Tuesday cyber surfing: Thurmond, Moffitt return to action in “Bonus Monday” practice

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

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look back at Seahawks history and the records the team has held after seven games, “The results aren’t shocking. Those years that Seattle started 5-2, it almost always made the playoffs. When it started 4-3, it made the postseason half the time. The Seahawks have never reached the postseason when they’ve had a losing record after seven games.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune notes the return of cornerback Walter Thurmond to yesterday’s practice for the first time since October 2011 after a long rehab process recovering from a broken fibula, “Seattle coach Pete Carroll said that Thurmond will remain on the PUP list for now, and that no timetable has been established on when the team will add him to the active roster. ‘He looked very quick,’ Carroll said. ‘He worked very hard to be in shape with the trainers, so he could start practicing and not have to ease him into practice and all of that. So he looked like he had really worked hard.’ Thurmond said he’s working this week to show the coaching staff he’s ready to go. ‘Just giving the coaches confidence – I think that’s the biggest thing,’ Thurmond said. ‘Just showing that I can still play like I was playing before I got injured, and so I’ve just got to prove that in practice, and earn my reps for the team.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also has the story on Thurmond’s return to practice, “Thurmond hoped to be ready for the start of this season, but he broke the leg for a second time in March, requiring another surgery. That setback meant opening the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which he was eligible to come off of last week. ‘It was the exact same rehab and getting in shape and everything, so I had to do it twice,’ he said. ‘That wasn’t fun at all. Sometimes I joked, I wish I had the ACL again, because that was a straight through injury, I came back at the start of the season. But things happen for a reason, so it’s just good to be back at the end of the day.’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he doesn’t yet know if Thurmond will play Sunday in Detroit. ‘It’s great to have him back,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s a real positive for him. It’s been a long haul him being out. Hopefully he can hang, we’ll see what that means. We’ll just take it one week at a time and see where it goes, I don’t have any idea what we would do with that at this point for this weekend.’ “

Boyle has an update on the status of guard John Moffitt, who saw his first practice action since tweaking his knee in late September, “Moffitt injured his knee in Seattle’s third game, and has been out ever sense, but was back in action Monday, though his status is also up in the air. ‘He got out there, he practiced with us,’ Carroll said. ‘That was great to see him out there. I don’t know how far along John will be until we get him through Wednesday’s practice, then we’ll have a better clue, but it’s great to just have him back.’ “

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps an appearance by coach Carroll on 710 AM ESPN’s “Brock and Salk”, in which Carroll said the team’s problems in their Week 7 loss to the Niners can be fixed, “Four days later, Pete Carroll is still miffed. But the one positive, he said, is that what that doomed the Seahawks during their 13-6 loss to the 49ers on Thursday were one-time mistakes that aren’t indicative of longer-term trends. ‘I think we let an opportunity get away and we just had to do just normal things and we could have come out on top in that game – some things that normally we’re better at,’ Carroll told ‘Brock and Salk’ on Monday. ‘We didn’t adjust on the running game as well as we usually do on defense and we had some balls that got away from us – that hasn’t been a factor at all – showed up in that game, and the game was so close and was so easily turned in the other direction. That was hard to let that one get away.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday’s practice, “WR Doug Baldwin was held out of Monday’s practice after suffering a sprained ankle against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. Carroll wouldn’t give an update as to whether he is expected to play next Sunday against Detroit, but said overall they are looking pretty good health-wise.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “NFC West Stock Watch“, noting the struggles the Seahawks had with dropped passes in the Week 7 defeat at San Francisco, “Golden Tate, Robert Turbin, Evan Moore and Marshawn Lynch dropped passes during the Seahawks’ 13-6 defeat at San Francisco. It’s tough to win when completed passes (nine) roughly double the total for drops.”

ESPN.com has their Week 8 NFL power rankings, and the Seahawks have dropped two spots to No. 11 on their list since a week ago.

At NFL.com, they take a look at the playoff picture if the season were to end today. The Seahawks would find themselves on the outside looking in – conceding the No. 6 playoff spot to the Green Bay Packers, who are also 4-3, but would get in based on a better conference record.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth highlights the return of Thurmond and has his “Monday in Hawkville“, with a focus on the players’ assigned homework for last night’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, “Not that the players wouldn’t watch anyway. But tonight’s game features the team the Seahawks will play on Sunday – the Lions, in Detroit; as well as another down-the-road, on-the-road opponent – the Chicago Bears. ‘With the Monday night game coming up, these guys have an assignment – to watch the ballgame,’ Carroll said. ‘So we’ll be getting ready for Detroit from this point forward.’ TV coverage isn’t exactly the game video the players will be studying later in the week, but there is a benefit to seeing the Lions play the same week the Seahawks will play them. ‘It’s a good introduction,’ Carroll said. ‘They’ll hear all the talk about their season, about the team and how it’s gone and the players. They’ll see the style of play. I think it’s just a really good night for our guys to kind of zero in. It will start the week on Wednesday with a good familiarity.’ ” The Bears topped the Lions, 13-7.

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” with a recap of the team’s “Bonus Monday” practice session.

Finally, we bring you coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday here.


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Monday cyber surfing: vs. Packers previews

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 24.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times previews tonight’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers, “CenturyLink Field will be center stage Monday night, and the Seahawks will have a chance to make a statement against the Packers, who won the Super Bowl two seasons ago and went 15-1 last season. Seattle’s victory over Dallas in Week 2 got the Seahawks noticed nationally, but this one against the Packers is the kind of game where the Seahawks can make a statement. ‘There is no reason not to go for it,’ Carroll said. ‘We’re going to try everything we can to get a win and make the most of this chance.’ “

O’Neil has his keys to victory for the Seahawks and Packers, including the importance of starting fast on offense for Seattle, “The Seahawks offense has yet to score a first-half touchdown this season, and if that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s pretty darn similar to the way Seattle started last year when the Seahawks didn’t reach the end zone in the first half until Week 4. The Seahawks need to dictate the pace of this game, which means not falling into an early hole.”

O’Neil also details the excitement surrounding the Seahawks’ defensive unit as they head into Monday night against the explosive Packers offense, “There is an excitement in the uncertainty. That becomes clear as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley begins talking about the challenge of facing the Green Bay Packers offense with its All Pro quarterback, litany of wide receivers and penchant for explosive plays. ‘It’s almost like I don’t know how we’ll do,’ he said. ‘I don’t know. We’re going to go in there, test our philosophy, see how it works, but they’ll know we’re there. We’re going to hit ‘em. We’re going to hustle. We’re going to be ballhawks. We’re going to go for that ball. Our guys are saying, ‘You know what, we’re ready for the challenge. We’re ready for the challenge. Let’s go see.’ “

Lastly from O’Neil, he points to the success of Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks running game, “Lynch surpassed 1,000 yards rushing in both of his first two seasons in the league. He reached the Pro Bowl, but after Seattle acquired him in 2010, he started 18 regular-season games without surpassing 100 yards rushing. And before Seattle played Dallas last year in Week 9, the running back came to [offensive line coach Tom] Cable and asked for guidance in following the zone-blocking scheme. ‘It’s a big deal to me that he was willing to do that,” Cable said. Lynch didn’t change how he ran so much as where, and Sunday’s game was the seventh time in the past 11 regular-season games Lynch has run for at least 100 yards.”

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times has a look at former Super Bowl-winning coach and current Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden’s belief in quarterback Russell Wilson, whom Gruden gushed over back in April during the draft when so many others doubted the Wisconsin product, “So far, Wilson has done plenty to make Gruden look good. Remember the argument between Gruden and Mel Kiper Jr. about Wilson during the NFL draft? Gruden had mentored Wilson as part of his “Gruden’s QB camp” show. He was adamant that Wilson had the talent to be a starting NFL quarterback despite his 5 feet 11 height. And Gruden turned prophet to make his point stronger. ‘If I were Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn, I’d be leery of this kid because if you give him a chance, if you give him a chance and look past his 5 foot 11 or 5-10 and a half or whatever it is, if you give this kid a legitimate chance to win the job, he’ll win it,’ Gruden said. ‘That’s how much confidence I have in him.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that tonight is an opportunity for the Seahawks to be noticed and respected on a national level, “Carroll and Schneider are two seasons and two games into their franchise renovation, and they’ve had some big victories, topping the Saints in the playoffs their first season, and defeating the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants on the road last season. But a Monday Night Football victory over Green Bay – validating a runaway win at home over Dallas last week – would immediately label the Seahawks a team rising toward contention. Whenever players and staff have been asked on the record this week about the match-up, they’ve downplayed it as another game for which they prepare in a typical manner. No more, no less. Don’t believe it. Monday night games are a traditional showcase. As Carroll said, it’s historically been the opportunity the nation gets to watch football ‘on a school night.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the importance of stopping Green Bay pass rusher Clay Matthews tonight, “…Matthews’ tenacious effort has helped lead Green Bay to a league-high 11 sacks this year. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has 351/2 career sacks. Carroll said Seattle will use several different ways to slow Matthews, including keeping a tight end on his side to block, sliding the protection to his side and using the running backs to chip him before going out on a route. [Offensive tackle Breno] Giacomini also had another suggestion. ‘How do you deal with him? Run the ball,’ Giacomini said. ‘And just use your technique. I’ll be doing some extra studying on him.’ “

Williams also previews tonight’s matchup on the big Monday night stage, “Seattle’s defense will have its hands full going up against one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Aaron Rodgers, who was the league MVP last season. While Green Bay’s offense has sputtered so far this season, averaging 22.5 points a contest, the Seahawks know the type of explosive plays Rodgers and the rest of his teammates can generate if given some room to maneuver. ‘What I’ve noticed so far is that there’s a lot of game planning because they do so much,’ Seattle safety Earl Thomas said. ‘They’re a vertical team with a lot of personnel, and they have a lot fire power. And what about facing one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Rodgers? ‘We always want to see the top talent,’ Thomas said. ‘I think that makes us better as a secondary, and also better as a defense. If you want to be considered the best, you have to beat the best, so we’re just taking that outlook. It’s a championship game every week, and we’re going to go out there and try to win.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald refers to today’s game as a measuring stick for the Seahawks, “More important than the attention and respect it might bring, a win tonight also would show significant progress for the Seahawks. The Packers, despite a season-opening loss to the 49ers, are one of the top teams in the NFL. They won the Super Bowl two seasons ago and went 15-1 in the regular season last year. The win over Dallas was nothing to sneeze at, but beating the Packers would represent one of the team’s signature wins under coach Pete Carroll. ‘It’s going to be a big test,’ fullback Michael Robinson said.’It’s a barometer, a gauge to see where we’re at right now.’ “

Steve Sandmeyer of mynorthwest.com says that the Seahawks have the blueprint to top the Packers at home, “In Week 1, the 49ers went to Green Bay and notched a 30-22 win at Lambeau Field. The Niners’ formula was simple: Utilize their fast, physical defense to create turnovers and keep everything in front of them; Use a conservative approach with their passing game while gathering chunks of yardage on the ground. If that isn’t a perfect description of who the Seahawks are right now, I don’t know what is.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press previews tonight’s matchup at CenturyLink Field, with a focus on the quarterbacks, “The Packers come to Seattle trying to solve an offense that has yet to show any of the firepower from a season ago. Green Bay had 46 yards rushing in its opening loss to San Francisco, and Rodgers passed for 215 yards in a 23-10 win over Chicago. Rodgers started the season with consecutive passer ratings under 100. Dating back to the end of last season, he’s failed to top 100 in four of his last five regular-season games. But coach Mike McCarthy believes it’s far too early to start worrying about a stumbling offense, which could get receiver Greg Jennings back after not playing against Chicago with a groin injury. He’s questionable for the game. ‘We’re not playing the exact way we want to play yet but we’re getting close,’ Rodgers said. ‘It’s two games. Nobody’s panicking; nobody’s too worried about it. We obviously want to play better but we’re close. We’re just a few mistakes away from playing the kind of games we want to play.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who has come a long way since walking on for Head Coach Pete Carroll at USC, and also breaks down several matchups to watch tonight.

From the video side, Tony Ventrella and Farnsworth preview tonight’s matchup with the Green and Gold, and Ventrella recaps a visit to Virginia Mason Athletic Center by teenager Kyle Anderson, who lived part of his Make a Wish dream on Sunday by watching the Seahawks walkthrough practice, touring the facility, and meeting running back Marshawn Lynch.


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Photoblog: Monday Night Madness

Monday Night Football returned to Seattle for the first time since 2007, and the Seahawks did not disappoint as they defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-13 at CenturyLink Field.

In the broadcast booth hours before the game, microphones waited for Monday Night Football announcers Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron “Jaws” Jaworski.

Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico reviews his notes in the booth long before the stands at CenturyLink Field were filled with members of the 12thMAN.

Safety Earl Thomas warms up on the field as the last of the December sun fell on CenturyLink Field.

Skittles-mania has overtaken Seattle thanks to Marshawn Lynch, and sure enough, a bag could be found in the depths of his locker before the game.

Marshawn Lynch greets his mom on the sidelines during pregame. When asked about the Skittles habit after the game, Lynch replied, "you've got to ask my Mama."

Head coach Pete Carroll speaks briefly to the team before they took the field.

Customarily one of the last players to leave the locker room, Marshawn Lynch "taps in" as head coach Pete Carroll follows.

Chris Clemons, who Pete Carroll identifies as a key acquisition last season, stares into the television camera before leaving the tunnel during pregame introductions.

Defensive lineman Alan Branch and linebacker K.J. Wright combine to put a vicious hit on St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford.

Michael Robinson scooped up Doug Baldwin's blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown, setting the tone for the Seahawks victory.

Members of the Seahawks special teams celebrate in the end zone after they blocked a punt for a touchdown.

This member of the 12th MAN didn't feel the need for a hat in the winter cold, he just painted a helmet on his bald head instead.

St. Louis safety Darian Stewart lost his helmet in an effort to bring down Seattle receiver Ben Obomanu.

Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner collected his team-high fifth interception of the season, sitting in wait for a route he remembered from the two teams first meeting in St. Louis earlier in the season.

Doug Baldwin continued to improve and impress as he not only caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, but also blocked a punt that the Seahawks returned for a touchdown.

Tight end Zach Miller has been a stalwart blocking for the running game, but also caught two passes against St. Louis.

Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Brandon Mebane and his teammates dominated the Rams for the second time this season.

Safeties Earl Thomas and Atari Bigby celebrate after forcing St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford into an intentional grounding penalty in the red zone.

Seattle's running game features Marshawn Lynch, who went "Beast Mode" in the second half on his way to a game-high 115 yards.

Lynch's 16-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Seahawks.

After Lynch's touchdown, Skittles rained down on the turf in the end zone. Skittles are Lynch's "go-to" candy before, during and after game as was widely-publicized after his last prime-time performance on Thursday Night Football two weeks ago.

Head coach Pete Carroll lets out a yell after the final touchdown, as he saw his team win its fourth game in the last five outings. Seattle travels to Chicago as they seek to continue their newfound success.