Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 8:
Qwest Field only the third-toughest venue for opposing teams to play at in the NFL? Obviously the New Orleans Saints didn’t have a vote. No, that chore fell to the divisional bloggers at ESPN.com. They ranked Lambeau Field and Heinz Field ahead of Qwest. Mike Sando (NFC West) and Kevin Seifert (NFC North) voted Qwest No. 1. But Bill Williamson (AFC West), who used to cover the Seahawks for the Everett Herald, ranked Qwest No. 10. Said Williamson: “I respect Qwest Field and the ’12th Man aura.’ It’s a fun atmosphere, but I think there are tougher spots to play in the NFL. I’d like to see Seattle win more games and build more of a tradition at the field before I rank it as elite.”
Sando also has a poll to rate the toughest NFC West venue to play in. Take the time to vote for Qwest, so Candlestick Park doesn’t somehow sneak in at No. 1.
Despite Matt Hasselbeck’s leadership role in the Seahawks’ workouts last week, Peter King of SI.com is convinced that the quarterback will be playing elsewhere this season. According to this item from Pro Football Talk, King is even predicting landing sports for the Seahawks’ incumbent starter: “King listed the Cardinals, Titans, Dolphins and Vikings, in that order.”
Pat Kirwan at NFL.com rates the Top 50 wide receivers in the NFL, and the Seahawks’ Mike Williams is at No. 40 – the fifth wide-out in Group H. Kirwan considered the past two seasons in his rankings, which hurt Williams because he was out of the league in 2009 and 2008 before signing with the Seahawks last April and leading them in receptions. Said Kirwan: “Reinvented himself when he realized his career was over. He dropped weight and developed a work ethic. He only caught 44 passes from 2005-2007, was out of football for two seasons, and then returned to grab 65 balls last season. He will easily repeat that performance in 2011.”
For our give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor offering, we offer a pros and cons of a shortened season from Jason Cole of YahooSports.com. Hate to spoil the suspense, but here’s his No. 1 pro/con: “Worst: Missing that great excitement and build up as the clock ticks down to the September kickoff in the opening week of the season. Even without the artificial hoopla the NFL has created in recent years, the season opener in football has become akin to Christmas Day. Best: Seeing all the arrogant people on both sides of the lockout get a dose of reality when they find out the world really can go on without the NFL. As much as I love my job and this sport, a little humility would do everyone good.”
The Associated Press reports that the owners and players met again on Tuesday, offering: “This is the second time in the last week the two sides have met, including a three-day session outside Chicago that included Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith. The idea is simple: face-to-face negotiations are more likely to lead to a new collective bargaining agreement than court actions.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of stories on the franchise’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1998. We also have a poll (yes, another one) where you can decide which of the eight “classes” that contributed multiple players to the 35th Anniversary team is the best.
The Seahawks entered Sunday’s wild-card playoff game as vast underdogs to the visiting Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, but Matt Hasselbeck, Marshawn Lynch and the 12th Man led the way to a victory and a trip to Chicago.
Hours before kickoff, cornerback Marcus Trufant enters the team's locker room at Qwest Field.
Before taking the field for pregame warmups, starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck made some throws from his knees as he coaxed his body into gametime readiness.
Two recognizable faces of the franchise, future Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones and team owner Paul Allen greet each other on the field before the game.
Brandon Mebane fires up his teammates before they headed to the field.
Fans greet the players gathered at the entrance of the field before pregame introductions.
Running backs and best friends Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett have a final word before taking the field.
Under always-present eye of network cameras, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck lets out a yell as he's introduced before the game.
Two Navy EA-18 Growlers flew over the stadium at the conclusion of the national anthem.
Seattle's Raheem Brock sacks New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.
Members of the 12th Man roar their approval during the second quarter.
Brandon Stokley came up big, scoring on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck.
Pete Carroll gets pumped up after Stokley's touchdown.
Seahawks cornerback Kelly Kennings upends former teammate and current Saint's running back Julius Jones.
Seattle's 12th Man implores the defense to make a stop during the tense fourth quarter.
Defenders Colin Cole and Kentwan Balmer celebrate after stopping the Saints.
In a run for the ages, Marshawn Lynch takes on, stiff-arms and dumps Saints would-be defender Tracy Porter on the way to a 67-yard touchdown.
With Porter on on the ground, Lynch heads for the end zone for a touchdown to give the Seahawks a 41-30 lead.
All 11 of the Seahawks offensive players gathered in the end zone after Lynch's touchdown, with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck leading the cheers.
Fullback Michael Robinson and Lynch laugh on the sidelines after Lynch's big run.
Head coach Pete Carroll dances onto the field as the final seconds expire on the upset victory.
Leon Washington celebrates with fans in the south end zone after the game.
Pete Carroll shakes hands with fans on his way to the locker room.
Matt Hasselbeck leads his kids off the field after the win.
Hasselbeck shares a quiet moment with his son Henry after the postgame commotion had died down. At right are quarterbacks J.P. Losman and Charlie Whitehurst.
The Seahawks returned home to the rowdy support of the 12thMan at Qwest Field as they faced the St. Louis Rams in a Week 17, winner-take-all contest to see which team would claim the NFC West title and a trip to the playoffs.
Seahawks quarterback and team captain Matt Hasselbeck took center stage in the locker room before the game.
Starting safety Lawyer Milloy is a study in concentration in the dark of the tunnel before being the last player introduced to a roaring crowd and national television audience.
Seattle's offense started fast, with a wide-open Ruvell Martin making a 61-yard catch from Charlie Whitehurst in front of the St. Louis sideline to set up a first quarter touchdown.
Charlie Whitehurst made his second career NFL start matter, leading the Seahawks efficiently and without turnovers.
Wide receiver Mike Williams was wide open on the left side of the end zone and scored Seattle's only touchdown on a pass from Charlie Whitehurst.
Williams then saluted the 12thMan as an NBC camera beamed his pose to the rest of the country.
Head coach Pete Carroll congratulates Williams after the touchdown.
Matt McCoy gets pumped after one of his four tackles on special teams against the Rams.
Raheem Brock played his best game as a Seahawk, leveling St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford for a sack on this play with teammate Chris Clemons.
Chris Clemons celebrates after the sack.
Clemons again brought pressure on Bradford, this time forcing an incomplete pass as the Rams tried to score after a Seattle turnover.
Head coach Pete Carroll praised all three aspects of his team's play -- offense, defense and special teams. Free safety Earl Thomas made a diving tackle on Rams return specialist Danny Amendola, flipping him through the air.
Linebacker Will Herring made the game's biggest defensive play, intercepting a pass by St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford in the fourth quarter which set the stage for Seattle's final scoring drive.
Seattle's Marshawn Lynch was key in the fourth quarter as he carried the ball ten times on a 13-play drive to help seal the victory.
Seattle kicker Olindo Mare kicked three second half field goals including a final 34-yard effort with 1:41 left in the game to cement the win.
Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and fellow assistants celebrate Mare's field goal with gave the Seahawks a 16-6 lead.
Quarterbacks Charlie Whitehurst and Matt Hasselbeck share a laugh on the sideline near the end of the game.
Head coach Pete Carroll lets out a holler along with assistants Gus Bradley (left) and Dan Quinn (right) as the game clock ticks down to 00:00.
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill, wearing a hat proclaiming the Seahawks as NFC West Champions, runs over to the stands to give his wife Rachel a kiss before heading to the locker room.
Center Chris Spencer presented the game ball to head coach Pete Carroll, who returned the Seahawks to the top of the NFC West and back to the playoffs in his first season with the team.
Carroll pauses to collect his thoughts as the team gathered around him in the locker room following the emotional victory.
Carroll congratulated his players, coaches and staff on the win, then reminded them that a bigger challenge awaited as a rematch with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints was less than a week away.
General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, who made 275 personnel moves since taking over, congratulate each other in the locker room after winning the division title.
Seattle got back on the winning track against Carolina at Qwest Field, on a day the team officially retired the jersey of famed offensive lineman Walter Jones. A 31-14 over the Panthers moved the Seahawks back into a tie for first place in the NFC West.
Jake Olson, a 14-year-old from Huntington Beach, California battled eye cancer since birth until doctors removed his eyes last year. Since becoming blind, Jake has become a motivational speaker and an inspiration to many. He met coach Pete Carroll during USC's 2009 season and was a guest of the Seahawks on Sunday.
In the Seahawks locker room before the game, running back Marshawn Lynch stretched out and listened to music in front of his locker.
Seahawks defensive backs huddled together before taking the field for pregame warmups.
When the team returned to their locker room after pregame warmups, Kennard Cox applied eye-black patches before heading back out for kickoff.
Cornerback Marcus Trufant is shrouded in fog as he makes his way through the tunnel, ready to be announced as a starter to the roar of the 12th Man.
Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate made a valiant dive for this pass by Matt Hasselbeck which fell incomplete, but a defensive holding call on the Panthers gave the Seahawks a first down and kept the drive alive.
Just before the two-minute warning in the first half, legendary offensive lineman Walter Jones emerged, posing for a photo with team superfan "Mama Blue" before getting his jersey retired in a brief ceremony.
With his mother and children at his side, Walter Jones thanked his former coaches, teammates and the 12th Man as his jersey was officially retired by the team.
As he did earlier in the season, Golden Tate found himself flying through the air after reception over the middle.
Tate managed to get a hand down to break his fall and came down with the completion.
The Seahawks running game was in full "Beast Mode" in the second half, when Marshawn Lynch scored three rushing touchdowns.
Getting fullback Michael Robinson back from injury was a blessing for the Seahawks' running game, something that was not lost on head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll congratulated Robinson for blasting a hole up the middle for Marshawn Lynch's touchdown from the one-yard line in the third quarter that capped a 96-yard drive to open the half.
Seattle's defensive captain showed why he is the rock of the Seahawks defense, intercepting a pass by Carolina's Jimmy Clausen and returning it 26-yards for a touchdown in front of the Seahawks sideline to give Seattle a 17-14 lead.
Return specialist Leon Washington races away from the pack on an 84-yard punt return that nearly yielded a touchdown.
Head coach Pete Carroll and special teams coach Brian Schneider get fired up along the sidelines after Washington's big return that set up a touchdown that gave Seattle a 24-14 lead.
On the Seahawks bench, running back Marshawn Lynch talks to Leon Washington after Washington's punt return set up Lynch's second touchdown of the day.
Seattle's defense wasn't the only ones doing the hitting, as offensive tackle Russell Okung leveled Carolina's Captain Munnerlyn after Munnerlyn intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass.
Seattle's Raheem Brock celebrates after one of his two sacks on the afternoon.
The traditional postgame prayer shared by players of both teams at midfield was led by Jake Olson, who then attended coach Pete Carroll's post-game speech to the team in the locker room
Head coach Pete Carroll was exhuberant in the locker room after the game, telling them that their inspired play in the second half against Carolina should carry through the final four games of the season as they push for the playoffs.
The Seahawks hoped to retain their position atop the NFC West with a victory over the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, but struggled and fell 42-24 in front of the home crowd at Qwest Field.
In the Seahawks locker room before the game, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck gets his pads adjusted by assistant coach Pat McPherson.
Offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus waits outside of the team's locker room next to a 12th Man flag signed by fans.
The Sea Gals were flying high during their pregame routine at midfield prior to the introduction of the teams.
Taima the Hawk flies out of the tunnel moments before Lofa Tatupu and the rest of the Seahawks are introduced to a raucous crowd at Qwest Field.
Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung gets the crowd pumped up as he is introduced during pregame.
Wide receiver Golden Tate tries to make a one-handed grab along the sideline but the ball fell incomplete.
Kansas City tight end Mike Cox tries to steady himself after being upended by Seattle defenders
Seattle's Kentwan Balmer blocks a field goal by Kansas City's Ryan Succop in the first half, one of two big plays by the Seahawks special teams.
Seattle's Kelly Jennings dives over Kansas City holder Dustin Colquitt to recover the blocked field goal.
Seattle's Junior Siavii (94) and Raheem Brock (98) celebrate after the Seahawks blocked a Kansas City field goal.
Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt attempts a punt that is blocked by Seahawks special teamer Kennard Cox in the second quarter.
Seattle's Earl Thomas scoops up the blocked punt and returns it 10-yards for a touchdown.
Seattle's special teams continued to dominate with Will Herring (54) and Justin Forsett (20) making a jarring tackle.
Seattle's Will Herring celebrates with his tongue out after making a big hit.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck throws while under pressure from Kansas City's Wallace Gilberry (92).
Seattle receiver Deon Butler flies out of bounds after making a catch near the goal line but was unable to keep both feet inbounds and the catch was ruled incomplete.
Seahawks tight end Chris Baker spikes the ball emphatically after scoring on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck in the third quarter.
Qwest Field was a gorgeous site to behold from a weather standpoint, as sunny skies and early winter light shone down on the arches of the stadium.
Tight End Cameron Morrah, making a tough grab while falling on near the sideline as Kansas City cornerback Brandon Carr tries to defend.
Morrah appears to land inbounds with the reception but officials ruled him out of bounds and the Seahawks did not have enough evidence to challenge the ruling.
Wide receiver Ben Obomanu continued his fine play, getting behind the Kansas City secondary to haul in an 87-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck walks off the field after throwing one of three interceptions on the afternoon.
Seahawks fans came away disappointed with their team's second home loss in as many games. Carolina comes to town next weekend.
In the locker room after the game, coach Pete Carroll told his team that "this is not how we want to play" and that they would start fresh on Monday morning in preparation for the Carolina Panthers.