Wednesday in Hawkville: All Baldwin wants on Sunday is his two front teeth, and a victory
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 5:
Doug Baldwin. Tony Bennett might have left his heart in San Francisco, but the Seahawks’ second-year wide receiver left his two front teeth in Arizona during the team’s season-opening loss to the Cardinals.
The Seahawks host the Cardinals in a rematch at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. When asked about his memories of that first game, Baldwin didn’t have to ponder the question at all.
“Not only do I remember, but it’s a constant reminder – my two teeth are missing,” he said. “These are fake ones I have in now.”
Baldwin lost his teeth trying to make a fourth-quarter catch in the end zone in that 20-16 loss to the Cardinals on Sept. 9. The teeth might be missing, but Baldwin has returned as a major factor in the passing game after dealing with injuries that forced him to miss the entire preseason (hamstring) and then two regular-season games (shoulder and ankle). After catching eight passes in his first seven games, last year’s leading receiver has eight in the past three – and half of those came in Sunday’s big win over the Bears in Chicago.
Baldwin caught a 12-yard pass on third-and-10 during the overtime drive to win the game. He also had an 11-yarder on the fourth-quarter drive than momentarily gave the Seahawks the lead, as well as a 20-yarder on third-and-4 in the drive to a field goal that provided the Seahawks with a 10-7 lead at halftime.
“Now that Doug is back in he continues to add something in every game,” coach Pete Carroll said.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week today after leading that 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in overtime to win Sunday’s game against the Bears.
Wilson joins defensive end Chris Clemons (Week 3), cornerback Richard Sherman (Week 10) and kick returner Leon Washington (Week 12) as winners of the weekly NFC honors this season. But he is the first offensive player to be selected since running back Shaun Alexander (Week 9) and the first QB since Matt Hasselbeck (Week 5), both in 2005.
Wilson was 23 of 37 for 293 yards against the Bears. He threw a 14-yard TD pass to Golden Tate to cap a 12-play, 97-yard drive to give the Seahawks the lead with 24 seconds left in regulation. After the Bears tied the score, Wilson passed to Sidney Rice for 13 yards to cap the overtime drive.
“Everybody has been blown away by him. We all have been, and every guy in the locker room has,” Carroll said when asked about the rookie QB winning over the locker room. “I think when you’re able to really translate that into victories and tremendous play – recognized by the NFC and the player-of-the-week thing, other people recognize it as well – it just strengthens the resolve.
“It is a process. He’s done nothing to take a backwards step throughout this process. … This was a tremendous game for a kid to be in charge of, because he didn’t just do it once he did it twice. He won the game almost two times.”
John Skelton. Upon further review, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has decided to go back to Skelton as his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game. Ryan Lindley had started the past two games, but the offense was unproductive under the rookie QB.
“There’s a number of reasons that we’re making this decision,” Whisenhunt told reporters in Tempe. “I’m not going to get into each one of these reasons, but that’s the direction we’re going.”
Skelton beat out Kevin Kolb for the starting job in training camp and the preseason, and started the season-opener against the Seahawks. But he had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury and Kolb came on to lead the game-winning touchdown drive. But Skelton returned after Kolb went out with a rib injury against the Bills in Week 6. Skelton started the next four games before he was benched in favor of Lindley.
“He’s a very resourceful quarterback that can move and make things happen,” Carroll said of Skelton. “We have a lot of respect for what he can do and the playmaking that he brings.”
The club made several roster moves today after cornerback Brandon Browner was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
Cornerback Ron Parker was signed off the Panthers’ practice squad and cornerback DeShawn Shead was elevated from the practice squad. Parker was with the Seahawks for 10 games and played in two last season, after being claimed off waivers from the Raiders. He also was with the team in training camp before being released on the cut to 75 players.
Parker arrived at VMAC just before practiced started, and his unpacked bags were sitting in front of his cubicle in the locker room. But he was glad to be back with the Seahawks.
“I just feel like I’m back at home playing with all my brothers again,” he said. “It’s like I never left, basically.”
Shead, a rookie free agent, was released on the roster cut to 53 players and signed to the practice squad the next day. To fill Shead’s spot on the practice squad, rookie running back Derrick Coleman was signed. He had been with the Vikings in training camp before being released.
The official report, as issued by the team:
Did not practice
DE Red Bryant (foot)
CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)
Limited in practice
LB Leroy Hill (ankle)
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
WR Sidney Rice (head)
Jeremy Lane worked as the nickel back for Trufant, because Walter Thurmond has moved to left cornerback to replace Browner. Jason Jones stepped in for Bryant, but Carroll said he is anticipating that Bryant will play against the Cardinals. Malcolm 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)
S Kerry Rhodes (quadriceps)
LB Reggie Walker (knee)
RB Chris Wells (knee)
CB Justin Bethel (shoulder)
WR Early Doucet (ribs)
LS Mike Leach (back)
LB Paris Lenon (shoulder)
STAT DU JOUR
Anyone for a game of quarters? The Seahawks just completed their third quarter of their third season under Carroll with a 3-1 record, tying their best one-quarter record since Carroll arrived in 2010. Here’s a look at their record – by quarters – the past three seasons:
Season First Second Third Fourth
2010 2-2 2-2 2-2 1-3
2011 1-3 1-3 3-1 2-2
2012 2-2 2-2 3-1 ?-?
“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals – their first home game since Nov. 18.
TOYS FOR TOTS
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.
“We are thankful to the owners, players and fans of the Seahawks for their support of Toys for Tots and our 2012 campaign,” said General Pete Osman, USMC (Ret), president and chief executive officer of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “The efforts of the team will enable Toys for Tots to fulfill the Christmas holiday dreams of less fortunate children throughout greater Seattle.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“I didn’t know Russell Wilson was capable of this kind of rookie season, but I was high on him in the pre-draft process, after watching him take Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl last season. I remember talking to one draft analyst this spring who told me he’d probably last until the fifth or sixth round, and be somebody’s No. 3 developmental guy as a rookie. ‘Just too short,’ the analyst said. ‘He won’t be able to throw well enough in the NFL.’ Gotta love the draft. – Don Banks in putting the Seahawks at No. 9 in his weekly power rankings at SI.com
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