Good morning, and happy Seahawks Blue Friday. Here’s a look at what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 14 – one day after the team wrapped up the final day of their three-day minicamp that officially brought an end to their Offseason Program.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has agreed to terms with the club and will come in to compete with Brady Quinn for the backup spot behind entrenched starter Russell Wilson. Jackson was with the Seahawks during the 2011 season when he led the team to a 7-7 record as a starter. He threw for 3,091 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions while playing most of the year with a torn pectoral muscle. On Jackson’s addition, head coach Pete Carroll said, “I think it’s a great boost for us in a competitive sense. We thought of Tarvaris as a tremendously tough football player and competitive kid that battled for us.”
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has his notes following the team’s final day of camp.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along some observations as the club closes out camp, noting the depth the team has at running back behind All-Pro/Pro Bowl back Marshawn Lynch.
Speaking of Lynch, he joined five of his teammates on the NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 Players of 2013 when he was highlighted at No. 24 last night.
ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando has a look at the news around the rest of the division and reiterates League guidelines as they pertain to training camp scheduling.
NFL.com Around the League writer Chris Wesserling has his list of 10 things we learned on Day 3 of NFL minicamps.
Our Clare Farnsworth has his minicamp wrap feature and talks with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in his “Hawkville” blog on which players stood out the most throughout the team’s Offseason Program.
Insider Tony Ventrella chats with running backs coach Sherman Smith in his “Seahawks Daily” on the different personalities and talents present in the Seahawks backfield.
Team photographer Rod Mar has compiled 96 photos from the team’s three-day camp.
And we leave you with a pair of Seahawks-themed podcasts from 710Sports.com:
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin with “Bob and Groz”
Linebacker Bobby Wagner with Danny O’Neil & Tom Wassell
Wednesday in Hawkville: Brandon Mebane reverts to baseball-playing days to make one big interception
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 5, when the Seahawks put the wraps on the on-field activities in the OTA portion of their offseason program:
FOCUS ON: BRANDON MEBANE
Pete Carroll stopped short of announcing the move of 311-pound nose tackle to extra-strong strong safety, but the Seahawks’ coach was duly impressed with the interception Mebane made during today’s OTA.
“The return was not that good,” Carroll cracked. “But the pick was nice.”
For Mebane, it was his second interception this week as he also had one on Monday. But today’s pick – which came off a pass that was tipped by middle linebacker Bobby Wagner – allowed him to display the full array of his athletic skills.
“I just saw the ball go up and my eyes got real big,” Mebane said. “I was like, ‘Just like baseball. Just catch it.’ ”
Baseball? Mebane played third base, catcher, second base and centerfield while growing up. That was before he grew into a nose tackle.
“That was just like a pop fly,” he said of the batted Brady Quinn pass he intercepted.
But Mebane’s second pick also was a testament to the work he has been putting in. The D-lineman began today’s OTA with a drill where coordinator Dan Quinn had them drop, turn and catch the ball as he threw it. Mebane displayed cat-like quickness in grabbing his.
PLAYER WATCH: MARSHAWN LYNCH
The All-Pro running back participated in today’s session, Lynch’s first OTA appearance this week. He looked quick and explosive while getting carries with the No. 1 and even No. 3 units.
“He had a nice day today. He got a little running room,” Carroll said. “He’s in really good shape. We’re trying to get him all the way through this offseason and get him ready for the real season. We know what Marshawn can do as long as he’s in good shape, and he’s in fantastic shape. He’s hard as a rock and he’s worked really hard to this point.
“It’s really just take the next step, the next step. Get him through minicamp. Then get him through the summertime. Then show up for camp and get him through the preseason. So that he’s right and ready to go. There’s so much (tread) on the tire and we don’t want to wear down that.”
The Seahawks ran the ball a league-high 536 times last season, and Lynch used his career-high 315 carries to produce 1,590 rushing yards and average 5.0 yards – also a career-bests.
POSITION WATCH: RIGHT TACKLE
Rookie Michael Bowie continued to work with the No. 1 line because, as Carroll explained, starter Breno Giacomini has been in New York to have a knee that’s been bothering him checked out.
The news is good on both fronts: Giacomini will not need surgery, and the reps Bowie got with the first unit in his absence were invaluable for the seventh-round draft choice.
“He could have practice this week, but we wanted to take this time to make sure that we were doing the right thing,” Carroll said of Giacomini. “So he’s in good shape and that’s a really positive report for us.”
On Bowie, he added, “Michael got a great chance to show and it was cool to have him with the first group out there. He handled himself well. It’s a good initial statement that he’s made that he looks like he can fit in. He’s got a lot of ground to make up, but we’re very pleased with him.”
ALUMNI WATCH: CURT WARNER
Three generations of Seahawks running backs were on the field before the start of practice, as Warner had a sideline conversation with Lynch and Sherman Smith, the team’s original running back who now coaches the position.
Smith led the team in rushing from 1976-79 and again in 1982. Warner, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 1983, ran for 6,705 yards in six seasons, including 1,481 in 1986 and 1,449 as a rookie. Lynch has been the team’s leading rusher the past three seasons.
Also at practice was Edward Drummond, a retired Lt. Col. and the youngest of the Tuskegee Airman. He had his picture taken with Carroll and several players after practice.
Drummond, 86, was accompanied by his wife and eight students from Pacific West Aerospace Academy.
The players will work out on Thursday, but they won’t have their scheduled on-field session.
Friday, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman will sign autographs from noon to 1 p.m. as part of the weekend-long grand re-opening of the Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field. Quarterback Russell Wilson and team president Peter McLoughlin will handle the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Next week, the team’s mandatory minicamp will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with an afternoon practice each day.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Walter is physically capable of showing off. He is a tremendous athlete. He has been in a situation where he’s kind of had to hold back a little bit for a long time. He’s really able to just go for it now.” – Carroll on oft-injured cornerback Walter Thurmond, who we profiled in this story on Monday
The 16-game regular season in the NFL has been the norm so long that it’s hard to remember when teams played fewer games.
But there was that time, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame shows in this chart to commemorate today’s 36th anniversary of the owners voting to expand the regular season.
The Nordstrom family was the majority owner of the team, which played its home game in the Kingdome. Jack Patera was the coach. Jim Zorn was the quarterback. Steve Largent was the leading receiver. Sherman Smith was the leading rusher. Dave Brown (’76) and Terry Beeson (’77) were the leading tacklers.
That ’76 season was short on victories, but long on long-anticipated excitement.
“We only won two games that first year,” recalls Zorn, who is now a member of the team’s Ring of Honor along with Largent and Brown. “But you would have thought we almost went to the playoffs. That’s how enthusiastic not only we were, but the fans were. Everybody was excited.”
And what a difference that one season made to the expansion Seahawks. As Smith puts it, “As a team, we definitely felt more like a team in ’77. There was just more familiarity, with what the coaches wanted from us and with what the guy next to you would do on any given play. That first year, it was just getting ready to go and coming to training camp with more than 100 guys. So in ’77, it was a totally different feeling.”
Marshawn Lynch is fashioning a productive career by finding ways to get a lot from a little.
But the Seahawks’ Beast Mode back added a new wrinkle to his habit of getting more yards on most carries than appear to be there. During the 2012 season, when Lynch ran for a career-high 1,590 yards, he produced three of the top four per-carry average games by a running back in franchise history.
And in each instance, he did it with 12 or fewer carries: 11 for 128 yards against the Cardinals on Dec. 9 for an 11.64-yard average; 10 for 113 yards against the Bills on Dec. 16 for an 11.30-yard average; and 12 for 105 yards against the Lions on Oct. 28 for an 8.75-yard average.
Wedged between Lynch’s efforts that sit at No. 2 and No. 4 is the previous record – an 8.86-yard average against the Falcons on Nov. 7, 1976, by Sherman Smith, who now coaches the team’s backs.
If you add quarterbacks to the list, Russell Wilson checks in at No. 3 after averaging 10.2 yards on nine (for 92 yards) in that same December romp over the Bills in Toronto.
Also on the list among running backs: Lawrence McCutcheon, 8.64-yard average against the Cowboys in 1980 (11 carries for 95 yards); and Lynch, 8.17-yard average against the Giants in 2011 (12 carries for 98 yards).
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 4:
1990: Dave Krieg completes 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 27-21. Jerry Gray, a cornerback for the Rams who would go on to coach the Seahawks’ defensive backs in 2010, is named MVP after returning an interception 51 yards for a TD and also registering seven tackles. Rufus Porter (two tackles) and Brian Blades (one reception) also represent the Seahawks in the game.
1996: Chris Warren leads the NFC with 43 rushing yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 20-13.
1998: Jim Johnson is named linebackers coach on Dennis Erickson’s staff. Johnson remains for only one season before becoming the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, but his impact on the Seahawks’ defense is apparent even after he leaves.
2010: First-year coach Pete Carroll announces his staff: Jeremy Bates (offensive coordinator), Gus Bradley (defensive coordinator), Brian Schneider (special teams coordinator), Kippy Brown (wide receivers), Luke Butkus (quality control/offensive line), Dave Canales (quality control/offense), Chris Carlisle (head strength and conditioning), Jedd Fisch (quarterbacks), Mondray Gee (assistant strength and conditioning), Alex Gibbs (offensive line), Jerry Gray (defensive backs), Kris Richard (assistant defensive backs), Rocky Seto (quality control/defense), Sherman Smith (running backs), Jeff Ulbrich (assistant special teams), Art Valero (assistant offensive line) and Jamie Yancher (assistant strength and conditioning).
2012: Cortez Kennedy, in his seventh year of eligibility and fourth year as a finalist, is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and member of the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1990s as a defensive tackle, Kennedy joins Steve Largent as the only career-long Seahawks player in the Hall.
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 11:
1977: David Sims runs for two touchdowns, Sherman Smith has 149 yards rushing and receiving and another TD and Dave Brown returns an interception for a TD as the Seahawks hold on to win a wild 34-31 game against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium after taking a 34-21 lead at halftime.
1983: In a game that features “the holding call heard ’round the Pacific Northwest,” the Seahawks win 17-12 over the Giants at the Meadowlands behind two touchdown passes from Dave Krieg to setup the first playoff appearance in franchise history. The Giants’ Jeff Rutledge passes for an apparent game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-7 play with 30 seconds to play, but a holding call nullifies the score and his final pass is broken up. The win puts the Seahawks in a situation where they earn a wild-card spot with a victory over the Patriots at the Kingdome on the final weekend of the regular season, which they do.
1988: Curt Warner scores four touchdowns and rushes for 126 yards and John L. Williams has 183 yards rushing and receiving in a 42-14 victory over the Broncos at the Kingdome.
1994: Chris Warren runs for 185 yards and a touchdown and Cortez Kennedy has two of the Seahawks’ six sacks of Billy Joe Tolliver in a 16-14 victory over the Oilers in the Astrodome.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck passes for four touchdowns, including two to Bobby Engram; Shaun Alexander rushes for 108 yards and a TD; and a defense led by Lofa Tatupu (interception) and Marcus Tubbs (two sacks) limits the 49ers to 113 yards in a 41-3 victory in Seattle that is win No. 9 in the team’s club-record 11-game winning streak.
A recap of the Seahawks’ 58-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The entire Seahawks team. With a franchise-record 58 points, there was one for each of the 46 players who were active – with bonus points for leading rusher Marshawn Lynch (three touchdowns), cornerback Richard Sherman (two interceptions and a fumble recovery) and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (two interceptions and a team-high eight tackles).
“This was the true definition of a team victory,” is the way second-year linebacker Mike Morgan summed it up.
We obviously agree, in part because it would be too difficult to select Sherman over Lynch; Lynch over Wagner; Wagner over Sherman. All are deserving, but so are so many others because of the way the Seahawks won this game to up their overall record to 8-5 and their record at CenturyLink Field to 6-0.
“It’s a reward for all of the hard work,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks secured one more win than they had in their first two season under him – and look like a shoo-in to post the franchise’s first winning record since going 10-6 in 2007.
“You work so hard, and so often the games don’t afford you that opportunity. For everybody to play, everybody to contribute, so many guys can get on the stats sheets and all that stuff – and contribute – it’s really very positive.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The last, and longest, of Lynch’s three touchdown runs. It came on a third-and-4 play early in the second half. It covered 33 yards. It allowed him to tie his career-best for TDs in a game. It was the last of his three carries in the seven-play, 86-yard drive, when he gained 59 of his 128 yards. It was his last carry of the game, and put him at 1,266 for the season – surpassing his single-season rushing best from last year (1,204).
“Marshawn broke a personal record or something today, which is great,” Carroll said.
Defense: Sherman’s first interception, which he returned 19 yards for the Seahawks’ first defensive touchdown of the season. Cardinals QB John Skelton was going to Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, but instead found Sherman.
“I got my head around and they threw a quick fade,” Sherman said. “Skelton threw the ball with a little lower trajectory. I think he was trying to throw a back-shoulder fade and I happened to get a foot in the ground. Once I got my hands on it, Earl (Thomas, the free safety) did a great job of blocking and then it was just full speed.”
Said Skelton, “It’s a tight window, that is really the one place to go with the ball. I could have helped Larry by putting the ball into his chest. (Sherman) was coming inside, so if I led him he gets hit. It’s a play Larry usually makes. We expect him to make it. But it’s not an excuse for me.”
Special teams: Malcolm Smith’s TD play, which went down as a fumble recovery in the end zone, but actually was a midair pick of a muffed punt by the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson. Peterson couldn’t handle the ball, which hit the foot of rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane. That’s when Smith snagged the ball for the score.
“I don’t know how I ended up with the ball,” Smith said. “I know the ball was flipping around. Jeremy Lane tipped it up. It tipped off of someone’s hand. And then there was like three of us going for it. It was like a jump ball and I tipped it my way caught it. I guess I was in the end zone.”
Peterson later fumbled a punt return, and the Seahawks had a feeling they’d be able to separate him from the ball.
“We knew that Patrick Peterson was going to give us one, he’s been trying to force a lot of plays,” Morgan said. “It was just one of those things where the ball muffed out. It was big time.”
Lynch left the game in the first half with what was called a back injury. But he not only returned, he ran for that 33-yard TD on the seventh play of the second half.
Veteran linebacker Leroy Hill was active after missing last week’s game because of a sprained ankle, but Smith started on the weakside and finished with three tackles as well as the touchdown on the recovery of the muffed punt in the second quarter.
“He was ready to play,” Carroll said of Hill. “He had a good workout before (the game), so we dressed him in case we needed him. But we would rather hold him, if we could. I don’t know how Malcolm did, but I think he did pretty well again. He looked like he was active.”
The 58 points scored by the Seahawks were the most in franchise history and only the third time they’ve scored more than 50. They had 56 against the Bills in 1977 and 51 against the Chiefs in overtime in 1983.
The 58-0 score also is the largest margin of victory in franchise history, topping 45-0 against the Chiefs in 1984 and 42-0 against the Eagles in 2005.
The Seahawks’ six takeaways in the first half was a franchise record and their eight for the game ties for second-most behind the 10 they had against the Browns in 1981.
With Lynch rushing for 128 yards and rookie Robert Turbin adding 108, the Seahawks had two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since 2005 – when Shaun Alexander (141) and Maurice Morris (104) did it against the Texans.
The Seahawks’ 284 rushing yards were the fourth-highest total in franchise history. They had 320 in that 2005 game against the Texans; 319 in a 2001 game against the Raiders; and 298 in a 1986 game against the Broncos.
Lynch’s 100-yard effort was his seventh of the season, one more than his previous high from last season.
With his 128 yards coming on only 11 carries, Lynch also set a franchise record for rushing average (11.6). The previous record was held by Sherman Smith, who now coaches the team’s running backs. He averaged 8.9 yards in a game against the Falcons in 1976.
With his 20th TD pass of the season, Russell Wilson tied the mark for third-most by a rookie QB. Peyton Manning had 26 and Cam Newton 21. Andy Dalton and Dan Marino also threw 20. And Wilson has three games left.
Wilson’s second-quarter interception was his first at home this season.
Tight end Anthony McCoy not only surpassed 100 receiving yards for the first time in his three-year career, his three-catch, 105-yard day was the first 100-yard outing by a Seahawks receiver this season. He also became the fourth tight end in franchise history to surpass 100 receiving yards – joining Charle Young (140 in 1983), Itula Mili (119 in 2002) and John Carlson (105 in 2008).
The Seahawks passed the ball only 22 times – 7 of 13 by Wilson and 5 of 9 by Matt Flynn, who saw his first action of the season.
The Seahawks were penalized 10 times for 97 yards. “It was crazy stuff that happened,” Carroll said. “Other than that, that was really the only thing that we didn’t get done today.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“My feelings were hurt, he hit me so hard.” – wide receiver Sidney Rice, who took a vicious shot from safety Rashad Johnson in the fourth quarter but held on and got up to spin the ball for emphasis.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 8:
1979: Steve Largent catches a 43-yard touchdown pass from Jim Zorn in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks pull out a 28-23 victory over the Broncos at the Kingdome. The decisive catch is Largent’s second TD of the game, and Sherman Smith also runs for two touchdowns.
1985: Dave Krieg throws four touchdown passes, including two to Daryl Turner, and the defense sacks Bernie Kosar six times, including three by Jacob Green, in a 31-13 victory over the Browns at the Kingdome.
1986: On a wild and raucous Monday night at the Kingdome, the defense registers 11 sacks and three interceptions while holding the Raiders to 138 yards. The offensive contributions to the 37-0 shutout include Curt Warner running for 116 yards and two touchdowns and Dave Krieg throwing TD passes to Steve Largent and Ray Butler.
1991: John Taylor catches a 15-yard touchdown passes from Steve Bono early in the fourth quarter and the 49ers hold the lead for a 24-22 victory at the Kingdome. John Kasay kicks three field goals for the Seahawks.
1996: The Seahawks jump to a 16-0 lead and hold on for a 26-18 victory over the Bills at the Kingdome as Todd Peterson kicks four field goals and Chris Warren runs for 116 yards. With Rick Mirer completing 9 of 24 passes, Rick Tuten is called upon to punt nine times and averages 46.3 yards with a long of 66 yards.
2002: The Seahawks fall behind 27-6, rally on two second-half touchdown passes by Matt Hasselbeck but still lose 27-20 to the Eagles in Seattle. Shaun Alexander runs for 123 yards.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 28:
1976: Jim Zorn and Sherman Smith run for touchdowns, but the expansion Seahawks lose to the Giants 28-16 at the Kingdome.
1982: The Seahawks post the third shutout in club history, but first at the Kingdome, as Kenny Easley and John Harris intercept passes, Norm Johnson kicks three field goals and Steve Largent catches five passes for 109 yards in a 16-0 victory over the Steelers.
1988: Dave Krieg ties his club record by passing for five touchdowns and Curt Warner (130) and John L. Williams (105) become the Seahawks’ first tandem to rush for 100 yards in a same game during a 35-27 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome on “Monday Night Football.”
1999: The Buccaneers intercept Jon Kitna five times in a 16-3 victory at the Kingdome, the start of a 1-5 finish for the Seahawks after they started their first season under coach Mike Holmgren 8-2.
2005: Mike Holmgren presents the game ball from a 24-21 overtime victory the day before to the 12th Man for the crowd’s help in generating 16 Giants’ penalties, including 11 false starts.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Nov. 21:
1976: Sherman Smith scores on a pair of 1-yard runs and Steve Largent catches six passes for 101 yards and a TD, but it’s not enough as the expansion Seahawks fall to the Saints 51-27 at the Kingdome.
1982: In their first game after the eight-week NFL players’ strike, and with Mike McCormack taking over as interim coach for Jack Patera, Steve Largent catches a 34-yard touchdown pass from Jim Zorn with 49 seconds left in a 17-10 victory over the Broncos in Denver.
1999: Ricky Watters scores three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving, as he compiles 174 combined yards in a 31-19 victory in Kansas City, where the Seahawks had lost their previous eight games against the Chiefs.
2004: Michael Boulware intercepts a pass and returns it 63 yards for the touchdown with 56 seconds to play in a 24-17 victory over the Dolphins in Seattle. Trent Dilfer also throws a 21-yard TD pass to Jerry Rice.
2010: Matt Hasselbeck passes for 366 yards, with Mike Williams catching six passes for 109 yards, and David Hawthorne has 12 tackles and an interception. But the defending Super Bowl champion Saints prevail 34-19 in New Orleans. The game is a prelude to the team’s rematch in a wild-card playoff game in Seattle that season.