The Real Rob Report: Offseason Workouts

“The best way to kick off my appearance for the season is without a shirt on. I’m in a little bit better shape, right?”

If you’re a fan of Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson’s “The Real Rob Report” then it should be a pretty easy guess as to who’s behind that lighthearted quote that helps kick off his newest episode.

If you’re not yet a fan of the show, it’s about time you get in on all of the behind-the-scenes Seahawks goodness.

Robinson’s latest chapter features a look in at Phase 2 of the Seahawks’ offseason program at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The familiar faces of Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Winston Guy, John Moffitt, Max Unger, Josh Portis, Jermaine Kearse, and Phil Bates are all included, as well as the first “Real Rob Report” introductions with newcomers Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett.

Remember, you can stay up to date on everything from the Real Mike Rob by following his show on Twitter and subscribing to his channel on YouTube. And be sure to check out Moffitt’s venture into the apparel business at moffittmerch.com, where like he said in the video above – he’s not “lining his pockets” with the proceeds – they help feed the homeless at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.


Seahawks sign 10 to future contracts

Phil Bates

The Seahawks have signed 10 players to future contracts, including eight who spent time on the practice squad this season – wide receivers Phil Bates and Bryan Walters, cornerbacks Chandler Fenner and Ron Parker, running back Derrick Coleman, tight end Cooper Helfet, linebacker Kyle Knox and defensive tackle Myles Wade.

Also signed were linebacker Korey Toomer, a fifth-round draft choice last year; and wide receiver Stephen Williams, who was with the Cardinals in training camp last summer but waived/injured in August.

These future signings can be insignificant moves. But in the past two years, players signed by the Seahawks in January included cornerback Brandon Browner, who has become a starter and played in Pro Bowl last year; guard Paul McQuistan, who started all 16 games this season and 10 last season; and wide receiver Charly Martin, who played in four games this season before being placed on injured reserve.


Tuesday in Hawkville: Seeking a similar path to another road win in Chicago

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 27:

FOCUS ON

Red Bryant

Defensive end Red Bryant snags an interception and rumbles 20 yards into the end zone in a 38-14 victory over the Bears in Chicago last season.

Da Bears. In not quite 2¾ seasons under coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are 6-16 on the road. During this same span, the Chicago Bears are 16-7 at home. But two of the Seahawks’ road wins have come at Soldier Field – 38-14 in Week 15 last year and 23-20 in Week 6 in 2010.

Has there been a common thread in the Seahawks claiming a third of their wins on the road at one location?

“I hope so. I hope so,” Carroll said with a laugh. “We do know the setting. … We’ve found some success. We know how to travel there. We know what it takes and all that. We’ll try to bank of that the best we can and make the most of it.”

That’s exactly what the Seahawks did during their wins in the Windy City the past two seasons.

Last year, the Bears played without the injured duo of quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte. Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown combined to complete 11 of 23 passes for 123 yards, but the Bears rushed for 132 yards and a 4.3-yard average with Kahlil Bell (15 for 65) and Hanie (5 for 34) picking up the slack for Forte.

The Bears defense held Marshawn Lynch to 42 yards on 20 carries, but the Seahawks’ Beast Mode back managed to get into the end zone twice. The defense also scored twice, as end Red Bryant (20 yards) and cornerback Brandon Browner (43) returned interceptions for touchdowns.

In 2010, Cutler and Forte played, but Cutler was tackled in the end zone for a safety and Forte was held to 11 yards on eight carries. Lynch, in his first game with the Seahawks after being obtained in a bye-week trade with the Bills, scored a TD. So did two players who no longer are with the team – running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Deon Butler. Two other since-departed players also made big contributions, as Mike Williams caught 10 passes for 123 yards and Matt Hasselbeck was 25 of 40 for 242 yards.

This week, the Seahawks need a repeat performance from their current players to register another upset and atone for Sunday’s fall-from-ahead loss to the Dolphins in Miami, which dropped their road record to 1-5.

BATES BACK, PORTIS RELEASED

Wide receiver Phil Bates has been re-signed to the practice squad. Bates, a rookie free agent, was with the team during training camp but released on the roster cut to 75 players. He was signed to the practice squad on Oct. 31 and then released on Nov. 14.

To clear a spot, quarterback Josh Portis was released. Portis was on the 53-man roster last season. This year, he was released on the roster cut to 53 players and signed to the practice squad the next day.

STATS ’N STUFF

Lynch has slipped to third in the league in rushing (1,051 yards) after being held to 46 yards by the Dolphins. The Vikings’ Adrian Peterson still leads the NFL (1,236), while the Texans’ Arian Foster (1,064) leapfrogged Lynch. Peterson ran for 108 yards against the Bears on Sunday.

Lynch also is fifth in the league in total yards (1,189).

Jon Ryan is ninth in the league in punting average (47.7), but fifth in net average (42.1). He also tied a club record against the Dolphins by having six punts downed inside the 20-yard line. That gives him 22 for the season, which ranks fifth in the league.

With his 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Dolphins, Leon Washington increased his average to 31.9 yards, which ranks third in the league.

Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner continued to lead the team in tackles with 90.

As a team, the Seahawks rank fifth in the league in total defense (12th against the run, third against the pass) and 27th in total offense (eighth rushing, 31st passing).

STAT DU JOUR

How efficient and effective has rookie QB Russell Wilson been over the past seven games? Only two quarterbacks in the league have a better QBR, the rating system used at ESPN.com, and their names are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Here’s a look at the Top 10 since Week 5:

Player, team                             QBR

Tom Brady, Patriots                 84.7

Peyton Manning, Broncos      81.0

Russell Wilson, Seahawks       79.1

Drew Brees, Saints                   76.9

Josh Freeman, Bucs                 74.9

Robert Griffin III, Redskins     74.7

Matt Ryan, Falcons                  73.2

Aaron Rodgers, Packers          72.7

Andrew Luck, Colts                  72.3

Eli Manning, Giants                 71.3

UP NEXT

The players return from their “off” day to begin practicing for Sunday’s game on “Competition Wednesday.” Because the game is in Chicago, the team will leave on Friday for the second consecutive week and hold its Saturday walkthrough at a local high school.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Knee-jerk reaction: ‘Good teams don’t go 1-5 on the road. The Seahawks are a fraud. They’ll never make a dent in the playoffs as a wild-card team at this rate.’ Reality or not? ‘What did you expect, a 12-4 season? Seattle is building around one of the most impressive rookie QBs in the NFL. Simply reaching the playoffs should be enough.” – NFC West blogger Mike Sando in the weekly “Knee-jerk reaction” feature at ESPN.com


Tuinei back, replaces Bates

Lavasier Tuinei

Lavasier Tuinei

The Seahawks made a practice squad switch today, re-signing wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei and releasing wide receiver Phil Bates.

Both players had been with the team in training camp before being released – Bates on the roster cut to 75 players, Tuinei on the cut to 53 players. Bates was added to the practice squad on Oct. 30 and Tuinei followed a day later. But Tuinei was then released last week when wide receiver Charly Martin was dropped from the 53-man roster to clear a spot for cornerback Walter Thurmond and then signed to the practice squad.


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Obomanu to IR, Kearse called up; Mid-season grades and honors

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 31.

The Seahawks made a few roster moves yesterday, placing wide receiver Ben Obomanu on injured reserve, releasing cornerback Danny Gorrer, promoting wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and tackle Mike Person from the practice squad to the active roster, and signing wide receiver Phil Bates to the practice squad.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his story on the former University of Washington standout Kearse being called up to the active roster, “Kearse might not only be active on Sunday when Seattle faces Minnesota, but he could see playing time. Doug Baldwin is a longshot to play, according to coach Pete Carroll, as Baldwin recovers from a high ankle sprain. Braylon Edwards’ status is a question mark after his knee swelled unexpectedly on Sunday morning, preventing him from playing against the Lions.”

O’Neil also has a brief look at the Seahawks’ second half of the season.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on the promotion of Kearse, “Kearse had been playing well against Seattle’s No. 1 defense during practices. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Kearse has the versatility to play both inside as a slot receiver and on the perimeter.”

Williams also grades out the Seahawks position-by-position at the season’s midway point, “Lynch is on his way to a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaign. He’s second in the league in rushing with 757 yards on 159 carries for a robust 4.8 yard-per-carry average. Lynch has three rushing touchdowns, including a career-long 77-yard rumble for a score Sunday against Detroit. Lynch has rushed for more than 100 yards four times this season. Fourth-round pick Robert Turbin has been a nice addition as a complementary back to Lynch, rushing for 129 yards on 30 carries. And fullback Michael Robinson continues to block like a Pro Bowl player as a lead blocker for Lynch. Robinson also is among the league leaders in third-and-1 rushes for first downs. He’s 4-for-4 on the year. Grade: B-plus”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald rehashes the Seahawks’ first half of the season and has a look at what’s in store in the second half, “Offense – What’s worked so far: The running game picked up where it left off last year, and Marshawn Lynch is on pace for a 1,500-yard season. The pass protection, which was an issue early in the year, is getting better. The offense has been getting off to good starts in games, particularly of late, scoring on its first possession in four straight games. What has to improve: The passing game has made some big strides under Wilson as the season has gone on, culminating in Sunday’s loss with what Carroll said ‘was probably his best game. It was his most solid performance.’ But that progress needs to continue for this offense to be good enough for a playoff push. For starters, the Seahawks need to figure out how to build off of those aforementioned strong starts, rather than go quiet for long stretches of the game. After scoring on their first three possessions against Detroit, the Seahawks came up empty on five straight possessions until their fourth-quarter touchdown drive. The two biggest problems for Seattle’s offense have been third-down and red-zone conversions, and while there have been signs of improvement in both areas, there is still room for growth.”

Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” believe the Seahawks still need to explore more options at wide receiver, even with the promotion of Kearse to the active roster. They discuss possible options in this short video.

Brock Huard of 710Sports.com has his latest “Chalk Talk“, as he breaks down the Detroit Lions’ 3rd-and-10 play from the 12-yard-line heading toward the end zone late in the fourth quarter that helped set up the Lions’ game-winning 1-yard touchdown pass.

Pro Football Focus has their Mid-Season All NFC West team and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch, wide receiver Sidney Rice, defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman, and return man Leon Washington make their cut.

NFL.com’s “The NFL Season” has a look at Wilson’s rookie year and his relationship with Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon in this video.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at Wilson’s first half in “Tuesday in Hawkville,” hands out his Seahawks “Midseason honor roll,”  details Lynch’s fiery leadership, and has his first look at the Minnesota Vikings – the Seahawks’ Week 9 opponent.


Tuesday in Hawkville: A look at Wilson’s ‘prosperous’ first half

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 30:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wison

Russell Wison

Russell Wilson. Looking for a reason to be optimistic about the second half of the Seahawks’ season? Look to the team’s rookie quarterback, and let coach Pete Carroll be your tour guide.

“One of the big focuses in looking at the quarterback position – you all ask those questions, ‘How’s he doing?’ and all – he’s had a very prosperous first half of his first year,” said Carroll, the team’s third-year coach. “In that he’s grown, he’s been attacked, he’s been under the gun in so many games.

“And Russell has shown his ways and his character and his athleticism. He’s done some great stuff first time around.”

At the top of Wilson’s great-stuff list was his performance in Week 6 against the Patriots and Tom Brady. It was Wilson, and not Brady, who threw two TD passes in the final 7½ minutes to rally the Seahawks to a 24-23 victory.

At the bottom of Wilson’s not-so-great-stuff list was his performance four days later, when he completed 9 of 23 passes in a 13-6 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.

But Wilson bounced back from that effort to lead the Seahawks to a go-ahead TD with 5½ minutes to play in Detroit on Sunday. The Lions then drove 80 yards to a score that won the game, but it didn’t diminish Wilson’s play in the 12-play, 87-yard drive that ended with his 16-yard TD pass to tight end Zach Miller.

“But he needs to get better,” Carroll said. “Just like everybody does. He’d be the first to tell you that. We need to improve and keep getting things moving in a positive direction. We need to be better on third downs and continue to fight to be better in the red zone.”

Entering Sunday’s game against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field, Wilson is completing 61.4 percent of his passes (129 of 210) for 1,466 yards, with 10 touchdown passes and eight interceptions, for a passer rating of 82.4 that ranks second in the league among the rookie starters – Redskins’ Robert Griffin III (97.3); but well ahead of the  Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill (75.8), Colts’ Andrew Luck (74.6) and Browns’ Brandon Weeden (70.8).

OBOMANU TO IR

Ben Obomanu’s seventh season with the Seahawks has come to an unlucky end. The veteran wide receiver was placed on injured reserve today because of the wrist injury he got in Sunday’s loss to the Lions in Detroit.

Obomanu, a seventh-round draft choice in 2006, caught four passes for 58 yards and a team-high 14.5-yard average.

With Obomanu out for the remainder of the season, rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was signed off the practice squad and rookie Phil Bates, who was with the team in training camp, was added to the practice squad.

The team also released cornerback Danny Gorrer and used his roster spot to sign tackle Mike Person off the practice squad.

STATS ’N STUFF

Leon Washington is second in the NFC and fifth in the NFL in kickoff return average (29.8), while Jon Ryan is second in the NFC and third in the NFC in punting average (50.2) and third in the NFC and seventh in the NFL in net average (41.9).

Marshawn Lynch is second in the conference and league in rushing yards (757) and total yards (841) to the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson (775 and 914).

Richard Sherman has three interceptions to tie for fifth in the league, while Chris Clemons has seven sacks to tie for seventh.

The Seahawks rank fifth in the league in total defense and rushing defense, and 13th in passing; while the offense is 30th overall, eighth in rushing and 31st in passing.

Linebacker K.J. Wright continues to lead the team with 63 tackles, one more than rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Heath Farwell (eight) and Chris Maragos (seven) lead the special teams in coverage tackles.

STAT DU JOUR

Lynch has surpassed 100 rushing yards 10 times for the Seahawks in the past 17 games. But his 77-yard touchdown run against the Lions on Sunday allowed him to reach triple digits in the fewest carries. He’s a look at his 100-yard games, ranked not by most yards but fewest carries – with the top two coming in the past two games:

Opponent (date)                              No.   Yards    Avg.

Lions (Oct. 29, 2012)                        12       105      8.8

49ers (Oct. 18, 2012)                       19       103      5.4

Rams (Sept. 30, 2012)                      20      118       5.9

49ers (Dec. 24, 2011)                       21      107       5.1

Eagles (Dec. 1, 2011)                        22      148       6.7

Cowboys (Nov. 6, 2011)                   23      135       5.9

Rams (Dec. 12, 2011)                        23      115       5.0

Redskins (Nov. 27, 2011)                  24      111       4.6

Cowboys (Sept. 16, 2012)                 26      122       4.7

Ravens (Nov. 13, 2011)                     32      109       3.4

UP NEXT

The players return from their off day to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Vikings on “Competition Wednesday.”

Wide receiver Braylon Edwards will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. today at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.

YOU DON’T SAY

“For all of the young guys that are starting and playing a great deal right now, this is the end of their college season. So they’ve got to get the second wind and get back with it and make sure that we can continue to improve.” – Carroll


Obomanu goes on injured reserve

Ben Obomanu

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu

Veteran wide receiver Ben Obomanu was placed on injured reserve by the Seahawks today because of the wrist injury he got in Sunday’s loss to the Lions in Detroit.

With Obomanu out for the remainder of the season, rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was signed off the practice squad and rookie Phil Bates, who was with the team in training camp, was added to the practice squad.

The team also released cornerback Danny Gorrer and used his roster spot to sign tackle Mike Person off the practice squad.

Obomanu caught four passes for 58 yards in the first eight games, and also had three coverage tackles on special teams.


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Thursday in Hawkville: Camp breaks, sort of

A recap of the activities on the final day of Bing training camp for Aug. 16:

FOCUS ON

Camp breaks. The Seahawks’ third training camp under coach Pete Carroll officially broke after this morning’s practice. It’s just that’s hard to tell, because things won’t change much even with camp over.

The players will continue to practice only once a day, under the new guidelines in the CBA that ended last year’s 136-day lockout. They will do it at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. And many of the players will continue to live in the hotel all the players called home during camp.

The grind of two-a-day practices in draining heat, living in a dorm room at Eastern Washington University and then beating a hasty retreat from Cheney on this day are just a memory – and then only for the players who have been around long enough to remember it.

“Camp is camp,” cornerback Marcus Trufant said as he was leaving the field at the conclusion of his 10th training camp. “It’s always going to be hard work. It’s been work, but this year’s camp is a little bit different.

“I don’t think the young guys are really able to appreciate it. But a guy like me, who’s seen a few training camps, it’s been a good deal for us. It really works out in the players’ favor, so I think it’s pretty big time for the young players.”

Like J.R. Sweezy, the rookie who was making the transition from college defensive tackle to NFL guard in his first NFL camp.

“I never got to be a part of the old stuff,” Sweezy said. “But this was good. We got our rest at night, came ready to go the next day and we got everything out of the day. So it was a good schedule.”

One the players basically will continue to follow even though camp has officially ended.

PLAYER WATCH

Terrell Owens. Despite having practiced with the team only six times, the 38-year-old wide receiver is scheduled to play in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Broncos in Denver.

“He’s going to play some. He’s ready to go,” Carroll said. “He had two good weeks of work and he came in great shape, so he’s going to play some. I’m not going to say how many plays that will be; we’ll see how it goes. But he’s going to play early in the game.”

Owens caught a half dozen passes today, including one where he got behind Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner and another where he fought his way through being jammed by rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane.

Owens is playing flanker, although Carroll has said he’d also like to look at the 6-foot-3, 224-pound Owens as a possible replacement Mike Williams at split end.

PLAYS OF THE DAYS

Offense: Rookie wide receiver Phil Bates making a falling, fingertip grab of a Tarvaris Jackson pass along the sideline despite tight coverage from cornerback Byron Maxwell.

Defense: Trufant, who was lined up as the nickel back, tipping a Josh Portis pass that was intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas then intercepted the deflection.

Special teams: After an uncharacteristically rough day Wednesday, Steven Hauschka hit each of his four field goals attempts in the special teams portion of practice – including a 43-yarder.

Pre-practice: While the players are stretching, several of the assistant coaches use to time to see if they can put a pass into a trash can that is roughly 25 yards away. Today, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell “canned” one. Bevell was a four-starter starter at quarterback for the University of Wisconsin.

SNAP DECISION

Former USC center Kris O’Dowd was signed after being given a tryout yesterday and was on the field for today’s practice. The club needs another center because right guard John Moffitt, who has been working as the backup center, and incumbent backup Lemuel Jeanpierre are sidelined with elbow and groin injuries.

Rookie Rishaw Johnson will backup starter Max Unger against the Broncos on Saturday night.

“Kris is a good, smart, tough football player,” Carroll said. “When you work a guy out, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t know. But about this guy in particular, he played as a freshman for us, so I know everything there is to know about the kid. So we’ll see if he fits.

“Right now, he’s an emergency guy for us.”

O’Dowd signed with the Cardinals last year but was released in September. He spent time with the Jets this spring before being released in May.

To clear a spot on the 90-man roster for O’Dowd, rookie kicker Carson Wiggs was released for the second time this camp.

IN ’N OUT

Wide receiver Golden Tate, tight end Anthony McCoy and defensive end Pierre Allen returned to practice today, but defensive linemen Jason Jones and Pep Levingston and wide receiver Ben Obomanu did not practice.

Still sidelined: Tight end Zach Miller, who got a concussion in the preseason opener; tight end Cameron Morrah, defensive end Cordarro Law, linebackers Matt McCoy, Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan, cornerbacks Ron Parker and Walter Thurmond, and offensive lineman James Carpenter, as well as Moffitt and Jeanpierre.

ANYBODY KNOW THE DOMINGUEZ HIGH FIGHT SONG?

The second-year duo of cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Jeron Johnson also were teammates at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. It’s just that Johnson wasn’t playing the same position he is now.

“He played middle linebacker for us,” Sherman said.

The 5-10, now 212-pound Johnson playing middle linebacker? No he didn’t.

“Yes he did,” Sherman said. “Our whole back seven was the same size. We were all about 6-1, 6-2; 175. We were just fast and played nothing but man coverage.”

UP NEXT

The players will practice tomorrow morning before the team flies to Denver for Saturday night’s preseason game. The players will be off on Sunday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I think I like ‘Legion of Boom.’ Because they play that ‘Here Comes the Boom’ song in the stadium, and we always act like they’re talking to us.” – Sherman, when asked which of the nicknames that have been hung on the secondary he likes best


Wednesday in Hawkville: A fan-tastic finale

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 15:

FOCUS ON

The fans. They came by the bus loads. Day after day. Practice after practice. Weekends. Week days. It didn’t seem to matter. They packed the berm adjacent to the practices field at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. They lined the fence that separates the berm from the fields. They cheered the big plays, and even the not so big. They coaxed players into autographing everything from footballs, to jerseys, to body parts.

After today’s practice, the berm fell silent.

The last of the 13 training-camp practices open to the public attracted a crowd of 1,325 fans, pushing the total for camp to 20,841.

And the players appreciated you being here. It’s one thing to run out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field to the roar of 66,000-plus on game day. But to get a rousing reception from a thousand or more die-hards on a Wednesday morning, that’s special, too.

“The fans help,” right tackle Breno Giacomini said. “If you don’t get excited for that, then something’s wrong with you. You should probably be playing golf somewhere.

“I like having the fans at practice. It’s a good environment, a game-like environment for practice.”

After practice, Giacomini was one of the players who “worked the fence” – signing autographs, chatting with fans, posing for picture.

“It’s good, man. The 12th Man is really good, and we use it to our advantage. So whenever we can give back, we do,” he said. “These kids love it, just as much as I did when I was growing up.”

Giacomini has grown into a 6-foot-7, 318-pound beast of a blocker. But he still knows his place.

Asked how it felt to have the fans yelling and cheering for him, he said, “Well, they’re not screaming for me. They’re screaming for us.”

Right on cue, quarterback Matt Flynn also stepped away from the fence so he could fulfill his post-practice interview duties. The fans erupted with shouts of, “Matt. Matt. Matt.”

Giacomini smiled and shrugged before offering, “See what I mean. But it’s all good.”

POSITION WATCH

Quarterback. How did Flynn learn that will be the starting quarterback in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Broncos in Denver?

“I’m finding out along with you guys,” Flynn told reporters after practice, adding that he heard the news on the radio. “I found out from you guys before I found out from anybody else yesterday. So I’m just going where they tell me to go and doing the best I can.”

Flynn starting for the second consecutive week is part of coach Pete Carroll’s grand plan to determine which of three QBs will start the Sept. 9 regular-season opener. In addition to Flynn, there’s also incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson and rookie Russell Wilson. But Flynn is not privy to the details of that plan.

He’s more concerned with the game plan for the Broncos. Flynn completed 11 of 13 passes in the preseason opener against the Titans, producing 71 passing yards and three points as “we took what the defense gave us,” he said.

What does he hope to improve on against the Broncos?

“Everything. That’s what preseason is for, that’s what this (practice) is for. We have to improve on everything,” said Flynn, who then rattled through a mental to-do improvement list that included the running game, passing game, protection, route running and accuracy throwing.

“Just everything as an offense, everything that makes an offense go we’ve got to improve on.”

SITUATION WATCH

Third down. The Seahawks converted six of 12 third-down situations against the Titans on Saturday night – two of five in the first half under Flynn; four of seven in the second half under Wilson.

But in the final full-team segment of practice today, Wilson had his third-down mojo working on a 10-play, 65-yard drive that ended with his 6-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens. Wilson passed to Kris Durham for 16 yards on third-and-10, and then hooked up with Charly Martin for 17 yards on a third-and-8 play. The TD pass? It came on third-and-goal.

PLAYS OF THE DAY

Defense: You had to be an early bird to catch this one, as cornerback Phillip Adams continued his impressive week of practice by taking the ball from the hands of Braylon Edwards in the end zone for another interception (Adams had two on Tuesday).

Offense: Another early highlight that stood the test of the rest of practice, as rookie wide receiver Phil Bates grabbed and controlled a pass that had been tipped by cornerback Bryon Maxwell – and did it while falling out of bounds, but making sure his feet were inbounds.

Special teams: Rookie Carson Wiggs kicked a 49-yard field goal on the final play of practice.

IN ’N OUT

The number of players watching practice grew to 14, as offensive lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre, wide receiver Golden Tate, tight ends Anthony McCoy and Cameron Morrah and linebacker Mike Morgan joined those already sidelined – linebackers Matt McCoy and Malcolm Smith, defensive ends Cordarro Law and Pierre Allen, cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Ron Parker, tight end Zach Miller and offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt.

But Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson and safety Jeron Johnson returned after sitting out Tuesday.

PASSING THE BATON

In honor of the scorch marks doled out by Usain Bolt and the other members of Jamaican 4×100 relay team at the London Olympics, we asked wide receiver Ricardo Lockette to compile a 400-meter relay team for the Seahawks.

Lockette’s credentials: He was the NCAA Division II 200-meter champion in 2008 in a time of 20.6 seconds, but has a PR of 20.3; has run the 100-meter dash in 10.0 seconds; and tied for the third-fastest 40-yard dash (4.37 seconds) at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, but has a PR of 4.26.

“If he had stuck with track, he would have been at the (U.S. Olympic) Trials this year,” said Tyree Price, Lockette’s track coach at Fort Valley State.

Lockette’s selections for the Seahawks’ 4×100, in order of how they would run: Leon Washington, to Jeremy Lane, to Deon Butler, to Lockette.

UP NEXT

Camp will break following a morning practice tomorrow. The team will fly to Denver after practice on Friday for Saturday night’s preseason game against the Broncos.

YOU DON’T SAY

“You’ve all seen him out here. He’s fast. It looks like he hasn’t lost a step; it looks like he’s gained a step.” – Flynn on the 38-year-old Owens, who is beginning his week with the team


Friday in Hawkville: Sweezy sees improvement at new position

A recap of the activities surrounding the Seahawks’ Bing Training Camp for August 3.

FOCUS ON

J.R. Sweezy. The first of Seattle’s two seventh round choices in this year’s draft, the former North Carolina State defensive lineman was drafted to play offensive line for Head Coach Pete Carroll, and more specifically, for Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable.

In practice today, Sweezy saw a lot of work running with the number one offensive line unit at both left and right guard. Carroll has commented that Sweezy is out there with the ones strictly to get more and more reps each day, and Sweezy is taking every chance he gets to learn a little bit more about his new position.

“I’m definitely learning more being in there with the first team,” Sweezy said. “Those guys know this offense like the back of their hand. They’ve helped me a lot. I still don’t know it as well as I should, but going with that first-team O-line helps a lot.”

The transition from the aggressive style of play a defensive lineman dictates to the more sit-back, wait-and-react approach of an offensive lineman has to be nothing short of mind-boggling for Sweezy, who admits there has been quite the learning curve.

“It was rough in OTAs to start,” Sweezy said. “I was completely confused. At first I was too aggressive. On defense my whole life I’ve been taught to play at a 45-degree angle and now I have to sit back and wait and not lunge at people. When you lunge as an offensive lineman you get beat every time, so it’s a matter of me staying back on my heels.”

“But now I’m starting to get it. It’s starting to make sense and I’m having fun.”

And it sure looked like it made sense to Sweezy today as he participated in the team’s 9-on-7 run blocking drill. With Leon Washington in the backfield, Sweezy – at left guard – sealed his man to the inside of the line before bouncing off the block and finding linebacker Heath Farwell five yards down field to spring Washington for a healthy gain.

Much of Sweezy’s improvement can be directly linked to the offensive line guru Cable, who personally worked out and talked with Sweezy prior to April’s draft.

“He’s the best,” Sweezy said of Cable’s approach to coaching the offensive line. “He’s already taught me so much. I’ve learned a ton in this past few weeks span. Every day I fill up two pages of my notebook with information that he’s teaching me and helping me with, and I’m continuing to get better every day.”

ROOKIE WATCH

A little change-up from Farnsworth’s ‘Unit Watch’ section, as we take a look at rookie Sean McGrath, the undrafted free-agent tight end out of Division II’s Henderson State (Ark.). McGrath was the only player to score in the team’s two-minute drill during Friday’s practice, which featured drives from each of the three quarterbacks – Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, and Matt Flynn – starting at their own 35-yard line. Running with the third unit, McGrath received a 10-yard strike from Flynn with two seconds left in the drill on a slant route over the middle, falling into the end zone for a score.

“That starts up front with the offensive line first and foremost,” McGrath said. “I’m just doing what they tell me to, following the examples of the veterans, and just trying to work to get better in camp.”

A humble answer from a hard-working individual.

Earlier in the same drill, Flynn lured the defense offside and took a shot for McGrath 20 yards down field, who made the grab on his knees. McGrath has stood out with his hustle and work ethic during camp thus far, and it seems to be paying dividends.

“It’s just a privilege and an honor to play football and do what I love to do for a living,” McGrath said. “I’m just going to keep on having fun doing what I love doing. Playing here with coach Carroll and the whole staff, the Pacific Northwest is a great place to be.”

PLAYS DU JOUR

Offense: Today’s practice featured a little more offensive prowess than Thursday’s defensive-dominated session. The offensive play of the day came on a ball from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who received the majority of the first-team reps today. Wilson tossed a beauty of a deep ball down the left sideline for a streaking Golden Tate who was on a straight-go pattern against cornerback Brandon Browner. Running at full speed the entire way, Tate slowed down just enough to adjust his body to the ball from Wilson, who dropped it right in Tate’s breadbasket over the top of the 6-4 Pro Bowl corner Browner. In the one-on-one receiver drills, it was more Tate, as he cut inside to beat cornerback Ron Parker to the middle of the field on a ball from quarterback Matt Flynn, then, upon receiving the football, spun back to his outside shoulder and headed toward the sideline for a healthy amount of yards after the catch. In the team’s 11-on-11 drill rookie wide receiver Phil Bates took a reverse handoff up the right sideline for a big gain with the help of some quality down-field blocking by fellow rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei.

Defense: In the team’s 9-on-7 run defense drill left tackle Russell Okung sealed his man to the inside in a play that appeared to have freed running back Leon Washington loose from the backfield, but Earl Thomas’ instincts took over to disrupt the play, as the lightning-quick Pro Bowl safety met Washington right at the hole in the line of scrimmage to stuff the play for no gain. Rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin showed some very impressive get-off during one-on-one lineman drills, beating offensive lineman Alex Barron to the quarterback in what was a battle of first-round draft picks. Defensive tackle Jason Jones showed some surprising get-up for a 6-5, 276 pound defensive tackle, leaping in the air and extending his long arm to swat down a Tarvaris Jackson pass at the line of scrimmage in the team’s 11-on-11 session toward the end of practice.

IN ‘N OUT

Cornerback Ron Parker returned to practice after sitting out Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday’s practices. Parker had last saw the practice field on Sunday, July 29.

Eight players players did not practice – wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Antonio Bryant, tight end Anthony McCoy, linebackers Bobby Wagner, Matt McCoy, and Jameson Konz, offensive lineman James Carpenter, and cornerback Walter Thurmond. Carpenter and Thurmond remain on the physically unable to perform list.

UP NEXT

The players have a walkthrough and meetings this afternoon and will practice at 10:15 a.m. tomorrow, which is the final practice slotted for 10:15 a.m. of the entire camp. Sunday’s practice moves to 1:15 p.m. and is set to feature a “mock game” between the squads.

JOIN THE CROWD

Today’s practice attracted more than 1,000 fans, as well as another fly by from the Navy’s Blue Angels, who are in town for Seattle’s Sea Fair weekend.

Also seen at today’s practice – a C-17 cargo plane rumbled over the Seahawks three practice fields at VMAC prior to the booming Blue Angels. Mother Nature was not shy to show her face as well, as a lone deer frolicked along the western bank of Lake Washington, while a bald eagle circled the nearby shores.

Seven practices remain open to the public, including Saturday and Sunday’s practices, which are the final weekend practices of camp. You can register to attend a practice session here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’d probably try to be like [U.S. Olympic athlete and all-around gymnastics gold medalist] Gabby [Douglas], and practice that. I’d try to do some flips or something like that. I wouldn’t be very good at it, but I’d train myself. Not the outfit, though. The outfit wouldn’t fit me.” – Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson when asked what sport he would compete in if he were to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games.


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