Is it football season yet?

Russell Wilson

Whether you spent our nation’s 237th birthday flinging off fireworks, manning the meat on your grill, stuffing yourself full of too much potato salad, or sucking down your favorite American brew, I sincerely hope that everyone had a very happy and very safe Independence Day.

But let’s be real. While yesterday did hold special meaning, it’s gone now. And all-in-all, it brought us one day closer to football season. We’re now sitting pretty at just 65 days remaining until the Seahawks kickoff the 2013 regular season on September 8 against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

So, as we do every Friday here at Seahawks.com to help us cope with life without football, here’s a detailed look at what’s going on next week, July 7-13, with your Seattle Seahawks:

Sunday, July 7:Richard Sherman

  • Cornerback Richard Sherman is set to host his celebrity softball game for charity at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. Seahawks.com will be there bringing you video and social media coverage from the event and you can view a complete list of players and celebs attending here.

Monday, July 8:

  • Quarterback Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy finally makes it’s way to the state of Washington, stopping in Spokane for a two-day camp.
  • Seahawks.com’s Clare Farnsworth continues his 2013 positional preview series with a look at the club’s defensive backs. You can check out past features from Farnsworth here.

Tuesday, July 9:

  • The Seahawks 12 Tour officially kicks off with a visit to Anchorage, Alaska. Seahawks Vice President of Community Relations & Special Projects Mike Flood leads the charge along with kicker Steven Hauschka and long snapper Clint Gresham.
  • Defensive end Greg Scruggs starts day one of his four-day youth football camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Day two of Wilson’s Passing Academy continues in Spokane, Wash.
  • Farnsworth’s 2013 preview series wraps up, as he highlights the team’s special teams unit.

Wednesday, July 10:

  • 12 Tour Alaska continues. From 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. our crew will take part in Camp Shriver Alaska at the Anchorage Dome – a Special Olympics Alaska event that provides sports training for high school and middle school students.
  • Day two of Scruggs’ youth camp continues in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Thursday, July 11:Doug Baldwin

  • A second-leg of the 12 Tour ramps up – this one in Bellingham, Wash. featuring wide receiver Doug Baldwin and defensive end Red Bryant. Baldwin and Bryant will start the day with an autograph session at 11 a.m. at the Outlet Shoppes at Burlington. At 5 p.m., the wideout-D-line duo will join Seahawks digital media host Tony Ventrella at Bellingham’s Lakeway Inn for a fan forum event.
  • 12 Tour Alaska hosts a Play 60 challenge from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Alaska’s AT&T Sports Center.
  • Day three of Scruggs’ youth camp continues in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Friday, July 12:

  • The 12 Tour moves from Bellingham, Wash. to Vancouver, B.C., as Baldwin and Bryant are joined by Sherman north of the border. Click here for a detailed day-by-day rundown of the weekend’s events in BC.
  • Scruggs’ youth camp finishes up in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Saturday, July 13:


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.


Jon Ryan to host charity golf tournament & kicking camp north of the border

Jon Ryan

A couple of summer activities that slipped under our radar in last week’s blog post on the Seahawks 12 Tour and related player-driven football camps around the nation come from Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who will host a charity golf tournament and kicking camp north of the border this week in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

For the sixth-year Seahawk Ryan, a native of Regina, SK, his inaugural golf tournament takes place tomorrow, June 20, at Regina’s Wascana Golf & Country Club. The event supports the Bob Ryan Scholarship Foundation – a fund Ryan and his brother Steve set up in their father’s name. The foundation offers financial aid to student athletes playing for the University of Regina Rams Football Club – Ryan’s alma mater – and also helps those in need of cancer care and treatment at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre.

Ryan will be joined at tomorrow’s tournament by fellow Seahawks in free safety Chris Maragos, tight end Sean McGrath, kicker Steven Hauschka, and long snapper Clint Gresham, as well as former Seahawks kicker Jeff Reed and stars from the Canadian Football League (CFL). For Ryan, the golf classic preludes his Saturday kicking camp to be held at the University of Regina’s Rams Field.

So if you’re strolling around the prairie province this week, Ryan encourages you to stop by and say hello to some of your Seahawks, as they enjoy what’s left of their five week break prior to the start of training camp in late July.


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12 Tour headlines summer of Seahawks activities & youth football camps

12 Tour

Yesterday, the Seahawks announced a schedule of summer activities dedicated to the 12th Man across the Pacific Northwest.

Showcasing that summer schedule is the Seahawks 12 Tour – when wide receiver Doug Baldwin, defensive end Red Bryant, kicker Steven Hauschka, long snapper Clint Gresham and cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will make stops across the states Washington and Alaska, as well as Vancouver B.C. In conjunction with Washington Tourism Alliance, the Seahawks players will be joined by members of the Sea Gals, team mascot Blitz, and Seahawks fan development staff as they host fan forums, make community appearances and participate in area football camps for youth at each stop.

The tour’s first stop is in Anchorage, Alaska with Hauschka and Gresham (July 9-14) and from there it’s on to Bellingham, Wash. (July 11-12) and Vancouver, B.C. (July 13-15) with Baldwin and Bryant. The tour will wrap-up with the cornerback-half of the “Legion of Boom” – Browner and Sherman – traveling to Kennewick (July 18-19) and Vancouver, Wash. (July 19-21).

Doug Baldwin“I wanted to be able to do it again because I had so much fun doing it before and meeting all different kinds of people,” said Baldwin, who participated in last year’s 12 Tour. “First and foremost, you get to connect with the fans and get to see that side of the game. It’s always interesting, but it’s also inspiring because you’ve got all of these people that are cheering you on. It kind of builds us up and gives us that extra energy and extra drive.”

Baldwin has never traveled to Bellingham or Vancouver, B.C., so he’s looking forward to connecting with the local community and fans in a setting outside of CenturyLink Field.

“Seeing them outside of the football field will be a great chance to interact with them,” Baldwin said. “It was just fascinating, because as dedicated as we are to our craft, we met tons of people last year who are just as dedicated to cheering us on every Sunday. It’s an awesome experience.”

Minicamp may have wrapped yesterday and training camp is still over a month out, but Baldwin’s football fun at Virginia Mason Athletic Center isn’t over just yet. Tomorrow, he’ll take part in the Seahawks All-Pro Varsity Skills Camp with youth ages 9-14, coaching up kids who eventually hope to play ball at the high school level.

And if you’re a loyal-12 looking for some Seahawks-love outside of the Pacific Northwest, here’s a look at several other Seahawks-player-driven football camps that may be in your area:


Chris Maragos signs restricted free agent tender

Chris Maragos

For Chris Maragos, it wasn’t a matter of if he would sign his restricted free agent tender with the Seahawks, but when.

And when arrived today, as the backup safety and special teams standout did just that.

“Just signed my tender, inks not even dry yet, blessed to be a Seahawk and can’t wait for 2013!” Maragos tweeted earlier today.

Maragos, 26, originally signed with the Seahawks in 2011 after being released by the 49ers. He ranked second on the team with 11 coverage tackles that season and was third last season with nine. On defense, Maragos is the backup to All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas and also has played in some of the defensive sub-packages.

“Chris is ready to play anywhere, anytime, anyhow,” defensive backs coach Kris Richard said last season. “He’s always well prepared. He’s very sharp. He’s very bright.”

And now, he’s back with the Seahawks.

“We’ve got to keep this thing rolling,” Maragos said in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and snapper Clint Gresham, the team’s other restricted free agents, already had signed their tenders.


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Seahawks tender three restricted free agents

Clinton McDonald

The Seahawks have made tenders to three players who became restricted free agents today: snapper Clint Gresham, safety Chris Maragos and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.

Gresham and Maragos were tendered at a level where the Seahawks will have the right of first refusal should they sign an offer sheet with another team. McDonald was a tendered at a level to match his draft status when he entered the league as seventh-round pick in 2009 with the Bengals. If he signs with another team, the Seahawks will receive a seventh-round draft choice as compensation.

Gresham has been a steady presence while snapping for punts, field goals and PATs since signing with the Seahawks in 2010. Maragos has been one of the more productive special teams players since being signed in 2011. He had nine coverage tackles last season to rank third on the team and 11 in 2011 to tie for second. McDonald has been a productive presence while working in the rotation at defensive tackle since coming to the Seahawks in 2011 in a trade with the Bengals. He had 25 tackles last season and 35 in 2011.


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Game at a glance: Seahawks 50, Bills 17

Russell Wilson

TORONTO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 50-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Centre on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Russell Wilson. Like last week’s 58-0 shellacking of the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, this could be a full squad selection because so many players made contributions and everyone got to play. But what the rookie QB did was special.

Wilson became the first QB in franchise history to rush for three touchdowns in a game – on runs of 14, 25 and 13 yards. He threw for a fourth – on a 4-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller. He carried nine times for 92 yards, giving him 402 for the season to break the club record of 343 by Rick Mirer in 1993. His 10.2-yard rushing average was the third-best in franchise history behind the efforts of Marshawn Lynch in the past two games – 11.6 against the Cardinals last week and 11.3 against the Bills on Sunday.

He also completed 14 of 23 passes for 205 yards and did not throw an interception, which made for a passer rating of 104.4.

All in a day’s work as the kid QB continues to grow in the offense, and allow the offense to grow because of him.

“You saw him out there,” said right tackle Breno Giacomini, who more than did his part by holding Mario Williams to no sacks and one QB hit after the Bills defensive end entered the game with 10.5 sacks. “He’s getting better by the week. His preparation is there. He just keeps getting better and we just keep getting better with him.”

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: It wasn’t a touchdown run, but Lynch’s 54-yarder in the second quarter to setup Wilson’s TD pass to Miller definitely proved a point. It was the Bills who made Lynch the 12th pick overall in 2007 NFL Draft. It was the Bills who traded Lynch to the Seahawks in 2010 for next-to-nothing. On that run, as on just about all of Lynch’s runs, he showed his strength, determination and more speed and shiftiness than anyone gives him credit for.

It also allowed Lynch to finish with 113 yards on just 10 carries, for his eighth 100-yard rushing performance of the season.

Defense: Earl Thomas didn’t just make a diving interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the third quarter, the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl free safety returned it 57 yards for a touchdown. And it was another of those uh-plays, where Thomas’ speed makes it appear that everyone else on the field has stopped running because he is running so fast.

“It was a great feeling,” Thomas said of his third interception of the season. “As soon as I caught the ball, I was thinking end zone – especially this season. I could have had eight or nine picks this season. But this was just a great play, gave our defense a lift and kept the momentum on our side.”

Special teams: The Seahawks had practiced a fake punt during the week and called it on Sunday, despite leading 47-17 at the time. The snap from Clint Gresham went to Chris Maragos, rather than punter Jon Ryan. Maragos handed the ball off to Michael Robinson, who ran 29 yards to the Bills’ 14-yard line.

Coach Pete Carroll explained that they were just trying to pick up a first down, and apologized if it looked like they were kicking the Bills when they already were down. But the play did slap an exclamation point on the 17-yard, 88-yard drive that allowed the Seahawks to hold the ball for more than nine minutes of the fourth quarter and setup Steven Hauschka’s third field goal of the day.

Turning point: It might sound crazy to say there was a turning point in this game. But after the Bills had scored 10 points in the final 70 seconds of the first half to cut the Seahawks lead to 31-17, Stevie Johnson made a leaping one-handed grab of a pass from Fitzpatrick on the third play of the third quarter – a third-and-20 play, no less – for a 25-yard gain and a first down at the Buffalo 39. But on the next play, linebacker K.J. Wright picked Fitzpatrick and returned the interception 24 yards to setup Lynch’s TD that pushed the Seahawks lead to 37-17.

“We knew we just had to come out and stop them,” Wright said. “Somebody had to do something, and fortunately I was able to come up with the turnover.”

INJURY REPORT

Defensive tackle Alan Branch sprained an ankle and Carroll said he wasn’t sure how severe the injury was. Other than that, the postgame report included nothing more than bumps and bruises.

WORTH NOTING

The Seahawks became the NFL’s third team to score 50 points in consecutive weeks, joining the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants, who both did it in 1950, according to STATS Inc. And the 108 combined points over two weeks matched the NFL’s third-highest total. The New England also scored 108 points in consecutive games last month.

With 2.5 sacks, Chris Clemons upped his season total to a career-high 11.5 – half a sack more than he produced in each of his first two seasons with the Seahawks. It also made the Leo end the first Seahawk to have double-digit sacks in three consecutive seasons since Michael Sinclair (1996-98).

Rookie Jeremy Lane made his first NFL start at right cornerback for Walter Thurmond, who injured a hamstring in practice Wednesday. Lane was all over Fitzpatrick’s long – and incomplete – throw to T.J. Graham on the Bills’ first pass play of the game and finished with three tackles.

While Wilson continued to make his case for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner continued to do the same for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He had a game-high 12 tackles, the fifth time this season he has posted double digits.

The Seahawks had three plays for 40-plus yards – Lynch’s run, as well as Wilson’s 44-yard pass to Golden Tate and a 41-yarder to Sidney Rice. The 44-yarder came after Wilson pitched the ball to Lynch, who threw the ball back to Wilson, who then completed the pass to Tate.

Despite the lopsided score, the Bills had a 100-yard receiver (Johnson with 115 on eight receptions) and a 100-yard rusher (C.J. Spiller with 103). They also had only one less first down (21) than the Seahawks (22).

Hauschka had another busy week, with three field goals, six PATs (one was blocked) and 10 kickoffs. Last week against the Cardinals, he had 21 kicks.

YOU DON’T SAY, NATIONAL-EXPOSURE EDITION

“I watched a lot of tape and it was probably the most physical game I’ve watched all year.” – former Pro Bowl safety Rodney Harrison, on the pregame show for Sunday night’s 49ers-Patriots game, discussing the Seahawks-49ers game in Week 7

YOU DON’T SAY, LOCKER-ROOM EDITION

“I’ve never been a part of something where two weeks in a row we’re able to put up so many points.” – Miller on the back-to-back 58-0 and 50-17 victories, the first time since 1950 that an NFL team has done that


Thursday cyber surfing: Veteran receivers impress in final camp open to public

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 16.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at the importance of the tall, rangy, physical cornerback in head coach Pete Carroll’s defense, and specifically looks at Richard Sherman, who Carroll tried to recruit out of high school to play corner, ” ‘He [Carroll] said I was the perfect size for a lockdown corner,’ Sherman said. So naturally, Sherman went to Stanford to catch passes instead of defend them, but six years and one position switch later, Carroll’s first impression is looking more like a prophecy. Standing 6 feet 3, Sherman is one half of a cornerback tandem that is notable for both its length and its strength. And if you’re looking for the key to what is considered one of the NFL’s rising young defenses, best start on the outside with Brandon Browner and Sherman. ‘This system is always really corner-oriented,’ Carroll said. ‘In college, I always wanted to be ‘Corner U’ because when you can have the ability to do the things we do with those corners, it allows us to do a lot of other things defensively.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Braylon Edwards, who has made an early impact in practice and in the preseason as a threat at wide receiver, “With 13 receivers on the roster, Seattle receivers coach Kippy Brown is in charge of getting each a fair look; rotating receivers through a scripted session for each practice, with specific plays in mind for each player. ‘Like any good player, he just has to get comfortable with the offense,’ Brown said of Edwards. ‘But that will come with time. And he’s already shown good playmaking ability, and we’re pleased with that.’ One player with whom Edwards has developed a nice rapport is starting quarterback Matt Flynn. The duo connected on several deep plays and red-zone touchdowns during training camp, and Edwards appears to be a target whom Flynn seeks out under duress. ‘He’s a big receiver, good hands, good route-runner – so there’s not much to not like there,’ Flynn said. ‘He’s done a very nice job. He’s making a lot of plays for us, and especially down the field. He’s a big threat because he’s a big, athletic kind of guy. And he has great concentration.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from Wednesday’s practice, “Asked to pick a story of the day, I’d say that Terrell Owens looked as if he’s getting his legs under him and feeling more comfortable. He pulled in a nice completion against Richard Sherman on a little in-and-out route during one-on-one drills, and later grabbed two touchdown passes in team (2s v. 2s) from Russell Wilson. The first score reflected well on both of them; the play appeared on the verge of breaking down, but Wilson stepped up and Owens found a spot open near the back of the end zone. He also caught a long touchdown from Wilson. On the same Veteran Receiver front, Braylon Edwards had an eye-catching one-handed grab of a poorly thrown pass during skeleton drills.

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Wednesday as the ‘Hawks wrapped up the portion of their training camp that was open to the public, “As we were told by Carroll on Tuesday, Matt Flynn took most of the snaps with the first-unit offense. He missed a couple throws in the first 11-on-11 series, but wound up connecting on a crossing route to Ricardo Lockette and Ben Obomanu. Later in practice, Flynn play-faked to a running back, bought time and completed a 60-yard strike to Obomanu just over the reach of cornerback Jeremy Lane. Russell Wilson also found Terrell Owens on a 52-yard bomb during his 11-on-11 drills. Two defensive backs appeared ready to make a play on the ball, but backed off near the goal line. Wilson also hit T.O. in the back of the end zone for another score against the second-unit defense. Kellen Winslow had a fine day receiving, as did fellow tight end Cooper Helfet, a rookie from Duke University. Three other tight ends were not in pads due to injuries: Zach Miller has a mild concussion, Anthony McCoy and Cameron Morrah leg problems.”

Liz Matthews of mynorthwest.com answers the question of whether or not Tarvaris Jackson is still in the competition at quarterback, “Seahawks incumbent starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson continues to take reps with the first-team offense, but has yet to make an appearance in a preseason game. Carroll announced Tuesday that Matt Flynn will get the start Saturday in Denver, with rookie Russell Wilson to follow in the second half. Carroll did say, however, that Jackson remains firmly in the competition. ‘Yes, absolutely he is,’ Carroll said. ‘Really this is just the way I’ve chosen to do it, I’m banking on the 18 games we’ve seen him. He knows the offense; he knows what is going on. And I watched him play last year practicing one day a week for five weeks and he can function. So I’m using all of that information to allow us the opportunity to see all of the other guys.’ “

At ESPN.com Damien Woody and Jerry Rice offer their opinion on how things might shake out in the Seahawks quarterback competition in this short video.

John Breech of CBSSports.com takes a stab at projecting the Seahawks’ final 53-man roster.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth catches up with 2012 second-round draft pick Bobby Wagner, who impressed in his first NFL action last Saturday against the Titans, “The more the coaches have seen of Wagner, the better they’ve like him. And the more Wagner sees, the better he’ll be able to play the pivotal position in the base defense – where he makes the calls in the huddle before the play, makes adjustments based on what he sees prior to the snap and then tries to take away the middle after the snap. ‘The game was a little faster than I expected,’ Wagner said. ‘But after the first couple snaps, I kind of calmed myself down and everything was moving normal speed. So I just had to pick up what the offense was trying to do.’ “

Farnsworth also has his fan-focused Hawkville, after 20,841 12th Man faithful came out to enjoy the 13 open practices at Bing Training Camp, “…the players appreciated you being here. It’s one thing to run out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field to the roar of 66,000-plus on game day. But to get a rousing reception from a thousand or more die-hards on a Wednesday morning, that’s special, too. ‘The fans help,’ right tackle Breno Giacomini said. ‘If you don’t get excited for that, then something’s wrong with you. You should probably be playing golf somewhere. I like having the fans at practice. It’s a good environment, a game-like environment for practice.’ After practice, Giacomini was one of the players who “worked the fence” – signing autographs, chatting with fans, posing for picture. ‘It’s good, man. The 12th Man is really good, and we use it to our advantage. So whenever we can give back, we do,’ he said. ‘These kids love it, just as much as I did when I was growing up.’ “

In his Seahawks Daily, Tony Ventrella has a look at quarterback Matt Flynn, who is set to start Saturday’s preseason game at the Denver Broncos, and catches up with veteran linebacker Leroy Hill and offensive tackle Russell Okung.

Seahawks long snapper Clint Gresham takes a few moments to share his camp experience with Seahawks.com.

Our fantasy writer Scott Engel of rotoexperts.com has a look at Seahawks tight ends as they relate to fantasy football in 2012.


Photoblog: Seahawks at Dallas

The Seahawks traveled to Dallas in Week Nine, and fell to the Cowboys 23-13.

Players boarded the team's Hawaiian Airlines charter under cloudy skies in Seattle.

On three day road trips, the team does a brief walkthru practice at a local school then visits the stadium for a quick look at the surroundings. Making this trip unusual on Saturday was Cowboys Stadium was full of fans as part of enhanced tour. Punter Jon Ryan is protected from curious fans as he takes in sight lines from the hashmarks.

On Saturday evening, coach Carroll sat in a far corner of the team's meal room, taking notes before the team's final meeting of the night.

Game day arrives and under the roof of Cowboys Stadium, Seahawks defensive backs huddle before pregame warmups.

Visiting players, including Texas native Earl Thomas, walk through an exclusive fan area lit by a large star as they make their way from locker room to the field.

Texas natives and honorary captains Clint Gresham (49) and Russell Okung (76) joined season captains Tarvaris Jackson (7) and Michael Robinson (26) for the coin toss.

Seattle's defense started tough, with Leroy Hill (56) and K.J Wright (50) combining to stop Dallas running back DeMarco Murray.

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch doled out early punishment and knocked off the helmet of Cowboys safety Barry Church on a first half run.

Seattle native and Dallas Mavericks star Jason Terry (center) watched from an end zone suite, and saluted Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane during a timeout.

Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson fires a pass towards the sideline.

Head coach Pete Carroll congratulates Heath Farwell after a special teams tackle.

Safety Kam Chancellor dives but could only come up with the towel of Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray on this play.

Seahawks cornerback Roy Lewis came up with the football after Richard Sherman's hard hit forced Dallas' Dez Bryant to fumble near the goal line.

It's said that everything is bigger in Texas, and in Dallas that includes stationing dancers high above the field on elevated stages near the roof of the stadium.

Marshawn Lynch ran, rumbled and rolled for 135 yards on 23 carries, one of the bright spots for the Seahawks.

Marshawn Lynch reaches the ball over the goal line for Seattle's lone touchdown on a four-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson scrambles and is brought down in the fourth quarter.

Marshawn Lynch sits on the turf after being tackled and losing his helmet.

The noon kickoff meant that the Seahawks boarded their return charter in the fading Texas light.

On the return flight to Seattle, offensive line coach Tom Cable was already going over game video with rookie right guard John Moffitt as staff and players wasted no time working to find ways to improve.


Photoblog: Playoff Run Ends in Chicago

Seattle traveled to Chicago to face the Bears in a NFC Divisional Playoff game at Soldier Field, where for the second week in a row they were vast underdogs. After two amazing weeks of football, the Seahawks run came to an end on a frozen, snowy day in the Windy City.

Crowds of Seahawks fans cheered from roadside and along freeway overpasses as the team's caravan of buses headed from the VMAC to the airport on Friday.

The Seahawks arrived in Chicago to snow on the ground and temperatures in the 20's.

On Saturday, the team did their walk-thru at an indoor facility at Northwestern University before a quick trip to Soldier Field where head coach Pete Carroll took a walk near midfield.

On Sunday morning, Carroll greeted fans in the lobby of the team hotel before boarding a charter bus headed for the stadium.

Members of the equipment staff adjust the cleats of receiver Brandon Stokley before the game.

Long-snapper Clint Gresham warmed up on a stationary bike near the sinks in the locker room.

Leon Washington "taps in" on his way to the field.

Tight ends Cameron Morrah and John Carlson get together in the tunnel before heading to the field.

The Seahawks gathered around Lawyer Milloy before taking the field for kickoff.

Matt Hasselbeck fires a pass to tight end John Carlson, who gained 14 yards on the play before being injured and removed from the game with a concussion.

Seattle's defense tried to swarm around Chicago running back Matt Forte.

Chicago's Matt Forte flies over the pile near the goal line, but Seattle's defense stopped him short.

As snow continued to fall, Soldier Field's grounds crew worked hard to keep field markings visible.

Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant breaks up a pass over the middle intended for Chicago's Earl Bennett.

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu is tackled after a 12-yard reception from Matt Hasselbeck.

Brandon Stokley, who had eight catches for 85 yards to lead the Seahawks, dives ahead for more yardage.

Seattle caught a break when a pass tipped by Chicago's Charles Tillman is caught by the Seahawks' Mike Williams in the end zone for a touchdown.

Williams celebrates the touchdown, which made the score 35-17 in favor of the Bears.

Head coach Pete Carroll paces the sidelines as his team scored 21 fourth quarter points, but it wasn't enough.

As a NFL Films microphone looms above, Carroll hugs quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in the locker room after the game. At left is quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, and at right is receiver's coach Kippy Brown.

Defensive captain Lofa Tatupu, who recovered from a concussion in time to play in the game, is consoled by Carroll in the locker room as the season came to an end.