November 26, 2014 at 12:19 AM
Little time to waste this week with a game Thursday night.
The Seahawks will have a walkthrough at mid-morning, then head to the Bay Area for a game --- like any would this time of year, given where the team is --- that will tell an awful lot about where the season leads.
So cutting to the chase, here are some day-before links. ...
--- Here's my story recapping the Richard Sherman-Doug Baldwin (?) press conference Tuesday.
--- Good stuff here from Larry Stone on the unique press conference Tuesday.
--- Jayson Jenks on Kam Chancellor's impassioned pre-game speech and return-to-form play.
--- Seahawks.com talks to former 49er Will Tukuafu about seeing the rivalry fro the other side.
--- Seahawks.com with more on Chancellor.
--- And Seahawks.com also previews the 49ers.
--- SF starting right tackle Anthony Davis remains uncertain for the game.
--- More details on San Francisco's injuries.
--- Rob Rang with some good thoughts on the Seahawks.
--- San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy says the teams are victims of the NFL's greed in having to play on Thursday night.
--- More on Eric Reid endorsing the Sherman-Baldwin presser.
--- The Mercury News wonders if the 49ers are tough enough to beat the Seahawks.
--- Can Seattle's O-line hold up against the 49ers' front?
--- Perrish Cox, briefly a Seahawk last season, having a good year with the 49ers.
--- ESPN's Stats Inc., with some good breakdowns of the battle in the trenches Thursday night.
--- SI.com says the NFC West is wide open.
--- FoxSports with a preview.
--- The San Francisco Chronicle says this is far from just another game.
--- The Sacramento Bee says both teams are wary of running QBs.
November 25, 2014 at 9:43 PM
Here is some video and some quotes from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's meeting with the media today (no cardboard cutouts here):
(On playing San Francisco…) “I think the common characteristic is the physical nature of the game—the type of players you have on both sides of the football, on offense and defense, and how well we are coached. It is a physical game and it will usually come down to the wire.”
(On playing on a short week…) “I am excited about the short week. It is a great time to emphasize the idea of visualization, and using that as much as you can and capitalizing on those moments. You have to have quality reps, that is for sure, and we’re excited about that.”
(On visualization…) “Visualizing started when I was a really young kid. My dad used to always talk about Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, and Allen Iverson—those guys—and Kobe Bryant, where they used to always talk about visualizing success—visualizing making the jump shot or getting a base hit or making that throw. For me, I used to train myself to do that at a really young age. I have utilized that throughout my entire career, college, high school, and in the National Football League.”
(On his relationship with Colin Kaepernick…) “I haven’t had the chance to get know Colin that much. He is a great guy, a very, very smart player and a very, very smart person as well. I haven’t really gotten to know him that much because he is very busy, as am I. I am looking forward to playing the 49ers and he is a great quarterback.”
(On visualizing bad things…) “I don’t ever visualize negative things happening—I always visualize success. Always visualizing things going right. Now if you’re asking me if I visualizing things breaking down and where I go from there, yeah I do that, too. It ends up being a successful play. You have to train yourself in that way. You have to have a Plan A and Plan B is the escape plan… that way you’re prepared for any situation.”
(On visualizing before a game…) “When it comes to visualizing escape plans, it’s much tougher to do before the game; it’s more so getting those practice reps, going back to what does well, and learning from the bad things, too, if you’ve ever had any. A lot of the escape planning is coming down to reacting—reacting to the play, reacting to situation, and how the receivers react, as well.”
(On where to improve with the O line…) “I think the biggest thing to do is communicate. It’s going to be a loud stadium—we are playing in Levi’s Stadium, which is a new stadium for us. We are excited to go there and see what that is like.”
(On San Francisco’s front four…) “[The 49ers] have some of the best front four guys in the NFL. They use those guys to get pressure on the quarterback. We are going to have to be prepared to block them up and we will have to do a great job of staying on our feet and making things happen down the field. Arizona brings a lot more pressure in terms of different looks and all that, but the 49ers are at the top of the league for what they do so well. They do a great job doing it.”
(On San Francisco’s defense without Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman…) “When you take Willis and Bowman out—you think of the star-studded players they are, I have so much respect for them—you think about how talented those guys are, how physical those guys are, and the difference they make on the football field, but they do a great job of bringing guys in. You think of Chris Borland—a guy that I played with—a guy a lot of guys said that he’s too short, too, but he can make a lot of plays. You see it on film; he is getting to the quarterback, he is racking up those tackles and making plays. He is a star player, as well.”
(On teams preparing for him to run…) “Yeah, I definitely think teams pay attention to me running the football. It is a factor. I also think teams know that I am not necessarily trying to run myself. It is one of those things that we’re really trying to hand off the ball to Marshawn Lynch 100 percent of the time, and that little .01 percent that I try to take it.”
(On how to be successful against San Francisco…) “In every game, every rep you get, every possession you have is huge. In a game like this, a championship-style game—I always say every game is a championship game—but when you’re playing a team like this, the 49ers are so talented on the defensive side of the ball, you have to be smart with the football. You have to put it high and tight and you have to tuck the ball away in all those situations. I think we want to win the turnover battle for sure—that’s a big part of the success of our football team.”
(On looking back at the NFC Championship Game…) “You try not look back, but obviously the 4th and 7 play and Jermaine Kearse scoring a touchdown, that’s arguably the biggest play in Seahawks history, if you really think about it. You don’t look back, you don’t really look back. There’s going to be a lot of plays that could be the next best play. That’s what we are looking forward to—we are looking to making the consistent plays, looking forward to staying on schedule, and capitalizing when you need to capitalize. When the game is on the line, making those game-altering plays and winning the game.”
(On playing on Thanksgiving…) “No, I haven’t played on Thanksgiving before. I am looking forward to this. It will be a lot of fun. Hopefully I can make my mom and dad upstairs proud, my brother and my little sister, my grandma and everyone who is watching proud at home. I know I wish I was eating a turkey sandwich after the game [with] a little mayonnaise on it, but I am just grateful to be the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. To have this honor with the guys in this locker room—to play with the star-studded players we have—with the fans we have, the coaches we have, it is a tremendous honor.”
(On Thanksgiving traditions growing up…) “My Thanksgiving was probably playing in the snow and eating tons of food, tons of mac and cheese, and taking a nap at some point and watching the late night game. Luckily I will be playing in the late night game that night.”
(On what the offense brings…) “I think that we are so versatile—we want to get the ball out quick and we want to hand the ball out to Marshawn and we want to capitalize on our runs. If it is open downfield we will take it, but we are not forcing anything. We have tremendous receivers that have a lot of speed and can make a lot of plays, so we have to get the ball in those guys’ hands. We just have to facilitate the ball to the right player at the right time.”
(On Tony Moeaki…) “Moeaki man, that’s a tremendous football player. He knows what to do, he runs tremendous routes, he has a great feel for the game, get his in and out of his routes at the right time, he has unbelievable hands—his adjustment to us is pretty spectacular to see in terms of how quickly he has made a difference. We are excited to have him on our team and to see all the plays he makes. I think all of the tight ends have done a great job to step up for Zach Miller, a guy who is so consistent and so fundamental, you miss him out on the field. But to have a guy like Luke Willson to step up this year, to have Cooper Helfet make a lot of plays, and Tony Moeaki just get here and show out, it’s exciting to see. We just have to keep going, keep growing, and see how far we can take it.”
(On the key of communicating with the line…) “I think we just need to make sure our language is always right. I am always passing down to line saying what we need to do, so it is very clear and there is no doubt of what we are trying to do.”
(On Patrick Lewis and Lemuel Jeanpierre…) “I think Lewis and Jeanpierre have done a tremendous job for us, and they have done a great job stepping up for us. They are going to continue to make plays and that’s what we have to do.”
November 25, 2014 at 6:38 PM
The Seattle Times will highlight a 12th Fan of the Week throughout the season. Each fan will predict the outcome of the next Seahawks game against a Seattle celebrity and Times reporters and columnists.
Name: Ken Dagel
Resides: Missoula Mont., and Las Vegas Nev.
Schools: Drummond High School in Montana (1979), University of Montana (Go Brock Coyle!), Washington State University and Washington.
Family: Wife and 17-year-old son live in Las Vegas.
Occupation: Occupational Safety/Risk Management Manager, North America
Seahawks fan for: 30-plus years. "I've been a fan since the inception of the team. I still remember the old Ground Chuck plays (of coach Chuck Knox), Curt Warner left, Curt Warner right and Steve Largent. We could always count on Kenny Easley to grab a turnover or two."
Favorite Seahawk: Past player, Steve Largent, a tremendous player and person. Present player, Richard Sherman. Tough, fast and intelligent.
Memorable moments: Dagel couldn't pick just one. Here is his top five: 1) Largent's hit on Oakland Raider Mike Harden, which was payback for an earlier hit on Largent. 2) Lynch's Beast Quake run. "I was changing planes in Atlanta. I walked in wearing my Seahawk gear and the terminal was going nuts. When the crowd spotted my Seahawk clothes, they went crazy pointing to the TV screens. I loved that Matt Hasselbeck made one of the final blocks for the TD. 3) Beating the Raiders. 4) Watching the victory parade from Super Bowl wind through Seattle. 5) Scoring 12 seconds into start of each half of the Super Bowl last February.
Fast facts: Dagel doesn't let living in Montana and Nevada stop him from following the Seahawks and going to games. He gets to travel to most of the cities the Seahawks play in, and is making a “work” trip to Seattle on Dec. 14. "Wait, that’s a game day! What a coincidence!" he said. "Hope to find a ticket left."
Prediction: Seahawks 24, 49ers 14 - Key to the game is Marshawn Lynch. If he is healthy, the Seahawks can replicate the rushing seen in the Giants game. Expect Turbo (Robert Turbin) to step up as well. Turnovers are always a key, and edge Seattle.
Want to be 12th Fan of the Week? Tell your story via our interactive “Where in the World Are Seahawks Fans?” map, and check out how fans do every week against a celebrity picker and Seattle Times staffers in “Seahawks Pick ‘Em.”
November 25, 2014 at 6:26 PM
Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn: "I think that felt maybe the most connected we’ve had been defensively this year''
Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said during his weekly meeting with the media today that he felt the Seattle defense was the "most connected'' it has been all season during Sunday's 19-3 win over Arizona.
Here's the official transcript of Quinn talking about that, as well as the impact of a now-healthy Kam Chancellor, the return of Bobby Wagner, and more:
(On what Kam Chancellor has been able to do this season even with the injuries he’s been dealing with) Really, we count on him for so much. I think it’s the toughness, the factor that he brings, the way he can tackle, and all the different variety of ways that we use him. So for him, to finally say, ‘Man, I’m feeling like myself,’ brings a smile to most of us as well. The explosiveness – went through a long rehab. We count on him for so much on our team – the leadership, the toughness. He’s everybody’s big brother to look to and ask to. So for him to be back and be part of it again after missing a few weeks – it’s huge for us.
(On how Kam Chancellor said he hated watching himself on film earlier this year because he wasn’t able to do what he was normally able to and what were some of the things he wasn’t able to be himself with) I think the movement part of it. He’s such an explosive guy so for him some of the movements that he didn’t like I think that’s probably what he saw because he’s such an explosive hitter so for him not to uncoil on the hits or have the change of direction but you certainly feel that on the tape now.
(On if the defense feeds off Kam Chancellor) I think so. He’s one of the igniters for us, for sure. We talk about, at times, who is going to be the one to set it off and usually he’s at the front of that line.
(On if he was surprised by how much Bobby Wagner was able to play) No, I wasn’t surprised. I knew how hard he worked through the rehab. When we came out, Ken [Norton] and I had worked him out last week as he was starting to get ready. We watched his end of the session rehab and you could tell he was in really good shape. For him to not miss one snap, no I’m not surprised because I know what he’s capable of and what his mindset is like so it was great to have him back out there and a little bit of a reward for how hard he’s worked to get back and it was good to have him back in the mix.
(On how much cleaner the run game felt with Kevin Williams having a second week at nose tackle and getting K.J. Wright back at his spot and Bobby Wagner back) I think it was a culmination of a lot of guys and talk about hitting our fits and the way and the intensity the we like to play at so for us, that felt more natural in terms of the way and the style that we like to play. I thought it was a good outing for them and can’t wait to get going again this week.
(On how it is telling if the 49ers can run the ball or not against them) We know how good these guys are. They can do it in a variety of different ways. They do it quarterback under center, they do it in gun. They’ve got the quarterback runs. They’ve got where Frank [Gore] and the guys can run. It’s certainly a team that we regard well in that way. We’re certainly looking forward to the challenge of going against them.
(On the importance of pressuring the quarterback and how difficult that is with Colin Kaepernick) Yeah, a lot of times, as you know, one of the things we talk about is trying to get a quarterback off the spot. One of the dangerous parts with Colin, when you get him off the spot, he’s still a dangerous guy on the move. So it will take all of us, in terms of the rush and the way that we cover and the way that we can attack him because we know he can be so dangerous with his legs.
(On if the defense feels “back” right now) Yeah, that game certainly felt that way. That was just one game for us. So we’re looking forward to the next challenge and the next thing ahead for us. It did feel like we like to play and you certainly feel the connection from the players on the field but it was one time for us and we can’t wait to get going again.
(On if that’s the first time this season he has felt that way about the defense) I would say for our whole unit. I think there have been good games by individual guys and outings by the team but I think that felt maybe the most connected we’ve had been defensively this year, yes.
November 25, 2014 at 6:11 PM
The Seahawks released their daily injury report after Tuesday's practice. There were no surprises but here is an updated look:
Did no participate in practice:
- Center Max Unger (knee/ankle)
- Tight end Cooper Helfet (ankle)
- Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder)
Limited participation in practice:
- Running back Marshawn Lynch (back)
- Cornerback Jeremy Lane (glute)
Full participation in practice:
- Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (ankle)
- Guard James Carpenter (ankle)
- Defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs (knee)
- Cornerback Marcus Burley (hamstring)
Kearse, Carpenter, Dobbs and Burley were also listed as limited on Monday's injury report, so it appears those four should be good to go on Thursday barring any setbacks between now and then.
And here is an update on the 49ers.
November 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM
Lots of good stuff today from Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell during his regular weekly meeting with the media, including thoughts on the protection issues against Arizona, when the Seahawks allowed seven sacks, and how quarterback Russell Wilson works with his centers.
Video and then official transcript below:
(On the protection problems from last week) “There’s a little bit of all that. There’s some times where we know that there is a guy who’s going to be free. The way that the defense was playing. They were playing cover zero. It’s important for us to know where the hot guy is, where the guy’s coming free, and then we know we have to make a play off that guy. There’s a couple times we didn’t do that. There is always going to be some communication issues, they’ve got to be shored up and we’re continuing to work on that with Patrick [Lewis] and with Lem [Jeanpierre] and all the guys that are going to be in there. Sometimes that communication might have to get from the right side all the way to the left side and it’s important for guys to talk.”
(On what he saw out of QB Russell Wilson last week) “During last week there were a few things we really tried to work on and there were some really nice things that he did. Just one of the most impressive plays for me was he had really nice protection. He trusted the protection. He sat in there and I think on the left side he threw the ball to [Kevin] Norwood on a little curl route. But he kind of sat in there for a while. He didn’t take off, he trusted protection, and you have to be able to do that regardless of how the day’s going. There are times that you want to make sure that you sit there and try to work on the pass but he got better and did some real nice things that way.”
(On Russell Wilson being under so much duress and trusting the protection) “I mean going in we knew that was going to be the case. We knew they were a blitz-happy team and they were going to bring it from all different directions. It can be tough but you need to make sure that you continue to think about it almost as if it’s the first play of the game. You can’t judge the protection because about the time that you’re going to judge it you’re going to be able to sit there for seven seconds. You just have to be willing to stand there and trust the guys. Trust the guys around you and the protection, the guys that are getting open, where they’re running the routes, how they’re running the routes, and I thought we did that in a lot of ways.”
(On if there is different planning between game-to-game) “You’re familiar with the personnel but there’s enough game planning going on and trying to figure out how they’re going to play whether it’s personnel groups, whatever it is, there’s enough game planning and enough nuances and differences that happen from even playing them three times last year and you could see differences in each game.”
(On how they split up making the protection call between the center and the quarterback) “It’s mostly the center. We like to put most of it on the center. But the quarterback always has a trump. He always has the ability to change the protection and get it directed because he needs to make sure he knows where it’s going. So there’s communication up and down the line but also with the calls and the things that happen up there he needs to know where it’s happening. If he doesn’t, he needs to go make it right.”
(On how much harder Russell Wilson’s job is without Max Unger) “That definitely plays into it. He has great trust with Max [Unger]. They sit in meetings all the time and talk things out and they’re very much on the same page. When that’s not there, it’s nothing against the other guys but it’s time spent with the one guy. They spent hours in the meeting room of talking things out, seeing many different looks, made different protections that they talk about. So, you definitely lose some of that and like I keep telling Russ [Wilson] he’s got to make sure he knows what’s going on. If he doesn’t know, go up and make sure – or put it somewhere so that he knows – we can handle it if we know there’s a guy who’s going to be free because we know where he’s coming from.”
November 25, 2014 at 5:11 PM
Here are a few thoughts, via video, on the challenge of the short week for the Seahawks:
November 25, 2014 at 2:42 PM
RENTON — Normally, pregame speeches are handled by defensive lineman Michael Bennett and quarterback Russell Wilson.
But before Sunday's game against Arizona, safety Kam Chancellor, one of the team's more reserved leaders, took his turn for the first time.
"It was probably the best one I’ve ever heard in my life," linebacker K.J. Wright said. "Usually guys are just talking to talk, but I actually felt him and he just spoke from the heart.”
Added Wright, “We needed that.”
Chancellor said Bennett asked him to speak when he got to the stadium.
"I just started thinking about everything that I always wanted to say," Chancellor said. "The night before I wanted to say more things to the team where we were talking also so I just grabbed that and ran with that and just said what was in my heart. I just said what I thought was needed, and it just came out the right way.”
Chancellor's overall message?
“Just about trusting one another, playing for one another," he said. "Just every snap, everything you do out there, always thinking about the man beside you, your brother on the field.”
Added Chancellor: “It was real. I could just feel the connection from everybody. I could feel everybody’s alertness. I could feel everybody’s energy.”
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