A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 27:
Zach Miller. The Seahawks’ tight end went to the Pro Bowl last season while playing for the Oakland Raiders, in large part because he caught 60 passes and had 66 receptions the previous season.
Not this season, when the injury problems on the Seahawks’ line have called for Miller to use his skills as a blocker more than those as a receiver. Miller has 25 receptions heading into Sunday’s season finale against the Cardinals in Arizona, which ranks sixth on the team.
But don’t call his first season in Seattle a disappointment. Not in front of coach Pete Carroll.
“He’s had a real solid year for us,” Carroll said when asked about Miller not being as involving in the pass-catching aspect of the passing game. “He’s played really well. He’s consistently been there for us. He’s tough. He’s disciplined. You can count on him.
“We haven’t gotten the ball to him as many times, but I think just as we grow together – everything happened so darn fast at the beginning of this thing. The fact that he’s not caught 60 balls like he has in other years, that’s a different team, a different time and all that.”
With this team, at this time, Miller the pass-blocker has been needed more than Miller the pass-catcher. But that can change as the Seahawks move forward.
“I just think we’ll grow together,” Carroll said. “I’m not worried about it at all, and Zach is a heckuva player and he’s a big part of our team. He’s such a good dude, he doesn’t care. He’d like to help more, but he’s doing everything that we ask of him. He’s a real winner, so I’m not worried about that.”
THOMAS TO THE PRO BOWL
Free safety Earl Thomas is the starter on the NFC Pro Bowl team, which was announced today. He becomes the first Seahawk to be voted to the NFL all-star game since 2008.
The Seahawks also had five players get alternate status: cornerback Brandon Browner, strong safety Kam Chancellor and fullback Michael Robinson, who are first alternates; running back Marshawn Lynch, who is a second alternate; and punter Jon Ryan, who is a third alternate.
For more on the Pro Bowl selections, click here.
STAT DU JOUR
Chuck Knox and Mike Holmgren always said that with team success come individual honors, and the winningest coaches in franchise history were definitely right when it came to the Pro Bowl. The Seahawks’ two largest contingents to the NFL’s all-star game came in the seasons when they won 13, under Holmgren in 2005; and 12 games, under Knox in 1984. Here’s a look at the seasons the most Seahawks were voted to the Pro Bowl:
2005 (13-3 record, seven players): RB Shaun Alexander, QB Matt Hasselbeck, LG Steve Hutchinson, LT Walter Jones, FB Mack Strong, MLB Lofa Tatupu, C Robbie Tobeck.
1984 (12-4 record, seven players): CB Dave Brown, SS Kenny Easley, K Norm Johnson, QB Dave Krieg, WR Steve Largent, DT Joe Nash, ST Fredd Young.
2007 (10-6 record, six players): QB Matt Hasselbeck, LT Walter Jones, DE Patrick Kerney, LB Julian Peterson, MLB Lofa Tatupu, CB Marcus Trufant.
1986 (10-6 record, five players): KR Bobby Joe Edmonds, DE Jacob Green, WR Steve Largent, RB Curt Warner, LB Fredd Young.
1987 (9-6, five players): SS Kenny Easley, DE Jacob Green, WR Steve Largent, RB Curt Warner, LB Fredd Young.
The players return from their “off” day to begin preparing for Sunday’s season finale against the Cardinals in Arizona with a walk-through, meetings and practice on Wednesday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“To know that Earl is a starter and that Brandon and Kam are both first alternates, that’s pretty darn good.” – Carroll on the Pro Bowl announcement