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Monday in Hawkville: Chicken fighting and chasing plays down
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Defense: On the third play of practice, O’Brien Schofield came from the left side of the line as the strong-side linebacker to catch running back Robert Turbin in the backfield as he was trying to get around the right side.
|MUST-SEE TV: RATINGS SOAR|
The Seahawks’ preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego on Thursday night drew a 40 share, which means 40 percent of the households in the Seattle area that were watching TV were watching the Seahawks’ 31-10 victory. The 21 rating, meanwhile, was up from a 12 rating for last summer’s preseason opener – which went head-to-head with the telecast of the Summer Olympics.
The highest-rated preseason game last season was a 15.6, and did not go head-to-head with the Olympics. It’s just the latest sign of the buzz being generated by the Seahawks.
“Obviously there are very, very high expectations for this team – outside,” Wilson said. “But as I always say, ‘You have to ignore the noise.’ And I think at the end of the day we have higher expectations than anybody else. We come to work every single day, we try to bring our ‘A’ game every night, every afternoon, every morning we get here. It’s a competition to try and be the best – individually, but also as a team collectively.”
Schofield, who was claimed off waivers two days into camp, considered it a make-up effort.
“I came out a little flat yesterday,” he said. “I’m a little bit behind some of these guys. So I think yesterday was that day where I kind of hit that wall. But the coaches were telling me they were expecting more from me and they just wanted to see me bring the energy I had been playing with.
“Today, I made sure I focused on chasing the ball down, getting to ball. Really, just focusing on one play at a time.”
On that early play, Schofield had a singular focus.
“I was thinking, ‘I can get this guy,’ ” he said. “I’ve faced a lot of fast running backs and it’s a very exciting play. It’s something that swings the momentum when you’re able to chase the running back down from the backside because they have no clue that you’re coming.”
Offense: A one-handed catch will get you consideration in this category on any given Monday. Do it against a long-limbed, 6-foot-4 linebacker like K.J. Wright and it lifts the play to on-any-given-day status. And that’s what second-year tight end Cooper Helfet did on a sideline pass from Russell Wilson.
And this one also involved a heavy dose of chicken fighting. Say what?
|YOU DON'T SAY|
“Having Sidney out there is a luxury. Having him out there is so nice. He’s got so much ability to catch the ball. … His catching-range is unbelievable. Anything you throw to him, he’ll catch it.” – Wilson on Sidney Rice, last season’s leading receiver who is just getting back into the flow of practice after having a knee procedure in Switzerland
“You call it chicken fighting when you’re running down field on a route, you’ve got a defender on you and you’re kind of fighting with one arm,” Helfet explained. “My one arm kind of got caught behind me, so I couldn’t get it out there. So I just tried to catch it with my right arm and luckily it worked out and the ball stuck.”
Oops play: So that’s how you beat Richard Sherman. The Seahawks All-Pro cornerback led the NFL in passes defensed (24) and tied for second in interceptions (eight) last season. But today, he gave up what proved to be a 59-yard completion from Tarvaris Jackson to Jermaine Kearse when Sherman slipped and fell while in coverage.
PLAYER WATCH: DOUG BALDWIN
Doug Baldwin led the team in receiving as a rookie free agent in 2011. Last summer, however, he was sidelined with a hamstring injury and then played through having his front teeth knocked out in the season opener and a severe shoulder injury.
But Baldwin is back, with chip firmly planted on shoulder.
“Obviously Doug was a tremendous player his first year,” Wilson said. “His second year, he had some injuries early on, but then really came through for us near the end of the year.”
That was a reference to Baldwin getting 13 of his 29 receptions and making two of this three TD catches in the final five regular-season games.
“Doug looks tremendous out here,” Wilson said. “He can play any position. He can play X (split end). He can play Z (flanker). He can play our slot guy, obviously. He has so much quickness, so much ability to run by a guy. But also he has the ability to make a guy miss and juke them so badly they just fall down.”
Then there’s that motivational chip.
“We call him Angry Doug Baldwin,” Wilson said. “Because when he gets in there he just loves to play the game. That competitive edge, coach Carroll finds that in guys.”
POSITION WATCH: DEFENSIVE LINE
The Seahawks had more D-linemen watching practice (nine) than participating (seven), as rookie Jesse Williams and free-agent addition Michael Bennett were given the day off to rest sore knees. Also sidelined were Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin, Ty Powell, Michael Bennett, Jaye Howard, Greg Scruggs and Tony McDaniel.
But first-year line coach Travis Jones forged on with what was available – starting with a No. 1 unit that included ends Red Bryant and Mike Morgan and tackles Brandon Mebane and Jordan Hill. Morgan, a linebacker, is getting work at the Leo end spot because Clemons, Avril and Irvin are sidelined.
Also available: tackles Clinton McDonald, Martin Parker and Michael Brooks and Leo end Benson Mayowa.
INJURY REPORT: BOBBY WAGNER SITS OUT
Tight end Darren Fells, offensive lineman Mike Person and wide receiver Perez Ashford returned to practice after missing time.
But middle linebacker Bobby Wagner sat out after returning to practice on Sunday. He had been sidelined with a sore shoulder.
Tight end Jameson Konz is now wearing No. 87. Just-signed wide receiver Donavon Kemp, who was No. 87 on Sunday, has switched to No. 1.
The players have an off day on Tuesday, but will be back on the practice field Wednesday morning for the next-to-last practice of camp – and the final session open to the public.
Today’s practice, which originally was scheduled for Tuesday, drew a crowd of 2,225 fans.