Cyber surfing: Thursday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 20:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the latest update on the QB situation. Offers O’Neil: “Tarvaris Jackson was on the practice field Wednesday, but Charlie Whitehurst was under center with Seattle’s first-unit offense. That serves as a pretty accurate summary of Seattle’s plans for this week. The Seahawks are preparing as if Whitehurst will start, but Jackson isn’t out of the picture entirely because of the strained pectoral muscle he suffered Oct. 9 in New York.”

Also at the Times, Jerry Brewer looks at the man who is running this week’s opponent – Mike Holmgren, the former Seahawks coach and now president of the Cleveland Browns. Says Brewer: “Are the Seahawks better off without Holmgren? It’s a question that many are asking this week, but it’s a query that produces an unfair answer regardless of your opinion. The better question is this: Can the Seahawks justify making an unpopular decision to break ties completely with the best football mind the franchise has ever known? Yes, absolutely, they can.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at another reunion in this week’s game, the one between Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas and Browns QB Colt McCoy. Says Williams: “Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy and Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas had their fair share of battles on the practice field as teammates at the University of Texas. But for the first time in the NFL, the second-year pros will meet on the field this Sunday when Seattle travels to Cleveland to face the Browns. According to Thomas, he won more times than he lost to McCoy on the practice field back in Austin, Texas.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at Walter Thurmond, who has stepped in at left cornerback. Says Boyle: “When the Seahawks drafted Walter Thurmond in the fourth round last year, they thought they were getting a steal. Starting now, thanks to Marcus Trufant’s season ending injury, they’re going to find out in earnest if they were right about the cornerback from the University of Oregon. And with that injury, as well as the decision in August to trade Kelly Jennings, the Seahawks are also finding out if their young cornerbacks have what it takes to play big roles on an NFL defense.”  

Mike Sando at ESPN.com examines the short-yardage rushing defenses in the NFC West and, not surprisingly, the Seahawks stand tallest with a .333 percentage of first downs allowed. He also looks at the injury situations that matter and, unfortunately, the Seahawks appear to lead the division there, as well, starting with Tarvaris Jackson. Says Sando: “Charlie Whitehurst is preparing to start at quarterback while Tarvaris Jackson continues to recover from a pectoral injury. Coach Pete Carroll was vaguer than vague in describing the situation Wednesday, other than to say Whitehurst will get the meaningful practice reps. The drop-off from Jackson to Whitehurst is either small or does not exist, depending on your view. The Seahawks want to evaluate both quarterbacks this season. Why not give Jackson time to make a fuller recovery while taking a look at Whitehurst?”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the youth of the Seahawks’ secondary. Says Thomas: “I don’t think we play as young as we are. I think we play with a lot of fire out there. Everybody is hungry and we all get to the ball. And good things always happen when you’re around the ball.”

We’ve also got Wednesday’s practice covered in words, pictures and video.


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Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 19:

FOCUS ON

Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks continued to prepare Charlie Whitehurst to start at quarterback in Sunday’s post-bye week game against the Browns in Cleveland. But Jackson also continues his rapid recovery from the strained pectoral that knocked him out of the pre-bye week victory over the New York Giants.

Jackson not only was in uniform for today’s 95-minute practice, he was handing off during the run-drill period.

“The trainers and the doctors are really surprised that he’s able to do what he’s doing,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s really tough-minded. He’s just not wavering with this at all. It’s like he’s going to handle it.

“He’s very consistent in his character and his personality and you can see it’s coming out here in his attempt to rehab it, too. He’s going to be very tough on himself and very demanding. He’s not going to be knocked off course because he’s got a little something he’s dealing with.”

And what does Carroll need to see before getting Jackson back on course to return to the lineup?

“Obviously, we want to see him throw. He can run. He’s fine doing all that stuff,” Carroll said. “But we’ll need to see him throw the football competitively, where he can fire it around like he does. How long we wait during the week to find that out … we might go all the way to game time to understand whether he’ll be available to us.”

Until then, Whitehurst is running the offense in practice.

“I’m not impatient about it,” Carroll said. “In the meantime, Charlie is getting ready to play.”

PLAYER WATCH

Heath Farwell. Tuesday, the linebacker and special teams standout was taking care of his 8-week-old son, Brock. Wednesday, he worked out for the Seahawks in the morning, signed a contract and then took part in both the late morning walk-thru and afternoon practice.

“It’s a whirlwind, but that’s life in the NFL,” said Farwell, who got a call from Seahawks on Tuesday after the club worked out six other linebackers on Monday. “It’s a great opportunity and I’m ready to help out in any way I can to help this team win.

“I’m excited to play. You sit around and watch games on TV and you get hungry.”

Farwell signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie free agent in 2005, part of a linebacker class from San Diego State that also included Matt McCoy, who is on the Seahawks’ injured reserve list; and Kirk Morrison of the Buffalo Bills. Farwell was voted to the Pro Bowl as the NFC special teams player in 2009, but the Vikings released him in September.

“I’ve been working out,” Farwell said. “But I’ve also got an 8-week-old at home, so I’ve been working at home. My wife put me to work.”

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTIAN

Carroll was asked for the second time this week is he intended to name another defensive captain because cornerback Marcus Trufant has been placed on injured reserve because of disc problem in his back.

“I don’t think it’s the kind of situation where we should take a vote. Tru is our captain,” Carroll said. “He was voted for this season and he remains our captain even though he can’t be there all the time. He’ll be around us.

“We already talked about that (on Monday). Our young guys in the secondary rely on him quite a bit and as much as we can keep him around and with them as they go through the process of the season and the game plans and dealing with the issues and all, he needs to be a voice for those guys. He’s a big part of it.”

 

OPPONENT WATCH

Greg Little. The rookie wide receiver is doing a lot for the Browns, as in leading the team in receptions. His development has been a gradual process in this season that followed the lack of an offseason and a hurry-up approach to the preseason.

“He kind of came to training camp as, I would call him, a true rookie,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said today. “He battled through training camp and there was some inconsistency that you see with young players. The first quarter of the year, they found a way to get some production and then after the bye basically just started him.

“What I see from him is a guy that is improving each day. I wouldn’t even say each week. I would say he’s improving each day. I see things about him that are better.”

Little starts at split end, but also will move into the slot in the three- and four-receiver packages. At 6 feet 2, 220 pounds, Little can create some big matchup problems.

“He’s a big target,” Shurmur said. “He’s got excellent ball skills. He’s a good player that’s improving.”

IN ’N OUT

Left guard Robert Gallery returned to practice for the first time since getting a groin injury that required surgery in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers. But center Max Unger continued to sit out because of a foot injury and was replaced by Lemuel Jeanpierre.

Also sitting out was tight end Zach Miller (head/neck). But running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) participated fully.

Cornerback Roy Lewis, tight end Cameron Morrah and wide receiver Deon Butler, who have been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp opened, practiced for the first time. Lewis got some work as the nickel back in the No. 1 defense and also took reps at cornerback with the No. 2 unit. Morrah and Butler also worked with both units on offense.

“I’m happy for those guys. They’re been working hard to get here,” Carroll said. “We’ll ease those guys into it.”

For the Browns:

Did not practice

LB Scott Fujita (head)

CB Joe Haden (knee)

OL Artis Hicks (back)

RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring)

DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring)

Limited participation

OL Alex Mack (illness)

OL Tony Pashos (ankle)

Full participation

LB Titus Brown (ankle)

WR Josh Cribbs (knee)

TE Evan Moore (ankle)

On Hillis, the Browns’ leading rusher, Shurmur said, “It’s too early to speculate as to whether he’ll be available this weekend. He’s working through it just like you would.”

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks don’t just have an 11-5 record in previous games against the Browns; they have a better winning percentage against the Browns – past and present – than any team in the NFL. Here’s a look at the Seahawks’ Top 5, by percentage:

Opponent            Record    Pct.

Browns                  11-5       .688

Jaguars                    4-2        .667

Bears                       8-4        .666

Titans/Oilers          9-5        .643

Buccaneers            7-4        .636

UP NEXT

The team will practice on what is “Turnover Thursday,” according to the Carroll calendar, but the defensive players must have been confused today because it was the second practice of the week after Monday’s bonus session. Linebacker K.J. Wright intercepted three passes, including one of the final play of practice and another that he took from the hands of practice-squad tight end John Nalbone. Free safety Earl Thomas had two picks and came tantalizingly close to getting a third. Cornerback Brandon Browner made it a pick-six by adding another.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Well, Cleveland’s not the East Coast. I’m from the East Coast. You guys get this confused. Cleveland is not on the East Coast. Cleveland is in the Midwest.” – rookie tackle and geography buff John Moffitt, who’s from Guilford, Conn., when asked about playing on the East Coast this week

 


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Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 11:

FOCUS ON

Charlie Whitehurst. So, how does a quarterback who got very few reps running the Seahawks’ no-huddle offense in practice last week prepare himself to step in during the second half of Sunday’s game and help pull out a huge win over the New York Giants?

“It’s something that I knew we were going to do, so you kind of do it in your hotel room by yourself,” Whitehurst said.

That would have been Saturday night in Jersey City.

“You can kind of call some plays and make sure you formation things correctly. So you’ve got to prepare yourself that way.”

Really? “I’m in bed doing it,” Whitehurst said, jokingly. “I’ve often wondered if people can hear me through the walls.”

Whatever works. And that must have helped, because Whitehurst threw what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass to rookie Doug Baldwin as part of his 11-of-19, 149-yard performance.

Whitehurst continued to run the offense today in the first of the team’s two bye-week practices because Tarvaris Jackson is sidelined with the strained pectoral in his throwing (right) shoulder that forced him to leave Sunday’s game.

No one knows when Jackson will be back, so Whitehurst is preparing as he always does – but doing it by getting the starter reps in practice.

“You never know,” Whitehurst said. “I didn’t know I was going to play in the game last weekend. So if I’m called to start, I’ll be ready to do that. I’ll prepare like I’m the starter these next two weeks. If they need me, I’ll be ready.”

PLAYER WATCH

Ben Obomanu. Speaking of players who are ready to step in when needed, the sixth-year wide receiver is making a career of it. Mike Williams could not play against the Giants because the concussion he got against the Atlanta Falcons the week before, so Obomanu started at split end and caught a career-high six passes for 51 yards – including an 11-yard TD catch to cap the Seahawks’ game-opening eight-play, 80-yard drive.

“Ben is really a good player,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s just rock-solid. He’s talented. He’s a great worker. He’s got downfield speed. He makes the tough catches. He runs in traffic. He blocks well.

“He’s a front-line player. He’s a star. So in a game like this, Mike wasn’t there and we kept going and it was great.”

Obomanu caught three passes for 31 yards on the game-opening drive.

“That’s how it’s supposed to be when you’re well-equipped,” Carroll said. “Guys step up and fill in and you don’t feel the absence of a guy. Shoot, Ben was all over the first drive. He was on the money.”

Obomanu also started six games last season, when he caught 30 passes and scored four TDs.

IN ’N OUT

Ten players did not participate in today’s 90-minute practice that was held in the indoor practice facility. The unexpected sideline spectator was center Max Unger, who was wearing a protective boot on his right foot because it began to swell on Monday.

“It doesn’t look to be anything too bad,” assistant head coach/line coach Tom Cable said. “Right now, they’re saying we should plan like we’re going to have him next week (for the Oct. 23 game at Cleveland). So we’ll move toward that and see what happens.”

With Unger and backup Lemuel Jeanpierre out, rookie John Moffitt moved to center and was replaced at right guard by Tyler Polumbus.

Also sitting out: left tackle Robert Gallery, running back Marshawn Lynch, tight end Zach Miller, cornerback Marcus Trufant, linebacker Leroy Hill, defensive end Raheem Brock, Jackson and Williams.

Leon Washington replaced Lynch, Obomanu continued to sub for Williams, Anthony McCoy worked for Miller, Walter Thurmond was at left cornerback for Trufant and David Vobora filled in for Hill.

Linebacker Malcolm Smith returned to practice after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Rookie linebacker Michael Morgan, who was with the team in the team training camp, has been signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot, fullback Eddie Williams was released.

STAT DU JOUR

Whitehurst’s performance in the final quarter and a half on Sunday was in stark contrast to his first NFL start last season in a 41-7 loss to the Giants in Seattle. Here’s a statistical comparison of the two outings:

Att.  Comp.   Yards    TD   Int.  Rating

Sunday             19       11        149        1      0    100.5

Last season      23       12        113        1     2       44.3

UP NEXT

The players will have their final bye-week practice on Wednesday, and then be off through Sunday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’m really not surprised, honestly. The first few days of training camp we all kind of had a smirk on our face like, ‘How in the world did we get this guy?’ ” – Whitehurst on Baldwin, the undrafted free agent who leads the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (330) and shares the lead in TD catches (two)


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Rock the vote for Charlie and Doug

Whitehurst-to-Baldwin has scored again. Twice.

Charlie Whitehurst and Doug Baldwin, who hooked up for a game-winning 27-yard touchdown pass in the Seahawks’ 36-25 upset of the New Giants on Sunday, have been nominated for NFL.com weekly awards. And you can help them win.

Whitehurst is a nominee for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week. The Seahawks’ backup QB came on in the second half, after Tarvaris Jackson strained a pectoral muscle, and completed 11 of 19 passes for 149 yards. The biggest, of course, was the 27-yard TD pass to Baldwin that gave the Seahawks a 29-25 lead with 2:37 remaining in the game. Whitehurst was 4 of 5 for 77 yards on the 80-yard drive, and the incompletion was a dropped pass.

You can vote for Whitehurst here.

Baldwin, who made the team as an undrafted free agent, is a nominee for Pepsi Rookie of the Week. Baldwin caught eight passes for 136 yards against the Giants, including three for 50 yards on the 77-yard drive that ended with his TD catch. Baldwin also had a drive-opening 22-yard catch and an 8-yarder on third-and-7 during the seven-play possession.

You can vote for Baldwin here. He also was nominated for this award after his four-catch, 83-yard performance in the season opener.

Voting ends at 9 a.m. PDT on Friday. For another look at the original Whitehurst-to-Baldwin, click here.


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 11:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes on the topic of the day, pointing out that while there is a question about when Tarvaris Jackson will be able to play again because of a strained pectoral there is no question that he remains the starting QB. Offers O’Neil, and coach Pete Carroll: “The uncertainty surrounds Tarvaris Jackson’s health, not his status as coach Pete Carroll’s starting quarterback. ‘There’s no controversy here in this building,’ Carroll said. ‘You guys can have all the (controversy) you want.’ ”

Dave Boling of the News Tribune highlights a one-time missing ingredient from the team’s previous trips to the East Coast that was apparent in Sunday’s upset of the Giants: Attitude. Says Boling, and Carroll: “They started quickly, finished strong and acted as if they belonged there. ‘The single most important thing was the energy and attitude to play that aggressively throughout the whole game, just like when we play at home,’ coach Pete Carroll said Monday. ‘That’s really an accomplishment in itself that we need to hang onto.’ ”

 Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald continues his “The Game of my Life” series with a look at Josh Brown. Brown on his field goal to beat the Cowboys in 2005: “It was one of those kicks where, after 15 yards, you knew it was good. And I lost my helmet again – this time because I threw it in the air in celebration. The helmet goes flying off, game’s over, and there’s this overwhelming energy in the stands. This side of the field is going wild, and the other side just goes deflated. It was just a major triumph for this team because we had made it through such a battle.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got another look at the “who are these guys?” that helped the Seahawks pull off the upset over the Giants: “With the exception of (Ben) Obomanu, the “stars” of the Seahawks’ upset victory have been added since Carroll and general manager John Schneider were hired in January 2010. Their maneuverings have been a dizzying display of free-agent additions, draft choices, trades, waiver claims and look-what-we-found looks under any and every available football rock on either side of the US/Canadian border.”

There’s also Tony Ventrella’s review of Sunday’s game and a recap of Monday’s activities; as well as the daily Hawkville report and another take on the non-QB controversy: “Yes, Jackson has a strain in his throwing (right) shoulder and won’t practice this week when the team is scheduled to work Tuesday and Wednesday because the Seahawks have their bye this Sunday. Yes, backup Charlie Whitehurst will step in during Jackson’s absence, just as he did in the second half of Sunday’s 36-25 victory over the New York Giants at the Meadowlands. But, no, there is nothing controversial about the situation of having the backup take over because the starter isn’t available. ‘I think it’s controversial to have two really good quarterbacks,’ Carroll cracked when asked the inevitable question. ‘There’s no controversy here in this building.’ ”

Doug Baldwin has been nominated for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week honor and you can vote for the Seahawks’ leading receiver here. Whitehurst, meanwhile, has been nominated for the “never say never” moment of the week, and you can vote for him here.

At FoxSports.com, Mike Pereira, the former head of officiating for the NFL, gives his take on two calls from the Seahawks-Giants game on Sunday that were reviewed: Charlie Whitehurst’s TD pass to Doug Baldwin and the safety by Anthony Hargrove. On the offside call against the Giants’ Osi Umenyiora on the TD play: “On this play, Umenyiora was not close to being parallel to the offensive lineman when the ball was snapped. Therefore, this is strictly a live-ball foul for being offside.” On the safety: “In order for this not to be a safety, the entire ball must get out into the field of play. If any part of the ball is still over the goal line, then it would be a safety. It was very hard to tell in replay whether that happened. There was clearly not enough evidence to overturn the call of a safety.”


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Jackson: strained pectoral

Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has a strain of the pectoral on his throwing (right) shoulder, coach Pete Carroll just announced during his weekly day-after news conference.

Jackson had a MRI today, which confirmed the expected condition after he was injured on an 11-yard run in the third quarter of Sunday’s 36-25 victory over the Giants.

Jackson will not practice this week, when the team is scheduled to work Tuesday and Wednesday during its bye week. But Carroll is holding out hope that Jackson will be able to play in the Oct. 23 game against the Browns in Cleveland.

Until Jackson can play, backup Charlie Whitehurst will be the QB – as he was for the last quarter and a half against the Giants, when he completed 11 of 19 passes for 149 yards and threw what turned out to be the game-winning TD pass to Doug Baldwin.


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Cyber surfing: Monday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks in the wake of their 36-25 victory over the Giants on Sunday:

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times focuses on the game-turning performances of Charlie Whitehurst, Doug Baldwin and Brandon Browner. Says Kelley: “The backup quarterback, the undrafted free agent, the nomadic CFL corner. They’ve found jobs in the NFL, and Sunday they found magic in the Meadowlands.”

Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil looks at the Seahawks’ moment in the sun, and others who soaked it up. Offers O’Neil: “There was more than one moment on this sun-soaked Sunday afternoon across the river from Manhattan. There was backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst leading two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and giving Seattle the lead on a 27-yard touchdown pass to undrafted rookie Doug Baldwin with less than three minutes left. There was Marshawn Lynch running for 98 yards, his most in any regular-season start as a Seahawk, and Anthony Hargrove, Seattle’s Brooklyn-born defensive lineman, recording the first safety of his career.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune examines how the Seahawks’ pressure helped turn the tide on Eli Manning’s 420-yard, three-TD afternoon. Says Williams: “Seahawks defensive tackle Alan Branch said his motivation playing the New York Giants was simple – keep the sacks in the defensive line’s domain. Consider it mission accomplished, with defensive end Chris Clemons finishing with two sacks and Branch one, as Seattle managed to get pressure in the face of New York quarterback Eli Manning. The entire defense did not record a sack against Atlanta last week.”

Also from Williams, a look at the success the Seahawks continued to generate – and plan to continue to generate – with their no-huddle offense. Says coach Pete Carroll: “There’s no question that what we’ve found in the tempo that we like is something that is special, and it helps us. And I was thrilled about it. Of course they came right down and scored too, which kind of negated it. But then again we’re knocking on the door, really, for 28 points in the first half because of the movement of the football and taking advantage of the field position. We’re different. We’re different than we’ve been.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Wrap-Up” of the Seahawks’ effort. Here’s what he liked: “The Seahawks were the better team, particularly early and late. They built off the progress shown during the second half of their 30-28 defeat against Atlanta a week earlier. Seattle allowed no sacks in that game, a victory for the team’s young offensive line. This week, Marshawn Lynch and the line took advantage of a Giants defense that has struggled against the run recently. Lynch’s 47-yard run helped set the tone early. On defense, Earl Thomas ended his 12-game interception drought and, through his active play, again showed why he’s one of the best safeties around. Tony Hargrove’s third-quarter safety was another huge play for the defense, breaking a 14-14 tie. Interceptions from Thomas, Brandon Browner and Kam Chancellor showcased some of the Seahawks’ young talent on defense. Browner returned his 90 yards for the clinching touchdown.”

Also from Sando, a closer look at Baldwin, who is on pace for the 1,000-yard receiving season. Here’s a statistical peek at this day: “Baldwin caught a team-high eight passes for 136 yards and a game-winning touchdown. He did most of his damage on passes traveling at least 15 yards in the air, collecting four catches and 95 of his 136 yards on such passes. Baldwin entered the game with four catches on throws of 15-plus yards.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the contributions from some unexpected players, as well as the resolve of the overall team performance. Tony Ventrella also has his video recap.

As for the rest of the league, there are the usual Monday morning recaps from Peter King at SI.com, John Clayton at ESPN and Clark Judge at CBSSports.com. What’s unusual is that Seahawks generated some positive buzz.

King picked Chris Clemons as one of the defensive players of the week (and it’s about time someone started giving him some credit): “The ‘Hawks were buzzing around Eli Manning all day at the Meadowlands, and Clemons got home to sack Manning twice, once to force a fumble. That’s a really interesting Seattle defense, with a bunch of guys we’re just getting to know (like Brandon Browner and Kam Chancellor in the secondary). Without a pass rush, that secondary would be hung out to dry, and Clemons is clearly an indispensable piece of the Seattle front.”

Clayton on the lack of QB situation in Seattle: “Despite Charlie Whitehurst’s contributions in the Seahawks’ upset victory over the Giants, there is no quarterback controversy in Seattle. Tarvaris Jackson remains the starter even though he suffered what the team considers a minor pectoral injury. The Seahawks are on a bye this week and coach Pete Carroll believes Jackson will have enough time to heal for the next start.”


Game at a glance

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A recap of the Seahawks’ 36-25 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Make that plural, and make it the entire Seahawks team. This was that kind of victory. The Seahawks won together, and almost gave this one away together. But in the end – and actually from start to finish – they persevered.

Or as an emotional Red Bryant put it in the locker room after the game, they showed resolve.

From rookie free agent wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who caught what proved to be the game-winning 27-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 remaining to cap an eight-catch, 136-yard performance; to backup QB Charlie Whitehurst, who threw that TD pass because Tarvaris Jackson had gone out with a strained right pectoral; to CFL refugee Brandon Browner, who intercepted an Eli Manning pass and returned it 94 yards for a TD to slap an exclamation point on the stunning upset; to wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who started because Mike Williams was out with a concussion and responded with a six-catch, 51-yard effort than included the Seahawks’ first TD; to on-this-second-or-third-chance linebacker Leroy Hill, who led an aggressive defensive effort with eight tackles; to somehow-still-underrated defensive end Chris Clemons, who had two sacks; to signed-off-the-street free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who flipped the momentum of the game by drilling and dropping Giants running back D.J. Ware in the end zone for a third-quarter safety that gave the Seahawks a 16-14 lead; to the oh-so-young safety tandem of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who combined for 10 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries; to second-year cornerback Walter Thurmond, who started because Marcus Trufant was out because with back spasms and had two crucial pass breakups; to frustrated running back Marshawn Lynch, who finally was provided enough room, and touches, to run for 98 yards and a TD.

You get the picture. This was that kind of victory. As left tackle Russell Okung said on the plane on the return flight to Seattle, “That’s who we are. That’s what this team is all about.”

Sunday, this team was all about winning a game over the 3-1 Giants on their home field – at a spot where they had been 1-11; on a coast where they rarely prevail.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: So many from which to choose in a game where Manning passed for 420 yards and three TDs and three different Seahawks scored touchdowns. But it’s impossible to overlook what proved to be the game-winning – the 27-yard TD pass from Whitehurst to Baldwin with roughly 2½ minutes left in a game that had so many rough edges.

The line gave Whitehurst the time he needed. The Giants somehow let Baldwin run free toward the goal line. The rest just became a part of Seahawks history.

Defense: Again, a lot of candidates. From Hargrove’s slam-bam safety, to Clemons’ fumble-forcing sack, to Thurmond’s forced fumble that was recovered by Chancellor, to Chancellor’s interception of Manning’s 39th and final pass. But, again, you pick off a pass and turn it into a pick-six when it appeared the Giants were about to score six, you get the nod. So Brandon Browner, come on down.

Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter. It came after Whitehurst had been sacked on third down. It gave the Seahawks a 19-14 lead. But, it also shed some light on why coach Pete Carroll decided to try a 61-yarder in the closing seconds of last week’s two-point loss to the Falcons. Hauschka’s 51-yarder was good by plenty. The laid-back dude’s got leg.

INJURY REPORT

The biggest concern is Jackson’s right shoulder. He will have a MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury and how much time he might miss. The good news? The Seahawks have their bye next Sunday, so Jackson will have an extra week to rest and rehab.

Also, Hill strained a hamstring in the fourth quarter and did not return; Jameson Konz, who was just signed off the practice squad on Tuesday, sprained a knee; and tight end Zach Miller got a concussion when took a shot to the head on the game-opening drive.

Right guard John Moffitt and special-teamer Jeron Johnson left the field and were taken to the locker room, but each returned.

WORTH NOTING

With his eight-catch, 136-yard day, Baldwin continues to lead the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (330). In fact, he’s on pace for a 64-catch, 1,056-yard season.

After scoring 13 first-half points in their first four games, the Seahawks had 14 against the Giants. They also scored on their first possession for the first time and put together two 80-yard drives – as many 80-plus drives as they had in their first four games.

After not being sacked in the previous six quarters, the Seahawks’ QBs went down six times – Jackson four and Whitehurst twice – against the Giants defense that now has 18 for the season.

The Seahawks had forced two turnovers in the first four games, but they had five against the Giants – the interceptions by Browner, Thomas and Chancellor; the fumble recoveries by Thomas and Chancellor.

Hill led the team in tackles for the second time this season, and in the past three games.

The Seahawks had season-high totals in total yards (424) rushing yards (145), plays (76) and, of course, points. But they still trailed in time of possession (28:46-31:14) for the fifth time in five games.

The defense has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher, and the Giants (69) became the third team that failed to get triple digits on the ground against them.

Manning is the first QB to pass for more than 300 yards against the Seahawks – or 400, as it was. But Victor Cruz (161) became the third receiver to catch passes for 100-plus yards against them, joining the Falcons’ Julio Jones (127) and Steelers’ Mike Wallace (126).

YOU DON’T SAY

“You don’t want to know. My brain was exploding right there. Because you knew that was the play that won the game. It takes a moment like that to turn things sometimes. I’ve seen it before, and I soon as I saw the ball get tipped and he put his hands on it I got that whole time to enjoy it. I don’t know how many seconds that took, but it seemed like an eternity. But it was just a frickin’ blast.” – Carroll when asked what was going through his mind as he watched Browner return his interception for a TD

 


Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 2:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at the bubble players as the Seahawks prepare to play their preseason finale tonight against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field and then cut their 80-man roster to 53 players on Saturday. Offers O’Neil: “Safety Jeron Johnson packed for an entire season. Receiver Doug Baldwin brought enough clothes for about three days. Johnson has at least 20 pairs of sneakers in his hotel room. Baldwin has all of one jacket. While they packed differently, the two undrafted rookies share an objective: earning one of the 53 roster spots available when the Seahawks’ season opens. Friday’s exhibition game against Oakland at 7:30 p.m. is their chance to make a closing statement.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribune checks in with second-year wide receiver Golden Tate, who has been outplayed by Baldwin in the preseason. Says Williams: “Tate, a second-year receiver out of Notre Dame, certainly has had his share of struggles during exhibition play, including a pair of costly drops – one that turned into an interception return for a touchdown against Minnesota. But coach Pete Carroll lauded Tate before training camp started as one of the players he had high expectations for this season, and he doesn’t appear ready to give up on the team’s second-round pick from last year. Carroll expects Tate to play a lot in the league’s final exhibition game tonight against Oakland.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune has a blog item asking about the Seahawks’ best catch ever, and prompted by the one rookie free agent Ricardo Lockette made in practice on Wednesday. Says Boling: “Ricardo Lockette may not even make this team or ever play in an NFL game. He has some amazing physical talents, though. But for one afternoon, the guy made some jaws drop with the best catch I’ve ever seen.”

Christian Caple at PI.com offers five things to watch in tonight’s game, including right tackle – where first-round draft choice James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini have been splitting time practice this week and likely will share the duties tonight. Says Caple: “James Carpenter has nothing to worry about when it comes to making the team. That’s obvious. But what the rookie right tackle still must prove is that he belongs in the starting lineup, as well. Carpenter, the team’s first-round draft pick this year, was dubbed the starting right tackle the day he was selected. But poor play against Denver last week and some struggles in practice have led to some questions about whether he’s ready to battle first-team defenses in the NFL just yet. That’s why Breno Giacomini has been splitting reps with the first-team offense at right tackle.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has five things to know about the Seahawks, including this one: “4. Leroy Hill lives: A year or two ago, it would have been unthinkable to hold up Hill as the Seattle linebacker whose future with the team appeared brighter than the futures of (Lofa) Tatupu or Aaron Curry. Tatupu had been to three Pro Bowls. Curry was the fourth player chosen in the 2009 draft. Hill was coming off a serious injury and multiple off-field incidents. Tatupu is gone. A restructuring for Curry chopped off two years from his rookie deal and made 2011 quite possibly his final one with the team. Hill, meanwhile, has recaptured the aggressive, borderline violent form that made him a potential rising star a few years ago.”

Pat Kirwan at NFL.com takes a look at the NFC West, including the tough schedule awaiting each of the four teams: “All four teams have to face the NFC East and the AFC North. Of the eight teams in those two stacked divisions, the only one that had a losing record in non-conference games last season was the Bengals. Every NFC West team will now face the Steelers, Ravens, Eagles and Giants, who had a combined record of 44-20 last year.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the rookie free agent class that had GM John Schneider excited from the day the team signed them and those left who continue to impress coach Pete Carroll. Says Carroll: “It has been a really good group of guys. We’ve been excited about the quarterback, for sure, in Josh; and Baldwin’s had a great camp; Ricardo Lockette’s done stuff consistently for us; Mike Morgan has played well for us on the defensive side. There have been a number of guys. It’s really added to the draft class and made it a very competitive group. And it’s been exciting from the beginning.”

There’s a look at Thursday’s practice in words and video, as well, and Tony Ventrella also has his video preview of tonight’s game.


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Cyber surfing: Saturday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 27:

The Seahawks’ No. 1 offense has yet to score entering tonight’s third preseason game against the Broncos in Denver, so that’s the hot topic as the unit will get it longest stint of the preseason.

Says Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times: “Is there enough time? That’s the biggest question facing this offense, an uncertainty that describes both the concern about the pass protection and the possibility that this unprecedented offseason is going to leave the Seahawks short-sheeted when the games start counting.”

O’Neil also checks in with offensive line coach Tom Cable.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also examines the offense through the eyes of Cable, who played at Snohomish High School. Says Boyle, and Cable: “I’m happy with where we’re going because every day we’re improving, but if I had to grade us right now, I think we’re around a C-plus,” Cable said. “We’re not any better than that yet. The goal is to get it to an A-game, so we have a lot of work to do.” So tonight in Denver, when the starters see their most significant playing time of the preseason in game No. 3 — otherwise known as the most important of the games that don’t actually mean anything — Cable and his youthful offensive line hope to take a big step forward.”

Eric Williams of the News Tribune looks at Summer 2 for Mike Williams, who was a big surprise last season when he led the team in receiving. Says Williams, Eric that is: “Did Williams, who had a breakout 2010 season in Seattle after a two-year absence from the NFL, fall back to his old ways during the offseason? Well, the first sight of the wide receiver revealed that wasn’t the case. He chuckled and rubbed his hands over a svelte midsection when asked what he did during the offseason. Williams remains trim at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds and appears ready to build on the 65-catch, two-touchdown performance of last season. That was 21 more receptions than he had during the first three years of his career, which included stops in Detroit, Oakland and Tennessee before landing in Seattle with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, his former coach at USC.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com examines just how young and new the Seahawks’ starters are this season. Says Sando: “Four projected Seattle starters missed at least half the 2010 season to injuries (Hill, Unger, Rice, Bryant). Three others missed at least one-fourth the season to injuries (Okung, Gallery, Mebane). Four others were backups (Jackson, Thurmond, Branch, Chancellor). Two more were in college (Moffitt, Carpenter).”

Don Banks at SI.com looks at the QB situations around the league entering Week 3, including Tarvaris Jackson vs. Charlie Whitehurst. Says Banks: “Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll named Jackson his starter even before a snap was taken in training camp, but Whitehurst has actually looked more familiar this preseason with new coordinator Darrell Bevell’s West Coast offense — despite Jackson’s history with Bevell in Minnesota. “Charlie’s functioning beautifully,” Carroll said this week. “He’s farther along that I thought he would be this early. He’s very comfortable with what’s going on and it just makes us again stronger at the QB spot.” Whitehurst has led three Seattle scoring drives in the first two preseason games, and he’s 28 of 39 for 212 yards passing, with a touchdown and a 93.1 rating. He’s not getting yardage in big chunks ( 5.4 per attempt), but he looks confident in the West Coast system, and his 72 percent completion rate is a far cry better than Jackson’s (14 of 26, or 58 percent). Should Jackson struggle mightily at Denver, and Whitehurst shine, look for Seattle’s QB situation to remain a front-burner issue into next week.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at rookie K.J. Wright, who starts at middle linebacker against the Broncos because David Hawthorne is out with a sore knee. Says linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr.: “He’s the type of player that listens and then knows how to transfer it to the field very quickly. When you think of all the great players, he has those intangibles. Now let’s just see if it shows up on game day.”

We also have a Friday in Hawkville report and the focus is on wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who will make his preseason debut; as well as Tony Ventrella’s video preview of the game.


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