Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 6:

FOCUS ON

The offensive line. The Seahawks have been forced to shuttle this unit again, with left tackle Russell Okung being placed on injured reserve today because of the torn pectoral he got in his right shoulder during the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s victory over the Eagles.

In today’s 75-minute bonus practice, Paul McQuistan moved from right guard to replace Okung, with Lemuel Jeanpierre stepping in at right guard. So the newest new-look line that is expected to start in Monday night’s game against the Rams at CenturyLink Field features – from left tackle to right – McQuistan, Robert Gallery, Max Unger, Jeanpierre and Breno Giacomini.

“We pretty much have to head in that direction,” coach Pete Carroll said. “The fact that these guys have been with us, we don’t have to go outside the organization and the system to get guys. It’s really very fortunate.”

Jeanpierre made his first NFL start in the Week 7 game against the Browns at center because Unger was sidelined. McQuistan has started at left guard (three games) and right guard (three games) because of injuries to Gallery and rookie John Moffitt, who is on injured reserved following knee surgery. McQuistan also played tackle during his time with the Raiders. Giacomini is starting because first-round draft choice James Carpenter also went on injured reserve because of a knee injury that required surgery.

“This speaks to the depth we started camp with,” Carroll said. “They’re familiar faces, anyway, instead of having to go some other way. Hopefully this will work out and we’ll be able to keep going.”

The Seahawks are riding a streak of five consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards, their longest since 2005.

PLAYER WATCH

Tarvaris Jackson. The team’s QB surprised everyone last week by being able to participate in every practice during the short preparation period due to the Thursday night game, because of the strained pectoral in his right shoulder.

Today, Jackson took it to the next level.

“He looked totally different today,” Carroll said. “The signs have just been coming the last week or so that things are different for him. Today, he looked like normal. … An excellent, excellent sign today. We haven’t seen him throw the ball like this at one time for I don’t know however long it’s been.”

It has been almost 8½ weeks since Jackson injured his shoulder in the Week 5 upset of the Giants.

“He’s a whole step ahead of (last week) today,” Carroll said. “He has not thrown the ball at any time like this, in any of the games even. So it’s a great sign.”

IN ’N OUT

Offensive lineman Mike Gibson was re-signed to fill Okung’s spot on the 53-man roster. Gibson (6-3, 298) was with the Seahawks in training camp, but released on the final roster cut in September. He also was with the team in 2009 and 2010, and started eight games last season – five at left guard and three at right guard. Gibson also worked at center this summer, so his versatility is a plus.

The club also signed two players to its practice squad: defensive lineman Keith Darbut and running back Jay Finley.

Four players sat out practice: middle linebacker David Hawthorne, defensive end Raheem Brock and cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Kennard Cox.

With Hawthorne out, K.J. Wight moved into the middle and was replaced on the strong side by fellow rookie Mike Morgan.

STAT DU JOUR

The team with the best winning percentage in the history of “Monday Night Football”? It’s the Seahawks, who are 16-8 for a percentage of .667. Here are the top five:

Team                     Record    Pct.

Seahawks              16-8        .667

Steelers                 39-22      .639

Colts                       21-12      .636

49ers                      40-25      .615

Raiders                37-25-1     .595

The Seahawks also have a four-game winning streak on MNF:

Date                     Outcome

Dec. 5, 2005        W, 42-0 at Philadelphia

Nov. 6, 2006        W, 16-0 Oakland

Nov. 27, 2006      W, 34-24 Green Bay

Nov. 12, 2007      W, 24-0 San Francisco

UP NEXT

The Carroll calendar continues to collide with the regular calendar, as the players are off on Wednesday because of the Monday night game. They return Thursday, which will be Wednesday.

Tickets are available for the game against the Rams and can be purchased here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“They loved it. It was a great opportunity to get a break this late in the year. They feel so much different coming into practice today and they’ll get tomorrow off as well. So it’s just a good boost for everybody physically.” – Carroll on being able to give the players four days off because of the gap between playing on Thursday night and Monday night


Comments Off

Gibson returns

Offensive lineman Mike Gibson has been re-signed to fill the roster spot that opened today when left tackle Russell Okung was placed on injured reserve.

Gibson (6-3, 298) was with the Seahawks in training camp, but released on the final roster cut in September. He also was with the team in 2009 and 2010, and started eight games last season – five at left guard and three at right guard.

Okung, a first-round draft choice last year, tore his right pectoral in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s victory over the Eagles.


Comments Off

Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Roy Lewis. The Seahawks have lost their special teams captain, as Lewis was placed on injured reserve today with a knee problem that will require surgery.

“I think it’s a big factor, I really do,” coach Pete Carroll said when asked how the loss of Lewis would impact the play of the special teams.

“He’s a captain because of who he is and how he brings it week-in and week-out.”

Lewis has been bothered by the knee for a couple of weeks, Carroll said, and will have surgery Tuesday.

“We’ve had a fantastic year on special teams to date and we’re going to miss him,” Carroll said. “He’s a big part of it, and he is because of his energy and his leadership and the toughness that he brings.”

Read more »


Comments Off

Friday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

A playoff game. Or at least that kind of approach, and atmosphere.

That’s how the Seahawks are looking at Sunday’s matchup against the 11-2 Atlanta Falcons at Qwest Field.

“If we do expect to make the playoffs, it’s going to be a team like this that we match up with,” middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu said today after practice.

If the Seahawks win the NFC West – they’re currently tied with the St. Louis Rams atop the division at 6-7 – they would host a first-round playoff game against the wild-card team with the best record. The Falcons have a one-game lead in the NFC South over the New Orleans Saints, and they play next Monday night in Atlanta. So the second-place team from the South could be headed to Qwest – if the Seahawks prevail.

“Definitely looking forward to the challenge, and it is going to be a challenge,” Tatupu said of Sunday’s game having that playoff feel and importance.

  Read more »


Comments Off

Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

The group. That’s how the Seahawks’ running backs refer to themselves. As in, the strength of the group is the group.

They took their togetherness approach to another level in practice. All the backs “run out” every carry, meaning they take the ball all the way to the end zone. Today, they all joined in, regardless of who got the carry. If it was Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Leon Washington and Michael Robinson also ran with him to the end zone.

“It was just something to put a little twist in the practice,” Lynch said. “As the season goes on, we kind of get into a routine. So this was just keeping it fresh out there for us.”

Two weeks ago, when the offense was introduced prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qwest Field, Lynch, Forsett and Washington all came out of the tunnel together.

“Actually, Marshawn wanted us all to come out,” Forsett explained at the time. “So that’s that we did. Our thing in the running back group is the strength of the group is the group.”

Whatever works. And the running game was working in last week’s win over the Carolina Panthers, when the Seahawks ran for a season-high 161 yards – 83 from Lynch, and also had a career-high three touchdowns; 60 from Forsett; 14 from Robinson; and 5 from Washington, who also had an 84-yard punt return.

POSITION WATCH

Left guard. It’s looking like the Seahawks will start the same offensive line combination in three consecutive games for the first time this season, with Mike Gibson remaining at left guard.

Chester Pitts did not practice today because of a sprained ankle that forced him to miss the past two games. Coach Pete Carroll called Pitts’ status a “day-to-day thing.”

“He’s much better, but it all depends on what he can take as far as a workload,” Carroll said. “I think he’s still another week away.”

Which means the workload at left guard with the starting unit as the team prepares for Sunday’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco goes to Gibson, who went to Napa (Calif.) High School in the Bay Area and then played at the University of California at Berkeley.

“Mike’s doing well,” Carroll said. “I don’t think we would do anything right now, you know. We would certainly wait and see how Chester comes back. But with the effort towards continuity, why would we do it again and change it again?

“I think Mike’ earning his way and Chester’s got to make it back out there and look good and be prepared and really ready to contribute, and then we’ll just wait and see and let the competition play itself out.”  

ON THE FIELD

The players worked for 85 minutes in their indoor practice facility, and among the highlights was cornerback Kelly Jennings tipping away a deep pass to wide receiver Golden Tate.

There also was a brief reunion of three generations of University of Washington quarterbacks along the sideline – Warren Moon, who is the analyst for radio broadcasts of the Seahawks’ games; Hugh Millen, who does Seahawks and Huskies analysis for KJR radio; and Isaiah Stanback, who is on the team’s injured reserve list.

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

WR Mike Williams (ankle)

WR Ben Obomanu (hand)

OG Chester Pitts (ankle)

LB Matt McCoy (head)

MLB Lofa Tatupu (knee)

DE Chris Clemons (ankle)

Limited in practice

CB Roy Lewis (knee)

Full participation

QB Matt Hasselbeck (wrist)

DT Colin Cole (ankle)

TE John Carlson (hip)

Carlson was back after sitting out last week with a hip flexor, while Cole practiced for the first time since getting a high ankle sprain in the Week 8 loss to the Raiders in Oakland.

The status of Williams and Obomanu for Sunday’s game won’t be made until later in the week, said Carroll, who added, “We’re holding out hope that those guys still have a chance to play.”

With Tatupu and Clemons being given the day off, David Hawthorne slid over to middle linebacker and was replaced on the weak side by Will Herring; while Raheem Brock filled in for Clemons.

For the 49ers:

Out

K Joe Nedney (knee)

OT Joe Staley (fibula)

Did not practice

DT Aubrayo Franklin (groin)

TE Delanie Walker (ankle)

RB DeShawn Wynn (ankle)

LB Takeo Spikes (ankle)

RB Brian Westbrook (not injury related)

Limited participation

CB Nate Clements (knee)

OT Anthony Davis (back)

LB Parys Haralson (ankle)

CB William James (concussion)

WR Josh Morgan (shoulder)

CB Shawntae Spencer (quad)

PICTURE PERFECT

In checking out the photo gallery from today’s practice, pay special attention to the photo credit on the last picture. Lynch offered to help photographer Rod Mar by snapping a final photo, and Mar handed the running back his camera. Hey, the more things you can do, as they say.

No. 262

Defensive end Clifton Geathers was released today. He had been claimed off waivers on Nov. 26. His release is the 262nd roster move made by Carroll and general manager John Schneider since they were hired in January.

The club has yet to sign a player to fill Geathers’ spot on the roster.

STAT DU JOUR

Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck has won 10 of his 14 starts against the 49ers, and completed 64.9 percent of passes (290 for 447) for 3,380 yards with 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a passer rating of 94.1.

He also has a trio of career bests against the 49ers: 55 passing attempts in 2002, which is also the club record; a completion percentage of .840 in 2005 (21 of 25); and a 23-yard run.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The interesting thing about it is that I watched Reggie’s film, I can’t tell you how many times, because I was trying to figure out what kind of player he was because he was so unusual. And I only had eyes for Reggie. We weren’t looking for a quarterback like that at the time, but he becomes the No. 1 guy in the draft a few years later. Obviously, I missed that one. We did not recruit Alex. That’s how excited I was at the time about recruiting Reggie, I guess.” – Carroll on 49ers QB Alex Smith, who played at the same high school with Reggie Bush


Comments Off

Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Ben Obomanu. In the past two games, the Seahawks’ passing game has produced five plays of 20-plus yards. Four of them have gone to Obomanu, with an emphasis on the plus. He caught an 87-yard touchdown pass last week, as well as a 52-yard reception. He had receptions of 42 and 23 yards the week before.

So even if leading receiver Mike Williams is somehow able to play in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Qwest Field, Obomanu will remain a big part of the offense.

“Everyone has an opportunity in life, and it’s kind of neat to watch Ben,” offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said today after practice. “Sometimes it takes a year, two years; some people it takes 10 years. But when a person has that opportunity, they can go one of two ways. And Ben took it and just ran with it.”

Literally. His runs after taking passes from Matt Hasselbeck were the most productive aspect of the offense against the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs – when Obomanu combined to catch 10 passes for 246 yards. That after catching 15 for 214 in his first four seasons with the team.

“Ben has been waiting, he’s been positive. And when it happened, he hit it full speed ahead and he hasn’t looked back,” Bates said. “It’s exciting to see those kinds of guys have those kinds of stories. I think it’s a great story, and he’s going to keep continuing to play the way he’s playing.”

Hasselbeck agrees, with all of it.

“Ben has done a nice job of going up and getting the ball when given opportunities,” he said. “You see sometimes around the league receivers going up and making a play on a smaller DB. Ben has done a great job with it.

“I think there are a handful of routes that he does really, really well – that he does better than anybody on our team. The route that he keeps catching, that’s been a big one for him. So hopefully we can get that dialed up again.”  

UNIT WATCH

Offensive line. It’s looking like the Seahawks will start the same combination in back-to-back games for only the third time this season. The unit that should start against the Panthers includes – from left tackle to right – Russell Okung, Mike Gibson, Chris Spencer, Stacy Andrews and Sean Locklear.

The only other times they had the same unit in consecutive games were Weeks 3-4 (when they went 1-1) and Weeks 6-7 (when they went 2-0). Since then, they’ve used three starters each at left tackle and left guard.

“They’re coming together,” Bates said. “It’s tough. It’s tough when you move guys in and out every week. But they’re fighting and they’re competing their tails off. The pass protection has been really good; we’ve just got to keep improving in the run blocking.

“The guys are working hard. Not one day, not one second can you say they’re not giving everything they have. So they’re giving everything and we’ve just got to keep working together and get in that flow. It’s five guys that have to be coordinated on the same page – exact. One wrong step and you’re going to have the three-technique (defensive tackle) go in between a combination block. So it’s a challenge. And they’re looking at it and taking it on.”

While the pass protection has allowed four sacks in the past four games, the running game has averaged 59.3 yards over that same span and 3.2 yards per carry – with averages of 39 and 2.7 the past two games.

“Our goal is just to be good at both,” Bates said. “We’ve just got to keep working and it’s going to take hopefully not much time.”  

ON THE FIELD

Another gorgeous December afternoon, another practice outside. Today, the players worked for 80 minutes on “Turnover Thursday.” Among the highlights were several nice catches by wide receiver Brandon Stokley.

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as released by the team:

Did not practice

TE John Carlson (hip)

DT Colin Cole (ankle)

OG Chester Pitts (ankle)

WR Mike Williams (foot)

MLB Lofa Tatupu (knee)

CB Marcus Trufant (lower leg)

Full participation

QB Matt Hasselbeck (wrist)

DE Chris Clemons (ankle)

Carlson did not practice because of a sore hip. But Clemons, who leads the team with 7½ sacks, was back after sitting out on Wednesday to rest a sore knee.

Cole continued to do agility work with assistant trainer Donald Rich during practice, a positive sign that he might be able to return next week – if not this week. He has missed the past four games with a high ankle sprain. Williams again was catching passes on the side from coach Pete Carroll during individual drills, and not wearing a boot to protect his strained left foot.

For the Panthers:

Did not practice

CB Chris Gamble (hamstring)

RB Mike Goodson (not injury related)

OG Geoff Schwartz (back)

OT Travelle Wharton (toe)

Limited in practice

S Marcus Hudson (ankle)

CB Robert McClain (hip)

QB Tony Pike (shoulder)

S Jordan Pugh (hamstring)

QB Brian St. Pierre (shoulder)

RB Tyrell Sutton (ankle)

LB James Anderson (concussion)

CB Captain Munnerlyn (shoulder)

Anderson, the team’s leading tackler, was able to participate on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday, as was Munnerlyn. But Gamble sat out after getting limited work Wednesday.

STAT DU JOUR

The Panthers have scored a league-low 22 first-quarter points, while the Seahawks have scored the third-fewest points in the first quarter (27).

YOU DON’T SAY

“That is exactly what I told the team. That’s exactly what I told them – that’s what they’re going to hear; that people are going to look at the record and what’s happened in weeks past and all that. We’re not playing weeks past. We’re playing them this week. This is all that we can focus on. But we do have to realize – and I have to realize as a coach – that they’re going to hear that kind of stuff.” – Carroll, when asked how he overlooks the Panthers’ 1-10 record while preparing the players for Sunday’s game


Comments Off

Friday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Chris Clemons. His coaches and teammates have been talking all season about what the defensive end has brought to the mix since being acquired in a March trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

But this week, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel provided an opponent’s perceptive when asked about the defense he will face in Sunday’s game at Qwest Field.

“Well, the thing that stands out to me is No. 91, Chris Clemons,” Cassel said. “I mean that’s a guy that we immediately have to pay some attention to coming off the edge because he comes each and every play and he’s a very good pass rusher.”

Clemons has 7½ sacks and 15 QB hits in the first 10 games. He needs one more sack to surpass his career-high total of eight from 2007 while playing with the Oakland Raiders. He already has more sacks than any Seahawk since end Patrick Kerney led the NFC with 14½ in 2007. Read more »


Comments Off

Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Chester Pitts. The Seahawks began the week hoping that the veteran offensive lineman would be able to play in Sunday’s game against the Rams in St. Louis. When it became apparent that his surgically repaired right knee was going to prevent that from happening, Pitts was released today.

“Chester wasn’t going to make it to the game, and wasn’t going to be able to play,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice. “In the situation we’re in, we’ve got to make a spot for a guy to be on the roster.”

That likely will be guard Mike Gibson, Carroll said. Gibson was released from the 53-man roster on Tuesday and signed to the practice squad today. Gibson started the season opener before being replaced by Ben Hamilton in Weeks 2 and 3.

“We’re hoping that Chester is going to get well,” Carroll said. “He’s just got to get over the hump. He’s close. But he’s not able to go yet. … He’s been working like crazy and we’re hoping we’ll be able to get back here before too long.”

Pitts had microfracture surgery last September, ending his eighth season with the Houston Texans after only two games. The Seahawks signed him in late July.

Wednesday, he got his most extensive practice session in almost a year, working at left guard with the No. 1 line. But his knee was sore after practice, and Pitts was not going to be able to participate today.

Carroll said that general manager John Schneider discussed the situation with Pitts.

“I’m hoping Chester understands what we’re doing here,” Carroll said. “We need a roster spot right now, and he can’t play. This is something we had to do.”

Still, it was not an easy decision, because Pitts had been so upbeat while continuing his arduous rehab from the surgical procedure.

“Chester has been a diligent worker to get right,” Carroll said. “It just hasn’t been enough time for him yet. As soon as it does, we’ll try to get him back out here.”

Read more »


Comments Off