Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Dec. 15:
Jerry Brewer at the Seattle Times offers some advice as the suddenly surging Seahawks enter their final three games, starting with Sunday’s matchup against the Bears in Chicago: “You can still hear the noise if you listen closely. It’s a muffled protest now, not the passionate shout that it used to be. That’s because the outdated idea — tank games, draft high — isn’t just counterintuitive for Seahawks fans anymore. Now that the Seahawks have won four of five games and made something of this season, it’s also counterproductive. Why oppose winning now just to see if a lose-to-win experiment could spur success after prolonged heartache, disappointment and humiliation?”
Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil looks at how the Seahawks’ run-oriented offensive attack is bucking the trend in the pass-happy NFL: “The Seahawks aren’t swimming upstream against the NFL’s prevailing current. They’re running into it. Repeatedly. The Seahawks have spent the better part of the last six games handing the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch and running headlong against the trend that the NFL is becoming a passing league.”
Dave Boling at the News Tribune evokes the P-word – and it’s not Pete, as the Seahawks coach isn’t the one talking playoffs: “Pete Carroll is not about to discourage his team – or anybody else, for that matter – if they want to get excited about a long-shot possibility. Even if that includes a mid-December mention of slender postseason odds. ‘It’s natural to have the conversation as long as the focus is here to do the work every day,’ the coach of the Seahawks said Wednesday. ‘They can talk like that. If they get out of whack with it, I’ll (tell) them it isn’t what we can control. We can only do something this week. It’s a long ways away still.’ ”
Also at the New Tribune, Eric Williams looks at the Bears’ offense that is missing running back Matt Forte and QB Jay Cutler as it prepares for the Seahawks’ defense: “The NFL’s Mad Scientist, Chicago offensive coordinator Mike Martz, has had to reel in his aggressive nature of late with the absence of quarterback Jay Cutler, who’s out for at least the last three games of the regular season with a broken right thumb on his throwing hand. Instead, the Bears have leaned on an improved ground game with backup quarterback Caleb Hanie leading the offense. Still, that offense has failed to muster enough yardage to close out games, losing three straight. Playing behind a makeshift offensive line and without his top offensive weapon – running back Matt Forte, unavailable because of an MCL sprain – Hanie has predictably struggled.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at how the once “soft” Seahawks are making things hard on opposing defenses with their running game: “Through seven games, Seattle ranked second to last in the league in rushing, and with the run game struggling, had fluctuated back and forth between running a no-huddle offense. Prior to that game in Dallas, (Tom) Cable, Carroll and the rest of the offensive coaches got together and a made a decision — no matter how it turned out, the Seahawks were going to run the ball. They were going to have an identity as a physical, run-oriented offense.”
Tim Booth at the Associated Press, via PI.com, stays with that theme: “The stretch of success has thrust Marshawn Lynch into the spotlight. Lynch leads the league in rushing over the past six weeks with 706 yards and five games of at least 100 yards, including 115 in Monday night’s win over St. Louis.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his weekly look at injury situations that matter in the NFC West, including this rundown on the Seahawks: “Linebacker Leroy Hill practiced fully Wednesday despite a neck injury, a good sign for Seattle given the team’s depth issues at the position. Linebacker David Hawthorne rested his injured knee, no surprise. He’s playing with an MCL injury that needs monitoring. Receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle), left guard Robert Gallery (hip) and defensive end Raheem Brock (calf) did not practice. They were expected to play Sunday against the Bears. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson remained a full participant in practice despite his pectoral injury. Jackson seems to be getting stronger.”
Sando also looks at the latest totals from fan balloting for the Pro Bowl, with punter Jon Ryan and safety Kam Chancellor sitting third at their respective positions.
Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with the newest member of the 53-man roster, rookie wide receiver Ricardo Lockette: “As Ricardo Lockette sat in the dentist chair on Tuesday, he broke into tears. An exposed nerve during a root canal? No just a call from Seahawks general manager John Schneider informing the rookie wide receiver that he was being elevated from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. ‘He was like, ‘Congratulations, we’re moving you up,’ Lockette said Wednesday. ‘Tears immediately started to flow, because it’s been such a tough road for me. Once I got that news, man …’ Lockette paused before adding, ‘I can’t explain it. Best day of my life.’ ”
There’s also a look back at Monday night’s victory over the Rams in Ben Malcolmson’s “From the Sidelines,” as well as recaps of Wednesday in “Wednesday in Hawkville” and Tony Ventrella’s video review.