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Thursday in Hawkville: Seahawks conclude offseason program by putting a ring on it
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 19, when the Seahawks held the third and final practice in their minicamp presented by Tiffany & Co.:
FOCUS ON: THAT’S A WRAP, ALMOST
The Seahawks had one of their better practices of the offseason on one of the better days of the offseason Thursday, concluding the minicamp that caps the offseason for the Super Bowl champions.
But there was one last item on the agenda before players and coaches take their extended break before the opening of training camp in late July: Getting the Super Bowl rings from their 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2.
“It’s really an honor. It really is an honor,” coach Pete Carroll said of the Thursday night event. “And I think the honor in it comes from doing it together with all these guys. We feel very fortunate and we’re very humbled that it’s come to this now and we’re going to get this thing done and then move on along with it.
And in that romp over the Broncos at MetLife Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seahawks did do it together. They scored in all three phases – as Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith returned an interception for a touchdown and Cliff Avril was credited with a safety on the first play of the game; Percy Harvin returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and Steven Hauschka kicked two field goals; and Russell Wilson threw TD passes to Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch had a TD run.
“The ring ceremony is going to be exciting,” Wilson said. “We’ve had an unbelievable offseason. It’s been great, it really has. And to think about our last year and the experience we had. Going to the Super Bowl and winning that game, it doesn’t get any better.”
Although the aftermath elements came closer than you might imagine, with the parade through the streets of Seattle surrounded by hundreds of thousands of 12th Man fans three days later; and then the visit to the White House last month to be honored by President Barack Obama.
But the Super Bowl ring will be a tangible memory – and a heavy one, at that – of all the good things that happened to the Seahawks, and all the good things the Seahawks made happen.
“Earl Thomas and I, we talked at the White House and one of the things we discussed was what it feels like to win, what it feels like to go to the White House,” Wilson said. “I think tonight when we get that ring – when we put that heavy ring on our finger – and we realize that we actually won the Super Bowl, it makes you want to do it again.
“That’s the itch that we have: How can we do it again, and how can we do it that much better?”
ROOKIE WATCH: CASSIUS MARSH
|STAT DU JOUR: ROOKIES ON THE ROSTER|
If Pete Carroll has shown anything in his first four seasons with the Seahawks, it’s that he’s not averse to playing rookies. This offseason, the team’s rookie class on the 90-man roster includes eight draft choices and 11 undrafted free agents. Here’s a look at how many rookies the Seahawks had on their 53-man roster to open and close Carroll’s first four seasons:
Cassius Marsh, a fourth-round selection in May’s NFL Draft, flashed his pass-rush ability during the team’s rookie minicamp last month. But then he was gone in a flash, unable to participate in the OTA sessions because UCLA is on the quarter system.
But Marsh was back this week, and he picked up in mid-flash – especially during Thursday’s practice.
Fresh legs? Or is this what we can expect from Marsh?
“He’s got great quickness and he’s a really savvy passrusher for a brand new guy,” Carroll said. “He has a little bit of fresh-leg factor, we always recognize that. But he looked like we hoped he would look.”
There’s also more to like about Marsh because he has gained eight pounds since the rookie minicamp and is up to 262.
“It’s a really good start for him,” Carroll said. “He made a really good impression in the two camps he was here.”
PETE CARROLL WINS HORRIGAN AWARD
Earlier this week, Wilson was named the recipient of the Professional Football Writers of America’s Good Guy Award. Thursday, Carroll was named the winner of the PFWA’s Jack Horrigan Award.
The Horrigan Award has been presented annually since 1974 to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their job. That’s Carroll, and it was never more apparent than during Super Bowl week.
“Aside from being accessible and articulate, Pete has a rare grasp of the emotional side of stories,” said Dave Boling, sports columnist for the Tacoma News Tribune. “He’s never reluctant to recognize the effort, the dedication, the pain and the hardships attendant to an athlete’s life.”
And Carroll is a good quote, too, as they say in the biz.
Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren won the Horrigan Award in 2008.
ON THE MEND
|YOU DON'T SAY
“We have a really good track team right now. We’re in the wrong loop for the Olympics, but we have a good group. It is a really fast group. … There’s nothing like being fast.”
Coach Pete Carroll on the speed of the team’s wide receivers
The Seahawks were missing several key players during their offseason program because they are recovering from surgeries – including Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor, Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle Russell Okung, linebackers Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith and wide receiver Sidney Rice.
But Carroll said all could be available for the start of training camp, although Irvin and Rice are the most questionable.
“Everybody has a chance to (be ready) and we’re really counting on that happening,” Carroll said. “Everybody is projected to have a shot at it.”
UP NEXT: SEE YOU IN LATE JULY
Thursday’s minicamp practice completed the veteran’s offseason program and they are off until reporting to training camp on July 24. The rookies’ offseason program continues through Tuesday, but the team’s eight draft choices will leave Saturday to attend the NFL Rookie Symposium in Ohio.