A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 4:
1990: Dave Krieg completes 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 27-21. Jerry Gray, a cornerback for the Rams who would go on to coach the Seahawks’ defensive backs in 2010, is named MVP after returning an interception 51 yards for a TD and also registering seven tackles. Rufus Porter (two tackles) and Brian Blades (one reception) also represent the Seahawks in the game.
1996: Chris Warren leads the NFC with 43 rushing yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 20-13.
1998: Jim Johnson is named linebackers coach on Dennis Erickson’s staff. Johnson remains for only one season before becoming the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, but his impact on the Seahawks’ defense is apparent even after he leaves.
2010: First-year coach Pete Carroll announces his staff: Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator), Brian Schneider (special teams coordinator), Kippy Brown (wide receivers), Luke Butkus (quality control/offensive line), Dave Canales (quality control/offense), Chris Carlisle (head strength and conditioning), Jedd Fisch (quarterbacks), Mondray Gee (assistant strength and conditioning), Alex Gibbs (offensive line), Jerry Gray (defensive backs), Kris Richard (assistant defensive backs), Rocky Seto (quality control/defense), Sherman Smith (running backs), Jeff Ulbrich (assistant special teams), Art Valero (assistant offensive line) and Jamie Yancher (assistant strength and conditioning).
2012: Cortez Kennedy, in his seventh year of eligibility and fourth year as a finalist, is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1990s as a defensive tackle, Kennedy joins Steve Largent as the only career-long Seahawks player in the Hall.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 2:
The not-so-long goodbye. The players cleaned out their cubicles in the locker room today, always a sweet-and-sour experience, after completing their exit physicals and before a final team meeting.
“We’re going to be going our separate ways,” quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said, less than 24 hours after their season ended with a 23-20 overtime loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. “A lot of guys are going to be tuning into the playoffs and wishing that we were in there and had that opportunity. But time will fly by.
“Guys are going to get with their families and enjoy that time and before you know it in April we’ll be back here and ready to get started.”
April? That’s right. As part of the new CBA which came out of the 136-day lockout that erased the offseason in 2011, the offseason workout program and OTA sessions that usually began in March will be delayed this offseason.
So this was a last chance for the players to be with their teammates as a team for awhile. Some players made the rounds getting teammates to autograph helmets. Other exchanged jerseys. All filled large boxes with their belongings.
“This team took a turn this year from last year,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “It went from the coaches pretty much directing us, to this year we kind of took ownership of the team. It became our team, and that’s what you like to see at this level.
“Nothing else can motivate you more than your peers.”
Among the items Robinson tucked into his storage box was a tool belt that was presented to him by his running backs peers – Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington and Justin Forsett.
“It signifies that I come to work and I can fix a lot of problems,” said Robinson, the lead blocker for Lynch’s career-best 1,204-yard season and also a special teams captain this season. “That’s going to be in my locker forever now.”
Jon Ryan broke his own franchise records for punting average (46.6) and net average (39.3), but he also reached a personal goal: Leading the league in punts inside the 20-yard line.
“It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do, because it’s such an important stat,” Ryan said.
He had 34, to nudge the Broncos’ Britton Colquitt by one. And that one came in overtime during Sunday’s loss. Ryan’s total also ties the franchise record that was set by Jeff Feagles in 1999.
Jeff Ulbrich, the Seahawks’ assistant special teams coach the past two seasons, is leaving to become special teams coach/linebacker coach on Jim Mora’s staff at UCLA. Luke Butkus, a quality control/offensive line coach the past two years, will become the offensive line coach at Illinois, his alma mater.
The Seahawks will host the Cowboys in 2012, because they finished third in the NFC East. It had been reported that the Eagles would return to CenturyLink Field, but they finished second in their division based on a tiebreaker with the Cowboys.
The rest of the Seahawks home-and-away lineup is available here.
STAT DU JOUR
They did it. The defense finished No. 9 in the NFL, allowing an average of 332.2 yards. The Seahawks’ defense had finished among the Top 10 in the league only five other times in franchise history, and the last time was in 1997. Here’s a look at those defenses compared to this season’s unit:
Year Rank; average yards allowed
2011 No. 9; 332.2
1997 No. 8; 303.1
1992 No. 10; 286.4
1991 No. 8; 293.9
1990 No. 9; 288.1
1984 No. 6; 310.2
Coach Pete Carroll will hold his season-ending news conference on Tuesday.
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“More games.” – Robinson when asked what was missing at this point
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 29:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Silver Linings” from the Seahawks’ loss to the Redskins on Sunday, including this one: “Seattle’s offensive line generally played well, helping to limit the Redskins’ Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan to a half-sack between them.”
Sando also wonders if the Seahawks should take a look at No. 3 QB Josh Portis before the end of the season, something several on our game-day online chat also have asked about. Says Sando: “This season was about discovery at the quarterback position and building other positions before drafting a QB in 2012. The Seahawks have seen enough from backup Charlie Whitehurst, who likely will not be back next season. Tarvaris Jackson proved he’s tough and capable enough to serve as a bridge to the team’s next starter. Portis’ talents have intrigued the coaching staff. When else will the team have a chance to give Portis a look in real games?”
Speaking of Jackson, Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says Jackson’s sore shoulder could put the Seahawks in a bind with the short week to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles: “His passing yardage has declined in each of the past four games, and his health will be a central issue when the Seahawks play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday. That’s the day Jackson has just begun throwing in practice the past couple of weeks. Forget all the questions concerning Seattle’s quarterback of the future, because there’s a question of how long Jackson can stay in the pocket in the present.”
O’Neil also has “Three Things we Learned” from Sunday’s loss, including this one: “Three yards in a cloud of dust has its risks. The Seahawks have established a formula for winning, which includes a heaping helping of Marshawn Lynch and a gob of defense thick enough to choke out the opponent. Lynch surpassed 100 yards rushing for the third time in four games, but when the Seahawks gave up two touchdowns on third-down plays in the span of 3 minutes, 33 seconds in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were in a position where they had to throw and they simply couldn’t. Having an offense that is as repetitive and as run-based as Seattle’s has been leaves a team very vulnerable should it fall behind. To repeat: If Seattle is put in a position where it has to throw, it’s in trouble.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at Jackson’s situation: “At this point, no one can question Tarvaris Jackson toughness, his desire, or his dedication to the team. What Sunday’s loss to Washington showed we can question, however, is if the Seattle Seahawks quarterback should still be playing. That’s not to say Jackson is the primary reason why the Seahawks lost. His receivers let him down by repeatedly dropping passes, the defense gave up some unforgivable big plays, and penalties on both sides of the ball again played a big role. But what was evident watching Jackson play Sunday is the Seahawks quarterback is playing hurt, and that the pectoral injury is affecting his play.”
Also at the Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “The Game of My Life” series with a look at Keith Simpson: “Atop the desk of Keith Simpson’s office at his Houston-area home, a photograph greets him each morning. The black-and-white, unframed photo is a keepsake of a time when young football players were in the prime of their lives, when they felt indestructible. In the picture, four men celebrate arm in arm after their Seattle Seahawks recorded a dominating win and made history in the process. Two of the men, Pro Bowl safety Kenny Easley and defensive backs coach Ralph Hawkins, are beaming with pride. The others, cornerbacks Keith Simpson and Dave Brown, are too tired to even grin. Easley and Simpson hold a football under their arms, signifying the touchdowns they scored that afternoon. Brown, he has a pair of footballs, having made it to the end zone twice. And Hawkins grins like a proud father: These are my guys. Four men, having the time of their lives.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the Seahawks’ penalty problem, and how it’s not a new problem for coach Pete Carroll: “According to statistics compiled by the Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen, during his time at USC (2004-09), Carroll-led teams were the fourth-most penalized team in the Pacific-10 Conference, averaging seven penalties per game for 61.44 yards. The Trojans led the Pac-10 in penalties in 2007 and 2008, with an average of eight a game. USC finished a combined 23-3 those two seasons largely because the Trojans had more talent than the rest of the Pac-10.”
Here at Seahawks.com, in our “Monday metatarsal musings” we take another look at Red Bryant’s block party on Sunday and exactly what’s going on: “It’s the scheme, of course, as special teams coach Brian Schneider and assistant Jeff Ulbrich have devised ways to allow Bryant to come free for those blocks. It’s also team work, as Raheem Brock, Anthony Hargrove and David Hawthorne have to do their assignments properly to allow Bryant to do his thing. ‘For that entire group, it’s become extremely important to them,’ Ulbrich said on Monday. ‘You look around the league and a lot of defenses take that snap off. But these guys have really approached it like it’s the most important defensive play.’ It’s also Bryant, too. A 6-foot-4, 330-pounder with long arms, he has the ability and agility to wedge his body through the slightest of gaps and a drive that borders on the demented. ‘Obviously Red is very talented,’ Ulbrich said. ‘He has great get-off and then he has great length. That makes a big difference.’ ”
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 18:
Tarvaris Jackson. If it’s Friday, the Seahawks’ sore-shouldered quarterback did not throw in practice. But then this has become his pattern in practice since straining the pectoral in his right shoulder in the Week 5 win over the Giants.
“Tarvaris did very well in practice yesterday and couldn’t throw today,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s 90-minute practice.
But then Jackson wasn’t scheduled to throw, because it has taken him two days to recover after throwing in previous weeks.
“We figured it was going to be the same, because he went into the week the same,” Carroll said. “He can throw one day and then he’s got to rest a few days before he can come back and throw again.”
But Jackson is expected to play against the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday, although the final decision will be made on game day – as it has the past three weeks.
Not ideal, but just the way it is and will continue to be.
“He misses the opportunity for the installation for the end of the week,” Carroll said. “He has to kind of think through the routes and read through them just standing behind the quarterback (Charlie Whitehurst).
“It’s just not the same, but we still feel confident in (him) helping us win. He looked really good a day ago. So that’s how we’ll go. But it’s not the way you design it at all. He needs the work and it’s going to accumulate, I would think, at some point. But hopefully we’ll be able to play through that.”
Special teams. On a scale of 1-to-12, the efforts of these units were a “10” against the Ravens last week. How can you tell? It’s on a large performance board that is mounted on the wall just outside the locker room.
Special teams coaches Brian Schneider and Jeff Ulbrich grade their players on 12 categories each week, from 100 percent effort to eliminating big plays by the opponent. If the goal-area is achieved, a Seahawks’ logo is placed in the appropriate box. So the board does not lie in charting the inconsistent performance this season of the unit that was the most consistent element of the team last season.
That “10” against the Ravens included forcing two fumbles on kickoff returns that were recovered to set up a pair of field goals by Steve Hauschka – a win-win exchange for the special teams.
In addition to that “10,” the special teams got 11 logos in Weeks 4-5 against the Falcons and Giants. There also has been a pair of 8’s – against the Cardinals in Week 3 and the Browns in Week 7. But then there’s also a “6” (Week 9 against the Cowboys); a “5” (Week 2 against the Steelers); a “4” (Week 8 against the Bengals); and a “3” (the opener against the 49ers).
The Seahawks’ victories have come against the Ravens, Giants and Cardinals – two of the games with double-digit logos on the board as well as an “8.” Those with the least? The Seahawks allowed a punt return and kickoff return for touchdowns in the loss to the 49ers and a punt return for a score against the Bengals.
So the board serves as positive feedback for those jobs well done, and an impetus for improvement after those games that didn’t go as well.
“Absolutely,” said Michael Robinson, the special teams co-captain. “When we don’t have many of those logos up there, then that means a lot of games we lose. But when we’re meeting all of our goals, putting our offense and defense in great situations, we usually win.”
So that’s a thumbs-up for the special board? “I love it,” Robinson said.
The official end-of-the-week status report:
OT James Carpenter (knee)
S Atari Bigby (hamstring)
DL Anthony Hargrove (hamstring)
WR Doug Baldwin (head)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
WR Sidney Rice (head)
LB David Vobora (head)
SS Kam Chancellor (head)
TE Cameron Morrah (toe/knee)
Bigby was limited in practice, but did get some work for the first time this week. Carroll said the status of Bigby and Hargrove would be game-day decisions. Rice, Baldwin and Chancellor have practiced all week, after getting concussions against the Ravens, and will play against the Rams.
For the Rams:
OT Jason Smith (head)
RB Carnell Williams (calf)
WR Danario Alexander (hamstring)
CB Justin King (head/ankle)
OT Rodger Saffold (head/chest)
WR Brandon Gibson (groin)
LB Josh Hull (hamstring)
LB Bryan Kehl (ankle)
RB Jerious Norwood (hamstring)
DE Eugene Sims (shoulder)
S Darian Stewart (neck)
DE Eugene Sims (shoulder)
Saffold, the starter at left tackle, did not practice today after injuring a pectoral while lifting weights. The St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that a MRI showed “significant” damage to the muscle. Mark LeVoir is expected to start against the Seahawks.
Rookie offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt will have surgery next week to repair the knee ligaments they damaged this week. On the same day.
“Beds side-by-side; and John’s going to be on the left and James will be on the right,” Carroll said, a reference to how they lined up at right guard and right tackle before being injured.
Moffitt injured the MCL and PCL in his right knee in Sunday’s win over the Ravens. Carpenter tore the ACL in his left knee during practice on Wednesday.
STAT DU JOUR
Marshawn Lynch will be looking to score a touchdown in his sixth consecutive game on Sunday, which would be the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. Here’s a look at those he’s tied with and those he’s chasing:
Player (season) Games
Shaun Alexander (2005) 9
David Sims (1978) 8
Chris Warren (1993-94) 7
Marshawn Lynch (2011) 5
Curt Warner (1983) 5
Steve Largent (1984) 5
The players will have a walk-through on Saturday morning before the team flies to St. Louis for Sunday’s games.
The Seahawks will then play three consecutive home games for the first time since 2004 – next Sunday against the Redskins; Dec. 1, a Thursday night, against the Eagles; and a “Monday Night Football” game against the Rams on Dec. 12.
Tickets are available for those games and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Whenever somebody gets hurt, your heart gets crushed a little bit for the guys. But the other side of it is the opportunity. These guys have come to play here. This is why they’re here. So they’re going to jump at this opportunity and go for it. They really do know our system. I feel very confident in that regard. Tom (Cable, the line coach) feels great about that. So we’ll expect those guys to do well and we’ll just keep moving.” – Carroll on Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini stepping in for Moffitt and Carpenter
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 12:
1984: Kenny Easley intercepts two passes and Dave Krieg throws two touchdown passes in a 17-14 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome on “Monday Night Football.”
1995: Joey Galloway rolls up 237 all-purpose yards in a 47-30 victory over the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Galloway’s all-purpose day includes an 86-yard run for the touchdown and TD catches of 38 and 23 yards as part of his five-catch, 114-yard effort.
2000: Jon Kitna earns AFC offensive player of the week honors as he completes 22 of 33 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-21 win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Ricky Watters also scores twice.
2006: Josh Brown kicks a 38-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining to give the Seahawks a 24-22 victory over the Rams in Seattle. It is Brown’s third game-winning kick of the season.
2007: The defense sacks 49ers quarterback Alex Smith three times and hit him seven other times in a 24-0 victory on “Monday Night Football” in Seattle. D.J. Hackett leads the offense with eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Ulbrich, now the Seahawks assistant special teams coach but then a 49ers linebacker, has a game-high 10 tackles.