Monday in Hawkville: Russell Wilson picks up far beyond where he left off

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 20, as the Seahawks kicked off the OTA portion of their offseason program:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ second-year quarterback made it difficult to not watch him, and coach Pete Carroll summed up the situation when asked how much farther along Wilson is this year compared to last year – when he had just been selected in the third round of the NFL Draft and still was competing for the starting job with the since-departed duo of Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson.

“There’s no way of even calculating that,” Carroll said after a crisp, spirited practice on yet another gorgeous day along the shores of Lake Washington. “His awareness and his sense for the finest details, we jumped offside today and he’s working on hard counts on the first play of team (drills).

“He didn’t know what a hard count was last year at this time.”

That might be stretching it just a tad, but saying that Wilson had a very impressive outing in the first of the team’s 10 OTA practices is not.

In that first team segment Carroll mentioned, Wilson completed passes to wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate and also scrambled twice, before throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Wilson remained almost as sharp, and aware, for the rest of the session.

“It’s really hard to equate what it is, because he’s applied himself so much that he’s taken an extraordinary amount of information and he’s processing it,” Carroll said. “He threw a couple of balls today – things that we’ve talked about over the offseason we’d like to take a shot at – and he did it today just to see what would happen. With full awareness of why he was doing it.”

Before the OTA session was over, Wilson had completed passes to 10 receivers – running back Robert Turbin; Baldwin and McCoy; Tate, running back Derrick Coleman, rookie tight end Luke Willson, Percy Harvin, tight end Zach Miller, wide receiver Bryan Walters and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

The pass to Kearse was vintage Wilson – and that’s saying something, as well, that a second-year QB already has established trademark nuances to his game. It came on the final play, as Wilson avoided pressure and got off a pass that caught Kearse as much as Kearse caught the pass.

“Russell is the kind of players that will affect other guys,” Carroll said. “He affects everybody around him and hopefully that will help everybody play better.”


UNIT WATCH

Offensive line. Right tackle Breno Giacomini participated fully, after being limited in Phase 2 of the offseason program following elbow surgery. His returned allowed the No. 1 offense to field the same line that closed last season – Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, left guard Paul McQuistan, All-Pro center Max Unger, right guard J.R. Sweezy and Giacomini.

Comprising the second unit, from left tackle to right: Mike Person, who had been working for Giacomini with the No. 1 line; Rishaw Johnson, Lemuel Jeanpierre, John Moffitt and Michael Bowie. In the third unit: Alvin Bailey, Johnson, Jared Smith, Ryan Seymour and Jordon Roussos.

PLAYER WATCH

Cliff Avril. And that’s what the defensive end who was signed in free agency was doing – watching, because he’s dealing with plantar fascia that he got a month ago.

But with Bruce Irvin facing a four-game suspension to start the regular season and Chris Clemons still recovering from surgery to repair the ligament and meniscus damage in his left knee from the wild-card playoff win over the Redskins in January, Avril is slated to be the starter at the Leo end spot in the Sept. 8 opener against the Panthers in Carolina.

“I like the fact that Cliff is here because he gave us a cushion for Clem,” Carroll said. “That now changes for the first month of the season.”

Today, Irvin continued to work at Leo end in the No. 1 nickel line, with Mike Morgan taking over with the second unit and Ty Powell going with the third unit. In the base defense, Michael Bennett was the Leo end with the No. 1 line.

ROSTER MOVES

Tight end Darren Fells was re-signed this morning, while snapper Adam Steiner was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster.

Fells, a basketball player in college who also played professionally in Belgium, Ireland and Argentina, was released two weeks ago. But he attended the May 10-12 rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Steiner had been claimed off waivers last week.

Also, running back Christine Michael, who was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft last month, signed his rookie contract.

UP NEXT

The players also have OTA sessions Tuesday and Thursday this week. Next week, they’ll go Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

YOU DON’T SAY, PLAYER EDITION

“We really don’t care. Coach said we’ve got a lot of hype, but he also said let’s make it natural. Everybody around here expects us to win, but we expect ourselves to win, too. We don’t come out here saying we hope to lose. With a good team comes a lot of talk, but we put all that behind us. We’re out here having fun, we’re competing and that’s how it’s going to be.” – Harvin, when asked how the players were handling the heightened expectations that have come from being regarded among the “favorites” in the league this offseason by the national media

YOU DON’T SAY, COACH EDITION

“It was a very, very good first day for us.” – Carroll


The Real Rob Report: Offseason Workouts

“The best way to kick off my appearance for the season is without a shirt on. I’m in a little bit better shape, right?”

If you’re a fan of Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson’s “The Real Rob Report” then it should be a pretty easy guess as to who’s behind that lighthearted quote that helps kick off his newest episode.

If you’re not yet a fan of the show, it’s about time you get in on all of the behind-the-scenes Seahawks goodness.

Robinson’s latest chapter features a look in at Phase 2 of the Seahawks’ offseason program at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The familiar faces of Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Winston Guy, John Moffitt, Max Unger, Josh Portis, Jermaine Kearse, and Phil Bates are all included, as well as the first “Real Rob Report” introductions with newcomers Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett.

Remember, you can stay up to date on everything from the Real Mike Rob by following his show on Twitter and subscribing to his channel on YouTube. And be sure to check out Moffitt’s venture into the apparel business at moffittmerch.com, where like he said in the video above – he’s not “lining his pockets” with the proceeds – they help feed the homeless at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.


The Real Rob Report: Offseason workout in Hermosa Beach, California

This is what you’ve all been waiting for, right?

Fullback Michael Robinson brings an inside look at the Seahawks’ offseason workout rallied late last week by quarterback Russell Wilson at “The Yard” Fitness Center in Hermosa Beach, California.

Robinson’s latest “Real Rob Report” rendition features face time with Wilson, wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice, and Jermaine Kearse, running back Robert Turbin, and new 6-foot-7, 281-pound former professional basketball-playing tight end Darren Fells.

With most of the club back at Virginia Mason Athletic Center this week and for the foreseeable future participating in the team’s Offseason Program, we can only expect more from the Real Mike Rob. Stay tuned.


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Christmas Eve in Hawkville: Making the playoffs just a step in the journey

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 24:

FOCUS ON

Christmas Eve Eve. For Pete Carroll, Sunday night began with him holding his grandson, Dillon, on the sideline before the Seahawks’ game against the 49ers. It ended with the team’s third-year coach embracing a playoff berth after a beyond-convincing 42-13 victory.

But Carroll is not satisfied. Far from it.

“My goal has never been the playoffs,” he said today during his weekly day-after Q&A session with reporters. “It’s try to win the division, because that puts you in the playoffs at home. And that’s what you want. The second season starts, but you want to position yourself in the best spot that you can get it.

“So we never say around here, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get to the playoffs.’ I never thought that. That isn’t good enough.”

That’s still out there for the Seahawks, if they beat the Rams at CenturyLink Field this Sunday while the Cardinals are beating the 49ers in San Francisco. But regardless of where the Seahawks finish, they’ve made it apparent that they can make some noise in the postseason.

To say they’re are on a roll does not do justice to just what the Seahawks have done during their four-game winning streak. Starting with the fourth quarter of their overtime win against the Bears in Chicago in Week 13, the Seahawks have scored on 24 of their 32 full possessions – not counting when the clock expired at the end of the first half or they kneeled to run out the clock at the end of the second half. And that doesn’t include the four touchdowns scored by the defense and special teams.

“We have to take care of our business first,” Carroll said. “What’s most important right now is we maintain consistency, and we maintain the level of play, and the focus to the details, and the discipline it takes to practice each day with intent, and do things right. And put together another good week so we can play well again.

“We’ve been playing well for quite a while. I can feel it in the room and the guys understand it. But that doesn’t mean anything unless we go do it again.”

GUY BACK, BUTLER GONE

The Seahawks have activated rookie safety Winston Guy, who returned last week with a roster exemption after serving a four-game suspension.

Guy, a sixth-round draft choice, was inactive for eight of the first 10 games before his suspension.

To clear a roster spot, wide receiver Deon Butler was released. Butler was re-signed Dec. 15.

INJURY UPDATE

Leroy Hill (hamstring) and Malcolm Smith (groin) came out of Sunday night’s game with injuries, and the next-man-up at weakside linebacker is Mike Morgan, who started one game and played most of the second on the strongside for K.J. Wright earlier this season.

Carroll expects Marcus Trufant to practice on Wednesday after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury. But he is not sure if Walter Thurmond will be able to return by then. Thurmond has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury.

PLAYER WATCH

Jermaine Kearse. Signed as a free agent in April after the NFL Draft, the rookie free agent from the University of Washington was released Aug. 31 on the roster cut to 53 players. He was then signed to the practice squad (Sept. 3), released from the practice squad (Sept. 8), re-signed to the practice squad (Sept. 11) and then signed to the 53-man roster (Oct. 30).

Sunday night, Kearse caught a 17-yard pass from Russell Wilson on a third-and-8 play to sustain a 15-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Wilson’s first TD pass to Doug Baldwin and also had two coverage tackles on special teams.

“Oh man, this is a lot of fun,” Kearse, who also went to Lakes High School, said in the locker room after the game. “Especially being in this environment, my rookie year, being with this team, in my hometown; it’s a ton of fun. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Especially because he’s playing for a coach who rewards those players who work hard. Kearse is just one example of a rookie – and a practice-squad rookie, at that – who has reaped the Carroll-bestowed chances.

“Coach has given be a great opportunity to be part of this team,” he said. “Whether it’s special teams or offense, whatever opportunity I get I’m going to run with it. I felt good about today. It was a great team win and I’m happy to be part of this organization.”

PLAYOFF PATTER

If the season ended today, which of course it doesn’t, the Seahawks would play the Redskins in Washington in the first round. That, of course, could change because the only playoff spots not settled involve the NFC West, NFC East and NFC North.

The Seahawks and 49ers are both in, with the 49ers winning the division if they beat the Cardinals on Sunday; or the Seahawks winning it if the 49ers lose and they beat the Rams. One wins the division, while the other gets the No. 5 seed.

In the East, the Cowboys play at the Redskins on Sunday with the winner taking the division and No. 4 seed. With a loss, the Redskins are the No. 6 seed, if the Vikings and Bears also lose. If the Cowboys lose to the Redskins, they’re out. Then it’s the Vikings for the No. 6 seed, if they beat the Packers; or the Bears, if they beat the Lions and the Vikings lose; or the Giants, if they beat the Eagles and Cowboys, Vikings and Bears all lose.

POWERING UP

The Seahawks have made a pre-Christmas move in two of the power rankings that have surfaced early in this Christmas week. Here’s a look at where they rank, and what they’re saying:

No. 3 in Peter King’s “Fine Fifteen” at SI.com: “A tour de force victory Sunday night over the big, bad wolf of the NFC West that stamped the Seahawks as a real Super Bowl contender. No team has a bigger home-field advantage than the Seahawks (7-0 at CenturyLink this year). Too bad the ‘Hawks will likely have to win three straight on the road to get to the Super Bowl.”

No. 6 in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings: “The Seahawks are on a 100-13 scoring run at home and have put up 150 over the past three weeks.”

STATS ’N STUFF

After rushing for 176 yards against a 49ers defense that was allowing an average of 91.1, the Seahawks rank No. 2 in the league in rushing offense. They have spiked their per-game average (161.7) by averaging 226.5 in their four-game winning streak.

The Seahawks also are plus-12 in turnover differential, which ties for sixth in the league.

Marshawn Lynch remains second in the league in rushing (1,490) and is tied for fourth among non-kickers with 72 points. He’s also fifth in total yards (1,672) and first downs (75).

Richard Sherman is tied for second in the league with a career-high seven interceptions, one behind league-leader Tim Jennings of the Bears; while Chris Clemons is tied for seventh in sacks (11.5).

Wilson’s passer rating of 98.0 is seventh in the league, and second among rookie QBs behind the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III. Wilson’s 101.5 passer rating in the fourth quarter is seventh in the league and his 92.4 rating on third downs in eighth. With 25 TD passes, he is ninth in the league, tops among rookie QBs and one shy of Peyton Manning’s league record for a rookie QB.

Leon Washington remains second in the league in kickoff return average (30.1), while Jon Ryan is sixth in the league in net punting average (41.6) and tied for 10th in punts inside the 20 (28).

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the team with 130 tackles, which is six shy of the single-season club record for a rookie set by Terry Beeson on 1977. Special teams co-captains Heath Farwell (15) and Michael Robinson (10) lead the team in coverage tackles.

STAT DU JOUR

Calvin Johnson surpassed Jerry Rice’s single-season NFL record for receiving yards on Saturday night, which only makes the job the Seahawks did against the Lions’ Megatron wide-out in Week 8 that much more impressive. Here’s a look that game, and what Johnson has done since then:

Opponent                Rec.  Yards

Seahawks                  3         46

Jaguars                      7       129

Vikings                     12      207

Packers                      5      143

Texans                       8      140

Colts                         13      171

Packers                    10      118

Cardinals                 10      121

Falcons                    11      225

UP NEXT

Christmas Day, of course. And this year it just happens to fall on the players’ usually day off. They will return on Wednesday to begin practicing for this week’s game against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The amazing thing Sunday night was, that was no Jacksonville or Kansas City they beat up 42-13. That was the San Francisco 49ers, who’d entered the game first in the NFL in scoring defense. Russell Wilson had the first four-touchdown-pass day of his exploding career, Marshawn Lynch rushed for 111 yards, and the Seahawks, with a crowd so loud that NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya had to scream into Pete Carroll’s ear to be heard before the game, continued on the NFL’s best three-game offensive run since 1950.” – King in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com


Thursday in Hawkville: Rookies on a rampage no surprise to rampaging rookies

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 13:

Russell Wilson

FOCUS ON

The rookie class. We’ve written a lot about the rookies, and for good reason. They’ve done so much to help the team already win more games this season (eight) than the Seahawks won in their first two seasons (seven) under coach Pete Carroll.

What’s news is how quickly the rookies realized they could be special.

“I knew that as soon as I got here for rookie minicamp,” rookie QB Russell Wilson said today of the first time the rookies gathered in May. “I had a great, great feeling about it. The passion and energy we brought to the practice every day. You wanted to see if that was going to continue into the summer and into the season.

“Everybody talks about that rookie wall. Well, we haven’t hit it. I really don’t believe we’ve hit it. We’re not even close and we’re ready to go.”

And the Seahawks can go to the postseason in the rookies’ first season, if they continue to take care of business one game at a time – starting with Sunday’s game against the Bills in Toronto.

While Wilson, a third-round draft choice, already has done things no other rookie QB in the history of the league has, first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin leads all rookies this season with eight sacks; second-round pick and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the team with 108 tackles; fourth-round pick Robert Turbin had his first 100-yard rushing effort in last week’s game against the Cardinals; and cornerback Jeremy Lane (sixth round), guard J.R. Sweezy (seventh round), defensive lineman Greg Scruggs (seventh round) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (free agents) also played a lot, and made plays, against the Cardinals.

“That’s the great thing about it, our energy and our passion for the game and for this franchise is very, very high,” Wilson said. “So we want to do our best to represent very, very well.”

That opinion on the rapid, and continuing, impact of the rookies is not a one-man band.

“Probably the first day of OTAs,” Wagner said when asked when he realized these rookies could be something special. “I saw Russell flinging the ball, and Bruce rushing the passer, and just everything we were doing.”

Richard Sherman

PLAYER WATCH

Richard Sherman. This time, the view comes from a teammate – Wilson, who was with the free-spirited second-year cornerback when a group of players visited Seattle Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

“Richard is a tremendous guy,” Wilson said. “He’s very, very intelligent. You can see that. He has this love for football, just like I do. He may express it in a little different way, but that’s not a bad thing. That’s his personality in terms of competing. He brings that fire to his teammates. He brings that compassion and fire to himself. That’s how he motivates himself. That’s great.

“It’s the National Football League, he’s just having fun.”

The off-field view of Sherman isn’t that much different.

“I think the biggest thing is, when we’re in Children’s Hospital and stuff like that, you can see his love for people and just how he likes to talk to kids,” Wilson said. “And that’s great. To be around a guy like Richard Sherman who, for sure in my opinion, is a Pro Bowl-type player, to see him be around young kids is pretty awesome.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

WR Sidney Rice (foot)

CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Limited in practice

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Charly Martin (calf)

With Thurmond sitting out after injuring a hamstring in practice on Wednesday, Byron Maxwell and Lane split the reps at right cornerback. Bryant and Chancellor sat out for the second day and were replaced by Jason Jones and Jeron Johnson. Rice was out of the walking boot he was wearing on Wednesday.

For the Bills:

Did not practice

LB Nick Barnett (knee)

RB Fred Jackson (knee)

C Eric Wood (knee)

Limited in practice

S Jairus Byrd (shin)

DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder)

DT Spencer Johnson (knee)

CB Leodis McKelvin (groin)

DT Kyle Williams (ankle)

DE Mark Anderson (knee)

CB Ron Brooks (hip)

TE Scott Chandler (groin)

OG Andy Levitre (knee)

CB Justin Rogers (foot)

TE Lee Smith (knee)

OG Kraig Urbik (knee)

LB Chris White (thumb)

Full participation

WR Donald Jones (calf)

S Da’Norris Searcy (hand)

RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder)

CB Aaron Williams (knee)

DE Mario Williams (wrist)

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE

It’s OK to text. It’s OK to drive. It’s just not OK to do both at the same time. Just ask Wilson, who is partnering with Verizon to reward the high school that gets the most pledges from students to not text and drive.

“I have an awesome partnership with Verizon Wireless, it’s ‘Save it Seattle,’ ” Wilson said. “Basically, we’re trying to get as many pledges as we can from all the high schools and all the high schoolers to not text and drive.

“I’ve texted and driven before, and you don’t want to do that. I’ve made that pledge myself.”

The school that gets the most pledges by next Wednesday will get a visit from Wilson.

STAT DU JOUR

With three games left in the regular season, the Seahawks’ postseason opportunities run the gambit from claiming the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs to not even making playoffs. How’s that for disparity in a league that loves parity?

How can the Seahawks leapfrog from the top wild-card spot, which they currently hold, to the No. 1 seed? It starts with the Seahawks beating the Bills, 49ers and Rams to finish with 11 wins. It also would entail the top-seeded Falcons (11-2) losing their three remaining games; the 49ers (9-3-1) losing two of their remaining three; the Packers (9-4) finishing with no more than 11 wins, because the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker with their Week 3 victory over Green Bay; and the Giants (8-5) losing another game.

How can the Seahawks leapfrog the 49ers to win the NFC West? This dare-to-dream scenario is more intriguing, and also closer to reality. If the Seahawks beat the Bills and the 49ers lose to the Patriots (10-3) in Foxboro on Sunday night, the Seahawks could move into first place with a win over the 49ers next Sunday night at CenturyLink Field – and then clinch with a win over the Rams at CenturyLink on the 30th.

What’s the fallback scenario? The Seahawks win two of their final three to earn a wild-card spot with 10 wins.

What’s that last option? We don’t want to find out.

UP NEXT

The team will fly to Toronto on Friday afternoon following a midday practice, and then hold its Saturday walkthrough in the Canadian city.

YOU DON’T SAY

“You’ve always talked about how coach Carroll was such a great inspiration to you, can you elaborate on that?” – Carroll, sticking his head into Wilson’s weekly Q&A session to ask a mock question, and make Wilson laugh


Monday in Hawkville: Wilson’s ascent leads to rookie firsts

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 26:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wilson

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

Jon Ryan

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.

INJURY REPORT

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

UP NEXT

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


Friday in Hawkville: Baldwin ready to play after ‘miraculous recovery’

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 2:

FOCUS ON

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin. Again? Again. Yesterday, when Baldwin also was focused on, the second-year receiver declared himself ready to play in Sunday’s game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field, despite getting a high ankle sprain just 15 days ago in the loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.

Today, the word came from an even more definitive source: Coach Pete Carroll.

“Doug looks to be ready to go,” Carroll said after practice, when the team took advantage of the dry spell to work outside of the second consecutive day. “He had a full week of practice, which surprised us. Coming out of Monday, we weren’t sure. And then he just practiced on Wednesday, got through it and had a good week. So we’re hoping he’s going to play.”

Baldwin is listed as probable for Sunday’s game.

This shouldn’t be happening. The recovery period for a high ankle sprain started at a month and usually lasts even longer.

“He made a miraculous recovery,” Carroll said. “He had a high ankle sprain that showed up on the MRI and he made it back in a week’s time, which we can’t even explain it. But he pulled it off.”

And Baldwin’s return comes at an optimum time, with Braylon Edwards out because of the same knee issue that forced him to miss last week’s game against the Lions in Detroit and Ben Obomanu going on injured reserve after damaging his wrist against the Lions. Rookie free agent Jermaine Kearse was signed off the practice squad to replace Obomanu and will play against the Vikings.

It’s been a tough season for Baldwin, who was sidelined for most of training camp and all of the preseason with a hamstring injury; had his front teeth knocked out in the season opener against the Cardinals; injured a shoulder in practice that forced him to miss a game; and then got the ankle injury when another player fell into his leg while he was blocking on a punt return.

“It’s been frustrating,” he said. “But that happens. It’s the game of football. So I’ve just got to move on and keep going forward.”

PLAYER WATCH

Walter Thurmond. The third-year cornerback completed his second week of practice, and Carroll said the decision on whether Thurmond is added to the 53-man roster will be made before game time.

“Walter had a great week, and he’s had two good weeks. He’s been impressive out here,” Carroll said.

Thurmond began the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list after having surgery on his left leg twice in a five-month period – the second coming in March. He could practice next week, as well, before the team has to determine if he’ll be added to the roster.

OPPONENT WATCH

Kyle Rudolph. The Vikings’ leader in offensive touchdowns is not Percy Harvin, or even Adrian Peterson. It’s the second-year tight end from Notre Dame. Rudolph is getting more opportunities because former Seahawks tight end John Carlson is sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, and making the most of them with five TD catches among his 27 receptions for 242 yards.

“For a (young) player, he’s got a lot of savvy,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “The running game is so big for them, that’s where it all starts. They get you where it’s run, run and he’s blocking out and blocking out. Next thing you know, he blocks out and flips out and gets open – especially down in the red zone.”

Rudolph’s scoring plays have come on passes of 6, 1, 2, 15 and 1 yards.

“He’s a big body-type tight end who gets on you and uses his strength on you,” Bradley said of the 6-foot-6, 258-pound Rudolph.

INJURY REPORT

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

Out

WR Braylon Edwards (knee)

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

Questionable

OG James Carpenter (illness)

DL Greg Scruggs (oblique)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Probable

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

DT Alan Branch (not injury related)

Branch was excused from practice today because of a death in his family, but he is scheduled to be back and play on Sunday. Scruggs returned to practice after sitting out yesterday to rest a strained oblique and Carroll said he is ready to go for Sunday. Carpenter left the field during practice, so his status is uncertain.

For the Vikings:

Out

TE John Carlson (concussion)

Questionable

S Mistral Raymond (ankle)

Probable

RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)

CB Antoine Winfield (knee)

WR Percy Harvin (hamstring)

DT Fred Evans (knee)

DT Letroy Guion (ribs)

LB Erin Henderson (elbow)

P Chris Kluwe (left knee)

QB Christian Ponder (knee)

Peterson did not practice today because of soreness in his left ankle, but Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told reporters who cover the team, “He’ll be ready to go on Sunday. We just wanted to give him a little rest prior to the game.”

When Carroll was asked about Harvin’s status, he offered, “He’s going. He’s playing. I’ll help you out on that one.”

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks have had mixed results in defending tight ends this season. With Rudolph coming to town, here’s a look at how opposing tight ends have fared against the Seattle defense in the first eight games:

Player, team                               vs. Seahawks        Season totals        

Jeff King, Cardinals                          2-8                         11-102

Jason Witten, Cowboys                  4-58                       51-487

Jermichael Finley, Packers             4-60                       28-265

Lance Kendricks, Rams                   2-22                       20-165

Greg Olsen, Panthers                      2-37                       29-347

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots              6-61                       43-580

Vernon Davis, 49ers                        0-0                         25-374

Brandon Pettigrew, Lions               7-74                      38-374

UP NEXT

The players will hold a walkthrough on Saturday morning.

The team’s annual Tackle Hunger drive will be held at Sunday’s game, so fans are asked to bring nonperishable food or cash donations that will benefit Northwest Harvest. The American Red Cross also will have volunteers at the game collecting cash donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Also, daylight saving time ends early Sunday morning, so be sure to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday night to avoid arriving at the game too early.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I don’t talk a lot. I just got out there and try and get the job done. I’m sure we’re going to exchange a few words, but it won’t be nothing serious.” – Sidney Rice, the Seahawks, leading receiver, on facing the team he played for from 2007-10.


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Friday cyber surfing: Lynch, Peterson ‘relentless'; Wilson maturing

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 2.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times highlights the play of running backs Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson, who will be featured in Sunday’s Seahawks-Vikings matchup at CenturyLink Field, “They were the first two running backs chosen in the 2007 draft, Peterson No. 7 out of Oklahoma and Lynch picked five choices later by Buffalo. And in a league where the average career lasts less than four seasons, they both have made a living in the most inhospitable place on the field: running between the tackles. “I think of both of those guys as angry runners who are really determined to get extra yards,” said Darrell Bevell, Seattle’s offensive coordinator [who coached both players, having been in Minnesota prior to joining Seattle last year].”

O’Neil also has the team’s injury reports from Thursday, noting that wide receiver Doug Baldwin and offensive lineman John Moffitt were full participants in practice. Defensive end Greg Scruggs also appeared on the injury report for the first time this week with an oblique.

Steve Kelley says it’s “crunchtime” for the Seahawks, who sit at 4-4 at the season’s midway point, “The Seahawks play five of their last eight at home. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has a half-season of experience. It’s time to ask him to do more. But his receiver corps is decimated, and in this pass-first league, the Seahawks will only go as far as their ground game takes them. And in the second half of this season, the defense has to play even better. It has to create more turnovers. This is a great time of the year for a football fan. Every weekend feels like a high-wire act. Every game means something. The Seahawks can (should?) finish 10-6 … Time is left to turn mediocre into marvelous.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with wide receiver Sidney Rice, who will face his former team in the regular season for the first time this weekend, “Rice said nine of the 11 defensive starters he practiced against on a regular basis when he played in Minnesota are still with the club. That number includes three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield. At 6-foot-4 and 202 pounds, Rice has a size advantage over the feisty Winfield, who comes in at 5-9 and 180 pounds. ‘I definitely feel like I have a slight edge on everybody else, going with those guys for so many years,’ Rice said. ‘Antoine Winfield, probably their best corner, is a guy I played against my entire four years there. He’s really smart and talented, and probably one of the toughest small guys I’ve ever seen in my life. So on our offensive side as receivers we have to be prepared for him.”

John MCMullen of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s Seahawks-Vikings matchup, “The Seahawks own of the NFL’s best homefield advantages and tend to be far more dynamic as the host. Carroll will want to rely on Lynch and his defense this week while hoping Wilson can effectively manage the game against a defense which doesn’t produce many turnovers. Seattle is already 3-0 at home for the second time in three years and Wilson has been far more effective at CenturyLink Field than on the road. Ponder, meanwhile, hasn’t shown the mental toughness to weather the bad times and it’s hard to imagine him navigating all the pitfalls that will be awaiting him in one of the NFL’s toughest places to play. ‘Their fans do a good job of getting in the game early and making it hard on offenses and teams in general to function,’ Frazier said. ‘You don’t want to fall too far behind in that environment, it can be tough.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 28, Vikings 13″

John Boyle of the Everett Herald rehashes quarterback Russell Wilson’s press conference from yesterday, when the rookie Wilson donned a Seattle Sounders FC scarf in support of the club’s run in the MLS Cup Playoffs, which begins tonight, “Wilson says he doesn’t changed his expectations going forward, because he was already expecting big things from himself, but he is expecting to win more games. ‘My expectations are still the same,’ he said. ‘I always have high expectations, so the first expectation is to go 1-0 every week and just win. That’s the main thing, it doesn’t matter how we win. Obviously with eight games under my belt, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable and I’m trusting my offense, trusting my guys. The chemistry with the guys is a lot better, and you just continue to grow. I respect the process.’ Asked if he is worried about hitting any sort of rookie wall–including preseason games, rookies have now played the equivalent of an entire college season, Wilson quickly dismissed the idea. ‘I think people forget that I played college football and professional baseball all in one year, so this isn’t anything for me,’ he said. ‘I can go all day. It’s one of those thing, mentally you have to be focused, you have to get in a routine–I’m on scheduled routine in terms of getting here early, waking my body up, getting in the hot tub, cold tub, stretching a lot–and that kind of gets you alive and awake when you get here. And more than anything, when you love the game, you never get tired of it.’ “

Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has his report from yesterday’s practice, offering insight from Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, “The inability to close quickly on checkdown passes burned the Seahawks many times in their last two games against San Francisco and Detroit. Bradley said Minnesota is a run-first team, so his defensive ends and linebackers will need to set the edge, preventing Peterson from cutting outside for long runs. Gang-tackling will be essential, Bradley said, because Peterson looks like the back of old, capable of running through people and making them miss with great fakes when he bursts through the line.”

Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle discuss the dangerous do-it-all threat that is Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin in this short video.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice report from Thursday, detailing the return of Baldwin to practice, “Baldwin returned to full participation in practice exactly two weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football. Carroll said Wednesday that Baldwin was better than expected and he proved it by returned to limited duty in practice Wednesday. With Baldwin being a full-go during Thursday’s workout, it seems increasingly more likely that Baldwin will be able to play against the Vikings. If Baldwin can play, it could take some significant strain off a receiving corps that looked as if it may only have four healthy receivers on Sunday. Baldwin being active would allow the Seahawks to not have to put too much on the shoulders of the recently promoted WR Jermaine Kearse.”

Crabtree, contributing to the Associated Press, also writes about the growth of the Seahawks’ quarterback Wilson, “Wilson has managed to keep the Seahawks in every game they’ve played this season and has led go-ahead touchdown drives in the fourth quarter in three of Seattle’s four victories. All four of Seattle’s losses have come by less than a touchdown. Still, Wilson knows there were opportunities he let slip away at the end of the game in the first half of the season. ‘I wish I had a couple more wins on my belt,’ Wilson said. ‘We’ve lost a couple games right there at the end but the great thing about it is that, for me as a rookie playing the quarterback position, all those games have come down to the end of the game. I don’t think it can get any better in terms of being a rookie for this organization, and for me personally, to be in those situations, and understand those situations that much better, and still play at a high level during those tough situations.’ “

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com shares his thoughts on Wilson, who now has eight games as an NFL starter under his belt, “Asked after Wednesday’s practice how he would grade himself at mid-season, Wilson disdained any false humility. ‘I think I played well,’ he said in his usual undemonstrative way. ‘Obviously, I wish I had a couple more wins on my belt. We lost a couple of games there at the end. But the great thing about it is, for me as a rookie playing the quarterback position, all of the games lost have come down to the end. I don’t think it can get any better in terms of this organization and for me personally to be able to understand those situations that much better and still play at a high level.’ No argument here. The 4-4 Seahawks aren’t that far from 8-0, and they aren’t that far from 1-7. They are in the great, bloated middle of the NFL, but are doing it with a imperturbable rookie at QB who seems to get steadily better despite so often being the  crucible of the last moments. The kid knows he’s good; why not say so? He’s always given proper credit to his coaches and teammates, deflecting praise and accepting criticism. He may be little, young and temporarily unsteady, but no backhoe is going to dig this kid out by his roots.”

Lindsay Jones of USA Today takes a close look at cornerback Richard Sherman, “Before the 2011 draft, Carroll said he watched film of Sherman ‘knock the crud out of some guys,’ and decided to draft him in the fifth round. At 6-foot-3, and with that sort of knock-you-on-your-backside mentality, Sherman was a good gamble. ‘I particular picked him out and loved the potential that he had. I didn’t know that he was going to make it or not, but he was a rare opportunity,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s really smart, he’s really competitive, and he has great hands, which we knew that from playing receiver. All of that added up and we said, ‘Let’s take a shot out on him and see.’ It’s worked out great.’ “

Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com offers up some second-half predictions for the NFL, including a note on the Seahawks, “…the Seahawks, who feel like the average team that can sneak into the playoffs almost by default. Their schedule going forward is actually pretty friendly, especially considering the fact that they get to play five of their eight remaining games at home, including three games against their NFC West brethren. Their three road games include trips to Buffalo and Miami, which aren’t exactly the most fearsome locations in the league. Barring some miraculous run by the Cowboys or Bucs, Seattle feels like it’ll be the ‘surprise’ average team to come out of the NFC.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com writes that for all the impressive things the Seahawks’ quarterback Wilson has done in his first eight starts, third quarter production is an area where he can improve.

NFL Films previews the Seahawks’ Week 9 game against the Vikings.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps the activities surrounding “Thursday in Hawkville“, and says Wilson has not looked, acted, or felt like a rookie this season.

Sidney Rice tells us what it’s going to be like going up against his former team this weekend.

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” detailing the growth of the rookie Wilson.

We have Wilson and coach Bradley‘s full video press conferences from Thursday.

And our team photographer Rod Mar has an updated look at the week of practice in photos.


Thursday cyber surfing: Kearse impressing everybody; Baldwin a limited participant in practice

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 1.

Danny O’Neil has his story on wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster earlier this week, “He’s going to be playing some special teams at the very least after being promoted to the active roster to replace Obomanu, who became the first Seahawk placed on injured reserve since the regular season began. Obomanu suffered a wrist injury that will require him to be in a cast for at least six weeks, and more likely eight. That creates an opportunity for Kearse, who was undrafted out of Washington, but signed with Seattle and worked himself from training camp to the practice squad to the 53-man roster. ‘Jermaine has done a very good job,’ Carroll said. ‘He has impressed everybody in everything he has done. He is going to be involved in special teams this week, extensively. He has made great impressions so we’re fortunate to have him available to pop up.’ “

O’Neil also has the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings’ injury reports from Wednesday. Seattle’s Doug Baldwin returned to practice in limited fashion for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times highlights the Vikings’ Jared Allen, the outgoing defensive end who showed up to Minnesota’s practice facility yesterday in full Halloween gear, “Allen, now 30 and fully established as one the greatest pass-rushing defensive ends in NFL history — his 22 sacks last year were just a half-sack behind Michael Strahan’s 2001 season record — is still a wild and crazy guy. The only difference is now he limits his fun to such socially acceptable activities as knocking the stuffing out of opposing quarterbacks, and thrill-seeking activities like running with the bulls in Spain, boar (and bear) hunting, sky diving and zip-lining. He’ll be attempting to partake of the former Sunday when the Vikings meet the Seahawks, who know that slowing down Allen’s pass rush is a prime focus. ‘He’s long, lanky with a knack for getting sacks,’ Seahawks center Max Unger said. ‘You have to know where he is and what he’s doing all the time out there.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report from Wednesday, noting Baldwin is coming along better than expected from his high ankle sprain, “The Seahawks could use Baldwin because they lack depth. Ben Obomanu was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list with a wrist injury and Braylon Edwards may not be available because of a swollen knee. That leaves four healthy receivers on the active roster. ‘He looks better than we expected coming into the week,’ Carroll said of Baldwin. ‘I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’ll see.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has praises from Kearse’s fellow receivers on his recent promotion, “Receiver Golden Tate, specifically, approached Carroll with his support for Kearse. ‘He’s a young guy who is going to be really good,’ Tate said. ‘From Day One he showed what he could do and hasn’t made many of those rookie mistakes. He has some wiggle, and is a strong guy with great hands.’ Kearse was set back early in the offseason with a foot injury, which made it more impressive that he landed on the practice squad. ‘I told him back then that I thought at some point this season he was going to be activated,’ Tate said. ‘He’s got a positive attitude, he works hard every day.’ “

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune also calls attention to the Vikings’ Allen, “Sure, he isn’t the pure speed-rushing spitfire he was back in 2004, fresh out of Idaho State University and a fourth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. But it doesn’t mean he isn’t effective. He might be a little slower, but he’s a lot smarter player. ‘I think I’m a different player from week to week or year to year, just trying to build and correct mistakes,’ Allen said. ‘Mentally, you learn to rush smarter. When you are younger, you are guessing. But I’ve always been a leverage, technique guy. I’m never going to get away from the base of what I do. I believe (in using) hips, hands and feet and out-leveraging and out-working the guy in front of me.’ Allen won’t be outworked in practice, a trait that has earned the respect of coach Leslie Frazier. ‘He’s a terrific player,’ Frazier said. ‘He’s on the pace again to have another double-digit sack year. So close a year ago to breaking an NFL record with sacks, and he’s just a joy to be around in practice because he works hard every single day.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has a feature on Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung, who Boyle says is living up to his high expectations, “For much of his first two seasons in Seattle, the talk about Okung, the No. 6 pick in the 2010 draft and the man handed the unenviable task of filling Walter Jones’ sizable shoes, was about his inability to stay healthy. And when this season started, Okung found himself in the spotlight for one of the worst reasons possible for a lineman—a plethora of penalties.  But lately, you probably haven’t heard much about Okung, and when you’re not hearing discussions about an offensive lineman, it’s usually because he’s doing his job. And when you do actually focus on Okung, you realize that now more than ever, he is living up to the lofty expectations that were placed on him when he was picked in the first round, then immediately named the starter at one of football’s most important positions.”

Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has his report from Wednesday, pointing to the similarities between the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, ” ‘Angry runners’ is the term Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell uses to describe Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Two of the top backs in the NFL will be featured front and center at CenturyLink Field Sunday. Bevell has drawn up plays for both elite backs and says their teammates must assume both Peterson and Lynch will keep a play alive after the initial tackle attempt. ‘They have many similarities in their running styles,’ said Bevell, who came to Seattle from Minnesota. ‘If you’re blocking for them downfield, you have to assume they will break free from the first contact.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes that the Seahawks could potentially be down to just four receivers on Sunday against the Vikings, “Rice is one of the few certainties the Seattle Seahawks have at wide receiver going into this week’s key home game against the Vikings, which could have long-term effects on the NFC playoff race later in the season. With Ben Obomanu on injured reserve and questions about the health of Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards, the Seahawks could head into Sunday’s game with just four healthy wide receivers. Rice, Golden Tate, Charly Martin and practice squad call-up Jermaine Kearse are the only receivers expected to be fully healthy for the Vikings. ‘It’s going to be pretty tough. We have a couple of guys that are down,’ Rice said. ‘… It’s definitely going to have to be on those guys. That’s a talented smart group on that side of the ball, a lot of vets that move around very well and some of our guys that haven’t played so much it’s going to be tough for them to process all the information.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has a look at the Seahawks’ defensive struggles on third down, “Overall, Seattle is allowing teams to convert 43.9-percent on third down, which is 27th out of the 32 teams in the league. Only Pittsburgh (44-percent), Minnesota (44.2), the New York Jets (45), Tennessee (45.7) and Buffalo (47.3) are allowing teams to convert more frequently on third down. LB K.J. Wright said it’s not something they’re worried about because they know it’s something they can get corrected. ‘It don’t worry me at all,’ Wright said. ‘I know we’re a good defense and I know we can adjust to anything so I’m not worried.’ Wright said it’s partly an experience issue in getting used to see the various route combinations and being able to react faster to what they’re seeing. Between Wright in his second year, rookie LB Bobby Wagner and CB Marcus Trufant adjusting to a new position, the Seahawks have been just out of position at times. It’s a chemistry that is still developing between the group. ‘I recognized one (route combination) last week but it was a little too late and they got the first down so it just comes with experience. We’ll be able to get the job done. We’re still learning,’ Wright said.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com comments on the Seahawks’ recent struggles on defense, “Against the past three offenses, the Patriots, 49ers and Lions, the defense was learning the hard way. There is really no other way. ‘You watch film, but you can’t really get used to it until you get on the field,’ said Bobby Wagner, a rookie starting at middle linebacker — the quarterback of the defense. ‘A lot of rookies mess up on plays they’ve never seen. It’s just experience, seeing plays come so fast. We take false reads that (veterans) don’t, because of experience. A team like the Carolina Panthers (against whom the Seahawks have their only road win), which runs read options, we tend to have a good feel for it because that tends to be what we have seen (in college). You just have to have experience (with the more standard pro offenses), and I feel like we’re catching on pretty quick.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at injury situations around the NFC West, “The Seahawks are light on receivers after losing Doug Baldwin to a high-ankle sprain and Ben Obomanu to a season-ending wrist injury. Braylon Edwards missed practice with knee trouble Wednesday. Baldwin was limited. The team still has good enough quality at the position with Sidney Rice playing well (except for a drop in Week 8 ) and Golden Tate bouncing back from a tough game against San Francisco. Depth is a concern, however, particularly without a strong No. 2 receiving tight end to pair with Zach Miller. Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) missed practice. Seattle’s nickel defense missed him against Detroit. He could test the ankle later in the week. The nickel defense figures to play less this week based on Minnesota’s personnel tendencies. Seattle did not list fullback Michael Robinson on its injury report. He hurt a wrist against the Lions.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps “Wednesday in Hawkville” with a focus on the rookie Kearse, and gets Sidney Rice and Heath Farwell’s take on the running backs Lynch and Peterson.

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as the team kicks off their first practice of the second half of the season.

We have coach Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell‘s full video press conferences from yesterday.

And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at “Competition Wednesday” in photos.


Wednesday in Hawkville: Kearse steps into very active role

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 31:

FOCUS ON

Jermaine Kearse

Jermaine Kearse

Jermaine Kearse. Now that the rookie wide receiver from the University of Washington and Lakes High School has been added to the active roster, he’s ready for any and all action that might come his way in the Seahawks’ game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

“It’s a dream come true to finally get my chance,” Kearse said today, when he was wearing a new number (11) as he practiced with the Seahawks’ offense rather than against the Seahawks’ defense. “I’m just going to try to do my best in any way I can to help the team succeed.”

And that could range from special teams duty to playing in the four-receiver sets because of the uncertainty over Doug Baldwin (sprained ankle) and Braylon Edwards (swollen knee). Coach Pete Carroll labeled their status as “wait and see.”

Kearse admitted he was wondering if his number would be called because of the injuries to Baldwin and Edwards, as well as the season-ending injury to Ben Obomanu that opened a roster spot for him.

“I mean I’m not going to say I wasn’t thinking about it,” he said. “I just knew that if I got my chance I was going to make the best of my opportunity, and that’s my plan for this weekend.”

For the NFL team he grew up watching in Lakewood, in the stadium his college team is sharing with the Seahawks this season.

“It’s like I can’t get out of Washington,” Kearse joked. “But I’m happy to be here. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be here. Not too many people get to live their whole life in the state and then play for a professional team in their state.”

Kearse has endeared himself to his coaches and teammates because of how hard he has worked, especially while filling the role of the opposition’s best receiver on the scout team each week.

“Jermaine has done a very good job,” Carroll said. “He’s impressed everybody in everything that he’s done. … We’re fortunate to have him available to pop up.”

One of the first to approach Kearse in the locker room was split end Golden Tate. And after he made a nice catch in the end zone during practice, running back Marshawn Lynch jogged over to congratulate him.

“They came and told me that they’re proud of me, that I deserve it, that I’ve worked hard,” Kearse said. “It feels good to have the older guys come up to me and say those type of things. It just shows they care about everybody on this team and they want everybody to succeed.”

Kearse was added to the 53-man roster on Tuesday when Obomanu was placed on injured reserve because he’s expected to have a cast on the wrist he injured in Sunday’s game against the Lions for six to eight weeks.

To fortify the receiving crew, rookie Lavasier Tuinei was today signed to the practice squad, as was rookie Phil Bates on Tuesday. Both players were with the team in training camp.

PLAYER WATCH

Zach Miller

Zach Miller

Zach Miller. The Seahawks’ tight end has caught 267 passes in his 5½-season NFL career, but where did the touchdown catch he made against the Lions in Detroit on Sunday rank on that list?

“I think it’s my best,” said Miller, who signed with the Seahawks last year after playing his first four seasons with the Raiders. “I can’t think of any better ones I’ve made, really. It was a tough one, but I think it’s probably my best catch.”

Miller used every inch of his 6-foot-5 frame and a fully extended arm to get to the pass from Russell Wilson in the end zone, tipping the ball with one hand before controlling it as he fell to the turf.

“I didn’t locate it until the last second, so just laid out and hoped that I could at least get a hand on it,” Miller said. “I got enough of it on there that I was able to tip it back to myself.”

What goes through his mind while all this is taking place?

“It’s just natural, just reacting to the ball,” he said. “That comes from playing football for so many years that you have a feel for it.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

WR Braylon Edwards (knee)

DT Jason Jones (ankle)

Limited in practice

WR Doug Baldwin (ankle)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

Carroll said Jones might try to do some work later in the week, but that he doesn’t know if he’ll be available for Sunday’s game.

For the Vikings:

Did not practice

TE John Carlson (concussion)

LB Tyrone McKenzie (not injury related)

Limited in practice

WR Percy Harvin (hamstring)

RB Adrian Peterson (ankle)

S Mistral Raymond (ankle)

CB Antoine Winfield (knee)

Full participation

DT Fred Evans (knee)

DT Letroy Guion (ribs)

LB Erin Henderson (elbow)

P Chris Kluwe (left knee)

QB Christian Ponder (knee)

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks are 4-4 for the 13th time in franchise history. Here’s a look at how they fared the other 12 times:

Year    Final record (playoffs)

1978        9-7

1980        4-12

1983        9-7 (2-1)

1985        8-8

1988        9-7 (0-1)

1989        7-9

1991        7-9

1993        6-10

1998        8-8

2001        9-7

2007      10-6 (1-1)

2010        7-9 (1-1)

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Vikings – their first of two in a row at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks’ Tackle Hunger drive is Sunday, so fans attending the game are asked to bring nonperishable food or cash donations that will be donated to Northwest Harvest. The American Red Cross also will have volunteers at the game collecting cash donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’m counting on this being a big finish.” – Carroll on the Seahawks playing five of their eight games at home in the second half of the season


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