John Carlson is going home.
The Litchfield, Minn., native has agreed to terms with the Vikings, according to multiple reports this morning. Carlson, the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice in 2008 and leading receiver in his rookie season, became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday.
After catching 55 passes for 627 yards and five touchdowns in 2008, Carlson had 51 receptions for 574 yards and seven TDs in 2009 – setting franchise records for a tight end in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches in his first two seasons.
But his numbers dipped to 31 receptions for 318 yards and one TD in 2010, when he was used more as a blocker in passing situations. Carlson missed all of last season because he needed surgery after injuring a shoulder while diving to catch a pass in a training camp practice.
Even after the Seahawks added former Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller in free agency last July, the coaches envisioned Carlson and Miller working as a tandem – and a productive one, at that.
Now, Carlson will team with another former Notre Dame tight end in Minnesota – Kyle Rudolph, the Vikings’ second-round draft choice last year.
Carlson, who was named the Seahawks’ Man of the Year last season for his work in the community, is the first of the team’s unrestricted free agents to join another team.
Update: The Vikings have announced Carlson’s signing. It’s a five-year deal.
Good morning, and welcome to the start of NFL free agency. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 13:
Bucky Brooks at NFL.com gets us in the mood – or more in the mood – as the former NFL wide receiver and scout for the Seahawks offers his all-free agent team. He’s got Red Bryant at one tackle spot: “Bryant has quietly put together a solid career in Seattle as a versatile player along the frontline. He is listed as a defensive tackle on the roster, but he plays like a quasi-five-technique in their hybrid defense. As a result, he is an attractive option for teams looking for a base end to fortify their defensive front.” He’s also got David Hawthorne as one of his linebackers: “Versatility is certainly valued in the NFL, particularly at the linebacker position. Hawthorne possesses the skills to play anywhere on the second level. He has been a productive playmaker controlling the tackle-to-tackle box, but also displays the athleticism and quickness to shoot gaps from a weakside linebacker alignment.”
Peter King at SI.com offers his Top 50 free agents, with Bryant at No. 15 (“Perfect 3-4 end, but can also excel inside in 4-3. Seattle wants to keep him”); and tight end John Carlson at No. 48 (“Missed last year with a torn labrum, but he should be back healthy in 2012”).
Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at some possible free agents of interest for the Seahawks: “Armed with at least $30 million in cap space after the league announced the salary cap for the new league year will be $120.6 million, the Seahawks have other, big-name targets in mind, including Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams, Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn and Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says there’s “a pretty strong buzz” that the Seahawks will pursue Williams, adding: “The Seahawks are not rebuilding so much as they are rebuilt. This offseason isn’t about addition, but avoiding attrition. The Seahawks wanted to re-sign running back Marshawn Lynch. They did. They still want to re-sign defensive end Red Bryant. Linebacker David Hawthorne led the team in tackles the past three years, and he’s a free agent. So is Leroy Hill, making K.J. Wright the only one of Seattle’s three starting linebackers signed for 2012. Beyond that, Seattle’s shopping list is shorter, and a lot more expensive. The Seahawks are seeking a quarterback and someone to sack the quarterback, which count as two of the four most expensive positions in an NFL budget.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the growing trend that has team prioritizing their players in free agency: “Ask pretty much any fan of any NFL team about free agency and they want their team to sign any – and seemingly all – available free agents. Cost and salary-cap ramifications be damned. But there is a growing trend in the league that goes in exactly the opposite direction, and starts with targeting your own players. ‘Our first concern is to take care of our team and take care of the guys that are unrestricted (free agents) on our team and fit that back together,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We have some room (under the salary cap) and we’re going to be able to do some stuff. But we really want to focus on the guys on our team, and I want that to be a strong message – that we believe the guys that we have put together here are the foundation of a championship team.’ ”
We also continue our series of looks at potential free agents with the running backs.
Randy Moss is back in the league and with a new team – the division rival 49ers. Chris Burke at SI.com has a look at what Moss could mean to the defending NFC West champs: “It’s not as if teams just forgot to sign the eccentric 35-year-old before he announced his (albeit short-lived) retirement prior to last season. His 2010 campaign was a mess, filled with disappointing stops in New England, Minnesota and Tennessee. All told, he caught just 28 passes and looked like a guy on his last legs.”
Peyton Manning? His situation remains fluid, as the Colts’ former QB visited with the Dolphins on Monday (in Indy) and is expect to meet with the Titans today or tomorrow. Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter at ESPN.com say the Titans are trying to entice Manning by possibly signing Steve Hutchinson, the All-Pro guard for the Seahawks and Vikings: “One goal of signing Hutchinson would be to make Tennessee even more appealing to Manning, who is close to the guard from the time they’ve spent together at multiple Pro Bowls in Hawaii.”
Clark Judge at CBSSports.com looks at the potential losers in the sweepstakes to land Manning: “Barring a last-minute entry, Denver, Miami and Arizona are the finalists in the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes, with no indication when Manning makes a decision. The smart money is on Denver, but let’s be honest: Nobody knows who wins and when. What we do know, however, is who could lose – and I can identify at least five guys whose careers and reputations depend on Manning’s next move. They are the few, the proud, the vulnerable, and Manning’s decision has an immediate impact on all – with some affected if he joins them, and others if he does not.”
The NFLDraftScout.com guys have updated mock drafts at CBSSports.com, and they have the Seahawks taking a pitcher (QB Ryan Tannehill) and a catcher (Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd) at No. 12. Here’s Dane Brugler on Tannehill: “With running back Marshawn Lynch re-signed, the Seahawks need to stabilize the quarterback position and Tannehill would give the Seahawks a long-term answer under center. Despite a limited resume at the position, Tannehill has all the physical tools to develop into a quality NFL starter.”
Chad Reuters at NFL.com also has a new mock and gives the Seahawks LSU D-tackle Michael Brockers: “Coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider have been accumulating big, long athletes all over the defense – and Brockers fits that description. Even though his combine workout wasn’t as impressive as (Dontari) Poe’s, some teams still feel the redshirt sophomore has better game film.”
INDIANAPOLIS – Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 24:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times wonders if the Seahawks will select a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft: “The Seahawks are looking for a quarterback in the draft every year, said general manager John Schneider. One year they might even get around to picking one. It hasn’t happened since Schneider and coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010, and entering the third season of their regime, quarterback remains Seattle’s long-term question mark. So will this be the year, then? In a draft class headlined by quarterbacks Andrew Luck of Stanford and Robert Griffin III of Baylor, is Seattle going to pony up the king’s ransom it would take to vault toward the top of the draft? Or will the Seahawks instead opt for one of the next tier of prospects at that position, someone like Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins or Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler?”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune also looks at the prospects of the Seahawks’ quest to upgrade the QB position: “Through the draft, free agency or trade, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider understands he has some options available to improve the talent level at quarterback. Or he could just stand pat, bringing back starter Tarvaris Jackson and backups Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis for another season, in the hope that all three continue to show improvement.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got a recap of Schneider’s session with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday: “The NFL Scouting Combine is all about evaluating the pool of talent that will be available in April’s NFL Draft. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing on John Schneider’s mind this week. Far from it. The Seahawks’ third-year general manager also continues to work on signing players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next month. The list of what Schneider called “a pretty cool group of unrestricted free agents” is topped by leading rusher Marshawn Lynch, but also includes kick-blocking and disruptive defensive end Red Bryant, middle linebacker and leading tackler David Hawthorne, Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, veteran linebacker Leroy Hill and tight end John Carlson, among others. ‘We’re getting to the point now where we feel strongly about some of our own guys; we’d like to take care of those guys first,’ Schneider said Thursday when asked about free agency during a two-part, 45-minute Q&A session at Lucas Oil Stadium – which started at a podium in the interview room and then moved to the side after his allotted time had expired. ‘We’re trying to knock those guys out.’ ”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers some NFC West “closing thoughts” from Thursday, including these for the Seahawks: “GM John Schneider expressed strong appreciation for what defensive end Red Bryant adds in the locker room. He pointed to Bryant as a core player. Bryant could still consider opportunities elsewhere, but the fit is perfect in Seattle. Bryant should have more value to the Seahawks than to other teams, in my view. Schneider also said the franchise tag is an option for running back Marshawn Lynch in the absence of a long-term agreement. I considered that a given and arguably more appealing to the team than committing longer-term money at a position where durability can be fleeting.”
Bucky Brooks at NFL.com takes a look at what fans of all 32 teams should be looking for at the Combine, including this one for the Seahawks: “Pete Carroll has built his offense around the versatile talents of Marshawn Lynch, but the Seahawks’ feature back is a free agent and could depart to greener pastures. To guard against his defection, the Seahawks’ personnel staff will focus their attention on Miami RB Lamar Miller and Virginia Tech RB David Wilson. If the Seahawks look to address one of their defensive needs at pick No. 12, the evaluations of USC DE Nick Perry and North Carolina LB Zach Brown could become major parts of a draft-day discussion.”
Don Banks at SI.com has some “Snap Judgments” from Thursday, including: “USC offensive left tackle Matt Kalil seems to know his place in life. He has a father who was an NFL guard (Frank Kalil) and an older brother who’s the highest-paid center in league history (Carolina’s Ryan Kalil, a 2007 second-round pick). So, what else could he have possibly been in life besides an NFL offensive lineman? ‘For my dad, ‘Let’s play football’ means let’s go do kick steps and let’s work O-line drills,’ said Matt Kalil, who could go as high as No. 2 to the Rams. ‘My first time going to Servite (his Orange County, Calif., high school) I tried to play tight end as a freshman and my dad went on the field and said, ‘No, he’s playing left tackle.’ That pretty much ended that dream. I would have been a sweet tight end. Maybe like Anthony Munoz catching touchdowns.’ ”
A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 21:
1980: The Seahawks score twice in the fourth quarter, but the rally in their season finale falls short as they fall to the Broncos 25-17 at the Kingdome to cap a nine-game losing streak.
1997: Warren Moon passes for four touchdowns as the Seahawks finish 8-8 by slapping the playoff-bound 49ers with a 38-9 loss in the season finale at the Kingdome. Joey Galloway catches six passes for 101 yards and two scores, while Mike Pritchard has six receptions for 90 yards and a TD. The linebacking crew of Michael Barber, Chad Brown and Dean Wells leads the defensive effort by combining for 25 tackles.
2003: Shaun Alexander runs for 135 yards and two touchdowns, including a 44-yarder, and the defense sacks Cardinals QB Josh McCown eight times in a 28-10 victory in Seattle.
2008: The Seahawks send Mike Holmgren out a winner in his final home game as coach with a 13-3 victory over the Jets on a snowy afternoon in Seattle. Maurice Morris runs for 116 yards and Seneca Wallace passes to John Carlson for the game’s only touchdown, while Josh Wilson interceptions Brett Favre twice.
A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 20:
1981: Dave Krieg passes for three touchdowns, including two to Steve Largent, as the Seahawks close the season with a 42-21 win over the Browns at the Kingdome. Rookie safety Kenny Easley leads the defensive effort with two interceptions, returning one 82 yards for a score; and Greggory Johnson returns a Michael Jackson-forced fumble 31 yards for another score. Jackson also has 16 tackles and sack.
1985: In a Friday night game at the Kingdome, Norm Johnson hits the right upright on a 52-yard field goal on the final play as the Broncos win 27-24 behind a 432-yard passing performance by John Elway.
1986: In a Saturday afternoon game at the Kingdome, Curt Warner runs for 192 yards and three touchdowns and Dave Krieg throws two TD passes to Darryl Turner as the Seahawks close their season with a 41-16 victory over the Broncos. Steve Largent also catches six passes for 101 yards. The Seahawks finish with 10-6 record, including victories over both teams that advance to the Super Bowl (the Broncos and Giants), but do not make the playoffs.
1987: Curt Warner runs for two touchdowns, Dave Krieg passes for two more and John L. Williams catches eight passes for 117 yards in a 34-21 victory over the Walter Payton-led Bears in Chicago. Eugene Robinson leads the defensive effort with two interceptions and 11 tackles, while rookie Brian Bosworth has two fumble recoveries and a sack.
1992: Loss No. 13 in the Seahawks’ 2-14 season comes in Denver, as Gaston Green scores the only touchdown in the Broncos’ 10-6 win at Mile High Stadium. The defense intercepts John Elway three times and forces three fumbles, while Chris Warren runs for 97 yards in the loss.
1998: The Seahawks score 17 points in the final 10 minutes to pull out a 27-23 victory over the Colts at the Kingdome, as Ricky Watters has a 33-yard touchdown run, Shawn Springs returns a fumble 14 yards for a TD and Todd Peterson kicks a 30-yard field goal. Watters finishes with 178 rushing yards in Dennis Erickson final home game as coach of his hometown NFL team.
2009: The Buccaneers score 24 unanswered points in a 24-7 victory over the Seahawks in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck passes 29 yards to John Carlson for the Seahawks’ only points, but also throws four interceptions.
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 23:
1980: Will Lewis returns a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, but the Seahawks fall to the Broncos 36-20 in Denver.
1986: The Seahawks begin a five-game winning streak as they jump to a 21-6 lead and hold on a 24-20 victory over the Eagles at the Kingdome. Dave Krieg passes 72 yards to Daryl Turner for one touchdown and Bobby Joe Edmonds returns a punt 75 yards for another. The Seahawks sack Randall Cunningham nine times, including three by Fredd Young.
2003: Matt Hasselbeck passes for five touchdowns and 333 yards as the Seahawks take leads of 27-10 and 41-24, only to have the Ravens storm back with 38 second-half points and win 44-41 in overtime. Matt Stover ties the game with a 40-yard field goal as time expired in regulation and then wins it with a 42-yarder in overtime to end the four-hour game. Darrell Jackson catches seven passes for 146 yards, including an 80-yard TD.
2008: Matt Hasselbeck throws touchdown passes to John Carlson and Maurice Morris, but Shaun Suisham kicks a 22-yard field goal midway through fourth to give the Redskins a 20-17 victory in Seattle. Julian Peterson has two sacks among his 10 tackles.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 16:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his weekly “Risers and Fallers” in the NFC West, with Seahawks tackle Russell Okung landing one of the “riser” spots: “Okung fared well in matchups against DeMarcus Ware and Terrell Suggs over the past two games. He had help at times, but there’s no question Okung is gaining in confidence and ability as his previous ankle injuries fade into the more distant past. His play has helped Marshawn Lynch put together 100-yard rushing performances in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Seattle has allowed only two sacks in its last two games after allowing 14 in its previous three.”
Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times looks at the improved play of the entire O-line as a reason that things could get better in the second half of the season: “But I’m here to tell you that the offensive line is growing. It is beginning to understand coach Tom Cable’s zone schemes. The linemen are learning. Lynch is finding holes. … ‘That last drive showed what kind of a team we can be,’ tight end Zach Miller said after the game.”
Eric Williams of the News Tribune stays with the topic of the line and the improved running game: “Although it took longer than anticipated, the Seattle Seahawks finally are running the ball with some authority 10 weeks into the season. Through seven games, Seattle averaged just 78 yards a contest on the ground, second-worst in the league. But the Seahawks have put together impressive back-to-back rushing performances against two of the best run defenses in the league, Dallas and Baltimore.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald examines the silly notion that the Seahawks would be better off losing to secure a higher draft choice: “Do we really even have to address this? Are there really Seahawks fans who are unhappy that the Seahawks surprised everyone outside of their own locker room and knocked off Baltimore last weekend, because of what it might mean to their draft position? Well based off the chatter on sports radio, Twitter, the blogosphere, etc., it seems this is something we have to talk about.”
Playing off that theme, Peter Schrager at FoxSports.com has a mock draft for 2012 and projects the Seahawks selecting … “Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. A junior, Claiborne has four interceptions and is the top defensive talent on the best team in college football. Two years ago, the Seahawks rolled the dice on another defensive back in the Top 15 — do everything safety Earl Thomas and it’s worked out quite well. Seattle could be in the QB hunt if they finish with a Top-5 pick, but the way they played on Sunday vs. the Ravens, that might not be likely. Claiborne’s a 6-0, 190 pound physical, playmaking corner who would start — and make an impact — right away. Though this may change, I like him more than Dre Kirkpatrick at the moment.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we give you a behind-the-scenes look at Sunday’s victory over the Ravens with Rod Mar’s photo blog and Ben Malcolmson’s “From the Sidelines”: “Players set a very clear tone in the locker room before Sunday’s matchup against the Ravens. ‘We’re tired of losing,’ defensive tackle Brandon Mebane exclaimed to his teammates just before heading out to the field.’“How much does this mean to you?’ Apparently a lot.”
We’ve also got a look at why John Carlson was named the team’s Man of the Year: “Last week, John Carlson was selected as the Seahawks’ Man of the Year. Tuesday, he showed why. The team’s on-the-mend tight end was at Cathcart Elementary School to present principal Casey Bowers and 410 revved up students with an oversized check for $10,000 for being honored as the Seattle-area “Super School” in the NFL’s Play 60 campaign. ‘I didn’t plan the timing of the award and then this appearance,’ Carlson said with a smile following an assembly and 45-minute Ultimate NFL Physical Education Class. ‘But if I could have, this would have been a good way to do it. But I enjoy doing this stuff and I get a lot out of it.’ ”
There’s also at look at the day’s activities with “Tuesday in Hawkville,” including who might start at right guard this week for John Moffitt, who was placed on IR; as well as the Seahawks’ Sunday opponent in “Up Next.”
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 12:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the Baltimore Ravens’ defense that will invade CenturyLink Field for Sunday’s game, and sees the kind of defense the Seahawks would like to become: “The Seattle defense will be measured against Baltimore’s defensive performance, and the Ravens are the NFL’s gold standard in terms of the run-squashing defense to which the Seahawks aspire. Baltimore has ranked in the league’s top five in rush defense for six successive years, and only San Francisco and Cincinnati have allowed fewer rushing yards than the Ravens this season. ‘There’s no better bunch of guys that you’d want to play defense with than those guys,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the Ravens. ‘They’re all tough. They’re all physical. They’re all strong and play with a great attitude and can really make your day hard.’ “
Eric Williams of the News Tribune stays on the defensive – side of the ball, that is – and wonders where all the sacks have gone: “The question was a bit facetious, but it achieved the desired affect. Was it coach Pete Carroll’s design for the Seahawks defense to play more pass coverage and total only 13 sacks midway through the season, tied for third-worst in the National Football League? ‘The quick answer to that is no,’ Carroll said, chuckling. ’There’s no design to have 13 sacks. We should be getting two or three a game if we’re doing just average, so we’ve got to get to the quarterback more. We need to do all of the things – we need to pressure better and more effectively, we need our guys to rush, we’ve got to cover and hope they hold it more – so it’s a combination of things. We’ve got to get ahead in games too, so they’ll have to throw the ball more, and when we’re dictating situations that’ll help quite a bit.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Final Word” on the NFC West heading into Week 10, including this ominous look at third downs concerning the Seahawks: “The Seahawks’ last three opponents have converted 24 of 52 chances on third down. That percentage would rank 30th in the NFL if applied to this season as a whole. The third-down trouble stands out as a primary concern against Baltimore. The Ravens made first downs 14 times on pass plays alone against Pittsburgh last week, the highest single-game total in the NFL over the last 15 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’re got a look at the day’s activities in “Friday in Hawkville,” including John Carlson being selected the team’s Man of the Year. Said Carlson: “Obviously, it’s just a tremendous honor, and not something that I expected. I accept it on behalf of all the guys on this team that do things in the community, because it’s not just me. Just like every year it’s not just the guy who wins Man of the Year. There are a lot of people on the team that contribute.”
For a look at the rest of the league in Week 10 there’s Clark Judge’s “Peek at the Week” at CBSSports.com; Peter King’s “Game Plan” at SI.com; and John Clayton’s “First and 10” at ESPN.com, which includes this look at how the NFC West is affecting battles for other division titles: “The Seahawks, Cardinals and Rams are 1-7 against NFC East teams. They are 0-6 against the AFC North. If that trend continues, it affects playoff races in both conferences. The Ravens travel cross-country to face the Seahawks, who, if they lose, could match the Rams at 0-4 against the AFC North. The Ravens and Steelers are each 2-0 against the NFC West and are counting on the four-game boost from this division. The Eagles hope to keep their playoff hopes alive when they play the 2-6 Cardinals. They are counting on winning three games against the Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals. At 3-5, the Browns aren’t thinking playoffs but the next two weeks could get them back to .500. They host the 1-7 Rams and the 2-6 Jaguars over the next two weeks.”
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for 11-11-11:
John Carlson. The fourth-year tight end is on injured reserve after having surgery to repair a torn labrum. But not being able to play hasn’t stopped Carlson from being able to give back.
Today, he was named the Seahawks’ Man of the Year for his work in the community.
“Obviously, it’s just a tremendous honor, and not something that I expected,” Carlson said. “I accept it on behalf of all the guys on this team that do things in the community, because it’s not just me. Just like every year it’s not just the guy who wins Man of the Year. There are a lot of people on the team that contribute.”
His picture will now he added to a hallway at Virginia Mason Athletic Center that includes those of past winners – a who’s who of franchise history that features four-time winner Eugene Robinson and three-time winner Mike Tice as well as Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Steve Largent, Jacob Green, Matt Hasselbeck, Mack Strong, Shaun Alexander, Marcus Trufant and Roy Lewis (last year’s winner who also was a finalist this year).
“It’s very humbling just to look at the guys who have won it,” Carlson said. “It’s truly an honor.”
Carlson also stressed the contributions of Sandy Gregory, the team’s director of community outreach.
“Sandy gives the opportunities, and she works very hard to make sure that we’re doing those things,” Carlson said.
“Obviously, it’s very important to do community outreach stuff because that’s the way we can make a difference. What we’re doing on the field is great, and we love what we do – it’s fun, it’s a blast. But we’re not making a difference by playing football. But it’s a platform by which we can make a difference.”
The official end-of-the-week status report:
LB David Vobora (concussion)
TE Cameron Morrah (toe/knee)
WR Sidney Rice (foot)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
Jackson, Rice and Morrah all participated fully in today’s 85-minute practice that was held in the indoor practice facility. Coach Pete Carroll said that Rice and Jackson are ready to go in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field, but that the decision on Morrah’s status will be made on game day.
Jackson took more snaps today than he did on Thursday, when he got more work than he did on Wednesday. But the key with him remains how his throwing shoulder feels the day after the increased activity.
“We’re trying to manage it as we learn how to handle it,” Carroll said of Jackson’s shoulder. “And he has a lot of input on that. But he made it through. You look at tomorrow with a good rest day, he should be OK. But he still has to go out and throw on Sunday and get warmed up. So we’ll have to wait and see.
“He’s been great about it. He has no doubt in his mind he’s playing.”
For the Ravens:
RB Anthony Allen (thigh)
LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)
WR Lee Evans (ankle)
LB Brandon Ayandadejo (head)
C Matt Birk (neck)
S Ed Reed (shoulder)
LB Terrell Suggs (knee)
TE Kris Wilson (calf)
Reed and Suggs participated fully in practice before the Ravens flew to Seattle for Sunday’s game. They sat out on Thursday.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks did as good a job as any team has in limiting the impact of Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware last week. Now comes Ray Lewis, the 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Ravens – not to mention a two-time NFL defensive player of the year. Here’s a look at the game-by-game production for each:
Opponent Tackles Big plays
Steelers 7 Interception
Titans 8 Pass defensed
Rams 10 Sack, forced fumble
Jets 5 Pass defensed
Texans 12 Sack
Jaguars 8 Pass defensed
Cardinals 5 Pass defensed
Steelers 5 Pass defensed
Opponent Tackles Big plays
Jets 4 Two sacks
49ers 6 Two sacks
Redskins 4 Sack
Lions 3 Tackle for loss
Patriots 5 Two sacks
Rams 3 Sack, forced fumble
Eagles 11 Four sacks, forced fumble
Seahawks 3 Tackle for loss
The players will have a walk-thru on Saturday morning and then meetings that night at the team hotel.
Tickets remain for Sunday’s game and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Well, it’s like trying to move a tractor. It’s hard to get that thing going. When they have a direction they’re going in, they pretty much consistently get there. It’s going to take a couple guys on those guys. We’ve got to try to get them moving and get away from them and use their momentum. They’re very, very football players and very effective in how they do it.” – Carroll on the Ravens’ defensive line of 330-pound tackle Haloti Ngata, 349-pound nose tackle Terrence Cody and 298-pound end Cory Redding
A recap of the day’s events at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on the first Wednesday of the regular season:
Breno Giacomini. After the Seahawks signed the 6-foot-7, 318-pound tackle off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad last season, it was difficult to tell how well he could play because he never got to play. Giacomini was inactive for six games and did not play in the one game when he was on the active roster.
But he has answered any and all questions the past two weeks while splitting time at right tackle with first-round draft choice James Carpenter, and Giacomini could make his first NFL start in Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco because left guard Robert Gallery has yet to practice this week after spraining a knee in the preseason finale against the Raiders on Friday night.
Left guard? Right tackle? How does that work? Carpenter has moved over to Gallery’s spot in practice, putting Giacomini on the right side with the starters.
“Late in the season, when Breno had been around with us, it was clear that he had grown a lot,” coach Pete Carroll said, referring to Giacomini’s development as a player not in stature.
“We liked him because he was a tough guy; he’s a monster of guy, size-wise. But we weren’t sure. We weren’t sure about his overall ability and playing. Could he be a starting tackle? Late in the season, after we had seen him compete against our guys on the big days of competition in practice with all the pass-rush reps, it really looked good.”
Working on the scout team against the Seahawks’ defense is one thing. Working with the starters against other teams’ No. 1 defense in games is sometime completely different. But Giacomini also passed that test in the last two preseason games.
“Coming back to camp, he was ready,” Carroll said. “He was in great shape – fit, strong, smart quick with his mind and his decision-making and all of that. And then he played a beautiful preseason. So we really feel great about that.”
Good enough to move Carpenter over to replace Gallery, if needed.
“The freedom to move James and take a look at this left tackle thing is because Breno has done so well,” Carroll said. “It’s all over the film. So we’re really happy about that.”
Marshawn Lynch. The team’s leading rusher had not practiced since spraining an ankle in the second preseason game. He made up for the lost time today during the two-hour practice in full pads.
“He’s got fresh legs,” Carroll said. “He’s ready to go.”
And Lynch did. Go, that is. On his first carry in a full-team drill, he broke a long run after sliding through a crease in the line. On another, he started, stopped and then went after setting up his blocks – and effort that prompted line coach Tom Cable to offer, “That’s it 24. That’s it.”
Is Carroll concerned about how the prolonged inactivity might affect Lynch? To the contrary.
“I think it’s good for him,” Carroll said. “He hasn’t taken very many hits, but he’s been in on all the practice sessions and all of the prep time, so he knows what’s going on. He knows his calls, his pickups and all that stuff. He knows what’s happening.”
That’s because Lynch has been leaning into the huddle even when sidelined to get those calls and assignments that Carroll spoke of.
“We feel very good about the fact that here we are at the opening game and he feels great right now,” Carroll said. “He’s going to get the ball a lot. He’s going to have to withstand a lot, so I think the fact he hasn’t logged a bunch of hits up to this time in the first four (preseason) games is going to help us in the long haul.”
IN AND OUT
In addition to Lynch, middle linebacker David Hawthorne also returned to practice after being sidelined since injuring a knee in the second preseason game against the Vikings. But his reps were limited and most came with the No. 2 defense as rookie K.J. Wright continued to fill the spot with the starting unit.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder) and just-acquired tackle Jarriel King (ankle) were sidelined, along with Gallery. On Rice and Gallery, Carroll said, “Both those guys are making good progress and we’ll just go day to day and figure out what that means at the end of the week.”
Ben Obomanu worked in Rice’s spot with the No. 1 offense.
Tight end John Carlson has had the scheduled surgery to repair the labrum he tore in practice last month, an injury that forced the club to put him on injured reserve when the roster was cut to 53 players on Saturday.
The successful procedure was performed on Monday by team doctor Ed Khalfayan at Seattle Surgery Center. Carlson will miss the season while recovering from the surgery.
Five players have changed numbers: Cornerback Brandon Browner, who was No. 37, is now No. 39; safety Jeron Johnson, who was No. 35, is now No. 32; wide receiver Kris Durham, who was No. 84, is now No. 16; quarterback Josh Porter, who was No. 13, is now No. 2; and practice-squad wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, who was No. 2, is now No. 83.
STAT DU JOUR
Number of the day: Two. As in the number of players who will start on offense for the Seahawks against the 49ers who also started last season’s opener against the 49ers in Seattle. Those players? Wide receiver Mike Williams and Max Unger, who started at right guard last year but will be at center on Sunday.
Here’s a look at the then and now lineups:
WR – Deion Branch, 2010; Rice or Obomanu, 2011
LT – Tyler Polumbus, 2010; Russell Okung, 2011
LG – Mike Gibson, 2010; Gallery or Carpenter, 2011
C – Chris Spencer, 2010; Unger, 2011
RG – Unger, 2010; John Moffitt, 2011
TE – John Carlson, 2010; Zach Miller, 2011
WR – Williams
QB – Matt Hasselbeck, 2010; Tarvaris Jackson, 2011
RB – Justin Forsett, 2010; Lynch, 2011
FB/TE – Chris Baker, 2010; Michael Robinson, 2011
The players will practice on Thursday afternoon, as they continue their preparation for the 49ers.
Steve Largent, the Seahawks’ Hall of Fame wide receiver, will help salute Washington’s military men and women at Kickoff Rallies in Spokane (Friday) and Tacoma (Saturday). The Spokane event takes place at Clock Tower Meadow in Riverfront Park from 4:30-6 p.m. The Tacoma event will be at Cheney Stadium from 2-3:3 p.m.
The events also will launch the new Hometown Heroes Raffle from Washington’s Lottery. Fans attending will be able to sign Seahawks’ “12” flags that will be flown outside the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and at the Washington National Guard Camp at Camp Murray in Tacoma.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You know, it’s different in the sense that it’s a new head coach, new staff, new regime coming in. So obviously an entirely different feel, different atmosphere. Then the big change with no offseason. Obviously the lockout and all that stuff made this year unique in its own right. So yeah, a lot of new things.” – 49ers QB Alex Smith, during a conference-call interview with reporters who cover the Seahawks