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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

FOCUS ON

Russell Wison

Russell Wison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OBOMANU TO IR

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

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

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

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

STATS ’N STUFF

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

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

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

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

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

STAT DU JOUR

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

Opponent (date)                              No.   Yards    Avg.

Lions (Oct. 29, 2012)                        12       105      8.8

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

Rams (Sept. 30, 2012)                      20      118       5.9

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

Eagles (Dec. 1, 2011)                        22      148       6.7

Cowboys (Nov. 6, 2011)                   23      135       5.9

Rams (Dec. 12, 2011)                        23      115       5.0

Redskins (Nov. 27, 2011)                  24      111       4.6

Cowboys (Sept. 16, 2012)                 26      122       4.7

Ravens (Nov. 13, 2011)                     32      109       3.4

UP NEXT

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

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

YOU DON’T SAY

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


Obomanu goes on injured reserve

Ben Obomanu

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu

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

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

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

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


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Friday in Hawkville: Mebane returns; Trufant’s status game-day decision

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 5:

FOCUS ON

Brandon Mebane and Marcus Trufant. The Seahawks’ No. 2-ranked defense got healthier today as Mebane and Trufant returned to practice.

Mebane, who’s having a Pro Bowl-caliber start to the season at nose tackle, is ready to play in Sunday’s game against the Panthers in Carolina, coach Pete Carroll said, after sitting out on Thursday to rest a sore calf.

“Mebane made it back and he’s in good shape,” Carroll said.

Trufant, the nickel back, practiced for the first time this week after experiencing back problems following last week’s loss to the Rams in St. Louis. But Carroll wasn’t as definitive about Trufant’s status against the Panthers.

“Tru made it through practice, but we still have to wait on him,” Carroll said. “He was a little bit limited today. We’ll see if Tru can go on game day.”

Trufant is listed as questionable, a designation that means he has a 50-50 chance to play.

If Trufant can’t go against the Panthers, recently signed Danny Gorrer and Byron MAxwell would fill in.

OPPONENT WATCH

Josh Norman. After Captain Munnerlyn allowed more completions than any cornerback in the NFL last season, the Panthers went shopping for an upgrade and selected Norman in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Norman played at Coastal Carolina and is no stranger to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, also a rookie who played his first three seasons of college ball at North Carolina State and worked out with Norman at IMG prior the Scouting Combine.

“He’s physical. He makes a lot of plays,” Wilson said. “He’s done a great job. He’s very intelligent, as you can see on film. I’m looking forward to it.”

Norman is third on the team in tackles (33) and shares the lead with three passes defensed.

INJURY REPORT

The official end-of-the-week status report, as released by the team:

Out

OG John Moffitt (knee)

DE Jaye Howard (foot)

Questionable

CB Marcus Trufant (back)

Probable

DT Brandon Mebane (calf)

RB Marshawn Lynch (rest)

For the Panthers:

Out

OG/C Mike Pollak (shoulder)

Doubtful

LB Jon Beason (knee)

CB Chris Gamble (shoulder)

Questionable

OG/C Geoff Hangartner (knee)

Probable

S Colin Jones (shoulder)

DE Antwan Applewhite (knee)

DE Frank Alexander (back)

Beason and Gamble have not practiced all week, so it remains to be seen whether the Panthers will be without their leading tackler and best cover corner.

STAT DU JOUR

Have we already written enough about Lynch this week? Impossible. He leads the league in rushing, after all. And he has been the league’s leading rusher since Week 9 of last season. Here’s a look at who’s been chasing Lynch during that 13-game span:

Player, team                                      Att.    Yards   Avg.   TD

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks          303    1,364    4.5     11

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars        249    1,218    4.9       6

Ray Rice, Ravens                              240     1,192   5.0     10

Reggie Bush, Dolphins                     208    1,120    5.4      8

UP NEXT

The team left for Charlotte after a midday practice and will hold its Saturday walkthrough there.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Me and Warren’s relationship is unbelievable. I feel as if he’s a father figure, a big brother, somebody that I can call with any type of situation when it comes to this game – on the field and off the field.” – Panthers QB Cam Newton on Warren Moon, the Hall of Fame QB who is the analyst for road broadcasts of Seahawks games and also was a confidant for Newton in the process leading up to the draft last year


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Thursday in Hawkville: Wilson ignoring the noise, preparing for ‘homecoming’ game

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 4:

FOCUS ON

Ignore the noise. That’s how Russell Wilson always has dealt with the criticism and praise that comes with playing the quarterback position, and it’s serving him well this week because of the external backlash created by his three-interception performance in Sunday’s six-point loss to the Rams in St. Louis.

“I ignore the noise, man,” Wilson said today, when the team continued to prepare for this week’s game against the Panthers in Charlotte, N.C. “No matter how good I’m doing or how bad I’m doing. I learned that lesson a long time ago. I try to stay away from it as much as I can, just to stay humble during the good times and stay humble during the bad times and realize that it’s a humbling game no matter how good or how bad you’re doing.

“So you always have to stay focused on what you’re doing and just keep learning from your mistakes and keep going.”

This week, Wilson’s focus is on improving the passing game, in general, and the Seahawks’ performances on third down and in the red zone, specifically. The passing game ranks last in the NFL, averaging 130.8 yards per game. The Seahawks also are converting 28 percent on third downs (14 of 50) and have scored three touchdowns in 11 trips into the red zone.

Wilson’s background as a baseball player has helped him in being able to ignore the noise during the early struggles for the offense.

“In baseball, when you go 3 for 10 and you’re a Hall of Famer,” he said. “In football, that’s no good. So I think the main thing is just having amnesia, like I always say. Just remain humble during the good times and remain humble during the bad times, and just keep fighting and keep working to be great.

“Don’t ever let that change. And that’s one thing I’ll never do. I’ll never let my desire to be great ever waver.”

Sunday’s game is a homecoming of sorts for Wilson. He played at North Carolina State for three seasons and grew up in Richmond, Va., which is a five-hour drive from Charlotte. He is expecting 50 family members and friends to be at the game.

“I’m looking forward to going back there to North Carolina and playing in a big game,” Wilson said. “My focus is: How can we win? How can we play at a high level and do what we need to do?”

And continue to ignore the noise.

OPPONENT WATCH

Jon Beason. Fullback Michael Robinson built his Pro Bowl season last year with a season-long string of strong performances against some of the best middle linebackers in the game: the Ravens’ Ray Lewis, 49ers’ Patrick Willis (twice), Bears’ Brian Urlacher and Redskins’ London Fletcher. In those five games, Marshawn Lynch ran for 402 of his 1,204 yards and scored four of his 12 rushing touchdowns – with Robinson leading the way with a series of impressive lead blocks.

Now comes Beason, the Panthers’ middle linebacker who was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

“Beason is a really, really good player,” Robinson said. “He’s explosive at the point of attack. He definitely is a player you’ve got to keep your eyes on the entire game. He’s very, very fast and he runs sideline to sideline. And again, he’s very explosive at the point of attack.”

Robinson then cracked the slightest of smiles before adding, “He’s a guy that I look forward to dealing with.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Out

OG John Moffitt (knee)

Did not practice

CB Marcus Trufant (back)

DT Brandon Mebane (calf)

DE Jaye Howard (foot)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (rest)

Trufant did some running and agility work on a side field during practice and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said, “Hopefully Tru is ready to go.” If he isn’t, recently signed Danny Gorrer has been getting a lot of work as the nickel back this week. “His experience of playing the position before has helped,” Bradley said. “Now he’s just learning how we term things. … But you can see he has some of the skillset – the speed and the quickness – that we’re looking for.”

Mebane was given the day off to rest a sore calf, so Clinton McDonald work at nose tackle with the No. 1 defense. Lynch participating in all drills after the NFL’s leading rusher was limited on Wednesday.

For the Panthers:

Did not practice

LB Jon Beason (knee)

CB Chris Gamble (shoulder)

OG/C Geoff Hangartner (knee)

S Colin Jones (shoulder)

OG/C Mike Pollak (shoulder)

Full participation

DE Antwan Applewhite (knee)

DE Frank Alexander (back)

Beason and Gamble did not practice for the second consecutive day. Beason leads the Panthers in tackles (38), while Gamble is their best cover corner.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks have used eight starting offensive linemen in four games, which ties for the most in the NFL with the Jaguars (thanks to ESPN.com’s Mike Sando for this nugget) — Russell Okung, Frank Omiyale, Paul McQuistan, James Carpenter, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, John Moffitt and Breno Giacomini. Here’s a look at the combination the Seahawks have used to reach that number:

Opponent            LT                 LG                 C             RG                     RT

Cardinals          Okung         McQuistan    Unger    Sweezy         Giacomini

Cowboys          Omiyale      McQuistan    Unger     Moffitt         Giacomini

Packers             Okung         McQuistan    Unger     Moffitt         Giacomini

Cardinals          Okung         Carpenter      Unger     McQuistan  Giacomini

UP NEXT

One long day, as the team will fly to Charlotte on Friday after the players have a midday practice. They will hold their Saturday walkthrough in Charlotte.

YOU DON’T SAY

“All 11.” – Bradley, laughing, when asked how to attack Panthers QB Cam Newton


Wednesday in Hawkville: Wagner doing more than just filling a hole in the middle

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 3:

FOCUS ON

Bobby Wagner. Tuesday, we tabbed the middle linebacker as our best rookie in the first quarter of the season. Today, coach Pete Carroll seconded that notion, and then some.

“I think it’s worth noting at the quarter point of the season that there are a lot of good things that have happened, particularly for some of the young guys who have come on. Bobby is one of them,” Carroll said of the Seahawks’ second-round pick in April’s NFL Draft.

“He’s really playing good football. He’s doing a terrific job of handling things. He’s shown up with big hits and he’s shown up covering well. He’s chasing the football. You can see the speed that he has.”

And Wagner is doing it in what was the one hole in the defense after the club decided not to re-sign three-time leading tackler David Hawthorne in free agency. Entering Sunday’s game against the Panthers in Carolina, Wagner is third on the team in tackles (22), and had three for losses among his team-leading seven solo stops against the Rams on Sunday.

“We don’t have anything we can’t do right now,” Carroll said. “He can play. He can play in nickel situations. He can do everything that we want him to right now.

“That’s a major statement for us.”

And a major statement about just how well the rookie from Utah State is playing at the next level.

POSITION WATCH

Nickel back. Marcus Trufant was sidelined today because of a back issue that Carroll said is related to the problems that forced him to miss the first six games in 2009 and the last 12 games last season.

It’s significant because of the problems the Seahawks’ No. 2-ranked defense has had getting off the field on third downs. Opponents are converting 43.1 percent on third downs, and the Rams did it five times in Sunday’s game despite facing at least a third-and-10 situation on each play.

With Trufant sitting out, recently signed Danny Gorrer and second-year corner Byron Maxwell filled in for him during practice.

OPPONENT WATCH

The Panthers’ offense. It starts with QB Cam Newton, but it definitely doesn’t stop there. Just ask Carroll.

“Boy, this is a loaded offense that we’re dealing with,” Carroll said. “We had a lot of respect for Cam Newton coming out in the draft. … But to see him now and see the offense they’re running and what they’re doing with the three running backs that they have is terrific. (Tight end Greg) Olsen and Steve Smith outside.

“This is a really, really difficult offense and they’re doing a great job. Ron (Rivera, Panthers coach) has put together an offense that is very, very explosive. It’s a good matchup for us.”

Newton and DeAngelo Williams each have 167 rushing yards to pace the Panthers, while Jonathan Stewart has 91 and the most impressive number with Mike Tolbert is 245 – his weight. Olsen leads the Panthers with 20 receptions, while Smith has 17.

The Panthers also have produced a glut of explosive plays: a 66-yard reception by Smith; a 55-yard reception by Louis Murphy; a 36-yard TD catch by Kealoha Pilares; a 34-yard reception by Olsen; a 40-yard run by Newton; a 27-yard run by Williams; and a 25-yard run by wide receiver Brandon LeFell.

“They average 10 or 11 (explosives plays) a game,” Carroll said. “That’s an enormous number. That’s a big challenge for us.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Out

OG John Moffitt (knee)

Did not practice

CB Marcus Trufant (back)

DE Jaye Howard (foot)

Limited in practice

RB Marshawn Lynch (rest)

Moffitt already has been ruled out for Sunday’s game because of the knee injury he got in Week 3 against the Packers. So James Carpenter will start at left guard, with Paul McQuistan sliding to the right side to replace Moffitt as he did Sunday against the Rams. With Lynch seeing little action in practice, rookie Robert Turbin got a lot of work with the No. 1 offense. Turbin ran for 45 yards on six carries against the Rams on Sunday.

For the Panthers:

Did not practice

DE Frank Alexander (back)

LB Jon Beason (knee)

CB Chris Gamble (shoulder)

OG/C Geoff Hangartner (knee)

S Colin Jones (shoulder)

Limited in practice

OG/C Mike Pollak (shoulder)

Full participation

DE Antwan Applewhite (knee)

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES

Rookie free agent tight end Sean McGrath has been re-signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot, running back Lonyae Miller was released.

McGrath was added to the practice squad after being released on the final roster cut in August; released two days later; re-signed five days after that; and then released last week.

STAT DU JOUR

Which is better, the Seahawks’ kickoff return unit or the Seahawks’ kickoff coverage unit? Neither, because both units lead the NFL in average starting position after four games. Here’s a look at how the Seahawks stack up:

Kickoff coverage

Team                     Kickoffs    Avg. start

Seahawks                  15          18.3

Ravens                       24          19.3

Jets                             18          19.3

Bears                          23          19.6

Redskins                    23          19.6

Kickoff return

Team                       Returns    Avg. start

Seahawks                   16             27.8

Vikings                        21             27.5

49ers                           14            26.4

Falcons                       14             25.5

Bears                           15            25.2

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. The team will leave for Charlotte on Friday following a midday practice.

Just a reminder: Sunday’s game has a late kickoff – 4:05 p.m. in Charlotte; 1:05 p.m. in Seattle.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I think Russell Wilson’s going to be OK. I just think people need to relax a little bit, don’t push the panic button. Let’s see where we go this week. I think he’s going to come back and play very strong. I really do.” – Warren Moon, Hall of Fame QB and analyst for Seahawks radio broadcasts, on the team’s rookie quarterback during an interview on 710 ESPN


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Friday in Hawkville: A closer look at the Thomas, Gorrer connection

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 21:

FOCUS ON

Earl Thomas and Danny Gorrer. The newest member of the 53-man roster was signed on Tuesday and practiced for the first time on Thursday, when Thomas also discussed his brother-like relationship with Gorrer.

But one thing Thomas said requires additional attention: “Growing up where we came from, our mentality is different from a lot of people.”

It’s not the first time Thomas, the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl free safety, has alluded to life in their shared corner of Texas – he is from Orange; Gorrer is from Port Arthur.

“You’ve got to work a little harder than everybody else,” said Gorrer, a fourth-year cornerback who entered the NFL as a rookie free agent in 2009 with the Saints and also has spent time with the Rams and Ravens. “Because if you don’t make it in something you love doing, no telling what you’ll be doing.

“So you’ve got to have that mentality: You want out. That’s the way we look at things still to this day. We’re still not out yet, so you’ve got to keep grinding.”

Thomas also referred to Gorrer as “an inspiration in my life” and said they were “closest friends through the whole journey that we both had.” It’s a journey that took Gorrer from Memorial High School in Port Arthur, where he was an all-state selection, to Texas A&M; and Thomas from West Orange-Stark High, where he also was an all-state player, to the University Texas, to being the Seahawks as a first-round draft choice in 2010, to being a Pro Bowl starter in only his second season.

“It kind of feels weird having him here,” Thomas said. “I kind of see him like every bye week we have or on vacation, so it’s just kind of crazy to see him right on the sideline next to me. But it’s fun at the same time.”

Gorrer is staying with Thomas, but he stresses that they’re both here to do a job.

“It’s a blessing,” Gorrer said. “But at the same time it’s work. When we’re at work, we’re at work. We barely talk. But when we get to the house, it’s ‘Good job,’ and we get to have a little fun.”

While Thomas calls Gorrer “an inspiration,” Gorrer refers to Thomas as “my brother.”

“Him looking up to me is an honor,” said Gorrer, who is 16 months older than Thomas. “Because at the same time I look up to him.”

COMMERCIAL BREAK

Russell Wilson, the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback, has yet to see the commercial he did for Levi’s on TV. He’s been too busy preparing for Monday night’s game against the Packers at CenturyLink Field.

“I’m here all day,” Wilson said. “I’m so focused on football I don’t really pay attention to it.”

Others, however, have.

“I’ve gotten a lot of text messages and emails and stuff like that about it,” he said. “It’s pretty cool, because it’s the honest truth about me and just kind of how I grew up. So that’s kind of the cool part about it all.”

PICTURE NEAR-PERFECT

The backup or No. 3 quarterback spends the week portraying that week’s opposing QB in practice. For the Seahawks, that means Matt Flynn has been playing the part of the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. And who better? Flynn was Rodgers’ backup the past four seasons in Green Bay before signing with the Seahawks in free agency.

“How about Flynn today? Did he do a great job?” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said after practice. “He really gave a good look on just how fast a tempo it is and the speed and the hot (reads) that (Rodgers) hits.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as released by the team:

Did not practice

WR Doug Baldwin (shoulder)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Full participation

TE Zach Miller (foot)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Charly Martin (chest)

OT Russell Okung

Baldwin sat out because of the shoulder he injured in practice on Thursday. But Lynch and Miller participated in all phases after being limited on Thursday.

For the Packers:

Did not practice

LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle)

Limited participation

TE Tom Crabtree (shoulder)

WR Greg Jennings (groin)

WR Randall Cobb (hamstring)

CB Davon House (shoulder)

OG Josh Sitton (knee)

RB James Starks (toe)

DE C.J. Wilson (groin)

Full participation

LB Terrell Manning (concussion)

LB Nick Perry (wrist)

UP NEXT

A rare regular-season Saturday practice. Because the team is playing Monday night, its usual “No Repeat Friday” practice will be held tomorrow.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s almost like, I don’t know how we’ll do. I don’t know. We’re going to go in and test our philosophy, see how it works. But they’ll know we’re there. We’re going to him ’em. We’re going to hustle. We’re going to be ball hawks. We’re going to go for that ball. And our guys say, ‘You know what? We’re ready for this challenge. We’re ready for this challenge, let’s go see. Let’s go play the game and see what happens.’ If there are things that go wrong, we’ll get them fixed. But we’re just going to try to keep building on it. With our guys, that’s how they look at it. So they’re excited. What a great opportunity. This is one of the best offenses in the league; the most-explosive offense. Let’s go see how we do. But let’s go play fast now. That’s the exciting part of it.” – Bradley on the multifaceted challenges presented by the Packers offense


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Thursday in Hawkville: ‘Rules are rules,’ Tate says of his fine

A recap of the day’s events at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 20:

FOCUS ON

Golden Tate. The Seahawks’ third-year wide receiver plans to appeal the fine the NFL levied against him on Wednesday for his block on linebacker Sean Lee in Sunday’s victory over the Cowboys, in part to find out what he can do if put in a similar situation.

“I’m sure the commissioner went long and hard thinking about it and he thought that was right,” Tate said Thursday, when the team began preparing for Monday night’s game against the Packers at CenturyLink Field. “So I have to deal with it, fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s unfortunate that I got fined, but rules are rules.”

Tate also went long and hard thinking about the situation.

“That night, I looked over the hit several times, talked with some other people that had knowledge of the game, and I had mixed reviews. Some thought it was illegal, some thought it was legal. So I’m sure it was a tough decision.”

Tate will be seeking some clarification during his appeal process.

“When I do my appeal I’m going to ask them that: What would you suggest that I do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again?” he said “Because I never have intentions on injuring a player and I always want to play within the rules. So that’s a question that is going to come up when I have my appeal.”

Is the situation a distraction as Tate prepares for the Packers? Hardly.

“There’s been a lot,” he said when asked about the attention the block generated. “I try not to worry about it though. It’s a new week. I’m trying to forget about what happened last week and prepare for the Packers.”

PLAYER WATCH

Danny Gorrer. The newest member of the 53-man roster practiced with the team for the first time and the fourth-year cornerback broke up a sideline pass. Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas gets an assist for the team giving him a workout and then deciding to sign him on Tuesday.

“We had some inside scoop on him. Earl had grown up with him, and looked up to him as a young kid,” coach Pete Carroll said. “So we had some insights about him.”

Thomas grew up in Orange, Texas; Gorrer in Port Arthur, also the home of former Cowboys and Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson, former Seahawks defensive back Jordan Babineaux and late rock-blues singer Janis Joplin.

“That’s only about 10 minutes from Orange,” Thomas said. “He’s been an inspiration in my life.”

Now, he’s the latest member of the Seahawks’ secondary with silly speed. During his workout, Thomas said that Gorrer ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 or 4.38 seconds.

“He’s very fast,” Thomas said. “It was funny to see him out there running. He didn’t stretch that much and he still ran (that fast). So that’s one thing you can’t coach.”

OPPONENT WATCH

(AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)

Clay Matthews. Once a 208-pound walk-on at USC for Carroll, Matthews has grown into one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. In two games, the 255-pound linebacker has six sacks for the Packers.

Finding out where No. 52 is on every snap, and having a plan for how to deal with him, is Priority One of the Seahawks’ offense this week.

“He’s just about as tenacious as a player as you come up against,” coordinator Darrell Bevell said after practice. “He’s got great skill. His speed. His power. But I think the best think about him is he never stops. He continues to go from snap to whistle.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as released by the team:

Did not practice

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Limited participation

TE Zach Miller (foot)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Doug Baldwin (shoulder)

Full participation

WR Charly Martin (chest)

OT Russell Okung

The Seahawks got one receiver back – Martin, who practiced for the first time since bruising a lung in the opener against the Cardinals. But they then lost one – Baldwin, who had to leave practice.

While Lynch did very little in the team portions of practice as far as carrying the ball, he was helping the linemen with their reads and fits before and after snaps.

For the Packers:

Did not practice

TE Tom Crabtree (shoulder)

WR Greg Jennings (groin)

LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle)

Limited participation

WR Randall Cobb (hamstring)

CB Davon House (shoulder)

OG Josh Sitton (knee)

RB James Starks (toe)

DE C.J. Wilson (groin)

Full participation

LB Terrell Manning (concussion)

LB Nick Perry (wrist)

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday.” But today is Thursday. Only outside VMAC. Because of the Monday night game, the calendar week has been pushed back a day in the preparation week. Today was “Competition Wednesday,” as the players returned from their second off day this week. After “Turnover Thursday” (on Friday), it will be “No Repeat Friday” (on Saturday).

YOU DON’T SAY

“Concerned isn’t really the right word. I just think you have to be aware of it because it’s a factor. Those fans are really intelligent fans. They know when to cheer. They get so stinkin’ loud out there. They do a really good job of giving the defense that advantage when you have to go on some silent counts or when we’re trying to hear each other or communicate with each other. They do a real good job of that. They should be commended for that. … It’s definitely an extra factor and aid for that defense.” – Packers QB Aaron Rodgers when asked about the 12th Man crowd at CenturyLink


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Wednesday cyber surfing: NFC West no longer considered “NFC Worst”

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 19.

We start with a few roster moves that were announced by the team yesterday – the Seahawks released running back Kregg Lumpkin from the active roster and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and linebacker Allen Bradford from the practice squad. In their places, the team announced the signing of cornerback Danny Gorrer to the active roster, and the signing of linebacker Korey Toomer and offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson to the practice squad.

Coach Pete Carroll has an addition to his blog at WinForever.com, as he emphasizes the importance of moving on from the week before, “So now the challenge this week is the same as last week, even though we’re coming off of a win instead of a loss. We’ve got to leave last Sunday behind and turn our entire focus to performing how we know how to perform come Monday night at home. After all, it’s what we do now that counts.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that one should not judge rookie quarterback Russell Wilson by his lack of height,“Wilson’s height is just one part of his makeup, and not necessarily the most important part. He is a short quarterback, but he’s also a fast quarterback. He’s a smart quarterback. He’s a strong-armed quarterback. He also has really big hands (for whatever that’s worth). Four inches are about all that separates him from being the ideal NFL quarterback prospect. Those four inches are significant, but they might not turn out be the kind of dealbreaker that some have assumed.”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says that this Seahawks defense might be the best that they’ve ever had, “The statistics fail to measure the physically intimidating play of this unit, which is its dominant characteristic. And in games at home, it inflames the fans, which, in turn, further energizes the players. ‘The way we want to play is really tough, hard-nosed football,’ Carroll said. ‘And we brought in guys to do that … guys who run fast and hit.’ They certainly do … perhaps to a historic degree.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald notes the improvement of the NFC West division, “…it’s looking more and more likely that the 49ers won’t be the only playoff contender in their division. Arizona was largely dismissed coming into the season thanks to uncertainty at quarterback, but the Cardinals are 2-0 and coming off of shocking win in New England. Going back to last season, the Cardinals are 9-2 since starting the year with a 1-6 record. Seattle also finished last season strong, and after a close loss in Arizona, the Seahawks thumped Dallas on Sunday, physically dominating a Cowboys squad that many had pegged as one of the top teams in the NFC after they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Week 1. Throw in St. Louis, which after going 2-14 last year opened this season with a close loss at Detroit and a comeback win over Washington, and it is looking more and more like the NFC West is a division of teams ready to push back rather than be pushovers.”

Don Banks of SI.com shares a similar sentiment to Boyle, citing the NFC West as the division with the best combined record through Week 2, “It’s the only one of the NFL’s eight divisions with a pair of 2-0 teams (San Francisco, Arizona), and the division’s cumulative 6-2 record is the best in the league. With one of the West’s two losses coming in head-to-head play (Arizona over Seattle in Week 1), its only defeat outside the division was St. Louis’ last-minute, opening-week loss at Detroit. The West’s 5-1 record outside the division is tops in the NFL, and the division’s 4-0 record in Week 2 was only its second such perfect mark since realignment in 2002.”

Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com has an extensive look at quarterback Russell Wilson, “Wilson has been called a test study in a league that hinges on centimeters and is steadfast on black-and-white metrics. A wide receiver is supposed to run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, an offensive lineman is supposed to weigh 300 pounds and a quarterback is supposed to stand at least 6-foot-2. ‘He’s what you call an outlier,’ said former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, whose grading system would’ve subtracted 15 points for Wilson’s height. ‘You go broke looking for those guys. For every guy that you draft that’s three inches and four inches below the accepted minimum, 99 of 100 are going to fail. He’s a real exception. Have you ever talked to him personally? He’s the most dynamic guy you’ll ever be around. He has such an unusual flair. I mean, this guy wins you over with two minutes’ talk. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a quarterback that’s undersized like he is that has been so dynamic.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a closer look at backup left tackle Frank Omiyale’s day against the Dallas Cowboys, “Frank Omiyale, Seahawks: Omiyale started against Dallas while Russell Okung was recovering from a bruised knee. Okung is expected back to face Clay Matthews and the Green Bay Packers’ defense on “Monday Night Football” in Week 3. The Seahawks helped Omiyale some of the time. Omiyale held up without assistance when protecting Russell Wilson’s blind side during a 22-yard scoring pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Dallas’ Demarcus Ware finished the game with no sacks. Seattle rushed for 182 yards while allowing only two sacks, one of which resulted from an unblocked rusher coming free on Wilson’s front side, away from Omiyale. Seattle got through this game as well as could be expected. The team has averaged 3.5 yards per rush with Okung and 4.4 yards without him. The per-carry average was slightly higher without Okung last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. There are other variables, however. Okung is easily the most talented option at tackle.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth says that the Seahawks special teams unit met all 12 goals set by special teams coordinator Brian Schneider for the very first time, and catches up with Omiyale about his game against the Cowboys.

On the video side, we bring you a look at the SeaHawkers Booster Club’s King St. Kickoff event last week before the first home game, and we recap the Sea Gals performance at the Puyallup Fair.


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Tuesday in Hawkville: Omiyale to the rescue

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 18:

FOCUS ON

Frank Omiyale. After being a last-minute replacement for left tackle Russell Okung in Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, Omiyale’s performance against sack-specialist DeMarcus Ware was greeted with a chorus of, “Wow, look what he was able to do.”

Omiyale’s reaction? It was more, “Whoa, this is what I’m here to do.”

The plan all week was that Okung would be able to play, despite bruising his left knee in the season opener. But when he simply wasn’t mobile enough in pregame warm-ups, Okung was inactive and Omiyale moved in against the hyperactive Ware.

The Seahawks’ plan for Ware? “Our plan was to hope he didn’t kill us,” coach Pete Carroll said after the game.

Omiyale helped make sure that didn’t happen, by simply going about his business in the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory.

“That’s definitely why I’m here,” he said today, when the players had meetings but did not practice in between off days because this week’s game is on Monday night against the Packers.

“I have starter’s ability. But I’m just glad that I could show up for the team when they needed me.”

Omiyale has started in the league before – 31 games the past three seasons with the Bears; and he also has played for line coach Tom Cable before – in 2006, his second NFL season, while with the Falcons.

It was that combination of familiarity with what it takes to be a starter in the league and what Cable demands from his linemen that brought Omiyale to Seattle in free agency during the offseason.

“That’s a statement I couldn’t wait to get at in the locker room because it’s going to happen at other positions throughout the year,” Carroll said on Monday. “You expect guys to jump in there and do their best. We need them to holdup the same level of play.

“Frank did that. He got knocked around a little bit at times playing against a great player. But he held his own. He had a credible game and we’re thankful he could get that done.”

ROSTER MOVES

Cornerback Danny Gorrer was added to the 53-man roster today, while linebacker Korey Toomer and guard Rishaw Johnson were re-signed to the practice squad.

To clear spots, running back Kregg Lumpkin was released from the 53-man roster and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and linebacker Allen Bradford were released from the practice squad.

Gorrer entered the league as a rookie free agent with Saints in 2009, and also has spent time with the Rams and Ravens. He made his only start in 2009 with the Rams and played in 11 games last season with the Ravens.

STAT DU JOUR

Guess who has the best winning percentage in the history of “Monday Night Football”? The Seahawks, whose 17-8 record makes for a winning percentage of .680.

Here are the best winning percentages on MNF:

Team             Wins     Losses       Pct.

Seahawks       17           8            .680

Steelers          39         23            .629

49ers               41         25           .621

Colts                20         13           .606

Giants              38         25          .602

UP NEXT

The players have their second off day of the week on Wednesday, before returning Thursday to start practicing for Monday night’s game.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’ve been around some great backs – Warrick Dunn in Atlanta and (Matt) Forte in Chicago – but I’ve never been around a back like Marshawn.” – Omiyale on Marshawn Lynch, who had 100 of his 122 rushing yards against the Cowboys in the second half


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