Thursday in Hawkville: Rookies on a rampage no surprise to rampaging rookies

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 13:

Russell Wilson

FOCUS ON

The rookie class. We’ve written a lot about the rookies, and for good reason. They’ve done so much to help the team already win more games this season (eight) than the Seahawks won in their first two seasons (seven) under coach Pete Carroll.

What’s news is how quickly the rookies realized they could be special.

“I knew that as soon as I got here for rookie minicamp,” rookie QB Russell Wilson said today of the first time the rookies gathered in May. “I had a great, great feeling about it. The passion and energy we brought to the practice every day. You wanted to see if that was going to continue into the summer and into the season.

“Everybody talks about that rookie wall. Well, we haven’t hit it. I really don’t believe we’ve hit it. We’re not even close and we’re ready to go.”

And the Seahawks can go to the postseason in the rookies’ first season, if they continue to take care of business one game at a time – starting with Sunday’s game against the Bills in Toronto.

While Wilson, a third-round draft choice, already has done things no other rookie QB in the history of the league has, first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin leads all rookies this season with eight sacks; second-round pick and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the team with 108 tackles; fourth-round pick Robert Turbin had his first 100-yard rushing effort in last week’s game against the Cardinals; and cornerback Jeremy Lane (sixth round), guard J.R. Sweezy (seventh round), defensive lineman Greg Scruggs (seventh round) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (free agents) also played a lot, and made plays, against the Cardinals.

“That’s the great thing about it, our energy and our passion for the game and for this franchise is very, very high,” Wilson said. “So we want to do our best to represent very, very well.”

That opinion on the rapid, and continuing, impact of the rookies is not a one-man band.

“Probably the first day of OTAs,” Wagner said when asked when he realized these rookies could be something special. “I saw Russell flinging the ball, and Bruce rushing the passer, and just everything we were doing.”

Richard Sherman

PLAYER WATCH

Richard Sherman. This time, the view comes from a teammate – Wilson, who was with the free-spirited second-year cornerback when a group of players visited Seattle Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

“Richard is a tremendous guy,” Wilson said. “He’s very, very intelligent. You can see that. He has this love for football, just like I do. He may express it in a little different way, but that’s not a bad thing. That’s his personality in terms of competing. He brings that fire to his teammates. He brings that compassion and fire to himself. That’s how he motivates himself. That’s great.

“It’s the National Football League, he’s just having fun.”

The off-field view of Sherman isn’t that much different.

“I think the biggest thing is, when we’re in Children’s Hospital and stuff like that, you can see his love for people and just how he likes to talk to kids,” Wilson said. “And that’s great. To be around a guy like Richard Sherman who, for sure in my opinion, is a Pro Bowl-type player, to see him be around young kids is pretty awesome.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

WR Sidney Rice (foot)

CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Limited in practice

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Charly Martin (calf)

With Thurmond sitting out after injuring a hamstring in practice on Wednesday, Byron Maxwell and Lane split the reps at right cornerback. Bryant and Chancellor sat out for the second day and were replaced by Jason Jones and Jeron Johnson. Rice was out of the walking boot he was wearing on Wednesday.

For the Bills:

Did not practice

LB Nick Barnett (knee)

RB Fred Jackson (knee)

C Eric Wood (knee)

Limited in practice

S Jairus Byrd (shin)

DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder)

DT Spencer Johnson (knee)

CB Leodis McKelvin (groin)

DT Kyle Williams (ankle)

DE Mark Anderson (knee)

CB Ron Brooks (hip)

TE Scott Chandler (groin)

OG Andy Levitre (knee)

CB Justin Rogers (foot)

TE Lee Smith (knee)

OG Kraig Urbik (knee)

LB Chris White (thumb)

Full participation

WR Donald Jones (calf)

S Da’Norris Searcy (hand)

RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder)

CB Aaron Williams (knee)

DE Mario Williams (wrist)

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE

It’s OK to text. It’s OK to drive. It’s just not OK to do both at the same time. Just ask Wilson, who is partnering with Verizon to reward the high school that gets the most pledges from students to not text and drive.

“I have an awesome partnership with Verizon Wireless, it’s ‘Save it Seattle,’ ” Wilson said. “Basically, we’re trying to get as many pledges as we can from all the high schools and all the high schoolers to not text and drive.

“I’ve texted and driven before, and you don’t want to do that. I’ve made that pledge myself.”

The school that gets the most pledges by next Wednesday will get a visit from Wilson.

STAT DU JOUR

With three games left in the regular season, the Seahawks’ postseason opportunities run the gambit from claiming the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs to not even making playoffs. How’s that for disparity in a league that loves parity?

How can the Seahawks leapfrog from the top wild-card spot, which they currently hold, to the No. 1 seed? It starts with the Seahawks beating the Bills, 49ers and Rams to finish with 11 wins. It also would entail the top-seeded Falcons (11-2) losing their three remaining games; the 49ers (9-3-1) losing two of their remaining three; the Packers (9-4) finishing with no more than 11 wins, because the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker with their Week 3 victory over Green Bay; and the Giants (8-5) losing another game.

How can the Seahawks leapfrog the 49ers to win the NFC West? This dare-to-dream scenario is more intriguing, and also closer to reality. If the Seahawks beat the Bills and the 49ers lose to the Patriots (10-3) in Foxboro on Sunday night, the Seahawks could move into first place with a win over the 49ers next Sunday night at CenturyLink Field – and then clinch with a win over the Rams at CenturyLink on the 30th.

What’s the fallback scenario? The Seahawks win two of their final three to earn a wild-card spot with 10 wins.

What’s that last option? We don’t want to find out.

UP NEXT

The team will fly to Toronto on Friday afternoon following a midday practice, and then hold its Saturday walkthrough in the Canadian city.

YOU DON’T SAY

“You’ve always talked about how coach Carroll was such a great inspiration to you, can you elaborate on that?” – Carroll, sticking his head into Wilson’s weekly Q&A session to ask a mock question, and make Wilson laugh


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Wednesday in Hawkville: It’s a day for the players to cheer the fans

Matt Flynn

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for 12-12-12:

FOCUS ON

The Power of 12. Matt Flynn wasn’t really plugged into the energy generated by the 12th Man crowd at CenturyLink Field on game days when he signed with the Seahawks as a free agent in March.

Now, he is – especially after the backup QB saw his first action of the regular season in a 58-0 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday, when he completed 5 of 9 passes for 68 yards and directed a six-play, 62-yard drive to the final touchdown.

“Obviously it’s a huge advantage for us, noise-wise,” Flynn said today, when he and teammates shifted their focus to this week’s game against the Bills in Toronto. “And they’re smart fans. They know when to get loud and when to be quiet.

“I didn’t really know much about the Seahawks when I came up here. But they’ve opened my eyes and made me a fan of them.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman is sure the Seahawks have the best fans in the league, and says they’re deserving of any and all tributes that come their way on the numerical significant day.

“I’ve seen fans with tattoos of player’s faces,” he said. “They’re so passionate about the Seahawks around here it’s incredible. So I think it’s an incredible tribute to them. I would be happy to do anything we can to give back to the fans because they give a lot to us.”

OPPONENT WATCH

C.J. Spiller. Not surprisingly, the Bills’ suddenly fulltime feature back is no stranger to Pete Carroll. The Seahawks coach tried to recruit Spiller while coaching at USC when he came out of Union County High School in Lake Butler, Fla. Spiller opted for Clemson, but Carroll definitely remembers him.

“I have tremendous respect for C.J. Spiller,” Carroll said. “I saw him as one of the great players we ever came across. And boy, he has really torn it up. They build the offense around him and he’ll get even more activity now. That means you have a chance for them to score on every play, run or pass.

“So it’s a big deal for our defense to get ready for that.”

The Seahawks will see a lot more of Spiller on Sunday because Fred Jackson is out with a sprained right knee. The two had been splitting time, but Spiller and his league-leading 6.6-yard per carry average are now front and center.

“We want to make sure that we respect the heck out of that, because we know that he’s such a great player,” Carroll said.

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

WR Sidney Rice (foot)

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Limited in practice

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)

Rice was in a walking boot today after waking up Monday with a bruised foot. “He improved quite a bit from game day,” Carroll said. “But he’s got a pretty sore foot.” Carroll added that tests of Rice’s foot found nothing that should keep him from playing against the Bills.

Trufant has missed the past two games and Carroll said he’s still in process of returning from his injury.

Chancellor and Bryant sat out to rest injuries that have limited them in practice in previous weeks. Jeron Johnson and Jason Jones filled in for them. With Thurmond limited, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell worked at cornerback.

For the Bills:

Did not practice

LB Nick Barnett (knee)

S Jairus Byrd (shin)

DE Marcell Dareus (shoulder)

RB Fred Jackson (knee)

DT Spencer Johnson (knee)

CB Leodis McKelvin (groin)

DT Kyle Williams (ankle)

C Eric Wood (knee)

Limited in practice

DE Mark Anderson (knee)

CB Ron Brooks (hip)

TE Scott Chandler (groin)

OG Andy Levitre (knee)

CB Justin Rogers (foot)

TE Lee Smith (knee)

OG Kraig Urbik (knee)

LB Chris White (thumb)

Full participation

WR Donald Jones (calf)

S Da’Norris Searcy (hand)

RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder)

CB Aaron Williams (knee)

DE Mario Williams (wrist)

NO MORE PADS

The players practiced without pads today and will for the rest of the season because the team has utilized the allotted number of padded practices allowed under the CBA that ended the 136-day lockout in 2010.

“This is the first ‘Competition Wednesday’ that we cherish so much that we aren’t in pads,” Carroll said. “I talked at length with the guys about that so we still gear and get our tempo and our speed and all the things we need to get done and still compete.

“This is a bit of a transition, so it’s a huge day. There’s a change coming up, so I’m concerned about it and want to get this thing started right.”

CLOSE, BUT …

Lynch and Sherman were nominees for NFC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, but the selections were Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings’ win over the Bears, while Lynch had 128 yards and three TDs – on 11 carries – in the Seahawks win over the Cardinals. Kuechly had a career-high 16 tackles in the Panthers’ upset of the Falcons, while Sherman returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown and also recovered a fumble against the Cardinals.

The Seahawks have had four players selected this season: quarterback Russell Wilson (last week), defensive end Chris Clemons (Week 4), Sherman (Week 10) and kick returner Leon Washington (Week 12).

WHICH SEAHAWKS DESERVE YOUR PRO BOWL VOTE?

Fan balloting for the Pro Bowl ends on Monday, so you’ve only got a few days left to rock the vote for the worthy Seahawks.

Lynch is second (431,114) among the NFC running backs to Peterson (668,942), but there are others who need your help – including center Max Unger, nose tackle Brandon Mebane, free safety Earl Thomas, Chancellor, Sherman, punter Jon Ryan and special teams standout Heath Farwell.

You can cast your vote here.

Fan balloting counts one third toward selection of the NFC squad, with the coaches and players scheduled to cast their votes Dec. 20-21.

 STAT DU JOUR

Staying with this 12-thing, the 12th Man helped prod three false-start penalties out of the Cardinals on Sunday, raising the league-leading total at CenturyLink Field to 119 since the start of the 2005 season. For those not in the stadium to see the scoreboard graphic that ticks off the false starts as they occur, here’s a look at the league leaders in that category during that span:

Stadium (team)                                  False starts

CenturyLink Field (Seahawks)                  119

Metrodome (Vikings)                                115

Ford Field (Lions)                                        107

Edward Jones Dome (Rams)                     102

UP NEXT

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to practice for their final road game of the regular season. With the game in Toronto, the team will travel on Friday following a midday practice and hold its Saturday walkthrough in Toronto.

YOU DON’T SAY

“He’s just totally out of character. I don’t know where that’s coming from. But, keep running.” – fullback Michael Robinson on the pile-moving Lynch bouncing outside to score on a 33-yard run and then hurdling a couple of fallen players on a 20-yard TD run against the Cardinals


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Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to Sunday’s 58-0 win over Arizona

Scoreboard

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks one day after their 58-0 performance over the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his game story from Sunday, “The Seahawks are 8-5, assuring they won’t finish with a losing record for a fifth successive season. And this time, Seattle found a way to win without any doubts. ‘We’ve been having a lot of close battles this whole year,’ safety Earl Thomas said. ‘It just feels great when you get a win and you don’t really have to fight. We just stayed disciplined the whole game and really didn’t give them any life.’ ”

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times  highlights the play of cornerback Richard Sherman and the Seahawks defense in Sunday’s win, “This was the kind of performance the Seahawks defense needed after several weeks of struggles. They didn’t hemorrhage yards and then save themselves with turnovers. They shut down the Cardinals completely. Arizona gained 154 yards, compared to the Seahawks’ season-high 493. The Cardinals never really threatened to score. ‘It was unbelievable,’ Sherman said. ‘It was a total team effort.’ ”

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times has his reaction after Sunday’s rout, “There is something special about this team. It has a certain resolve and an ability to move past a bad loss. For more than three months now, the Hawks have shown their resilience. They’re deep, talented and hungry. ‘Our resolve is embodied in our quarterback (Russell Wilson),’ [Michael] Robinson said. ‘Everything was going against him. He was too short. He couldn’t play in this league. Whatever the case may be. He keeps proving the critics wrong. And people tell us we can’t win on the road. People tell us we can’t beat some of the elite teams. Hopefully we’re trying to prove all that wrong. But we don’t want to think about the big picture right now. We want to finish and then look back and say, ‘Wow, look at what we just did.’ ‘ Fifty-eight to nothing. Wow, look at what the Seahawks just did. And look at all that still is possible for them.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps Sunday’s 58-0 Seahawks victory, “The Seahawks are now 6-0 at home — two wins away from going 8-0 at home for the first time since the team’s Super Bowl season in 2005. Seattle players aren’t taking the way they played for granted. ‘It shows us when we finish (a) game, and when we finish plays and we work all the way through the whistle, good things happen — for whatever reason,’ fullback Michael Robinson said. ‘And we have to keep it up. We’re in finish mode right now — fourth quarter.’ Added safety Earl Thomas: ‘It’s just a stepping stone. I think we’re getting hot at the right time. It’s getting late in the season, and we’re ready for this push to the playoffs.’ ”

Williams also writes about rookie running back Robert Turbin’s day, “Turbin finished with 20 carries for 108 yards, the first time he topped the 100-yard mark in his pro career. ‘It really helped a lot,’ Turbin said. ‘To finally not just get flashes of carries here and there, but to just get consecutive carries and get a feel for the defense for my own self. That’s a lot of what Marshawn does. You guys talk about that all time — he doesn’t break a lot of his big runs until the second half. Well, that’s a part of him feeling the game. And I was able to kind of feel the game myself.’ ”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks’ saw their “next man up” philosophy pay dividends on Sunday, “[Walter] Thurmond was a little down on himself for not getting an interception on his dramatic tipped ball, but credited Wagner with a nice return. He was in no way rusty in his first start this season, he said, and he was not in the least surprised by the play of the young apprentices who were thrust into action. ‘We’ve got a lot of depth,’ Thurmond said, explaining that the results of this have benefits in practice as well as in games. ‘We’ve got a lot of competition every day in practice; that’s why we get better every week. And then when we get in game situations, we can capitalize and make plays.’ ”

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune details Sherman’s heroics on Sunday, “When the pummeling got to the point of wishing the NFL had a mercy rule for blowouts, Sherman even danced while on the bench. By that time the score was 51-0, and another afternoon — two interceptions, three passes defended, a fumble recovery and too many gesticulations to count — was in the books for the Seahawks’ Most Voluble Player. ‘Richard Sherman is a little bit crazy; everybody knows that,’ safety Earl Thomas, Sherman’s ‘Legion of Boom’ colleague, said in the Seahawks locker room. ‘But he’s a hell of a player. I’m glad he’s on our team.’ ”

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune notes that tight end Anthony McCoy’s dropped passes seem to be in the past, “McCoy appeared in two games in 2010 and didn’t make a catch. Last season, he played in all 16 games, making 13 catches for 146 yards. But it was the catches he didn’t make that were the problem. McCoy had a habit of dropping passes. ‘I have grown a lot from my first year,’ McCoy said, crediting former teammates John Carlson and Chris Baker and current teammates Zach Miller and Cameron Morrah with helping him. ‘I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of dropped balls, and it’s something I really harped on in the offseason, and I think I fixed it for the most part.’ It seems that way. McCoy has 16 catches for 236 yards and two touchdowns, and has one drop this season. ‘He has so much speed and so much ability,’ Wilson said. ‘He’s like a receiver in terms of the way he runs.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his game recap from yesterday, “Seattle’s running game was so dominant, totaling 284 yards, the fourth most in franchise history, that the Seahawks managed to put 58 points on the scoreboard with just 209 passing yards. ‘I don’t think I’ve seen (a blowout like this). I’ve never been a part of something like that, but a lot of crazy plays happened out there today,’ receiver Sidney Rice said.”

Boyle also rehashes the dominance that was on display in the Seahawks’ win, “The lopsided nature of this victory is nearly impossible to repeat in the NFL, but the way the Seahawks exerted their will, the way the defense dominated at home, the way they didn’t let a bad team hang around, bodes well for a team that gets to play two of its final three at home. It has its only remaining road game against the 5-8 Bills on a quasi-neutral field in Toronto. ‘We have so much more to do and our goal is to do a lot of great things and to bring a lot of great things to this city and our franchise,’ quarterback Russell Wilson said. Two weeks ago after a forgettable afternoon in Miami, greatness seemed like a pipe dream. After their past two victories, however, the Seahawks are a team nobody can ignore.”

Todd Fredrickson of the Everett Herald has a look at the Seahawks’ ability to contain Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, “For Sherman and Walter Thurmond, who stepped in for Browner, that meant a careful study of Cardinals all-everything wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Their performance exceeded even their own wildest fantasies. Fitzgerald caught only one pass, a completely harmless reception in the fourth quarter that went for just two yards. ‘You don’t come into a game ever expecting to hold Larry to one catch. He’s one of the best receivers in the world, probably top five or six in the history of the game,’ Sherman said. ‘To hold him down is a testament to our entire defense, everybody playing disciplined, everybody doing their job. It’s not just me,’ he said. ‘It’s everybody.’ ”

Mike Salk of 710Sports.com details the Seahawks’ “killer instinct” in putting away the Cardinals on Sunday, “It doesn’t matter how poorly your opponent plays, you have to put them away and the Seahawks did exactly that. So now we know the Hawks are capable of a blowout. Cool. But does that mean we should expect more of them? I say no. This team is still built to play defense, run the ball, and win close games. That recipe does not lend itself to many blowouts. The NFL is too evenly matched to see even comfortable wins very often. But does it mean that we need to start expecting ‘bigger’ things for this team? It sure might. I’m not as much impressed that the Seahawks won by 58 as I am that they played so well in Week 14. The NFL is such a grind that often the best team in the regular season is not playing the best in January. But a team hitting its stride in December can set itself up perfectly for a January run. The Seahawks seem to be one of those teams playing its best at the perfect time. Now we’ll see if they can make the most of it.”

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com has several “quick hits” following Sunday’s Seahawks win, “The lead. The Seahawks improved to 8-5 with an absolutely dominant performance against the lowly Cardinals, forcing eight turnovers and scoring in seemingly every way imaginable. Seattle’s 58 points broke the franchise record of 56, set in 1977 against Buffalo. The win ensures the Seahawks at least a .500 regular season for the first time under coach Pete Carroll. More importantly, it strengthens the Seahawks’ hold on a playoff spot. Seattle remains a game and a half back in the NFC West standings as San Francisco beat Miami.”

Henderson covers backup quarterback Matt Flynn’s regular-season Seahawks debut, “Flynn finally made his Seahawks debut during Sunday’s 58-0 rout of the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, a game so one-sided that Seattle pulled Wilson one series into the third quarter. ‘It’s been really hard for Matt to have to sit back and watch this,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He came here to be the starter and it hasn’t worked out, but he’s a fantastic football player and he deserves to play. I’m thrilled that we got to get him some significant playing time today.”

Henderson also recaps the Seahawks’ dominant defensive performance, “Skelton completed 11 of 22 passes for 74 yards and the four interceptions. He was replaced in the second half by rookie Ryan Lindley, who didn’t look much better while going 8 of 17 for 59 yards. This marked the third time this season that Seattle’s defense hasn’t allowed any points. The Seahawks also kept St. Louis and Carolina from scoring on offense, but neither of those performances could match this one. Seattle held Arizona to 154 yards in all, an abysmal total even for a Cardinals offense that ranks last in the NFL ‘Ass kicking. That’s the only thing you can say,’ Skelton said when asked to put the game into words.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his reaction following the Seahawks’ convincing victory, “For Seahawks fans, that is the exciting part — growth led by Wilson that has spread throughout the lineup. Overshadowed by the quarterback’s improvement has been another rookie, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Like Sherman, he had two picks (Arizona’s premier wideout, Larry Fitzgerald, had one catch for two yards) and led the team with eight tackles and two passes defensed. He is in command of the defense in the same way Wilson runs the offense. To have two rookies in the pivot positions leading a 58-0 triumph in the NFL stretches credulity. It is a major salute to GM John Schneider to have identified these talents and a major salute to coach Pete Carroll to have the guts to go so young when more experienced players could have been put in charge. ‘It’s a reward for all the hard work,’ Carroll said of having a blowout after so many taut, final-possession outcomes. ‘You work so hard and so often, the games don’t (often) afford you the opportunity. For everybody to play, for everybody to contribute — so many guys can get on the stat sheets — it’s really very positive.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com deciphers how the Seahawks win affects the rest of the NFC West, “The division race might yet come through Seattle, where the Seahawks have yet to lose in six chances this season. San Francisco and St. Louis (6-6-1) still must play at CenturyLink. Seattle plays its lone road game, against Buffalo, indoors at Toronto. The 49ers have been the best team in the division most of the season, but they haven’t been able to run away. Among NFC West teams, Arizona still owns the longest winning streak this season, at four games. St. Louis’ current three-game winning streak, its longest since 2006, stands second. Seattle and San Francisco have yet to win more than two in a row, but there’s still time. The NFC West fun is only beginning.”

Sando also has his “Rapid Reaction” after yesterday’s Seahawks-Cardinals game, “What I liked: Both defenses showed up early, consistent with how NFC West games have been played over the past year or so. Seattle’s Bobby Wagner picked off John Skelton’s fourth attempt. Linebacker K.J. Wright broke up a pass for Larry Fitzgerald, and cornerback Walter Thurmond dove under the ball to tip it up in the air. Wagner caught it and headed the other way, the first of two picks for him. Arizona’s defense then held Seattle to a field goal, sacking Russell Wilson on third down. Wilson, pressured into ineffective play during a 20-16 defeat at Arizona in Week 1, had answers this time. That became apparent late in the first quarter when Wilson quickly dumped off to Anthony McCoy to beat a five-man pressure for a 21-yard gain. McCoy had three catches for 105 yards. Fellow tight end Zach Miller had a 24-yard touchdown grab. Wilson played very well again. His lone pick came on a tipped pass while Seattle held a 31-0 lead in the second quarter.

Lastly, the Seahawks’ defensive performance yesterday sparked NFL.com to take a look back at the most fantasy football points scored by defenses since 2002. Yesterday’s defense nabbed 41 fantasy points – good for second-most since 2002. The leader? The Seattle Seahawks of 2005, whose defense racked up 44 fantasy points in a 42-0 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.


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Friday in Hawkville: Bryant, Chancellor return to practice

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 7:

Red Bryant, Kam Chancellor

FOCUS ON

Getting healthier. The Seahawks’ defense got two XXXL pieces of good news today when end Red Bryant and strong safety Kam Chancellor returned to practice after sitting out on Thursday.

Bryant did not practice on Wednesday, either, to rest his sore right foot. He is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.

“It looks like he’s in good shape to go,” coach Pete Carroll said after the team practiced outside for second time this week.

Chancellor has a groin injury, but he’s also listed as probable.

“We gave him a day off yesterday,” Carroll said. “But he was out there in limited fashion, so he’s probable to play as well.”

WEATHERING THE ELEMENTS

It was cold, breezy and raining during practice, which made for the perfect warm-up for Sunday’s game – when the forecast is calling for temperatures in the 40s and a 50-percent chance of rain. It was even colder and windier, and rained more, during Wednesday’s practice.

“We don’t know what we’re going to get on game day and we had a good day of work yesterday inside, so we got a little bit of the elements out there,” Carroll said. “It was good. It worked out fine.”

POSITION WATCH

Right guard. Rookie J.R. Sweezy and John Moffitt both worked at the spot with the No. 1 offensive line today and each is ready to play against the Cardinals.

“J.R. practiced with the (No. 1 line) quite a bit this week to make sure he’s prepared,” Carroll said. “He and John will play the spot. We’re in good shape there.”

The right guard spot is open because Paul McQuistan has moved back to the left side to replace James Carpenter, who was played on injured reserve this week because of soreness in his surgically repaired right knee.

OPPONENT WATCH

The Cardinals’ defense. Asked after practice what concerned him more – a few players or the scheme – Carroll opted for both.

“Darnell Dockett is really, really a big-time football player,” he said. “Patrick Peterson is as exceptional an athlete as you can get. Adrian Wilson. Those guys are great football players that make things happen and they make game-changing plays.”

And what defensive coordinator Ray Horton is doing with the Pro Bowl end (Dockett), cornerback (Peterson) and Pro Bowl safety (Wilson) allows them to be even more effective. The Cardinals are plus-7 in turnover differential because they have 27 takeaways, including 18 interceptions. They lead the NFC and are third in the league in red-zone defense. They rank No. 7 in total defense.

“The scheme that they have lets those guys get active and get involved,” Carroll said. “The linebacking crew is really fast and aggressive and you’ll see them blitz all day long. It’s a very tough scheme. Their numbers show it.”

INJURY REPORT

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:

Out

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Questionable

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

Probable

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Sidney Rice (head)

C Max Unger (hip)

Trufant was ruled out today because of the pulled hamstring that also forced him to sit out last week’s game against the Bears in Chicago. Walter Thurmond replaced Trufant as the nickel back against the Bears, but he will move to right cornerback this week to replace Brandon Browner, who was suspended four games by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the league policy on performance enhancing substances. Rookie Jeremy Lane will be the nickel back against the Cardinals.

Hill practiced on a limited basis, and Carroll said his status will be a game-day decision. He did not play against the Bears and was replaced by Malcolm Smith.

For the Cardinals:

Doubtful

DE Ronald Talley (ankle)

Questionable

DE Calais Campbell (calf)

QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

WR Andre Roberts (knee)

RB Chris Wells (knee)

Probable

CB Justin Bethel (shoulder)

WR Early Doucet (ribs)

LS Mike Leach (back)

LB Paris Lenon (shoulder)

S Kerry Rhodes (quadriceps)

CB Greg Toler (knee)

LB Reggie Walker (knee)

Talley did not practice today, while Campbell, Kolb, Roberts and Wells were limited.

STAT DU JOUR, PLAYER EDITION

Against the Bears, rookie QB Russell Wilson ran for 71 yards, the most by a quarterback in franchise history. The effort also left him 45 yards behind Rick Mirer for the most rushing yards in a season by a QB. Here’s a look at where Wilson ranks in both categories:

Single-game rushing

Player (year)                         Att.   Yards   Avg.

Russell Wilson (2012)           9       71       7.9

Jim Zorn (1978)                     6       63      10.5

Matt Hasselbeck (2002)       6      62       10.3

Single-season rushing

Player (year)                        Att.   Yards    Avg.   TD

Rick Mirer (1993)                68      343      5.0       3

Russell Wilson (2012)         66      298      4.5       0

Jim Zorn (1978)                    59      290      4.9       6

STAT DU JOUR, TEAM EDITION

The Seahawks have traveled an erratic path to reach their 7-5 record. The seven teams that have beaten have a combined record of 45-39. The five teams they have lost to are a combined 26-32-2. Here’s a look at the records of those teams:

Victories

Team (record)

Cowboys (6-6)

Packers (8-4)

Panthers (3-9)

Patriots (9-3)

Vikings (6-6)

Jets (5-7)

Bears (8-4)

Losses

Team (record)

Cardinals (4-8)

Rams (5-6-1)

49ers (8-3-1)

Lions (4-8)

Dolphins (5-7)

UP NEXT

The players will have a walkthrough on Saturday morning, their final on-field session before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

The Seahawks are holding their annual Toys for Tots drive at Sunday’s game and asking fans to donate new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children for Christmas as part of the nationwide event sponsored by the Marine Corps.

YOU DON’T SAY

“We take them as very, very dangerous. Think about how hungry that football team is to get a win. They’ll do whatever it takes and they have a lot of big-time players that can change games for them. So we respect the heck out of this team.” – Carroll on the Cardinals, who have lost their past eight games


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Friday cyber surfing: Wilson ’12 times more prepared’ for second matchup with Arizona

Russell Wilson

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 7.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his report from Thursday’s practice, noting that safety Kam Chancellor did not participate while resting a groin injury. In an interview with KIRO Radio’s Seattle Morning News earlier today, head coach Pete Carroll said Chancellor would sit out practice again today, but said he should be able to play on Sunday.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has won over his veteran teammates, “If there was any remaining doubt that Wilson had earned the complete confidence of even the most cynical Seahawks veterans, hearing their raves after he engineered Sunday’s overtime victory in Chicago likely erased that. That’s what happens when, as Sidney Rice said Wednesday, ‘With the pressure on, he’s never failed us. He’s brought us to the table every single time.’ Rice, in fact, says he sometimes forgets that Wilson is a rookie. ‘He doesn’t carry himself like a rookie,’ he said. ‘He’s never shown a sign of being scared.’ Added guard John Moffitt: ‘I think he’s just playing good football. What you do on the field is how you get respect.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps a Thursday media session with the rookie Wilson, “So is revenge on Wilson’s mind as he faces the Cardinals for a second time? C’mon, this is Russell Wilson we’re talking about here. ‘I try to let everything go,’ Wilson said. ‘You have to learn from your lessons. You have to learn from the games – positive and negative. And write them down, and figure out how they can help you in the long run. I think that first game helped me improve, and helped me win some games at the end of games throughout the course of the season so far. I try to learn from those lessons, but at the same time, I don’t look at it as revenge or anything like that. It’s just another opportunity for us.’ ”

Williams also highlights the play of rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “In 12 games, Wagner has already reached the century mark for tackles, joining an exclusive list that includes such franchise standouts as linebackers Keith Butler and Lofa Tatupu, and safety Kenny Easley. And with four games to go, Wagner has a chance to surpass those names as Seattle’s leading rookie tackler. Wagner tops the Seahawks with 100 tackles, just 35 short of the record of 136 set by Terry Beeson in his rookie season in 1977. ‘He’s a first-year guy, but he acts and plays like a fourth-year guy,’ [Seahawks linebackers coach Ken] Norton said. ‘He sees the field well, and he has really good instincts. That’s what really sets him apart – he can kind of feel things happen before they happen. He’s kind of a gym-rat kind of a kid. He wants to be good. And he’s willing to make the sacrifices that it takes. So when you know that about a guy, you’re not surprised he’s doing well at all.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks ought not overlook the Arizona Cardinals – a team that has lost eight consecutive games, “Nobody should look at the Cardinals eight-game losing streak and assume that it will be easy sledding for the Seahawks on Sunday. Four of the losses during their current streak have been by seven points or less, and while the offense has varied from inconsistent to just plain bad, the defense has remained strong despite getting no help. The Cardinals rank dead last in total offense and scoring, 31st in rushing offense and 27th in passing offense, but their defense continues to play well, ranking seventh in total defense and scoring defense, third in passing defense and fourth in takeaways with 27. ‘Even though they’re not doing so well the last few games, that doesn’t show up on the defensive side of the ball,’ receiver Sidney Rice said. ‘… They’re just getting better. We’ve got to be on our jobs on Sunday.’ ”

Boyle also has reaction from Wilson on facing the Cardinals for a second time, “Wilson, as well as Seattle’s offensive line, are much better prepared to handle the likes of Darnell Dockett than they were three months ago, but they will still have their hands full. The challenge of facing Arizona’s defense, and of facing a team for the second time, is one Wilson is embracing this week. ‘I’m definitely looking forward to it,’ he said. ‘It’s a new challenge that I’m looking forward to for sure. The first time out, I wish I could have done something to win that game there at Arizona. Now it’s the second go around at it, so you have to figure out what you did well, what you didn’t do so well, figure out what they did really well, and figure out how we can attack them. I think I’m 12 times more prepared. I just feel so much more confident out there, understanding what they’re trying to do. And just getting used to the speed of the game, playing live games really helps.’ ”

Steve Rudman of SportsPressNW.com has a look back at Wilson’s performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 13, “It did not go unreported that, largely due to Wilson, Seattle defeated Chicago for the third consecutive year at Soldier Field. But this nugget failed to make the final stat sheet: the Seahawks are the first interdivision opponent ever to beat the Bears in Chicago in three consecutive seasons. Some notable quarterbacks have taken whacks at that, including Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Wilson, named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week Wednesday, emerged from Seattle’s 23-17 victory with a 104.9 passer rating, his fourth consecutive game with a rating above 100.0. Since the first of November, a span that includes five games for some quarterbacks, four for others, Wilson’s passer rating is 120.3 (127.3 vs. Minnesota, 131.0 vs. New York Jets, 125.9 at Miami, 104.9 at Chicago). That leads the NFL by a tick over Washington’s Robert Griffin III’s 119.8.”

John McMullen of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, “The Cards haven’t won since September and Wilson is 5-0 at home with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. You do the math. ‘He’s just so beautifully poised and so confident that it gives himself a chance to play at this level,’ Carroll said of his young quarterback. ‘It’s just surprising that anybody could be like that, not just a rookie or a young guy. He just continues to be impressive in all of those ways.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 21, Cardinals 10.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com says how Wilson operates against the Cardinals’ pass rush will be a key component to watch on Sunday, “Wilson and the Seattle offense have grown, no question. But they also haven’t faced many defenses as strong as Arizona’s has been against the pass. The Cardinals emerged from Week 13 having sent five or more pass-rushers 40.9 percent of the time, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL this season. The percentage was 51.2 against Seattle in the first meeting. ‘As football players, you know who’s talented and who could really play because you have played them once before, but also you have seen them on film that we watch every day,’ Wilson told reporters this week. ‘When you turn on the film, you realize how well they move around, and how aggressive they are, how much pressure they bring and the great things that they do on defense.’ ”

Sando details the Seahawks’ use of the read-option, “Mobile quarterbacks have increasingly used read-option plays in the NFL, but Seattle had only dabbled in the tactic before Sunday, as the first chart shows. John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information did the work on this one. ‘Basically, the Seahawks used more option runs in the fourth quarter and overtime Sunday than they had the rest of the season combined,’ he noted. ‘This may have really set up the play-action passing game for Wilson. If you watch the final play again, it was a play action that looked just like a zone read option.’ ”

Sando also believes the Seahawks’ Week 16 game against the San Francisco 49ers is a strong candidate to get flexed into NBC’s prime time Sunday night game.

Les Carpenter of YahooSports.com describes Wilson’s devotion to the game, “The same way he pushed himself into the starting role and rookie of the year talk, Wilson has shoved the Seahawks into the playoff picture. And when the Chicago game was over and Seattle was suddenly seen as a real contender, he went into the locker room at Soldier Field and cut loose like never before. ‘You know, you may scream and shout a little bit,’ he said. Just a little. ‘Ah come on he knows how to have fun,’ Wilson’s roommate on the road, Robert Turbin said. ‘If you have six or seven hours of free time you’re not going to spend the whole time watching film.’ Then Turbin paused. ‘He does watch a lot of film, though.’ ”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his feature on Wilson’s ability to remain cool, calm and collected on the field, and has his recap of “Thursday in Hawkville” with a focus on second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith, who stepped in and played well for the veteran Leroy Hill a week ago in Chicago.

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as the club turns their focus toward the Cardinals, and Wilson readies to face a team for twice for the first time in his young career.

We have Wilson’s full video press conference and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s full video press conference from yesterday.

Lastly, our team photographer Rod Mar updated his Week 14 photo gallery at practice with several frames from “Turnover Thursday.”


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Thursday in Hawkville: Smith ready to step in again, if needed

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 6:

Malcolm Smith

FOCUS ON

Malcolm Smith. When veteran weakside linebacker Leroy Hill could not play against the Bears in Chicago on Sunday because of a sprained ankle, Smith stepped in and played what coach Pete Carroll labeled “a terrific game.”

Hill is practicing on a limited basis this week, as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, so Smith continues to get a lot of work.

“You’re always waiting for the opportunity to show what you can do,” said Smith, a seventh-round draft choice in 2011 who tied for second on the club in special teams tackles as a rookie but saw limited action on defense.

“I prepare like a starter and want to play, so when the opportunity comes you just do it.”

Smith had two tackles against the Bears, but the one that stood out was when he ran Matt Forte down from behind for a 2-yard loss. He also stopped fullback Evan Rodriguez for no gain on a pass play. Each play showcased Smith’s speed.

“We’ve become faster with him on the field,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said.

Getting all the reps with the No. 1 defense in practice last week also helped Smith answer the challenge on Sunday.

“Definitely practice reps help a lot,” he said. “But you’ve still got to capitalize.”

Which Smith definitely did against the Bears, and plans to do this week if he’s needed against the Cardinals.

“When Leroy couldn’t play, we could have been lamenting, ‘Oh gosh, we’re going to lose an experienced player.’ And we hate to miss him,” Carroll said. “But Malcolm just did a remarkable job of making plays and doing his assignments and playing hard. That’s what you hope happens.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Larry Fitzgerald. The Seahawks began their season facing the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver in their opener against the Cardinals in Arizona. Since then, they’ve also gone against the Lions’ Calvin Johnson, Patriots’ Wes Welker, Cowboys’ Miles Austin, Packers’ Greg Jennings, Rams’ Danny Amendola, Panthers’ Steve Smith, Vikings’ Percy Harvin and Bears’ Brandon Marshall with varying degrees of success.

Where does Fitzgerald rank in this show of good hands?

“He’s right up there, there’s no doubt,” Bradley said. “He’s hurt us in the past.”

Like in last year’s season finale, when Fitzgerald “kind of took over the game,” as Bradley put it, with eight catches for 148 yards in the second half after the Seahawks had held him to one catch for 1 yard in the first half.

“He made some great catches,” Bradley said. “You go back and look at tape over the last couple of years and see some of the catches he’s made, and on extra-effort plays. We put together a tape on just how to tackle him because he’s so good in open space.

“He’s something to deal with.”

The Cardinals are making him more difficult to deal with by moving Fitzgerald around. While he used to lineup primarily as the split end, he’ll now be at flanker, in the slot and even in the backfield on any given snap.

“We have to have great awareness of where he is on the field,” Bradley said. “It’s just better overall awareness of the style of receiver he is, the routes that he likes to do.”

PRACTICE SQUAD ADDITION

Chandler Fenner, a 6-foot-1, 189-pound defensive back, has been added to the practice squad. A rookie free agent from Holy Cross, he signed with the Chiefs after the NFL Draft and was released in August. Fenner fills the spot that opened when defensive back DeShawn Shead was added to the 53-man roster on Wednesday.

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Limited in practice

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

C Max Unger (hip)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Sidney Rice (head)

With Chancellor sitting out, Jeron Johnson was at strong safety with the No. 1 defense. As they did in Wednesday’s practice, Jason Jones stepped in for Bryant and Smith worked for Hill in the drills the veteran linebacker did not participate in.

For the Cardinals:

Did not practice

WR Andre Roberts (ankle)

DE Ronald Talley (ankle)

Limited in practice

DE Calais Campbell (calf)

QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

CB Greg Toler (hamstring)

RB Chris Wells (knee)

Full participation

CB Justin Bethel (shoulder)

WR Early Doucet (ribs)

LS Mike Leach (back)

LB Paris Lenon (shoulder)

S Kerry Rhodes (quadriceps)

LB Reggie Walker (knee)

STAT DU JOUR

We’re flat-out lifting this one from ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando, who compares the performances of the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson and the Colts’ Andrew Luck against seven common opponents this season – the Bears, Vikings, Packers, Dolphins, Patriots, Lions and Jets. We think you’ll agree that this look at the rookie QBs is worth repeating:

Category           Luck        Wilson

Record               4-3            5-2

Attempts          327            190

Completions    177            123

Comp. pct.       54.1           64.7

Pass yards      2,333        1,537

TD passes           13              16

Interceptions     12                1

Passer rating   74.9       115.6

Rushes                18             39

Rush yards         95           214

Rushing TD           1               0

First downs           8            15

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday” gives way to “No Repeat Friday” as the players will have their final full practice before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

The Seahawks are holding their annual Toys for Tots drive at Sunday’s game and asking fans to donate new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children for Christmas as part of the nationwide event sponsored by the Marine Corps.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The challenge is we’re playing a great team. Arizona’s record doesn’t show how great their defense is. They make a lot of the plays. They do a lot of things on defense. They’re very experienced. So we’re going to have to play our best game.” – Wilson, pooh-poohing any thought that the Seahawks might overlook a Cardinals team that has lost eight in a row after starting 4-0


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Monday in Hawkville: Wilson’s ascent leads to rookie firsts

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 26:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback has been on a “continued ascent,” as coach Pete Carroll said today during his day-after Q&A session with the media.

That’s one way to put it, because what Wilson has done in the past three games is historic stuff.

In Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Wilson became the first rookie in the 93-year history of the NFL to complete 16 consecutive passes – which also is one shy of the Seahawks’ franchise record that was set by Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon in 1998.

The historic feat that Wilson turned with his arm also led to another first-for-a-rookie achievement, which the league announced today. With his 125.9 passer rating against the Dolphins, he also has a three-game streak where his rating has been at least 125. Wilson had a 131.0 rating in the pre-bye week win over the Jets and was at 127.3 the week before against the Vikings – both victories in games played at CenturyLink Field.

Put those three games together and Wilson’s numbers inch closer to top-of-the-chart status, not for a rookie QB but any QB: 128.6 rating, 70 percent completions (49 of 70), 585 yards, seven touchdown passes, no interceptions.

The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers leads the league in passer rating (105.6), while the 49ers’ Alex Smith leads in completion percentage (.700).

As pleased as Carroll is with the progress of his first-year passer, he is not startled by Wilson’s development.

“Russell has really, really continued to improve,” Carroll said. “It’s not really a surprise when you look at how he goes about it, and who he is, and how talented a football player he is.

“I thought his talent really showed in (Sunday’s) game. I thought he was really adept at finding space to make his plays, and dumping the ball off really effectively, as well.”

Here’s a closer look at Wilson’s “sweet 16” against the Dolphins:

It started on the Seahawks’ first possession of the second quarter, after he threw incomplete to Golden Tate. Then it was Wilson to Sidney Rice for 26 yards on third-and-12; Wilson to Rice for 11 yards; and Wilson to tight end Zach Miller for 4 yards on third-and-3. That’s three in a row.

On their next possession in the quarter, it was Wilson to rookie running back Robert Turbin for 20 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to running back Marshawn Lynch for 7 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Tate for 32 yards; and Wilson to tight end Anthony McCoy for 3 yards and a touchdown. That’s seven in a row.

On the Seahawks’ first possession in the third quarter, Wilson was 7 of 7 during the 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with his 4-yard TD pass to fullback Michael Robinson: Wilson to Rice for 12 yards; Wilson to Miller for 4 yards; Wilson to rookie wide receiver Jermaine Kearse for 8 yards on third-and-3; Wilson to Doug Baldwin for 14 yards; Wilson to Turbin for 18 yards; Wilson to tight end Evan Moore for 6 yards on third-and-1; Wilson to Robinson for the score. That’s 14 in a row.

Wilson then hit his first two passes of the fourth quarter – a 14-yarder to Tate and an 8-yarder to Miller – for No. 15 and No. 16.

His 16 completions went to 10 different receivers, with Rice (three), Miller (three), Tate (two) and Turbin (two) catching more than one.

“I think he’s got more room to improve,” Carroll said. “And I think he is a prime example of why a guy improves, because of the way he applies himself. He does it to the absolute nth degree. We’re seeing it right before our eyes. Pretty cool.”

THE POINT OF NO RETURNS

Jon Ryan

Heath Farwell and his mates on the kickoff and punt coverage units went without a tackle against the Dolphins because the Seahawks did not allow a return. Six of Jon Ryan’s seven punts were inside the 20-yard line, as four were fair caught, two went out of bounds and the other was downed; while each of Steven Hauschka’s four kickoffs were touchbacks.

“That’s one of the first games I’ve been in where they had zero return yards, and we didn’t have any tackles,” special teams coordinator Brian Schneider said. “Our guys love to fight for tackles. That’s a big deal to them in the locker room, like who’s going to get them. And there just weren’t any, because Jon did such a great job punting and Steven was crushing the ball.”

As a result, the Dolphins had 11 possessions and the last 10 started at (four) or inside (six) the 20-yard line.

“We’ll take that anytime,” Schneider said.

INJURY REPORT

Linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) and left guard James Carpenter (knee) left Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, but each was able to return. Carroll said today that he’ll know more on Wednesday about their availability to practice.

STAT DU JOUR

Leon Washington returned his eighth kickoff for a touchdown against the Dolphins on Sunday, tying the NFL record that was set by the Browns’ Josh Cribbs. Here’s a look at Washington’s scoring returns – the first four with the Seahawks, the other four with the Jets:

Opponent (year)             Yards      Outcome

Dolphins (2012)                 98          L, 24-21

49ers (2010)                       92          L, 40-21

Chargers (2010)         101, 99         W, 27-20

Patriots (2008)                   92          W, 34-31

Dolphins (2007)                 98          W, 31-28

Giants (2007)                     98           L, 35-24

Redskins (2007)                 86           L, 23-20 OT

UP NEXT

The players have their “off” day on Tuesday and will return on “Competition Wednesday” to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago.

Strong safety Kam Chancellor will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.

YOU DON’T SAY

“This is running into the quarterback, not roughing the quarterback … (Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas) was trying to avoid it. He didn’t even hit him (Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill) hard, barely touched him.” – Tony Dungy, the former Colts and Buccaneers coach and now NBC analyst, on the fourth-quarter penalty that negated an end-zone interception by rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner


Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to Sunday’s loss at Miami

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 26.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his game story from Sunday’s 24-21 road loss to the Miami Dolphins, “Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 16 consecutive passes during the game, a record for NFL rookies. He threw for two touchdowns, he was not intercepted and running back Leon Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The fact that Seattle still lost gives you an idea of just how sloppy it was the rest of the game. The Seahawks had as many penalties in the first half as points, logging seven of each, and they weren’t that far behind in punts with five. Seattle’s offense failed to gain a first down during the opening period. Then, after Seattle’s offense found its footing, the defense was savaged by a Miami offense that hadn’t exactly been competent. The Dolphins’ offense had 10 total points in its previous two games. They scored 17 in the final nine minutes. Miami hadn’t rushed for more than 100 yards as a team in any game since Week 3, but gained 189 yards on the ground Sunday. ‘Just undisciplined,’ safety Kam Chancellor said. ‘It all came down to discipline.’ ”

O’Neil highlights the impressive play of Wilson in the road loss, “Wilson might have been the Seahawks’ biggest strength against the Dolphins on Sunday. ‘He did everything he could to keep us in this thing,’ coach Pete Carroll said. Wilson passed for two touchdowns, scrambled his way out of multiple sacks and rushed for 38 yards, including a 20-yard run in the third quarter that was his longest gain on the ground this season.”

O’Neil names Wilson, Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, and Seahawks return-man Leon Washington his players of the game in his 2-minute drill, “Seattle’s Leon Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the eighth time he has scored on a kickoff return in his career, matching Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs for most in NFL history.”

O’Neil also revisits Sunday’s keys to Seahawks victory, “1. Keep holiday giveaways to a minimum – Scouting report: The Seahawks have committed 11 turnovers in their five road games entering Sunday’s game, eight of those being interceptions. Results: Seattle finished a road game without committing a turnover for the first time this season. Bobby Wagner’s first-half interception gave Seattle an edge in turnover ratio yet the Seahawks still lost, which was surprising. It was only the third time under coach Pete Carroll that Seattle lost a game in which it forced more turnovers than it committed. Entering the game, he Seahawks were 13-2 under Carroll when they held an edge in turnover ratio.”

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times says yesterday’s matchup with the Dolphins should have been an easy win for the ‘Hawks, “There almost was an inevitability about this game. No way the Seahawks could lose. They were going to beat the pants off the spread. You could have bet the mortgage on this win. And you would have lost. Penalties mounted like unpaid parking tickets. The Hawks were flagged for illegal substitutions and false starts. They committed six penalties in the first quarter alone. ‘We didn’t show up today,’ said fullback Michael Robinson, who caught a 4-yard touchdown pass that gave the Hawks a 14-7 third-quarter lead. ‘For whatever reason, we didn’t play our best football today and we got beaten up.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details Washington’s NFL-record-tying kickoff return for a touchdown, “The Seattle Seahawks return man’s 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Miami on Sunday gave him eight for his career, tying an NFL record with Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs. Washington had not returned a kickoff or punt for a touchdown since Dec. 12, 2010, a 92-yard kickoff return for a score in a 40-21 loss to San Francisco. But Washington had been close a few times this season, including an 83-yarder in the season opener at Arizona, and 69-yard kickoff return at St. Louis in Week 4. ‘There’s no consolation prize after a loss like that,’ Washington said. ‘But I’m just glad I was able to score on that play. My wife was in the stands saying I had to get it, so with her pushing me, I knew I had to go out and do it.’ ”

Williams has reaction from free safety Earl Thomas after his roughing the passer penalty negated rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner’s second interception of the day yesterday, “Mike Pereira, former director of NFL officials who now works for Fox Sports, said via Twitter that he thought the call was ‘marginal at best but you error on the side of safety and he was hit in the head.’ And in a game of close plays, Thomas’ inability to defy the law of physics may have cost his team a win. ‘I definitely felt like the ball was still in his hands,’ said Thomas, when asked if he left the ground before or after Tannehill released the ball. ‘And I even tried to turn by body kind of over, not to even land on him. But when I’m going at my speed, I can’t just stop in midair like magic. So it’s just definitely frustrating, and that definitely changed the game.’ ”

Mike Salk of 710Sports.com says that after yesterday’s loss it’s gut-check time for the Seahawks, “Carroll said after the game that he shouldered much of the blame himself. He wondered if he was too lenient with a young team in giving them a full bye-week off. Certainly, the 10 penalties and sloppy play lends credence to this assertion. But problems with discipline have now cost this team two games (Miami and St. Louis) and someone is going to have to stand up and say enough is enough.”

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com has several quick notes from Sunday’s three-point loss to the Dolphins, “Tate’s highlight de jour: Golden Tate’s spectacular catch deserves separate mention due to the degree of difficulty and the impact it had. In the second quarter, with the Seahawks trailing 7-0, Tate set up their first touchdown with a 32-yard reception up the sideline. The pass was thrown inside, but Tate jumped over a Dolphins cornerback to make a diving catch.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com recaps the Seahawks’ 24-21 setback, “Carroll’s passion for error-free ball is well-known, which is why this manner of defeat was most galling. He sounded baffled. ‘This game was a different style for us,’ he said. ‘We have been terrific with penalties this year and we had seven in the first quarter (for the game 10 for 59 yards). It’s so uncharacteristic of what what we were doing. When we’re doing that much wrong, it’s on me.’  One thing that went right was the play of QB Russell Wilson, who had his best game yet (22 for 27 passing, including 16 in a row, for 224 yards and no turnovers, as well as five rushes for 38 yards). Afterward, he was quick to diplomatically disagree with Carroll’s assessment of mishandling the time off. ‘I usually agree with coach 100 percent, but not on that one,’ Wilson said. ‘The break was good for us. We’d played 14 games straight. Coach Carroll has done a tremendous job.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up following the Seahawks’ day in Miami, “What it means: The Seattle defense failed to hold a late-game lead on the road once again, same as the case was at Detroit. As a result, the Seahawks are 6-5 heading into a road game against Chicago in Week 13. Quarterback Russell Wilson was outstanding in this game, same as he was at Detroit and same as he has generally been since about Week 5. This isn’t the time to consider the bigger picture, however. Seattle has blown prime opportunities to improve its playoff chances in a competitive NFC. Conservative play calling on the Seahawks’ final possession backfired.”

A look at the NFL playoff picture shows the Seahawks still hold onto the No. 6 Wild Card slot with a 6-5 record, holding tiebreakers over the 6-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 6-5 Minnesota Vikings.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his gamer from yesterday, and has his “Game at a glance” blog, where he names Wilson his player of the game, “Wilson completed 78 percent of his passes (21 of 27) for 224 yards, and went to routes less traveled in throwing two touchdown passes – a 3-yarder to tight end Anthony McCoy to tie the game in the second quarter and a 4-yarder to fullback Michael Robinson to give the Seahawks a 14-7 lead in the third quarter. It was McCoy’s second TD catch of the season and Robinson’s first. Put it all together and it made for a passer rating of 125.9. The completion percentage was a season high, while the completions and passer rating were his second-best totals.”

Tony Ventrella has his game recap video feature, catching postgame reaction from Carroll, Wilson, Lynch, Robinson, Leroy Hill, and Golden Tate.

We have full game highlights available here, and Wilson-specific highlights available here.

Coach Carroll’s full postgame press conference can be seen here, and we have Wilson’s postgame press conference here.

And our team photographer Rod Mar has photos from yesterday’s game against the Dolphins available here.


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Friday in Hawkville: Healthy Seahawks head to Florida

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 23:

FOCUS ON

Ready, willing and able. That was the state of the Seahawks after they went through their final full practice today before Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami.

Every member of the 53-man roster practiced and, for the first time this season, all will be available to play against the Dolphins.

“We’re really pleased that we have everybody available,” coach Pete Carroll said. “Sometimes you’re just kind of scrambling to figure out who you’re going to put up, but that’s not the case right now. Our hope is that it keeps us competitive at practice, it keeps everybody busting it and we’re able to practice hard because we have all of our numbers.

“Hopefully all of that adds together and allows us to elevate our play going into this final stage of the season.”

James Carpenter continued to work at left guard with the No. 1 line today after missing the past two games because of a concussion. Carroll said whether Carpenter or John Moffitt starts will be a game-day decision.

Defensive end Red Bryant returned to practice after sitting out on Thursday to rest a sore foot, and Carroll said it looks like Bryant will be able to play.

PLAYER WATCH

Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Adam Schefter at ESPN.com looks at the “10 best bargains” in the league in his weekly “10 Spot,” and he includes the Seahawks’ left cornerback and strong safety. Here’s his take on each:

Sherman: “ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said last week that Sherman has developed into “the best shutdown corner in the NFL right now.”

Chancellor: “If Sherman is the game’s best shutdown corner, Chancellor might be the best shutdown safety, one of the hardest-hitting players in the league.”

OPPONENT WATCH

This time, it’s from an opponent – although a familiar one to Carroll. Reggie Bush, the Dolphins’ leading rusher, played for Carroll at USC. Here’s what Bush had to say when asked what about the Seahawks has Carroll’s stamp on it:

“Yeah, I think it’s a little bit of everything – speed, they play well together, play well within the scheme and obviously, from the defense’s standpoint, they’re bringing a lot of different pressure, exotic front, creating turnovers and just making plays when they have to. And winning games when they have to. That’s kind of coach Carroll’s signature.”

INJURY REPORT

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:

Probable

DE Red Bryant (foot)

OG James Carpenter (concussion)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

DT Clinton McDonald (groin)

LB K.J. Wright (concussion)

For the Dolphins:

Questionable

LB Austin Spitler (ankle)

Probable

LB Karlos Dansby (biceps)

P Brandon Fields (left knee)

C Mike Pouncey (ankle)

S Jimmy Wilson (ribs)

TE Anthony Fasano (hip)

STAT DU JOUR

Sunday’s game features two of the quarterbacks selected in April’s NFL Draft – and two of the seven who could or have started this week – in the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson (third round, 75th overall) and the Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill (first round, eighth pick overall). The disparity in their statistics entering this game is even greater when dealing only with their fourth-quarter efforts. Here’s a look at the numbers for each player:

 

Overall

Player                        Att.   Comp.   Pct.    Yards     TD   Int.   Rating (NFL rank)

Russell Wilson         253    157      64.2    1,827     15     8     90.5  (12th)

Ryan Tannehill        308     179      58.1    2,120       6   11     70.3  (30th)

Fourth quarter

Player                       Att.    Comp.    Pct.    Yards    TD   Int.    Rating

Russell Wilson          77         44      57.1      559       5      1      96.2  (6th)

Ryan Tannehill         94          50     53.2       644       3      3      72.3  (29th)

UP NEXT

The team flew to Fort Lauderdale following a mid-day practice and will hold a walkthrough there on Saturday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’m looking forward to getting the win. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m not so worried about who’s on the other side of the field. This game is really going to come down to our ability to execute and just finding a way to win this game, getting better as a team, running the ball better, passing the ball better, just executing in all phases of the game.” – Bush when asked if he was looking forward to playing against his college coach


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Rock the Pro Bowl vote

Marshawn Lynch

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch runs the ball during the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 29, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Paul Spinelli)

The first round of fan balloting for the Pro Bowl has been announced, and the Seahawks need your help.

Running back Marshawn Lynch and punter Jon Ryan rank second at their positions, behind the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson and Packers’ Tim Masthay. Peterson is fifth among all players and second to the Texans’ Arian Foster at running back with 298,323 votes.

Five of the Top 10 vote-getters are quarterbacks – No. 1 Peyton Manning, No. 2 Tom Brady, No. 4 Aaron Rodgers, No. 9 Matt Ryan and No. 10 Drew Brees.

Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor is No. 3 at his position. Defensive end Chris Clemons and free safety Earl Thomas are fourth at their respective spots, while center Max Unger and kick returner Leon Washington are fifth.

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman and special teams standout Heath Farwell aren’t even among the Top 5 at their positions.

Fan balloting runs through Monday, Dec. 17, and counts one-third toward the selection of the NFC and AFC squads the will play in the NFL all-star game on Jan. 27. The coaches and players in the league will cast their votes in December, and each will count one-third.

You can help the Seahawks’ players improve their current standing by voting here.


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