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Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to big win over “Big D”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps the Seahawks 27-7 win over the Cowboys, “What Seattle demonstrated in the second half is that these are not the same old Seahawks. Seattle’s running game is built to wear down an opponent while its defense won’t wear out. Seattle hadn’t had a scoring drive longer than 52 yards over the first six quarters of the season. The Seahawks drove 90 yards for a touchdown on the second possession of the third quarter, rushing six of the eight plays on the drive that ended with tight end Anthony McCoy’s 22-yard touchdown catch. They drove 88 yards for a touchdown the next time they had the ball, nine of those 12 plays were rushes capped by Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard scoring run. ‘We found our stride a little bit,’ coach Pete Carroll said.”

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times describes Russell Wilson’s performance in his first career win with two words, “Stealthy good. He wasn’t electric. He was just efficient. He complemented a power run game with his accuracy, poise and patience. For a young quarterback who has already earned so much respect and fame, Wilson managed to operate with an offensive lineman’s slyness in the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over Dallas. He was invisibly effective for most of the game. At opportune moments, he flashed his talent and impacted the outcome. He made mostly inconsequential mistakes. And that, folks, is Pete Carroll’s dream situation for a quarterback. ‘I thought he played a really cool game for us,’ said the Seahawks coach, who is always striving to make the quarterback’s difficult job easier.”

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times writes that Sunday’s win is the ideal way this Seahawks team wants to play the game, “This was a win that was all wallops and welts. The Seahawks made Dallas look like Portland State. They were more aggressive, more energetic. ‘This is the way we’d like to do it,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We took care of the football all day. Special teams jumped on it and got something started in beautiful fashion for us. And then we just started pounding away.’ The Seahawks played as if their season depended on it. ‘It was something we had to have,’ Robinson said. ‘I called it before the game. It was a must-win for us.’ “

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says that Golden Tate’s block of Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in the fourth quarter yesterday is one that will be remembered as part of the wide receiver’s legacy, “Tate is blessed with quick feet and soft hands, two attributes necessary for somebody paid to catch passes. And yet on the longest gain of a pivotal drive that put the Seahawks beyond the reach of the Dallas Cowboys, Tate used neither of them. The receiver wasn’t in a receivership mode when he turned toward Dallas linebacker Sean Lee and impersonated a wrecking ball. Tate stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 202 pounds. Lee is listed at 6-2, 245. But the blocker enjoyed a substantial advantage: he knew where he was going and what he wanted to do when he got there. ‘The first half of the play, I was just trying to get open,’ said Tate, whose cold-blooded collision with the unwitting Lee sprang quarterback Russell Wilson for a 14-yard gain in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory. ‘And when I realized Russell was going to run, I looked for somebody to block, and somebody happened to be right there. Either I’d hit him hard, or he’d hit the quarterback hard. So I hit him.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune points to the success of backup left tackle Frank Omiyale, who started in place of the injured Russell Okung, in dealing with Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, “Omiyale started 14 games at left tackle for Chicago in 2010. The grizzled, eight-year veteran came into the game with 32 career NFL starts. Omiyale said the Sea-hawks didn’t do anything special to contain Ware. ‘I don’t know if it was a big strategy,’ Omiyale said. ‘As far as I know, they called regular plays. We slid to him. We slid away. So I felt like we stayed with our offense pretty well.’ But other teammates noticed Omiyale’s effort. ‘Frank came in without any idea of (Okung) not starting and he did a great job,” Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch said. “That goes to show the depth of those guys and the work they put into it.’ “

Meg Wochnick of the Tacoma News Tribune credits the ‘Hawks defense for setting the tone in the victory, “Nearly a full season after Seattle’s defense allowed 442 yards of total offense in a 23-13 loss to Dallas in Week 6, the Cowboys got a completely different showing from the Seahawks on Sunday. The difference? A second-half defensive adjustment — holding Dallas to eight yards rushing, limiting running back DeMarco Murray to 44 yards on 12 carries, and causing all sorts of problems for a Cowboys team that seemed to have trouble finding an offensive rhythm. ‘They did a great job of neutralizing us and we needed to do some things to make some plays and we just didn’t do it,’ Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said.”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says that Wilson showed good progress in the win yesterday, “Russell Wilson was exactly that quarterback Sunday, completing 15 of 20 passes with a touchdown for a passer rating of 112.7 in the Seahawks’ 27-7 upset of the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field. As we urged fans to be patient with premature judgments on Wilson’s long-range potential after his ordinary statistics in a season-opening loss to the Cardinals, it’s fair to again withhold his deification after the win over Dallas. But it certainly looked as if the rookie from Wisconsin grew up – as an NFL quarterback if not in physical stature – in the second half against Dallas. The best thing about his contributions? They were proportional. And they were in the context of what the team needs from him. He took nothing away from Marshawn Lynch’s rushing; he did not put the defense in bad situations because of turnovers. He put the club in position to win.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the ‘Hawks second-half adjustments made up for a less-than-stellar first half, “In the second half, however, Wilson and the offense found their rhythm. And with the defense locking down the Cowboys — Dallas had just 85 yards in the second half, 51 of which came in garbage time on the last drive of the game — that was a formula for a blowout. ‘Our special teams spotted us 10 points, but we just weren’t clicking offensively,’ said fullback  Robinson. ‘Second half, we stayed true to our game plan and it worked in our favor.’ “

Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com says that the Seahawks were dominant in the 27-7 win, “The running game was awesome. The passing game was, in the context of their plan, awesome. The special teams were awesome. And the defense was, in the second half especially, nearly perfect. They lived up to their physical identity.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his take on the win over Dallas, “Wilson had what was nearly a perfect game from Carroll’s perspective: 15 completions in 20 attempts for 151 yards and no turnovers (passer rating 112.7), including a 22-yard pass for a TD to Anthony McCoy. That completed a 90-yard drive in eight plays, only two of which were passes. The next time they had the ball, the Seahawks went 88 yards in 12 plays over nearly eight minutes, a massive example of scrimmage control. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been part of 88- and 90-yard drives back-to-back,’ said center Max Unger. ‘We rotated through seven guys (through the O-line) and kept the communication going, which is something we didn’t do last week.’ “

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com says that the Seahawks defensive backfield – the “Legion of Boom” – lived up to their name yesterday, “Safety Kam Chancellor, who was bringing the hits all day long, said after the game that the way his defense played against the Cowboys was the idea all along. Like many on Pete Carroll’s young team, the third-year starter had to match his acumen with his athleticism, and it was obvious in this game that Chancellor and his teammates had done just that. The 6-foot-3, 231-pound safety delivered on anything over the middle, and eventually, even tough veterans like tight end Jason Witten appeared unsure of just what they might be in for on slants and drags. ‘That happened a couple of times,’ Chancellor told me after Seattle’s decisive win. ‘Guys remember the same play from earlier — they think you’re about to hit them again, so they’re trying to hurry up and turn around and face up without catching the ball first … Once that ball comes over the middle and somebody catches it, all I’m thinking about is lights out.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from yesterday’s victory, “Russell Wilson was efficient and completed 15-of-20 passes for 151 yards and a score for the Seahawks (1-1), who dropped their opener to the Arizona Cardinals. ‘We can’t hurt ourselves, that’s what we did last week,’ Wilson said. ‘We had great communication today. We messed up a few times, but that’s going to happen. We really have to focus in and not make any mistakes, that’s our goal. We weren’t quite perfect, but it was way better than last week.’ Tony Romo was 23-of-40 for 251 yards with a touchdown and interception for Dallas (1-1), which defeated the New York Giants last Wednesday. Miles Austin caught five balls for 63 yards and a score, while DeMarco Murray was limited to 44 yards on 12 carries in defeat. The Seahawks, who led 13-7 at halftime, outscored Dallas 14-0 over the final 30 minutes.”

Don Banks of SI.com touches on the physicality Seattle displayed in yesterday’s defeat of the Cowboys, “At its most fundamental and basic, football is about imposing your will on an opponent. You can do that at times schematically or mentally in the course of a game, but it’s always the most fun, players say, when you do it physically. At least for the winning team. Exhibit A on this Sunday was the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field — nicknamed in these parts, and wonderfully so, “The Clink.” The Seahawks didn’t just beat the previously high-riding Cowboys in this one, they beat on them, and beat them down until their will to win broke. And they did it with a style of physicality and aggressive brand of football that has not really been a trademark of Seattle football for quite some time.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up from yesterday, “What I liked: Malcolm Smith’s blocked punt and Jeron Johnson’s return bought needed breathing room for Seattle after the Seahawks drove to a field goal on their opening drive. Those are the types of plays that get a home crowd going. They can make the difference for teams with strong defenses. Seattle contained DeMarco Murray (3.7 yards per carry, long run of 9 yards) and Tony Romo. Romo had gone 3-2 in his past five road starts, tossing 12 touchdown passes with only two interceptions during those games. Seattle picked him off early and prevented him from getting comfortable.”

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth says that all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams – excelled in yesterday’s victory, and he names Lynch his player of the game. Tony Ventrella recaps the win, we bring you highlights from yesterday, and a look at the day in photos.


Game at a glance: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7

A recap of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Marshawn Lynch. There were so many candidates from this impressive performance, but the Seahawks’ Beast Mode-running back remains the metronome by which this team beats.

He finished with 122 yards on 26 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that slapped the exclamation point on this one. As always, it wasn’t so much that Lynch got the yards, but how he got them. He averaged 2.2 yards on 10 first-half carries, then exploded for 100 yards on 16 carries in the second half – including a 16-yard run on the first play of the half and a 36-yarder on the eight-play, 90-yard drive in the third quarter that was capped by rookie QB Russell Wilson throwing a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Anthony McCoy.

“It was very much needed, and I’m glad we got it,” Lynch said of the running game producing 182 yards and the offense getting 315 yards.

Offered Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, “You might get pumped up to hit 24 (Lynch) in the first quarter and he might get three yards. But in that fourth quarter, you really don’t want to hit him. He gets stronger. Our offensive line gets stronger.

“When we’re rocking like that, that’s what we want to do. We want to run the ball, we want to play-action (pass) off that and give our defense a rest so they can go out there and dominate.”

UNSUNG PLAYER OF THE GAME

Frank Omiyale. Russell Okung was expected to start at left tackle, despite bruising his left knee in last week’s opener against the Cardinals. But after working out before the game, the coaches decided he couldn’t go. That put Omiyale in harm’s way – or at least in the line of the fire that Cowboys’ pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware in capable of generating.

Ware’s stat line: no sacks, one tackle for a loss, one QB hit.

“Frank is a guy who’s been around the League for an extended period of time,” Wilson said of Omiyale, who started 31 games the past three seasons for the Bears but was making his first start for the Seahawks.

“He has great knowledge of the game. He works extremely hard. The fact that we thought Russell was going to be able to play, but he couldn’t go today, so Frank stepped up and did a tremendous job. I mean an unbelievable job. He’s been doing that for years, so you kind of expect that out of him. Just the way he goes about his business, the way he approaches the game, approaches the week. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Asked about the game plan against Ware, coach Pete Carroll said, “Our plan was to hope he didn’t kill us.”

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: Wilson’s TD pass to McCoy, which came from a three-tight set on the right side. McCoy was in the middle, between Zach Miller (inside) and Evan Moore (outside). When they broke from the line, the cornerback had to take either McCoy or Moore.

“We kind of put the corner in a big predicament,” said McCoy, who had a team-high five receptions in addition to his first NFL touchdown catch. “He had to cover both me and Evan on the play. He chose one and left me open.”

Yes, the way the play unfolded caught McCoy by surprise.

“I’m like, ‘Man, we’re in the red zone and I’m this open?’ ” McCoy said. “I was kind of expecting someone to be there on the catch, but no one was there. It was a great play call.”

Defense: With the Seahawks holding a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cowboys had driven from their 20-yard line to the Seahawks’ 24. But on a second-and-10 play, Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted Tony Romo’s pass that was intended for tight end Jason Witten.

“I’m kind of mad that I got caught,” said Browner, who returned the pick 35 yards. “I felt like I had a shot to go all the way, but I was a little gassed out there.”

Special teams: The Seahawks forced (Robinson) and recovered (Earl Thomas) a fumble on the opening kickoff to setup a field goal. But the next time the Cowboys got the ball, the Seahawks’ special teams scored. Second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith blocked a punt and second-year safety Jeron Johnson picked up the ball on a hop and ran three yards for a TD.

“Malcolm was inside of me and I was rushing to the outside,” Johnson said after scoring his first TD since he was a senior at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. – and playing middle linebacker. “Nobody blocked Malcolm and the ball bounced right to me.

“It was a big play. Special teams showed up big today.”

Big hit of the day: Golden Tate, come on down. The 202-pound wide receiver drilled Sean Lee, the Cowboys’ 245-pound linebacker, with a vicious block on Wilson’s 14-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.

“Now I see why Kam (Chancellor, the team’s Pro Bowl strong safety) likes defense,” said Tate, who was making his 2012 debut after sitting out the opener with a knee injury. “It felt great.

“It’s a momentum boost. All of sudden we had momentum and drove the ball all the way down the field.”

Eight plays later, Lynch scored his TD, but only after Tate caught an 8-yard pass on third-and-4 to give the Seahawks a first down at the Cowboys’ 3.

INJURY REPORT

Cornerback Byron Maxwell left the game with a hamstring injury and wide receiver Sidney Rice did not finish the game.

But Carroll said he was unaware that anything was wrong with Rice. “He looked OK in the locker room,” Carroll said. “I didn’t see anything. I don’t have any update on that. He was not on the injury list.”

WORTH NOTING

The Seahawks have won four consecutive home openers, and nine of their past 10.

The defense got their hands on seven of Tony Romo’s passes, including two each by Leo end Chris Clemons and linebacker K.J. Wright.

Chancellor had a team-high nine tackles.

Rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin got his first NFL sack. Or at least half of one, as he shared the team’s only sack with Jason Jones. Those are the two players the Seahawks added during the offseason – Irvin in the first-round of the NFL Draft, Jones in free agency – to improve their pass rush.

On the Seahawks’ 90-yard TD drive in the third quarter, they did not face a third-down situation.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I knew it was going to be electric, and it was more than I could ever imagine. The crowd is a huge, huge advantage for our football team. And when the 12th Man is that loud and that energetic, it really helps our offense, our defense, our special teams and just continues to boost us.” – Wilson, after playing his first regular-season game at CenturyLink FIeld.


Friday in Hawkville: Okung practices; status remains game-day decision

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 14:

FOCUS ON

Russell Okung. The Seahawks’ left tackle got his most extensive action of the week today, but coach Pete Carroll said that Okung’s status for Sunday’s home opener against the Cowboys remains a game-day decision.

“He got some work today,” Carroll said.  “We’ll see how he goes tomorrow and how he feels after the work today. We’ll go all the way to game time on that one.”

Okung bruised his left knee on the ninth play of the Seahawks’ final 18-play drive in last week’s season-opening loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. Frank Omiyale stepped in for Okung, and continued to work at left tackle in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

The left tackle position is even more pivotal this week because of the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware, who had two sacks in Dallas’ season-opening upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. The six-time Pro Bowl linebacker had 19.5 sacks last season.

“They have one of the best (pass rushers) in the NFL that has ever played the game, so we really have to do a great job blocking him – and the rest of the guys as well,” rookie quarterback Russell Wilson said. “They have a lot of talent up front.”

POSITION WATCH

Wide receiver. The Seahawks should have their starters for Sunday’s game, as split end Golden Tate and flanker Sidney Rice practiced today. Tate missed the opener and Rice was limited this week, both because of knee injuries.

“Golden really had a good week. He looked great,” Carroll said. “He came roaring back … he’s ready to go. It’s really pleasing to see that he is such a factor for us. I hope that shows up in the game, as well. He’s just emerged as really one of our better players. Now we need to get that to show up on the field on game day.

“But we can feel it out here. He’s a great catcher. And he’s working like crazy. And he’s really quick. He just looks better than he’s ever looked. So I’m hoping that he’ll be a real asset to our passing game. The catching-and-run stuff that he’s so good at, we’d love to see him do that and be a regular factor.”

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

OPPONENT WATCH

Kevin Olgetree. So, who is this guy? “He’s a guy that’s making a lot of plays,” nickel back Marcus Trufant said.

That, Ogletree is. After averaging 8.3 catches and 98 yards and not scoring a touchdown in his first three seasons with the Cowboys, the former rookie free agent had eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas’ opener.

“He’s a good receiver. Fast. Strong. So you’ve got to be on you’re A-game,” Trufant added of the 6-1, 198-pound Ogletree.

INJURY REPORT

The weekly Friday status report, as issued by the team:

Out

WR Charly Martin (chest)

Questionable

OT Russell Okung (knee)

TE Zach Miller (foot)

Probable

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

OG John Moffitt (shoulder)

WR Sidney Rice (knee)

WR Golden Tate (knee)

CB Byron Maxwell (shoulder)

DL Greg Scruggs (hamstring)

DL Jason Jones (not injury related)

Moffitt did not practice today to rest a sore shoulder, but Carroll said he will start against the Cowboys. Moffitt was inactive last week because of the surgical procedure he had on his left elbow last month, which caused him to miss the entire preseason.

“He’ll be fine for the game,” Carroll said.

Miller also sat out today. “He practiced (Wednesday) and got some stuff done yesterday,” Carroll said of Miller, who injured a foot in the opener. “We just want to make sure he’s going to be right.”

Jones did not practice today, but it was to rest him, and Carroll said he will play Sunday.

For the Cowboys:

Out

C Phil Costa (back)

S Matt Johnson (hamstring)

DT Jay Ratliff (ankle)

Probable

WR Miles Austin (hamstring)

WR Andre Holmes (knee)

CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder)

RB Felix Jones (ribs)

S Danny McCrary (neck)

RB DeMarco Murray (wrist)

S Gerald Sensabaugh (concussion)

LB DeMarcus Ware (hamstring)

LB Kyle Wilber (thumb)

TE Jason Witten (abdomen)

With Ratliff, the four-time Pro Bowl nose tackle out, Josh Brent will start.

STAT DU JOUR

On kickoff weekend, 230 colleges were represented on NFL rosters. At the top of the list was USC (44), followed by Miami (37), LSU (36) and Georgia, Ohio State and Texas (35 each).

USC also tops the Seahawks’ roster with three players, along with Stanford and Wisconsin. They have one more player than California, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina State and South Carolina. Here’s a look at players on the roster from those schools:

School             Players

USC                  Anthony McCoy, Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan

Stanford          Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman, Evan Moore

Wisconsin       Russell Wilson, John Moffitt, Chris Maragos

California        Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Mebane

Georgia           Chris Clemons, Kregg Lumpkin

Louisville         Breno Giacomini, Greg Scruggs

Michigan         Alan Branch, Braylon Edwards

NC State          Steven Hauschka, J.R. Sweezy

S. Carolina       Sidney Rice, Lemuel Jeanpierre

UP NEXT

The players will have a walkthrough on Saturday, their final on-field session before Sunday’s home opener on Alumni Weekend.

SIDELINE SPECTATORS

Four former NFL players watched today’s practice: Walter Jones, the Seahawks’ nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle whose number was retired in 2010; Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, the analyst for radio broadcasts of Seahawks game; and former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston and ex-Colts and Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa, who will work the telecast of Sunday’s game on Fox along with play-by-play man Kenny Albert.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world, besides college. I’ve been here my whole career. I’ve heard the crowd get louder and louder. Even on down seasons, I’ve seen the fans pack the place. And I appreciate them. There isn’t another place in this country where I’d rather play football.” – veteran linebacker Leroy Hill on returning to CenturyLink Field and the 12th Man crowd


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Carroll: Martin out; Tate expected back; Moffitt to start at RG

Head coach Pete Carroll spoke with reporters this afternoon at Virginia Mason Athletic Center as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference, and offered a few interesting nuggets of knowledge before his team hits the practice field today at 1:30 for “Competition Wednesday.”

Carroll said that wide receiver Charly Martin, who suffered a bruised lung in last Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, has been ruled out for this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys. Carroll called the injury “fairly serious” and they will monitor Martin’s status through next week.

With Martin out, Carroll was asked if the team will make a move to add a wide receiver to the active roster, to which Carroll replied there is no plan to do so at this time.

Wide receiver Golden Tate, who missed Week 1 while resting a knee injury, is expected to practice today.

John Moffitt is set to get the start at right guard Sunday against the Cowboys, replacing J.R. Sweezy, who got the start in Week 1. Carroll called the right guard position, “a very competitive spot” and he expects Sweezy to see playing time in Week 2, despite not being named the starter.

Left tackle Russell Okung, who left the season-opener against Arizona with a bruised knee, will not practice today. Carroll is hopeful Okung will be ready by weekend, but in his place will be veteran tackle Frank Omiyale.

“Frank is an equipped player,” said Carroll. “He’s started on both sides [of the line]. We won’t change much there if he goes instead of Russell [Okung].”

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin will practice in full today after receiving dental work to repair his two front teeth that were knocked loose when Baldwin dove for a ball in the end zone against the Cardinals in Week 1.

“His smile looks remarkable,” Carroll said. “A couple of days ago he looked like a sawtooth guy.”

Backup quarterback Matt Flynn will be limited in today’s practice with a sore elbow on his throwing arm. Carroll noted that Flynn is not 100 percent quite yet.

Seahawks Insider Clare Farnsworth will be back with more following today’s practice.


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What a day for some advanced line play

Wow. In a word, that describes the setting for Day One of Week Two of Phase 2 in the Seahawks’ offseason program. What two words? Double wow.

The players went through their 45-minute on-field session this morning under blue skies and in 60-degree weather. It was a stark contrast to the blustery conditions that accompanied the first week of Phase 2, when the coaches are allowed to be on the field with the players under the terms of the new CBA.

The veterans will work four consecutive days this week, clearing the fields for a rookie minicamp – which includes practices on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but begins Thursday with physicals for the team’s 10 draft choices, 10 free agents who were signed after the draft and another couple dozen or so players who will be in for tryouts.

Our focus today is on the offensive line, where assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable not only has more depth than a year ago but a group that is deeper into the zone-blocking scheme he installed last year – without the benefit of an offseason due to the 136-day lockout.

“The whole group now is in a different place, in terms of being trained in the system,” Cable said. “So even though this is our chance to start over, like you would every year, we’re further along because of what happened last year.

“That’s a real plus for us at this point.”

What happened last year – losing left tackle Russell Okung (pectoral), right guard John Moffitt (knee) and right tackle James Carpenter (knee) to season-ending injuries – was hardly ideal. But the play of those who stepped in – Paul McQuistan, Lemuel Jeanpierre and Breno Giacomini – has strengthened the group. So have the free-agent additions of guard Deuce Lutui and versatile lineman Frank Omiyale, former starters for the Cardinals and Bears, respectively.

Today, the No. 1 unit was comprised of – from left tackle to right – Okung, McQuistan, center Max Unger, Moffitt and Giacomini. In the No. 2 group were Omiyale, Allen Barbre, Jeanpierre, Lutui and Paul Fanaika. Carpenter remains sidelined, and farther behind in his rehab than Okung and Moffitt, because of the severity of his injury.

You could see the advanced level of their efforts that Cable mentioned as the linemen went through their individual drills.

“When you start at A, and you start working through it, they get it,” Cable said. “We’re able to get the real details going now. That’s been the most fun so far.”

Also, wide receiver Sidney Rice made his first appearance of the offseason program. But he remains sidelined while continuing his rehab from having surgical procedures on both shoulders – injuries that limited Rice to nine games and 32 receptions in his first season with the Seahawks.


Tuesday cyber surfing: It’s all about Trufant’s return

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 10:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at the big story from yesterday – Marcus Trufant agreeing to terms with the Seahawks – and the most obvious upside: “Trufant, released in a salary-related move earlier this offseason, is returning on a one-year contract, the team announced. The move should be popular with fans and a relief to Trufant, who grew up in nearby Tacoma, spent nine seasons with the team and wasn’t looking to relocate.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says Trufant’s return could be insurance against Walter Thurmond not being ready for the start of the season: “Cornerback Walter Thurmond appears to have suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken leg sustained in the sixth game of last season. It seems unlikely he will be ready for training camp and probably will start out on the physically unable to perform list. … Thurmond began last season as the team’s fifth defensive back, leaving Seattle with an opening at that spot. That’s where Trufant figures to come in, as well as possibly Roy Lewis, who was re-signed last week.” O’Neil also has a poll on Trufant’s return, and 82 percent are glad to have him back with the team.

Eric Williams at the News Tribune also offers his take on Trufant’s return: “Trufant’s role in Seattle remained a question mark, with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner emerging as Seattle’s starting cornerbacks last season. Browner made the Pro Bowl in his first season as a starter, and Sherman finished with four interceptions and 55 tackles in 10 starts as a rookie.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald says Trufant’s flirtation with free agency was a short one: “At the time of his release, general manager John Schneider said in a statement that the team was releasing Trufant to allow him to explore free agency. He made a visit to Denver, but it in the end the Tacoma native and former Washington State standout decided to return to the only NFL team he has known since coming to Seattle as first-round pick in 2003.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look back at the way GM John Schneider announced the release of the veteran cornerback, planting the seed that Trufant indeed could return: “In announcing that veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant was being released on March 7, Seahawks general manager John Schneider selected his words very carefully. There wasn’t the usual ‘we wish him well with his new team’ caveat, or even the obligatory ‘we want to thank (fill in the blank) for his contributions to the franchise on and off the field,’ that traditionally are attached to such transactions with players of Trufant’s status. Because deep down, Schneider was hoping that the former first-round draft choice would be able to continue his career with his hometown NFL team. Hope became reality Monday, when Trufant agreed to terms on a one-year contract.”

Brady Henderson at mynorthwest.com (710 ESPN) also looks at Trufant’s recent injury issues: “Injuries have led to a decline in Trufant’s play since he signed a $50.2 million contract with the Seahawks after a Pro Bowl season in 2007. He began last season as a starter but was placed on injured reserve after four games with a back injury similar to the one that caused him to miss six games in 2009. While he played in all 16 games in 2010, he suffered a pair of concussions that season, including one that knocked him out of the Seahawks’ playoff loss to Chicago.”

Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. looks at the draft needs of the four teams in the NFC West. It’s an Insider feature, so requires registration and a fee. But here’s part of what he has to say about the Seahawks: “The Seahawks are an improving football team with a clear identity of what they want to be on both sides of the ball. On offense they clearly have a run-first mentality, and signing (Marshawn) Lynch to a long-term contract without giving him the franchise tag was a big move. On defense they did the same thing with their best player, (Red) Bryant. (Matt) Flynn (Green Bay), (Jason) Jones (Tennessee) and OT Frank Omiyale (Chicago) are players who fill needs, but at the right price. The Seahawks have lost some players, but they are really headed in the right direction.”

The guys at NFL.com are doing draft re-dos this week. First up 2007, as re-done by Elliott Harrison. The Seahawks’ first-round pick? They didn’t have one, because they traded it to the Patriots for Deion Branch.

Also at NFL.com, Jason La Canfora continues to track the free-agent activity.


Monday cyber surfing: Life after football

Good morning. Here’s what was “out there” about the Seahawks over the weekend and today, April 9:

Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times checks in with Joe Tafoya, the former defensive lineman for the Seahawks who has formed Jump It Media with other former players: “Two years ago, Tafoya, now 33 and a computer-science major from Arizona, bought an 11-year-old Redmond mobile apps distributor. Now he’s joined forces with like-minded former Seahawks (Kerry) Carter, Chike Okeafor and Omare Lowe to form Jump It Media. Tafoya calls himself ‘The World’s Largest Nerd.’ They’re building profile applications for athletes to help them increase their brands through online channels. Among their subjects are Chicago Bears defensive end Lance Briggs and Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry.”

Josh Kerns at Mynorthwest.com has the story on Ryan Asdourian, who wants to continue in his role as Blitz despite being diagnosed with MS: “For a guy who gets paid to run around in a bird suit and give high fives, Ryan tries hard not to let MS slow him down. And he’s become a huge activist, raising money through his Team Blitz with everything from pub crawls to the annual MS Walk. ‘I go out and talk to support groups, I’ll talk to lots of people at the walk,’ he said. Asdourian is also part of a support at Microsoft where he works, ‘so we kind of make sure that everyone has the resources. That they can talk to people.’ “

The Seahawks added depth and increased the competitive level at three spots on Friday by getting contract agreements with guard Deuce Lutui, linebacker Barrett Ruud and cornerback Roy Lewis. Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers his thoughts, including: “Ruud, 28, was a longtime starter in Tampa Bay before signing with Tennessee last season. He played nine games for the Titans, starting all of them. But a groin injury forced him onto injured reserve. Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was with Tampa Bay when Ruud played for the Buccaneers. Bradley coached linebackers for part of Ruud’s tenure there. That connection means the Seahawks should have a good idea what they’re getting. Ruud’s arrival comes after the Seahawks watched starting middle linebacker David Hawthorne sign with New Orleans. I would expect Seattle to address linebacker in the draft as well.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we also look at Friday’s additions: “Lutui, also 28, is the second lineman to sign with the team since the free-agency period began March 13 – joining Frank Omiyale, who started at left tackle, left guard and right tackle for the Chicago Bears and also played for Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable when both were with the Atlanta Falcons. The club also released veteran guard Robert Gallery, who then signed with the New England Patriots. In a 2½-week period last season, the Seahawks lost right guard John Moffitt (knee), right tackle James Carpenter (knee) and left tackle Russell Okung (pectoral) to injuries that required surgery. In their absence, Paul McQuistan (right guard and left tackle), Breno Giacomini (right tackle) and Lemuel Jeanpierre (right guard) stepped in and played well. Giacomini and McQuistan were free agents, but have been re-signed. Now, enter the Tongan-born Lutui.”

The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away and Chad Reuter at NFL.com takes a look at some players who weren’t invited to the Scouting Combine, including Washington State linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis (6-1, 232): “The 2011 second-team All-Pac-12 pick did not get much national exposure on a 4-8 Cougars squad. The team’s leading tackler in 2011 backed up his production, though, with a 4.54 40, 36 1/2-inch vertical and 36 bench reps at his pro day.”

At SI.com, Peter King looks at the haves and have nots at the top of the draft in his “Monday Morning Quarterback”: “Teams with the most 2012 draft choices in the top 85 overall picks: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, New England, St. Louis (four). Teams with the least 2012 draft choices in the top 85 overall picks: New Orleans, Oakland (zero). … The Rams have five of the first 96 picks overall (6, 33, 39, 65, 96), and Jeff Fisher told me St. Louis would like to trade down from six for the right price. If not, Justin Blackmon would fit a major need at six.”


Omiyale agrees

Frank Omiyale, a versatile offensive lineman for the Bears the past three seasons, has agreed to terms with the Seahawks.

He was released by the Bears before the free agency period began on March 13 and visited the Seahawks on March 5. Omiyale, 29, started 31 games at left tackle, left guard and right tackle while with the Bears.


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