The Seahawks came off their bye week looking for a second straight road win, this time visiting the Cleveland Browns.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 25:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the possibility that Charlie Whitehurst could get another start in this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field. Offers O’Neil: “Backup quarterbacks are like communism. They tend to work better in theory, while real-world applications can be a little more problematic. … ‘It was a hard go,’ coach Pete Carroll said (of Whitehurst’s effort against the Browns). ‘I think that’s the toughest time Charlie has had in the games that he’s played in. I know he didn’t feel real good about it.’ Hard to think of anyone outside of Cleveland who felt good about it. But Whitehurst is still the backup, and he may be needed again this week since Carroll could offer no guarantee Jackson will be ready for Sunday’s game.”
O’Neil also offers “three things we learned” from the loss to the Browns, including: “The growing pains aren’t over: So you thought the Seahawks turned a corner, huh? You believed the last game and a half constituted the Great Leap Forward as the Seahawks scored a total of 57 points. Well, that wasn’t a step backward in Cleveland or a stumble, but a full blown face plant. Seattle gained 137 yards, the second fewest of any game going back to the start of the 2001 season. Ouch. The offensive line that had shown so much improvement gave up another three sacks in the first half, and rookie James Carpenter was penalized twice for false starts. For all the promise Seattle showed in the second half against Atlanta and its victory at New York, Sunday’s game showed Seattle still has a long way to go.”
There’s also “three things we already knew,” including: “Red Bryant is the most important single comment of this defense. He is the strongest player on Seattle’s defense and the biggest reason the Seahawks have been so rugged against the run. The fact that he was able to block not one field-goal attempt, but two, is further testament to his size and significance. Seattle suffered injuries across its defensive line last season, but it was the loss of Bryant in the first half of Game 7 that took the biggest toll. A free agent at the end of the season, his importance to this defense is no longer a question.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers “silver linings” from the Seahawks’ loss to the Browns on Sunday, including: “Seattle’s defense held the Browns to six points and 298 yards even though its offense held the ball for only 17 minutes.”
Dave Boling at the News Tribune also weighs in on the quarterback situation. Says Boling: “True enough. Injuries kept running back Marshawn Lynch, tight end Zach Miller and center Max Unger from playing. Add those guys to the offense and the Seahawks might have been able to crack double figures in scoring. But their absence did not alter the validity of critical assessments of Whitehurst’s efforts on plays when he did have time to throw, and when receivers did manage to shake free.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald runs through the Seahawks’ lengthy injury list, including cornerback Walter Thurmond needing surgery on the ankle he broke in Sunday’s game. Says Boyle: “And while Thurmond’s injury is the most serious, it is hardly the only one that affected the Seahawks in Sunday’s loss. Seattle went to Cleveland knowing it would be without quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), tight end Zach Miller (concussion) and center Max Unger (foot), then lost Marshawn Lynch just before the game when he had a flare up of back spasms during pregame warm ups.”
Also at the Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “The Game of My Life” series with a look at Eugene Robinson. Says Robinson: “The game I remember the best isn’t a game we won or a game of much significance for the team, but it was the game when I made my biggest hit when I really needed to. Before the season, Coach Chuck Knox wanted to go in a different direction, so he traded for a safety named Johnnie Johnson, who he knew from the Rams. He wanted him to play free safety. Incidentally, I had to do a lot of praying for Coach and a lot of praying for myself so I wouldn’t have a bitter attitude. But I was pretty hot. My wife kept reminding me to pray, to pray for Coach Knox. I was angry, and I took it personally, so there was a lot of prayer that year. In the end, I took my frustration out on Keith Jackson.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the haunting elements of Sunday’s loss in our “Monday Metatarsal Musings,” offering: “The list of plays the Seahawks didn’t make, and allowed the Browns to make, could be turned into a miniseries. Those plays were the difference between being 3-3 and riding the emotional wave that would have come with winning three of their past four games, and being 2-4 and wondering how to right everything that went wrong on Sunday.”
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 24:
Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil writes that it was stunning that the 6-3 game remained that close with the way the Seahawks offense played. Offers O’Neil: “That Seattle had a chance was amazing considering just how poorly its offense played — which was skid-row, searching-for-loose-change poor. The Seahawks defense allowed just six points despite being on the field for almost 43 minutes, defensive lineman Red Bryant blocked two Cleveland field-goal attempts, and the Browns never got the ball inside the Seattle 30 until the final five minutes of the game.”
Also from O’Neil, a closer look at Bryant’s big day. Says O’Neil: “Bryant is at the heart of that defense, the biggest player on a rough-and-tumble front that is allowing 3.2 yards per carry, fewest of any defense in the league. He had three solo tackles against the Browns, hit McCoy twice and shared a sack. He also became the first Seahawk ever to block two field-goal attempts.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks the Seahawks’ offensive woes with four starters on the sideline against the Browns. Says Williams: “The Seattle Seahawks let a winnable game slip away in a gut-wrenching 6-3 loss to Cleveland at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday. The two teams combined for the fewest points in a game involving the Seahawks in team history.”
Williams also looks at Bryant’s contrasting afternoon, offering: “He’s one of the inspirational leaders of the defense and sets the tone for Seattle’s stingy defensive line. But on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, burly defensive end Red Bryant made his presence known in a different capacity. On special teams. The 6-foot-4, 323-pounder blocked Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson’s attempts from 48 and 24 yards, the last one giving Seattle one last chance in the fourth quarter to win the game.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at all the things in the loss to the Browns that will haunt the Seahawks. As Whitehurst put it: “It’s extremely disappointing. In the end, we lost a game that was there to take.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has a wrap-up of the Seahawks’ loss. He’s what he liked: “Red Bryant blocked two field goal attempts. Leon Washington provided an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown, negated only by a questionable penalty for an illegal block in the back. The plays from Bryant and Washington were precisely what Seattle needed to stay competitive despite the horrible showing on offense. Strong safety Kam Chancellor continued to add a physical presence in the secondary, blitzing effectively and making players pay for carrying the ball downfield. He lifted Montario Hardesty off the ground and planted him on his back late in the game as Seattle held the Browns to a field goal attempt. Linebacker David Hawthorne played his best game of the season, making big hits and collecting an interception in the red zone. Defensive end Chris Clemons was disruptive, pressuring Browns quarterback Colt McCoy and roughing him up.”
For a look at what happened around the league in Week 7, there’s John Clayton’s “Last Call” at ESPN.com; Pete King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com; and Clark Judge’s “Judgements” at CBSSports.com.
CLEVELAND – A recap of the Seahawks’ 6-3 loss to the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Red Bryant. The performance of the Seahawks’ 323-pound defensive end ran the gamut – physically and emotionally. Bryant set a club record by blocking not one, but two field goals – the first of his four-year career. He split a sack with nickel back Kennard Cox and hit Browns QB Colt McCoy two other times. He deflected a pass. He had four tackles and was a disruptive and relentless presence that set up many others for his teammates.
Bryant also was ejected late in the fourth quarter after head-butting Browns tight end Alex Smith.
In the locker room, Bryant shared the credit for his blocks with teammates, and also shouldered full responsibility for the personal foul that was so out of character.
Bryant on the blocks: “ ‘Heater’ (David Hawthorne) did a great job of pushing. Raheem (Brock) did a great job hitting the tackle. (Anthony) Hargrove did a great job of getting up on his guy. Everybody did a great job. They made it possible for me to slide through there.”
His teammates must have done all that, and more, because a 6-foot-4, 323-pound man does not “slide” through a crack. It takes something closer to a crevasse.
Bryant on his ejection, which gave the Browns a first down on a third-and-7 play: “I lost my composure. I push a guy and get kicked out of the game. You never know what’s going to happen if we give the ball back to our offense. It was just a dumb move on my part. I take full responsibility for it.”
Bryant also got in one last shot at Smith, offering, “He was talking (trash) the whole game. He was taking cheap shots at me. That’s what guys do when they can’t block you. He did a great job of getting in my head. I should play smarter than that.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Special teams: Phil Dawson’s 53-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. It provided the margin of victory. It also was his second 50-plus kick of the game, as the Browns’ veteran kicker hit a 52-yarder in the second quarter. It was the first time in his career that Dawson had two 50-yarders in a game.
Offense: Sidney Rice’s contorted catch of a 38-yard pass from Charlie Whitehurst in the third quarter. Not for what it was – which was the longest offensive play of the game, by 19 yards; but for what it could have been – a touchdown. Rice was wide open along the sideline, but had to stop, retreat and twist his torso to make the catch. His momentum carried him out bounds at the Browns’ 9-yard line, rather than into the end zone.
“I was right there on the sideline waiting on it,” Rice said. “I caught it and turned and tried to scoot up for a couple more yards, as much as I could get.”
Defense: Free safety Earl Thomas’ flying deflection of a deep pass from McCoy to Greg Little near the Seahawks’ goal line in the second quarter. Again, not so much for what it did in the moment, but the bigger picture. Cornerback Walter Thurmond, who was covering Little on the play broke his fibula and will miss the rest of the season. It’s significant, squared, because Thurmond was starting on the left side after Marcus Trufant was placed on injured reserve last Monday with a disc problem in his back. With Thurmond out, rookie Richard Sherman took over.
One that wasn’t: Leon Washington’s 81-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter. The Seahawks’ return specialist did run from the Seahawks’ 19-yard line into the end zone, but the score was nullified because Cox was penalized for a push in the back. So Washington got credit for a 36-yard return on a play the Seahawks desperately needed – one that would have given them the victory.
“I looked back and I saw the flag, I should have felt a little better than that,” Washington said in the hallway outside the Seahawks’ locker room. “You get opportunities like that to help your team win a football game, you’re disappointed. … I haven’t seen the (play) yet. I’ll be interested to see it, to see what happened on the play.”
In addition to the loss of Thurmond, the Seahawks played without Marshawn Lynch after the team’s leading rusher got back spasms during pre-game warm-ups.
The Seahawks also played without quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), center Max Unger (foot) and tight the Zach Miller (neck/head).
Strong safety Kam Chancellor injured a knee, but returned and made a lift-and-slam tackle of Browns’ running back Montario Hardesty late in the fourth quarter.
Speaking of Chancellor, he had a sack among his eight tackles and also broke up a pass.
Hawthorne had a game-high 11 tackles, including a sack, and also intercepted a pass. He now has 40 tackles to regain the lead in his quest be the team’s leading tackler for the third consecutive season.
Defensive end Chris Clemons had two sacks, upping his team-leading total to six.
The Browns had huge edges in time of possession (42:56 to 17:04), third-down conversions (12 of 24 to 2 of 12), total plays (84 to 50) and total yards (298 to 137).
Whitehurst’s passer rating in his first start of the season was 35.0. He was 12 of 30 for 97 yards and threw an interception.
Doug Baldwin did not catch a pass, but continues to lead the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (330).
Jon Ryan averaged 50.1 yards on seven punts, with a net average of 42.4 and a long of 67 yards.
Washington was the team’s leading rusher (39 yards) and receiver (four catches).
YOU DON’T SAY
“We lost, so we’re going to take it hard. Yeah, (the defense) played, but we feel like we can bring even more. You’ve got to give the Browns some credit, but I’m proud of my guys, too.” – Bryant
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – A recap of the Seahawks’ 36-25 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Make that plural, and make it the entire Seahawks team. This was that kind of victory. The Seahawks won together, and almost gave this one away together. But in the end – and actually from start to finish – they persevered.
Or as an emotional Red Bryant put it in the locker room after the game, they showed resolve.
From rookie free agent wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who caught what proved to be the game-winning 27-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 remaining to cap an eight-catch, 136-yard performance; to backup QB Charlie Whitehurst, who threw that TD pass because Tarvaris Jackson had gone out with a strained right pectoral; to CFL refugee Brandon Browner, who intercepted an Eli Manning pass and returned it 94 yards for a TD to slap an exclamation point on the stunning upset; to wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who started because Mike Williams was out with a concussion and responded with a six-catch, 51-yard effort than included the Seahawks’ first TD; to on-this-second-or-third-chance linebacker Leroy Hill, who led an aggressive defensive effort with eight tackles; to somehow-still-underrated defensive end Chris Clemons, who had two sacks; to signed-off-the-street free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who flipped the momentum of the game by drilling and dropping Giants running back D.J. Ware in the end zone for a third-quarter safety that gave the Seahawks a 16-14 lead; to the oh-so-young safety tandem of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who combined for 10 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries; to second-year cornerback Walter Thurmond, who started because Marcus Trufant was out because with back spasms and had two crucial pass breakups; to frustrated running back Marshawn Lynch, who finally was provided enough room, and touches, to run for 98 yards and a TD.
You get the picture. This was that kind of victory. As left tackle Russell Okung said on the plane on the return flight to Seattle, “That’s who we are. That’s what this team is all about.”
Sunday, this team was all about winning a game over the 3-1 Giants on their home field – at a spot where they had been 1-11; on a coast where they rarely prevail.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: So many from which to choose in a game where Manning passed for 420 yards and three TDs and three different Seahawks scored touchdowns. But it’s impossible to overlook what proved to be the game-winning – the 27-yard TD pass from Whitehurst to Baldwin with roughly 2½ minutes left in a game that had so many rough edges.
The line gave Whitehurst the time he needed. The Giants somehow let Baldwin run free toward the goal line. The rest just became a part of Seahawks history.
Defense: Again, a lot of candidates. From Hargrove’s slam-bam safety, to Clemons’ fumble-forcing sack, to Thurmond’s forced fumble that was recovered by Chancellor, to Chancellor’s interception of Manning’s 39th and final pass. But, again, you pick off a pass and turn it into a pick-six when it appeared the Giants were about to score six, you get the nod. So Brandon Browner, come on down.
Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter. It came after Whitehurst had been sacked on third down. It gave the Seahawks a 19-14 lead. But, it also shed some light on why coach Pete Carroll decided to try a 61-yarder in the closing seconds of last week’s two-point loss to the Falcons. Hauschka’s 51-yarder was good by plenty. The laid-back dude’s got leg.
The biggest concern is Jackson’s right shoulder. He will have a MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury and how much time he might miss. The good news? The Seahawks have their bye next Sunday, so Jackson will have an extra week to rest and rehab.
Also, Hill strained a hamstring in the fourth quarter and did not return; Jameson Konz, who was just signed off the practice squad on Tuesday, sprained a knee; and tight end Zach Miller got a concussion when took a shot to the head on the game-opening drive.
Right guard John Moffitt and special-teamer Jeron Johnson left the field and were taken to the locker room, but each returned.
With his eight-catch, 136-yard day, Baldwin continues to lead the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (330). In fact, he’s on pace for a 64-catch, 1,056-yard season.
After scoring 13 first-half points in their first four games, the Seahawks had 14 against the Giants. They also scored on their first possession for the first time and put together two 80-yard drives – as many 80-plus drives as they had in their first four games.
After not being sacked in the previous six quarters, the Seahawks’ QBs went down six times – Jackson four and Whitehurst twice – against the Giants defense that now has 18 for the season.
The Seahawks had forced two turnovers in the first four games, but they had five against the Giants – the interceptions by Browner, Thomas and Chancellor; the fumble recoveries by Thomas and Chancellor.
Hill led the team in tackles for the second time this season, and in the past three games.
The Seahawks had season-high totals in total yards (424) rushing yards (145), plays (76) and, of course, points. But they still trailed in time of possession (28:46-31:14) for the fifth time in five games.
The defense has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher, and the Giants (69) became the third team that failed to get triple digits on the ground against them.
Manning is the first QB to pass for more than 300 yards against the Seahawks – or 400, as it was. But Victor Cruz (161) became the third receiver to catch passes for 100-plus yards against them, joining the Falcons’ Julio Jones (127) and Steelers’ Mike Wallace (126).
YOU DON’T SAY
“You don’t want to know. My brain was exploding right there. Because you knew that was the play that won the game. It takes a moment like that to turn things sometimes. I’ve seen it before, and I soon as I saw the ball get tipped and he put his hands on it I got that whole time to enjoy it. I don’t know how many seconds that took, but it seemed like an eternity. But it was just a frickin’ blast.” – Carroll when asked what was going through his mind as he watched Browner return his interception for a TD
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 4:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has “silver linings” from the Seahawks’ two-point loss to the Falcons on Sunday. Says Sando: “Coach Pete Carroll and staff again appeared to win the battle of halftime adjustments. The Seahawks have allowed 13 points in the second halves of their past three games. They have outscored their past two opponents, Arizona and Seattle, 28-6 after halftime. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan credited Seattle for figuring out how to stop the run in the second half.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times looks at Carroll’s theme for this week: Finding a way to start faster, especially on offense. Offers O’Neil: “The Seahawks offense has scored seven touchdowns so far this season, only one in the first half. The defense, meanwhile, has only allowed one touchdown in the second half. That shows a staying power that is surprising given Seattle’s utter inability to sustain an offense in the first half, which has left the defense on the field for too long. Against Atlanta on Sunday, the Falcons held the ball twice as long as the Seahawks in the first half.”
Dave Boling at the New Tribune writes on that same slow-starting topic. Says Boling: “Last season set the tone, when Carroll’s first Seahawks team was outscored 230-128 in first halves. But they’re nowhere near keeping it that competitive in the first four games of 2011, being outscored 67-13 in the first halves. Rallying to “win” the second halves 45-30 has left them 1-3.”
Also at the New Tribune, Eric Williams has the word on the knee injury Matt McCoy got early in Sunday’s game. Says Williams: “McCoy suffered the injury on the opening series of Sunday’s game against Atlanta while attempting to make a tackle on Seattle’s punt unit. The seven-year pro is one of Seattle’s top special teams players, and he also carved out a role for himself defensively as the Seahawks’ middle linebacker on obvious passing downs.”
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald continues his “The Game of My Life” series with former Seahawks nose tackle Joe Nash. Says Johnson: “Nash was the kind of player who didn’t put up big statistics or earn many awards. He was, quite simply, the kind of player that got the most out of his ability and made everyone around him better. And that was more than enough to keep him in the NFL for 15 productive seasons, a record of longevity among Seahawks. ‘You could always count on Joe,’ said former Seahawks coach Chuck Knox. ‘He anchored that line for a long time.’ “
Christian Caple at PI.com has Carroll’s reaction to the reaction of him deciding to go for a 61-yard field goal at the end of Sunday’s game. Says Carroll: “So we took a shot at capturing the moment to win the football game right there following a great comeback, and unfortunately it didn’t happen. I’m fine about it. I knew clearly what I wanted to do at the time and went for it and I’m not looking back at it.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got some numbers to go with all the words about the Seahawks’ slow starts in their first four games: “The Seahawks have averaged 3.3 points and 96 yards in the first half; compared to 11.3 and 158 in the second half. The Seahawks have allowed averages of 16.8 points and 197.5 yards in the first half; compared to 7.5 points and 144 yards in the second half.”
The Seahawks returned home to play their first regular season game at the renamed CenturyLink Field, hoping to turn around an 0-2 start to the season.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 19:
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times was in Pittsburgh to chronicle the Seahawks’ pointless effort against the Steelers on Sunday. Offers O’Neil: “The defeat wasn’t a surprise. Seattle was a bigger underdog than it had been in any game since 1992. It was the spectacularly one-sided nature of this loss that stood out. The Seahawks had not failed to score in a game since Oct. 7, 2007 — the last time they played in Pittsburgh. ‘That’s embarrassing,’ quarterback Tarvaris Jackson said. ‘We just didn’t show up as an offense.’ ”
Jerry Brewer of the Times examines that offense. Says Brewer: “The offense is operating at an elementary level. The Seahawks have to focus so much on protecting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson — they used skill-position players to assist the offensive linemen on too many plays in this game — that they can’t attack the defense in a sophisticated fashion. They can’t stay on the field long enough to develop any rhythm. They can’t run the ball, and even when Jackson has time, receivers either aren’t open or the quarterback is too reluctant to make throws in tight spaces.”
Also from O’Neil, a look at Brandon Browner, the Seahawks’ extra-large, extra-physical cornerback who was targeted in the game – by the Steelers and the officials. Says O’Neil: “He plays press coverage exclusively, but Pittsburgh’s speedy receivers sometimes kept him from getting his hands on them. About midway through the second quarter, it became clear (Ben) Roethlisberger was looking for Browner, believing there would be an open receiver in the area.”
Eric Williams of the News Tribune also came to an obvious conclusion: “The Steelers – 141/2-point favorites heading into this contest – predictably dominated all phases of the game.”
Williams also has the latest word on Sidney Rice, the wide receiver who has yet to play because of a sore injury. Said coach Pete Carroll: “We just need to see if he continues to respond. He’s got a sore shoulder now, and we’ve got to make sure he’s right before we put him back. He’s got some damage in his shoulder. And we’re trying to figure out how he can come back. … The labrum issues are all different. And he’s responding very well. So we need to see if he’s ready to go.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has a wrap-up of the Seahawks’ effort. What does it mean? Says Sando: “The Seahawks have yet to get their offense going after two games against teams with strong defenses. They take a 0-2 record into their home opener against Arizona. Since the NFL expanded to 12 playoff teams in 1990, only 22 of 177 teams starting 0-2 have qualified for postseason. That stat might mean less in the NFC West after the 2010 Seahawks became the first team with a losing record to win its division.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got a look at the frustration that followed Sunday’s loss. Said defensive end Red Bryant: “It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating. I feel like the defense was fighting extremely hard. But to allow them to go out there and dictate to us what the tempo was going to be, it was very frustrating. I don’t know what else to say, we’re frustrated. I’m frustrated.”
For recaps of the second Sunday in this NFL season, there’s Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com; John Clayton’s “Last Call” at ESPN.com; and Clark Judge’s “Judgements” at CBSSports.com.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 10:
At the Everett Herald, Scott Johnson continues his “The Game of My Life” series with a look at Kenny Easley’s performance in the upset of the Dolphins in 1983 that got the Seahawks to the AFC Championship game. Says Easley: “It wasn’t a memorable game in that I did anything particularly special in it. In fact, looking at film, I didn’t play particularly well. But the win over the Miami Dolphins in an AFC divisional playoff game was the most memorable game of my career.”
Also at the Herald, John Boyle wraps up his four-part series previewing the 2011 season with a look at the NFC West. Boyle on the Seahawks: “This looks like a team with a bright future, but it could be a challenge for the Seahawks to play well right away. A tough schedule early will only make the growing pains more difficult for a young offensive line and new quarterback. But if the Seahawks can be near .500 at the halfway point of the season, they could contend for a second straight division title in what should again be a down NFC West.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the injury rundown, with wide receiver Sidney Rice and left guard Robert Gallery listed as doubtful for Sunday’s opener against the 49ers. With Gallery not likely to play, the young offensive line only gets younger. Says coach Pete Carroll: “We’re just young. That’s what it is. I’m thrilled about that. In one way to look at it, if these guys can go out there and play NFL football this early and if we can hold up and start growing, we’re going to get way better.”
Eric Williams of the News Tribune also looks at the line shuffle with Gallery hobbled, which has right tackle James Carpenter moving to left guard and Breno Giacomini stepping in at right tackle. Says Williams: “The more things change, the more things stay the same for the Seattle Seahawks. For the fourth consecutive year, the Seahawks will open the season with a different starting offensive line than the projected unit they had penciled in at the beginning of training camp.”
Christian Caple at PI.com also has the injury report, including this on Rice: “Then there’s Rice, who did some running at practice but also is a long-shot for Sunday. ‘He’s doubtful going into the game as well,’ Carroll said. ‘He ran around, caught balls and all that stuff. We need to protect him, take care of him, so likely he won’t play.’ ”
And speaking of injuries, Mike Sando at ESPN.com has a list of the players each team cannot afford to lose. His choices for the Seahawks: Red Bryant, Russell Okung and Chris Clemons. Sando on Bryant: “Opposing coaches tend to take special notice of Bryant’s massive frame when discussing the Seahawks’ defense. ‘He weighs around 330 and looks every bit of it,’ 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said this week. It’s an exaggeration to say the Seahawks go from very strong against the run to utterly helpless when Bryant isn’t available. It’s only a slight exaggeration, however. Bryant combines surprising quickness over short distances with sheer size to make running against Seattle difficult. The run defense collapsed without him in 2010.”
Sando also has “The Final Word” on the division heading into the opening weekend. One is a look at “The world’s tallest cornerback”: “Seahawks coach Pete Carroll emerged from the laboratory this offseason with something I cannot recall seeing at any level of football: a 6-foot-4 cornerback. Brandon Browner, late of the CFL, is expected to make his first NFL start against San Francisco. Seeing him lined up at corner takes some getting used to. Early in camp, teammates initially thought he was a safety and Carroll was testing out some weird new scheme. ‘When they said he was a corner, I thought maybe now they wanted to go with a ‘created’ player,’ receiver Ben Obomanu said. ‘I have a little cousin who plays NCAA and Madden football. He always creates these 6-7, 6-6 corners. I was like, ‘Well, coach Carroll is trying something new.’ But when I saw him play, I could see he has been playing corner a long time.’ Browner is a player to watch in Week 1.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we remember 9/11 through the memories of Raheem Brock, Marcus Trufant, David Hawthorne and Carl Smith. Says Brock, who was a student at Temple University on that day which lives in infamy: “It looked crazy, like you’d never think you’d see anything like that. It was a tough time.” We’ve also got Friday’s practice covered in words and video, and yes, there’s plenty of info about the injured players and who likely will replace them.
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Captains. The players voted on the captains for the season today, and coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have agreed more with the selections of cornerback Marcus Trufant (defense), quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (offense) and kick returner Leon Washington and fullback Michael Robinson (special teams).
“I’m real proud of those guys for taking a leadership position for us,” Carroll said after the team’s bonus Labor Day practice to start preparing for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
“Those are great guys to put out front. It’s been obvious to why these guys would choose those guys.”
Trufant, Washington and Robinson were with the team last season, but Jackson was signed in free agency and didn’t even start practicing with team until Aug. 4. So his selection was especially pleasing to Carroll.
“It’s obvious that that’s who they wanted to be their leader,” Carroll said. “I’m pleased with all the choices, of course.”
The survivors. What else would you call the remaining 10 players from the roster that Carroll inherited 19 months ago? And when you look at just who they are, it’s understandable why they’re still around.
Trufant – The longest tenured Seahawk was a first-round draft choice in 2003 and has started 119 games the past eight seasons. He started all 16 games last season for the fifth time in his career and finished fourth on the team with 80 tackles.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne – He made the team as a rookie free agent in 2008 and has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, last year while playing on the weak side and in 2009 while playing in the middle. This season, he’s back in the middle – replacing Lofa Tatupu, who was released in late July.
Punter Jon Ryan – Signed as a free agent one game into the 2008 season, Ryan already has set the franchise single-season record for average (46.2 yards in 2009) and tied the mark for net average (38.7 in ’09).
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane – A third-round draft in 2007, Mebane has started since his rookie season – registering career highs in tackles (49) in 2009 and sacks (5½) in 2008. But this year he moves to nose tackle.
Linebacker Aaron Curry – The fourth pick overall in 2009 draft, Curry has found his niche on the strong side after the previous coaching staff tried him as a pass-rusher. He had career highs in tackles (70) and sacks (3½) last season.
Linebacker Leroy Hill – A third-round pick in 2005, Hill returns after missing just about all of last season and nine games in 2008 and 2009. He is starting on the weak side, and looking like the player who collected 7½ sacks as a rookie and a career-high 92 tackles in 2006.
Defensive end Red Bryant – A fourth-round pick in 2008, the little-used D-tackle was moved to the five-technique end spot in Carroll’s defense last season. Bryant was a force against the run before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Week 8 loss to the Raiders.
Center Max Unger – A second-round draft choice in 2009, Unger missed almost all of last season with a toe injury that required surgery and he started 13 games at right guard as a rookie. But he’s back at center, the position he played at Oregon, on the Seahawks’ new-look line.
Running back Justin Forsett – A seventh-round draft choice in 2008, Forsett went to the Colts briefly as a rookie when the Seahawks released him with the plan to sign him to the practice squad. But the jack-of-all-skills back is back and figures prominently in the back-by-committee approach to the running game. He averaged 4.4 yards on 118 carries last season.
Wide receiver Ben Obomanu – A seventh-round draft choice in 2006, Obomanu has developed from perennial bubble player to one of glue performers on offense as well as special teams. He started six games last season and had a career-high 30 receptions for a 16.5-yard average and four touchdowns. He also had a dozen special teams tackles in 2009.
IN AND OUT
Four starters did not practice – running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), left guard Robert Gallery (knee) and Hawthorne (knee). Carroll said Lynch and Hawthorne will practice on Wednesday, but he labeled Gallery day-to-day because of the knee he sprained in Friday’s game against the Raiders and said the decision on whether Rice plays on Sunday will be made later in the week.
Rookie James Carpenter got some work at left guard for Gallery, with Breno Giacomini working at right tackle with the No. 1 line. Carroll said the move of Carpenter to guard was “developing all the flexibility you can.”
Forsett got the first-team reps for Lynch; Obomanu worked in Rice’s spot; and rookie K.J. Wright continued to sub for Hawthorne. Wright was the team’s leading tackler in the preseason with 16.
Left tackle Russell Okung participated in every phase of practice and will play against the 49ers for the first time since spraining an ankle in the preseason opener.
Three of newest Seahawks also practiced – kicker Steven Hauschka and defensive tackles Al Woods and Landon Cohen. Offensive tackle Jarriel King (ankle) sat out. All four were claimed off waivers on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, who was placed on injured reserve on the cut to 53, will have surgery to repair the knee he damaged against the Raiders, Carroll said. Also, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback, who also was placed on IR, no longer is with the team.
The final two spots on the eight-man practice squad were filled by running back Vai Taua and cornerback Ron Parker. Both players had been with the team in camp.
The players are off Tuesday and then return Wednesday for the start of the first week of the regular season in preparation for Sunday’s opener. The Seahawks opened their 2010 season at home with a 31-6 victory over the 49ers.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I don’t feel like we’re selling anymore. I feel like we’re in agreement and we’re putting it to the test. The conversation today talking about the upcoming season with the players, it’s a familiar conversation for these guys now. They know kind of what I’m going to say and where I’m coming from. I just solidify and reinforce the message. They come out and work really hard every time we go, and that’s the testament to whether they’re in or not.” – Carroll, who spent much of his first season as coach “selling” his philosophy