Game at a glance: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7

A recap of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:


Marshawn Lynch. There were so many candidates from this impressive performance, but the Seahawks’ Beast Mode-running back remains the metronome by which this team beats.

He finished with 122 yards on 26 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that slapped the exclamation point on this one. As always, it wasn’t so much that Lynch got the yards, but how he got them. He averaged 2.2 yards on 10 first-half carries, then exploded for 100 yards on 16 carries in the second half – including a 16-yard run on the first play of the half and a 36-yarder on the eight-play, 90-yard drive in the third quarter that was capped by rookie QB Russell Wilson throwing a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Anthony McCoy.

“It was very much needed, and I’m glad we got it,” Lynch said of the running game producing 182 yards and the offense getting 315 yards.

Offered Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, “You might get pumped up to hit 24 (Lynch) in the first quarter and he might get three yards. But in that fourth quarter, you really don’t want to hit him. He gets stronger. Our offensive line gets stronger.

“When we’re rocking like that, that’s what we want to do. We want to run the ball, we want to play-action (pass) off that and give our defense a rest so they can go out there and dominate.”


Frank Omiyale. Russell Okung was expected to start at left tackle, despite bruising his left knee in last week’s opener against the Cardinals. But after working out before the game, the coaches decided he couldn’t go. That put Omiyale in harm’s way – or at least in the line of the fire that Cowboys’ pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware in capable of generating.

Ware’s stat line: no sacks, one tackle for a loss, one QB hit.

“Frank is a guy who’s been around the League for an extended period of time,” Wilson said of Omiyale, who started 31 games the past three seasons for the Bears but was making his first start for the Seahawks.

“He has great knowledge of the game. He works extremely hard. The fact that we thought Russell was going to be able to play, but he couldn’t go today, so Frank stepped up and did a tremendous job. I mean an unbelievable job. He’s been doing that for years, so you kind of expect that out of him. Just the way he goes about his business, the way he approaches the game, approaches the week. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Asked about the game plan against Ware, coach Pete Carroll said, “Our plan was to hope he didn’t kill us.”


Offense: Wilson’s TD pass to McCoy, which came from a three-tight set on the right side. McCoy was in the middle, between Zach Miller (inside) and Evan Moore (outside). When they broke from the line, the cornerback had to take either McCoy or Moore.

“We kind of put the corner in a big predicament,” said McCoy, who had a team-high five receptions in addition to his first NFL touchdown catch. “He had to cover both me and Evan on the play. He chose one and left me open.”

Yes, the way the play unfolded caught McCoy by surprise.

“I’m like, ‘Man, we’re in the red zone and I’m this open?’ ” McCoy said. “I was kind of expecting someone to be there on the catch, but no one was there. It was a great play call.”

Defense: With the Seahawks holding a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cowboys had driven from their 20-yard line to the Seahawks’ 24. But on a second-and-10 play, Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted Tony Romo’s pass that was intended for tight end Jason Witten.

“I’m kind of mad that I got caught,” said Browner, who returned the pick 35 yards. “I felt like I had a shot to go all the way, but I was a little gassed out there.”

Special teams: The Seahawks forced (Robinson) and recovered (Earl Thomas) a fumble on the opening kickoff to setup a field goal. But the next time the Cowboys got the ball, the Seahawks’ special teams scored. Second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith blocked a punt and second-year safety Jeron Johnson picked up the ball on a hop and ran three yards for a TD.

“Malcolm was inside of me and I was rushing to the outside,” Johnson said after scoring his first TD since he was a senior at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. – and playing middle linebacker. “Nobody blocked Malcolm and the ball bounced right to me.

“It was a big play. Special teams showed up big today.”

Big hit of the day: Golden Tate, come on down. The 202-pound wide receiver drilled Sean Lee, the Cowboys’ 245-pound linebacker, with a vicious block on Wilson’s 14-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.

“Now I see why Kam (Chancellor, the team’s Pro Bowl strong safety) likes defense,” said Tate, who was making his 2012 debut after sitting out the opener with a knee injury. “It felt great.

“It’s a momentum boost. All of sudden we had momentum and drove the ball all the way down the field.”

Eight plays later, Lynch scored his TD, but only after Tate caught an 8-yard pass on third-and-4 to give the Seahawks a first down at the Cowboys’ 3.


Cornerback Byron Maxwell left the game with a hamstring injury and wide receiver Sidney Rice did not finish the game.

But Carroll said he was unaware that anything was wrong with Rice. “He looked OK in the locker room,” Carroll said. “I didn’t see anything. I don’t have any update on that. He was not on the injury list.”


The Seahawks have won four consecutive home openers, and nine of their past 10.

The defense got their hands on seven of Tony Romo’s passes, including two each by Leo end Chris Clemons and linebacker K.J. Wright.

Chancellor had a team-high nine tackles.

Rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin got his first NFL sack. Or at least half of one, as he shared the team’s only sack with Jason Jones. Those are the two players the Seahawks added during the offseason – Irvin in the first-round of the NFL Draft, Jones in free agency – to improve their pass rush.

On the Seahawks’ 90-yard TD drive in the third quarter, they did not face a third-down situation.


“I knew it was going to be electric, and it was more than I could ever imagine. The crowd is a huge, huge advantage for our football team. And when the 12th Man is that loud and that energetic, it really helps our offense, our defense, our special teams and just continues to boost us.” – Wilson, after playing his first regular-season game at CenturyLink FIeld.

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Countdown to kickoff

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Greetings from University of Phoenix Stadium, where some of the Seahawks already are on the field preparing for today’s regular-season opener against the Cardinals.

This is, as you’ll recall, the same venue were the Seahawks closed the 2011 season with a 23-20 overtime loss to the Cardinals. But several things have changed since the Seahawks played here on New Years’ Day.

The most obvious, as well as most discussed and dissected, difference is Russell Wilson taking over at quarterback for Tarvaris Jackson – who was traded to the Bills last month. The rookie won the starting job with an impressive and productive preseason. The speed of the game increases during the regular season, so Wilson will have to deal with that – as well as an Arizona defense that batted 18 passes incomplete last season, which was the third-highest total in the league. It would indicate a mismatch for the 5-foot-11 Wilson, but his height – or lack of it – was not an issue at the University of Wisconsin last season and has not been since he joined the Seahawks after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft.

The best thing the Seahawks can do for Wilson is to continue running the ball – regardless of how much leading rusher Marshawn Lynch plays because of the back spasms that have sidelined him since the second preseason game and limited him in practice during the week. The Seahawks averaged a league-high 178.3 rushing yards during their unbeaten preseason run, no matter who was carrying the ball or who was blocking for them.

Speaking of blockers, J.R. Sweezy’s remarkable story continues as the rookie will start at right guard today. A defensive tackle at North Carolina State, the Seahawks decided it was worth taking a chance in the seventh round of the draft on an athlete they felt eventually could make the switch to the O-line. Eventually has arrived ridiculously early, as Sweezy got a chance to start when incumbent starter John Moffitt was sidelined with an elbow injury. Sweezy stepped in for the final three preseason games and won the job.

Another new wrinkle: Robert Turbin. The rookie has shown he can be the physical presence in the running game to spell Lynch, and step in and start when Lynch can’t play.

On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks are better equipped to pressure the passer – a season-long problem last season – after adding rush-end Bruce Irvin in the first round of the draft and signing rush-tackle Jason Jones in free agency. Both moves were made to improve a pass rush that generated only 22 sacks in 2011 by players not named Chris Clemons, who has had 11 sacks in each of his two seasons with the Seahawks. The target of their attention will be John Skelton, the 6-6 QB from Fordham who won the Cardinals’ starting job and drew comparisons to the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger from the Seahawks players and coaches during the week.

Skelton was 5-2 as a starter last season, and he’s 5-0 as a starter at home the past two seasons.

The primary target for Skelton will remain Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who caught eight passes for 148 yards in the second half and overtime in the finale last season after the Seahawks held him to one catch for 1 yard in the first half.

There’s even a new wrinkle there, with Marcus Trufant, the long-time starter at left cornerback, moving into the nickel back role.

The Seahawks don’t just want this one; they need it, what with the Cowboys coming to CenturyLink Field next week for the home opener and then the Monday night matchup in Seattle with the Packers on Sept. 24.

So sit back and enjoy the opener, with kickoff set for 1:25 p.m. PDT on Fox TV (KCPQ/13) and 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM.

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Thursday in Hawkville: Calling all captains

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 23:


Captains. The players will vote on the captains for the regular season. But it’s up to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to determine the captains for each preseason game.

“Those are kind of randomly selected at the last second, when I remember to do it,” Carroll said.

But the honor still means a lot to those randomly selected, last-minute selections.

Against the Titans in the preseason opener, former Titans defensive lineman Jason Jones was a co-captain, along with veteran linebacker Leroy Hill, Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson and Heath Farwell, who led the league in special teams tackles last season.

“It meant a lot. Actually, it was my first time being a captain,” said Jones, who played the previous four seasons with the Titans. “I told coach Carroll after the game and before the game that I appreciate that. Going up against my old team, that meant a lot to me. It was cool.”

Against the Broncos last week, former Broncos kicker Steven Hauschka joined center Max Unger and nose tackle Brandon Mebane at midfield for the pre-game coin toss.

“It’s always nice to go out there and do the coin toss,” said Unger, who won it by calling tails which allowed the Seahawks to defer taking the kickoff until the second half. “Tails never fails.

“It was awesome.”

The captains for Friday night’s third preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City? Stay tuned, for those last-second selections.

“We could go on Twitter and have a little campaign here: Who will the next captain be?” Carroll said. “We’ll probably get eight or 10 responses on that one.”


Anthony McCoy. With the addition of Kellen Winslow in a trade with the Buccaneers and the return of Zach Miller, who was signed in free agency last year, there are four other tight ends competing for what likely will be one other spot on the 53-man roster. McCoy is doing his part to make sure it’s him.

“Anthony has been a really good prospect,” Carroll said of the former USC tight end who was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. “This was a great pick for us a couple years back. He’s really grown into a versatile tight end for us.

“He’s one of our best blockers. He’s not quite to Zach’s level, but he really does a great job on all the in-line blocking. He moves around well. He’s a great target to throw the ball to.”

McCoy is averaging 13 yards on his three preseason receptions, and he caught 13 passes last season. But drops have been an issue for him.

“He does have really good hands,” Carroll said. “There’s been times when he’s coming up, getting ready to play NFL football, that he hasn’t been able to keep his concentration that’s needed to catch the football.

“But he’s on it now. His attitude that he brings and his effort every day is just really, really positive. I’ve never seen him so full of spirit and the kind of mentality that he has. It’s infectious. He’s been a real good factor for us. I’m really excited for him.”


Quarterback Matt Flynn took part in this morning’s walkthrough after sitting out Wednesday’s practice to rest his arm. Also back was fullback Michael Robinson, who had been sidelined with a sore toe.

With Alan Branch (knee) and Jones (knee) watching, rookie Greg Scruggs got some work as the three-technique tackle with the No. 1 defensive line.

Also sidelined: running back Marshawn Lynch (back), wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), tight ends Cameron Morrah (toe) and Winslow (knee), offensive linemen John Moffitt (elbow) and James Carpenter (knee), defensive lineman Pep Levingston (knee), linebackers Matt McCoy (knee), Allen Bradford (hip) and Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and defensive backs Roy Lewis (knee), Ron Parker (knee) and Walter Thurmond (leg).


The team flew to Kansas City after the walkthrough for Friday night’s preseason game against the Chiefs.

The players will be off Saturday and have a review walkthrough on Sunday. The 89-man roster must be trimmed to 75 players by Monday.


“We’re really happy with Bobby Wagner. That was a big issue for us, to see if he could step in. He’s done a great job and we’re looking forward to him playing.” – Carroll on the team’s second-round draft choice winning the starting middle linebacker job

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Monday cyber surfing: ‘Hawks top Broncos; Wilson on the rise

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 20.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times tells us which questions have been answered through the Seahawks first two preseason games, and which questions remain, “1. You can’t proclaim the pass rush fixed. At least, not yet. The Seahawks have one sack in each of their two exhibition games, and for all the playing time rookie Bruce Irvin got Saturday in Denver, he didn’t spend all that much time near the quarterback. He did get one clear pressure, knocking the quarterback down, and he showed his speed in chasing plays down from behind. He didn’t show much in terms of getting around blockers, though. The Seahawks didn’t play Jason Jones, the defensive tackle they’re expecting to be a big part of their nickel pass rush, and August isn’t the time teams typically put their best pass-rush plans on display. But for all the talk this offseason about improving Seattle’s pass rush, it hasn’t been exhibited so far this month.”

O’Neil also has a look at Saturday night’s game and the play of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who shined again with the second unit, “Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 33 yards before Josh Portis was summoned to play the game’s final 3 minutes. Yes, Wilson was playing against Denver’s backups. No, Flynn did not have Seattle’s full array of receivers. Still, after playing the first half in two consecutive games, Flynn has yet to lead Seattle to a touchdown while Wilson has thrown for three and run for another. ‘He’s doing really well,’ Carroll said of the first-year player from Wisconsin. ‘We’re ecstatic about it. To have a guy coming off the bench like that and play two halves back-to-back and really play football, it’s great for our team.’ ”

Eric Williams at the Tacoma News Tribune takes a look at Deon Butler, claiming the fourth-year wider receiver has made the biggest impact this preseason, “Fourth-year pro Deon Butler has been working mostly at slot receiver because Doug Baldwin has been nursing a hamstring injury the past two weeks. Butler has just four receptions for 26 yards through the first two games, but three of his four catches have resulted in first downs. Quarterback Matt Flynn has looked to the Penn State product in critical stretches of the games.”

Williams has his story and notes from Saturday night’s 30-10 victory over the Denver Broncos, “While Wilson sizzled, Flynn sputtered in the first half, completing 6 of 13 passes for 31 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions in Seattle’s 30-10 win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday evening at Sports Authority Field. ‘It was really hard on him,’ Carroll said about Flynn, who was sacked once. ‘We didn’t protect him very well. We held a little bit. He couldn’t even get started, I feel. At this point it’s really hard to evaluate the quarterback, because I need to see all that happened.’ ”

Williams also has a look at safety Jeron Johnson, who forced a fumble and picked off Peyton Manning Saturday night at Denver, “Johnson earned significant time with the starting defensive unit, playing in place of safety Kam Chancellor at times in the first half. And Johnson made the most of it, corralling one of two Peyton Manning interceptions. Johnson also stuffed Denver running back Lance Ball behind the line of scrimmage and stripped him of the ball, with linebacker Leroy Hill recovering the fumble. ‘That’s huge for two turnovers by a kid,’ Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. ‘But all along he’s really improved from last year. And he’s playing some good ball for us. It’s exciting to see him in there.’ ”

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune calls for head coach Pete Carroll to start Russell Wilson at quarterback this week at Kansas City, “If Wilson struggles against a legitimate defense, while Flynn thrives against the temps, the conclusions you make will be difficult. But they’ll also be informed. Just know this, Pete: Russell Wilson hasn’t struggled on an athletic field since the last time he geared up to hit a fastball that arrived as a curve.”

Art Thiel of shares the same sentiments as McGrath, calling for Wilson to start at Kansas City, “If Russell Wilson doesn’t start the Seahawks third exhibition game Friday in Kansas City, it will be an abdication of coach Pete Carroll’s strategy in camp, as well as his coaching beliefs. Wilson has earned his chance to fail. If he does fail, then we know, for now.”

Mike Sando of has a look at three things from Saturday night’s matchup with the Broncos, as he revisits the Seahawks quarterback competition, the addition of Terrell Owens, and a look at Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.

Pat Kirwan of says it’s time for the Seahawks to make a decision at quarterback, “Seattle looks close to their decision — with Matt Flynn winning the job (for now) and rookie Russell Wilson right behind him and Tarvaris Jackson on the way out. Flynn needs as much practice time as he can get from here on out because he has only two career starts.”

Here at Clare Farnsworth has his story from Saturday night, and also a look at the play of safety Jeron Johnson, “Johnson definitely took advantage of the situations as they presented themselves. ‘I had an opportunity to get in early and just tried to make plays,’ he said in the locker room, flashing a smile as bright as the light on the TV camera that was focused on him. On the third play of the Broncos’ first possession in the second quarter, Johnson jarred the ball from 215-pound running back Lance Ball and linebacker Leroy Hill recovered the fumble at the Denver 46-yard line. ‘I just tried to take care of my gap and the blocker kind of fell off of me,’ Johnson said. ‘I hit the running back and when I tackled him my hand already was on the ball. I just stripped it out and the ball came loose.’ “

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Countdown to kickoff

Greetings from CenturyLink Field on a gorgeous night for the Seahawks’ nationally televised preseason opener against the Titans.

And this more than “only” a preseason game, for several reasons.

For starters, there are the starting quarterbacks – a couple of guys named Matt. For the Seahawks, Matt Flynn gets his chance to take charge in the three-man competition to be the starter in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona. He got the starting reps all week, and if he plays as well tonight as he did in practice, well, he’ll be the leader in the club house at the very least. For the Titans, this is a return to Seattle for Matt Hasselbeck – the Seahawks’ QB during the most successful five-season run in franchise history, the franchise’s career and single-game record holder in most of the meaningful passing categories and the QB fans at voted to the 35th Anniversary team. Hasselbeck has his own QB competition to worry about, as he’s vying with Jake Locker, the former University of Washington QB and the Titans’ first-round draft choice last year.

But the intrigue in this one goes beyond the QBs.

Fans also will get their first game-situation looks at this year’s draft class – including Bruce Irvin, a blur of a pass rusher who was the Seahawks’ first-round pick; Bobby Wagner, the second-round pick who will start at middle linebacker; Russell Wilson, the third-round pick who will take over for Flynn in the second half; and Robert Turbin, the fourth-round pick who will get a lot of carries because Marshawn Lynch is not expected to play much – if at all.

This also will be the first look at the free-agent additions – most noticeably Deuce Lutui, who will start at right guard because John Moffitt likely will have surgery to remove particles from his left elbow and be sidelined two to three weeks; and Jason Jones, who was signed to play the three-technique tackle spot in the nickel line but also will be at that spot in the base defense because Alan Branch is not expected to play. Terrell Owens, who practiced for the first time Wednesday, will not play. Barrett Ruud, who was signed to compete with Wagner for the starting middle linebacker job, likely won’t play.

One question: Will Flynn see a better defense tonight than the one he has been facing in practice?

One more thought: This isn’t just a “homecoming” for Hasselbeck. The Titans also have Steve Hutchinson, the left guard on the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team; and Jordan Babineaux, who earned the nickname “Big Play Babs” while with the Seahawks and now is starting at strong safety for Tennessee. The Titans defensive coordinator is Jerry Gray, who was the Seahawks’ defensive backs coach on Jim Mora’s staff in 2009. Then there’s Michael Roos, the Titans’ Pro Bowl left tackle who played at Eastern Washington University and is from Vancouver, Wash.

Enjoy the game, with kickoff set for 7:05 p.m.. In addition to the NFL Network, KCPQ/13 also will televise the action.  Fans may also watch online by clicking here.

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Thursday in Hawkville: Going deep on the depth chart

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 9:


Depth. Three starters did not participate in today’s two-hour practice, but it was difficult to tell because the backups who stepped in also stepped up.

Veteran guard Deuce Lutui, who was signed in free agency, took over at right guard for John Moffitt. Third-year cornerback Phillip Adams was at right cornerback for Brandon Browner. Veteran defensive lineman Jason Jones, another free agent addition, was the three-technique tackle spot for Alan Branch.

“That’s one of our key things in training camp, to develop depth,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “Look what happened last year at corner, we lose a couple guys so some younger guys have to step up. So we know those things are going to happen.”

Last year, after veteran cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond were lost to season-ending injuries, rookie Richard Sherman took over on the left side and played well enough that he remains the starter. When since-departed leading tackler David Hawthorne couldn’t play in the opener, rookie K.J. Wright started and played so well that the coaches decided he had to play more – so former first-round draft choice Aaron Curry was traded to the Raiders to open the strong-side spot for Wright.

“That’s great when younger guys can do that, and that was the case today,” Bradley said.

Bradley has been waiting to see more of Adams – and from Adams – and today it was with the starters.

“We’re putting a lot on his plate,” Bradley said. “And so far he’s handling it. We always tell the guys, ‘The more that you can do. It just makes your value go up.’ ”


Korey Toomer. The fifth-round draft choice from Idaho has been toiling in the shadows of first-round pick Bruce Irvin, a blur of a pass-rusher; and second-round pick Bobby Wagner, who is pushing to be the starting middle linebacker.

But Toomer is beginning to show that he also is worth keeping an eye on in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field. Today, he flashed as a pass rusher, forcing Matt Flynn to scramble, flushing Josh Portis from the pocket and also getting to Portis for what would have been a sack. Toomer stopped rookie running back Robert Turbin after a 2-yard gain. He was all over a short completion to running back Kregg Lumpkin. He basically was a wrench in the rhythm the offense was trying to establish.

“He’s a guy that’s just learning,” Bradley said of Toomer. “He’s playing multiple positions. We’re stretching him, just to see what he can handle. You’re seeing flashes from him. Some things he does really well, some things he’s a ways away.

“But he’ll keep getting better.”


Offense: We went into practice determined to not write anything more about Terrell Owens, who has dominated camp coverage since being signed on Monday. But the future Hall of Fame wide receiver canned that plan on the final play of only his second practice with the team.

Owens went over Trufant to tip a pass from rookie QB Russell Wilson in the end zone and then controlled the ball as he was falling out of bounds against tight coverage. Touché, Terrell.

“Terrell made a great catch,” Wilson said. “He came down with the football, and that’s the main thing.”

But with Owens, it’s obviously not the only thing.

“It is kind of surreal that I get to play with Terrell Owens,” Wilson said. “Obviously he’s a very, very talented receiver and I grew up watching a lot of his games. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He comes in to work every single day and he’s doing a great job.”

Defense: Let’s go with the first two plays of practice, as Brandon Mebane – yes, 311-pound nose tackle Brandon Mebane – was all over Flynn’s screen pass to Marshawn Lynch and then veteran linebacker Leroy Hill got to Turbin several yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Bradley saluted the double-whammy by yelling, “Two-for-two, men. That’s two-for-two.”


Tight end Kellen Winslow and linebacker Jameson Konz returned to practice. Winslow’s practice time is being monitored because of a chronic knee situation, while Konz was back after missing several days to rest a sore knee.

Sitting out, in addition to Browner, Moffitt and Branch: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; tight end Cameron Morrah; linebackers Matt McCoy and Allen Bradford; and offensive lineman James Carpenter and Thurmond, who remain on the physically unable to perform list.


Rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane, a sixth-round draft choice from Northwestern (La.) State, has a signature move when the players move from pre-practice stretching to their first drill. He pops a flip, in shoulder pads and a helmet.

“I just like to do it to checkout my legs,” he said. “If I get real high, I feel my legs are fresh and it just starts my day.”

He started flipping out during practice last season, after a friend did it and encouraged Lane to give it a shot.

“He said, ‘You’ve got a high vertical. Just try it,” Lane said. “I trusted him. I stood there and I just flipped. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

But there’s nothing like that first time.

“It was very scary the first time,” he said, smiling. “My football career could have been over. But after I did it once I wasn’t scared anymore. I just got better and better at it.”


The players will practice on Friday, their final tune-up before Saturday night’s preseason opener. After the game, they will get their third off day of camp on Sunday.


A crowd of 1,812 fans watched today’s practice. Only two more practices are open to the public before camp breaks next Thursday – those next Tuesday and Wednesday. You can register here to attend.


You may have heard that state routes 520 and 167 will be closed this weekend, but you haven’t really heard until you watch this advisory from Moffitt.

Because of the closures, traffic will be heavier than usual on I-5 and I-90, so the club is asking fans heading to the game to plan accordingly.


Fans attending Saturday’s game are asked to bring backpacks stuffed with school supplies for the team’s annual Stuff the Bus drive to benefit Communities In Schools of Seattle. Your donations will be distributed to students at 32 schools.


“Seahawks All Access” returns tonight on Root Sports. The weekly show that features player interviews and analysis from Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon airs at 10:30 tonight and will be replayed Saturday at 5 p.m. The first show spotlights defensive end Red Bryant and wide receiver Golden Tate.


“I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of hearing it. I hear so much negative stuff about me it’s kind of good to hear some positive stuff sometimes. I think that’s what separates me from a normal defensive end; I’m real fast and explosive.” – Irvin, when asked if he ever tires of hearing people gush about his speed off the edge as a pass rusher

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Wednesday in Hawkville: Terrell rolls into camp

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 8:


Duh. Terrell Owens. The future Hall of Fame receiver practiced with the Seahawks for the first time and it seemed like the whole world was watching his every move.

Cameras crowed around the exit to the practice fields at Virginia Mason Athletic Center to capture his emergence from the locker room, wearing a No. 10 blue jersey and a where-do-I-go expression. Those same cameras – including those from ESPN and the NFL Network – were in the media crowd that gathered after practice to capture his every utterance.

It was in between those flirtations with the media mob that Terrell showed glimpses of why the Seahawks signed the 16-year veteran on Monday, as he took more snaps and did more with them than you would expect for a player who last played in the NFL during the 2010 season because he had major knee surgery.

Owens, who checked in 1,078 receptions, 15,934 receiving yards and 153 touchdowns on his resume, got a dozen snaps, caught a couple of passes and was even jammed to the turf by Brandon Browner, the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Pro Bowl cornerback.

His best effort came when Owens got behind the rookie tandem of cornerback Jeremy Lane and safety Winston Guy to make a falling grab along the sideline of a 35-yard pass from Matt Flynn.

Flashing that trademark smile during his post-practice Q&A session, Owens admitted to having some rust in his ample game and assured everyone that they ain’t seen nothing yet.

“Today didn’t go as particularly well as I would like, but it definitely was a step in the right direction,” he said.

“I’ve been rehabbing and working out for the past year since the injury. That’s all I’ve really wanted since I started my trek on this rehab and my journey to get back on the football field, is just an opportunity. That was provided by the Seattle Seahawks and, again, I’m very grateful for that.”

Flynn was among those who came away impressed by his newest teammate.

“Everyone on the team has watched him. Obviously, everyone knows his talent level and what he’s done,” said the QB who will start in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field. “He’s here to make the team better and we’re excited.”


The nickel defensive line. Improving the pass rush was a priority for coach Pete Carroll this offseason after the Seahawks registered 33 sacks last season. So rush-tackle Jason Jones was signed in free agency and rush-end Bruce Irvin was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft to join – and help – Chris Clemons, who had 11 of those sacks.

But who fills the fourth spot? Brandon Mebane, the nose tackle in the base defense? Red Bryant, the tackle-sized end who plays opposite Clemons in the base defense? Alan Branch, the three-technique tackle in the base defense? Clinton McDonald, who works in the tackle rotation in the base defense?

“Right now, we’re running Mac in there,” line coach Todd Wash said of McDonald, who was acquired last August in a trade with the Bengals. “He’s really doing what we’re asking him to do and at the same time we’ve also got Brandon, Red and Branch.

“We’re looking for someone to help push that pocket.”

When push comes to shove, the 6-foot-2, 297-pound McDonald knows how to throw his weight around.

“He’s just so strong,” Wash said. “He’s got a little bit more center of gravity; he’s a little bit closer to the ground. He does a good job of getting under (blockers’) pads and getting push in the pocket. He does a tremendous job with that.”


Defense: It had to be Browner’s welcome-to-camp jam that sent Owens to the turf.

“He tried to shock release me. He tried to run through me,” Browner said of his run-in with the 6-3, 224-pound Owens in the one-on-one drill. “I’m a big guy. That’s something that will work on somebody a little smaller.”

So Browner treated Owens as just another receiver? “Not just another receiver, that’s T.O.” Browner said. “You know what I mean? He’s one of the legends.”

Offense: Flynn and third-year receiver Golden Tate hooked up on a couple of impressive plays. On the first, Tate went up along the sideline between the Pro Bowl duo of free safety Earl Thomas and Browner, took a shot and still held on to the ball as he was falling out of bounds. On the second, Flynn was flushed from the pocket, rolled to his left and let go with a not-quite-textbook pass that Tate was able to catch behind cornerback Coy Francies and DeShawn Shead.

In between plays: Rushing into the lineup, Irvin was about to collide with running back Tyrell Sutton. Irvin, this year’s first-round draft choice, avoided the collision as he parking-metered the 5-8 Sutton. Parking metered? You remember, hopping over parking meters in a single bound.


Defensive end Dexter Davis returned to practice after missing time with a sore hip and tight end Anthony McCoy also was back. But defensive tackle Alan Branch and tight end Kellen Winslow sat out to rest their knees.

Also sidelined: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; linebackers Matt McCoy, Allen Bradford and Jameson Knoz; and offensive linemen James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond, who remain on the physically unable to perform list.


Another morning practice on Thursday, as the players continue to prepare for Saturday night’s preseason opener.


A boisterous crowd of 1,480 fans watched practice. While many chanted, “T.O. T.O,” two came with large T’s and O’s made out of cardboard that they lifted to match the chants.

Only three more practices are open to the public – Thursday, as well as next Tuesday and Wednesday. You can register here to attend.


Most of the fans came to today’s practice on the shores of Lake Washington sporting their Seahawks best, including jerseys of players past and present – Matt Hasselbeck (8), Lofa Tatupu (51), Shaun Alexander (37), Julian Peterson (98), Steve Largent (80), Mack Strong (38), Curt Warner (28) and Warren Moon (1); Earl Thomas (29), Marcus Trufant (23), Marshawn Lynch (24), Brandon Mebane (92), Sidney Rice (18), Kam Chancellor (31), Tarvaris Jackson (7), Richard Sherman (25) and Flynn (15) and Tate (81).

But only one was wearing a Chad Brown No. 94 jersey. Brown was a Pro Bowl linebacker from 1997-2004 and also was voted the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.

“I’m just an all-time Seahawk fan,” said Cheyenne Smith, who’s 27 and lives in Darrington. “I like Chad Brown and the way he played. I really do.”


The club is advising fans attending Saturday night’s game to plan accordingly because state routes 520 (the Evergreen Point floating bridge) and 167 (the Valley Freeway) will be closed.


“(Number) 81 wasn’t available. There were a couple of options, so I took 10. I look good in 10. So that’s going to be my number.” Owens, who wore No. 81 throughout his career, on switching to No. 10, which was worn most memorably for the Seahawks by former QB Jim Zorn

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Tuesday in Hawkville: ‘Other’ veteran receiver steals the show

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 7:


Braylon Edwards. Just-signed Terrell Owens wasn’t on the practice field. The recently signed Edwards was, and the veteran wide receiver put on a show during the 2½-hour practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“Braylon has done very well,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s learning very fast. He’s had a chance to compete right from the beginning. He’s made some big grabs already. He did it again today.

“So he’s factoring in and making a bid for playing time.”

Edwards’ beginning to this camp came a little later than most of the other players, as he was signed a week ago. But the former first-round draft choice of the Browns (2005) who also has played for the Jets (2009-10) and 49ers (2011) is making up for his delayed start.

Today, Edwards stayed with a play where the ball went off the hands of Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner and was able to catch the carom.

“It’s definitely staying with the play,” Edwards said. “Getting open, holding the line and keeping the DB behind you.”

That, however, was just a warm-up as the 6-foot-3 Edwards then pulled down a Tarvaris Jackson pass despite tight cover from 6-3 cornerback Richard Sherman.

“Sherm expected me to go back inside,” Edwards said. “I didn’t. I kept it outside. It was a good throw and we made a play.”

Then there was the TD catch that wasn’t. Or was it? Edwards made a great effort to haul in a pass from rookie QB Russell Wilson on the other side of the end zone, but the official ruled he came down out of bounds. Edwards couldn’t wait for the instant replay.

“We’re going to go look at that film,” he said, smiling. “I think they both were good.”

Carroll said Owens is scheduled to practice for the first time Wednesday morning and will be wearing No. 10.


Defensive tackles. After giving up too much ground in Sunday’s mock game, line coach Todd Wash challenged his unit – especially the tackles. They not only answered that challenge today, they did it emphatically.

“I don’t know if we had our best day up front in the mock game, so we challenged ourselves in the meeting room that we’ve got to do a better job of reestablishing the line of scrimmage and being active,” Wash said. “We were getting chewed up a little bit on some play-action stuff on Sunday.

“They took it to heart and came out today and played with really good effort.”

The best thing about the bounce-back performance? It wasn’t just a player or two; it was seemingly everyone in the full-team period that ended practice.

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane and end Red Bryant sandwiched Marshawn Lynch for no gain. Rookie tackle Jaye Howard got to Lynch 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The versatile Jason Jones got to Matt Flynn for a “sack.” Second-year tackle Pep Levingston stopped Tyrell Sutton for no gain. Howard got the penetration on a play where Sutton had to squirm and wiggle to gain 3 yards.

“They take a lot of pride in what they do,” Wash said. “And they know that the way they got it done on Sunday was not to the level of our expectations. So they came out, challenged themselves and had a good day.”


Offense: Let’s go with the best of Edwards’ efforts, the TD pass he caught against the long-armed Sherman at the right edge of the end zone.

Defense: Leo end Chris Clemons had a tempo-setter early in practice when he popped wide receiver Deon Butler to the turf after a short reception. The effort set off a celebration among the other defensive players.


Cornerback Donny Lisowski, a rookie free agent from Montana and Seattle’s O’Dea High School, was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster for Owens.

Bryant and Jones and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to practice. Still sitting out: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; tight end Anthony McCoy; linebackers Matt McCoy, Jameson Konz and Allen Bradford; defensive end Dexter Davis; and the two players on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond.


Flynn will run the No. 1 offense the rest of week, starting with Wednesday’s practice, as Carroll said the free-agent acquisition will start at quarterback in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.


Today’s cloud-covered practice attracted 1,264 fans. Only four more practices are open to the public – Wednesday and Thursday this week and Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Each sessions starts at 10 a.m. and you can register here to attend.


With state routes 520 and 167 closed this weekend, fans attending Saturday night’s game are advised to plan accordingly. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.


“You know what happened? They gave us a day off. They gave John (Schneider, the GM) and I a day off and look what happened. That’s kind of what it was. We looked at each other, ‘Hey, let’s get something cooking.’ Bam, we did.” – Carroll, when asked why the team decided to sign Owens now

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Friday in Hawkville: Sweezy sees improvement at new position

A recap of the activities surrounding the Seahawks’ Bing Training Camp for August 3.


J.R. Sweezy. The first of Seattle’s two seventh round choices in this year’s draft, the former North Carolina State defensive lineman was drafted to play offensive line for Head Coach Pete Carroll, and more specifically, for Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable.

In practice today, Sweezy saw a lot of work running with the number one offensive line unit at both left and right guard. Carroll has commented that Sweezy is out there with the ones strictly to get more and more reps each day, and Sweezy is taking every chance he gets to learn a little bit more about his new position.

“I’m definitely learning more being in there with the first team,” Sweezy said. “Those guys know this offense like the back of their hand. They’ve helped me a lot. I still don’t know it as well as I should, but going with that first-team O-line helps a lot.”

The transition from the aggressive style of play a defensive lineman dictates to the more sit-back, wait-and-react approach of an offensive lineman has to be nothing short of mind-boggling for Sweezy, who admits there has been quite the learning curve.

“It was rough in OTAs to start,” Sweezy said. “I was completely confused. At first I was too aggressive. On defense my whole life I’ve been taught to play at a 45-degree angle and now I have to sit back and wait and not lunge at people. When you lunge as an offensive lineman you get beat every time, so it’s a matter of me staying back on my heels.”

“But now I’m starting to get it. It’s starting to make sense and I’m having fun.”

And it sure looked like it made sense to Sweezy today as he participated in the team’s 9-on-7 run blocking drill. With Leon Washington in the backfield, Sweezy – at left guard – sealed his man to the inside of the line before bouncing off the block and finding linebacker Heath Farwell five yards down field to spring Washington for a healthy gain.

Much of Sweezy’s improvement can be directly linked to the offensive line guru Cable, who personally worked out and talked with Sweezy prior to April’s draft.

“He’s the best,” Sweezy said of Cable’s approach to coaching the offensive line. “He’s already taught me so much. I’ve learned a ton in this past few weeks span. Every day I fill up two pages of my notebook with information that he’s teaching me and helping me with, and I’m continuing to get better every day.”


A little change-up from Farnsworth’s ‘Unit Watch’ section, as we take a look at rookie Sean McGrath, the undrafted free-agent tight end out of Division II’s Henderson State (Ark.). McGrath was the only player to score in the team’s two-minute drill during Friday’s practice, which featured drives from each of the three quarterbacks – Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, and Matt Flynn – starting at their own 35-yard line. Running with the third unit, McGrath received a 10-yard strike from Flynn with two seconds left in the drill on a slant route over the middle, falling into the end zone for a score.

“That starts up front with the offensive line first and foremost,” McGrath said. “I’m just doing what they tell me to, following the examples of the veterans, and just trying to work to get better in camp.”

A humble answer from a hard-working individual.

Earlier in the same drill, Flynn lured the defense offside and took a shot for McGrath 20 yards down field, who made the grab on his knees. McGrath has stood out with his hustle and work ethic during camp thus far, and it seems to be paying dividends.

“It’s just a privilege and an honor to play football and do what I love to do for a living,” McGrath said. “I’m just going to keep on having fun doing what I love doing. Playing here with coach Carroll and the whole staff, the Pacific Northwest is a great place to be.”


Offense: Today’s practice featured a little more offensive prowess than Thursday’s defensive-dominated session. The offensive play of the day came on a ball from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who received the majority of the first-team reps today. Wilson tossed a beauty of a deep ball down the left sideline for a streaking Golden Tate who was on a straight-go pattern against cornerback Brandon Browner. Running at full speed the entire way, Tate slowed down just enough to adjust his body to the ball from Wilson, who dropped it right in Tate’s breadbasket over the top of the 6-4 Pro Bowl corner Browner. In the one-on-one receiver drills, it was more Tate, as he cut inside to beat cornerback Ron Parker to the middle of the field on a ball from quarterback Matt Flynn, then, upon receiving the football, spun back to his outside shoulder and headed toward the sideline for a healthy amount of yards after the catch. In the team’s 11-on-11 drill rookie wide receiver Phil Bates took a reverse handoff up the right sideline for a big gain with the help of some quality down-field blocking by fellow rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei.

Defense: In the team’s 9-on-7 run defense drill left tackle Russell Okung sealed his man to the inside in a play that appeared to have freed running back Leon Washington loose from the backfield, but Earl Thomas’ instincts took over to disrupt the play, as the lightning-quick Pro Bowl safety met Washington right at the hole in the line of scrimmage to stuff the play for no gain. Rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin showed some very impressive get-off during one-on-one lineman drills, beating offensive lineman Alex Barron to the quarterback in what was a battle of first-round draft picks. Defensive tackle Jason Jones showed some surprising get-up for a 6-5, 276 pound defensive tackle, leaping in the air and extending his long arm to swat down a Tarvaris Jackson pass at the line of scrimmage in the team’s 11-on-11 session toward the end of practice.


Cornerback Ron Parker returned to practice after sitting out Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday’s practices. Parker had last saw the practice field on Sunday, July 29.

Eight players players did not practice – wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Antonio Bryant, tight end Anthony McCoy, linebackers Bobby Wagner, Matt McCoy, and Jameson Konz, offensive lineman James Carpenter, and cornerback Walter Thurmond. Carpenter and Thurmond remain on the physically unable to perform list.


The players have a walkthrough and meetings this afternoon and will practice at 10:15 a.m. tomorrow, which is the final practice slotted for 10:15 a.m. of the entire camp. Sunday’s practice moves to 1:15 p.m. and is set to feature a “mock game” between the squads.


Today’s practice attracted more than 1,000 fans, as well as another fly by from the Navy’s Blue Angels, who are in town for Seattle’s Sea Fair weekend.

Also seen at today’s practice – a C-17 cargo plane rumbled over the Seahawks three practice fields at VMAC prior to the booming Blue Angels. Mother Nature was not shy to show her face as well, as a lone deer frolicked along the western bank of Lake Washington, while a bald eagle circled the nearby shores.

Seven practices remain open to the public, including Saturday and Sunday’s practices, which are the final weekend practices of camp. You can register to attend a practice session here.


“I’d probably try to be like [U.S. Olympic athlete and all-around gymnastics gold medalist] Gabby [Douglas], and practice that. I’d try to do some flips or something like that. I wouldn’t be very good at it, but I’d train myself. Not the outfit, though. The outfit wouldn’t fit me.” – Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson when asked what sport he would compete in if he were to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games.

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Monday cyber surfing: Wide receiver talk accentuates Day Two

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this third day of training camp, July 30.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times revisits the story of Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, and takes a look at how the Seattle secondary has come to be one of the team’s primary strengths after years of unreliability and uncertainty at the position, “This is the same secondary that had been a perennial problem in Seattle. The Seahawks allowed the most passing yards in the league in 2008, the third-most in 2009 and the sixth-most in 2010. That’s three consecutive years on skid row for NFL secondaries, which made last year’s breakthrough all the more unexpected, especially since Seattle began the season with Marcus Trufant as its only starter with more than two years of NFL experience. So just how did Seattle’s secondary make that kind of breakthrough? ‘They made some plays, and they built off that confidence,’ said defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. ‘More than anything, they had a clear understanding of what we were asking. It clicked for some of them.’

Also at the Seattle Times, wide receiver Golden Tate gives us his take on his own NFL development to this point in this short video.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Tate, who flashed some big-play potential in Sunday’s practice, but also displayed some maturity and discipline that had been absent in years past, “Tate, who received the Biletnikoff Award as the best collegiate receiver in the country his final season at Notre Dame, was a consensus All-American first-team selection. But when Tate arrived in Seattle in 2010 as the team’s second-round draft choice, he struggled to consistently get on the field because his route running was raw. And Tate admitted to having an attitude problem once he was informed he would not be a mainstay of Seattle’s offense. ‘I never had to work for my position; it was always given to me,’ Tate said. ‘I was always more athletic, so for the first time ever I felt like I had to work. It wasn’t given to me. And then when I didn’t respond the correct way my rookie year, I was like, ‘If I’m not starting, whatever.’ But once I learned to prepare like I’m the starter, regardless if I’m third-string or sixth-string, I think it started to come.’ ”

Also at the Tacoma News Tribune, Dave Boling talks with wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is looking to bounce back from shoulder injuries this season and become a leader among the ‘Hawks wide receiver corps, “Being on the field, he said, is crucial as he feels the need to be more of a veteran presence in the young Seahawks receiving corps. ‘I’m being more vocal this year,’ Rice said. ‘In previous years I led by example, just doing what I’m supposed to do. But I’m taking it on myself now to tell these guys what we have to do to get this team better. … These guys know how to play football, we just have to bring the right attitude every day, and finish off everything.’ ”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald speaks with defensive tackle Jason Jones on the improvement that is expected this season with the team’s ability to rush the passer, “With the addition of [Bruce] Irvin, a lighting-quick end, and Jones, a versatile interior pass rusher, the Seahawks plan on turning their pass rush from a question mark to a team strength. ‘That could be deadly right there,’ Jones said of Seattle’s pass-rushing options. ‘… If all the attention is on Clem [Chris Clemons], because he got 11 sacks last year, that will open things up for Bruce and me. … There are endless possibilities, that’s why I’m so excited.’ ”

Liz Matthews of 710 ESPN Seattle has head coach Pete Carroll’s comments on the reasoning behind the team’s contract extension for 2010-11 sack leader Chris Clemons, and offers up some practice notes from Sunday.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice report from day two of camp, with his focus on the Seahawks wide receiver group which has made many impressive plays over the first two days.

Here at Clare Farnsworth has his Hawkville report from Sunday, with his focus on Seahawks fourth-round draft pick RB Robert Turbin, “Turbin broke two longs in one portion of today’s two-hour practice, and each was followed by a long run from Cable to stress the style issue and then give some style points. ‘One step and go. One step and go. And trust your gut,’ Cable said after practice when asked about the exchanges that followed the long runs by Turbin that prompted Cable’s long runs.”

Farnsworth’s feature story from Sunday fittingly center’s on center Max Unger, the Seahawks 2009 second-round draft choice who signed a contract extension with the team last week, “The Seahawks have been all about identifying players with unique skills since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over in January 2010, and the next step is then securing those players for future years. Unger could be the poster player for this process. One of the first things Tom Cable did last year after Carroll hired the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders to be the assistant head coach/offensive line coach on his staff was move Unger to center. Fulltime, and from Day One. ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt, that’s what the situation with Max is all about,’ Cable said. ‘When you start to build a team like they did two years ago, they made the decision to kind of retool the whole thing. So you’re putting pieces together until you get it right.’ ”

Farnsworth also has a look at Day Two of the quarterback competition, which had Matt Flynn taking first-team reps.

And lastly here at we have our offensively-focused Seahawks Daily with Tony Ventrella recapping the day’s events.

Peter King of brings us his Monday Morning Quarterback. King attended Seahawks practice yesterday and had praise for Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson, “I spent 20 minutes with [Wilson] Sunday, and I was ready to run extra routes for him after listening to him. ‘I refuse to be average,’ Wilson said on the field after practice. ‘I refuse to be good. All I want to do is work to excel every day.’ It’s very difficult to make any judgments on a player, or a team, watching a pad-less practice, with players in helmets and shorts. But Wilson’s arm looked every bit as strong, and maybe slightly stronger, than Flynn’s in this practice. On one snap, Wilson was flushed from the pocket, scrambled right (‘He scrambles to throw; he doesn’t scramble to run,” Carroll said) and launched a slightly wavering 32-yard strike down the right side to a covered Ben Obomanu, who came down with the ball. Good play, the kind of play he’s going to have to make in the NFL when the pocket breaks down.”

Mike Sando of sifts through the recent contract extensions for several Seahawks players, “Deals for Red Bryant, Marshawn Lynch, Max Unger and Chris Clemons brought clarity to the roster for this season and beyond. Coach Pete Carroll highlighted those deals as evidence the team would take care of productive players. Carroll and general manager John Schneider inherited Bryant and Unger from the previous regime. Neither was an established player, but both have grown into important roles. Re-signing those players in particular showed Carroll and Schneider kept an open mind while turning over the roster during their first season-plus on the job. They weren’t set on rewarding only their own guys, in other words.”

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