A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 28:
1981: Kenny Easley is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Before a kidney ailment ended his career after the 1987 season, the strong safety from UCLA had been selected NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984, voted to the Pro Bowl five times and named All-Pro three times. Easley was inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor in 2002 and also named to the 35th Anniversary team.
1987: Tony Woods is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Woods, a linebacker from Pittsburgh, would start 79 games in six seasons on some of the best defensive units in franchise history.
2000: John Schneider is named director of player personnel. That gig lasted only a season before he left to become vice president of player personnel with the Redskins, but Schneider returned in 2010 as the Seahawks’ general manager.
2011: James Carpenter is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The offensive lineman from Alabama has been limited to 16 starts in his first two seasons because of a knee injury that ended his rookie season and also forced him to be inactive for the first three games last season and end the season on the reserve/non-football illness list.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 5.
Early this morning, Randall Liu, the NFL’s Director of NFC Football Communications, announced on Twitter that Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has been named the NFC Offensive Player of Week 13 for his performance against the Chicago Bears. According to Liu, Wilson becomes the first Seahawk to win Offensive Player of the Week since running back Shaun Alexander in 2005, the year the Seahawks went on to Super Bowl XL.
The club announced a trio of roster moves yesterday, placing offensive guard James Carpenter on the reserve/non-football illness list for the remainder of the season, waiving wide receiver Braylon Edwards with the designation of injured, and promoting offensive guard Rishaw Johnson from the practice squad to the active roster.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his story on the team’s roster moves, “Letting Edwards go also speaks to the effectiveness of starters Golden Tate and Sidney Rice, who have each caught seven touchdown passes this season. Seattle also has Doug Baldwin, Charly Martin and Jermaine Kearse on the 53-man roster.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that the Seahawks believe a NFC West division title is still within reach, “Seattle plays three of its last four games – NFC West division foes Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis – in the noisy comfort of CenturyLink Field, where the team is 5-0 this season. And Seattle’s only road game is against 5-7 Buffalo, in what will almost be a neutral site in Toronto. One final bonus: So far the 49ers are the only team left on the schedule with a winning record. San Francisco hosts Miami on Sunday, followed by a trip to New England to face the Patriots, a road game against Seattle and a season finale at home against Arizona. San Francisco’s contest against the Patriots is the most likely game where the 49ers could stub their toe — since 2001 the Patriots have a league-best 23-1 home record in December. ‘It’s still out there,’ Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said about winning a division title. ‘We’ve got a lot of games left in the division. San Francisco has a great thing going there. And if they can take care of their business, then they’ll leave everybody else behind. But they’ve still got to win the games, and we do too.’ ”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s matchup with the Arizona Cardinals, Williams also has a transcript of a Q&A session with AZCardinals.com beat reporter Darren Urban, who looks at the reasoning behind the Cards’ decision to start rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley, “The argument for starting Lindley is that you want to keep seeing, with experience, if he can improve and be a future factor on this roster and that you have a pretty good idea of what Skelton brings to the table after what you have seen from him over the past three seasons. The argument for Skelton would be more experience, the knowledge he has beaten the Seahawks in the past and the fact Lindley has played very poorly the past six quarters.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald puts Wilson in the conversation for Rookie of the Year, “Now, three quarters of the way through the season, it’s hard to look at the numbers — and at what the Seahawks have accomplished as a team — and not put Wilson in the same class as [Robert] Griffin [III] and [Andrew] Luck. That’s not to say that Wilson will have as good a career as those two. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t, but trying to project the career arc of any NFL player, let alone a quarterback, after 12 games is a fool’s errand if ever there was one. But Wilson’s 19 touchdown passes compared to eight interceptions, his 95.2 passer rating, his continually improving play and also the Seahawks’ 7-5 record mean that Wilson, and not just Luck and Griffin, is firmly a part of what used to be a two-man battle for offensive rookie of the year honors.”
Sticking to that Rookie of the Year conversation, Mike Sando of ESPN.com breaks down the play of Wilson and Luck versus the same seven opponents, as the Seahawks and Colts have shared seven common foes thus far in 2012, and will make it eight when the Seahawks face the Bills in Week 15, “Wilson has 16 touchdown passes with only one pick against these teams. He has a 115.6 NFL passer rating and 81.6 Total QBR score against them. Luck has 13 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 74.9 passer rating against them. His QBR score (68.2) is stronger than his traditional stats might indicate, a theme for Luck all season, not just in these games. Wilson has a 5-2 starting record against the seven common opponents. Luck’s record is 4-3 against those teams.”
ESPN.com has their updated NFL Power Rankings for Week 14, which you can view here. The Seahawks move up one spot from a week ago to No. 12 on their list.
CBSSports.com has their Power Rankings, and the Seahawks come in at No. 12 on their list as well.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth leads with his 12-game honor roll, handing out awards for club MVP, best offensive, defensive, and special teams player, and best rookie.
Farnsworth also has his first look at the Seahawks’ Week 14 opponent – the Arizona Cardinals, “Burning question: What happened to this team? After starting 4-0, the Cardinals have lost their last eight games … The last time the Cardinals scored more than 20 points in a game was in Week 4 against the Dolphins, which also was the last time they won – and that game went into overtime. The defense has held six opponents to fewer than 20 points, and the Cardinals are 3-3 in those games. The Cardinals have allowed 48 sacks, nine more than the next-highest team (the Packers). They are averaging 3.6 yards running the ball. Their three QBs have combined to throw 10 TD passes and 13 interceptions.”
James Carpenter, last year’s first-round draft choice, was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list today, prematurely ending his season for the second year.
Also, wide receiver Braylon Edwards was waived/injured and rookie guard Rishaw Johnson was signed to the 53-man roster from the team’s practice squad.
Carpenter missed the final seven games last season after damaging his left knee during practice.
After playing right tackle last season, Carpenter moved to left guard this year and started seven games. With Carpenter out, John Moffitt will step in at left guard – as he did against the Bears, when Carpenter left early.
Edwards was signed a free agent in late July and caught eight passes for 74 yards and one touchdown in limited action in the Seahawks’ first 12 games. Five of his receptions came in the season opener against the Cardinals.
Johnson has been a member of the practice squad since the day after he was released on the final roster cut in September. He was signed as a free agent following the NFL Draft in April.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 3:
The fourth quarter. Not of Sunday’s game against the Bears, which went pretty well for the Seahawks in their 23-17 overtime victory at Soldier Field. But the season, which the Seahawks are hoping will go at least as well.
After winning two of their three games in November and starting December with that upset victory, the Seahawks will play three of their final four games at CenturyLink Field, where they are 5-0. Adding intrigue to the already interesting situation is that all three games will be against the other teams from the NFC West who beat the Seahawks on the road earlier this season.
“This is a big deal, this is a really big deal, because it’s the finish,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session. “The finish is officially on now when you go into these last four weeks.”
The Seahawks enter this last quarter at 7-5, which matches as many wins as they had in each of Carroll’s first two seasons. They trail the 49ers (8-3-1) by 1½ games in the NFC West and hold the No. 2 wild-card spot in the conference playoff picture.
“We’re positioned to do something,” Carroll said. “Now we’ll see if we can get it done.”
First up, Sunday at CenturyLink Field, is a Cardinals team that beat the Seahawks 20-16 in their season opener in Arizona. The Cardinals started 4-0, but have lost eight in a row.
The Seahawks then travel to Toronto to play the Bills (5-7) on Dec. 16 before returning home to host the 49ers on Dec. 23 and the Rams (5-6-1) on Dec. 30.
“This is really what we’ve been preparing for all along, is to finish strong and to see if we can turn in a real great month of execution,” Carroll said. “So we’ll see how far we’ve come. The whole story is going to be told from this point.”
Left guard James Carpenter has “a little something there” in his surgically repaired left knee, as Carroll put it. Carpenter started but couldn’t finish Sunday’s game and his status for this week is in question. The team’s first-round draft choice last year has had X-rays and a MRI, but the knee continues to bother him.
“He actually felt something different in the game,” Carroll said of Carpenter’s knee, which he had tweaked in previous games. “He felt a little sharp pain during the game that didn’t go away.”
Carpenter missed the final seven games last season after tearing the ACL in his knee during practice.
John Moffitt, last year’s third-round draft choice, stepped in when Carpenter went out.
Also in question is veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant, who missed Sunday’s game after pulling a hamstring in practice last Thursday. Carroll said it will be a challenge to get Trufant back for this week’s game.
“I don’t know where he’ll be by the end of the week, but I know he’s still in rehab now,” Carroll said. “I don’t know what will happen with this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s hard for him to get on the practice field this week.”
Linebacker Leroy Hill also missed the Bears’ game because of a sprained ankle, but Carroll said Hill has a chance to play this week.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice is going through concussion tests after taking a blow to the helmet on this game-winning TD catch against the Bears. Carroll stopped short of saying Rice has a concussion, but the club is being cautious after he missed the last seven games last season after getting multiple concussions.
STAT DU JOUR
What has four arms, four hands, 78 receptions and 14 touchdown catches? That’s too easy. It’s Rice and Golden Tate, the Seahawks’ starting wide receivers. While Rice is the team’s leading receiver, their numbers over the past four games are very similar. Here’s a look at their season totals, as well as those from the past four games:
Player No. Yards Avg. TD
Sidney Rice 43 623 14.5 7
Golden Tate 35 486 13.9 7
Past four games
Player No. Yards Avg. TD
Sidney Rice 15 256 17.1 4
Golden Tate 15 231 15.4 4
This hasn’t happened by accident, as Carroll explained.
“What we did was we really focused in on those two guys,” he said. “We decided to push those guys to the front and see if we couldn’t accelerate the process of the chemistry and just the continuity and the sense and the style. Those guys are uniquely different.
“That was probably one of the best decisions that we’ve made. I think things have really turned out since then. They’ve done a tremendous job. They’ve had great plays, big plays and all kinds of stuff that’s been consistent. You can see the numbers. They’re about paralleling in all areas. They were ready and they’ve come through in a big way.”
Carroll gave the players Monday off and they’ll have their usual “off” day on Tuesday, before returning on Wednesday to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
Moffitt will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Drove his team 94 yards in nine plays for a second-quarter touchdown. Drove his team 97 yards in 12 plays for the go-ahead touchdown near the end of regulation. Drove his team 80 yards in 12 plays for the winning touchdown in overtime. On the road, at Soldier Field, against the Bears. When’s the last time an Urlacher team allowed drives as long as 94, 97 and 80 yards for touchdowns in a game? To a rookie quarterback?” – Peter King in selecting Russell Wilson as one of his offensive players of the week in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com
CHICAGO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 23-17 overtime victory against the Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Russell Wilson. How to describe what the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback did against the Bears’ No. 3-ranked defense. Coach Pete Carroll used the work “exquisite,” and that definitely works.
Wilson completed 23 of 37 passes for 293 yards and also ran for 71 yards. But it wasn’t so much what he did as when he did it. Wilson directed a 12-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that was capped by his 14-yard TD pass to Golden Tate with 24 seconds left in regulation. He then led a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in overtime that ended with his 13-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice.
Wow, and double-wow. The passing yards were a season-best for Wilson, as were the rushing yards, and the 97-yard drive was the Seahawks’ longest of the year.
As good as Wilson had been in the past three games, he just seems to be getting better – and making his biggest plays at the most opportune times.
“Russell definitely doesn’t play like a rookie,” Rice said. “A lot of the wins that we’ve got are because of Russell. He’s able to get out of the pocket, scramble to make things happen. We’re glad to have him on the team.”
Added Tate, “Russell does everything perfect. I almost think he’s a perfect person, I really do.”
Wilson wasn’t exactly perfect on this day, but what he did on those last two touchdown drives was exactly what his team needed.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The game-winning TD pass from Wilson to Rice, of course. It was a pass play the Seahawks setup with their effective use of the read-option running plays, as Rice duped cornerback Charles Tillman into thinking he was a blocker on the play.
“I came off the ball and made Tillman stop his feet, like I was going to block him,” Rice said. “As soon as he looked inside, I just beat him across the field, threw my hand up in front of me, Russ saw me, touchdown.”
But not without a little pain, and drama. Just as Rice was crossing the goal line, he took a shot to the head from safety Major Wright and lost the ball. The play was reviewed before the Seahawks had their game-winner.
Defense: The Bears were leading 7-0 and had driven from their 12-yard line to the Seahawks’ 15 early in the second quarter. On fourth-and-1, running back Michael Bush leaped over the middle of the line. But instead of getting the needed yard, he ran into middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and was stopped for no gain.
Special teams: Jon Ryan and Jeremy Lane were at it again. On the series following Wagner’s big fourth-down stop, the Seahawks were stopped. But Ryan lofted a 44-yard punt that Lane caught at the Bears’ 5-yard line.
Left guard James Carpenter reinjured the surgically repaired knee that forced him to miss the final seven games of his rookie season in the first half and did not return. He was replaced by John Moffitt, who helped the Seahawks rush for 176 yards.
“Something happened in his knee,” Carroll said. “So we protected him.”
The Seahawks also played without veteran linebacker Leroy Hill and veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant. Both were among the players named inactive, Hill because of the ankle he sprained in last week’s game against the Dolphins and Trufant because a hamstring began bothering him at the end of Thursday’s practice.
Malcolm Smith started for Hill and had two tackles. Walter Thurmond stepped in for Trufant, in his first action of the season after being activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list last month.
With 87 rushing yards, Marshawn Lynch had more yards against the Bears on Sunday than in his games at Soldier Field the past two seasons combined (85). He also scored his fourth touchdown in those three games, all Seahawk victories.
Rice (six for 99) and Tate (five for 96) just missed giving the Seahawks their first game with two 100-yard receivers since Rice (seven for 102) and Ben Obomanu (four for 107) did it against the Bengals last October.
Despite facing the Bears’ No. 3-ranked defense, the Seahawks compiled a season-high 459 yards. They also had 176 rushing yards, their fourth-highest total of the season; and 25 first downs, their second-highest total. Their three TD drives covered 94, 97 and 80 yards.
Wagner had a game-high 11 tackles, including the Seahawks’ only sack.
For the second consecutive game, Ryan’s average and net average on five punts were the same (39.6 yards). He also had three inside the 20-yard line.
With their seventh victory in their 12th game, the Seahawks have matched their win total from each of Carroll’s first two seasons.
The Bears’ Brandon Marshall had 10 catches for 165 yards, making him the fourth receiver to surpass 100 receiving yards against the Seahawks this season.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The last drive in regulation, the 97-yarder in 12 plays, was just exquisite execution by the quarterback.” – coach Pete Carroll
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 26:
Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback has been on a “continued ascent,” as coach Pete Carroll said today during his day-after Q&A session with the media.
That’s one way to put it, because what Wilson has done in the past three games is historic stuff.
In Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Wilson became the first rookie in the 93-year history of the NFL to complete 16 consecutive passes – which also is one shy of the Seahawks’ franchise record that was set by Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon in 1998.
The historic feat that Wilson turned with his arm also led to another first-for-a-rookie achievement, which the league announced today. With his 125.9 passer rating against the Dolphins, he also has a three-game streak where his rating has been at least 125. Wilson had a 131.0 rating in the pre-bye week win over the Jets and was at 127.3 the week before against the Vikings – both victories in games played at CenturyLink Field.
Put those three games together and Wilson’s numbers inch closer to top-of-the-chart status, not for a rookie QB but any QB: 128.6 rating, 70 percent completions (49 of 70), 585 yards, seven touchdown passes, no interceptions.
The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers leads the league in passer rating (105.6), while the 49ers’ Alex Smith leads in completion percentage (.700).
As pleased as Carroll is with the progress of his first-year passer, he is not startled by Wilson’s development.
“Russell has really, really continued to improve,” Carroll said. “It’s not really a surprise when you look at how he goes about it, and who he is, and how talented a football player he is.
“I thought his talent really showed in (Sunday’s) game. I thought he was really adept at finding space to make his plays, and dumping the ball off really effectively, as well.”
Here’s a closer look at Wilson’s “sweet 16” against the Dolphins:
It started on the Seahawks’ first possession of the second quarter, after he threw incomplete to Golden Tate. Then it was Wilson to Sidney Rice for 26 yards on third-and-12; Wilson to Rice for 11 yards; and Wilson to tight end Zach Miller for 4 yards on third-and-3. That’s three in a row.
On their next possession in the quarter, it was Wilson to rookie running back Robert Turbin for 20 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to running back Marshawn Lynch for 7 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Tate for 32 yards; and Wilson to tight end Anthony McCoy for 3 yards and a touchdown. That’s seven in a row.
On the Seahawks’ first possession in the third quarter, Wilson was 7 of 7 during the 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with his 4-yard TD pass to fullback Michael Robinson: Wilson to Rice for 12 yards; Wilson to Miller for 4 yards; Wilson to rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse for 8 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to Doug Baldwin for 14 yards; Wilson to Turbin for 18 yards; Wilson to tight end Evan Moore for 6 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Robinson for the score. That’s 14 in a row.
Wilson then hit his first two passes of the fourth quarter – a 14-yarder to Tate and an 8-yarder to Miller – for No. 15 and No. 16.
His 16 completions went to 10 different receivers, with Rice (three), Miller (three), Tate (two) and Turbin (two) catching more than one.
“I think he’s got more room to improve,” Carroll said. “And I think he is a prime example of why a guy improves, because of the way he applies himself. He does it to the absolute nth degree. We’re seeing it right before our eyes. Pretty cool.”
THE POINT OF NO RETURNS
Heath Farwell and his mates on the kickoff and punt coverage units went without a tackle against the Dolphins because the Seahawks did not allow a return. Six of Jon Ryan’s seven punts were inside the 20-yard line, as four were fair caught, two went out of bounds and the other was downed; while each of Steven Hauschka’s four kickoffs were touchbacks.
“That’s one of the first games I’ve been in where they had zero return yards, and we didn’t have any tackles,” special teams coordinator Brian Schneider said. “Our guys love to fight for tackles. That’s a big deal to them in the locker room, like who’s going to get them. And there just weren’t any, because Jon did such a great job punting and Steven was crushing the ball.”
As a result, the Dolphins had 11 possessions and the last 10 started at (four) or inside (six) the 20-yard line.
“We’ll take that anytime,” Schneider said.
Linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) and left guard James Carpenter (knee) left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but each was able to return. Carroll said today that he’ll know more on Wednesday about their availability to practice.
STAT DU JOUR
Leon Washington returned his eighth kickoff for a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday, tying the NFL record that was set by the Browns’ Josh Cribbs. Here’s a look at Washington’s scoring returns – the first four with the Seahawks, the other four with the Jets:
Opponent (year) Yards Outcome
Dolphins (2012) 98 L, 24-21
49ers (2010) 92 L, 40-21
Chargers (2010) 101, 99 W, 27-20
Patriots (2008) 92 W, 34-31
Dolphins (2007) 98 W, 31-28
Giants (2007) 98 L, 35-24
Redskins (2007) 86 L, 23-20 OT
The players have their “off” day on Tuesday and will return on “Competition Wednesday” to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is running into the quarterback, not roughing the quarterback … (Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas) was trying to avoid it. He didn’t even hit him (Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill) hard, barely touched him.” – Tony Dungy, the former Colts and Buccaneers coach and now NBC analyst, on the fourth-quarter penalty that negated an end-zone interception by rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 23:
Ready, willing and able. That was the state of the Seahawks after they went through their final full practice today before Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami.
Every member of the 53-man roster practiced and, for the first time this season, all will be available to play against the Dolphins.
“We’re really pleased that we have everybody available,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Sometimes you’re just kind of scrambling to figure out who you’re going to put up, but that’s not the case right now. Our hope is that it keeps us competitive at practice, it keeps everybody busting it and we’re able to practice hard because we have all of our numbers.
“Hopefully all of that adds together and allows us to elevate our play going into this final stage of the season.”
James Carpenter continued to work at left guard with the No. 1 line today after missing the past two games because of a concussion. Carroll said whether Carpenter or John Moffitt starts will be a game-day decision.
Defensive end Red Bryant returned to practice after sitting out on Thursday to rest a sore foot, and Carroll said it looks like Bryant will be able to play.
Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Adam Schefter at ESPN.com looks at the “10 best bargains” in the league in his weekly “10 Spot,” and he includes the Seahawks’ left cornerback and strong safety. Here’s his take on each:
Sherman: “ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said last week that Sherman has developed into “the best shutdown corner in the NFL right now.”
Chancellor: “If Sherman is the game’s best shutdown corner, Chancellor might be the best shutdown safety, one of the hardest-hitting players in the league.”
This time, it’s from an opponent – although a familiar one to Carroll. Reggie Bush, the Dolphins’ leading rusher, played for Carroll at USC. Here’s what Bush had to say when asked what about the Seahawks has Carroll’s stamp on it:
“Yeah, I think it’s a little bit of everything – speed, they play well together, play well within the scheme and obviously, from the defense’s standpoint, they’re bringing a lot of different pressure, exotic front, creating turnovers and just making plays when they have to. And winning games when they have to. That’s kind of coach Carroll’s signature.”
The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:
DE Red Bryant (foot)
OG James Carpenter (concussion)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)
DT Clinton McDonald (groin)
LB K.J. Wright (concussion)
For the Dolphins:
LB Austin Spitler (ankle)
LB Karlos Dansby (biceps)
P Brandon Fields (left knee)
C Mike Pouncey (ankle)
S Jimmy Wilson (ribs)
TE Anthony Fasano (hip)
STAT DU JOUR
Sunday’s game features two of the quarterbacks selected in April’s NFL Draft – and two of the seven who could or have started this week – in the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (third round, 75th overall) and the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill (first round, eighth pick overall). The disparity in their statistics entering this game is even greater when dealing only with their fourth-quarter efforts. Here’s a look at the numbers for each player:
Player Att. Comp. Pct. Yards TD Int. Rating (NFL rank)
Russell Wilson 253 157 64.2 1,827 15 8 90.5 (12th)
Ryan Tannehill 308 179 58.1 2,120 6 11 70.3 (30th)
Player Att. Comp. Pct. Yards TD Int. Rating
Russell Wilson 77 44 57.1 559 5 1 96.2 (6th)
Ryan Tannehill 94 50 53.2 644 3 3 72.3 (29th)
The team flew to Fort Lauderdale following a mid-day practice and will hold a walkthrough there on Saturday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m looking forward to getting the win. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m not so worried about who’s on the other side of the field. This game is really going to come down to our ability to execute and just finding a way to win this game, getting better as a team, running the ball better, passing the ball better, just executing in all phases of the game.” – Bush when asked if he was looking forward to playing against his college coach
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Thanksgiving Day, November 22.
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times highlights two former Canadian Football League stars – Miami’s Cameron Wake and Seattle’s Brandon Browner – who will meet at the NFL level this Sunday, “Wake, 30, ranks fifth in the NFL with 9 ½ sacks and is regarded as a candidate for defensive player of the year. The defensive end earned a Pro Bowl berth with a 14-sack season in 2010. Browner, 28, made the Pro Bowl last year after leading the Seahawks with six interceptions and setting the franchise’s season record for return yards (220). Now, in his second year starting at cornerback, Browner has become an anchor in one of the NFL’s best secondaries. Both players are testaments to perseverance in the face of obstacles, and also to the vagaries of evaluating football players.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the weekend’s matchup between Wake and Michael Robinson – two former college teammates at Penn State, “Wake said he’s looks forward to getting to hit Robinson, who was usually off limits in practice as a quarterback at Penn State. ‘He’s an athlete obviously,’ Wake said. ‘But if you would’ve told me back then this guy is going to be a fullback in the NFL and you guys are going to play each other, I probably would’ve told you that you were crazy.’ Robinson, who still calls Wake by the first name that he went by at Penn State — Derek — says bring it. ‘He had a chance (to hit me in college),’ Robinson said. ‘He missed — for real. I’m serious. Go watch some tape. Ask some people.’ ”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says Sunday’s matchup in Miami is a good time to compare the play of rookie quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill, “The 6-foot-4 Tannehill was taken with the eighth overall pick in the draft, following No. 1 Andrew Luck (6-4) and No. 2 Robert Griffin III (6-2). Cleveland also took a tall quarterback at No. 22 (6-4 Brandon Weeden). Wilson waited until the third round to be picked by the Seahawks, a lengthy delay caused not by his skills, attitude nor collegiate performance, but because of his 5-105/8 stature. ‘I don’t pay attention, really,’ Wilson said of the efforts of his fellow rookie quarterbacks. ‘I see it on ESPN or whatever and all that, but I’m so focused on our football team and what we can do and what we can control and what I can control to help our team win.’ As it turns out, Wilson can control a whole lot more than almost everybody expected. Through 10 games, Wilson has the second highest passer rating of any of the rookie quarterbacks, his 90.5 trailing only Washington’s Robert Griffin III. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes with eight interceptions. Tannehill has a 70.8 rating with six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Most relevant, the Seahawks’ 6-4 record with Wilson starting is matched only by Luck’s Colts as the best among rookie starters.”
The Sports Network’s John McMullen previews Sunday’s game in Miami, “It’s hard to imagine either team lightning up the scoreboard here. Wilson hasn’t shown anything on the road yet while Tannehill has been struggling mightily and will be facing off against one of the NFL’s best secondaries. Expect a late Dan Carpenter field goal to get Miami back in the win column here. ‘I haven’t slept as well as I’d like to be sleeping (during the losing streak),’ [Miami coach] Philbin said. ‘But at the same time you have to have faith and belief in something, and we’re going to stick to this process that we have in place. There’s a lot of football left to be played and most importantly excited about this opportunity against Seattle.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dolphins 20, Seahawks 17″
Like Stone, John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a look at Seattle and Miami’s Canada connection, “It’s rare that a player makes the leap from the CFL to the NFL and has a lasting impact. It’s even less common when they do what Wake and Browner have both done by not just winning starting jobs, but playing at a Pro Bowl level. Wake signed with the Dolphins in 2009 after spending two years with the Lions. In an odd twist, Browner and Wake both worked out for the Dolphins at the same time back in 2009, though only one landed a job. ‘When he got signed to Miami, I was down there and it was down to me and him,’ Browner said. ‘They told both of us, ‘We’re going to sign of one of you guys.’ And they took him.’ Wake wasn’t a starter in his first season with the Dolphins, but he still managed 5.5 sacks. He then enjoyed a breakout year in 2010, piling up 14 sacks while earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors. Browner took a similar route, proving himself in Calgary before the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll, who coached against Browner when the cornerback was at Oregon State, brought him in for a look prior to last season. Browner finished his first NFL season with six interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and went to the Pro Bowl. And when Wake and Browner both take the field Sunday it will be a reminder of just how inexact a science talent evaluation can be in football.”
Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman, contributing to 710Sports.com, describes his experiences playing on the road in the NFL, and offers some explanation as to why the Seahawks struggle away from home, “‘ll give you this: it’s a little more difficult to go to sleep at midnight when it’s only 9 o’clock back home and it definitely sucks getting up at 8 a.m. when your body clock is telling you it’s 5 a.m. But once you’re up and going, that never enters your mind. Here’s what I’ve always said about the time change: it doesn’t matter what time it is back home – right here and right now, it’s time to play. Linebacker K.J. Wright offered one solution to the problem on the air with me and Colin Paisley on Monday. K.J. brought up the fact that crowd noise bothers the offense on the road but has no effect on special teams or defense: ‘If you can get those two things going, defense and special teams, they control the game and they’ll get us rolling.’ ”
Liz Matthews of 710Sports.com has her practice report from Wednesday, noting the return of offensive guard James Carpenter, who sat out of the club’s “Bonus Monday” practice earlier this week as he had not yet cleared concussion testing, “Carpenter cleared the mandated concussion protocol testing in order to return to the field. Carpenter was inactive the last two games and was unable to practice last Monday following the bye. Head coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday he was uncertain whether Carpenter would start Sunday in Miami. ‘We’ll see,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how the week goes and what happens. I just want to take it one day at a time and see how that goes.’ Carroll did say that John Moffitt, who has started at left guard in Carpenter’s absence, is ready to go if needed.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press highlights the reunion between head coach Pete Carroll and Dolphins running back Reggie Bush. Bush played for coach Carroll while the pair was at USC, “Carroll believes Bush has matured as a runner, no longer just rushing as fast as he can to the line of scrimmage, but displaying more patience for running lanes to open up. ‘Reggie has really found his tempo coming to the line of scrimmage and seeing things and using his quickness and darting and using his quickness into open spaces. He looks like a more mature runner now,’ Carroll said. ‘He used to run it up in there as fast as he could and hit it hard and it wasn’t to his advantage all the time in his career, but he’s really on it now.’ ”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice session, “Wilson has played 14 games this season going back to the preseason, more than any of his seasons in college. Yet, Wilson always played baseball in the spring and is used to always playing a sport at a competitive level. It’s kept Wilson fresh for the final six game stretch of the regular season. ‘My body feels tremendous, actually,’ Wilson said. ‘It feels like I haven’t even played a game yet. …I feel great. The bye week definitely helped but I’ll be ready to go.’ The bye came at a perfect time for the Seahawks as it allowed everyone to get healthy. Seattle had everyone back at practice Wednesday as the team began game-week preparations for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his updated “MVP Watch“, where Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has climbed two spots to No. 5 on his list of 10 potential candidates, “Lynch still ranks second in rushing yards following the Seahawks’ bye week. He now faces a Miami Dolphins defense that has ceded 132.2 yards rushing per game and 4.7 per carry over its past five games. That is up from 61.4 yards per game and 2.7 per carry over the first five games. Doug Martin recently passed Lynch for second in yards after contact. Miami has given up 366 yards after contact, the eighth-fewest in the NFL.”
Sando also breaks down the play of rookie QBs Wilson and Tannehill heading into Sunday’s matchup, “Tannehill and Seattle’s Russell Wilson are both starting despite preseason expectations they would serve as backups first. It would have seemed unfathomable when free agency began to think Matt Flynn would be backing up Wilson heading into a Week 12 matchup featuring the Tannehill-led Dolphins. That is indeed the case even though Flynn visited both teams in free agency after playing for Philbin and Seahawks general manager John Schneider in Green Bay. ‘We certainly like our quarterback,’ Philbin told reporters Wednesday. ‘I think Seattle’s quarterback is playing very well.’ Both have made positive impressions overall, particularly in light of rookie expectations. Wilson is outperforming Tannehill by leading statistical measures as the Seahawks and Dolphins prepare to face one another for the first time since 2008.”
The crew at NFL Films previews the Seahawks’ Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins in this short video.
Yesterday, the Seahawks added wide receiver Charly Martin from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, and brought in rookie Corbin Louks out of Nevada to take Martin’s place on the practice roster.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps “Wednesday in Hawkville“, with a focus on running back Marshawn Lynch.
Farnsworth also notes the return of second-year linebacker K.J. Wright, who missed the club’s Week 10 game against the New York Jets with a concussion, “It’s impossible to overstate what getting Wright back can mean to the NFL’s No. 3-ranked defense as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami. He was, after all, leading the team in tackles before getting his concussion. ‘It’s a huge get-back,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘K.J. comes back to us and he brings savvy and awareness in our system. He’s a great communicator on the field. He helps the guy up front. He helps Bobby (Wagner, the rookie middle linebacker). It’s just a big deal. ‘Plus, he’s a terrific playmaker for us. So it’s a big boost for us to get him back out there.’ ”
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, recapping what coach Carroll called “one of the most important practices of the year.”
Finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at yesterday’s practice in photos.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 21:
Marshawn Lynch. When it comes to the Seahawks’ workhorse running back, just how much work is too much work?
One of the reasons the team selected Robert Turbin in the fourth round of April’s NFL Draft was to provide a back to spell Lynch. But as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami, only the Texans’ Arian Foster has more carries (249) than Lynch (212).
Asked about limiting Lynch’s carries during his midday Q&A session with the media, coach Pete Carroll said, “I just stopped him and asked him how old he was today. I said, ‘What are you, 27?’ He said, ‘I’m 26, I won’t be 27 until next April.’
“We’ve got to load him up. We’re taking it too easy on this guy. He’s a young man. So I think it’s the other way around – we need to give him some more carries.”
Asked after practice about Carroll joking that he might want to give the ball to Lynch even more, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell smiled and offered, “He was joking?”
When the laughter subsided, Bevell added, “We do (have to watch his number of carries). But Marshawn is just going to keep going. He’s not going to turn it down. He’ll take it every time. We have to be able to mix Robert in there. But when it comes time, when it’s crunch time during a game, we want 24 out there. We want to hand him the ball. We want to give it to him and see what he can do.”
And that’s almost always something positive, and often jaw-dropping. Lynch not only has the second-most carries in the league, he has the second-most rushing yards (1,005).
“He’s going to scratch and claw for every inch that he gets,” Bevell said. “He’s going to break tackles. He’s going to make 2-yard runs into 10-yard runs. I’m asking, ‘Where’s he down?’ They’re like, ‘He’s still running.’ ”
And running. And running. And running some more. The only time Lynch isn’t forcing the issue is when he is being forced to take a play or two off. Then he trudges to the sideline.
“That’s his slow-poke walk,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “That boy can run the ball, and I just like to do everything I can to make sure he gets to the second level. Once he gets to the second level, that’s where he makes the big money.”
Left guard. James Carpenter returned to practice today for the first time since getting a concussion that forced him to sit out the pre-bye games against the Vikings and Jets. But John Moffitt continued to work at left guard with the No. 1 line in practice.
Carpenter got his limited reps with the No. 2 line that also included Frank Omiyale at left tackle, Lemuel Jeanpierre at center and guard J.R. Sweezy and tackle Mike Person on the right side.
“We’ll see how Carp handles it,” Carroll said. “We’re anxious to see him get back out there.”
As to whether Carpenter will step back in as the starter this week, Carroll said, “We’ll see. We’ll see how the week goes. We’ll see what happens. I just want to take it one day at a time.”
Cameron Wake. “Who?” says the look that washed across Robinson’s face. He and Wake played together at Penn State. But that’s also when Wake went by Derek, his first name.
“Derek. Derek. His name is Derek,” Robinson said when asked about Cameron Wake. “I don’t know Cam. You all laugh, but I’m so serious. I don’t know who that is. His name is Derek.”
By any name, Wake has the ability to get to the quarterback. The Dolphins’ defensive end has 9.5 sacks this season and 37.5 since making the jump from the CFL to the NFL in 2009.
“He’s really good,” Carroll said. “He’s powerful. He’s a natural athlete. He’s got great length. And he has a good motor, too; he’s bringing it all the time. He’s really a classic, big-time rusher. He’s a problem. He’s just as natural as you can be at bringing the heat.”
Wake said during a conference-call interview today that he’s looking forward to being able to finally hit Robinson on Sunday, because he wasn’t allowed to do it while Robinson was playing quarterback at Penn State.
Told that, Robinson offered a look that screamed, “Please.”
“He had his chances, OK, to hit me in college and he just couldn’t do it,” Robinson said. “It wasn’t my fault. I ran the ball and he had to get his feet together to get me. But he couldn’t do that.”
Robinson then shifted into a more serious gear before continuing. “It will definitely be fun to play against him,” he said. “Derek’s a great kid. He’s worked hard to get to where he is. I’m glad to see that he’s had success. He’s always been physically a man-child.”
MARTIN UP, LOUKS IN
Wide receiver Charly Martin rejoined the 53-man roster today, filling the spot that opened when rookie safety Winston Guy was given a four-game suspension by the league on Tuesday.
To fill Martin’s spot on the practice squad, wide receiver Corbin Louks was signed to the practice squad. Louks ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds during his Pro Day workout at Nevada, where he also played running back – a role he stepped into immediately on the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense.
The official practice participation report, as issued by the team:
OG James Carpenter (concussion)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)
CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)
DT Clinton McDonald (groin)
LB K.J. Wright (concussion)
For the Dolphins:
Did not practice
LB Austin Spitler (ankle)
LB Karlos Dansby (biceps)
P Brandon Fields (left knee)
C Mike Pouncey (ankle)
S Jimmy Wilson (ribs)
STAT DU JOUR
We’ve used this before, but it doesn’t lessen the impact of just what Lynch has done since Week 9 of last season – which is run for 305 more yards than any other back in the NFL. It’s a tribute to not only his productivity, but his durability. Here’s a look at Lynch’s 19-game totals, and those backs who continue to chase him:
Player, team Att. Yards Avg. TD
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks 423 1,946 4.6 14
Arian Foster, Texans 392 1,641 4.2 16
Chris Johnson, Titans 325 1,607 4.9 7
Ray Rice, Ravens 340 1,572 4.6 14
Thanksgiving Day, of course, but also “Turnover Thursday.” Practice will start earlier and there are no post-practice meetings so the players can celebrate the holiday with family and friends.
The players also will practice Friday before the team flies to Florida for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Joyous, humble and committed to his community – that’s Marshawn Lynch off the field. On it? You better strap in or get out of the way. With four straight 100-yard games, he’s averaged even better stats in the second half of games than in the first.” – Sports Illustrated in a “Back to Backs” feature in this week’s issue
Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 1:30 p.m. practice and preparations for their Week 12 road matchup with the Miami Dolphins.
Asked about the status of offensive guard James Carpenter, who had not cleared concussion testing as of Monday of this week after missing the team’s Week 10 game against the New York Jets, Carroll said the second-year lineman will practice today.
“He’s been cleared,” Carroll said. “We’re anxious to see how he handles it.”
Carroll was asked if Carpenter will move back into the starting lineup and replace fellow second-year lineman John Moffitt, and the coach said he will take a “wait and see” approach to that move as they continue to evaluate the week of practice.
“We’ll see how the week goes and take it one day at a time,” he said.
Second-year linebacker K.J. Wright was back during Monday’s bonus practice session. Wright had also missed the team’s Week 10 game against the Jets with a concussion. On Wright, Carroll said he brings a savvy, awareness and advanced level of communication to the rest of the defense.
“It’s a big boost to get him back out there,” said Carroll.
Carroll called today’s practice one of the most important practices of the year, and it is easy to understand why. The club is back from the bye week and has everybody healthy, according to Carroll. Carroll said it is important to take advantage of the remaining padded practices, as under the new CBA players are limited to a certain number of padded practices as a nod toward improving player safety. With everybody expected back and with everybody expected to be in pads, Carroll said the focus of today’s session will be on controlling the line of scrimmage, with plenty of hitting involved.
Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.