A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 7:
Braylon Edwards. Just-signed Terrell Owens wasn’t on the practice field. The recently signed Edwards was, and the veteran wide receiver put on a show during the 2½-hour practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
“Braylon has done very well,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s learning very fast. He’s had a chance to compete right from the beginning. He’s made some big grabs already. He did it again today.
“So he’s factoring in and making a bid for playing time.”
Edwards’ beginning to this camp came a little later than most of the other players, as he was signed a week ago. But the former first-round draft choice of the Browns (2005) who also has played for the Jets (2009-10) and 49ers (2011) is making up for his delayed start.
Today, Edwards stayed with a play where the ball went off the hands of Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner and was able to catch the carom.
“It’s definitely staying with the play,” Edwards said. “Getting open, holding the line and keeping the DB behind you.”
That, however, was just a warm-up as the 6-foot-3 Edwards then pulled down a Tarvaris Jackson pass despite tight cover from 6-3 cornerback Richard Sherman.
“Sherm expected me to go back inside,” Edwards said. “I didn’t. I kept it outside. It was a good throw and we made a play.”
Then there was the TD catch that wasn’t. Or was it? Edwards made a great effort to haul in a pass from rookie QB Russell Wilson on the other side of the end zone, but the official ruled he came down out of bounds. Edwards couldn’t wait for the instant replay.
“We’re going to go look at that film,” he said, smiling. “I think they both were good.”
Carroll said Owens is scheduled to practice for the first time Wednesday morning and will be wearing No. 10.
Defensive tackles. After giving up too much ground in Sunday’s mock game, line coach Todd Wash challenged his unit – especially the tackles. They not only answered that challenge today, they did it emphatically.
“I don’t know if we had our best day up front in the mock game, so we challenged ourselves in the meeting room that we’ve got to do a better job of reestablishing the line of scrimmage and being active,” Wash said. “We were getting chewed up a little bit on some play-action stuff on Sunday.
“They took it to heart and came out today and played with really good effort.”
The best thing about the bounce-back performance? It wasn’t just a player or two; it was seemingly everyone in the full-team period that ended practice.
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane and end Red Bryant sandwiched Marshawn Lynch for no gain. Rookie tackle Jaye Howard got to Lynch 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The versatile Jason Jones got to Matt Flynn for a “sack.” Second-year tackle Pep Levingston stopped Tyrell Sutton for no gain. Howard got the penetration on a play where Sutton had to squirm and wiggle to gain 3 yards.
“They take a lot of pride in what they do,” Wash said. “And they know that the way they got it done on Sunday was not to the level of our expectations. So they came out, challenged themselves and had a good day.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: Let’s go with the best of Edwards’ efforts, the TD pass he caught against the long-armed Sherman at the right edge of the end zone.
Defense: Leo end Chris Clemons had a tempo-setter early in practice when he popped wide receiver Deon Butler to the turf after a short reception. The effort set off a celebration among the other defensive players.
IN ’N OUT
Cornerback Donny Lisowski, a rookie free agent from Montana and Seattle’s O’Dea High School, was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster for Owens.
Bryant and Jones and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to practice. Still sitting out: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; tight end Anthony McCoy; linebackers Matt McCoy, Jameson Konz and Allen Bradford; defensive end Dexter Davis; and the two players on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Flynn will run the No. 1 offense the rest of week, starting with Wednesday’s practice, as Carroll said the free-agent acquisition will start at quarterback in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s cloud-covered practice attracted 1,264 fans. Only four more practices are open to the public – Wednesday and Thursday this week and Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Each sessions starts at 10 a.m. and you can register here to attend.
With state routes 520 and 167 closed this weekend, fans attending Saturday night’s game are advised to plan accordingly. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You know what happened? They gave us a day off. They gave John (Schneider, the GM) and I a day off and look what happened. That’s kind of what it was. We looked at each other, ‘Hey, let’s get something cooking.’ Bam, we did.” – Carroll, when asked why the team decided to sign Owens now
A recap of the activities on the third – and final – day of the Seahawks’ Bing minicamp:
Quarterbacks. After the team’s last practice before training camp opens in late July, reporters had one last chance to ask coach Pete Carroll about the three-armed race for the starting job at the pivotal position.
The best way to continue summing up the situation? To be continued.
“It’s going to take us until we start playing games to see something happen,” Carroll said, referring to the preseason schedule that begins Aug. 11 with a game against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.
“At this point, they’re doing everything they can do with the opportunity. And they look good. So I can’t tell you that there’s anything that’s happened, other than we’ll stay with the same format going into camp.”
That means a rotation involving incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent addition Matt Flynn and rookie Russell Wilson – in that order, just as it has been since Wilson threw himself in the competition during the rookie minicamp last month.
Today, it was Wilson’s turn to run the No. 1 offense, after Jackson did it on Tuesday and Flynn had his turn on Wednesday.
Carroll wouldn’t say that he’ll stick with the daily rotation plan, but he did offer, “It’s worked out OK to give them an even shot. That’s the point, is to really make it as evenly competitive as we possibly can. We’ve done that to this point.”
DONNY ON THE SPOT
In a practice filled with impressive plays, none was better than the interception turned in by Donny Lisowski. The rookie cornerback from Montana and Seattle’s O’Dea High School tipped a Flynn pass that was intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette near the goal line and then controlled the carom as he was falling to the turf.
“It was press coverage and our No. 1 rule is to stay on top,” said Lisowski, who was signed after getting a tryout at the rookie minicamp. “I stayed on my man after 15 yards. I knew he wasn’t running a comeback, so I turned my head and just made a play on the ball.
“I was just going for the knockdown and I ended up tipping the ball straight up to myself.”
Lisowski’s heads-up play was greeted by hoots and hollers from the No. 1 defense.
Among the other notable efforts: on back-to-back plays, rookie defensive end Cordarro Law got to running back Vai Taua for a 2-yard loss and then produced a rush on third down that forced the play to be whistled dead as a sack; rookie kicker Carson Wiggs drilling a 47-yard field goal; tight end Kellen Winslow flashing open over the middle and then going up to make nice grab of a pass from Flynn; Wilson threading a pass between a pair of defenders to Winslow; Jackson and Winslow hooking up on a 23-yard completion; defensive lineman Pep Levingston tipping a pass incomplete; and cornerback Richard Sherman intercepting a Wilson pass that was intended for wide receiver Kris Durham.
WOOFIN’ ’N BARKIN’
After Winslow made the first of his trio of catches, the veteran tight end had a few choice words for the rest of the defense that was standing along the sideline as he made his way back to the huddle.
“It’s amazing. He’s definitely brought a different element out there,” Sherman said. “And I think we appreciate it on defense. He makes it real lively out there. When he makes a catch you can hear him. We finally have somebody to go back (and forth) with, because sometimes we’re kind of going back with ourselves – it’s kind of one-sided.
“They’ll make a catch, then there’ll be a little bit of talk. But it won’t be the kind like we’re doing. But Kellen, we’ll bring some of the trash. … He plays with a lot of swagger, and I like that. I like his style of play.”
Carroll said second-year offensive lineman James Carpenter is the only player among the 11 who didn’t practice during this minicamp who is likely to remain sidelined when training camp opens.
“I don’t think he’s going to make it for the start of camp,” Carroll said of Carpenter, who had season-ending knee surgery nine games into his rookie season. “We’re not going to push him for that. That’s not important to us. We want to get him back when he’s right. He’s making good progress at this time. But it will be somewhere down the road from there.”
Third-year cornerback Walter Thurmond “has a chance,” Carroll said, to be ready for the start of camp. Thurmond remains sidelined because of the leg he broke in late October.
THE NORTON AFFECT
Carroll might wield the whistle that controls practice, but the voice that often serves as the metronome for practice belongs to linebackers coach Ken Norton as he praises and also prods “his” players as well as those from other position groups.
Brian Banks, the story-unto-himself linebacker who’s at this camp on a tryout basis, is getting his first taste of the Norton Affect.
“I was waiting for that,” Banks said when asked how it felt to have his position coach, well, yelling at him. “I don’t want anybody to take it easy on me out here. I know I have a lot of work to do and if that’s what’s required, then definitely give it to me. I’m ready for it.”
Banks not only had heard of Norton, he arrived for his workout last week that led to this week’s tryout holding the former Pro Bowl linebacker in the highest regard.
“I’ve heard of his coaching style,” Banks said. “It wasn’t until that day of the tryout that I was on the way up here with one of the (scouts) and he was like, ‘I want to let you know, coach Norton, he’s no joke,’ ” said Banks, smiling. “But you know what? I like that intensity. I like that style of coaching.
“If it’s not right, tell me it’s not right. And if it needs fixing, tell me it needs fixing and let’s fit it together. We’ll get it done. I appreciate that.”
THIS ’N THAT
Former Seahawks and University of Washington safety Lawyer Milloy watched practice from the sideline. … Carroll said no decisions have been made on the six players who attended this camp on a tryout basis, including Banks and veteran wide receiver Antonio Bryant. … Former CFL offensive lineman Edawn Coughman was added to that group today. … Practice ended with two linemen attempting PAT-range field goals. Rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin made his; veteran offensive guard Deuce Lutui did not.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m not scared to face anybody.” – Sherman, laughing, when asked which of the three QBs he was most “scared” to face
A recap of the activities on the second day of the Seahawks’ three-day Bing minicamp:
Brian Banks. The latest stop on his exoneration tour was a return to Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where Banks began a two-day tryout with the Seahawks after he worked out for the team last Thursday.
“I didn’t even know if I was going to have a number or a jersey,” said Banks, who was wearing No. 43. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first got here. I got to my locker and saw that there was a jersey in it and I just wanted to take a picture of it just for myself.
“It was amazing just to see my name on the back of it. It’s just an honor. It’s an honor to be taken serious and to be given this opportunity.”
In between trips to Seattle, Banks worked out for the Chargers on Friday and the Chiefs on Tuesday. It’s all part of trying to regain his life – and his love for football – after spending 62 months in prison for being wrongly accused of rape.
Today, Banks worked at middle linebacker with the No. 3 defense, flanked by Mike Morgan and Kyle Knox – who, like Banks, is at this minicamp on a tryout basis.
“This is the NFL – the best of the best – so it’s going to be really tough for him,” linebackers coach Ken Norton said. “Just the fact that he came out here and gave it a shot and didn’t shy away from it, you’ve got to give him a plus for that.
“But again, this is the best of the best, the highest level of athlete, and he’s been out of it for 10 years. So it’s going to be really, really tough. … Right now, he has a chance. But it’s going to be really, really tough.”
That’s all Banks is asking: An opportunity to make up for lost time. So today was a huge step for him.
“It was more overwhelming than I thought,” Banks said. “I had high hopes and dreams of being out here today. And then just to finally be out here, to have this helmet on, to have my name on the back of this jersey, to be a part of this team for a day, it’s more than I could ever imagine.”
What’s next for Banks? Another practice, as the Seahawks conclude their minicamp on Thursday. After that?
“What I take from it all, the advice that I appreciate the most, is just enjoy the moment,” Banks said. “Enjoy the moment – if it’s for one day, if it’s for the whole season, if it’s for however long. Just enjoy the moment.
“I’ve already won. I have my freedom. That’s what’s most important to me. Making this team is just an additional blessing to this freedom.”
Quarterback. Today was Matt Flynn’s turn to run the No. 1 offense in the three-way competition for the starting job that also includes Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson.
Flynn admitted that while it is a competition, it’s not a cut-throat situation as he vies with Jackson, the incumbent starter; and Wilson, who was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft.
“I don’t think we look at it like we’re going against each other,” said Flynn, who was signed in free agency after serving as Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay the past four seasons. “We’re trying to help each other out. If they made a good throw, I’m the first one there telling them good job. So it’s not like any bad blood coming out here – where we’re on the field and I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m going against you.’
“It’s not like that. Everybody’s trying to compete. Everybody’s trying to get better. And everybody’s trying to make the team better. I think that’s really the overall goal.”
Flynn got a taste of just how much closing speed Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas processes. It happened on a deep throw to wide receiver Deon Butler that instead ended up in the hands of Thomas.
“I got first-hand experience to see how fast Earl was today,” Flynn said. “I get a two-minute situation and I’ve Deon streaking down and I throw it. I’m thinking, ‘That might be a touchdown.’ Then all of a sudden I see this flash like come across.
“I don’t think I’ve had a DB back there, especially at safety, with that kind of speed.”
In addition to Thomas’ out-of-nowhere interception, other practice highlights included nickel back Marcus Trufant slapping away a pass intended for wide receiver Doug Baldwin; wide receiver Charly Martin going up between cornerback Ron Parker and safety Winston Guy to pull down a touchdown pass from Wilson; Guy making a last-second tip of a pass just as it was settling into the hands of wide receiver Phil Bates; tight end Kellen Winslow grabbing a low pass from Jackson for an 18-yard gain; defensive lineman Pep Levingston getting to running back Robert Turbin for a 1-yard loss; and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner reaching around running back Marshawn Lynch to deflect a pass.
ON THE MEND
Eleven players are not practicing as they continue their rehabs from offseason surgeries or more recent injuries: wide receivers Golden Tate, Mike Williams and Jermaine Kearse; offensive lineman James Carpenter; defensive lineman Monte Taylor; linebackers Barrett Ruud, Malcolm Smith and Jameson Konz; and defensive backs Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell and Chris Maragos.
Tate has what coach Pete Carroll calls “a very slight, little crack” in a bone on his right hand, adding the left-handed Tate could play if there was a game this week. Williams is “close” to returning, Carroll said, and should be ready for the start of training camp at the end of July. Ruud is “very close,” in Carroll’s words, and he also should be ready for training camp.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I can’t even imagine. So I wouldn’t be doing justice if I talked about it because I can’t imagine what he’s been through and what he’s feeling just being out here now.” – Flynn, when asked his thoughts on Banks’ situation
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 8:
A running contradiction. How can a defense that is allowing the second-lowest per-carry average in the NFL be ranked only 13th in rushing defense?
That’s the situation the Seahawks find themselves in heading into Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field. They are allowing 3.4 yards per carry, which ties them with the Ravens – .1 yard behind the Cincinnati Bengals.
But they’re also allowing 110.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks behind the 49ers (70.8), Bengals (84.5), Ravens (86.8), Texans (91.4), Vikings (94.4), Steelers (95.6), Falcons (96.5), Packers (100.0), Patriots (102.3), Cowboys (102.4) and Jaguars and Bears (both 110.0).
How does that happen? Opponents have run the ball against the Seahawks 257 times. Only the Colts (318) and Browns (261) have faced more running plays. The 49ers, by comparison, have faced 163 runs.
When you fall behind, which the Seahawks have in the first halves seven times in eight games, opponents tend to run more against you – even when they getting fewer yards per carry.
Wide receiver Deon Butler was activated off the physically unable to perform list today, and defensive tackle Pep Levingston was signed off the practice squad.
To clear spots on the 53-man roster, rookie wide receiver Kris Durham was placed on injured reserve and defensive tackle Al Woods was released. The team also signed wide receiver Patrick Williams to its practice squad, and released guard Paul Fanaika.
For those scoring at home, that’s 209 transactions since Jan. 17. For more on today’s moves, click here.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks play their ninth game of the season on Sunday, and Game No. 9 has been good to them in the past – especially when playing at home. The Seahawks are 21-14 overall in ninth games, 13-6 in Seattle. Here’s a look at their past Game No. 9 performances:
2010 W, at Arizona 36-18
2009 L, at Arizona 31-20
2008 L, at Miami 21-19
2007 W, 49ers 24-0
2006 W, Rams 24-22
2005 W, Rams 31-16
2004 L, at St. Louis 23-12
2003 L, at Washington 27-20
2002 W, at Arizona 27-6
2001 W, at Buffalo 23-20
2000 L, Chiefs 24-19
1999 W, Broncos 20-17
1998 W, Chiefs 24-12
1997 L, at Denver 30-27
1996 W, Oilers 23-16
1995 W, Giants 30-28
1994 L, Bengals 20-17 OT
1993 L, at Houston 24-14
1992 L, Redskins 16-3
1991 W, Chargers 20-9
1990 W, at Kansas City 17-16
1989 L, at Kansas City 20-10
1988 W, Chargers 17-14
1987 W, Packers 24-13
1986 L, Jets 38-7
1985 W, Raiders 33-3
1984 W, at San Diego 24-0
1983 W, at Raiders 34-21
1982 W, Broncos 13-11
1981 L, at Green Bay 34-24
1980 L, Eagles 27-20
1979 W, at Atlanta 31-28
1978 L, Broncos 20-17 OT
1977 W, at NY Jets 17-0
1976 W, Falcons 31-13
The players return from their off day Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday’s game against the Ravens.
Tickets for the game against the Ravens are available and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“That’s all we’ve ever talked about. We talk about one day at a time and how we really try to hit it home with one practice at a time and all that. So we try to maximize the opportunity of that day.” – coach Pete Carroll on his approach with a team that has so many young players
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Trivial pursuit. With the players off today, the coaches working on the game plan for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco and the 53-man roster set, for now, we figured it was a good time to examine those players.
Oldest player: Defensive end Raheem Brock, 33. He’s the only player who was born in the 70s (1978).
Youngest player: Linebacker K.J. Wright, turned 22 last month. Cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas and offensive lineman James Carpenter also were born in 1989.
Tallest player: Offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus, 6 feet 8 (one inch taller than guard Robert Gallery and tackle Breno Giacomini).
Shortest player: Running backs Justin Forsett and Leon Washington, who are listed at 5-8.
Heaviest player: Defensive tackle Alan Branch and Gallery, who are listed at 325 pounds.
Lightest player: Wide receiver Doug Baldwin, 189 pounds.
Biggest feet: Tackle Russell Okung and defensive tackle Al Woods, size 17.
Fastest player: Practice-squad wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, the NCAA Division II 200-meter champion in 2008 (20.23 seconds) who also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at his Pro Day workout. Asked around, and we’ve put together this 4×100 relay team: Thomas, Washington, Lockette and, when healthy, wide receiver Deon Butler.
Players who have been voted to the most Pro Bowls: Cornerback Marcus Trufant, wide receiver Sidney Rice, tight end Zach Miller, running back Marshawn Lynch and Washington, one each. Trufant went for the Seahawks in 2007, while the others went for their previous teams – Rice (Vikings, 2009); Miller (Raiders, 2010); Lynch (Bills, 2008); and Washington (Jets, 2008).
The new guys. Or, newest guys, if you will. The Seahawks claimed four players off waivers on Sunday, and Carroll provides a rundown on each after practice on Monday.
Kicker Steven Hauschka (waived by the Broncos): “We had our eyes on Hauschka the whole time, all through the summer. We didn’t know if he would make it there or not, but he was a guy that we were watching. So when he became available, we jumped on it. … He’s a young, strong-legged guy. We’ve seen nothing but good stuff. So we’re excited to see what he adds.”
Woods (Buccaneers): “Al was with (defensive line coach) Todd Wash before and he’s a big, long guy (6-4, 307). He’s almost the same body type as Red (Bryant, the five-technique end). He’s been an inside defender that we know can play in there, but we want to get him prepared to backup Red and play that spot. He’s got all the same dimensions and the makeup. We’re hoping to see a similar type of transition for him.”
Defensive tackle Landon Cohen (Patriots): “Landon is a guy that is so active. He’s a young guy that shows a lot of juice. We want to see how he fits in with our guys and see if we can find a spot for him because he plays so darn hard.”
Offensive tackle Jarriel King (Giants), who did not practice Monday because of a sore ankle: “This is a young guy that was a free agent going into the Giants’ camp that just has tremendous potential. He’s long and tall (6-5, 317) and has got good feet. He’s a bright kid so we’re anxious to see how we can develop him. We’re excited about the future for him. This is a guy we can develop.”
PRACTICE SQUAD ROULETTE
The club made changes on its practice squad today, signing guard Paul Fanaika and defensive tackle Pep Levingston and releasing safety Josh Pinkard and defensive lineman Maurice Fountain.
Levingston, a seventh-round draft choice this year, was on the 53-man roster when the cuts were made Saturday, but then released Sunday. Fanaika was with the team in training camp and the preseason but released on the cut to 53 players.
STAT DU JOUR
Despite having a 13-22 record in their previous season openers, the Seahawks are tied for fourth in the league for the best September record over the past 10 seasons – 20-12. Only the Colts (26), Broncos (24) and Patriots (21) have won more games in September during the span. The Giants also have won 20 games in the opening month.
The first Wednesday of the regular season, which means Carroll’s news conference at noon, which will be carried live on Seahawks.com; conference-call interviews with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and a player; and, of course, practice, as the players return from their off day.
The Seahawks are sponsoring a “Back to Football Friday,” with help from 710 ESPN and Top Pot Doughnuts. The Brock and Salk Show on 710 ESPN will broadcast live (9 a.m. until noon) from the Bellevue Top Pot location on Friday. There will be events at the Seattle (12:30-1:30 p.m.) and Renton (3-4 p.m.) locations, as well, also featuring the Sea Gals, Blitz and Blue Thunder (Bellevue and Seattle only). KIRO-FM will be the Seattle location.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Yeah, it seems like the room is really light. There’s not many guys in there right now. It is time for, one, to congratulate the guys that have made the team. We’re really fired up about the group that we have.” – Carroll, on the first day after the roster was cut from 80 to 53 players
Some of you asked questions in the live blog during Saturday night’s game against the Broncos in Denver that deserved more than a quick answer. So let’s turn those into a Q&A:
Q: Do you think Doug Baldwin could be our version of Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson and the Patriots’ Wes Welker? – Stevenhawk
A: I like Doug Baldwin. A lot. But I’m not ready to anoint him a Jackson or Welker clone. Even using their names in the same sentence seems like putting an entire herd of horses before the cart. Jackson has exceptional quickness and speed, while Welker has been ridiculously productive in the slot. Baldwin needs to make the 53-man roster, first – which I think he will. He also needs to find a role. As good as he has been on kickoff returns, do you take the ball out of Leon Washington’s hands? I don’t think so. As productive as he has been in the slot, does he move ahead of Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu? But Baldwin has the potential and, more importantly, the work ethic and mental makeup to develop into versatile role player for the Seahawks.
Q: What do you think of Mark LeGree? – Seafan16
A: A better question: What do the coaches think of the fifth-round draft choice from Appalachian State? He was very productive in college and drafted with the thought that he could play free safety in the nickel and dime packages, allowing Earl Thomas to step up and cover a slot receiver. But Josh Pinkard and even free agent Jeron Johnson have been better in that role during training camp and the preseason. LeGree has the potential to develop into the player the coaches expect him to be. He’s just not there yet.
Q: Are they going to keep Pep Levingston? – BeerBoy
A: The best way to answer that is to point out that the seventh-round draft is making it difficult not to keep him. He has shown why they call him Pep (his given name is Lazarius Cortez) by collecting two sacks against the Broncos and recovering a fumble against the Chargers in the opener. He is very active. But the Seahawks also have been active in acquiring other D-tackles – signing Alan Branch and Jimmy Wilkerson in free agency and re-signing Brandon Mebane and Junior Siavii.
Q: Where did the Seahawks special teams rank last season? – Dylan
A: The league does “officially” rank the special teams on overall performance, but Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News has come up with rankings based on production in 22 categories that the special teams in the league use. The Seahawks tied for fourth in those rankings last season.
Q: What does Pete Carroll see in Tarvaris Jackson? – several people
A: I’ll let the Seahawks coach handle that one: “We think Tarvaris has got a great future. … Tarvaris gives us a real good asset in his mobility. He does have very good mobility and he’s very strong in the pocket. He can really stand up against the rush, get banged around and still be standing. He’s a very physical kid. We hope that will be an asset for him.” It certainly has been to this point, because Jackson has had little time in the pocket. Jackson has a strong arm, as well. But Carroll also likes that Jackson is familiar with the system offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is installing, because both spent the past five seasons together in Minnesota. It’s that continuity, as well as Jackson’s upside, that prompted Carroll to name him the starter before Jackson had even practiced with the team.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. The Broncos’ pass-rushing tandem gave a demented meaning to “pressure off the edge.” They combined for 3½ sacks and six QB hits, and it seemed like twice that.
Their efforts made for a long evening for rookie right tackle James Carpenter, and stopped what the Seahawks were trying to do on several plays before they could even get started.
As Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of a Broncos’ defense that produced five sacks of Tarvaris Jackson, “They ran right through us.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: In a game dominated by the Broncos’ pass rush and decided by the special teams units, let’s go with the longest offensive play of the game – a 42-yard completion from Broncos QB Kyle Orton to Eddie Royal.
Defense: In his preseason debut – and on the Broncos’ sixth play of the game – defensive end Chris Clemons intercepted an Orton pass that was intended for Brandon Lloyd. Not on a pass that was tipped at the line, but one were Clemons was in coverage. And not on a zone blitz.
“It’s actually not a zone blitz,” Clemons explained. “It’s just a coverage that we have we put in to take away the No. 1 receiver. When I got there, he had just released the ball. So it was a matter of me just catching it.”
Special teams: There definitely were several that deserve recognition, starting with Steve Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal to win it as time expired and also including a 57-yarder by the Broncos’ Matt Prater and 53- and 52-yarders by the Seahawks’ Jeff Reed. But the nod goes to rookie Doug Baldwin, who returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown.
“After the first wave, the hole was enormous,” Baldwin said, giving ample credit to his blockers. “Then, I had to make one guy miss.”
The Seahawks got out of the game without any injuries of note, Carroll said. But they played without six injured starters: running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), left tackle Russell Okung (ankle), tight end John Carlson (shoulder), middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee), cornerback Kelly Jennings (hamstring) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (foot).
THIS ‘N THAT
Rookie defensive lineman Pep Levingston had two sacks.
Veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant had a sack – for 15 yards – among his game-high six tackles.
Jon Ryan got off kicks of 66- and 63-yarders while averaging 51.1 yards on seven punts.
Rookie Byron Maxwell had three coverage tackles on special teams and fellow rookie Jeron Johnson has two.
There were 19 penalties – 10 against the Seahawks for 67 yards and nine against the Broncos for 73.
The Seahawks averaged 1.4 yards on their 27 offensive plays in the first half, when they were outgained by the Broncos 204-39.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He’s been very, very effective in this preseason so far. There’s really been nothing that he’s been asked to do that he can’t do.” – Carroll on Baldwin, who had two receptions to go with his kickoff return for a TD
SAN DIEGO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 24-17 victory over the Chargers in their preseason opener at Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Thomas Clayton. There were a lot of candidates for the Seahawks, but the third-year running back scored the game-winner – on a 25-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes to play – had a game-high 62 rushing yards and also added an 11-yard run to the Chargers’ 5-yard line on the TD drive that tied the score at 17.
All this from a guy who was just signed last weekend.
“It was amazing. Amazing. Amazing,” Clayton said of scoring the decisive touchdown. “I’m speechless.”
That’s OK, because his action on the field spoke so loudly there was no need for post-game words.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Again, there were a lot to choose from – and from both teams. But if the choice isn’t the game-winning touchdown, well, it’s the wrong choice. And part of what made Clayton’s 25-yard run so impressive was how well not only the line blocked but also the receivers downfield.
Defense: The play that setup Clayton’s run. On the Chargers’ first snap after the Seahawks had tied the game at 17, rookie defensive end Pierre Allen came up with a fumble-forcing hit on Scott Tolizen, the Chargers’ No. 3 QB. Rookie defensive tackle Pep Levingston recovered at the Chargers’ 22-yard line.
Special teams: After the Seahawks had scored to tie the game at 10, rookie free agent Bryan Walter took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 103 yards for a touchdown. Enough said, in most cases. But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll offered, “Unfortunately for us, the kickoff coverage just stunk on the touchdown or we would have had almost a perfect second half.”
The big news – and the event that likely will dominate the conversation coming out of this game – was the left ankle sprain that forced left tackle Russell Okung to the locker room on the first series of the game.
He is scheduled to have a MRI, which will determine how much time last year’s first-round draft choice will miss.
Seventeen Seahawks did not dress for the game, including four starters: wide receiver Mike Williams (toe) and Sidney Rice (labrum), defensive linemen Red Bryant (knee) and defensive end Chris Clemons (ankle).
THIS ’N THAT
Rookie free agent Doug Baldwin had a team-high four receptions and also added a 20-yard punt return and a 41-yard kickoff return. … Rookie middle linebacker K.J. Wright had a team-high eight tackles. … Jameson Konz, who was moved from tight end to defensive end during training camp, had a sack. … Tight end Dominique Byrd had two catches for 52 yards. … The Seahawks quarterbacks – Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis – combined to complete 22 of 24 passes for 197 yards and a passer rating of 90.0. … On the Chargers’ 89-yard touchdown drive on their first possession, the Seahawks yielded a 48-yard completion on third-and-6 and a 16-yard completion on third-and-11.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We shut him out on defensive in the second half. We scored 24 points on offense in the second half. That’s cool stuff.” – Carroll
A recap of the morning walk-thru at Seahawks training camp:
Charlie Whitehurst. Last year, the former backup quarterback for the San Diego Chargers was brought in to compete with Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job. This morning, with Hasselbeck set to join the Tennessee Titans in free agency, Whitehurst was the No. 1 QB as 69 players went through an extended walk-thru session at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
“It’s an opportunity, obviously,” Whitehurst said. “It’s one that I’m going to attack and give it everything I’ve got. I want to be the starting quarterback here.”
With former Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson reportedly agreeing to sign with the Seahawks in free agency, Whitehurst eventually will be challenged for the starting job by a passer who played the past five seasons for new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Minnesota.
“I know there’s going to be competition,” Whitehurst said. “But I’m confident I can make it happen and lead this team to a heckuva season.”
What a difference four days can make. Monday, the lockout was still on and Hasselbeck remained in the picture. Today, the only other quarterbacks on the field were a couple of rookie free agents – Josh Portis, who ran the No. 2 offense; and Zac Lee, who was in charge of the No. 3 unit.
“It’s amazing how fast it’s happened, for sure,” Whitehurst said. “I was expecting anything to happen at this position. Obviously Matt’s not here anymore. Now we’re out here on the practice field throwing the ball around.
“Didn’t really know what to expect, but was open for anything.”
Six of the team’s nine draft choices were signed in time to participate in the 105-minute session – wide receiver Kris Durham (fourth round), cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Mark LeGree (fifth round), cornerback Bryon Maxwell (sixth round) and linebacker Malcolm Smith and defensive lineman Pep Levingston (seventh round).
Sherman, LeGree, Levingston and Smith were working with the No. 2 defense, with Maxwell and Durham on the third units.
Offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt and linebacker K.J. Wright, the team’s top three picks, remain unsigned.
Offensive line. With Carpenter and Moffitt absent, the offense was without what is expected to be the starting right side of the line.
So the No. 1 line consisted of – from left tackle to right – Russell Okung, a first-round draft choice last year; Mike Gibson, who started eight games last season; Max Unger, a second-round pick in 2009 who missed most of last season; Paul Fanaika, for Moffitt; and Breno Giacomini, for Carpenter.
On the No. 2 unit: Will Robinson, Paul McQuistan, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Zach Hurd and Caz Piurowski.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Mike Williams, who led the team in receptions last season, going up and over cornerback Marcus Trufant and free safety Earl Thomas to grab a Whitehurst pass along the sideline.
ON THE MEND
Defensive tackle Colin Cole (ankle), cornerback Roy Lewis (knee), tight end Cameron Morrah (toe) and wide receiver Deon Butler (leg) did not participate while continuing their recovery from injuries sustained last season.
The players have another walk-thru this afternoon and will practice for the first time on Friday morning. The first practices open to fans are on Saturday, at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It feels great being back here with your teammates, your coaches. It’s kind of like we never left, even though we’ve been gone for a while. But this is what we’re all kind of born to do and it feels great to be back.” – Whitehurst.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 8:
Eric Williams of the News Tribune takes a closer look at Pep Levingston, the first of the Seahawks’ two seventh-round picks in April’s NFL Draft. Says Williams: “The Seahawks see Levingston competing for time at defensive end with Red Bryant as a player who can hold the point at 5 technique. It’s an interesting development, because Seattle drafted E.J. Wilson for that very same purpose last year out of North Carolina in the fourth round, but cut him midway through the season – one of the few draft picks they missed on last year.”
Mike Sando is on vacation, but his NFC West blog continues to get by with a little help from his ESPN.com friends. The latest is Mel Kiper, who offers his summer audit for the division. Kiper on the Seahawks: “Mimicking a constant question in this division, what happens at starting quarterback is still the biggest question for this team. I can see Matt Hasselbeck back, but his performance last year was, for the most part, in line with the idea that he is past his prime. Late-season heroics helped his cause, but it’s clear Seattle has its eyes wide open. I think Pete Carroll believes that if they can block, they can continue the improvement that was shown in 2010. But fans looking for big gains from the draft may be disappointed. More questions will be answered by health and more continuity on the roster.”
The Seahawks are scheduled to play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9, and Cowboys.com offers this preview of the team from Seattle. Rob Phillips on Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: “Back in the pros after a dominant stretch at USC, Pete Carroll’s enthusiasm was infectious last year. The Seahawks conducted highly competitive practices, overturned the roster and fed off critics who claimed a sub-.500 team shouldn’t make the playoffs. Like the Cowboys’ new head coach, Jason Garrett, Carroll’s an energetic guy and an effective motivator.”
For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, ESPN.com reports that the plaintiffs in the Tom Brady vs. the NFL case were updated on the situation in a conference call on Thursday night. According to the report: “All of the details of the agreement have not been worked out, but the call was designed to give the plaintiffs a clear idea of where the agreement is headed so that they can make an informed decision about the anti-trust lawsuit which must be settled in federal court prior to the CBA taking effect, the league source said.”
At NFL.com, Jason La Canfora says there remain unresolved issues in the on-going talk. Offers La Canfora: “Philosophical differences about some core issues remain, numerous sources with knowledge of the situation said Thursday. For instance, significant work on how rookies will be compensated still must be done, according to multiple sources, with both parties at odds over how much negotiation will remain in the signing process and how much will be straight slotting, in which players will receive a preordained raise over the person drafted in their spot the previous year. The parties have worked on the issue for weeks but aren’t seen as being near a consensus.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles reviewing the team’s first 35 years with a look at the 1990 season – the start of a three-season run where the defense was the only one in the league to rank among the Top 10, a testament to coordinator Tom Catlin.