Monday in Hawkville

Charlie Whitehurst

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 17:

FOCUS ON

Roy Lewis, Deon Butler and Cameron Morrah. These three have been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp opened in late July, and joined at the rehab schedule since then.

Each will begin practicing on Wednesday. They then have a three-week window before the Seahawks must decide whether to add them to the 53-man roster or place them on injured reserve.

Lewis, a cornerback, had knee surgery late last season. Butler, a wide receiver, had surgery to place a steel rod in his broken leg in December. Morrah, a tight end, had postseason toe surgery.

“At this point, there’s no reason to anticipate anything other than they’re back to practicing,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice. “If you can imagine, this is August for them. So Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then playing a game on Sunday, that’s a tremendous amount to ask.”

Getting Lewis back, however, definitely would help because of the move today to place veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant on injured reserve with a back problem. Walter Thurmond will start on the left side for Trufant, but Lewis would provide another option to fill the nickel back spot that Thurmond has been playing.

“Three weeks doesn’t even seem like enough time when you think about it,” Carroll said. “We’re going to go for it. They’re going to practice a lot. We’ll get them a lot of work out here. It will boost what’s going on out here, which will be good.

“And hopefully those guys will be able to show where they fit in.”

IN ’N OUT

Linebacker Leroy Hill and backup center Lemuel Jeanpierre returned to practice and running back Marshawn Lynch was back on a limited basis after sitting out the two bye-week practices. But four starters continued to be sidelined: quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral), center Max Unger (foot), tight end Zach Miller (neck) and left guard Robert Gallery (groin).

Jackson is ahead of schedule, Carroll said, and did some light throwing on the side during practice.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time,” Carroll said of Jackson’s status for this week’s game. “We’ll just see what happens. But he has a chance.”

Charlie Whitehurst continued to quarterback the offense in practice and No. 3 QB Josh Portis is getting his most extensive practice time of the season running the scout team that works against the Seahawks defense.

Carroll expects Miller and Gallery to practice on Wednesday. Unger was out of the protective boot he was wearing last week, but Carroll said his heavy work in practice won’t come until Friday.

ROSTER MOVES

The Seahawks signed two players: defensive tackle Jason Shirley (6-5, 345), who was waived from the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad on Sept. 3; and linebacker Stephen Franklin (6-foot, 235), a rookie who also had been with the Bengals.

Shirley participated in the 85-minute bonus practice, but Franklin watched from the sideline.

The Seahawks noticed Shirley while looking at video of defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, another ex-Bengal who was acquired in an August trade for cornerback Kelly Jennings.

“Always having this liking for the really big guys, Jason surely caught our eye,” Carroll said. “We’re pleased to get him. To get another real healthy big guy at this time … we jumped at it.”

To clear roster spots, rush-end Jameson Konz were placed on injured reserve along with Trufant.

Allen Bradford, who was claimed off waivers last week, practiced with the team for the first time. He worked at running back and linebacker with the scout teams.

STAT DU JOUR

Carroll already has done something only one other coach in franchise history was able to accomplish: Win the week following his first bye with the team. Carroll did it last season, his first as coach, when the Seahawks beat the Bears in Chicago 23-20.

The only other coach to do it? Dennis Erickson in 1995, when the Seahawks beat Broncos at the Kingdome 27-10. In fact, only Carroll, Erickson and Mike Holmgren have won games the week after the team’s bye. Here’s a look at the coach’s post-bye week records since the week-off schedule was started in 1990:

Coach (year)                                 W-L

Chuck Knox (1990-91)                 0-2

Tom Flores (1992-94)                  0-4

Dennis Erickson (1995-98)         3-1

Mike Holmgren (1999-2008)     2-8

Jim Mora (2009)                           0-1

Pete Carroll (2010-present)       1-0

UP NEXT

The players will have their off day for this week on Tuesday, and then return for what will be a two-week battle for the Ohio state championship. After playing the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday, the Seahawks host the Cincinnati Bengals at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 30.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Really, K.J. Wright made the difference. He took over. He took over that spot (strongside linebacker). He just was way ahead of any curve that we would have ever projected for him. So we just needed him on the field. He won the job. That’s really the best way to explain it. That’s exactly what happened.” – Carroll when asked about last week’s trade of Aaron Curry to the Raiders


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Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

Steelers. Past, not present. Yes, the Seahawks play the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. But this is a look at the ex-Steelers who have been very, very good to the Seahawks.

The list of former Steelers who have gone on to play for the Seahawks includes two members of the franchise’s 35th Anniversary team, a receiver who made one of the most memorable catches in team history and last year’s choice for the Steve Largent Award and Man of the Year.

Here’s a close look at the Steelers who would be Seahawks:

Dave Brown – A first-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1975, Brown came to the expansion Seahawks in the 1976 veteran allocation draft. All he did was become the franchise’s all-time leader in interceptions (50) and he also ranks No. 6 in games started (159) and No. 7 in tackles (684). He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1984, inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in 1992 and voted to the 35th Anniversary team last year. Brown died of a heart attack in 2006.

Paul Skansi – A fifth-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1983, Skansi joined the Seahawks in 1984 and played eight seasons. His most memorable play came in 1990, when he caught a 25-yard TD pass from Dave Krieg on the final play of the game in a 17-16 victory over the Chiefs in Kansas City. His best season came in 1989, when he caught 39 passes for 488 yards and five TDs.

Chad Brown – A second-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1993, Brown was the Seahawks’ big free-agent signing in 1997. Over the next eight seasons, Brown led the team in tackles three times and was voted to the Pro Bowl twice. He ranks No. 4 in career tackles (744) and No. 5 in sacks (48). He was voted to the 35th Anniversary team as an outside linebacker.

Willie Williams – Once Brown signed, he helped recruit Williams to do the same. The durable cornerback had been a sixth-round draft choice by the Steelers in 1993. In seven seasons with the Seahawks, Williams started 75 games.

Roy Lewis – He joined the Steelers as a rookie free agent in 2008, but signed with the Seahawks in 2009. Last season, he was voted the special teams captain and then won the Steve Largent Award and was named Man of the Year. He is currently on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from the knee injury that ended his season in December.

ROSTER MOVES

The club made moves involving its 53-man roster and practice squad today.

Because Michael Robinson, the only fullback on the roster, is out indefinitely after spraining an ankle in Sunday’s opener against the 49ers, fullback Eddie Williams was signed off the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad.

To clear a spot on the 53-man roster for Williams, tight end Dominique Byrd was released.

To address the fact that there are now only two tight ends on the 53-man roster – Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy – tight end Fendi Onobun was signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot, guard Brent Osborne was released.

The 6-foot-1, 242-pound Williams was a seventh-round draft choice by the Washington Redskins in 2009. He spent time on the active roster as well as the practice squad as a rookie, but was released in March of 2010. He then spent time with the Chicago Bears in 2010 and 2011 and was with the Browns in training camp this summer before being released and signed to the practice squad.

Williams played tight end at Idaho, where he was named team MVP as a senior after catching 54 passes for 687 yards and six touchdowns.

Onobun (6-6, 249) caught two passes in three games last season for the St. Louis Rams, who had drafted him in the sixth round. After playing basketball for four years at Arizona, Onobun played football at Houston in 2009.

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks (minus-3) and Steelers (minus-7) rank 31st and 32nd in the league in turnover ratio. Neither team forced a turnover its opener, while the Steelers tuned the ball over seven times (four fumbles and three interceptions) and the Seahawks three times (two fumbles and one interception).

UP NEXT

The players return from their off day on Wednesday to start a practice schedule intended to get them ready for Sunday’s 10 a.m. kickoff, PDT, in Pittsburgh. They will have a walk-thru at 10:15 a.m. and practice at 11:45.

YOU DON’T SAY

“What jumped out was the safety play. Earl (Thomas) and Kam (Chancellor) were really active and very effective and they cleaned up some of the miscues on the run and made really big-time tackles and hits and things that showed up in the run packing.” – Carroll on the play of his safeties in Sunday’s opener, when they combined for 17 tackles


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A one-of-a-kind Triple Crown

Triple Crown winners in horse racing are rare. It has happened only 11 times since 1919, and the last winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont was Affirmed in 1978.

But Eugene Robinson pulled an even rarer “triple crown” in 1993, when the Seahawks’ free safety was voted team MVP, Man of the Year and the Steve Largent Award.

Robinson led the team in tackles (111) and interceptions (nine) in ’93, when he also was voted defensive captain before the season and to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro after the season.

No other player in the team’s 35-year history has turned that award-winning triple play.

The window of opportunity was slim, however, as the Largent Award was not presented until 1989 – when Largent was the first recipient in his final season with the team; and the MVP award was discontinued after the 1998 season – with linebacker Chad Brown the last to win it.

During that 10-year span, four players won two of the awards: defensive end Jacob Green, Man of the Year and Largent Award in 1990; Robinson, MVP and Man of the Year in 1991; wide receiver Brian Blades, Man of the Year and Largent Award in 1994; and defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, MVP and Largent Award in 1996.

Pre-Largent Award, no player won MVP and Man of the Year in the same season (Man of the Year was not awarded from 1977-79).

But post-MVP, three players have won Man of the Year and the Largent Award in the same season: fullback Mack Strong (2004), wide receiver Bobby Engram (2007) and special teams captain Roy Lewis (2010).


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Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Rooting for the Rams. Rooting for the Rams? That’s right. Before the Seahawks kickoff against the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday, they will know who won the game between the Rams and San Francisco 49ers in St. Louis.

A Rams’ victory will eliminate the 49ers from contention in the NFC West, and that’s big for the Seahawks because if the 49ers win their final two games they would hold the tiebreaker over the Seahawks based on a better division record (5-1 compared to 4-2 or 3-3).

So, win or lose against the Bucs, the Seahawks also would know that their hopes of winning the division – and advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 – hinge on the Jan. 2 regular-season finale against the Rams at Qwest Field. With a win, the Seahawks would hold the tiebreaker against the Rams based on a better division record (4-2 compared to 3-3).

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Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Roy Lewis. The Seahawks have lost their special teams captain, as Lewis was placed on injured reserve today with a knee problem that will require surgery.

“I think it’s a big factor, I really do,” coach Pete Carroll said when asked how the loss of Lewis would impact the play of the special teams.

“He’s a captain because of who he is and how he brings it week-in and week-out.”

Lewis has been bothered by the knee for a couple of weeks, Carroll said, and will have surgery Tuesday.

“We’ve had a fantastic year on special teams to date and we’re going to miss him,” Carroll said. “He’s a big part of it, and he is because of his energy and his leadership and the toughness that he brings.”

Read more »


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Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

The 49ers. The good feelings generated by Sunday’s storm-from-behind victory over the Carolina Panthers still were reverberating through Virginia Mason Athletic Center today. But coach Pete Carroll and staff already were directing their attention to the fourth quarter of the season.

For the Seahawks, that starts with his week’s game against their division rivals in San Francisco. The Seahawks beat the 49ers at Qwest in their season opener, 31-6. But that seems even longer ago than three months.

If the Seahawks are to achieve their season-long goal – which is winning the NFC West – a sweep of the 49ers would be a giant step in the right direction.

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Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Aaron Curry. Coach Pete Carroll has been talking about unleashing the second-year linebacker as a pass rusher since his introductory news conference in January. It finally happened in Sunday’s big win over the Cardinals in Arizona.

Curry, last year’s first-round draft choice, had a pair of sacks among his season-high seven tackles.

“Aaron Curry had his best game for us,” Carroll said. “He was active and around the ball – had a couple of sacks and nice plays in the running game.”

That he did. On his first sack, Curry chased Cardinals quarterback down from across the field for a 9-yard loss on a third-and-6. On the second sack, Curry also forced Anderson to fumble, and defensive end Chris Clemons recovered.

But Curry also stopped Tim Hightower for no gain on a third-and-5 play from the Seahawks’ 5-yard line and had another tackle of Hightower for a 1-yard gain.

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Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Leon Washington. Special teams coach Brain Schneider had been talking about getting the Seahawks’ league-leading kickoff returner some work returning punts, as well. It happened in Sunday’s game against the Raiders in Oakland, and Washington had a 43-yarder among his trio of punt returns.

Because of that, and the fact that rookie punt returner Golden Tate sprained an ankle against the Raiders, Washington will return punts and kickoffs in this week’s game against the New York Giants at Qwest Field.

“Leon is an exciting, electric football player, obviously,” coach Pete Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session. “We need to keep him in those situations. We need to keep getting the ball in his hands on both kickoff and punt returns. He’s just too good. So he’ll do that for us this week.”

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Friday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Roy Lewis. And the focus likely will remain on the third-year cornerback as he moves closer to starting his first game in the NFL because of injuries to right cornerback Kelly Jennings and backup Walter Thurmond.

Coach Pete Carroll stopped short of ruling Jennings (hamstring) and Thurmond (head) out for Sunday’s game against the Raiders in Oakland. But neither practiced this week, when Lewis got most of the starter reps. If Jennings and Thurmond can’t play, cornerback Nate Ness would be active for the first time this season and cornerback Kennard Cox for the second time.

“Roy has been playing all year long, and he’s been doing a nice job for us,” Carroll said. “So for him to just move over, it’s not a big deal.”

Lewis, the former University of Washington corner, is in his second season with the Seahawks and also the special teams captain. He already was playing in the dime defense, so Lewis could be very busy on Sunday.

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Pep Talk: The Light Clicked On

Seahawks special teams captain Roy Lewis always brings a level of energy and confidence to practice and game day, but there was something else missing and it took until his rookie year in the NFL before he discovered it.

Out of Narbonne High School in Los Angeles, Lewis originally enrolled at San Jose State but transferred to Washington and starred as a defensive back there, starting all 13 games as a senior.

Lewis signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent on April 28, 2008 and shortly after that he discovered “his foundation.”

Everybody needs something they can turn to when life presents a challenge. For Roy Lewis it happened in his rookie year in Pittsburgh.

“I’m not super, super, religious but I am a Christian, I believe in God, there’s this one Bible verse that’s been dear to me ever since I was a rookie.

It helped me get through rookie camp, and make the team, when I was back in Pittsburgh,  I’ll never forget it, it’s Philippians, Chapter 3, verses 12-16, it’s talking about pressing toward the heavenly goal.” Read more »


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