Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 10:

FOCUS ON

Tarvaris Jackson. The saga of the Seahawks’ sore-shouldered quarterback continued today, as Jackson participated in every phase of practice after being limited on Wednesday.

Jackson is expected to start Sunday’s game against the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field despite the strained pectoral in his throwing shoulder he got in the Week 5 upset of the New York Giants.

“I wasn’t as sore today,” Jackson said. “You still want to be careful. You don’t want to aggravate it to the point where I have to sit out tomorrow. You want to be able to get as much done today and be able to practice again tomorrow and I’ll probably just rest up Saturday.”

Jackson also had an in-and-out week of practice last week, but started against the Dallas Cowboys and threw three interceptions in the 23-13 loss. He was rough on himself after the game, and hadn’t altered his opinion four days later.

“I felt real bad after the Dallas game. I felt like it was my fault,” he said today. “If I had done a better job of taking care of the football …”

Jackson’s voice trailed off before he added, “I just try to tell myself we’ve got eight more games; it’s a whole new season and I’ll just try to start over. I’ll try to do what I can to help this team go undefeated the second half.”

Tall order, what with the Ravens coming to town. Their No. 2-ranked defense has produced 26 sacks – twice as many as the Seahawks – from 13 different players; and 18 turnovers, with only four teams in the league having more.

The metronome by which the Ravens’ defense beats is supplied by the over-the-top intensity of 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis, and his teammates have taken on his personality.

“Yeah, it’s always been like that,” Jackson said. “That’s what you expect from those guys. They try to bully you and come and try to hit you in the mouth.

“Like my coaches have said the whole week, ‘What more could you ask for? You know what you’re going to get.’ So we’ve just got to be prepared for it. It’s going to be fun.”

PLAYER WATCH

Robert Gallery. Not the Robert Gallery who is playing left guard for the Seahawks, but the one who was an outstanding offensive lineman at the University of Iowa.

In this week’s issue that commemorates the 125 years that The Sporting News has been publishing, they selected a series of All-125th Teams, including one for college football. Gallery made the third unit. Fifteen offensive linemen from the entire history of college football, and he’s one of them.

“I kind of forgot about college,” said Gallery, who entered the NFL in 2004 as a first-round draft choice of the Raiders. “But it’s definitely a cool deal, because obviously there have been a lot of players over the 125 years.”

Gallery just as obviously was a very good player, as his status as the second pick overall in the ’04 draft indicates. But does he remember being that good?

“You know how it is. You never think you’re as good as you are sometimes, or what other people think of you,” he said. “But I remember college was great. Had a lot of success. So this is pretty awesome.”

The first-team line included Orlando Pace, John Hannah, Dave Rimington, Ron Yary and Bill Fralic. On the second team were Joe Thomas, Jim Parker, Dwight Stephenson, Jonathan Ogden and Dan Dierdorf. Joining Gallery on the third team were Dean Steinkuhler, Art Shell, Merlin Olsen and Kurt Burris.

IN ’N OUT

Wide receiver Sidney Rice and tight end Cameron Morrah returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday.

Here’s the official injury report:

Did not practice

LB David Vobora (concussion)

Limited in practice

WR Sidney Rice (foot)

TE Cameron Morrah (toe/knee)

Full participation

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

For the Ravens:

Did not practice

S Ed Reed (shoulder)

LB Terrell Suggs (knee)

RB Anthony Allen (thigh)

Limited in practice

LB Brandon Ayanbadejo (head)

LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)

WR Lee Evans (ankle)

TE Kris Wilson (calf)

Full participation

C Matt Birk (neck)

STAT DU JOUR

Doug Baldwin (28) and Sidney Rice (27) are the Seahawks’ leading receivers because they’ve been targeted more often than the rest of the receivers on the team. Here’s a look at who has had the most passes thrown their way in the first half of the season:

Player (receptions)       Targets

Sidney Rice (27)               48

Doug Baldwin (28)          44

Ben Obomanu (23)         36

Justin Forsett (13)           21

Mike Williams (12)          21

Zach Miller (11)               20

Marshawn Lynch (12)    19

Golden Tate (11)             19

Anthony McCoy (9)         18

Leon Washington (8)      12

Cameron Morrah (4)        8

Michael Robinson (2)       4

Kris Durham (4)                 3

Receivers have been double-digit targets three times: Rice, 14 and 10; and Obomanu, 10.

UP NEXT

The players will practice Friday morning, their final full workout before Sunday’s game.

Fans attending the game are asked to donate non-perishable food items to the Seahawks’ annual Tackle Hunger drive. Bins will be set up at each entrance to CenturyLink Field to accept the donations.

Tickets are available for Sunday’s game and can be purchased here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“That’s disappointing. We’d like to get more. I know in our third-down situations the last couple years, we’ve had situations where we’ve had longer yardage. … But that’s no excuse. We still need to have more than what we have.” – defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on the team’s total of 13 sacks


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Cyber surfing: Thursday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 10:

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. has his Midseason Top 50 at ESPN.com, and look who checks in at No. 37: Chris Clemons. Perhaps all our shouting about just how well Clemons is playing has worked; someone has noticed what the Seahawks’ “Leo” defensive end is doing. Says Williamson: “Some of you might not know about Clemons, but he is a terrific player. He has had a huge impact since joining the Seahawks, but few get to see it on a regular basis across the country.”

The Seahawks safety tandem of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and center Max Unger did not make Williamson’s list of Top Rising Stars, but they did warrant mention in “others of note.”

Also at ESPN.com, Mike Sando examines the Seahawks quarterback situation in his weekly LuckWatch, starting with the offseason signing of Tarvaris Jackson: “The move told us the Seahawks were serious about drafting a quarterback in 2012, whether it’s Andrew Luck or another prospect likely to be chosen early. Saying so outright would have sent the wrong message to fans and the current team, of course, but a $4 million bet on Jackson wasn’t much of a bet at all.”

Sando also has his Midseason MVPs for each of the teams in the NFC West, and a certain defensive end is the selection for the Seahawks: “This was a tough call because free safety Earl Thomas carries quite a bit of value, too. Clemons stands as the best pass-rusher on a team that needs more of them. His toughness in playing well through injuries has commanded respect from teammates. Clemons remains on pace for his second consecutive season with double-digit sacks. Michael Sinclair was the last Seahawks player with at least 10 sacks in consecutive seasons. He accomplished the feat back in 1997-98. Jacob Green did it twice in the 1980s.”   

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times looks at the Seahawks’ slow-starting offense as the team heads into the second half of its season: “The Seahawks have scored fewer than 20 points six times, have yet to hold a halftime lead, and in the past three games Seattle has more penalties (29) than points (28). Looking for a bright side? Well, you’re going to have to wait for it. ‘We’re coming around,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘and we can see it. The change is happening right before our eyes. So we just have to demonstrate a patience in the sense, in an impatient world, that allows us to make the right decisions and stick with the stuff that we’re doing.’ ”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at left guard Robert Gallery, one member of that slow-starting offense: “I’m definitely not where I want to be,” Gallery said. “But that’s football. Every week you’re going to have something that you need to get better at. Obviously, I’d like to be winning more games, as everybody would. And there’s a ton of areas to improve. I’ve got a couple games under my belt after the injury. And obviously you can always play better. You’re never going to be playing great. You can’t have penalties and those sorts of things. I’m not where I want to be. But that’s the NFL, and you have to come back the next week and do the things you know you can do.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks tight end Zach Miller, another member of that slow-starting offense: “Miller is the Seahawks best pass-catching tight end, but he also happens to be their best blocking tight end. That often has meant a more active role in the passing game for backup Anthony McCoy than for Miller, but despite having no catches in two of his past three games, Miller won’t complain about his lack of catches.”

Dave Boling at the New Tribune looks at the other side of the ball, and two players who are difficult to miss because of their size at a position where it’s valued, cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman: “Sherman is a rookie, and Browner is essentially an NFL rookie, so mistakes and miscues can be expected. But Sherman has been responsible for three opponent turnovers in the past two games, and Browner set a franchise record with a 94-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win over the New York Giants.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at Marshawn Lynch, and someone else who also has noticed his “violent” running style: “Marshawn Lynch has a big fan in Baltimore. Turns out, it’s John Harbaugh. The Ravens’ coach was asked Wednesday about this week’s game against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field and his effusive praise for Lynch went beyond the usual platitudes served up by opposing coaches.”

We’ve also got a look at Wednesday’s practice, including the return of wide receiver Deon Butler to the 53-man roster, in words, pictures and video.

It’s worth another trip to ESPN.com to get John Clayton’s midseason grades for all 32 teams. The “Professor” is not too kind to the Seahawks, but they did get the second-best grade in the NFC West.


Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 25:

FOCUS ON

Robert Gallery. The veteran left guard who was signed in free agency didn’t just return to the starting lineup in Sunday’s game against the Browns in Cleveland, he looked like a different player.

More active. More agile. More physical.

“Robert looked good,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We noticed it during the week. I thought he was better than he was a month ago.”

That’s when Gallery had surgery to repair a groin injury, a procedure that forced him to miss three games and the team’s bye-week practices. If his performance against the Browns was any indication, the wait to get him back was worth it.

“He had an existing issue that … was hampering him and he was playing through it,” Carroll said, before repeating, “He looked better.

“He looked quicker and looked flexible, and for his first time playing in five weeks he played well. He came out (of the game) OK, to, so that’s good for us.”

STAT DU JOUR

Chris Clemons had a career-high 11 sacks in his first season with the Seahawks and the “Leo” defensive end leads the team again with six sacks in six games this season. Those 17 sacks put Clemons at No. 7 for the most in the league since the start of last season. Here’s the Top 10:

Player, team                                     Sacks

LB DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys        23.5

DE Jared Allen, Vikings                    22.5

DE Jason Babin, Titans/Eagles       19.5

LB Cameron Wake, Dolphins         19.0

LB Tamba Hali, Chiefs                     18.5

DE Charles Johnson, Panthers       17.5

DE Chris Clemons, Seahawks         17.0

LB LaMarr Woodley, Steelers        17.0

LB Clay Matthews, Packers            16.5

DE Osi Umenyiora, Giants              16.5

Ware, Allen, Babin, Wake, Woodley and Matthews were voted to the Pro Bowl either last season or in 2009 – or both.

PRO BOWL BALLOTING

Speaking of the Pro Bowl and Clemons, fan voting for this season has begun at NFL.com. You can cast your vote here.

UP NEXT

The players return from their “off” day on Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field. Wednesday’s practice will be pivotal for several players who are trying to return from injuries: quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), center Max Unger (foot), running back Marshawn Lynch (back) and cornerback Roy Lewis (knee).

YOU DON’T SAY

“He’s a backup is what he is. Josh has a long way to go. We really like the progress he’s made and all, but he’s not close to being ready to push for the job. He’ll be a backup going into the game and we wouldn’t hesitate using him if we had to use him – we’d run the offense in a limited fashion – because he’s an exciting player. But he just has not had the background to catch up yet.” – Carroll when asked if No. 3 QB Josh Portis was a viable factor this week if Jackson cannot play


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Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 20:

FOCUS ON

The run defense. Anyway you stack the stats, the Seahawks have been doing a good job of stopping the run. Entering Sunday’s game against the Browns in Cleveland, they are allowing 3.1 yards per carry to lead the NFL and rank seventh is average yards allowed per game (97.8).

Asked after practice which statistic he values more, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley laughed and offered, “Which one is better?”

That per-carry average, obviously. In fact, only four other teams in the league are allowing 3.5 yards per carry or less – the Cowboys, Ravens and Bills at 3.3; and the Packers at 3.5.

“It’s an emphasis for us to stop the run and we feel like if we can get them one-dimensional then we can have a better chance of defending them,” Bradley said. “I know everybody says it, but we really mean it – everything that we design or come up with and our base principles are all about keeping good leverage, tackling, let’s stop the run and make them one-dimensional.”

Better that talking about it, or even emphasizing it, is that the Seahawks have been doing it.

They allowed 85 rushing yards and a 2.7-yard average to Frank Gore and the 49ers in their opener. The next week, it was 124 yards and a 3.5-yard average in the shutout loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. In their home opener, it was 90 yards and a 3.2-yard average to the Cardinals. The next week, it was 121 yards and a 3.4-yard average against the Falcons. In their pre-bye week upset of the Giants in the Meadowlands, the Seahawks allowed 69 rushing yards and a 2.8-yard average.

“So it’s been good, and a big part of that is the front four,” Bradley added of the Todd Wash-coached line of Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Alan Branch and Chris Clemons.

“They’ve been great for us, and the linebackers are stepping in. … So we’ve always got to be able to stop the run and make them one-dimensional.”

PLAYER WATCH

Charlie Whitehurst. The Seahawks’ backup QB continued to get the starter’s reps during the 105-minute practice, because Tarvaris Jackson is recovering from the strained pectoral that knocked him out the Giants game in the third quarter.

Jackson was able to do more today than he did on Wednesday, but will have to do even more if he’s going to play against the Browns.

“That’s the way I’m approaching it,” Whitehurst said when asked he was preparing as if he’ll be the starter. “I’m ready to play, and if it’s not me on Sunday then I’ll be ready to play on the second snap.

“We’ll see what happens with who’s under center, but I’m confident that if my number’s called I can perform.”

NUMBER, PLEASE

Linebacker Heath Farwell, who was just signed on Wednesday, as switched to No. 55 after wearing 44 in his first practice. Practice-squad linebacker Michael Morgan, who was No. 55, is now wearing No. 48.

IN ’N OUT

There was no change in the Seahawks’ injury report from Wednesday.

Did not practice

TE Zach Miller (neck/head)

C Max Unger (foot)

Limited participation

QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)

Full participation

OG Robert Gallery (groin)

RB Marshawn Lynch (ankle)

LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)

WR Mike Williams (concussion)

But there was a difference in what a couple of these players did in practice. Jackson threw passes early in the non-contact drills – including a couple of 25-yarders. Gallery, meanwhile, got most of the reps at left guard after splitting time with Paul McQuistan on Wednesday.

For the Browns:

Did not practice

LB Scott Fujita (head)

CB Joe Haden (knee)

OL Artis Hicks (back)

RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring)

DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring)

DB Buster Skrine (hip)

Limited participation

OL Alex Mack (illness)

OL Tony Pashos (ankle)

Full participation

LB Titus Brown (ankle)

WR Josh Cribbs (knee)

TE Evan Moore (ankle)

STAT DU JOUR

Sunday’s game features two of the league’s most productive rookie receivers in the Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin and the Browns’ Greg Little. Here’s a look at where they fit in the Top 5:

Player, team No. Yds. Avg. TD

A.J. Green, Bengals 29 453 15.6 4

Julio Jones, Falcons 25 358 14.3 0

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks 20 330 16.5 2

Greg Little, Browns 20 203 10.2 0

Dane Sanzenbacher, Bears 17 135 7.9 2

While Green and Jones were the fourth and sixth picks in the first round of the April NFL Draft and Little was a second-round selections, Baldwin and Sanzenbacher are undrafted free agents.

Also, the Seahawks already have faced Jones and will face Green next week and Sanzenbacher in Week 15.

UP NEXT

The players will practice Friday before the team flies to Cleveland for Sunday’s game. This will be the Seahawks’ second consecutive game in the Eastern time zone. They have won in the Eastern time zone in consecutive games three times in franchise history – the last coming in 1995.

YOU DON’T SAY

“While we’re doing this, would you please introduce yourself – who’s speaking, who’s asking the question – so I know who to be mad at.” – Mike Holmgren, the Seahawks’ former coach and now president of the Browns, at the start of a conference-call interview; which drew eruptive laugher from the reporters in the room


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Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 19:

FOCUS ON

Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks continued to prepare Charlie Whitehurst to start at quarterback in Sunday’s post-bye week game against the Browns in Cleveland. But Jackson also continues his rapid recovery from the strained pectoral that knocked him out of the pre-bye week victory over the New York Giants.

Jackson not only was in uniform for today’s 95-minute practice, he was handing off during the run-drill period.

“The trainers and the doctors are really surprised that he’s able to do what he’s doing,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s really tough-minded. He’s just not wavering with this at all. It’s like he’s going to handle it.

“He’s very consistent in his character and his personality and you can see it’s coming out here in his attempt to rehab it, too. He’s going to be very tough on himself and very demanding. He’s not going to be knocked off course because he’s got a little something he’s dealing with.”

And what does Carroll need to see before getting Jackson back on course to return to the lineup?

“Obviously, we want to see him throw. He can run. He’s fine doing all that stuff,” Carroll said. “But we’ll need to see him throw the football competitively, where he can fire it around like he does. How long we wait during the week to find that out … we might go all the way to game time to understand whether he’ll be available to us.”

Until then, Whitehurst is running the offense in practice.

“I’m not impatient about it,” Carroll said. “In the meantime, Charlie is getting ready to play.”

PLAYER WATCH

Heath Farwell. Tuesday, the linebacker and special teams standout was taking care of his 8-week-old son, Brock. Wednesday, he worked out for the Seahawks in the morning, signed a contract and then took part in both the late morning walk-thru and afternoon practice.

“It’s a whirlwind, but that’s life in the NFL,” said Farwell, who got a call from Seahawks on Tuesday after the club worked out six other linebackers on Monday. “It’s a great opportunity and I’m ready to help out in any way I can to help this team win.

“I’m excited to play. You sit around and watch games on TV and you get hungry.”

Farwell signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a rookie free agent in 2005, part of a linebacker class from San Diego State that also included Matt McCoy, who is on the Seahawks’ injured reserve list; and Kirk Morrison of the Buffalo Bills. Farwell was voted to the Pro Bowl as the NFC special teams player in 2009, but the Vikings released him in September.

“I’ve been working out,” Farwell said. “But I’ve also got an 8-week-old at home, so I’ve been working at home. My wife put me to work.”

CAPTAIN, MY CAPTIAN

Carroll was asked for the second time this week is he intended to name another defensive captain because cornerback Marcus Trufant has been placed on injured reserve because of disc problem in his back.

“I don’t think it’s the kind of situation where we should take a vote. Tru is our captain,” Carroll said. “He was voted for this season and he remains our captain even though he can’t be there all the time. He’ll be around us.

“We already talked about that (on Monday). Our young guys in the secondary rely on him quite a bit and as much as we can keep him around and with them as they go through the process of the season and the game plans and dealing with the issues and all, he needs to be a voice for those guys. He’s a big part of it.”

 

OPPONENT WATCH

Greg Little. The rookie wide receiver is doing a lot for the Browns, as in leading the team in receptions. His development has been a gradual process in this season that followed the lack of an offseason and a hurry-up approach to the preseason.

“He kind of came to training camp as, I would call him, a true rookie,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said today. “He battled through training camp and there was some inconsistency that you see with young players. The first quarter of the year, they found a way to get some production and then after the bye basically just started him.

“What I see from him is a guy that is improving each day. I wouldn’t even say each week. I would say he’s improving each day. I see things about him that are better.”

Little starts at split end, but also will move into the slot in the three- and four-receiver packages. At 6 feet 2, 220 pounds, Little can create some big matchup problems.

“He’s a big target,” Shurmur said. “He’s got excellent ball skills. He’s a good player that’s improving.”

IN ’N OUT

Left guard Robert Gallery returned to practice for the first time since getting a groin injury that required surgery in the Week 2 loss to the Steelers. But center Max Unger continued to sit out because of a foot injury and was replaced by Lemuel Jeanpierre.

Also sitting out was tight end Zach Miller (head/neck). But running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) participated fully.

Cornerback Roy Lewis, tight end Cameron Morrah and wide receiver Deon Butler, who have been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp opened, practiced for the first time. Lewis got some work as the nickel back in the No. 1 defense and also took reps at cornerback with the No. 2 unit. Morrah and Butler also worked with both units on offense.

“I’m happy for those guys. They’re been working hard to get here,” Carroll said. “We’ll ease those guys into it.”

For the Browns:

Did not practice

LB Scott Fujita (head)

CB Joe Haden (knee)

OL Artis Hicks (back)

RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring)

DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring)

Limited participation

OL Alex Mack (illness)

OL Tony Pashos (ankle)

Full participation

LB Titus Brown (ankle)

WR Josh Cribbs (knee)

TE Evan Moore (ankle)

On Hillis, the Browns’ leading rusher, Shurmur said, “It’s too early to speculate as to whether he’ll be available this weekend. He’s working through it just like you would.”

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks don’t just have an 11-5 record in previous games against the Browns; they have a better winning percentage against the Browns – past and present – than any team in the NFL. Here’s a look at the Seahawks’ Top 5, by percentage:

Opponent            Record    Pct.

Browns                  11-5       .688

Jaguars                    4-2        .667

Bears                       8-4        .666

Titans/Oilers          9-5        .643

Buccaneers            7-4        .636

UP NEXT

The team will practice on what is “Turnover Thursday,” according to the Carroll calendar, but the defensive players must have been confused today because it was the second practice of the week after Monday’s bonus session. Linebacker K.J. Wright intercepted three passes, including one of the final play of practice and another that he took from the hands of practice-squad tight end John Nalbone. Free safety Earl Thomas had two picks and came tantalizingly close to getting a third. Cornerback Brandon Browner made it a pick-six by adding another.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Well, Cleveland’s not the East Coast. I’m from the East Coast. You guys get this confused. Cleveland is not on the East Coast. Cleveland is in the Midwest.” – rookie tackle and geography buff John Moffitt, who’s from Guilford, Conn., when asked about playing on the East Coast this week

 


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Monday in Hawkville

Charlie Whitehurst

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 17:

FOCUS ON

Roy Lewis, Deon Butler and Cameron Morrah. These three have been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp opened in late July, and joined at the rehab schedule since then.

Each will begin practicing on Wednesday. They then have a three-week window before the Seahawks must decide whether to add them to the 53-man roster or place them on injured reserve.

Lewis, a cornerback, had knee surgery late last season. Butler, a wide receiver, had surgery to place a steel rod in his broken leg in December. Morrah, a tight end, had postseason toe surgery.

“At this point, there’s no reason to anticipate anything other than they’re back to practicing,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice. “If you can imagine, this is August for them. So Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then playing a game on Sunday, that’s a tremendous amount to ask.”

Getting Lewis back, however, definitely would help because of the move today to place veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant on injured reserve with a back problem. Walter Thurmond will start on the left side for Trufant, but Lewis would provide another option to fill the nickel back spot that Thurmond has been playing.

“Three weeks doesn’t even seem like enough time when you think about it,” Carroll said. “We’re going to go for it. They’re going to practice a lot. We’ll get them a lot of work out here. It will boost what’s going on out here, which will be good.

“And hopefully those guys will be able to show where they fit in.”

IN ’N OUT

Linebacker Leroy Hill and backup center Lemuel Jeanpierre returned to practice and running back Marshawn Lynch was back on a limited basis after sitting out the two bye-week practices. But four starters continued to be sidelined: quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), center Max Unger (foot), tight end Zach Miller (neck) and left guard Robert Gallery (groin).

Jackson is ahead of schedule, Carroll said, and did some light throwing on the side during practice.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time,” Carroll said of Jackson’s status for this week’s game. “We’ll just see what happens. But he has a chance.”

Charlie Whitehurst continued to quarterback the offense in practice and No. 3 QB Josh Portis is getting his most extensive practice time of the season running the scout team that works against the Seahawks defense.

Carroll expects Miller and Gallery to practice on Wednesday. Unger was out of the protective boot he was wearing last week, but Carroll said his heavy work in practice won’t come until Friday.

ROSTER MOVES

The Seahawks signed two players: defensive tackle Jason Shirley (6-5, 345), who was waived from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad on Sept. 3; and linebacker Stephen Franklin (6-foot, 235), a rookie who also had been with the Bengals.

Shirley participated in the 85-minute bonus practice, but Franklin watched from the sideline.

The Seahawks noticed Shirley while looking at video of defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, another ex-Bengal who was acquired in an August trade for cornerback Kelly Jennings.

“Always having this liking for the really big guys, Jason surely caught our eye,” Carroll said. “We’re pleased to get him. To get another real healthy big guy at this time … we jumped at it.”

To clear roster spots, rush-end Jameson Konz were placed on injured reserve along with Trufant.

Allen Bradford, who was claimed off waivers last week, practiced with the team for the first time. He worked at running back and linebacker with the scout teams.

STAT DU JOUR

Carroll already has done something only one other coach in franchise history was able to accomplish: Win the week following his first bye with the team. Carroll did it last season, his first as coach, when the Seahawks beat the Bears in Chicago 23-20.

The only other coach to do it? Dennis Erickson in 1995, when the Seahawks beat Broncos at the Kingdome 27-10. In fact, only Carroll, Erickson and Mike Holmgren have won games the week after the team’s bye. Here’s a look at the coach’s post-bye week records since the week-off schedule was started in 1990:

Coach (year)                                 W-L

Chuck Knox (1990-91)                 0-2

Tom Flores (1992-94)                  0-4

Dennis Erickson (1995-98)         3-1

Mike Holmgren (1999-2008)     2-8

Jim Mora (2009)                           0-1

Pete Carroll (2010-present)       1-0

UP NEXT

The players will have their off day for this week on Tuesday, and then return for what will be a two-week battle for the Ohio state championship. After playing the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday, the Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 30.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Really, K.J. Wright made the difference. He took over. He took over that spot (strongside linebacker). He just was way ahead of any curve that we would have ever projected for him. So we just needed him on the field. He won the job. That’s really the best way to explain it. That’s exactly what happened.” – Carroll when asked about last week’s trade of Aaron Curry to the Raiders


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Wednesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

Sidney Rice. The wide receiver who has yet to play because of a sore shoulder participated fully in today’s full-pads practice, but his status for Sunday’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field has yet to be determined.

“He looks like he’s ready to go,” coach Pete Carroll said before practice. “His mentality is he’s ready to go. He is not even thinking about anything but that.

“But we’ll have to make a good decision on that when the time comes. We’re day-to-day on this deal with him.”

Rice looked the part in practice, catching several passes from QB Tarvaris Jackson while working opposite Mike Williams with the No. 1 offense.

Coordinator Darrell Bevell, who coached Rice and Jackson in Minnesota the past four seasons, was asked how Rice’s presence could change the offense once he does return.

“One player can have an effect on your offense,” Bevell said. “Sidney brings juice and he brings some excitement. He brings the deep threat that you’re looking for just to back people off. When he’s in there, you always have that threat. So it definitely can help.”

PLAYER WATCH

Paul McQuistan. Another week, another starter at left guard. Rookie James Carpenter moved over from right tackle to start the opener because Robert Gallery was out with a sprained knee. Sunday, Gallery was back – but aggravated a groin injury that will require surgery to repair and sideline him for at least a month.

So McQuistan steps in, and will make his first NFL start since 2007.

“Losing Robert is a big deal, so rather than switch it around again like we did before we’re kind of settled now on the right side,” line coach Tom Cable said of Carpenter and rookie guard John Moffitt. “Both those kids played extremely well (against the Steelers). So rather than make two changes, make one and used the most experienced guy.”

That’s McQuistan, who like Gallery played for Cable in Oakland. How much will that help? “It’s huge,” Cable said.

Offered coordinator Darrell Bevell, “He’s a veteran guy, so we expect him to step in and not miss a beat. Kind of the next-man-up deal, and he’s done fine.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals have a new quarterback, and he’s no stranger to the Seahawks.

Carroll said the team explored the possibility of acquiring Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles the past two offseasons, but opted against it because of “just compensation and amount and all the stuff.” The Cardinals traded a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles to acquire Kolb and then signed him to a five-year contract extension that includes $21 million in guaranteed money.

“It was a big consideration. He’s a very good player,” Carroll said. “We thought that from the start and we were always in the thought that he would be a guy that we would be interested in for the future. But it just didn’t work out right.”

In his first two games as a Cardinal, Kolb has completed 35 of 57 passes for 560 yards, with four TD passes and one interception, for a 110.3 passer rating that ranks fifth in the league.

“He’s shown the ability to make big plays,” Carroll said. “He’s got a little zip to him, in that he’ll take a shot at stuff and he’s been very good at creating.

“They’re benefitting from this acquisition. He looks very good in their program.”

IN AND OUT

Linebacker Malcolm Smith returned to practice after sitting out last week with a sore hamstring, and immediately displayed his explosiveness closing ability on a couple of plays.

Four players remain sidelined: fullback Michael Robinson (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle), tackle Jarriel King (ankle) and Gallery. Defensive end Raheem Brock also did not practice, but his absence was not injury related.

Carroll said that Robinson’s status for Sunday’s game will be determined later in the week, but that Maxwell, Gallery and King will not play.

For the Cardinals, linebacker Daryl Washington (calf) did not practice and four players were limited: tight end Jim Dray (pectoral), wide receiver DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand) and wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring).

STAT DU JOUR

The number 13, as in McQuistan will become the 13th player to start at left guard during the regular season for Seattle since a certain All-Pro and Pro Bowl player signed with the Vikings after the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl in 2005. Here’s a look at who has started when:

2006: Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack (eight games), Chris Spencer (five), Rob Sims (three)

2007: Sims (16)

2008: Mike Wahle (10), Womack (six)

2009: Sims (14), Mansfield Wrotto (one), Steve Vallos (one)

2010: Ben Hamilton (six), Mike Gibson (five), Chester Pitts (four), Tyler Polumbus (one)

2011: James Carpenter (one), Robert Gallery (one), McQuistan

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday,” as the players will practice at 1:30 tomorrow. And the emphasis on turnovers will be even greater this week because the Seahawks are one of two teams in the league that have yet to force one.

“We’ve got to get the football,” Carroll said. “We’ve gone two games without getting a turnover. That’s so far off the charts with us. We’ve got to get the ball, which adds so much. It puts the field position in a different setting, gives the offense opportunities for their movement and just changes the climate of how we’re playing. So that’s one enormous issue for us.”

YOU DON’T SAY

“Really, on every play there’s guys running downfield. There’s emphasis on trying to get the ball down the field. But he’s just not going to be willy-nilly with the ball, just throw it down there just to say we took a shot.” – Bevell, when asked if he was encouraging Jackson to throw the ball deep more often


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 20:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the news from Monday that Robert Gallery will be out four to six weeks because of a groin injury that will require surgery. Offers O’Neil: “Well, that makes yet another injury to the latest veteran lineman Seattle signed to fill the position that has been the franchise’s black hole since Steve Hutchinson left in 2006. Gallery became the 12th different starting left guard for Seattle dating to the start of the 2006 season, the most at any position.”

Eric Williams of the News Tribune also has the news on Gallery. Says Williams: “(Pete) Carroll said he plans on keeping rookie James Carpenter at right tackle because he’s playing well there – Carpenter played well against Pittsburgh, Carroll said – so McQuistan will go to left guard after Carpenter started the opening game there in place of Gallery. It’s familiar duty for McQuistan, a sixth-year pro out of Weber State, who backed up Gallery with the Raiders, starting six games in 2006 and six in 2007 for Oakland.”

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald continues his “Game of My Life” series with a look at Dave Krieg, his improbable NFL career and his most memorable game. Says Krieg: “Now, 18 to 20 years later, I don’t dwell on the game that much. But when the season starts up, and you see the Raiders, that’s the game I think of. It was the first time the franchise ever won a division championship, so that’s something you never forget.”

Also at the Herald, John Boyle also has the Gallery story. Says Boyle: “Gallery already missed the season opener after spraining his knee in the final preseason game. The groin problem actually is not a new one, according to Carroll, but was made worse by Gallery favoring his injured knee, and then the injury became more serious in Sunday’s loss.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve also got Gallery, as well as the weekly “Monday metatarsal musings,” and a recap of Monday’s activities in words and video.

At CBSSports.com, Charlie Casserly offers his observations from this weekend’s games in the NFL.


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Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

Getting home, and getting it right. The Seahawks will play their home opener on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, after dropping back-to-back road games to open the season.

“Well, I’m looking at this week like it’s great to be coming home,” coach Pete Carroll said today. “And getting back to playing here at CenturyLink with our fans, we need them and we want to play well for them.

“We need to get going and get this season started. So it’s an exciting opportunity, because it feels like we haven’t been around much; seems like we’ve been on the road a lot.”

That’s because they have. In addition to playing their opener at San Francisco and Week 2 in Pittsburgh, the Seahawks also played their third preseason game in Denver. So they’ve played at home once in the past 30 days – the preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 2.

As for getting it right following the 33-17 and 24-0 losses to the 49ers and Steelers, Carroll pointed to two areas.

On defense, “We’ve got to get the football,” he said. The Seahawks have not generated a turnover in their first two games.

“That’s so far off the charts for us,” he said. “We’ve got to get the ball, which adds to so much. It puts the field position in a different setting. It gives the offense an opportunity for their movement. And just changes the climate of how we’re playing.”

On offense, “We have got to find the continuity that allows us to move the ball and make some first downs,” Carroll said.

Bottom line as they make a beeline for CenturyLink: “We’re not doing a lot of things the way we want to do them right now.”

INJURY UPDATES

The big news, of course, was Carroll’s announcement that veteran left guard Robert Gallery will be out four to six weeks because he needs surgery to repair a groin injury.

But Carroll also updated the situation with Sidney Rice’s ailing shoulder. The Pro Bowl wide receiver who was added in free agency has yet to play in the regular season, but has a chance to make his Seahawks debut this week. Rice has a damaged labrum, but Carroll compared it to the injury wide receiver Ben Obomanu got last season. Obomanu was able to finish the season before having surgery.

“Sidney’s working out hard. He’ll practice all week,” Carroll said. “We’ll see, as we go day to day, what that means. I know he’s encourages and wants to get back out.

“We can’t count on him until he can make it through the week. So we’ll see how that works out. But he’s determined.”

Of the three other injured players who sat out Sunday’s game against the Steelers – fullback Michael Robinson (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) – Carroll said two are pretty close to returning. But he did not say which two.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks have won seven of their past eight home openers – by a combined score of 182-50, or an average score of 26-7. The lone loss came in 2008, in overtime to the 49ers:

Year     Outcome, opponent

2010    W, 31-6, 49ers

2009    W, 28-0, Rams

2008    L, 33-30, 49ers

2007    W, 20-6, Buccaneers

2006     W, 21-10, Cardinals

2005     W, 21-18, Falcons

2004     W, 34-0, 49ers

2003     W, 27-10, Saints

YOU DON’T SAY

“We have to keep growing. We have to keep learning from everything that we’re going through so that we can get better and bank on the experiences that we’ve had. There’s a challenge to everybody on this team right now, myself included, that we have to find our ways to improve our performance. We all have to work at it really hard. We all have to fight to find the ways to make us better.” – Carroll when asked what his message to the offensive players was in today’s team meeting


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Cyber surfing: Saturday

Good morning from Pittsburgh. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 17:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times focuses on the Seahawks’ special teams, which hurt the team in last week’s loss to the 49ers and now are hurting heading in Sunday’s game against the Steelers. Offers O’Neil: “Seattle already ruled out three primary special-teams players. Fullback Michael Robinson and cornerback Byron Maxwell are out with ankle injuries, while defensive end Dexter Davis has a hip injury that will keep him out Sunday and perhaps much longer. Throw in linebacker Malcolm Smith, who is doubtful because of a hamstring injury, and the Seahawks are going to be patching up the special teams that allowed San Francisco to return two kicks for touchdowns in a span of 59 seconds. ‘They need to come through, they need to step up,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We definitely had a falter last week late, and we can’t let that happen.’ ”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune looks at the Seahawks’ sure-to-be surly opponent, and the fact that wide receiver Sidney Rice will sit out another game because of a sore shoulder. Says Boling: “Early this week, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll speculated that the challenge of facing a grumpy Pittsburgh Steelers team in front of its home fans was ‘as hard as it gets.’ Actually, it’s gotten a little harder because receiver Sidney Rice has been ruled out for the game with an injured shoulder, and at least three (possibly four) key players on special teams will be out with injuries. ‘Sidney won’t make it in this one,’ Carroll said of Rice, the team’s pricey free agent who has yet to see action. Rice missed the opener at San Francisco, and the Hawks struggled offensively in a 33-17 defeat.’

John Boyle of the Everett Herald goes with what should be some positive injury news: The return of left guard Robert Gallery, who sat out the opener with a sore knee. Says Boyle: “With Gallery, a seven-year veteran, on the sideline, the Seahawks started a historically young line in their opener. Center Max Unger, who came into the game with 17 career starts, was the most experienced of the five linemen, and Russell Okung (10 starts) was the only other player with an NFL start under his belt. Seattle’s line was the least experienced to start a game since the 1995 Carolina Panthers, an expansion team playing its second game. Not surprisingly, Seattle’s line struggled mightily against the 49ers, particularly in the first half when the Seahawks allowed three sacks and averaged 1.1 yards per carry. ‘Robert coming back helps us,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s experienced. That’s the reason we got him here — to help those guys up front and communicate well and make the game move more smoothly for them, so hopefully that will happen.’ ”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at the NFC West in his “Final Word,” including three of the division’s teams playing on the East Coast this week. Says Sando: “For years, the Seahawks struggled to win games kicking off at 10 a.m. PT unless they were played in St. Louis, where the long-struggling Rams made for an inviting opponent. Times changed last season. The Seahawks went 1-1 in early games, beating the Bears at Soldier Field after losing in St. Louis. Seattle joins Arizona among Western teams playing early games Sunday. The Cardinals were 3-0 in 10 a.m. PT kickoffs the last time they felt good about their quarterback situation, in 2009. They were 0-4 in early kickoffs for 2010.”

Also from Sando, prompted by a reader’s question, a look at how Pete Carroll has built the Seahawks. Says Sando: “Carroll, like every coach, wants an elite passer on his team. Carroll envisions relying on one less heavily than some teams rely on them. By not drafting quarterbacks and by signing second-tier players to man the position, Carroll lends credence to the thinking that he doesn’t value the position sufficiently.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we revisit one of the hottest topics of the week: The comparisons between Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu and Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas. Says wide receiver Mike Williams, who played with Polamalu at USC: “No offense to Earl, but they’re just totally different guys. Troy is a one-of-a-kind kind of guy. There won’t be a Troy, in my eyes, to come along for quite some time.”

We’ve also got Friday’s practice covered in words and video.


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