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Game at a glance: Another dominant defensive effort

DENVER – A recap of the Seahawks’ 30-10 victory over the Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday night:

PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The Seahawks defense. From backup strong safety Jeron Johnson, who had an interception and a fumble-forcing hit in the first half; to Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor, who had a game-high six tackles before giving way to Johnson in the second quarter; to the unlikely tandem of 330-pound end Red Bryant and 6-foot-4 linebacker K.J. Wright, who deflected and intercepted a Peyton Manning pass with the Broncos on the Seahawks’ 9-yard line; to rookie defensive lineman Greg Scruggs, who had a fourth-quarter sack.

The Seahawks faced Manning in his Mile High debut and stared down the future Hall of Fame QB.

Three of the Broncos’ six first-half possessions ended in turnovers and another was a three-and-out. In the second half, after Manning and the Seahawks’ No. 1 defense had called it a night, the Broncos’ first three possessions were three-and-outs and they were held to one first down and 37 yards.

You get the picture. As good as rookie QB Russell Wilson was in the second half – again – the defense was even better from start to finish.

“I thought the defense played really well in the first half,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We really were getting after the football. And in the second, our guys didn’t give up anything but one first down and really were able to keep them down in great fashion.”

PLAYS OF THE GAME
Defense: So many from which to choose. But let’s go with perhaps the most-timely of the turnovers. The Broncos had the ball at the Seahawks’ 9-yard line after blocking a punt. But Bryant got up to deflect a Manning pass and Wright made the interception and a 24-yard return. That led to the first of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals and gave the Seahawks a 3-0 lead.

Offense: Again, Wilson did so many things well. But on a third-and-17 play on the first possession of the second half, he found tight end Anthony McCoy for a 26-yard completion to the Broncos’ 35-yard line. Five plays later, Kregg Lumpkin scored on a 16-yard run and the rout was on.

Special teams: Hauschka’s hat-trick, especially when you consider that last year he kicked the game-winner in overtime here – for the Broncos.

INJURY REPORT
Carroll reported no serious injuries from the game, but several players were not in uniform while watching the game from the sideline – wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice and Ben Obomanu, defensive lineman Jason Jones and defensive back Roy Lewis.

YOU DON’T SAY
“We were terrible in that regard. … We have to play penalty free.” – Carroll, on the Seahawks’ seven penalties for 75 yards that included unnecessary-roughness calls against offensive linemen Breno Giacomini and Deuce Lutui


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Friday cyber surfing: Camp is wrapped; on to Denver

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 17.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times calls Russell Okung one of the most important players to the Seahawks season, and also one that has gone largely unmentioned through training camp, “Left tackle Russell Okung is fine with that. After the way his past two seasons started, he would actually prefer it. He was injured during Seattle’s first exhibition game each of his first two seasons, so when he made it through the opener Saturday unscathed, it seemed like a good time to ask the big man how he was feeling. He wasn’t interested in answering that question. At least not on the record. It’s a pinch of the old-school approach Okung has taken, choosing to be seen as opposed to heard when it comes to the media. But take it from someone who knows, Okung is a reason to smile so far this year. ‘He has done a fine job,’ offensive line coach Tom Cable said. ‘I’m looking for him to just keep building on it now that he’s kind of accepted the responsibility of playing left tackle and what comes with it.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune relays information from head coach Pete Carroll that wide receiver Terrell Owens will play this weekend at Denver, “Carroll chose to keep Owens out of last week’s exhibition opener against Tennessee because he felt the veteran receiver was not in game condition after only a few practices. However, Owens is in much better shape this week, putting together several highlight plays over the past two days and showing his trademark running ability after the catch. Owens will play on an NFL field for the first time since the 2010 season, and little more than a year after having ACL knee surgery.”

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network has a preseason preview of Saturday night’s matchup with the Denver Broncos.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald catches up with defensive back Roy Lewis, who he says wants to take on a bigger role with the defense, “In preparation for the 2012 season, however, Lewis has been a regular on defense as the team’s No. 1 nickel back, and is playing ahead of veteran Marcus Trufant, who was released in the offseason then re-signed specifically to play nickel. ‘Roy has been playing that position for some time,’ Carroll said. ‘He is ahead of everybody else in the learning and the understanding. If you notice, Roy won’t play very much this week in preparation. We know what he can do and we want to see what other guys can do. … That was a one of the major focuses (this week) — to give guys a chance in the competition to show what they can do.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press has his story on Terrell Owens’ debut in Denver, “Owens arrived in camp in excellent shape and has looked impressive at times during practice. But if he’s to make the Seahawks’ final roster, Owens will need to show in a game that he’s fully recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the NFL for the entire 2011 season. Saturday against the Broncos will be his first NFL game action since Week 15 of the 2010 season with Cincinnati. Owens went without a catch in that final game against Cleveland. ‘He’s ready to go,’ Carroll said. ‘He had two good weeks of work, and he came in in great shape so he’s ready to go.’ “

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from the final day of Bing Training Camp yesterday, “Matt Flynn took snaps with the number one offense as he prepares to start the first half at Denver in Saturday night’s second pre-season game. Flynn and that unit had one tough series during 11 on 11 drills. Matt’s first pass intended for Kellen Winslow was swatted away by Richard Sherman. Marshawn Lynch was stuffed on a running play by Leroy Hill. Flynn was sacked on the third down pass play. And Steven Haushka missed a 40 yard field goal try.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice notes from yesterday’s camp finale, including a thought on the receiving corps, “Owens, WR Braylon Edwards, WR Ricardo Lockette and WR Deon Butler appear to be in the thick of competition for the remaining spots with WR Kris Durham, WR Charly Martin, WR Phil Bates, WR Lavasier Tuniei  and WR Jermaine Kearse appearing to be longer shots at this point. If the team elects to keep both Edwards and Owens, they could short themselves on special teams as neither will likely play on that unit. It creates an interesting situation from a roster perspective. The remaining three preseason games should help make the position somewhat clearer.”

The staff at SportsPressNW.com has their report from the final day of camp and says the Seahawks have a lot of questions to answer at the wide receiver position, “The Seahawks have considerable sorting to do at the receiving spots, with only Doug Baldwin, last year’s catch leader with 51, a healthy starter available so far for the season opener. Naturally, Carroll saw the glass half full. ‘We’re still in the midst of this thing,’ he said. ‘I like our group a lot. We’ve become even more competitive and more experienced with the guys that have come in. We don’t have to do anything right now, just keep giving these guys opportunities in practice and games and add it all up at the end. It’s a really good position group for us right now. To have a guy like Doug Baldwin is just a blessing.’ “

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com details young quarterbacks who are starting to emerge in QB battles around the League, including Russell Wilson, “Wilson’s improvement has been graphic through minicamps and into training camp, but as Seahawks quarterbacks coach Carl Smith recently told Shutdown Corner, it wasn’t always so. ‘Really, he’s working through a lot of things,’ Smith said. ‘Rookie minicamp, he threw eight picks, okay? But he’s whittling away at a huge mountain of little things, and he’s doing it at a terrific pace. Working in the classroom, working on the field, and he keeps chopping [the problems] off. I’m really happy with his work ethic.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com says there is much at stake for wide receiver Terrell Owens in his Seahawks debut at Denver, “Forget about 10 receptions for 220 yards. We should instead watch to see how aggressively Owens plays, whether he’s a willing blocker, whether he catches the ball well, and how much he plays. Owens has always been a competitor. He has responded well in practice after watching Braylon Edwards, his primary competition for a roster spot, score a touchdown and generally play well against Tennessee last week. Owens was not active for that game, but he knows the stakes. He was fortunate to get an opportunity from Seattle, and must capitalize on the chance.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his Camp Carroll wrap-up, ” ‘The camp work that we set out to do, the things that we hoped to accomplish, I think we’ve really knocked it all in,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ve seen a bunch of guys; we’ve gotten a lot of information on our young guys. These next few weeks of games will be very important. But as far as the camp process – understanding how these guys learn, do they fit, kind of starting the process of developing roles for them because you know what they can do – all of that is moving.’ “

Farnsworth also passes out his camp honors, naming the best rookie of Bing Training Camp as Robert Turbin, “First-round draft choice Bruce Irvin, second-rounder Bobby Wagner and Wilson got – and deserve – mention. But Turbin, the fourth-round pick out of Utah State, was drafted to fill the need for a physical back to spell Lynch. Turbin looks, and runs, the part.”

Lastly from Farnsworth, he has his final ‘Hawkville‘ post of training camp.

Greg Scruggs sits down with Seahawks.com and recaps his camp experience, life in Seattle, and passion for playing the drums, “I didn’t want anything to do with football [in high school]. Drumming was my thing. I had been doing it since I was 10 years old, and I was good at it. I was more popular than the football players because of my drumming.”

Finally, Tony Ventrella wraps up camp in his Seahawks Daily as he catches up with safety Earl Thomas, wide receiver Golden Tate, and cornerback Richard Sherman.


Wednesday cyber surfing: Fourth of July edition

Good morning, and happy Fourth of July. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this holiday.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com explores how travel disparity may affect NFL teams. He specifically references the Seahawks and the NFC West division, noting that their distance traveled each season outpaces the rest, “The Steelers played 15 of their 16 games in the Eastern time zone, with a lone trip to the Central time zone waiting for them against the Titans in Week 16. Part of that is a lucky out-of-division schedule, but the Steelers also benefit by playing in a division with three opponents who each reside within 260 miles or so of Pittsburgh. Seattle, meanwhile, plays in a ‘West’ division that places its teams in three different time zones. Pittsburgh accrues about 1,122 miles in traveling to and from its divisional rivals, while Seattle’s round-trips to their NFC West brethren clock in at a whopping 7,024 miles.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at some recent stadium rule changes that should ensure home teams enjoy a more formidable advantage. The Wall Street Journal reported, “Stadiums will now be free to rile up crowds with video displays, and public-address announcers will no longer be restrained from inciting racket when the opposing offense faces a crucial third down.” Sando points out how these changes might benefit Seattle’s already boisterous 12th Man crowd, “It’s unclear how much louder CenturyLink Field can become, but a few well-timed highlights featuring knockout hits from Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor should help us find out. Likewise, shots of Tony Romo’s infamous botched hold against Seattle in the playoffs years ago should come in handy when Romo is breaking the huddle at CenturyLink for the Seahawks’ home opener this year.”

Sando also continues with his pre-camp analysis – this time with the Seahawks defense and special teams – breaking down who he feels are the safest bets, leading contenders and those who face longer odds to earn roster spots come the end of training camp. On the Seahawks secondary, Sando had this to say, “Three of the four starters went to the Pro Bowl last season; [Richard] Sherman arguably should have gone. [Marcus] Trufant’s conversion to a nickel role has the potential to upgrade Seattle’s coverage. Injuries sidelined Trufant and [Walter] Thurmond last season. Both can contribute at a reasonably high level if healthy. It’s tough to bank on either one, however. Don’t forget about [Byron] Maxwell. He impressed in camp as a rookie, only to fade from the picture after suffering an ankle injury. Seattle likes its depth at corner. [Jeron] Johnson should be ready to take a step forward at safety. The Seahawks like what they’ve seen from [Winston] Guy as well.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment as Seahawks General Manager John Schneider takes a couple of minutes to talk with Tony Ventrella about Seahawks second round draft pick LB Bobby Wagner out of Utah State.

Finally, in the spirit of the holiday, NFL.com asked their staff the question, ‘Which 2012 NFL game should become a national holiday?’ The question sparked some interesting responses, but the unanimous choice was the New England Patriots October 7 game with the Denver Broncos, or as many will see it – Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. “This is an easy one,” said NFL Network’s Ian Rapport. “On Oct. 7, the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in a game the entire country should be forced to sit down and watch. The NFL was robbed last year of the its 13th meeting of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, but not this year. Sure, sure, Manning is playing for Denver now, but the key elements of the NFL’s best quarterback rivalry are still there. Brady and Manning will still be matching right arms in a battle to reach 40 points, with this contest taking place at Gillette Stadium. If history is any indicator, it’ll go down to the wire.”