On this date: Seahawks draft a pair of offensive linemen

Andy Heck

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 23:Chris Spencer

1989: Andy Heck is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He would start 70 games over the next five seasons at left tackle, left guard and right tackle.

2005: Chris Spencer is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He would start 70 games over the next six seasons at center and right guard.

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Thursday in Hawkville: Omiyale happy that he decided to sign with Seahawks

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 29:


Frank Omiyale

Frank Omiyale. The veteran offensive lineman played the past three seasons with the Bears, starting 31 games at left guard, left tackle and right tackle. With the injury problems the Bears are having on their line, there’s a pretty good chance he’d be starting this week against the Seahawks.

Except that Omiyale signed with the Seahawks in free agency in March.

“It’s not a big deal, but I’m excited to see some of the guys,” he said today of returning to Soldier Field as a member of the visiting team. “Other than that, we’re trying to win a game. So that’s what this week is all about.”

The Bears already have won eight games and lead the NFC North. But the line that will start against the Seahawks on Sunday vaguely resembles the unit that helped the Bears win seven of their first eight games.

Gabe Carimi, who had been benched for his play at right tackle, will start at right guard because Lance Louis was lost for the remainder of the season with a knee injury in last week’s game against the Vikings. Former Seahawks first-round draft choice Chris Spencer started at left guard against the Vikings for Chilo Rachal, but today Spencer was ruled out for Sunday because of a knee injury he got against the Vikings. So the line which lines up against the Seahawks could include – from left tackle to right – J’Marcus Webb, Edwin Williams, Roberto Garza, Carimi and Jonathan Scott.

“I ain’t got nothing to do with that,” Omiyale said with a laugh.

In the Seahawks’ 6-5 start, Omiyale has started one game at left tackle and played briefly at left and right tackle in two other games. But most of his action has come on special teams, and he had a key block on Leon Washington’s 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a fourth-quarter lead in last week’s loss to the Dolphins.

“It’s been good for me to come here,” he said. “I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here. It’s a great bunch of guys; hard workers. Great coaches. So, yeah, it’s been a good situation.”


Jeremy Bates

Jeremy Bates. In 2010, he was the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator. This season, he is the Bears’ quarterbacks coach. In 2011, he was at his home in Colorado, watching and waiting.

“I just took a step back and watched the game from a fan’s point of view a little bit,” Bates told the Chicago Tribune this week. “There is so much knowledge to be gained. I don’t want to do that again. It was a frustrating year. But things happen and you just have to find the positives.”

That’s also what the Bears consider adding Bates to their staff was.

“He’s had a great impact,” coach Lovie Smith said of Bates, who had worked with QB Jay Cutler when both were with the Broncos. “Jay Cutler has played good football for us and, of course, Jeremy is tutoring him. He’s been a good addition.”

Brandon Marshall, the Bears’ leading receiver in his first season with the team, also was with Bates and Cutler in Denver.

“Jeremy is probably one of the most talented football heads on the offensive side of the ball in the NFL and I’m just so thrilled to be back with him,” Marshall said. “Not only is it good as a receiver to play with a quarterback that understands how you approach the game, but when you have a coach that also sees the game the same way as you and also understands how to coach you, how to challenge you, how to get you going when you’re not, it makes you that much better.

“He’s one of those coaches that is a friend. Not only a coach, but a friend at the end of the day that I would definitely say is the reason I am successful.”


The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)

Bryant and Hill were sidelined for the second consecutive day, so Jason Jones and Malcolm Smith replaced them with the No. 1 defense. But Lynch and Scruggs took part in all phases of practice after being limited on Wednesday.

For the Bears:


WR/KR Devin Hester (concussion)

OG Chris Spencer (knee)

Did not practice

WR Alshon Jeffery (knee)

LB Brian Urlacher (coach decision; not injury related)

Limited participation

LB Lance Briggs (ankle)

RB Matt Forte (ankle)

TE Kellen Davis (ankle)

CB Charles Tillman (ankle)

Full participation

DT Stephan Paea (shoulder)

OG Edwin Williams (shoulder)

Hester and Spencer were ruled out for Sunday’s game today, each with injuries they got in against the Vikings last week.


The Seahawks just missed putting together a November to really remember with Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins. A victory would have pushed their November record to 3-0, and marked only the fourth time in franchise history that they went unbeaten in the 11th month. Here’s a look at those previous Novembers to remember, and the close misses:

Year       Nov. record

1982           2-0

1984           4-0

2005           4-0

1978           3-1

1979           3-1

1995           3-1

2011           3-1

1997           2-1

2012           2-1


“Turnover Thursday” gives way to “No Repeat Friday” as the players will hold their final full practice before the team flies to Chicago for Sunday’s game.


“If you just look at the turnover ratio and how important it is each game, you can see why we put so much of an emphasis on it. That’s just who we are. That’s the core. That’s our DNA. In the sense that you’re talking about defensive football, I just feel like it’s not a good defensive game unless we can take the ball away. We do practice it. We preach it. And guys are seeing the results of what it can do.” – Bears coach Lovie Smith on his team being plus-13 in turnover differential because they have a league-high 33 takeaways

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On this date: 70-start linemen drafted

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 23:

1989: Andy Heck is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He would start 70 games over the next five seasons at left tackle, left guard and right tackle.

2005: Chris Spencer is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He would start 70 games over the next six seasons at center and right guard.

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Cyber surfing: Monday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 1.

The big story Sunday, of course, was the release of Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. So that’s what everyone wrote about.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has been on top of this story from the start, so we’ll begin with what he has to offer: “ ‘I choked up a little bit,’ linebacker Leroy Hill said. He probably wasn’t the only one in the city feeling that way, as the Seahawks said so long to the player who had captained the defense since his first season in Seattle. The team characterized Tatupu’s release as a mutual agreement, and coach Pete Carroll did his best to honor Tatupu’s contributions to the team even as he was asked why the team thought it best to move on.”

O’Neil also offers his personal feelings on Tatupu’s departure: “I covered each of his six seasons in Seattle on a daily basis, and found him to be one of the most thoughtful, accountable and earnest people that I have had the fortune to meet in my role as a journalist.”

Dave Boling of the News Tribune also gives Tatupu the respect he deserves: “At times like these, it seems the location of Seahawks headquarters on the shore of Lake Washington would make a special tribute possible. I could imagine Sunday afternoon the players getting an old row boat, erecting a mast, and making a sail out of a “51” jersey. They could shove it out to “sea” and somebody could throw in a flaming football to set it ablaze. Because if there was anybody around here whose career warranted a ceremonial Viking burial it was Lofa Tatupu, linebacker/leader/warrior chief.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look back at Tatupu’s unprecedented contributions, but also ahead to David Hawthorne stepping in – again – to replace him: “ ‘We all got to say our goodbyes to him today and just tell him what he has meant to us,’ said Hawthorne, who will slide into the middle to replace Tatupu. “He meant a lot, for me especially because I came in undrafted and he kind of took me under his wing and taught me a lot. So today was a hard day for the linebackers. Everybody knows what he’s done for the Seahawks organization if you’ve been around and watched Seahawks football. But he’s done a lot for me, especially.’ ”

We also have a recap of Sunday’s practice, with a focus on Leon Washington, who led the team in kickoff returns last season but is showing he can be more of a contributor on offense: “A year ago, he was coming off surgery to repair a severely broken leg and “just surviving,” as coach Pete Carroll put it. This afternoon, Washington was thriving while making plays by flashing his quickness and speed during the first padded practice of camp. His best effort came on a run where Washington made a nice read to get through the line and then exploded up the left sideline for a long gain. As Washington returned to the huddle, he gave a fist-bump to each of the offensive linemen – tackles Will Robinson and Breno Giacomini, guards Lemuel Jeanpierre and Paul Fanaika and center Mike Gibson – and Carroll then came over to slap hands with Washington. ‘It’s not even the same guy,’ Carroll said. ‘Last year at this time, he was limping around and we were cringing as he was running with the football. He is in full flow, full speed. He really is excited about it, as we are.’ ”

There’s also a look at practice, through the lens of Rod Mar, and a video profile of defensive end Red Bryant from Tony Ventrella.

Former Seahawks center Chris Spencer has agreed to sign with the Chicago Bears in free agency, and CBSSports.com has the report. Spencer’s arrival means the Bears are severing ties with former UW center Olin Kreutz.

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Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 22:

The big news, of course, is that the owners approved a new CBA proposal on Thursday night. But the players still need to ratify it. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen talked with representatives of the players’ group, and he offers: “A vote among its 32 player representatives appears likely Friday after the group received the ‘finishing points’ of the agreement NFL owners approved Thursday. The NFLPA did not receive those details until after a two-hour conference call with player reps came to a conclusion without a vote Thursday night. ‘All in all, despite the games that were played by the NFL, things look much more optimistic,’ a players’ leadership source said.”

Eric Williams of the New Tribune takes a look at Thursday’s actions – and non-actions – from the Seahawks’ viewpoint. He talked to soon-to-be free-agent defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who said: “I have mixed feelings about it. I’m anxious to get it resolved, but you also have to get it right. It’s like when you buy a car, you have to read over the papers so if you get into a lease agreement, you know what you’re signing. But as far as my personal situation, it’s a blessing. I really would like to know where I stand as a free agent and what’s going to happen.”

Williams also has a comprehensive look at the Seahawks who will become free agents once the lockout ends. On his “staying” list: CB Kelly Jennings, K Olindo Mare and Mebane. On his “go” or “likely to go” list: QB Matt Hasselbeck, OT Sean Locklear, C Chris Spencer, SS Lawyer Milloy and DB Jordan Babineaux.

The Seahawks are scheduled to play the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals twice in 2011 – Sept. 25 at CenturyLink Field and in their Jan. 1 regular-season finale in the desert. Sporting News Today has this look at the Cardinals from beat writer and correspondent Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Says Somers: “The Cardinals are coming off their worst season since 2006, and it’s hard to imagine many other teams with as many weaknesses to address. The most glaring is at quarterback. They need more than competence at that spot; Arizona must have someone who can make plays. (Coach Ken) Whisenhunt, however, has proven his ability as a coach, and playing in a weak division gives the Cardinals some hope.”

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com takes a look at the “ideal” and “bad” fits for some of the players who will become unrestricted free agents. Brooks, a former NFL scout (including a stint with the Seahawks), includes Hasselbeck in his roundup. His “ideal” fit: The Titans. Says Brooks: “Hasselbeck wants to remain a starter, and the situation in Tennessee provides him with the perfect opportunity to be a first-stringer for another year or so. He would step into a lineup with a strong runner in place (Chris Johnson) and an intriguing No. 1 receiver in Kenny Britt. With the support of a front office that is aware of Hasselbeck’s strengths, weaknesses and character (Titans vice president Mike Reinfeldt was a part of the Seahawks’ front office prior to coming to Tennessee), he would have the opportunity to extend his career as a mentor to Jake Locker.”

His “bad” fit: The Seahawks. Says Brooks: “Hasselbeck has repeatedly stated his desire to return to Seattle, but the team is poised to transition at the position. The Seahawks paid a hefty sum to acquire Charlie Whitehurst a season ago, and they need to see if he has the goods to become a franchise quarterback. Also, the team’s reluctance to get a deal done prior to the lockout suggests the front office isn’t completely sold on Hasselbeck as their starter in 2011. Without a strong commitment from the team to remain on board, Hasselbeck would be better served to look for greener pastures.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the team’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1979 – when the Seahawks went 9-7 for the second consecutive season by winning five of their final six games and Steve Largent averaged a career-best 18.7 yards on 66 catches.

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Memorable playoff moment – Spencer

As a first-round draft choice in 2005, center Chris Spencer was there for the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl in his rookie season and started the team’s playoff games in 2006 and 2007.

He is, in fact, one of only seven players still on the 53-man roster from that ’05 team – joining quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux, right tackle Sean Locklear, defensive tackle Craig Terrill and middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu.

So Spencer has seen a lot from his spot in the middle of the line. But he has never seen anything like Marshawn Lynch’s electrifying, tackle-defying, 67-yard touchdown run that iced Saturday’s wild 41-36 wild-card playoff win over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints at Qwest Field.

To help celebrate the Seahawks’ return to the postseason after a two-year absence, Seahawks.com asked Spencer for his favorite playoff memory. Spencer broke into a large grin before offering:

“That ‘17 Power’ we called and to watch Marshawn do what he did. That’s my favorite. I blocked back on the nose (tackle), another lineman looped over the top because they assumed correctly – they guess right – that we were going to the left. All of sudden, I see Marshawn skate back to the backside. I looked up and saw the safety and just tried to get a piece of him, and Marshawn did the rest.

“Once I hit the safety, Marshawn skated off my back. He then dragged somebody for a couple of yards. Then he stiff-armed that guy to the ground. At the last minute, I see Hasselbeck running down, and I’m running down. I see (guard Tyler) Polumbus out front. It was unbelievable.

“Marshawn had enough for a first down (on the second-and-10 play). He just piled through it. It was unbelievable; definitely the best run I’ve ever been a part of – here, college, high school, pee-wee league. It was unbelievable. Just unbelievable.”

It also was a run that helped carry the Seahawks into Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Bears in Chicago.

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Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:


Ben Obomanu. In the past two games, the Seahawks’ passing game has produced five plays of 20-plus yards. Four of them have gone to Obomanu, with an emphasis on the plus. He caught an 87-yard touchdown pass last week, as well as a 52-yard reception. He had receptions of 42 and 23 yards the week before.

So even if leading receiver Mike Williams is somehow able to play in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Qwest Field, Obomanu will remain a big part of the offense.

“Everyone has an opportunity in life, and it’s kind of neat to watch Ben,” offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said today after practice. “Sometimes it takes a year, two years; some people it takes 10 years. But when a person has that opportunity, they can go one of two ways. And Ben took it and just ran with it.”

Literally. His runs after taking passes from Matt Hasselbeck were the most productive aspect of the offense against the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs – when Obomanu combined to catch 10 passes for 246 yards. That after catching 15 for 214 in his first four seasons with the team.

“Ben has been waiting, he’s been positive. And when it happened, he hit it full speed ahead and he hasn’t looked back,” Bates said. “It’s exciting to see those kinds of guys have those kinds of stories. I think it’s a great story, and he’s going to keep continuing to play the way he’s playing.”

Hasselbeck agrees, with all of it.

“Ben has done a nice job of going up and getting the ball when given opportunities,” he said. “You see sometimes around the league receivers going up and making a play on a smaller DB. Ben has done a great job with it.

“I think there are a handful of routes that he does really, really well – that he does better than anybody on our team. The route that he keeps catching, that’s been a big one for him. So hopefully we can get that dialed up again.”  


Offensive line. It’s looking like the Seahawks will start the same combination in back-to-back games for only the third time this season. The unit that should start against the Panthers includes – from left tackle to right – Russell Okung, Mike Gibson, Chris Spencer, Stacy Andrews and Sean Locklear.

The only other times they had the same unit in consecutive games were Weeks 3-4 (when they went 1-1) and Weeks 6-7 (when they went 2-0). Since then, they’ve used three starters each at left tackle and left guard.

“They’re coming together,” Bates said. “It’s tough. It’s tough when you move guys in and out every week. But they’re fighting and they’re competing their tails off. The pass protection has been really good; we’ve just got to keep improving in the run blocking.

“The guys are working hard. Not one day, not one second can you say they’re not giving everything they have. So they’re giving everything and we’ve just got to keep working together and get in that flow. It’s five guys that have to be coordinated on the same page – exact. One wrong step and you’re going to have the three-technique (defensive tackle) go in between a combination block. So it’s a challenge. And they’re looking at it and taking it on.”

While the pass protection has allowed four sacks in the past four games, the running game has averaged 59.3 yards over that same span and 3.2 yards per carry – with averages of 39 and 2.7 the past two games.

“Our goal is just to be good at both,” Bates said. “We’ve just got to keep working and it’s going to take hopefully not much time.”  


Another gorgeous December afternoon, another practice outside. Today, the players worked for 80 minutes on “Turnover Thursday.” Among the highlights were several nice catches by wide receiver Brandon Stokley.


The official report, as released by the team:

Did not practice

TE John Carlson (hip)

DT Colin Cole (ankle)

OG Chester Pitts (ankle)

WR Mike Williams (foot)

MLB Lofa Tatupu (knee)

CB Marcus Trufant (lower leg)

Full participation

QB Matt Hasselbeck (wrist)

DE Chris Clemons (ankle)

Carlson did not practice because of a sore hip. But Clemons, who leads the team with 7½ sacks, was back after sitting out on Wednesday to rest a sore knee.

Cole continued to do agility work with assistant trainer Donald Rich during practice, a positive sign that he might be able to return next week – if not this week. He has missed the past four games with a high ankle sprain. Williams again was catching passes on the side from coach Pete Carroll during individual drills, and not wearing a boot to protect his strained left foot.

For the Panthers:

Did not practice

CB Chris Gamble (hamstring)

RB Mike Goodson (not injury related)

OG Geoff Schwartz (back)

OT Travelle Wharton (toe)

Limited in practice

S Marcus Hudson (ankle)

CB Robert McClain (hip)

QB Tony Pike (shoulder)

S Jordan Pugh (hamstring)

QB Brian St. Pierre (shoulder)

RB Tyrell Sutton (ankle)

LB James Anderson (concussion)

CB Captain Munnerlyn (shoulder)

Anderson, the team’s leading tackler, was able to participate on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday, as was Munnerlyn. But Gamble sat out after getting limited work Wednesday.


The Panthers have scored a league-low 22 first-quarter points, while the Seahawks have scored the third-fewest points in the first quarter (27).


“That is exactly what I told the team. That’s exactly what I told them – that’s what they’re going to hear; that people are going to look at the record and what’s happened in weeks past and all that. We’re not playing weeks past. We’re playing them this week. This is all that we can focus on. But we do have to realize – and I have to realize as a coach – that they’re going to hear that kind of stuff.” – Carroll, when asked how he overlooks the Panthers’ 1-10 record while preparing the players for Sunday’s game

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Injury Update: Chris Spencer

Chris Spencer

The Seahawks’ starting center could miss the first couple games of the regular season because of a tear in his left thigh muscle, coach Jim Mora said this morning during an interview on KJR-AM.

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