Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” out the Seahawks for today, Nov. 26:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Final Word” heading into the conclusion of Week 12 in the NFC West, including this look at the division “race”: “The 49ers were in position to clinch the division title with a victory against Baltimore and a Seattle defeat at home to Washington. But with the 49ers losing to the Ravens on Thursday night, it is still technically possible for the Seahawks or Cardinals to match San Francisco’s victory total this season. The 49ers play three of their final four on the road. The home game is against Pittsburgh. The Seahawks play their next three at home against losing teams, followed by a road game against the quarterback-challenged Bears. If the 49ers beat St. Louis in Week 13 and win at Arizona in Week 14, they’ll win the NFC West. If they were to drop that Arizona game and then lose to the Steelers, a four-game winning streak by Seattle would make the Week 16 game between the Seahawks and 49ers meaningful. The 49ers have two games remaining against the Rams, making it nearly impossible for them to do anything but win the West.”
Sando also goes deep with this look at the Seahawks’ pass game: “Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin have been the best wide receivers on the team. In looking at the chart, it’s clear receiving talent isn’t the only factor at work. The Seahawks’ leading receiver from last season, Mike Williams, and one of its top free-agent additions, Zach Miller, also have good receiving skills. Tarvaris Jackson hasn’t been nearly as effective when targeting them. His rapport with Rice from their days together in Minnesota has come into play. Baldwin’s excellence from the slot has made him the team’s most reliable target on third down.”
Speaking of Jackson, Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the surprising development from Friday’s practice – Jackson participating fully: “The fact Tarvaris Jackson was able to throw on back-to-back days at practice is a sign his strained pectoral muscle is healing. The fact Jackson has not been able to do that until this week — a month and a half after he suffered the injury — is a sign of just how hurt that muscle was.”
Eric Williams at the New Tribune looks at the other side of the injury situation – defensive tackle Alan Branch not practicing all week because of sore ankle: “For the first time this season, the Seattle Seahawks could be without a key player in one of the team’s most effective units. Branch did not practice this week because of an ankle injury and is questionable for Sunday’s game against Washington. He is a game-time decision.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at how the Seahawks and their opponent on Sunday, the Washington Redskins, are heading in opposite directions: “The Washington Redskins, who come to Seattle this weekend with a 3-7 record, are only one game worse than the Seahawks according to the standings, but the way the two teams have gotten to where they are 10 games into the season couldn’t be more different. The Seahawks, after losing three in a row, bounced back with a victory over Baltimore, one of the AFC’s top teams, then won handily on the road last week against St. Louis. Suddenly the young Seahawks look like a team on the rise — one that, while unlikely to make the playoffs, is in position to finish the season strong. The Redskins meanwhile, have lost six in a row, completely killing the momentum they had early in the season after a surprising 3-1 start. Their current losing streak is the longest endured by the franchise since 1998.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have come up with the uniquely special pieces that comprise a Seahawks defense that has been puzzling for opponents: “ ‘You know what? It’s crazy, but it’s all come together,” nickel back Roy Lewis said. ‘Players may not see what coach’s vision is, but the coach understands completely how he wants to put guys and different pieces of the puzzle together. When it all comes together and it all clicks and every piece is accounted for, it’s a force to be reckoned with. … We really do have everything under the sun. We’ve got aggressive guys. We’ve got cover guys. We’ve got big hitters. We’ve got sure tacklers. We’ve got who fits the roles. And as (safety) Atari Bigby always says, ‘If you’re going to play a role, why not win an Oscar for it.’ ”
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 22:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has “Five Observations” from Sunday’s victory over the Rams, including this one that also caught coach Pete Carroll’s eye after his video review of the game: “The Seahawks were the aggressors: Seattle delivered nearly all the big hits in this game: Roy Lewis on Austin Pettis, Heath Farwell on Pettis, Kam Chancellor on Steven Jackson, Chancellor on Lance Kendricks. Even the hit quarterback Tarvaris Jackson put on Rams safety Quintin Mikell following an interception packed more punch that most of the hits St. Louis put on Seattle. That was striking.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the Seahawks’ run defense and how it is altering the game plan for opposing offenses: “Seattle’s run defense is the starting point for Carroll’s blueprint for this football team. He wants to be unyielding against the run on defense, and unrelenting in the determination to run the ball on offense.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune says now the Seahawks are running ball more effectively, it’s time for more explosive plays from the passing game: “The Seahawks have 18 catches of 25 or more yards this season, 20th in the league. Receiver Sidney Rice was signed to be Seattle’s deep threat, but the Seahawks have not consistently worked Rice into the offense. Despite missing two games with a shoulder injury, Rice is tied for the team lead with 32 catches for 484 yards and two touchdowns, an average gain of 15.1 yards per catch. But just seven of Rice’s catches have gone for 20 yards or more. Further, Rice has been targeted 55 times, which fails to crack the top 20 in the NFC.”
Scott Johnson at the Everett Herald continues his “The Game of my Life” series with a look at the player his teammates called “Dr. Dan”: “And in 1984, the Seahawks asked “Dr. Dan” (Dan Doornink) … to give the mighty Los Angeles Raiders some anesthesia (in their playoff game).”
Also at the Herald, John Boyle looks at the promising position the Seahawks find themselves in, despite their 4-6 record: “For the first time this season, the Seahawks are coming off of consecutive victories, and with their next three games at home, all against teams with losing records, it suddenly looks like the Seahawks can make something out of a season that looked lost less than two weeks ago.”
Here at Seahawks.com, our “Monday Metatarsal Musings” examines the Seahawks’ suffocating run defense and how it set the table for a feeding frenzy by the pass defense against the Rams: “Steven Jackson was coming off consecutive rushing performances of 159, 130 and 128 yards, and averaged 5.1 yards per carry as the Rams had won two of those games. Sunday, Jackson averaged 2.8 yards on 15 carries – and without his 19-yarder in the second quarter on the one run where the Seahawks allowed him to get his 6-foot-2, 240-pound body going in a positive direction, that average dipped to 1.6 yards on his other 14 attempts. So there’s no chicken-or-the-egg quandary here: This was defense the way it’s supposed to be played; stop the run and then pressure the passer into making mistakes.”
There’s also this response from Carroll to the final question during his day-after news conference about the Seahawks having won two in a row and now playing three games at home against teams with losing records: “I like the way you’re talking. That sounds good,” Carroll said when the 2-0/three-in-a-row scenario was presented. “It’s great to know that we’re going to be home for three weeks. It just has not felt like we’ve had that sense of playing at home with any kind of consistency.”
The Seahawks started the second half of the season at a disappointing 2-6, and faced the visting Baltimore Ravens, holders of a gaudy 6-2 record and first place in the AFC North. However, Seattle never trailed and upset Baltimore, 22-17 on Military Appreciation Day at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks traveled to Dallas in Week Nine, and fell to the Cowboys 23-13.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 29:
The story of the day, of course, is Tarvaris Jackson’s sudden emergence at practice on Friday after doing so little in Thursday’s practice. Charlie Whitehurst continued to get the starter reps as the Seahawks prepared for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field, but Jackson took snaps in every phase of the workout – with the players practicing without pads or helmets. Jackson is listed as questionable and coach Pete Carroll said the decision on who starts will be made after seeing Jackson in pregame warm-ups.
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times: “No one made any definitive statements about whether Jackson would start or if Whitehurst subs for Jackson for the second week in a row, but Jackson is certainly going to be a consideration.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune: “Jackson said it will be important to see how his body recovers from the throwing session, but that he feels good about his chances of playing Sunday. ‘It will be interesting to see just exactly how I feel after doing that. But I don’t think it will have any affect, or I’ll have a setback after throwing. I think it will be fine, but I guess we’ll see, because it’s kind of a thing where it feels good one day, and the next day it won’t.’ ”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald: “This week’s official NFL injury report indicates Tarvaris Jackson has a 50-50 chance of playing Sunday. His words – as well as his actions – on Friday suggested the Seahawks’ starting quarterback has much better odds of playing against Cincinnati.”
Christian Caple at PI.com: “Pete Carroll remains non-committal as to who the Seahawks’ starting quarterback will be against the Bengals on Sunday. Tarvaris Jackson is, after all, still listed as questionable on the official injury report. But listening to both Carroll and Jackson speak about the way Jackson threw the ball during Friday’s practice, it appears as if Jackson has a better chance to start this week than originally thought.”
Here at Seahawks.com: “Said coach Pete Carroll, ‘It’s encouraging. I think he has a chance to play if he can get through these two days.’ So the big question now: How will the shoulder on his throwing arm feel on Saturday morning after Jackson’s extended stint on Friday afternoon? ‘Tarvaris had his best day in the last couple weeks,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s just started to come out of it and threw the ball well. He’s still questionable, but we’ll take it to the next couple days here and see where we are. But it’s is a very good sign. He felt the best, he had the most work. So we’ll see what happens with that.’ ”
We’ve also got the word on the returns of Marshawn Lynch, Zach Miller, Max Unger and Roy Lewis in “Friday in Hawkville,” as well as Tony Ventrella’s daily video report.
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “final word” on the NFC West entering Week 8, including this item on the Seahawks and Bengals: “Something has to give Sunday when the Seahawks flood the field with wide receivers against a Bengals defense that hasn’t had its cornerback depth tested much. Seattle ranks 12th in pass plays featuring three or more wide receivers. The Bengals’ defense leads the league in fewest yards per pass and carry when opponents use these personnel groupings. However, only four teams have faced fewer dropbacks than the Bengals against three-plus wideouts. That helps explain why Morgan Trent (15.5 percent of defensive snaps) and ex-Seahawk Kelly Jennings (7.5) are the Bengals’ only backup corners to play this season. The Bengals have used three safeties, including backup Gibril Wilson, roughly a quarter of the time. Pacman Jones’ expected activation as the Bengals’ third corner adds another dynamic. The Seahawks need to win their matchups when Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and/or Golden Tate are on the field together. They also need better quarterback play, but that’s another conversation.”
Sando also offers his thoughts on what to do with Whitehurst and Jackson. Says Sando: “If Jackson gives the Seahawks their best chance at winning and he’s healthy enough to practice, the team needs to play him, right? Naming Jackson the starter under these circumstances would stand more as a reflection of Jackson’s availability than as a repudiation of Whitehurst.”
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 28:
Marshawn Lynch, Zach Miller and Max Unger. All three offensive starters will play in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field after missing last week’s game because of injuries.
Lynch, the team’s leading rusher, did not play against the Browns in Cleveland after experiencing back spasms in pregame warm-ups. Miller and Unger, the tight end and center, also missed the Browns game after getting neck and foot injuries, respectively, in the pre-bye week game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands.
“I mentioned it about the baseball analogy – right down the middle,” coach Pete Carroll said of getting his center, running back, tight end and perhaps even QB Tarvaris Jackson back this week.
“It’s pretty darn important. Max had a very good week, he’s ready to go. Marshawn feels fine; he’ll be ready to go. And Zach is back, too. So that’s a big difference. Those guys are starters for a reason. So we’re happy to have those guys back.”
LEWIS TO BE ACTIVATED
Cornerback Roy Lewis will be added to the active roster for this game, Carroll said. Lewis has been on the physically unable to perform list while completing his rehab from knee surgery that ended his 2010 season in December.
The club already had cleared a roster spot for Lewis by releasing offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus earlier in the week.
Lewis returns at an optimum time, because rookie Richard Sherman will make his first NFL start at left cornerback for Walter Thurmond, who was starting for Marcus Trufant. Thurmond (ankle) and Trufant (back) have been placed on injured reserve. Lewis will fill the nickel back spot that Thurmond had been playing, and also help on special teams.
“I’m back and I’m happy,” Lewis said. “It feels good to be back. I felt ready to comeback a couple weeks ago, but it’s a logistics thing. So I was going to continue to persevere, continue to do my due diligence as far as getting my mind and my body prepared to perform at the highest level when the opportunity comes.
“Which will be this Sunday. I’ll go out there and maximize it.”
Lewis has not played since Week 14 last season, when he was injured in a game against the 49ers in San Francisco.
The last time the Seahawks and Bengals met was Sept. 23, 2007. The game was played in Seattle, but the stadium was then named Qwest Field. That, however, is not the only change.
The Seahawks won 24-21 as Matt Hasselbeck threw TD passes to Deion Branch, Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram and Josh Brown kicked a field goal. None of those players are with the team anymore.
The Bengals got a combined 21 catches for 279 yards from the duo of T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson, and the passes were thrown by Carson Palmer. None of those players are with the team anymore, either.
The official end-of-the-week status report:
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
SS Kam Chancellor (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
TE Zach Miller (neck/head)
C Max Unger (foot)
S Atari Bigby (hamstring)
S Jeron Johnson (ankle)
Jackson participated in every phase of practice for the first time since straining his right pectoral three weeks ago against the Giants. He threw during team drills and also threw with “some mustard on it,” as he put it, while playing catch early in practice. Jackson’s extensive action prompted Carroll to offer, “It’s encouraging. I think he has a chance to play if he can get through these two days.”
For more on Jackson’s status, click here.
Bigby and Johnson were limited in practice. Johnson twisted an ankle during practice on Wednesday, while Bigby tweaked a hamstring before ever getting to the drill portions of practice on Thursday. Carroll said their status will be a game-day decision.
For the Bengals:
LB Rey Maualuga (ankle)
LB Thomas Howard (hamstring)
CB Adam Jones (neck)
CB Morgan Trent (ankle)
CB Nate Clements (knee)
TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring)
CB Kelly Jennings (hamstring)
LB Dan Skuta (groin)
STAT DU JOUR
A lot has been made this week of Red Bryant’s role in the success of the Seahawks’ run defense, and for good reason. The 330-pound end was a force for the first six games last season, before going down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 8. He’s back, and the Seahawks leads the league in per-carry rushing average (3.2) after six games this season. Here’s a look at the Seahawks’ efforts against the run in games Bryant has started, and finished:
Opponent No. Yards Avg. TD
49ers 19 49 2.6 0
Broncos 38 65 1.7 2
Chargers 21 89 3.2 0
Rams 28 88 3.1 0
Bears 14 61 4.4 1
Cardinals 20 113 5.7 1
49ers 32 85 2.7 1
Steelers 35 124 3.5 2
Cardinals 28 90 3.2 0
Falcons 36 121 3.4 2
Giants 25 69 2.8 0
Browns 44 141 3.2 0
The Seahawks also have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in these games.
The players will have a walk-thru on Saturday morning.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The two places we’ve just been – New York and Cleveland – and to know what that was like, experience that, and to have what it’s like here at our place, we really appreciate it. Our place rocks. Hopefully we can make the plays to get them up off their seats and get them crazy about it. … This is a very, very special place to play.” – Carroll on playing at CenturyLink Field for the first time since Oct. 2 and only the third time all season
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 27:
CenturyLink Field. You remember the place. It’s where the Seahawks play their home games.
But it has been awhile. The Seahawks have not played at home since Oct. 2, and that was only their second home game in the first seven weeks of the season. Those two home games were sandwiched between pairs of road games, and the gap in the second set of road games was extended by the Seahawks having their bye week in the middle.
That will change Sunday, when the Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals. The coaches and players are ready to make the most of the situation against a Bengals team that is 4-2 and riding a three-game winning streak.
“Well, I feel like I’ve said this every time we’re coming home – that it feels good to be coming home and to be playing here at CenturyLink,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Getting prepared to do that is exciting for our team.
“Again, it just feels like we haven’t been here very much, but it’s good to be getting back.”
That haven’t-been-here feeling is warranted. The Seahawks opened the season by losing back-to-back road games at San Francisco and Pittsburgh. They then came home to grab their first victory, over the Arizona Cardinals; and almost stole a game the following week in a two-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Then, it was back on the road, where they upset the Giants in the Meadowlands before their bye and then lost a post-bye three-point to decision to the Browns in Cleveland last week.
It’s not a great secret that this team plays better at home, as do most teams in the league. But the special ingredient at CenturyLink Field is the 12th MAN crowd that turns the place into a noise factory when the opposing offense is on the field.
And this week, that opposing offense will be quarterbacked by a rookie – Andy Dalton, whose previous road games have been at Cleveland (win), Denver (loss) and Jacksonville (win).
“It’s an advantage with the crowd noise. It’s a tough place for opposing offenses to come in,” Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst said. “It’s always good to be home, but especially in Seattle.”
Roy Lewis. Not the Roy Lewis who likely will ride to the rescue of an injury-depleted secondary this week by being activated off the physically unable to perform list and sliding in as the nickel back, but the flipside – which has been Lewis’ A-side during his first three NFL seasons: Special teams.
Lewis was the special teams captain last season, and he has been missed during the first six games this season.
“Roy was a real central figure in our surge last year with bringing our special teams to the front because of his playmaking,” Carroll said. “He was a real big factor for us. When we lost him, it was different.”
That was in December, when Lewis got a season-ending knee injury that required surgery and forced him to begin this season on PUP.
As much as the defense needs him, the special teams also will welcome him back.
“To get him to come back is another boost to that group,” Carroll said. “That’s the obvious place, as well as the nickel back spot, that he can help us.”
Asked about being ready to slip back into his leadership role on special teams, Lewis offered his favorite phase, “Without a doubt,” before adding, “That’s always on the menu.”
IN ’N OUT
Center Max Unger (foot) and tight end Zach Miller (neck/head) had their most extensive practice stints today since being injured in the pre-bye win over the Giants. Running back Marshawn Lynch (back spasms) also did more today than on Wednesday, participating in all phases of practice.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (strained pectoral) threw some passes in the early individual drills and also handed off during the 9-on-7 run drill, but Whitehurst continued to get the starter reps with the Seahawks offense.
“This week, I’m preparing to start again,” said Whitehurst, who got the start against the Browns last week. “I’m not sure what will happen.”
Also, cornerback Brandon Browner returned to practice after being excused on Wednesday.
Here’s the official injury report:
Did not practice
S Atari Bigby (hamstring)
S Jeron Johnson (ankle)
QB Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral)
S Kam Chancellor (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
TE Zach Miller (neck/head)
C Max Unger (foot)
Johnson tweaked his ankle early in practice on Wednesday, while Bigby’s hamstring started bothering him before practice today.
For the Browns
Did not practice
LB Rey Maualuga (ankle)
CB Nate Clements (knee)
LB Dan Skuta (groin)
LB Thomas Howard (hamstring)
CB Kelly Jennings (hamstring)
CB Adam Jones (PUP, neck)
Second-year cornerback Walter Thurmond had surgery today on the left ankle that was fractured in Sunday’s loss to the Browns. He is looking at a four-to-six month rehab.
The procedure was performed by team doctors Ed Khalfayan and Mike McAdams at Seattle Surgery Center.
STAT DU JOUR
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne had his second game this season with double-digit tackles against the Browns to take over the team lead with 40. Hawthorne has led the club in tackles the past two seasons, and is looking to become the sixth player in franchise history to make it a three-peat. Here’s a look at Hawthorne’s games with double-digit tackles during his run:
Opponent Total Solo Asst.
Browns 11 7 4
Falcons 10 3 7
Giants 12 9 3
Saints 12 10 2
Chiefs 13 8 5
Panthers 14 11 3
Bears 16 15 1
Cardinals 11 10 1
Vikings 15 11 4
Texans 10 6 4
Buccaneers 10 6 4
The players will hold their final full practice before Sunday’s game on Friday, and then have a walk-thru on Saturday morning.
Due to the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the club is encouraging fans to arrive early for the game, and WSDOT is suggesting that fans use public transportation options to avoid congestion in the area around the stadium and the viaduct.
Tickets for Sunday’s game are available and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s like having a computer on a jugs machine. It’s like, read the defense, bam, ball; read the defense, push the ball there; read, the defense, put the ball there; read the defense, run it here. It’s hard to stop that.” – rookie cornerback Richard Sherman, who played at Stanford, when asked about Cardinal QB Andrew Luck
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Oct. 27:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at injury situations that matter for each team in the NFC West, and that includes the four offensive starters who missed the Seahawks’ loss to the Browns in Cleveland last week: “Seahawks should get center Max Unger, running back Marshawn Lynch and and/or tight end Zach Miler back from injuries this week. All were limited Wednesday, and coach Pete Carroll said decisions would not be made until later in the week. Seattle needs Lynch because the team doesn’t have another big back for its offense. Backups Leon Washington and Justin Forsett are too similar to provide the differentiation Carroll values. Miller’s absence played a leading role in the team’s defeat at Cleveland, I thought. Backup Anthony McCoy suffered through a rough game. The Seahawks need Miller back. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is the other big question mark for Seattle this week. His pectoral injury hasn’t prevented him from throwing, but he remains limited. It’s too early to say whether he’s likely to play this week. I would expect a better effort from backup Charlie Whitehurst this week, should he play.”
Sando also takes a look at pressure points for the four division teams, which has been a problem for the Seahawks in the game where they’ve had a difficult time getting off the field on third down – as in Sunday’s loss to the Browns, when 44 percent of Cleveland’s total yardage came on the 12 third downs they converted. Says Sando: “The Seahawks’ numbers stand out pertaining to sack percentages. The team gets sacks on 2.8 percent of pass plays when sending four or fewer rushers, the lowest percentage in the division. The percentage climbs to a division-high 11.7 percent when sending added pressure. The Seahawks have gotten 35 percent of their sacks from linebackers and defensive backs.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the rookies who are leading the Seahawks (Doug Baldwin) and Bengals (A.J. Green) in receptions, as well as the league in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches (Green) and per-catch average (Baldwin). Offers O’Neil: “Baldwin is the inspiring surprise to this Seahawks season — a player that wasn’t even invited to the NFL scouting combine who leads the team in receptions. Green’s success is a fulfillment of all the expectations heaped upon him when the Bengals chose him in the first round, No. 4 overall.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune takes a closer look at Jackson’s status this week. Says Williams: “Carroll said Jackson’s throwing velocity by the end of the week will help determine whether he plays or not. Carroll added that he’ll likely take the decision up to game time. ‘It’s just whether he’ll be able to throw the ball the way we want to see him throw it,’ Carroll said. ‘He’ll get the work. He took a bunch of reps today in preparation, so he’ll have all of the mental stuff done. But we have to really take it easy on him throwing. We just need to steal as much time as we can before we extend him, so that’s how we’ll go about it.’ ”
Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling looks at what appeared to be a sure win for the Seahawks when the schedule was released isn’t because the Bengals have improved and are 4-2. Says Boling: “Credit coach Marvin Lewis for changing the stripes on these Bengals. Lewis is a rare coach who has stayed employed by the same club for nine years despite having only two seasons above .500. At the end of last year’s 4-12 campaign, Lewis’ return was in doubt, with uncertainty reported on both sides. But Lewis came out of his meetings with president Mike Brown, and after his own assessment of all the things that went wrong, announced: “I will fix us.” Apparently he has, but the fix required widespread change.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald examines the role-model journey of rookie cornerback Richard Sherman from Compton to Stanford to a starting spot in the Seahawks secondary. Says Boyle: “Some athletes try to shy away from being a role model. Richard Sherman, on the other hand, has been trying to be one since he was a teenager. And when Sherman makes his first start cornerback Sunday for the Seahawks just seven games into his NFL career, he knows plenty of people back home in Compton, Calif. will be watching, particularly football players at his alma mater, Dominguez High School. But as proud as Sherman is to be representing his high school and home town as an NFL player, he hopes it’s the decision he made years earlier that really sends a message to the young athletes who pass through Dominguez after him.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the relationship between Sherman and cornerback Roy Lewis, two corners from Los Angeles who could be two vital pieces in the Seahawks’ nickel secondary to will face the Bengals’ Andy Dalton-to-Green passing game on Sunday: “I didn’t know Richard growing up, but I met him actually on his recruiting trip up to the UW,” Lewis said with a large smile. The smile turned to a grin and then a laugh as he added, “I do remember playing against him when he was a wide receiver – which, by the way, he was not a good wide receiver. Let it be known, he’s a far better DB than he ever was a wide receiver.” The Seahawks aren’t just planning on that, they’re counting on it. Sherman is the proverbial next-man-up, after Trufant was placed on injured reserve 10 days ago with a disc problem in his back and Thurmond followed on Monday after fracturing an ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Browns in Cleveland.”
As for the Bengals, the Associated Press – via PI.com – has this report on Bernard Scott getting the start at running back against the Seahawks because Cedric Benson has been suspended for Sunday’s game. Says Scott: “We’re two different kinds of backs. He’s a bruiser, I’m a slash-and-dash type of back. But if I have to run inside, I don’t mind running inside neither.”
Les Carpenter, formerly of the Seattle Times and now at YahooSports.com, profiles the Bengals’ Dalton. Says Carpenter: “Andy Dalton is not an excitable man. He sits at his locker with a calm but confident look. When Green first met him, the receiver thought to himself, ‘This guy is going to be great just by the way he goes about his business.’ He is doing the same thing Cam Newton is doing in Carolina, which is starting as a rookie without the benefit of an offseason. But unlike Newton, who has filled highlight shows with his rocket throws, Dalton has drawn little attention despite the fact his team is winning. The coaches say the calm and decisiveness he brings is a big reason why the Bengals are succeeding.”
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 26:
Wading back in. That’s what four injured starters who missed Sunday’s game against the Browns in Cleveland did today, when the Seahawks began preparing for this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (strained pectoral), running back Marshawn Lynch (back spasms), tight end Zach Miller (sore neck) and center Max Unger (sore foot) took reps with the No. 1 offense during the morning walk-thru and then were limited in the 105-minute afternoon practice.
The most precarious situation involves Jackson, because the coaches need to get him work and see him throw the ball with authority, while also providing backup Charlie Whitehurst with enough reps so he’ll be ready if needed to start a second consecutive game.
“Anytime you have an injured player it’s similar, you’re always trying to walk the line on how much to do give him,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said after practice. “Because you’d love them to have every single rep. You want them to have those looks.
“Tarvaris had a bunch of reps this morning in the walk-thru. Then he comes out here and he gets some in the 9-on-7 and different periods. So we’re trying to give him as much as we can. … In the meantime, Charlie’s getting all the other reps and as we can get him just to prepare for him to play.”
Coach Pete Carroll said the final Jackson-or-Whitehurst decision could come down to game day.
“We just need to steal as much time as we can before we extend him, so that’s how we’ll go about it,” Carroll said of Jackson. “He’ll be ready to go in terms of playing the mental side of it by the end of this week. We just need to see physically if he can handle it.”
It’s a similar situation with Lynch, Miller and Unger.
Carroll on Lynch, who got some snaps in practice and also did a lot of running on the side: “I think he is going to be fine for the game. He feels much better already this week than he did last week at any time, so I think we’re moving in the right direction there.”
Carroll on Miller, who practiced today for the first time since being injured in the first half of the pre-bye week game against the New York Giants: “We’re just going to make sure that everything works out fine. He feels great and he feels like he can go, but we’re going to take it one step at a time during the week to make sure he makes it through.”
Carroll on Unger, who also was injured in the game against the Giants: “He feels really good and is encouraged that he can play. But again, we’ll just have to survive the week kind of and we’ll load him up to make sure that’s all right before we get there. But he’ll get enough work where he’ll be ready to play physically.”
A.J. Green. The Bengals’ rookie wide receiver is playing to his draft status, which is a lofty level considering that he was the fourth overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. He leads the team, as well as all rookie receivers in the league, in catches (29), receiving yards (453) and TDs (four).
Green also has impressed Carroll.
“He’s a very explosive player,” Carroll said. “He’s got that quickness. He’s got that explosion. He’s got that confidence. And he has a marvelous catching range. He can make catches that other guys can’t get to and do something with it when he gets it.”
IN ’N OUT
Cornerback Brandon Browner did not practice, but his absence was not injury related. Strong safety Kam Chancellor (knee) participated fully in practice. Kennard Cox filled in for Browner in practice.
Carroll confirmed that offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus has been released. Polumbus started nine games during the regular season last year and both playoff games. But the club needs to the roster spot to address the injuries that have forced cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond to be placed on injured reserve the past two Mondays.
“I hate having to make that move because Tyler has been a great member of this team and we love him around here,” Carroll said. “But that was a move that we made for the opportunity of getting other guys up at different positions because of what’s happened.”
Cornerback Ron Parker was re-signed on Monday and cornerback Roy Lewis could be activated off the physically unable to perform list this week.
For the Bengals, linebackers Thomas Howard (hamstring) and Rey Maualuga (ankle) did not practice, while cornerback Nate Clements (knee) and linebacker San Skuta (groin) were limited.
STAT DU JOUR
Andy Dalton is a player the Seahawks considered drafting, and the rookie quarterback for the Bengals is showing why. He has the highest completion percentage (.624) and passer rating (84.3) of all the first-year QBs in the league who have thrown at least 100 passes – not to mention a 4-2 record as the starter. Here’s a look at how he compares to the other rookie passers selected in the first three rounds:
Player, team Att. Comp. Pct. Yards TD Int. Rating
Andy Dalton, Bengals 189 118 .624 1,311 7 5 84.3
Cam Newton, Panthers 252 152 .603 2,103 8 9 82.8
Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars 143 69 .483 810 4 2 69.4
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers 3 3 1.000 35 0 0 115.3
Jake Locker, Titans 2 1 .500 12 0 0 68.8
Christian Ponder, Vikings 49 22 .449 318 2 2 63.1
It will be “Turnover Thursday,” according to the Carroll calendar, when the players practice tomorrow. The Seahawks have taken the ball away six times in their past two games after forcing two turnovers in the first four games.
Tickets are available for Sunday’s game and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Just having him back, we’re very young, and he gives us some background because he’s been around enough that he’ll affect the other guys in a positive way just through his experience.” – Carroll on Lewis, who returned to practice last week
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 19:
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.”
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.”
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)
OL Alex Mack (illness)
OL Tony Pashos (ankle)
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
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