A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on May 3:
1977: The Seahawks trade the second pick in the NFL Draft to the Cowboys, who select running back Tony Dorsett. In exchange, the Seahawks get the Cowboys’ first-round pick, which they used to select offensive lineman Steve August; and three second-round picks – which became offensive lineman Tom Lynch and linebacker Terry Beeson. Beeson would lead the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons (1977-79), including a still-franchise record 153 in 1978. August started 90 games from 1977-84.
1978: Cornerback Keith Simpson is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, and linebacker Keith Butler is added in the second round. Simpson would start 70 games in eight seasons with the team, retuning three of his 19 interceptions for touchdowns; while Butler was the franchise’s all-time leading tackler by the time he left after the 1987 season with 813 – a mark that would be broken by Eugene Robinson (984).
1979: Manu Tuiasosopo is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The defensive tackle from UCLA would lead the team in sacks (eight) as a rookie and produced a career-high 94 tackles in 1980. He started 64 games in five seasons.
A recap of the events at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 17:
The obvious. It’s just that what’s obvious depends on who you’re talking to.
Obvious No. 1: The Seahawks are hosting the NFC West-leading 49ers on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field. After their impressive and then resilient performance in last night’s win over the Patriots in New England that pushed their record to 10-3-1, the 49ers can clinch the division title by beating the Seahawks; or the 9-5 Seahawks can keep their division-title hopes alive with a win over the 49ers.
Obvious No. 2: The Seahawks hold the No. 5 seed – or first wild-card spot – in the NFC playoff picture. But right behind them at 8-6 are the Bears, Giants, Cowboys and Vikings (The Redskins also are 8-6 but currently lead the NFC East). The Seahawks hold the tiebreaker against the Bears, Cowboys and Vikings because they beat each team this season. But the only way to insure making it to the postseason is to keep winning during the regular season.
Obvious No. 3: The Seahawks are one hot team, having won their past three games – two of them on the road – and in the past two weeks becoming the first team since 1950 to score 50 or more points in back-to-back games.
When each obvious item was broached during his weekly day-after Q&A session this afternoon, coach Pete Carroll smiled, and then offered his own version of the obvious.
“We ain’t done nothing yet,” he said when asked about the playoff patter. “When that happens, it happens. Every one of these games are championship matchups. Every one of them makes the statement that you’re still in it, or you’re finally in it and you get it.
“We’ve just got to go play this football game and play it really, really well. And if that’s the result, then that’s OK. We’ve got another game after that one, too. There’s still a lot of work to be done here. I don’t think it’s a factor, really. It shouldn’t be. We’ve got to go win a football game, regardless of whether there was something hanging out there or not.”
This attitude that each game is a championship game and the goal each week is to go 1-0 has served the Seahawks beyond well as they’ve won five of their past six games. But after Sunday’s 50-17 victory over the Bills at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, several players said that Carroll’s championship-game approach really applied to this week’s game. The 49ers beat the Seahawks 13-7 in San Francisco in Week 7, so there’s payback as well as postseason positioning on the line for the rematch.
And Carroll knows there will be no extra motivational work to be done this week.
“All we can do is really focus on this game right here. We’ll have no trouble focusing,” he said. “They’re a great team. And coming home and all that, it will be exciting to get ready.”
After this week, the Seahawks will host the St. Louis Rams on the 30th, while the 49ers will close their regular season by hosting the Cardinals.
“Coming home, with the last two games here at the stadium, it’s a great opportunity for our fans and we want to really play well in this setting,” Carroll said. “It’s an exciting way to come down, finishing in the division. And it starts with San Francisco this weekend.”
The ankle that defensive tackle Alan Branch sprained against the Bills is not as serious as first anticipated.
“He came out way better than we thought,” Carroll said. “We’ll rest him, probably until Friday. We’re thinking he might have a chance to make it back. So that’s very encouraging, because we thought after the game he would not be able to do that. We’ll see how that goes.”
Carroll said he also has his fingers crossed that cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant might be able to return this week. Trufant has missed the past three games and Thurmond sat out against the Bills – both with hamstring injuries.
Defensive lineman Jason Jones (sore knee) and leading receiver Sidney Rice (sore foot) also could be limited in practice this week.
PRACTICE SQUAD ROULETTE
Defensive end Monte Taylor has been signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot, wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei was released.
The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Taylor was signed by the Seahawks after the NFL Draft in April, but released in June and claimed off waivers by the Eagles.
STAT DU JOUR
Bobby Wagner had another game with double-digit tackles (12) against the Bills, his fifth of the season. In the past nine games, the rookie middle linebacker is averaging 10.3 tackles. With his first tackle in Sunday night’s game against the 49ers, Wagner will tie Keith Butler for the second-most tackles in a season by a Seahawks rookie. With 16 in the final two games, he will set a franchise record for most tackles by a rookie in a season. Here’s a look at where Wagner currently ranks:
Player (year) Tackles (solo/assists)
LB Terry Beeson (1977) 136 (110/26)
LB Keith Butler (1978) 122 (83/39)
LB Bobby Wagner (2012) 121 (77/44)
SS Kenny Easley (1981) 107 (79/28)
LB Lofa Tatupu (2005) 105 (86/19)
The players were “off” today for a “Victory Monday” and will have their usual “off” day on Tuesday. They will return on Wednesday to begin practicing for Sunday night’s game.
Center Max Under will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.
YOU DON’T SAY
“A perfect game for Russell Wilson, just the way Wilson wants to play – running a lot, playing option football, playing from the pocket. ‘Whatever we call, we know something good can happen with Russell right now,’ said coach Pete Carroll after the 50-17 rout of Buffalo in Toronto. Wilson rushed nine times for 92 yards and three touchdowns on runs of 14, 25 and 13 yards. He completed 14 of 23 for 205 yards and a touchdown. Wilson’s been such a revelation that, week by week, it’s hard to fathom how good he’s become versus the image of what 90 percent of the NFL coaching and scouting community had of him before the draft.” – Peter King, in naming the Seahawks rookie QB as one of his offensive players of the week in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks’ history that occurred on Sept. 7:
1986 – The Seahawks win their opener 30-0 over the Steelers at the Kingdome, as the defense intercepts three passes – including one that Dave Brown returns 18 yards for a touchdown – and linebackers Fredd Young, Keith Butler and Greg Gaines combine for 26 tackles. Dave Krieg also passes for two touchdowns and Curt Warner runs for 114 yards.
2003 – The Seahawks post their first season-opening victory at home since 1986, 27-10 over the Saints as Shaun Alexander scores two touchdowns and linebacker Anthony Simmons paces the defense with an 11-tackle performance.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 11:
The Seahawks’ rookies have reported and will practice today for the first of three times in their weekend minicamp. Eric Williams at the News Tribune takes a look at how coach Pete Carroll relishes this look at the rookies: “ ‘It’s going to be really cool to see these guys come together,’ Carroll said. ‘There are so many highlight players in this group of kids. We can’t wait to get them on the field with us.’ Most eyes will be on (Bruce) Irvin, a speed pass rusher, and quarterback (Russell) Wilson, two players who were considered surprise selections by national NFL observers – particularly where they were taken in the draft. For Irvin, the focus will be on how long it takes for him to develop into a consistent pass rusher and an every-down player in order to live up to his draft status. In Wilson’s case, his 5-foot-11 stature and ability to deliver accurate passes from inside the pocket will be a constant measuring stick of his success in the NFL.”
Chris Burke at SI.com takes a look at the undrafted free agents who could turn into finds for the teams that signed them, including the Seahawks: “Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington. We’re kind of on a run of guys catching on with their local teams. Seattle fans ought to be well-aware of Kearse after a strong career at Washington. He has good size and will go over the middle — valuable traits for a team searching for WR help. Others to watch: Rishaw Johnson, G, California (Pa.); DeShawn Shead, DE, Portland State”
During a chat at ESPN.com, NFC West blogger Mike Sando fielded a question about the Seahawks’ creativity in player acquisition: “The 49ers converted Bruce Miller from college defensive end to fullback and got good play from him last season. Miller had not played offense since high school. (J.R.) Sweezy, like Miller, was a later-round pick. Teams have greater freedom to experiment with later-round choices. The key is to be creative without over-thinking things. More broadly, the concern in building around specialized or somewhat unique players – think Red Bryant for Seattle – is that specialized players can be tough to replace if injured. However, that is where staff flexibility can make up the difference. The Seahawks seem to have a good defensive staff and approach. Another potential concern relative to Sweezy is what the move represents: a clear push by an assistant coach to get a player he liked. Tom Cable also drove the selection of James Carpenter a year ago. Drafting players to fit the staff is important, but we should also watch to see if assistants have too much sway.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at the selection of linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round, which follows a productive trend for the team: “There’s not just a precedent, it’s a productive precedent. In 2005, Lofa Tatupu – who played for Carroll at USC – was the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice. He not only started as a rookie, he was the leading tackler on the franchise’s first Super Bowl team – the first of a club-record four consecutive seasons that the too-small, too-slow Tatupu would lead the Seahawks in tackles. In 1977, Terry Beeson was a second-round draft choice, and he also led the team in tackles as a rookie – the first of three consecutive seasons Beeson would do it, including a still-franchise record 153 tackles in 1978. In 1978, Keith Butler was selected in the second round of the draft, and he became the franchise’s all-time leading tackler by the time he left after the 1987 season (a total since surpassed by Eugene Robinson). In 1987, Dave Wyman was the team’s second-round draft choice, and he finished second on the team in tackles in 1988 and 1989. In 1990, Terry Wooden was selected in the second round, and he led the team in tackles in 1991 and 1995 and finished second in 1993 and 1994 – although it was as an outside ’backer. But you get the picture; second-round linebackers have been very, very good for the Seahawks.”
Remember free agency? It’s still going on, and Jason La Canfora at NFL.com has a look at the best remaining players, and where they might fit best.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on May 3:
1977: The Seahawks trade the second pick in the NFL Draft to the Cowboys, who select running back Tony Dorsett. In exchange, the Seahawks get the Cowboys’ first-round pick (which they used to select offensive lineman Steve August) and three second-round picks (offensive lineman Tom Lynch, linebacker Terry Beeson and wide receiver Duke Ferguson).
1978: Cornerback Keith Simpson is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, and linebacker Keith Butler is added in the second round. Simpson would start 70 games in eight seasons with the team, while Butler would be the franchise’s all-time leading tackler (813) when he left after the 1987 season.
1979: Manu Tuiasosopo is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The defensive tackle from UCLA would lead the team in sacks (eight) as a rookie and start 64 games in five seasons.
Sherman Smith. Terry Beeson. Keith Butler. Brian Blades. Terry Wooden. Kevin Mawae. Lofa Tatupu. John Carlson.
Each was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Seahawks. Each delivered results befitting a first-round pick. But which player was the best second-round pick in franchise history?
Smith, a quarterback at Miami of Ohio, was a member of the team’s initial draft class in 1976. After switching to running back in his rookie training camp, all he did was lead the team in rushing five times, including the Seahawks’ first four seasons. Beeson, a middle linebacker, came in the second draft in 1977 and led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons – including a still franchise-record 153 in 1978. The following year delivered Butler, another linebacker who was the team’s all-time leading tackler when he left after the 1987 season.
In 1988, Blades was the team’s top draft choice because the Seahawks had used their first-round pick to select linebacker Brian Bosworth in the 1987 supplemental draft. But Blades led the team in receiving five times, remains No. 2 on the team’s all-time list in receptions (581) and receiving yards (7,620) behind Hall of Famer Steve Largent, was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1989 and elected to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
Wooden, an outside linebacker, was part of the 1990 draft that was headlined by the trade to acquire Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy with the third pick overall and also included running back Chris Warren and strong safety Robert Blackmon – aka “The Rookie Club.” Wooden started 87 games in seven seasons, led the team in tackles in 1991 and 1995 and also finished second twice. Mawae started at guard as a rookie in 1994 and also 1995 before moving to center in 1996 and 1997.
Carlson, a tight end who arrived in 2008, holds the franchise single-season records for the position receptions (55 in ’08), receiving yards (627 in ’08) and TD catches (seven in 2009).
But the best-of pick has to be Tatupu, who arrived in 2005 – just in time to help lead the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl. The middle linebacker is the only player in franchise history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive seasons (2005-08) and also was voted to three Pro Bowls.
Tatupu was released last year, Carlson spent the season on injured reserve and each is with a new team – the Falcons and Vikings, respectively. But their impact is undeniable, as each was voted to the 35th Anniversary team.
And Steve Raible definitely deserves honorable mention. A second-round pick in 1976, an injury ended Raible’s career after only six seasons, but he has remained with the Seahawks as first the analyst and now play-by-play man for team’s radio broadcasts.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 1:
NFL.com has compiled its list of the best players who never appeared in a Super Bowl, and you-know-who is on it: “(Steve) Largent helped turn the expansion Seahawks into a contender in a short period of time, but the Hall of Fame receiver only got as far in the playoffs as the 1983 AFC Championship Game.”
As a companion piece, NFL Films also has a list of the Top 10 players who never appeared in a Super Bowl and Largent checks in at No. 3. You can check out the video here.
The QB who threw a lot of passes to Largent – Jim Zorn – won’t be interviewing for a job with the Bears. Sean Jensen of the Sun Times says the Chiefs denied the Bears permission to talk to Zorn: “Zorn joined the Chiefs last offseason. Although head coach Todd Haley was fired, the Chiefs apparently like Zorn enough that they don’t want him to leave.”
Alex Marvez at FoxSports.com has the word on Greg Knapp, the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator in 2009, taking the same position with the Raiders: “Knapp spent last season as Houston’s quarterbacks coach. He previously served as Oakland’s offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008 and held the same position with San Francisco (2001 to 2003), Atlanta (2004 to 2006) and Seattle.”
Former Seahawks linebacker Keith Butler has opted not to interview with the Colts to become their defensive coordinator and remain with the Steelers. Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette has the details: “Butler was scheduled to interview with new Colts Coach Chuck Pagano on Tuesday in Indianapolis, but he changed his mind after meeting today with team president Art Rooney II and Coach Mike Tomlin. Butler was told after the 2009 season he will be the team’s defensive coordinator when Dick LeBeau retires – a handshake agreement that was made when he turned down the Miami Dolphins offer to become their defensive coordinator.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be selected Saturday and SI.com’s Jim Trotter, a member of the selection committee, looks at former 49ers owner and finalist Eddie DeBartolo: “What could make Saturday’s session more interesting than previous years is that for the first time in at least two decades there are no shoo-in, first-year candidates. That means deserving finalists previously caught in a numbers logjam will have a better shot at breaking through. And yet the thing that could really make this year noteworthy is the candidacy of former San Francisco 49ers patriarch Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who is seeking to be the first modern-era owner inducted at Canton. The 12 owners currently in the Hall of Fame purchased their teams before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, and their candidacies revolved around their contributions to the health and growth of the league in its formative years. DeBartolo oversaw one of sport’s great dynasties as owner of the 49ers from 1977 to 2000. His nomination is important because it could provide insight as to how modern owners will be judged in the future.”
Tuesday was Media Day in Indianapolis, the event during the Super Bowl week where anything can – and usually does – happen. Don Banks at SI.com has the details: “At least five times I must have chosen the same player podium to be at – unfortunately – as that Nickelodeon guy who always shows up on Super Bowl media day and calls himself “Pick Boy.” He’s dressed in a knockoff version of the “Robin” cape, mask and tights of “Batman and Robin” fame, and let’s just say hilarity doesn’t often ensue following his zany questions put to players.”