A recap of the activities on Day 5 of NFC West Championship week:
Clint Gresham. ’Tis the season. No, that was last week. But for the Seahawks’ long snapper, it’s always the giving season.
On Christmas Eve, Gresham donated five Wii systems to the families at Vision House, which provides transitional housing for homeless single mothers and their children. He returned on Wednesday, with autographed mini Seahawks helmets for the kids and then them outside for a few pointers on the fine art of snapping.
“I’ve been wanting to get involved somehow in the community, and just have an opportunity to share my faith and be involved in the lives of these kids,” Gresham said today, after the team’s next-to-last practice for Sunday’s big game against the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field to determine the champion of the NFC West.
“It was great. We went outside. I taught them all how to long snap.”
Gresham cracked a smile before adding, “So in about 15 years I’ll be having some competition.”
Gresham has an endorsement deal with Nike, so he got some gift certificates as part of his package. He gave them to them kids from the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club and then took them on a pre-Christmas shopping spree at Nike Town.
“It’s really cool having that Nike contract, but how much Nike stuff am I going to wear?” he said. “Just being able to give back and help some kids out that would really appreciate it is a really good thing.”
Gresham got his reward by seeing the kids’ faces.
“They were just loving it,” he said. “They were wide-eyed. It was really neat.”
There were 10 kids and each of them got a $200 gift certificate.
“It’s so easy to be a blessing to somebody. It’s so easy to help somebody out,” Gresham said.
Left guard. Tyler Polumbus got a lot of work there this week with the No. 1 line. If he starts there in place of Chester Pitts on Sunday, it will create the 10th different unit the Seahawks have used this season.
“We’re just hoping to mix it up,” Carroll said of Polumbus possibly making his first NFL start at guard. “He’s a big, strong guy that has played well for us. I want to see how he does on that left side. We want to make sure we’re doing the best that we can possibly do.
“Chester is ready to play in this game, as well, so we’ll see how that goes. It’s always about competition, you know. We’re just trying to make sure that our guys know that you have to keep working hard, you have to keep pushing and guys can get elevated and opportunities can change. And that’s part of it.”
The 6-foot-8, 300-pound Polumbus has started five games at left tackle and one at right tackle, when Russell Okung and Sean Locklear were sidelined with injuries.
ON THE FIELD
The players held their now-normal 40-minute Friday walk-thru in the indoor practice facility at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where it was 35 degrees.
The big news was QB Matt Hasselbeck taking some snaps after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday because of the hip and buttock muscles he strained in last week’s game against the Buccaneers in Tampa. Carroll said the plan remains to proceed as if backup Charlie Whitehurst will start against the Rams, with Hasselbeck’s status being a game-day decision. Click here for more on the quarterback situation.
For a look at Hasselbeck, Whitehurst and other practice-field moments, checkout Rod Mar’s photo gallery.
The official end-of-the-week status report, as released by the team:
QB Matt Hasselbeck (hip)
WR Brandon Stokley (head)
K Olindo Mare (back)
LB Lofa Tatupu (knee)
While Hasselbeck took some snap during practice, Stokley sat out for the third consecutive day because of the concussion he got in last week’s game against the Bucs. Carroll had hoped that Stokley would be able to practice today.
For the Rams:
TE Mike Hoomanawanui (ankle)
CB Jerome Murphy (finger)
Murphy and Hoomanawanui practiced fully today and are expected to play Sunday.
BOW DOWN TO SARK
Carroll was asked near the end of his post-practice Q&A session if he had watched the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night.
“Thanks for the opportunity. What a great night for them,” he said of Washington’s stunning upset of a Nebraska team that had handled the Huskies earlier this season – a Washington team that just happened to be coached by Steve Sarkisian, his former assistant when both were at USC.
“I thought it was, and I’m sure everybody else could see it too, just an extraordinary demonstration of hanging together and execution and energy and excitement and toughness. Those guys put it together in such beautiful fashion.”
Of the obvious Sark connection, Carroll added, “I’m so thrilled for him. That accomplishment is extraordinary. And it shows where the program is going and how people can look to the future and be so grateful and hopeful that it’s going on the direction it is.
“I was texting him late last night, to make sure he was enjoying the heck out of it. And Sark was having a good time.”
STAT DU JOUR
Since catching 41 passes in a six-game span at midseason, Mike Williams has 10 receptions in the past five games. The Seahawks’ leading receiver missed two of those games because of a strained left foot and sprained left ankle, so his 10 catches have come the past two weeks.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s been a good week. It’s been an energy that you can tell that this is the last game of the regular season and something’s riding on it. And these guys all know it. The focus has been great. The energy has been great.” – Carroll, looking back at the week and ahead to Sunday’s game