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Cyber surfing: Wednesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today. Oct. 26:

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his weekly “risers and fallers” in the NFC West, and middle linebacker David Hawthorne checks in at No. 1 among the “risers.” Says Sando: “Eleven tackles, one sack and one interception constituted a rebirth for Hawthorne, who seemed to play more freely than at any point this season. I was tempted to list teammate Red Bryant in this spot after Bryant blocked two field goal attempts and provided strong run defense, but Bryant was already regarded as one of the most important players on the team. His stock was already high, in other words. Also, the penalty against Bryant for head-butting Browns tight end Alex Smith killed whatever fleeting hopes the Seahawks had for a last-minute comeback victory.”

Sando also has five observations from the Browns game, including: “Seattle’s wide receivers had not dropped a single pass heading into this game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Ben Obomanu and Doug Baldwin dropped passes Sunday. Throw in (tight end Anthony) McCoy’s two drops and Seattle suffered four in this game, one more than in the previous five games combined. Whitehurst targeted wide receivers 15 times, completing only four through a combination of errant throws and drops. Seattle had been much better in the passing game recently and I suspect they will be much better in the future. This was an unusually horrible game on that front.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the Seahawks offense against the Browns, or the lack of it. Offers O’Neil: “The Seahawks were starting over, so to speak, going back to the beginning of this season when it was hard to know what — if anything — this offense could rely upon. The Seahawks scored a total of 37 points in the first 14 quarters and were considered among the worst offenses in the NFL. The no-huddle offense had been Seattle’s salve for the previous game and a half. Seattle scored 57 points in the previous six quarters entering Sunday’s game while using a no-huddle, hurry-up offense almost exclusively. All the progress and promise of the past game and a half disappeared on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland when the Seahawks managed 137 yards of total offense, its second-lowest total in a game in the past 10 years.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune also examines the Seahawks never finding their offensive rhythm against the Browns. Says Williams: “The Seahawks have to put this one behind them and quickly figure out how to establish some offensive rhythm with Cincinnati coming to town Sunday. The Bengals are a surprising 4-2 and have the No. 2-ranked defense in the league.”

Dave Wyman, writing on the mynorthwest.com blog at 710 ESPN, says not to overreact to Charlie Whitehurst’s performance against the Browns. Offers the former Seahawks linebacker: “Whitehurst certainly did not play well – I think we can all agree on that. But now some are asking for third-string quarterback Josh Portis. That’s Josh Portis, undrafted rookie free agent from Division II California University in Pennsylvania. I always say that the most popular player on any NFL team is the backup quarterback. But it’s a never ending cycle when you jump on that bandwagon. Makes me wonder how many quarterbacks there would have to be on the team before people stopped asking to ‘get the next guy in there.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com, we got the weekly behind-the-scenes look at Sunday’s game with Ben Malcolmson’s “From the Sidelines” and Rod Mar’s photo blog.

We also examine the disparity in the Seahawks’ past two performances; take look at this week’s opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals; and recap the day in Tuesday in Hawkville. If that’s not enough, there’s also Shelly Son’s touching story about Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Tony Ventrella’s video report from Marcus Trufant’s Bowling and Billiards Classic.

Mike Pereira at FoxSports.com takes a look at the controversial block-in-the-back call that cost the Seahawks what would have been Leon Washington’s 81-yard punt return for game-winning touchdown against the Browns. He has a bigger problem with Fox analyst, and former Seahawks coach, Jim Mora calling it a “phantom call” than the call itself. Says Pereira: “The other thing that makes it difficult is the fact you’re officiating on ground level and often looking through bodies. It’s so much easier when we see the game from television cameras at a higher vantage point. On this play, you could see contact between Cleveland’s James Dockery and Cox, but Dockery was falling down, which made it appear like it was a block in the back. Maybe I’ll buy my buddy Mora a dictionary so he can look up the word ‘phantom.’ Like I said, this wasn’t a ‘phantom call.’ “


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Photoblog: Mistakes by the Lake

The Seahawks came off their bye week looking for a second straight road win, this time visiting the Cleveland Browns.

Seahawks players relax in the lobby of the team hotel in-between meetings on Saturday in Cleveland.

The team took charter buses to Case Western Reserve University for their Saturday walk-thru on a field located between picturesque campus dormitories.

On Sunday, defensive lineman Alan Branch was on the field hours before kickoff, playing a little air guitar before taking on the Browns in the city that houses the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Deon Butler signed autographs for members of the 12th MAN who attended the road game.

Starting running back Marshawn Lynch took the field for pregame warmups before back issues prevented him from playing.

Red Bryant, the heart and soul of the Seahawks defense, fired up his teammates on the field during pregame.

Newly signed free-agent Heath Farwell heads out of the tunnel with the team during pregame introductions.

Seattle quarterback Charlie Whitehurst had a tough day and was sacked three times including this nine-yard loss in the game's opening drive.

Whitehurst was hit from behind and lost the ball on a fumble on this second quarter play.

Seattle's defense pressured Cleveland's offense all afternoon, and Red Bryant put a hard knock on Colt McCoy during the first half.

Colt McCoy is sacked by Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, who was flagged for a personal foul on the play.

Head referee Mike Carey announces the penalty against Chancellor as Seattle's Chris Clemons seeks an explanation.

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman upends Cleveland tight end Evan Moore.

Kam Chancellor and Leroy Hill celebrate a stop on third down during the second quarter.

Seattle's Chris Clemons continued his fine play with two quarterback sacks of Cleveland's Colt McCoy.

Seahawks medical staff attends to cornerback Walter Thurmond, who suffered a season-ending leg injury.

The Seahawks defense stood stout and David Hawthorne intercepted a McCoy pass deep in Seattle territory.

Leon Washington broke free on a punt return for an apparent touchdown that would have given the Seahawks the lead, but officals flagged Kennard Cox for an illegal block on the play.

Sidney Rice looks for the end zone on Seattle's lone excursion into Cleveland's red zone. The Seahawks were forced to settle for a field goal.

Red Bryant (79) blocked two field goals on the afternoon, including this key block in the fourth quarter.

Red Bryant celebrates with teammates Raheem Brock, David Vobora, and Sidney Rice after blocking the field goal.

Wide receiver Mike Williams fights but can't reach a ball thrown to him in double coverage on Seattle's final drive.

Offensive tackle Russell Okung leaves the sideline at the end of the 6-3 loss.

Head coach Pete Carroll walked through the locker room and spoke to each player after the game.


Davis to IR; Cox signed

PITTSBURGH – After practice Friday, coach Pete Carroll said defensive end Dexter Davis had “problems, definitely,” but that he didn’t know his status.

The Seahawks coach does now: Davis was placed on injured reserve today with a hip injury and will miss the rest of the season.

To fill his spot on the 53-man roster, cornerback Kennard Cox was re-signed.

Cox played in 11 games with the Seahawks last season and was with them this summer before being released on the roster cut to 53 players. He should be able to help immediately on special teams, where the Seahawks are missing co-captain Michael Robinson and rookie cornerback Byron Maxwell, the leading coverage tackler during the preseason; and no Davis. Robinson and Maxwell sprained ankles in last week’s loss to the 49ers. Davis did play in the opener.

Cox had three coverage tackles last season, as well as a forced fumble and a blocked punt.

Davis, a seventh-round draft choice last year, had six special teams tackles as a rookie and also eight on defense, including a sack.


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Cox signed for 2011

The Seahawks have secured the services of another versatile role player by signing cornerback and special teams player Kennard Cox for the 2011 season.

Cox made the original 53-man roster last season, only to be released and signed to the practice squad in September. But he was added to the active roster in mid-October. Cox played in 11 games and his highlight play was blocking a punt in the Week 12 game against the Kansas City Chiefs that rookie Earl Thomas returned for a touchdown.

The punt block was the first by a Seahawk since D.D. Lewis got one in 2003, and Thomas’ scoring return was the first off a blocked punt since Alex Bannister in 2001.

Cox (6-foot, 191) also had seven tackles and broke up two passes while playing in situational roles on defense.


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Seahawks really were ‘special’

Rick Gosselin’s annual rankings of the league’s special-teams units for the Dallas Morning News proved something that was apparent all season: The Seahawks were among the best in the NFL.

The Seahawks finished in a tie for fourth with the Bears and Raiders (280 points), behind the Patriots (269), Titans (274) and Browns (277).

The rankings, which were published Sunday, are based on 22 special-teams categories.

The Seahawks led the league in one category with four blocked kicks – three field goals by Craig Terrill and a punt by Kennard Cox. The Seahawks also got three kickoff returns for touchdowns from Leon Washington; while ranking third in average starting position after kickoffs (30.2-yard line) and fifth in average starting position covering kickoffs (24.6-yard line).

You can view the rankings here, but might need to register first.


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The Day in Pictures: Friday

The Seahawks underwent a 45-minute walk-thru in their indoor practice facility at the VMAC today, as they made final preparations for Sunday’s NFC West showdown with the St. Louis Rams.

Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst fires a pass.

Kennard Cox (red hat) works as a wide reciever as cornerback Walter Thurmond defends.

Even though the team practiced inside, temperatures in the team's indoor practice facility were in the 30's.

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck smiles with head coach Pete Carroll.

Head coach Pete Carroll called up linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. a three-time Super Bowl champion, to end practice.


Photoblog: Seahawks Find a Better Half.

Seattle got back on the winning track against Carolina at Qwest Field, on a day the team officially retired the jersey of famed offensive lineman Walter Jones. A 31-14 over the Panthers moved the Seahawks back into a tie for first place in the NFC West.

Jake Olson, a 14-year-old from Huntington Beach, California battled eye cancer since birth until doctors removed his eyes last year. Since becoming blind, Jake has become a motivational speaker and an inspiration to many. He met coach Pete Carroll during USC's 2009 season and was a guest of the Seahawks on Sunday.

In the Seahawks locker room before the game, running back Marshawn Lynch stretched out and listened to music in front of his locker.

Seahawks defensive backs huddled together before taking the field for pregame warmups.

When the team returned to their locker room after pregame warmups, Kennard Cox applied eye-black patches before heading back out for kickoff.

Cornerback Marcus Trufant is shrouded in fog as he makes his way through the tunnel, ready to be announced as a starter to the roar of the 12th Man.

Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate made a valiant dive for this pass by Matt Hasselbeck which fell incomplete, but a defensive holding call on the Panthers gave the Seahawks a first down and kept the drive alive.

Just before the two-minute warning in the first half, legendary offensive lineman Walter Jones emerged, posing for a photo with team superfan "Mama Blue" before getting his jersey retired in a brief ceremony.

With his mother and children at his side, Walter Jones thanked his former coaches, teammates and the 12th Man as his jersey was officially retired by the team.

As he did earlier in the season, Golden Tate found himself flying through the air after reception over the middle.

Tate managed to get a hand down to break his fall and came down with the completion.

The Seahawks running game was in full "Beast Mode" in the second half, when Marshawn Lynch scored three rushing touchdowns.

Getting fullback Michael Robinson back from injury was a blessing for the Seahawks' running game, something that was not lost on head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll congratulated Robinson for blasting a hole up the middle for Marshawn Lynch's touchdown from the one-yard line in the third quarter that capped a 96-yard drive to open the half.

Seattle's defensive captain showed why he is the rock of the Seahawks defense, intercepting a pass by Carolina's Jimmy Clausen and returning it 26-yards for a touchdown in front of the Seahawks sideline to give Seattle a 17-14 lead.

Return specialist Leon Washington races away from the pack on an 84-yard punt return that nearly yielded a touchdown.

Head coach Pete Carroll and special teams coach Brian Schneider get fired up along the sidelines after Washington's big return that set up a touchdown that gave Seattle a 24-14 lead.

On the Seahawks bench, running back Marshawn Lynch talks to Leon Washington after Washington's punt return set up Lynch's second touchdown of the day.

Seattle's defense wasn't the only ones doing the hitting, as offensive tackle Russell Okung leveled Carolina's Captain Munnerlyn after Munnerlyn intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass.

Seattle's Raheem Brock celebrates after one of his two sacks on the afternoon.

The traditional postgame prayer shared by players of both teams at midfield was led by Jake Olson, who then attended coach Pete Carroll's post-game speech to the team in the locker room

Head coach Pete Carroll was exhuberant in the locker room after the game, telling them that their inspired play in the second half against Carolina should carry through the final four games of the season as they push for the playoffs.