Game at a glance: Wilson does his thing, again

KANSAS CITY – A recap of the Seahawks’ 44-14 victory over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Friday night:

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Russell Wilson. Not that the rookie quarterback didn’t have competition, it’s just that he continued to do in his first NFL start what he had done in the second halves of the first two preseason games – which is, move the ball and score.

Against the Chiefs, the third-round draft led scoring drives on the Seahawks’ first six possessions. He threw two more touchdown passes, giving him five. He scrambled twice for 58 yards to extend drives. He played with poise and production.

“I thought the quarterback played really, really well. Again,” coach Pete Carroll said. “I was just excited to watch him play. He just continues to show poise and composure well beyond three-games old. So we’re happy about that.”

Wilson’s line: 13 of 19 for 185 yards for a 134.8 passer rating; a 29-yard average on his two runs.

The team’s line with Wilson at QB: Three field goals by Steven Hauschka on the Seahawks’ first three possessions; his two TD passes on the next two possessions to close the first half; a TD run by rookie Robert Turbin on the first possession of the second half.

PLAYS OF THE GAME


Offense: So many from which to choose, but let’s go with Wilson’s 21-yard TD pass to tight end Kellen Winslow. Because of what happened before the pass was thrown or caught.

“We were going no-huddle,” Wilson said. “I recognized they weren’t matched up right. So I just went up to the line real quick and called for the snap really quickly. Kellen obviously knew he was going to be open. We saw the exact same thing at the exact same time.”

Added Winslow, “I’ve never been that wide open.”

Defense: You intercept a pass and return it 75 yards for a touchdown, you get the nod. And that’s exactly what Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas did in the third quarter to make it 37-7.

“I kind of baited the quarterback a little bit,” Thomas said of Chiefs QB Matt Cassel, who had completed 75 percent of his passes in Kansas City’s first two preseason games. “He was a little late on the read. So I was able to make the play. I always think about touchdowns. I want that ball in my hands and when I get it, I try to make something happen.”

Special teams: You return a punt 92 yards for a touchdown, you get the nod. And that’s exactly what Golden Tate did in the third quarter to make it 44-7.

“That was fun,” Tate said. “Special teams, that’s something we take very, very, very, very seriously. And I don’t think we could have executed the return any better. I caught it and I think I set up one block. The rest was a cakewalk. I was just ran down the sideline, no one around. What else can you ask for? All I had to do was catch it and run.”

INJURY REPORT
Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner had to leave the field after experiencing leg cramps. Backup safety Chris Maragos took a shot to the shoulder. Rookie defensive lineman Greg Scruggs, who had a sack for the third consecutive game, injured a hamstring.

But Carroll said none of the injuries was serious.

Quarterback Matt Flynn was unable to play because of a sore elbow on his throwing arm.

YOU DON’T SAY
“We got everything that we wanted to get done in all three phases.” – Carroll


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Friday cyber surfing: Game day

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for this game day at Kansas City, August 24.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says head coach Pete Carroll isn’t afraid to play rookies, as evidenced by this year’s starting middle linebacker – Bobby Wagner, “Bobby Wagner is the team’s starting middle linebacker, a player noted for his speed not only on the field, but in understanding the defensive calls. Two weeks ago against Tennessee, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said Wagner was so dialed in with the calls, he was reading the coach’s lips. Rookie J.R. Sweezy is starting at right guard, which might be the biggest surprise of training camp, considering he was a defensive tackle in college and a fullback in high school. Carroll once worked for Bud Grant in Minnesota, one of the league’s old-salt coaches who believed you lost a game for every rookie you played. But during Carroll’s time at USC, he not only began to play his younger players, but he embraced the concept. ‘The kids were so talented and they were so good that to make them sit on the sideline and not play and participate was a mistake,’ Carroll said. ‘We learned that if you engaged guys early and you gave them chances to participate and you chose to give them things that they were good at, they could progress faster.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune tells us that while much of the focus in today’s game will be on the performance of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks can lean on their strong running game, which already seems to be in midseason form, “The Seahawks are averaging 181.5 rushing yards per exhibition game, third-best in the league. And it hasn’t been just Marshawn Lynch transforming into Beast Mode. Seattle’s starting running back has played in only one of the two games, finishing with 37 yards on six carries in limited duty last week against Denver. Instead, it’s been a stable of reserve runners leading the charge, including rookie Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, Kregg Lumpkin and Tyrell Sutton. In fact, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who will start for the first time today, leads the team with 92 rushing yards on eight carries. But no matter which runner is in the backfield, the one thing that has been consistent is the effort and the execution of the offensive line.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks ahead to Russell Wilson’s first start tonight at Kansas City, “If you didn’t believe it before this week, you certainly should now — this competition is real, and the rookie has a real chance of winning it. Now this is just a hunch, but it seems like Carroll would love to see Wilson seize the job. That’s not to say he’ll pick Wilson even if he thinks Flynn is better, but it just seems from watching and listening to Carroll, that he really, really likes Wilson.Do we know Carroll is thinking that way? Goodness no. Nobody knows what’s going on in Carroll’s head, that much has become clear as this battle has played out in very unpredictable fashion. But if Wilson lights it up against Kansas City’s starting defense the same way he has been playing against backups the last two weeks, will Carroll be able to help himself from naming the dynamic rookie the starter?”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segmentof “The John Clayton” show where former Seahawks receiver Mike Williams joined the show, “Williams thinks he rushed his recovery, hoping to meet a timetable he and the team had set. The injury was still limiting him during offseason workouts, and the Seahawks didn’t want to wait any longer. They released him two weeks before the start of training camp. Williams said he didn’t speak with coach Pete Carroll when he was cut and hasn’t since, but he insists there are no hard feelings. ‘I ain’t got nothing but love for him,’ Williams said of Carroll, who was also his coach at USC, ‘and I wish him the best.’ “

Henderson also recaps a segment of “Bob and Groz”, where Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell joined the program, “Coach Pete Carroll announced Tuesday that Russell Wilson — not Matt Flynn — will be the starting quarterback Friday when the Seahawks travel to Kansas City for their third preseason game. Flynn did not practice on Wednesday, a decision Carroll said was made to give the quarterback’s arm a break. The timing of those two events raised some eyebrows, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell says there’s nothing to it. ‘Matt has a little bit of soreness in his arm, but [the decision to start Wilson on Friday] has nothing to do with his arm, it has nothing to do with the throws or anything,’ Bevell told “Bob and Groz” on Thursday. ‘This is just part of the process that we decided to go through.’ “

The staff at SportsPressNW.com previews tonight’s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs and says that the Seahawks quarterback competition could go all the way to the opening week of the season.

NFL.com calls the Seattle Seahawks the League’s ‘most fascinating team‘.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at guard J.R. Sweezy, who will make his second preseason start tonight at Kansas City.

Farnsworth also details the Seahawks relentless defense, and recaps ‘Thursday in Hawkville‘.


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Thursday cyber surfing: Rice’s return

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 23.

Head coach Pete Carroll tossed a couple of important announcements our way after practice on Wednesday – cornerback Roy Lewis will undergo knee surgery and there is no specified date for his return at this time, and wide receiver Sidney Rice is expected to see his first action of the preseason Friday night at Kansas City.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his story on Rice’s return to action, “It wasn’t until Sidney Rice got put on his butt that you knew he was back. It happened Tuesday during a passing drill at practice, when free safety Earl Thomas hit Seattle’s top wide receiver. Thomas pulled up a little bit, but the blow was enough to knock Rice off his feet. ‘It was great,’ coach Pete Carroll said. Great? Rice is coming off twin shoulder surgeries this offseason, a guy who has missed more regular-season games (17) than he has played over the previous two years and had 11 anchors installed in each shoulder this offseason. ‘He needed to feel that and know that could happen,’ Carroll said.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Rice’s return, “…the sixth-year veteran has been full-go this week and has taken a couple of hard shots from Seattle’s first-team defense without suffering any ill effects. ‘We’re anxious to see him get out there,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s had a fantastic process getting back. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s practicing really, really well. And so we’ll get him a little bit of (playing time) just to break the ice on that one.’ “

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews the Seahawks-Chiefs preseason matchup, “With a chance to seize a starting quarterback position that’s still up for grabs, [Russell] Wilson will draw a surprise start for the Seahawks as they head to Arrowhead Stadium for a rehearsal contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. Wilson, Seattle’s third-round choice in this past April’s draft following a stellar collegiate career at North Carolina State and Wisconsin, entered camp as the underdog in a three-man battle to be the team’s No. 1 signal-caller. The rookie has been terrific in his two preseason appearances — albeit against second-team defenses — to emerge as perhaps the favorite to be under center when the Seahawks open the regular season at Arizona on Sept. 9.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald catches up with defensive back Jeron Johnson as he battles to make the Seahawks’ roster, “Johnson was impressive during the preseason last year, too, which is how he made the roster as an undrafted rookie at the expense of, amongst others, fifth-round pick Mark LeGree. Although he was good enough to make the team last year and contribute primarily on special teams, Johnson feels like he has come a long, long ways since training camp a year ago. ‘It’s not too much different from what they asked of me last season,’ said Johnson, who like other rookies last year was behind thanks to the lockout, which eliminated offseason workouts. It’s just I had time to understand the defense more this year. The OTAs and minicamps helped tremendously. The lockout was my rookie year, so just having OTAs and minicamp helped out. … This year I’m playing a lot faster.’ “

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com says Russell Wilson deserves the start he is getting Friday night, “Wilson started 50 consecutive games and was only the fifth quarterback in college history to run for 1,000 and pass for 5,000. The guy’s a freak, and in the most flattering way. But hey, you don’t have to believe me, or even his ever-so-lightly hyperventilating coach, Pete Carroll. Listen to his teammates. ‘He’s playing at a level you don’t expect as rookie to be at right now,’ said Unger, the bearer of the foot-stool for his 5-foot-11 little buddy. ‘There are expectations for a guy you take higher in the draft — not saying third isn’t high — but you just don’t expect a guy taken in the third round to be in the running for the starting spot right away. To be in the competition this late says what he’s done in camp.” And this from wide receiver Golden Tate: ‘Russell wants to be the best. From the day I met him, he’s been the first one in and the last one out. Even when we had those five weeks off, he was coming in at 7 a.m. getting his work done, them lifting, then throwing with whatever guys were here. In meetings, he asks very good questions. Watching the game, you can see the kid is good, but he has worked so hard to get there. He’s so driven to be the guy for us.’ “

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has his story on the Seahawks naming Wilson the starting quarterback against Kansas City, “As Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Wednesday on SIRIUS NFL Radio, the decision isn’t as much about Flynn as it is about Wilson’s compelling play with and against non-starters, and the now imperative need to see where he is against the ones. ‘He’s been going with the twos, he’s had eight drives, and scored six times: five touchdowns and one field goal,’ Schneider told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon. ‘He’s been pretty dynamic. Matt’s done a nice job and has a good feel for the system … Russell’s done so much in the second half of these two games. Pete preaches competition all the time, he’d be remiss if he didn’t put this guy with the ones and see what he could do with that group.’ “

Gil Brandt of NFL.com names offensive lineman Breno Giacomini and rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner as players who must step up if the Seahawks are to be successful in 2012, “Offense: Breno Giacomini, offensive tackle: A former Packers prospect, Giacomini made a big leap in Week 11 of 2011, when he stepped into a starting role. The one-time college tight end has long arms and excellent work habits; his athletic ability and strength seem to have finally caught up with him. He’s the kind of player offensive line coach Tom Cable loves to develop. Defense: Bobby Wagner, linebacker: The competitive second-round draft pick must figure heavily into the Seahawks’ plans; perhaps encouraged by Wagner’s play, they traded free-agent acquisition Barrett Ruud to the Saints on Monday. The long-armed Wagner will make a lot of tackles, but he can also play in space.”

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com has his NFL head coach power rankings, and he has coach Carroll ranked in the ‘Middle of the pack’ with the likes of John Harbaugh, Mike Smith, Jeff Fisher, Gary Kubiak, Lovie Smith, Marvin Lewis, and Ken Whisenhunt.

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com says to keep an eye on offensive tackle Russell Okung as a potential Pro Bowl candidate in 2012, “Injuries are the main issue for this young player. When healthy he demonstrates why he was a first-round pick. If he stays on the field for 16 games, the truth will come out about this athletic pass blocking left tackle.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his story on Rice’s return, but asks what other receivers will step up, and catches up with wide receivers coach Kippy Brown on the topic, “About the only two givens at this late point in the preseason – and with the first roster cut from 89 to 75 players looming on Monday – are that Doug Baldwin will be the slot receiver and Sidney Rice will be the flanker. Baldwin won’t play against the Chiefs after having fluid extracted from a troublesome hamstring this week, and Rice will make his preseason debut at Arrowhead Stadium after spending most of the summer in a red no-contact jersey to protect his surgically repaired shoulders. But who will replace Mike Williams at split end? And who might be the fourth wide-out in the four-receiver sets? And, while we’re wondering, who fills the fifth and possibly sixth spots on the 53-man roster from the 13 wide-outs on the current roster? Kippy Brown, who coaches the position, can only wish he had the answers to those questions. ‘The competition is as open as it could be. It couldn’t be any more open,’ Brown said after Wednesday’s practice, when he continued to mix and match his receiver in trying to find the most-productive groupings. ‘It’s an interesting deal. Everybody is playing hard and trying hard. There are only so many reps. So there are going to be some difficult decisions.’ “

Farnsworth also has his ‘Wednesday in Hawkville‘ with a look at Edawn Coughman, “The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Coughman was still wearing his white No. 70 jersey, it’s just that he was working with the blue-jerseyed defensive linemen. ‘We took a little look,’ Carroll said. ‘I saw him in a little drill over here helping the offensive guys and he showed a little quickness. So we thought we’d give him a look. We put him on film rushing the passer a little bit.’ Coughman was signed in June after being released by the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He played offensive line at Shaw University, but also has played defense in the past. ‘He has very good quickness, and he’s done a really nice job growing on offense,’ Carroll said. ‘I’m not yet ready to tell you he’s a two-way performer yet, but we’re working at it.’ “

Fantasy writer Scott Engel brings us a look at the Seahawks defense/special teams unit as it relates to fantasy football in 2012, calling the opportunistic unit undervalued and effective.

Lastly, Tony Ventrella has a look at Wednesday’s happenings in his Seahawks Daily.


Wednesday in Hawkville: Lewis to have surgical procedure

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Club for Aug. 22:

FOCUS ON

Roy Lewis. The versatile, and valuable, defensive back and special teams standout could be sidelined for a while, coach Pete Carroll said after practice, adding that a surgical procedure will determine just how long.

“Roy has a knee issue and he’s going to get operated on,” Carroll said. “We’re going to have to see how that goes.”

Lewis began last season on the physically unable to perform list after having surgery on his right knee late in the 2010 season. The latest problem is with his left knee.

“We won’t know what that means until they get in there and fix him up,” Carroll said. “He didn’t get injured; it’s just been developing over time. We’ll keep a good thought, and hopefully we can get him cleaned up and he’ll be able to get back.”

Lewis had been working as the third cornerback in the No. 1 nickel defense. The former University of Washington defensive back even got some work at safety during the offseason. In 2010, Lewis was voted special teams captain by his teammates and also won the Steve Largent Award and was named the Seahawks’ Man of the Year.

PLAYER WATCH

Edawn Coughman. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Coughman was still wearing his white No. 70 jersey, it’s just that he was working with the blue-jerseyed defensive linemen.

“We took a little look,” Carroll said. “I saw him in a little drill over here helping the offensive guys and he showed a little quickness. So we thought we’d give him a look. We put him on film rushing the passer a little bit.”

Coughman was signed in June after being released by the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He played offensive line at Shaw University, but also has played defense in the past.

“He has very good quickness, and he’s done a really nice job growing on offense,” Carroll said. “I’m not yet ready to tell you he’s a two-way performer yet, but we’re working at it.”

ROOKIE WATCH

Cordarro Law. The rookie free agent from Southern Mississippi has been working at defensive end, but he also got gotten some snaps at linebacker the past two days.

“He’s a good football player. He’s a really good football player,” Carroll said. “We’re trying to experiment to see what is his range of abilities.”

At 6-1, 254 pounds, Law has the look of a middle linebacker, but he has been working at the Leo end spot.

“He has the body type where he could crossover,” Carroll said. “We’re just trying to learn more about him.”

IN ’N OUT

Matt Flynn did not practice to rest his arm, Carroll said, but he is expected to play against the Chiefs.

The procedure wide receiver Doug Baldwin had on his troublesome hamstring was to extract fluid, Carroll said. “He got immediate release,” Carroll said. Baldwin is scheduled to return to practice next week.

Center Max Unger and cornerback Coye Francies returned to practice after sitting out on Tuesday.

Still sidelined, in addition to Baldwin and Lewis: running back Marshawn Lynch (back) and fullback Michael Robinson (toe); tight end Cameron Morrah (toe); offensive linemen John Moffitt (elbow) and James Carpenter (knee); defensive linemen Jason Jones (knee) and Pep Levingston (knee); linebackers Matt McCoy (knee) and Allen Bradford (hip); and defensive backs Walter Thurmond (leg) and Ron Parker (knee).

UP NEXT

The players will have a light practice on Thursday morning before the team flies to Kansas City for Friday night’s third preseason game.

THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR

This week’s who’s-that voice belongs to Jackie Montgomery. She’ll be subbing for Jen Mueller as the sideline reporter for the radio broadcast of Friday night’s game on 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM. Steve Raible will handle the play-by-play with former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman as the analyst.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s as open as it could be. It couldn’t be any more open.” – wide receivers coach Kippy Brown, when asked about the competition between the 13 wide-outs on the roster


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Wilson watch

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 22.

After Tuesday’s practice head coach Pete Carroll announced rookie Russell Wilson as the starting quarterback for Friday night’s game at Kansas City. Here’s the reaction:

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times calls the move high-risk, and one only a coach like Carroll would make, “This competition could define Carroll’s legacy in Seattle. This is the high-risk game he loves to play. This call by Carroll is the undisputed heavyweight of wows. This is Carroll telling critics to bring it on. This is a coach willing to take gambles few in his profession will take. Carroll works without a safety net. This game of quarterback roulette only can be played by coaches who are secure in their jobs and supremely confident in what they do. Carroll is both. He’s going to do it his way. It’s daring and risky and off-the-charts against the grain. But this is who Carroll is, and he revels in his unorthodoxy.”

Danny O’Neil says Wilson has his story on Wilson being named the starter on Friday night, “So this third exhibition game, which is universally held to be the most important of the four practice games NFL teams play every August, will become an audition. It is unconventional, it is unorthodox, and Carroll said it is entirely consistent with the equal-opportunity approach he’s tried to instill in this team. The decision was solely about competition, he said, calling Wilson’s start on Friday ‘a great competitive opportunity to watch.’ And now Carroll has to wait like everyone else to see how Wilson does.”

O’Neil also has his notes from Tuesday’s practice.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune has a different take on the decision to start Wilson Friday night at KC, saying that Carroll is just following the emerging NFL trend of starting young, talented quarterbacks, “As a third-round draft choice, the bar wasn’t set quite so high for Russell Wilson. Seahawks fans presumed he’d show up at camp, do his thing, but pretty much stay out of the way of free-agent veteran Matt Flynn. Then came two exhibition games that revealed Flynn as pretty good and Wilson as, uh, maybe much better than pretty good. If Carroll ends up handing the Seahawks’ offense to a rookie, the coach stands to be blistered by critics whose deepest thoughts are steeped in 1983. Nonsense. The game has changed, and the league has changed. The players have changed. Their contracts have changed. If he’s convinced a rookie has the chops of a starting quarterback, Pete Carroll will exude a wisdom best described by one word. Conventional.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Wilson, which includes notes from Tuesday’s practice, “Wilson has a chance to be the fifth rookie quarterback to open this season as a starter, joining Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, Washington’s Robert Griffin III, Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill. Of course, all those names mentioned besides Wilson were drafted in the first round. If Carroll does name Wilson the starter, he would be the first, third-round pick in the NFL to start a season opener as a rookie since Joe Ferguson for Buffalo in 1973.”

Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald catches up with notable figures from Wilson’s past, who say they are not surprised that Wilson is being given an opportunity to win the starting job in Seattle, “If it feels like Wilson is quietly wrapping the city of Seattle around his finger, well, that’s because Russell Wilson does just that everywhere he goes. ‘It didn’t take long,’ University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Tuesday morning when asked about Wilson’s ability to win over the Badger faithful. ‘He won over the players right away. He was here a month when they voted him captain. He was outstanding the minute he stepped on the field.’ “

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post tells us what we should be looking for in Wilson’s start against the Chiefs on Friday, “Identify and execute vs. pressure:  Remember, in the third week of the preseason teams will game plan for opponents. That means film study, scout -team work and an advanced playbook. Wilson will see some pressure from the Chiefs, plus some different looks in the secondary. The key for the rookie is to identify blitz schemes, work the ball to his “hot reads” and step into throws with pressure at his feet. Wilson has to recognize where the blitz is coming from and read coverages in the secondary vs. starting defensive talent. Not easy as a rook.

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com admires Carroll’s decision to start the rookie Wilson in Week 3 at Kansas City in this short video.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his take on Wilson getting the start at quarterback in Week 3, “Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider have kept an open mind about the position. They liked Flynn, but their commitment to him did not preclude the team from using a third-round choice for Wilson, another quarterback. And if there was evidence Wilson might be the better quarterback, Carroll wasn’t going to stick to the script with Flynn. There was no script, anyway. The best player was going to play.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth comments on Wilson getting his chance to start, “Now, Wilson will get the No. 1 reps against the Seahawks defense in practice this week and then face a Chiefs defense that features the Pro Bowl trio of safety Eric Berry and linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson. ‘It definitely helps to go against our defense,’ Wilson said. ‘Our defense is pretty spectacular. They fly around. We’ve got a great defensive line, great linebackers and, obviously, some great DBs, as well. So it’s a good experience for me throughout the week to go against our No. 1 defense. Kansas City has a great, great defense, and they’re going to be flying around. So I just have to be very, very precise with my decision-making and just make the right decision at the right time.’ “

Farnsworth also has his notes from Tuesday’s practice in his latest ‘Hawkville’, with a nugget on wide receiver Sidney Rice, “The on-the-mend wide receiver had his first “real” day of practice, as he caught several passes and took a couple of hits in the process during the full-pads practice. Rice had surgery on each of his shoulders during the offseason. ‘He had a great day today. This was Sidney’s first full-speed, all-out, one-on-one, everything today. It’s the first time he’s had a full-go day,’ Carroll said. ‘This is the first day that I really feel like, ‘OK, he’s in it now.’ ‘ “

Finally, Tony Ventrella wraps up our Wilson coverage in his Seahawks Daily.


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Tuesday in Hawkville: Wilson gets a needed, and deserved, start

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 21:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wilson. The rookie quarterback is getting his first start in Friday night’s preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City. But he plans to prepare for it in the same manner he has while serving as the backup to Matt Flynn in the first two games.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great opportunity for me,” Wilson said. “I’ve just got to keep working. There’s a lot more to do and I have to keep improving. That’s my main goal every day when I wake up.”

Wilson definitely has opened some eyes with his second-half performances against the Titans and Broncos, passing for three scores and running for another in directing five touchdown drives.

Coach Pete Carroll announced after today’s practice that Wilson would get the start, a needed next step in determining if he can indeed be the starter for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona.

How does Wilson plan to keep this first start from being bigger than it is? “I’m never afraid to excel,” he said. “I don’t try to change the moment at all. I think that it’s a great opportunity. I’m taking it one play at a time, just like I always would – taking it one practice at a time and just play to the best of my ability. Play smart. Lead the guys out there. Make the other 10 guys in the huddle better. And that’s my goal.”

PLAYER WATCH

Sidney Rice.  The on-the-mend wide receiver had his first “real” day of practice, as he caught several passes and took a couple of hits in the process during the full-pads practice. Rice had surgery on each of his shoulders during the offseason.

“He had a great day today. This was Sidney’s first full-speed, all-out, one-on-one, everything today. It’s the first time he’s had a full-go day,” Carroll said. “This is the first day that I really feel like, ‘OK, he’s in it now.’ ”

Carroll said he isn’t sure whether Rice will make his preseason debut against the Chiefs.

POSITION WATCH

Middle linebacker. What had become obvious is now official – rookie Bobby Wagner is the starter. It had happened even before veteran Barrett Ruud was traded to the Saints on Monday. It was Wagner’s quick grasp of the mental aspects that come with playing the position, as well as his physical skills, that made Ruud expendable.

“Bobby’s going to start for us,” Carroll said. “He’s done a great job and we’re thrilled with his progress that he’s made so far.”

Special teams standout Heath Farwell will serve as the backup, but the coaches also could move K.J. Wright from the strong side to the middle.

“K.J.’s a legitimate, big-time (middle) linebacker, as well,” Carroll said. “So we have some flexibility.”

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

As Carroll views it, Flynn threw two touchdown passes in the first half against the Broncos on Saturday night – the one that Terrell Owens didn’t catch and the one Golden Tate did, although out of bounds.

“He threw two great touchdown passes in that first half,” Carroll said. “I told Matt, ‘Those, to me, count. Those are the plays you made.’ There’s a discipline that comes with that. You have to discipline yourself to say, ‘Those were part of his game.’ He had a heckuva game. Two touchdowns in that first half under the pressure would have been a great first-half performance. He did that. That did happen, in my mind. Whether that counted or not, I don’t care.”

IN ’N OUT

Doug Baldwin, last year’s leading receiver, had a procedure on the hamstring that has been bothering him, Carroll said, and could return to practice next week.

Fourteen other players also were sidelined today: running back Marshawn Lynch (back), fullback Michael Robinson (toe), center Max Unger (calf), tight end Cameron Morrah (toe), offensive linemen John Moffitt (elbow) and James Carpenter (knee), linebackers Matt McCoy (knee) and Allen Bradford (hip), defensive linemen Pep Levingston (knee) and Jason Jones (knee) and defensive backs Ron Parker (knee), Roy Lewis (unspecified), Coye Francies (head) and Walter Thurmond (leg).

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu, tight end Zach Miller, defensive end Cordarro Law and linebackers Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan returned to practice after missing time.

UP NEXT

The players will practice Wednesday and again Thursday morning before the team flies to Kansas City for Friday night’s game.

YOU DON’T SAY

“He’s a nightmare out there, the way he moves around.” – Carroll on the pressure the elusive Wilson can put on a defense


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Photoblog: Seahawks Fall to Kansas City.

The Seahawks hoped to retain their position atop the NFC West with a victory over the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, but struggled and fell 42-24 in front of the home crowd at Qwest Field.

In the Seahawks locker room before the game, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck gets his pads adjusted by assistant coach Pat McPherson.

Offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus waits outside of the team's locker room next to a 12th Man flag signed by fans.

The Sea Gals were flying high during their pregame routine at midfield prior to the introduction of the teams.

Taima the Hawk flies out of the tunnel moments before Lofa Tatupu and the rest of the Seahawks are introduced to a raucous crowd at Qwest Field.

Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung gets the crowd pumped up as he is introduced during pregame.

Wide receiver Golden Tate tries to make a one-handed grab along the sideline but the ball fell incomplete.

Kansas City tight end Mike Cox tries to steady himself after being upended by Seattle defenders

Seattle's Kentwan Balmer blocks a field goal by Kansas City's Ryan Succop in the first half, one of two big plays by the Seahawks special teams.

Seattle's Kelly Jennings dives over Kansas City holder Dustin Colquitt to recover the blocked field goal.

Seattle's Junior Siavii (94) and Raheem Brock (98) celebrate after the Seahawks blocked a Kansas City field goal.

Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt attempts a punt that is blocked by Seahawks special teamer Kennard Cox in the second quarter.

Seattle's Earl Thomas scoops up the blocked punt and returns it 10-yards for a touchdown.

Seattle's special teams continued to dominate with Will Herring (54) and Justin Forsett (20) making a jarring tackle.

Seattle's Will Herring celebrates with his tongue out after making a big hit.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck throws while under pressure from Kansas City's Wallace Gilberry (92).

Seattle receiver Deon Butler flies out of bounds after making a catch near the goal line but was unable to keep both feet inbounds and the catch was ruled incomplete.

Seahawks tight end Chris Baker spikes the ball emphatically after scoring on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck in the third quarter.

Qwest Field was a gorgeous site to behold from a weather standpoint, as sunny skies and early winter light shone down on the arches of the stadium.

Tight End Cameron Morrah, making a tough grab while falling on near the sideline as Kansas City cornerback Brandon Carr tries to defend.

Morrah appears to land inbounds with the reception but officials ruled him out of bounds and the Seahawks did not have enough evidence to challenge the ruling.

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu continued his fine play, getting behind the Kansas City secondary to haul in an 87-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck walks off the field after throwing one of three interceptions on the afternoon.

Seahawks fans came away disappointed with their team's second home loss in as many games. Carolina comes to town next weekend.

In the locker room after the game, coach Pete Carroll told his team that "this is not how we want to play" and that they would start fresh on Monday morning in preparation for the Carolina Panthers.