Thursday cyber surfing: Max Unger playing at All-Pro level
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 8.
Late Wednesday the Seahawks filled the empty spots on the 53-man roster and practice squad, announcing the activation of cornerback Walter Thurmond from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster and the signing of wide receiver Charly Martin to the practice squad, who had been released just a day earlier from the 53-man roster and had cleared waivers.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights the play of Seahawks center Max Unger, “In his fourth season out of Oregon, Unger has performed so well that he was the lone Seahawks player listed on Peter King’s mid-season All-Pro team for sportsillustrated.com. Unger didn’t seem to know about that recognition, either, and responded with laughter. “No way … really?” None of this, however, is a surprise to the Seahawks staff and front office. General manager John Schneider arranged a four-year, $25 million contract extension for Unger this summer, which made him among the highest-paid centers in the league. Since then, Unger seems to have brought even more passion to his leadership role. It’s to the point that coach Pete Carroll often calls the offensive line ‘Max’s Guys.’ ‘He’s a really bright football player, he’s got a great competitiveness to him that makes him want to know everything that’s going on for everybody,’ Carroll said Wednesday. ‘He’s really the captain of that line. (With) all the calls and the complexities that are there, you’re looking for a guy who will take care of that accountability, and he’s done a great job of that.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with running back and return specialist Leon Washington, who is itching for a return trip to the end zone on his kickoff and punt returns, “The 30-year-old Washington is sixth in the league in kickoff returns, averaging 29.1 yards a return, and is tied for 13th in the league in punt returns, averaging 8.5 yards a return. However, the season is more than half over and Washington has had only 35 chances to make something happen. Last season, Washington finished with 84 returns combined in 16 games. Washington has kick returns for 83 and 69 yards this season, and a punt return for 52 yards, and those explosive plays have helped set up scoring chances for Seattle’s offense. But Washington hasn’t returned a kick or punt for a touchdown since Dec. 12, 2010, a 92-yard kickoff return in a 40-21 loss to San Francisco. Washington said he’s looking forward to playing against his former team, the New York Jets, on Sunday.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times touches on the Pete Carroll-Mark Sanchez connection heading into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, “Sanchez had spent one full season as USC’s starting quarterback and had a year of eligibility remaining when he decided to enter the draft. Carroll was very direct in his advice to Sanchez before the decision was made. ‘I just told him what I knew was the truth,’ Carroll said. ‘He could have been better prepared if we’d have had him for another year. And I think it would have served him even better.’ Sanchez was chosen No. 5 overall by the Jets, who traded up to acquire the pick from the Browns. Sanchez became the starter immediately, reaching the AFC Championship Game in Sanchez’s first season, and Carroll did nothing but applaud. ‘There was nobody in the world that was more thrilled than me when he did well, in his first year,’ Carroll said. ‘I thought they did a great job. … Mark and I get along great. I love what he’s doing, and follow him every week, and it will be really fun playing against him this week.’ “
O’Neil also recaps a live chat with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, and has his practice report from Wednesday, noting that three defensive starters (defensive end Red Bryant, strong safety Kam Chancellor, and linebacker K.J. Wright) sat out with injuries.
Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com says option-style quarterbacks are here to stay in the NFL, and that the Seahawks’ Wilson displays some ability to run it effectively, “Last Sunday against Minnesota, the Seahawks used Russell Wilson’s unique talents with read-option plays to pick up relatively easy running yards. Coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell saw the effectiveness of the option package in the Redskins offense with Griffin at the controls. ‘We borrowed some of the Redskins’ ideas with RG3. While you’re studying defenses you get to watch the opponents who played them,’ Bevell said earlier this season. ‘Some ideas are great, some you can’t use because of your personnel.’ According to Bevell, it takes the right quarterback’s skill set to mesh with a team’s offensive philosophy. ‘RG3 and Russell are two different style quarterbacks. There are some things he can do we wouldn’t ask Russell to do,” he said. “We have to determine, is that a viable play, is it good for Russell and does it fit in with the scheme for us?’ “
Liz Matthews of 710Sports.com has her practice report from Wednesday.
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com notes that Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor and offensive guard John Moffitt will be guests tonight on “Seahawks Weekly” from Munchbar Bellevue. 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk will host the show along with former Seahawks Dave Wyman and Mack Strong. Chancellor is scheduled to appear live in person and Moffitt will be a guest over the phone.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com compares and contrasts Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson with the Jets’ Sanchez.
Sando has an NFC West injury update with several notes on the Seahawks, “Guard James Carpenter (concussion), receiver Braylon Edwards (knee), running back Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist), defensive end Red Bryant (foot), linebacker K.J. Wright (concussion), defensive lineman Clinton McDonald (groin) and safety Kam Chancellor (quadriceps) did not practice Wednesday. Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) was limited. Receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle), guard John Moffitt (knee) and center Max Unger (finger) were full participants. Seattle is a little more beat-up than it has been to this point in the season. Having a bye in Week 11 should help the team recharge for a stretch run. Jones hasn’t played since Week 7. Seattle’s nickel pass rush has missed him. The fact that he is practicing, even on a limited basis, should be encouraging for the Seahawks. Having Baldwin back allowed Seattle to release receiver Charly Martin and re-sign him to its practice squad. The Seahawks have activated cornerback Walter Thurmond from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He helps with depth and gives the team another option in the nickel role, possibly affecting Marcus Trufant.
Sando also has his updated MVP Watch, and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch cracks his Top 10, “Lynch leads the NFL with five 100-yard rushing games this season. He now faces a New York Jets defense that has allowed 485 yards rushing after contact, the second-highest figure in the NFL. Lynch has 359 yards after contact this season, the second-highest figure in the NFL behind Peterson’s amazing 515. The Jets have also allowed nine rushing TDs, tied for fourth in the league. Lynch is on pace for a career-high 1,566 yards. Shaun Alexander and Chris Warren are the only players to reach 1,500 yards in a season while playing for the Seahawks.”
John Clayton of ESPN.com has his Midseason All-Pro team and shows the Seahawks defensive backfield some love, naming cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas to his list.
Jason Cole of YahooSports.com has his All-Midseason Team and Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane gets a mention, “On a very active, explosive defense, Mebane stirs the drinks. Mebane has surpassed Vince Wilfork as the toughest defensive tackle in the league to move. The 6-foot-1, 311-pound Mebane simply creates havoc inside with his low-to-the-ground ability to play with great leverage and power. Mebane has pretty good pass-rush skills (three sacks) for an inside player, but his real strength is being able to clear the way for his teammates.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has his Midseason NFL All-Pro list and cornerback Richard Sherman makes the cut, “He backs up his brash talk with a great ability to cover people.”
Don Banks of SI.com has NFL power rankings following Week 9, and ranks the Seahawks at No. 12, a bump up of two spots since a week ago, “If the Seahawks can run the table at home this season, where they’re 4-0 so far, they’ll make the playoffs as a wild card. I like their chances, with only one home game remaining against a team that currently has a winning record (Week 16 versus San Francisco). And that late-season showdown with the 49ers might wind up being more important to Seattle in the standings than it is to San Francisco.”
NFL Films’ “NFL Turning Point” has an in-depth video feature on the relationship between running back Marshawn Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson and the Seahawks’ power run game.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth profiles rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane’s punt-downing prowess, and the effect it has on punter Jon Ryan and the battle for field position. Farnsworth also recaps “Wednesday in Hawkville” with a focus on return specialist Leon Washington.
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” with a look at several Seahawks’ connections to “The Big Apple.”
Our team photographer Rod Mar has a look at “Competition Wednesday” in photos.
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