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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
The Seahawks traveled to Dallas in Week Nine, and fell to the Cowboys 23-13.
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.
A recap of the activities on Day 5 of NFC West Championship week:
Clint Gresham. ’Tis the season. No, that was last week. But for the Seahawks’ long snapper, it’s always the giving season.
On Christmas Eve, Gresham donated five Wii systems to the families at Vision House, which provides transitional housing for homeless single mothers and their children. He returned on Wednesday, with autographed mini Seahawks helmets for the kids and then them outside for a few pointers on the fine art of snapping.
“I’ve been wanting to get involved somehow in the community, and just have an opportunity to share my faith and be involved in the lives of these kids,” Gresham said today, after the team’s next-to-last practice for Sunday’s big game against the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field to determine the champion of the NFC West.
“It was great. We went outside. I taught them all how to long snap.”
Gresham cracked a smile before adding, “So in about 15 years I’ll be having some competition.”