The Seahawks have signed 10 players to future contracts, including eight who spent time on the practice squad this season – wide receivers Phil Bates and Bryan Walters, cornerbacks Chandler Fenner and Ron Parker, running back Derrick Coleman, tight end Cooper Helfet, linebacker Kyle Knox and defensive tackle Myles Wade.
Also signed were linebacker Korey Toomer, a fifth-round draft choice last year; and wide receiver Stephen Williams, who was with the Cardinals in training camp last summer but waived/injured in August.
These future signings can be insignificant moves. But in the past two years, players signed by the Seahawks in January included cornerback Brandon Browner, who has become a starter and played in Pro Bowl last year; guard Paul McQuistan, who started all 16 games this season and 10 last season; and wide receiver Charly Martin, who played in four games this season before being placed on injured reserve.
TORONTO – The Seahawks dipped into their recent past today and signed wide receiver and former draft choice Deon Butler to fill the roster spot that opened when wide receiver Charly Martin was placed on injured reserve after pulling a calf muscle in practice Thursday.
The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Butler was a third-round draft choice in 2009 and caught 57 passes in three seasons – including 36 for 385 yards and four touchdowns in 2010. Butler remained with the team during training camp this summer, but was released Aug. 31 on the roster cut to 53 players.
The Seahawks play the Bills here tomorrow, and were down to four wide receivers – starters Sidney Rice and Golden Tate; slot receiver Doug Baldwin; and rookie free agent Jermaine Kearse. Rice, who leads the team with 45 receptions, returned to practice Friday after sitting out the previous two days to rest a bruised foot. But he is expected to play against the Bills.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 14:
Next man up. Again. With Walter Thurmond being ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Bills in Toronto, Byron Maxwell and rookie Jeremy Lane will take over at right cornerback.
Thurmond stepped in two weeks ago to replace Marcus Trufant as the nickel back, and then slid to the right side last week after Brandon Browner was suspended four games for violating the league’s performance enhancement policy – with Lane moving in as the nickel back. But Thurmond injured a hamstring in practice on Wednesday. Trufant will miss his third consecutive game, also because of a hamstring injury.
“He’s not going to make it. Unfortunately he’s not going to be there,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s practice when asked about Thurmond. “We’ll play those guys in rotation – that would be Jeremy Lane and Bryon.”
Both will play a lot, because the one who is not at right corner will be the third corner in the nickel defense.
Maxwell, a sixth-round draft choice last year, is ready – because he has to be; and prepared – because he got a lot of snaps in the second half of last week’s 58-0 win over the Cardinals.
“It was great just to get out there and help the team,” said Maxwell, who got time at cornerback in one game last season and his first game this season against the Cardinals. “We were up by so much that they took Sherm (left cornerback Richard Sherman) out and it was just the young guys in there – me and J-Lane – getting some experience under our belts.”
It allowed Maxwell to get into the flow of the game, which was important because in most games his contributions are limited to the one snap dash-and-bash that is playing special teams.
“Which is important,” Maxwell said. “There’s nothing like game-time experience.”
Outside? Inside? Does Maxwell have a preference?
“It doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I just want to be on the field.”
MARTIN TO IR
Wide receiver Charly Martin has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season after pulling a calf in practice on Thursday.
Scott Chandler. Stevie Johnson leads the Bills with 61 receptions, but it’s Chandler who has caught a team-high six touchdown passes – on 37 catches. And the production by the sixth-year tight end has not escaped Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
“It’s another real threat, especially in third-down situations,” Bradley said. “He’s one of the top receiving threats on third down. It’s a matchup that we’ve got to take a look at and see the threat he is. You’ll see Chandler with a lot of special routes or a lot of deep-developing routes. So they obviously feel pretty good about him getting away from defensive backs and linebackers.
“The NFL is such a matchup league, and offenses are looking for matchups. So we’ve always got to be aware of that.”
The 6-foot-7, 263-pound Chandler also is averaging 13.2 yards, tops on the team among receivers with more than five receptions.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)
CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)
DE Red Bryant (foot)
SS Kam Chancellor (groin)
WR Sidney Rice (foot)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
Rice, Bryant and Chancellor practiced today for the first time this week and Carroll said he expected all the play against the Bills.
Linebacker Leroy Hill will return to the starting lineup after missing the past two games because of a sprained ankle, but Malcolm Smith also will play, Carroll said. Smith started the past two games on the weakside for Hill.
For the Bills:
RB Fred Jackson (knee)
C Eric Wood (knee)
LB Nick Barnett (knee)
S Jairus Byrd (shin)
DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder)
DT Spencer Johnson (knee)
CB Leodis McKelvin (groin)
DE Mark Anderson (knee)
OG Andy Levitre (knee)
CB Justin Rogers (foot)
WR Donald Jones (calf)
DT Kyle Williams (ankle)
DB Ron Brooks (hip)
TE Scott Chandler (groin)
OG Kraig Urbik (knee)
LB Chris White (thumb)
S Da’Norris Searcy (hand)
RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder)
CB Aaron Williams (knee)
DE Mario Williams (wrist)
STAT DU JOUR
Bobby Wagner, as we wrote last Friday, is putting up numbers worthy of NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. The Seahawks’ middle linebacker is third among rookies in the league in tackles and tied for third in interceptions – the only player among the Top 3 in both categories:
Player, team No.
LB Luke Kuechly, Panthers 130
LB Lavonte David, Buccaneers 117
Bobby Wagner, Seahawks 108
Player, team No.
CB Casey Hayward, Packers 5
S Tavon Wilson, Patriots 4
LB Bobby Wagner, Seahawks 3
CB Alfonzo Dennard, Patriots 3
CB Janoris Jenkins, Rams 3
CB Leonard Jackson, Buccaneers 3
S Harrison Smith, Vikings 3
The team flew to Toronto after the players had a midday practice. Saturday’s walkthrough will be in Canada’s largest city.
YOU DON’T SAY
“They’re very explosive. There’s a little bit of an emphasis that we’re going to see (C.J.) Spiller more. If you look at his numbers, you can see why they would do that. He’s got great numbers in the running game and the passing game. That doesn’t help us any. So we have to really tune in to him. He’s the factor that can really change them. The perimeter stuff that he does is very dangerous. He has extraordinary speed and it shows up on the field. That’s a big deal for us.” – Carroll on Spiller becoming the feature back for the Bill with Fred Jackson out
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 13.
Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times notes wide receiver Sidney Rice is dealing with a bruised foot, “Receiver Sidney Rice was in a walking boot Wednesday dealing with a bruised foot, apparently suffered in Sunday’s home win against Arizona, and cornerback Walter Thurmond wasn’t able to complete a full practice due to an unspecified hamstring injury. Coach Pete Carroll said the team didn’t know about Rice’s injury until after the weekend and that the receiver’s status is in doubt for Sunday. ‘He’s improved quite a bit since game day, in the last couple days, but he’s got a pretty sore foot, so we don’t know,” Carroll said. “He’s got the X-rays and MRIs and all of that, and the findings are nothing that would keep him from playing. He just has to get back; he feels very sore right now.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights running back Marshawn Lynch, as he prepares to face his former team – the Buffalo Bills – this weekend, “Fullback Michael Robinson pointed to Lynch’s bow-legged gait as the reason for his running prowess. ‘He’s not pigeon-toed, but he’s bow-legged a little bit,’ Robinson said. ‘And guys that are bow-legged seem to have better balance as they’re cutting – their cuts are a lot sharper. He looks like a little pit bull out there running,’ Robinson said. ‘He’s always balanced. He runs bigger than he looks. And he runs faster than he looks, too.’ But it’s Lynch’s relentless effort that’s infectious for the rest of the team. ‘It makes us play harder, knowing he’s going to break a couple tackles on a run,’ Seattle center Max Unger said. ‘If we can get up there and get some people off of him, he’s going to go for extra yards.’ Whether Lynch will have extra motivation facing his old team is unknown, but Robinson is expecting the same, all-out effort from his backfield mate. ‘That’s just the type of guy he is,’ Robinson said. ‘And you need guys like that on your team. You don’t want guys thinking too much. Who’s next, let’s go play and move on.’ “
Williams also shares the Seahawks and Bills injury reports from Wednesday here.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune details the contributions of tight end Zach Miller, “Miller came out of Arizona State as a first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference player and first-team All-Academic player – after having been a 4.0 student in high school in Phoenix. Coach Pete Carroll cited Miller as “savvy,” which is probably a better description of intelligence as it’s applied to on-the-hoof football IQ. ‘He allows us to do so many little intricate things,’ Carroll said. ‘Reading things at the line of scrimmage, adjusting the motions and stuff; that gives us a nice multiplicity. And he’s really, really tough at the point of attack. He’s also catching the ball terrifically and running his routes down the field. He’s just the complete football player.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald also highlights Lynch’s impact heading into the club’s matchup with his former team, “Dating back to Week 9 of last season, no running back in the NFL has more rushing yards than Lynch’s 2,207, and this year his 1,266 yards ranks second in the league to Adrian Peterson. Lynch has been so consistent, so dependable, that it’s almost easy to take for granted what he has done this season despite the fact that he is averaging a career-high 4.9 yards per carry. Lynch’s impact is hard to overstate, especially as the Seahawks head to Toronto needing a win over Lynch’s former team to keep their playoff push going. ‘It just jumps off the tape,’ fullback Michael Robinson said. ‘Teams know when they play against us, they have to deal with ’24.’ That’s just the way it’s set up. Watching him run, he makes you want to strain, he makes you want to go harder. He’s just a great symbol for what this team is trying to stand for.’ “
With the news of Rice’s bruised foot, Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” discuss the Seahawks situation at wide receiver in this short video.
Mike Salk of 710Sports.com shares his thoughts on the Seahawks beginning to earn some national respect in this short video.
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice, “Carroll said that WR Charly Martin will jump into Rice’s role and they will rotate their other receivers through as well if he is not able to play against the Bills. LB Leroy Hill returned to full participation in practice Wednesday after not playing the last two weeks with an ankle injury. However, he was splitting reps with LB Malcolm Smith, who started in Hill’s place the last two weeks. Carroll called it a “competitive situation” for who would start this week against Buffalo.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has a look at the youth of the Seahawks roster, “Reliance on youth is also helpful with payroll, allowing the Seahawks more room under the cap to sign WR Sidney Rice, TE Zach Miller, QB Matt Flynn and DLs Alan Branch and Jason Jones, the only unrestricted veteran free agents on the roster. ‘We’re a really young team like we had in college days,’ Carroll said. ‘I think what sets us apart right now is that we’re a very athletic team that also has a really good feeling about each other. They’re tight and close. We have a very cohesive group. That’s been very consistent. It’s an exciting group that we’re bringing up.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com recaps injury situations around the NFC West, and offers up a few notes on the Seahawks, “Seattle held out receiver Sidney Rice (foot), cornerback Marcus Trufant (hamstring), safety Kam Chancellor (groin) and defensive end Red Bryant (foot) missed practice Wednesday. The team continues to list running back Marshawn Lynch (back) as limited despite every expectation he’ll be able to play. Cornerback Walter Thurmond (hamstring) was a surprise addition to the injured list Wednesday. He’s had injury problems in the past. Durability is a concern. Depth at corner isn’t as strong with Brandon Browner serving a suspension and Trufant sidelined recently. Seattle is no longer listing linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle). Malcolm Smith could wind up keeping the job.”
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as the players get back to work after receiving Monday and Tuesday off.
Lastly, our team photographer Rod Mar captured 18 frames from the club’s “Competition Wednesday” practice, which you can view here.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Thanksgiving Day, November 22.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times highlights two former Canadian Football League stars – Miami’s Cameron Wake and Seattle’s Brandon Browner – who will meet at the NFL level this Sunday, “Wake, 30, ranks fifth in the NFL with 9 ½ sacks and is regarded as a candidate for defensive player of the year. The defensive end earned a Pro Bowl berth with a 14-sack season in 2010. Browner, 28, made the Pro Bowl last year after leading the Seahawks with six interceptions and setting the franchise’s season record for return yards (220). Now, in his second year starting at cornerback, Browner has become an anchor in one of the NFL’s best secondaries. Both players are testaments to perseverance in the face of obstacles, and also to the vagaries of evaluating football players.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the weekend’s matchup between Wake and Michael Robinson – two former college teammates at Penn State, “Wake said he’s looks forward to getting to hit Robinson, who was usually off limits in practice as a quarterback at Penn State. ‘He’s an athlete obviously,’ Wake said. ‘But if you would’ve told me back then this guy is going to be a fullback in the NFL and you guys are going to play each other, I probably would’ve told you that you were crazy.’ Robinson, who still calls Wake by the first name that he went by at Penn State — Derek — says bring it. ‘He had a chance (to hit me in college),’ Robinson said. ‘He missed — for real. I’m serious. Go watch some tape. Ask some people.’ “
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Sunday’s matchup in Miami is a good time to compare the play of rookie quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill, “The 6-foot-4 Tannehill was taken with the eighth overall pick in the draft, following No. 1 Andrew Luck (6-4) and No. 2 Robert Griffin III (6-2). Cleveland also took a tall quarterback at No. 22 (6-4 Brandon Weeden). Wilson waited until the third round to be picked by the Seahawks, a lengthy delay caused not by his skills, attitude nor collegiate performance, but because of his 5-105/8 stature. ‘I don’t pay attention, really,’ Wilson said of the efforts of his fellow rookie quarterbacks. ‘I see it on ESPN or whatever and all that, but I’m so focused on our football team and what we can do and what we can control and what I can control to help our team win.’ As it turns out, Wilson can control a whole lot more than almost everybody expected. Through 10 games, Wilson has the second highest passer rating of any of the rookie quarterbacks, his 90.5 trailing only Washington’s Robert Griffin III. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes with eight interceptions. Tannehill has a 70.8 rating with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Most relevant, the Seahawks’ 6-4 record with Wilson starting is matched only by Luck’s Colts as the best among rookie starters.”
The Sports Network’s John McMullen previews Sunday’s game in Miami, “It’s hard to imagine either team lightning up the scoreboard here. Wilson hasn’t shown anything on the road yet while Tannehill has been struggling mightily and will be facing off against one of the NFL’s best secondaries. Expect a late Dan Carpenter field goal to get Miami back in the win column here. ‘I haven’t slept as well as I’d like to be sleeping (during the losing streak),’ [Miami coach] Philbin said. ‘But at the same time you have to have faith and belief in something, and we’re going to stick to this process that we have in place. There’s a lot of football left to be played and most importantly excited about this opportunity against Seattle.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dolphins 20, Seahawks 17″
Like Stone, John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a look at Seattle and Miami’s Canada connection, “It’s rare that a player makes the leap from the CFL to the NFL and has a lasting impact. It’s even less common when they do what Wake and Browner have both done by not just winning starting jobs, but playing at a Pro Bowl level. Wake signed with the Dolphins in 2009 after spending two years with the Lions. In an odd twist, Browner and Wake both worked out for the Dolphins at the same time back in 2009, though only one landed a job. ‘When he got signed to Miami, I was down there and it was down to me and him,’ Browner said. ‘They told both of us, ‘We’re going to sign of one of you guys.’ And they took him.’ Wake wasn’t a starter in his first season with the Dolphins, but he still managed 5.5 sacks. He then enjoyed a breakout year in 2010, piling up 14 sacks while earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors. Browner took a similar route, proving himself in Calgary before the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll, who coached against Browner when the cornerback was at Oregon State, brought him in for a look prior to last season. Browner finished his first NFL season with six interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and went to the Pro Bowl. And when Wake and Browner both take the field Sunday it will be a reminder of just how inexact a science talent evaluation can be in football.”
Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman, contributing to 710Sports.com, describes his experiences playing on the road in the NFL, and offers some explanation as to why the Seahawks struggle away from home, “‘ll give you this: it’s a little more difficult to go to sleep at midnight when it’s only 9 o’clock back home and it definitely sucks getting up at 8 a.m. when your body clock is telling you it’s 5 a.m. But once you’re up and going, that never enters your mind. Here’s what I’ve always said about the time change: it doesn’t matter what time it is back home – right here and right now, it’s time to play. Linebacker K.J. Wright offered one solution to the problem on the air with me and Colin Paisley on Monday. K.J. brought up the fact that crowd noise bothers the offense on the road but has no effect on special teams or defense: ‘If you can get those two things going, defense and special teams, they control the game and they’ll get us rolling.’ “
Liz Matthews of 710Sports.com has her practice report from Wednesday, noting the return of offensive guard James Carpenter, who sat out of the club’s “Bonus Monday” practice earlier this week as he had not yet cleared concussion testing, “Carpenter cleared the mandated concussion protocol testing in order to return to the field. Carpenter was inactive the last two games and was unable to practice last Monday following the bye. Head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday he was uncertain whether Carpenter would start Sunday in Miami. ‘We’ll see,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how the week goes and what happens. I just want to take it one day at a time and see how that goes.’ Carroll did say that John Moffitt, who has started at left guard in Carpenter’s absence, is ready to go if needed.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press highlights the reunion between head coach Pete Carroll and Dolphins running back Reggie Bush. Bush played for coach Carroll while the pair was at USC, “Carroll believes Bush has matured as a runner, no longer just rushing as fast as he can to the line of scrimmage, but displaying more patience for running lanes to open up. ‘Reggie has really found his tempo coming to the line of scrimmage and seeing things and using his quickness and darting and using his quickness into open spaces. He looks like a more mature runner now,’ Carroll said. ‘He used to run it up in there as fast as he could and hit it hard and it wasn’t to his advantage all the time in his career, but he’s really on it now.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice session, “Wilson has played 14 games this season going back to the preseason, more than any of his seasons in college. Yet, Wilson always played baseball in the spring and is used to always playing a sport at a competitive level. It’s kept Wilson fresh for the final six game stretch of the regular season. ‘My body feels tremendous, actually,’ Wilson said. ‘It feels like I haven’t even played a game yet. …I feel great. The bye week definitely helped but I’ll be ready to go.’ The bye came at a perfect time for the Seahawks as it allowed everyone to get healthy. Seattle had everyone back at practice Wednesday as the team began game-week preparations for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his updated “MVP Watch“, where Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has climbed two spots to No. 5 on his list of 10 potential candidates, “Lynch still ranks second in rushing yards following the Seahawks’ bye week. He now faces a Miami Dolphins defense that has ceded 132.2 yards rushing per game and 4.7 per carry over its past five games. That is up from 61.4 yards per game and 2.7 per carry over the first five games. Doug Martin recently passed Lynch for second in yards after contact. Miami has given up 366 yards after contact, the eighth-fewest in the NFL.”
Sando also breaks down the play of rookie QBs Wilson and Tannehill heading into Sunday’s matchup, “Tannehill and Seattle’s Russell Wilson are both starting despite preseason expectations they would serve as backups first. It would have seemed unfathomable when free agency began to think Matt Flynn would be backing up Wilson heading into a Week 12 matchup featuring the Tannehill-led Dolphins. That is indeed the case even though Flynn visited both teams in free agency after playing for Philbin and Seahawks general manager John Schneider in Green Bay. ‘We certainly like our quarterback,’ Philbin told reporters Wednesday. ‘I think Seattle’s quarterback is playing very well.’ Both have made positive impressions overall, particularly in light of rookie expectations. Wilson is outperforming Tannehill by leading statistical measures as the Seahawks and Dolphins prepare to face one another for the first time since 2008.”
The crew at NFL Films previews the Seahawks’ Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins in this short video.
Yesterday, the Seahawks added wide receiver Charly Martin from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, and brought in rookie Corbin Louks out of Nevada to take Martin’s place on the practice roster.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps “Wednesday in Hawkville“, with a focus on running back Marshawn Lynch.
Farnsworth also notes the return of second-year linebacker K.J. Wright, who missed the club’s Week 10 game against the New York Jets with a concussion, “It’s impossible to overstate what getting Wright back can mean to the NFL’s No. 3-ranked defense as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami. He was, after all, leading the team in tackles before getting his concussion. ‘It’s a huge get-back,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘K.J. comes back to us and he brings savvy and awareness in our system. He’s a great communicator on the field. He helps the guy up front. He helps Bobby (Wagner, the rookie middle linebacker). It’s just a big deal. ‘Plus, he’s a terrific playmaker for us. So it’s a big boost for us to get him back out there.’ “
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, recapping what coach Carroll called “one of the most important practices of the year.”
Finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at yesterday’s practice in photos.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 21:
Marshawn Lynch. When it comes to the Seahawks’ workhorse running back, just how much work is too much work?
One of the reasons the team selected Robert Turbin in the fourth round of April’s NFL Draft was to provide a back to spell Lynch. But as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami, only the Texans’ Arian Foster has more carries (249) than Lynch (212).
Asked about limiting Lynch’s carries during his midday Q&A session with the media, coach Pete Carroll said, “I just stopped him and asked him how old he was today. I said, ‘What are you, 27?’ He said, ‘I’m 26, I won’t be 27 until next April.’
“We’ve got to load him up. We’re taking it too easy on this guy. He’s a young man. So I think it’s the other way around – we need to give him some more carries.”
Asked after practice about Carroll joking that he might want to give the ball to Lynch even more, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell smiled and offered, “He was joking?”
When the laughter subsided, Bevell added, “We do (have to watch his number of carries). But Marshawn is just going to keep going. He’s not going to turn it down. He’ll take it every time. We have to be able to mix Robert in there. But when it comes time, when it’s crunch time during a game, we want 24 out there. We want to hand him the ball. We want to give it to him and see what he can do.”
And that’s almost always something positive, and often jaw-dropping. Lynch not only has the second-most carries in the league, he has the second-most rushing yards (1,005).
“He’s going to scratch and claw for every inch that he gets,” Bevell said. “He’s going to break tackles. He’s going to make 2-yard runs into 10-yard runs. I’m asking, ‘Where’s he down?’ They’re like, ‘He’s still running.’ ”
And running. And running. And running some more. The only time Lynch isn’t forcing the issue is when he is being forced to take a play or two off. Then he trudges to the sideline.
“That’s his slow-poke walk,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “That boy can run the ball, and I just like to do everything I can to make sure he gets to the second level. Once he gets to the second level, that’s where he makes the big money.”
Left guard. James Carpenter returned to practice today for the first time since getting a concussion that forced him to sit out the pre-bye games against the Vikings and Jets. But John Moffitt continued to work at left guard with the No. 1 line in practice.
Carpenter got his limited reps with the No. 2 line that also included Frank Omiyale at left tackle, Lemuel Jeanpierre at center and guard J.R. Sweezy and tackle Mike Person on the right side.
“We’ll see how Carp handles it,” Carroll said. “We’re anxious to see him get back out there.”
As to whether Carpenter will step back in as the starter this week, Carroll said, “We’ll see. We’ll see how the week goes. We’ll see what happens. I just want to take it one day at a time.”
Cameron Wake. “Who?” says the look that washed across Robinson’s face. He and Wake played together at Penn State. But that’s also when Wake went by Derek, his first name.
“Derek. Derek. His name is Derek,” Robinson said when asked about Cameron Wake. “I don’t know Cam. You all laugh, but I’m so serious. I don’t know who that is. His name is Derek.”
By any name, Wake has the ability to get to the quarterback. The Dolphins’ defensive end has 9.5 sacks this season and 37.5 since making the jump from the CFL to the NFL in 2009.
“He’s really good,” Carroll said. “He’s powerful. He’s a natural athlete. He’s got great length. And he has a good motor, too; he’s bringing it all the time. He’s really a classic, big-time rusher. He’s a problem. He’s just as natural as you can be at bringing the heat.”
Wake said during a conference-call interview today that he’s looking forward to being able to finally hit Robinson on Sunday, because he wasn’t allowed to do it while Robinson was playing quarterback at Penn State.
Told that, Robinson offered a look that screamed, “Please.”
“He had his chances, OK, to hit me in college and he just couldn’t do it,” Robinson said. “It wasn’t my fault. I ran the ball and he had to get his feet together to get me. But he couldn’t do that.”
Robinson then shifted into a more serious gear before continuing. “It will definitely be fun to play against him,” he said. “Derek’s a great kid. He’s worked hard to get to where he is. I’m glad to see that he’s had success. He’s always been physically a man-child.”
MARTIN UP, LOUKS IN
Wide receiver Charly Martin rejoined the 53-man roster today, filling the spot that opened when rookie safety Winston Guy was given a four-game suspension by the league on Tuesday.
To fill Martin’s spot on the practice squad, wide receiver Corbin Louks was signed to the practice squad. Louks ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds during his Pro Day workout at Nevada, where he also played running back – a role he stepped into immediately on the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense.
The official practice participation report, as issued by the team:
OG James Carpenter (concussion)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)
DT Clinton McDonald (groin)
LB K.J. Wright (concussion)
For the Dolphins:
Did not practice
LB Austin Spitler (ankle)
LB Karlos Dansby (biceps)
P Brandon Fields (left knee)
C Mike Pouncey (ankle)
S Jimmy Wilson (ribs)
STAT DU JOUR
We’ve used this before, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of just what Lynch has done since Week 9 of last season – which is run for 305 more yards than any other back in the NFL. It’s a tribute to not only his productivity, but his durability. Here’s a look at Lynch’s 19-game totals, and those backs who continue to chase him:
Player, team Att. Yards Avg. TD
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks 423 1,946 4.6 14
Arian Foster, Texans 392 1,641 4.2 16
Chris Johnson, Titans 325 1,607 4.9 7
Ray Rice, Ravens 340 1,572 4.6 14
Thanksgiving Day, of course, but also “Turnover Thursday.” Practice will start earlier and there are no post-practice meetings so the players can celebrate the holiday with family and friends.
The players also will practice Friday before the team flies to Florida for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Joyous, humble and committed to his community – that’s Marshawn Lynch off the field. On it? You better strap in or get out of the way. With four straight 100-yard games, he’s averaged even better stats in the second half of games than in the first.” – Sports Illustrated in a “Back to Backs” feature in this week’s issue
Wide receiver Charly Martin has been elevated from the practice squad to the Seahawks’ 53-man roster to fill the spot that opened on Tuesday when rookie safety Winston Guy was suspended by the league for four games.
To fill Martin’s spot on the eight-man practice squad, wide receiver Corbin Louks was signed.
Martin was on the roster for the first nine games of the season, playing in three games and catching four passes for 42 yards. He was released Nov. 6 and then signed to the practice squad the next day.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 7:
Leon Washington. Yes, it was the Jets who traded the returner/running back to the Seahawks in a draft day deal in 2010. Yes, it’s the Jets who are coming to CenturyLink Field on Sunday. And yes, Washington would like to do you-know-what against his former team.
“Would I like to return a touchdown against the Jets? Yes,” Washington said today, punctuating the obvious statement with a huge smile before adding, “Would I like to return a touchdown against the Rams? Yes. Would I like to return a touchdown against the 49ers? Yes.”
Washington has returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns in his NFL career that began in 2006, when the Jets selected him in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Only one player in the 92½-year history of the league has returned more – the Browns’ Josh Cribbs with eight.
But it’s been a while since Washington has found the end zone with a kickoff or punt return – Week 14 of his first season with the Seahawks, and against the 49ers. That’s too long, as he views the situation. So why not end the drought against the team he used to play for, and represented in the Pro Bowl as the AFC returner after the 2007 season.
“We’re right on target,” Washington said. “We feel like we execute very well in practice. We just have to take advantage of opportunities during the game. Second half of the season, I remember last year we got really good. So I feel like we’re going to do the same thing this year.”
During the Seahawks’ 5-4 start, Washington has averaged 29.1 yards on 15 kickoff returns, which ranks sixth in the league. His punt return average, once as high as 14.5 yards, has dipped to 8.5, which ties him for 13th in the league.
And yes, playing in Seattle is different than playing in New York.
“Our fans here are passionate about their team, but it seems like the fans there, they feel like they own the team,” Washington said with a chuckle.
Marshawn Lynch. But this time, it’s through the eyes of Jets coach Rex Ryan, who also faced Lynch when he was running for the Bills and even sat in on a pre-draft visit with Lynch in 2007 when he was coming out of Cal and Ryan was defensive coordinator for the Ravens.
“He’s a tough dude, let’s just put it that way,” Ryan said today during a conference-call interview. “He’s one tough, tough rascal.
“Having to go against him – I’ve gone against him several times – he’s a guy that really is a physical back. … He’s a very powerful, physical runner and you never assume that this kid’s down.”
As for Lynch’s visit with the Ravens, Ryan said, “As he left, we were going back and forth. I said, ‘You come here, you’re going to get your butt kicked in practice.’ He’s like, ‘Man, I’ll show you.’ But I really liked him. As soon as he left, I’m like, ‘Oh, I hope we get that kid.’ ”
MARTIN RETURNS; THURMOND ACTIVATED
Wide receiver Charly Martin rejoined the team midway through practice, and cornerback Walter Thurmond was activated to the 53-man roster.
Martin was released from the 53-man roster on Tuesday and re-signed to the practice squad today after he had cleared waivers. Thurmond, who began the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, takes the roster spot that opened when Martin was released. The club had until Monday to add Thurmond to the roster.
Martin fills the practice squad spot that opened Tuesday when rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei was released.
MORE MIDSEASON HONORS
Eight Seahawks landed on the All-NFC West midseason team selected by NFC blogger Mike Sando at ESPN.com: defensive end Chris Clemons, nose tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas on defense; center Max Unger and Lynch on offense; and returner Leon Washington and coverage man Heath Farwell on special teams.
In what Sando labeled his “tough call,” the 49ers’ Alex Smith was the choice over the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson at quarterback: “Alex Smith edges Russell Wilson at quarterback based on a stronger start to the season and his nearly perfect game against Arizona in Week 8. Wilson is gaining ground and looks like he could become the best quarterback in the NFC West quickly. He already has a better feel for the pocket. I’ll be surprised, at this rate, if Wilson isn’t the choice for the season-ending all-division team. There is still time for Sam Bradford to factor in as well.”
The official report, as issued by the team:
Did not practice
DE Red Bryant (foot)
OG James Carpenter (concussion)
SS Kam Chancellor (quadriceps)
WR Braylon Edwards (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist)
DT Clinton McDonald (groin)
LB K.J. Wright (concussion)
Limited in practice
DT Jason Jones (ankle)
WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)
OG John Moffitt (knee)
C Max Unger (finger)
Wright and Carpenter were scheduled for more tests today, which they must pass before being cleared to return to practice. Mike Morgan and John Moffitt continued to replace them at strongside linebacker and left guard, as they did in Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Robert Turbin worked for Lynch, Greg Scruggs took over for Bryant and Jeron Johnson stepped in for Chancellor in practice.
Jones returned to practice after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.
For the Jets:
Did not practice
DT Kenrick Ellis (knee)
RB Joe McKnight (ankle)
Limited in practice
TE Jeff Cumberland (wrist)
C Nick Mangold (ankle)
OG Brandon Moore (hip)
DT Sione Pouha (back)
RB Bilal Powell (shoulder)
LB Bart Scott (toe)
S Eric Smith (knee)
DT Mike DeVito (finger)
WR Clyde Gates (shoulder)
S LaRon Landry (heel)
LB Calvin Pace (shin)
QB Mark Sanchez (back)
OG Matt Slauson (knee)
STAT DU JOUR
No back in the NFL has more 100-yard rushing games than Lynch, who is second in the NFL in rushing (881 yards) to the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (957). Here’s a look at Lynch’s five triple-digit efforts, when he also has scored his four rushing touchdowns:
Opponent (week) No. Yards Avg. TD
Vikings (Week 9) 26 124 4.8 1
Cowboys (Week 2) 26 122 4.7 1
Rams (Week 4) 20 118 5.9 1
Lions (Week 8) 12 105 8.8 1
49ers (Week 7) 19 103 5.4 0
Who’s chasing Lynch? Peterson, the Texans’ Arian Foster and Patriots’ Stefan Ridley each have four 100-yard games.
“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game.
The Seahawks are even in turnover differential, with 13 takeaways and 13 giveaways; while the Jets are minus-1. Only 11 teams have turned the ball over more than the Jets (14).
YOU DON’T SAY
“We have to fix ourselves before we really worry about who we’re playing. Now with that being said, this week is probably about as difficult of a challenge as a team can face. Here’s a team that’s 4-0 at home, with wins over Dallas, Minnesota, Green Bay and New England. It starts with the running game, of course. But, oh by the way, the quarterback has a 120 rating at home, which would be the best in the National Football League. So that’s certainly going to be a challenge. And on defense, they’re the fourth-rated defense in the National Football League. They’re a big, physical group with some guys that can really rush the passer. So it’s definitely a huge challenge for us.” – Ryan
YOU DON’T SAY, PART II
“Oh he definitely likes it. I like them, too. Every pass he’s thrown I’ve called.” – offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on wide receiver Sidney Rice throwing the ball, which he did for a 25-yard completion – and a 118.8 passer rating – to tight end Zach Miller against the Vikings
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 7.
There was a couple of roster moves that came late Tuesday afternoon, when the team announced the release of wide receiver Charly Martin from the active roster, and the release of wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei from the practice squad. As of this morning, no move had been made to fill either spot.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at how much better Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has become since the start of the season, “No one is calling for Matt Flynn to start for Seattle anymore. At least not loud enough to hear, and certainly not like it was in September when the Seahawks’ offense was about as potent as the Mariners’. But over the first nine games, the most important trend for Wilson has been the way he eliminates flaws in his performance. Halfway through his first season, the most important thing is to judge not how good he is, but how much better he has become. And only by looking at that process step by step, following three critical improvements, can you see how he’s reached this point of leading Seattle’s offense to 54 points in the past two games and holding the league’s 11th-best quarterback rating.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with the Trufant family, as brothers Marcus and Isaiah are set to square off against each other when the New York Jets comes to town on Sunday at CenturyLink Field, and younger brother Desmond – a senior cornerback at the University of Washington – will play against Utah on Saturday night, also at CenturyLink Field, “Lloyd Trufant said he had a jersey specifically made for the game, with a Marcus Trufant Seahawks jersey on the front and an Isaiah Trufant Jets jersey on the back. ‘We’re pretty pumped up about it,’ Lloyd Trufant said. ‘It should be pretty cool to see both of them on opposing teams. … I have all three of my boys at the same stadium on the same weekend, so that should be cool.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald notes where the Seahawks’ recent run defense struggles may be coming from, “More than anything, Carroll thinks the team’s struggles are the result of young players trying to do too much. In addition to a stout defensive line, one of the most important elements of run defense is the ability of linebackers and safeties to stay disciplined and focus on their responsibilities, not everyone else’s. With a rookie starting at middle linebacker (Bobby Wagner), a second-year strongside linebacker (K.J. Wright) and safeties who are in their third year (Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor), youthful mistakes can happen. It also didn’t help the Seahawks that Wright missed all but three plays of Sunday’s win over the Vikings because of a concussion. ‘I do think we’re over-trying a little bit,’ Carroll said. ‘I think in general guys are trying to live up to the expectations and we’re trying really hard, and at times that takes you out of your game. That’s something we’re really concerned about. We just want to play the way that we’re capable of playing. Sometimes, guys try to go beyond their responsibility to make a play and they get in a bad situation. That’s just because they want to do really well and they’re trying really hard and all of that. It’s a young bunch of guys getting together, so you can fluctuate a little bit there.’ “
Dave Grosby and Dave Wyman of 710Sports.com say the Seahawks defense is going to be OK, and they attempt to ease the fears of fans in this short video.
Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com brings us his Midseason All-Underrated offensive team, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tops the list, “San Francisco’s Alex Smith almost made this spot, but after looking at a few key numbers for both quarterbacks — efficiency in third-down, red-zone, and fourth-quarter situations — the third-round rookie from Wisconsin gets the nod. Wilson, who wasn’t expected to start this season and got all kinds of pre-draft scouting dings as a result of his 5-foot-10 5/8 stature, has become the epicenter of the Seahawks’ offense in the last few weeks. It’s an impressive feat for a team that’s been run-based and centered around Marshawn Lynch. But as head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell have taken the training wheels off of late, Wilson has responded with great production. His three-touchdown performance against the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday was the sixth-best of the week among quarterbacks per Football Outsiders’ efficiency rankings, and we have a feeling that the best is yet to come. Wilson has more passing touchdowns than any other rookie quarterback (yes, more than Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III), and only Griffin has a higher passer rating. Near-Misses: Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers/Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his All-NFC West midseason team and defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman, and free safety Earl Thomas make the cut for the defense, while center Max Unger and running back Marshawn Lynch represent the offense. Linebacker Heath Farwell tops all division specialists and running back Leon Washington is named the top return man.
Sam Farmer of the LA Times highlights Seahawks team statistician Todd Nielson, “Nielson gathers and crunches numbers, studies probabilities, looks for any sliver of data concerning the Seahawks or opposing teams that could give Seattle an edge. That includes drawing up statistical reports for Coach Pete Carrolland his assistants, documenting plays and coverages during games, and even analyzing officiating crews for their specific tendencies. ‘You look at it, and eventually it’s going to pop off the paper at you,’ said Nielson, who spends much of his day at his modest cubicle, sleuthing tendencies. ‘My interaction with Coach Carroll is very limited,’ he said. ‘I go in his office when he’s not there, and I drop a piece of paper on his desk with what he calls ‘the orange stuff’ on it, which is the highlighted stuff.’ Throughout the week, Nielson fields requests from coaches — for instance, compile all the New York Jets’ runs in goal-to-go situations — then creates a written report, complete with corresponding video. ‘The stats tell you the when and the where,’ he said. ‘The video tells you the how and the why.’ “
Farmer also offers a behind-the-scenes look into the life of Carroll and his coaching staff at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, “In a sense, the 5-4 Seahawks mirror their coach. They are energetic, competitive, and have concentration issues resulting in a string of close losses on the road. The team that is 4-0 at CenturyLink Field is 1-4 away from home. Seattle has the NFL’s third-youngest roster — including rookie Russell Wilson starting at quarterback — and the second-oldest head coach, which seems like a mismatch. But few coaches are as youthful as the 61-year-old Carroll, who seldom stops moving around the sprawling facility and always looks as if he’s about to break into a jog. There’s no hint in his stride of his recent knee replacement. ‘It’s constantly surprising to see somebody who’s older than my dad have that kind of energy,’ said Carroll’s right-hand man, Ben Malcolmson, 27, who won acclaim at USC when he went from student journalist to walk-on receiver. ‘Everyone has their ups and downs, times they just want to chill and relax. With him, it’s never, ‘Hey, I’m going to take a nap for 15 minutes.’ It’s nonstop.’ “
The AP Pro32 has some comments about the Seahawks, who they rank from No. 11 to 12. You can view several of their comments here.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth touches base with the Trufant family, who as we mentioned above will have a busy weekend at CenturyLink Field.
Farnsworth has his “Tuesday in Hawkville“, with a focus on Pro Football Weekly’s Midseason All-Pro list, which features free safety Earl Thomas, running back Marshawn Lynch, and cornerback Richard Sherman.
Lastly, Farnsworth has his first look at the New York Jets, who are up next on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Wide receiver Charly Martin was released by the Seahawks today, after being active for four of the team’s nine games and catching four passes for 42 yards.
Martin, who was signed to a future contract in January, had two catches for 17 yards against the Lions in Week 8 and had one each in the season opener against the Cardinals and the Week 3 game against the Packers.
The club also released rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei from the practice squad. He had been signed last Wednesday after being with the team during training camp.