is Sunday, so fans attending the game are asked to bring nonperishable food or cash donations that will be donated to Northwest Harvest. The American Red Cross also will have volunteers at the game collecting cash donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’m counting on this being a big finish.” – Carroll on the Seahawks playing five of their eight games at home in the second half of the season


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Carroll: “[Kearse] is jacked up about this opportunity”

Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 1:30 p.m. practice and preparations for their Week 9 home matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

When asked about the team’s wide receiver situation heading into this weekend’s game, Carroll said they will take a “wait and see” approach with Braylon Edwards, who had a knee swell up prior to their Week 8 game in Detroit, and that he is expected to get work in practice this week.

On Doug Baldwin, Carroll said he is coming along “better than we thought” from a high ankle sprain and he is challenging the trainers and coaches every day to get back on the field.

Carroll said Ben Obomanu, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve yesterday, is expected to be in a cast for six to eight weeks with a wrist injury, and that the injury would have hampered him too much if he were to try and play through it.

Of Jermaine Kearse, the former University of Washington Husky wideout who was called up from the team’s practice squad to replace the injured Obomanu yesterday, Carroll said he has impressed everybody in everything he’s done and will contribute on special teams as well.

“He’s been solid the whole time and right in the middle of it,” Carroll said. “He’s jacked up about this opportunity.”

Also of note, Carroll said that it is possible that they go into this weekend’s game with just four active wide receivers, which would presumably be Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Charly Martin, and the recently-activated Kearse.

Carroll said he is not sure if defensive tackle Jason Jones will be available this week. Jones missed last week’s game against the Lions with an ankle injury.

No decision has been made on whether or not to activate cornerback Walter Thurmond to the active roster. Thurmond is still within the three-week practice window on the team’s PUP list and the Seahawks will have until Nov. 5 to make a decision on whether or not to activate the third-year corner. Carroll did say that Thurmond will get featured work in practice this week so that he and the coaching staff can obtain a better idea of where he is at.

Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.


Wednesday cyber surfing: Obomanu to IR, Kearse called up; Mid-season grades and honors

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 31.

The Seahawks made a few roster moves yesterday, placing wide receiver Ben Obomanu on injured reserve, releasing cornerback Danny Gorrer, promoting wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and tackle Mike Person from the practice squad to the active roster, and signing wide receiver Phil Bates to the practice squad.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his story on the former University of Washington standout Kearse being called up to the active roster, “Kearse might not only be active on Sunday when Seattle faces Minnesota, but he could see playing time. Doug Baldwin is a longshot to play, according to coach Pete Carroll, as Baldwin recovers from a high ankle sprain. Braylon Edwards’ status is a question mark after his knee swelled unexpectedly on Sunday morning, preventing him from playing against the Lions.”

O’Neil also has a brief look at the Seahawks’ second half of the season.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on the promotion of Kearse, “Kearse had been playing well against Seattle’s No. 1 defense during practices. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Kearse has the versatility to play both inside as a slot receiver and on the perimeter.”

Williams also grades out the Seahawks position-by-position at the season’s midway point, “Lynch is on his way to a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaign. He’s second in the league in rushing with 757 yards on 159 carries for a robust 4.8 yard-per-carry average. Lynch has three rushing touchdowns, including a career-long 77-yard rumble for a score Sunday against Detroit. Lynch has rushed for more than 100 yards four times this season. Fourth-round pick Robert Turbin has been a nice addition as a complementary back to Lynch, rushing for 129 yards on 30 carries. And fullback Michael Robinson continues to block like a Pro Bowl player as a lead blocker for Lynch. Robinson also is among the league leaders in third-and-1 rushes for first downs. He’s 4-for-4 on the year. Grade: B-plus”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald rehashes the Seahawks’ first half of the season and has a look at what’s in store in the second half, “Offense – What’s worked so far: The running game picked up where it left off last year, and Marshawn Lynch is on pace for a 1,500-yard season. The pass protection, which was an issue early in the year, is getting better. The offense has been getting off to good starts in games, particularly of late, scoring on its first possession in four straight games. What has to improve: The passing game has made some big strides under Wilson as the season has gone on, culminating in Sunday’s loss with what Carroll said ‘was probably his best game. It was his most solid performance.’ But that progress needs to continue for this offense to be good enough for a playoff push. For starters, the Seahawks need to figure out how to build off of those aforementioned strong starts, rather than go quiet for long stretches of the game. After scoring on their first three possessions against Detroit, the Seahawks came up empty on five straight possessions until their fourth-quarter touchdown drive. The two biggest problems for Seattle’s offense have been third-down and red-zone conversions, and while there have been signs of improvement in both areas, there is still room for growth.”

Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” believe the Seahawks still need to explore more options at wide receiver, even with the promotion of Kearse to the active roster. They discuss possible options in this short video.

Brock Huard of 710Sports.com has his latest “Chalk Talk“, as he breaks down the Detroit Lions’ 3rd-and-10 play from the 12-yard-line heading toward the end zone late in the fourth quarter that helped set up the Lions’ game-winning 1-yard touchdown pass.

Pro Football Focus has their Mid-Season All NFC West team and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch, wide receiver Sidney Rice, defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman, and return man Leon Washington make their cut.

NFL.com’s “The NFL Season” has a look at Wilson’s rookie year and his relationship with Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon in this video.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at Wilson’s first half in “Tuesday in Hawkville,” hands out his Seahawks “Midseason honor roll,”  details Lynch’s fiery leadership, and has his first look at the Minnesota Vikings – the Seahawks’ Week 9 opponent.


Tuesday in Hawkville: A look at Wilson’s ‘prosperous’ first half

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 30:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wison

Russell Wison

Russell Wilson. Looking for a reason to be optimistic about the second half of the Seahawks’ season? Look to the team’s rookie quarterback, and let coach Pete Carroll be your tour guide.

“One of the big focuses in looking at the quarterback position – you all ask those questions, ‘How’s he doing?’ and all – he’s had a very prosperous first half of his first year,” said Carroll, the team’s third-year coach. “In that he’s grown, he’s been attacked, he’s been under the gun in so many games.

“And Russell has shown his ways and his character and his athleticism. He’s done some great stuff first time around.”

At the top of Wilson’s great-stuff list was his performance in Week 6 against the Patriots and Tom Brady. It was Wilson, and not Brady, who threw two TD passes in the final 7½ minutes to rally the Seahawks to a 24-23 victory.

At the bottom of Wilson’s not-so-great-stuff list was his performance four days later, when he completed 9 of 23 passes in a 13-6 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.

But Wilson bounced back from that effort to lead the Seahawks to a go-ahead TD with 5½ minutes to play in Detroit on Sunday. The Lions then drove 80 yards to a score that won the game, but it didn’t diminish Wilson’s play in the 12-play, 87-yard drive that ended with his 16-yard TD pass to tight end Zach Miller.

“But he needs to get better,” Carroll said. “Just like everybody does. He’d be the first to tell you that. We need to improve and keep getting things moving in a positive direction. We need to be better on third downs and continue to fight to be better in the red zone.”

Entering Sunday’s game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field, Wilson is completing 61.4 percent of his passes (129 of 210) for 1,466 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and eight interceptions, for a passer rating of 82.4 that ranks second in the league among the rookie starters – Redskins’ Robert Griffin III (97.3); but well ahead of the  Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill (75.8), Colts’ Andrew Luck (74.6) and Browns’ Brandon Weeden (70.8).

OBOMANU TO IR

Ben Obomanu’s seventh season with the Seahawks has come to an unlucky end. The veteran wide receiver was placed on injured reserve today because of the wrist injury he got in Sunday’s loss to the Lions in Detroit.

Obomanu, a seventh-round draft choice in 2006, caught four passes for 58 yards and a team-high 14.5-yard average.

With Obomanu out for the remainder of the season, rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was signed off the practice squad and rookie Phil Bates, who was with the team in training camp, was added to the practice squad.

The team also released cornerback Danny Gorrer and used his roster spot to sign tackle Mike Person off the practice squad.

STATS ’N STUFF

Leon Washington is second in the NFC and fifth in the NFL in kickoff return average (29.8), while Jon Ryan is second in the NFC and third in the NFC in punting average (50.2) and third in the NFC and seventh in the NFL in net average (41.9).

Marshawn Lynch is second in the conference and league in rushing yards (757) and total yards (841) to the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (775 and 914).

Richard Sherman has three interceptions to tie for fifth in the league, while Chris Clemons has seven sacks to tie for seventh.

The Seahawks rank fifth in the league in total defense and rushing defense, and 13th in passing; while the offense is 30th overall, eighth in rushing and 31st in passing.

Linebacker K.J. Wright continues to lead the team with 63 tackles, one more than rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Heath Farwell (eight) and Chris Maragos (seven) lead the special teams in coverage tackles.

STAT DU JOUR

Lynch has surpassed 100 rushing yards 10 times for the Seahawks in the past 17 games. But his 77-yard touchdown run against the Lions on Sunday allowed him to reach triple digits in the fewest carries. He’s a look at his 100-yard games, ranked not by most yards but fewest carries – with the top two coming in the past two games:

Opponent (date)                              No.   Yards    Avg.

Lions (Oct. 29, 2012)                        12       105      8.8

49ers (Oct. 18, 2012)                       19       103      5.4

Rams (Sept. 30, 2012)                      20      118       5.9

49ers (Dec. 24, 2011)                       21      107       5.1

Eagles (Dec. 1, 2011)                        22      148       6.7

Cowboys (Nov. 6, 2011)                   23      135       5.9

Rams (Dec. 12, 2011)                        23      115       5.0

Redskins (Nov. 27, 2011)                  24      111       4.6

Cowboys (Sept. 16, 2012)                 26      122       4.7

Ravens (Nov. 13, 2011)                     32      109       3.4

UP NEXT

The players return from their off day to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Vikings on “Competition Wednesday.”

Wide receiver Braylon Edwards will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. today at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.

YOU DON’T SAY

“For all of the young guys that are starting and playing a great deal right now, this is the end of their college season. So they’ve got to get the second wind and get back with it and make sure that we can continue to improve.” – Carroll


Obomanu goes on injured reserve

Ben Obomanu

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu

Veteran wide receiver Ben Obomanu was placed on injured reserve by the Seahawks today because of the wrist injury he got in Sunday’s loss to the Lions in Detroit.

With Obomanu out for the remainder of the season, rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was signed off the practice squad and rookie Phil Bates, who was with the team in training camp, was added to the practice squad.

The team also released cornerback Danny Gorrer and used his roster spot to sign tackle Mike Person off the practice squad.

Obomanu caught four passes for 58 yards in the first eight games, and also had three coverage tackles on special teams.


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Tuesday cyber surfing: Third down defense needs to improve

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 30.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks defense needs to improve on third down – where they rank 27th in the League, “No team in the league has forced opponents into more third-and-long situations than Seattle. That fact is evidence of the Seahawks’ fortitude against the run and an ability to hold their ground on first and second downs. No team in the league has allowed opponents to convert more third-and-long plays than the Seahawks. That fact points to an underlying weakness of the defense, a persistent inability to get off the field that could endanger Seattle’s playoff hopes. ‘It’s disturbing,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘that we’re not able to be like we are in the rest of our game. We’ll try to take the turn here. We’ve had some deep discussions about it, and see if we can get it fixed right away.’ “

O’Neil notes that with Seahawks wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Braylon Edwards, and Ben Obomanu dealing with injuries, the team is looking at options at the position, “The league trading deadline has been extended until Thursday, and it’s no secret receiver Dwayne Bowe wants out of Kansas City, but he has only half a season remaining on his contract. Terrell Owens’ name will inevitably be mentioned, too. He played flanker for the Seahawks during his three weeks with the team in August, and the spot Seattle would be looking to fill is split end and perhaps slot. Kearse has played well on the practice squad and could be a consideration.”

O’Neil also breaks down what history tells us about the Seahawks finishing the first half of the season with a record of 4-4.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune discusses the team’s defensive struggles on third down, “According to STATS Inc., Seattle’s defense allows 43.2 percent (16 of 37) third-down plays from 10 yards and longer to be converted into first downs, worst in the league. No other team in the NFL has allowed more than nine such conversions. Carroll addressed his defense’s third-down struggles during his Monday press conference, saying the reason for the high success rate by opponents is a mixture of inexperience on defense and a need for a more consistent pass rush by the front four. ‘It’s just being comfortable with the situation,’ Carroll said. ‘And doing the same thing right again and again, and not changing a little bit. Maybe we try a little too much, or we try a little too hard to make a play or something. Those things you can wash out with experience sometimes. And sometimes guys are just trying to make things happen, and they make mistakes. But I think we’ve tried a little bit too hard to be perfect, or to catch a tendency or something like that, and then we miss our drops. … I know we can get a lot better, I just hope we can do it right away. We need to get this done soon.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune reflects upon the Seahawks’ first half of the season following Carroll’s press conference yesterday, “As expected, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll sees the season as half-full, and reeled off a rapid-fire list of the team’s strengths heading into the final eight games: ‘We know we can run the football. We can play good defense. We’re becoming more efficient in the passing game. We’re protecting the quarterback well. Our special teams are really rock solid.’ All those are valid assessments. And if last season’s progression was an indicator, the Seahawks finish well. Last year’s second-half improvement (5-3 down the stretch) was the result of establishing an identity as a running team with an aggressive defense. No such makeover is necessary this season. ‘We’re going to continue to ride the defense and continue to ride the running game and continue to count on special teams and as we grow, hopefully, the way things are set up, we can make some noise here in the second half,’ Carroll said.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald comments on the club’s defensive struggles on third down, “Carroll is confident his defense will improve on third down in the second half of the season. ‘I know we can get a lot better, I just hope we can do it right away. We need to get this done soon,’ he said. But he also concedes that there is not a single easy-to-fix, reoccurring problem to address. ‘Unfortunately not,’ Carroll said. ‘It would be easy if it was, we got beat in man coverage the whole time, or it was all the zone stuff or the pressures. We made some mistakes that they took advantage of. Just little technical things like a guy dropping a bit out of his area, a guy not picking up the leverage side of his man-to-man the way we like it and things like that. We’ve miss-hit a couple of pressures that we had a great chance to get something done on, and timing wasn’t great for us. They just took advantage of every one of them and they were so efficient down the stretch. It just shows you that this was a really good quarterback that we played and he was able to carry it out through the game and get them a win.’ “

The NFL has moved the trade deadline back two days to Thursday Nov. 1 because of potential complications from Hurricane Sandy.

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com recaps a segment of “Brock and Salk” in which Carroll joined the show following Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Henderson details the improvements in the passing offense as one of the silver linings from the Week 8 road loss, “The Seahawks offense had come up short in the final minutes of close road losses earlier this season, but on Sunday Wilson led a 12-play drive that ended with a go-ahead touchdown with 5:27 remaining only to see the Lions respond with a touchdown of their own. Wilson was 6 of 8 on that drive, capping it with a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Miller. ‘I thought he was really solid. I thought he was really good,’ coach Pete Carroll told ‘Brock and Salk’ on Monday. ‘I think we helped him again. We were able to get the ball on the perimeter a little more. We got the ball in guys’ hands where they were running with the football. Golden [Tate] looked good. We really wanted to get Sidney [Rice] and Golden the football and really emphasize that, to start to feel the continuity of where the ball is going. I think you saw that.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press says the Seahawks’ defensive issues are concerning for a unit that ranked No. 1 in the League just a couple weeks ago.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday, and speculates as to what moves the team could make to shore up the receiver position, “There are a handful of receivers that were with Seattle in training camp that could be an option. WR Terrell Owens, WR Deon Butler, WR Lavasier Tuinei, and WR Phil Bates are all free agents without jobs. WR Ricardo Lockette (San Francisco) and WR Kris Durham(Detroit) are both on practice squads and could be signed to Seattle’s active roster. The most likely move would seem to be bringing Kearse up from the practice squad and bringing back a practice squad eligible receiver if the Seahawks need to find replacements for Obomanu and/or Edwards.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “NFC West Stock Watch“, pointing to the rise of quarterback Russell Wilson, “Wilson completed 25 of 35 passes (71.4 percent) for 236 yards and two touchdowns even though receiver Sidney Rice dropped what should have been a long scoring reception. Wilson graded out perfectly on his pre-snap checks and protection calls, Carroll said. The one pick Wilson threw resulted in a miscommunication with Rice, the sort of thing that happens when a quarterback and receiver haven’t played together long. Wilson led a 12-play, 87-yard drive to the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Tight end Zach Miller deserves special mention, too. He went above and beyond with a one-handed scoring catch.”

The staff at ESPN.com has their Week 9 NFL Power Rankings, where the Seahawks sit at No. 13.

NFL.com also has their Week 9 Power Poll, and the Seahawks come in at No. 11.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at what worked and what needs work after the team’s 28-24 defeat in Detroit in his “Monday Metatarsal Musings,” and recaps the activities surrounding “Monday in Hawkville.”

Tony Ventrella and Farnsworth rehash the Week 8 loss to the Lions in their video review.

Ventrella brings thoughts on the first half of the season in his “Seahawks Daily.”

And finally, we bring you coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday.