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Monday in Hawkville: Packers' offense more than just Aaron Rodgers

Posted Sep 1, 2014

The Green Bay Packers’ offense starts with QB Aaron Rodgers. But it definitely doesn’t stop there, so the Seahawks’ defense also is bracing for Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 1, when the Seahawks’ Labor Day practice was actually “Turnover Thursday” because they open their regular season on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: TACKLING

It definitely was the word before, during and after the Seahawks’ Labor Day practice, because the Green Bay Packers’ offense is what the defense will face on Thursday night and features more than quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

YOU DON'T SAY

“Percy is one of those unique players that can score every time he touches the ball. So I think that in itself speaks volumes. He’s a dynamic player.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Seahawks receiver/returner/runner Percy Harvin

There’s also second-year running back Eddie Lacy, who was not a member of the Packers when they played at CenturyLink Field in Week 3 of the 2012 season but averaged 4.1 yards as a rookie because his ability to get yards after contact. And there’s also 6-foot-3, 217-pound wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who has averaged 15.2 yards on 302 receptions the past six seasons because of his run-after-the-catch prowess.

“One of our goals is to be the best fundamental team, and that really is about tackling and our opportunity to take the ball away,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said after practice. “So we’ve worked tackling hard, all through camp, all through the preseason. Now it’s another chance to go work that.

“For us, that’s a really core part of our defense – the way we tackle. It’s something we spend a lot of time on.”

Especially in this short week, and specifically because of Lacy and Nelson.

“He’s a hammer,” coach Pete Carroll said of the 230-pound Lacy. “He’s a really good football player. All the stuff we saw in college, he could really dominate games running tough and physical, he’s carried over to the league in what we’ve seen. We have a lot of respect for him. He’s a good catcher, too.

“You have to really wrap him up. He’s really calling for us to tackle well in this game.”

Of Nelson, Quinn said, “I really respect him on the yards after the catch that he makes. Not only is he a good catcher all over – whether it’s up, it’s behind, back shoulder – but he also happens to be a really good after-the-catch player. The missed tackles that he makes, the strength that he has.”

INJURY REPORT: BRUCE IRVIN LIMITED, BUT DOES PRACTICE

The first official injury report of the season, as issued by the team:

Did not practice
TE Cooper Helfet (knee)
OL Lemuel Jeanpierre (neck)
RB Christine Michael (hamstring)
LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring)
CB Tharold Simon (knee)

Limited in practice
LB Bruce Irvin (hip)
CB Jeremy Lane (groin)
WR Kevin Norwood (ankle)

The limited designation for Irvin refers to the number of snaps he got, not what he displayed on those plays in his most extensive practice stint of the summer after having hip surgery during the offseason.

“I think really the quickness was there in the pass rush,” Quinn said when asked what he saw from Irvin in his first practice since before the Super Bowl. “We’re going to take it all the way through tomorrow and see what he looks like as he’s going. He did a terrific job in his rehab process. Now it’s up to him, ‘OK, how quickly can we assimilate him back into game speed?’ ”

Carroll discussed the team’s injury situation before practice, and Seahawks.com’s Tony Drovetto has the details.

STAT DU JOUR: EMPHASIZE THIS

Whenever the All-Pro duo of cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas have been asked about the league’s emphasis on defensive holding and pass interference penalties this season, they’ve offered, “We’re not changing anything.” And the what-us-worry approach worked out, as these snap and penalties-against totals for the Seahawks’ starters indicate (yes, we stole this from Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com):

Player Snaps Penalties/yards
FS Earl Thomas 86 0/0
CB Byron Maxwell 86 0/0
CB Richard Sherman 83 0/0
SS Kam Chancellor 30 0/0

For the Packers:

Out
C/OG J.C. Tretter (knee)

Did not practice
TE Brandon Bostick (fibula)
CB Demetri Goodson (concussion)

Limited in practice
LB Brad Jones (quadriceps)

With Tretter out, rookie Corey Linsley will start at center for the Packers on Thursday night.

ROSTER MOVES: BRYAN WALTERS RE-SIGNED

Wide receiver Bryan Walters was re-signed on Monday after being waived on Saturday’s roster cut from 75 to 53 players. To clear a spot on the roster, wide receiver Phil Bates was waived.

The club also filled the final two spots on his 10-man practice squad by signing defensive end Julius Warmsley, a 6-2, 276-pound rookie; and safety Josh Aubrey, a 5-10, 199-pounder who spent the 2013 season with the Cleveland Browns.

BORED GAMES

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman admitted before practice that he can get bored when teams continually throw away from him.

“Not getting the ball gets you pretty bored,” he said.

And how does Sherman’s combat that? “Stay focused and understand that the ball can come at any time. That’s how you have to treat it, like the ball is coming to your guy at any time,” he said. “Which is tough when you go four quarters without a ball, and four more quarters. But that’s what you have to do.”

Asked about Sherman’s comment, Quinn smiled and offered, “He hasn’t brought that one up to me. That one’s for you guys.”

THE SCHNEIDER EFFECT

Packers coach Mike McCarthy worked with Seahawks GM John Schneider when both were with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Packers. During a conference-call interview on Sunday, McCarthy was asked his impression of Schneider as a football mind.

“John’s very aggressive. He’s definitely an expert at what he does,” McCarthy said. “He has a lot of passion and love for the game of football and really the art of building a football team. So I think the success that John and Pete have had definitely speaks for itself. The why they were able to go about it and what they accomplished last year, very happy for John.”

After a pause, McCarthy interrupted the next question and added with a laugh, “But that was last year.”

IT COULDN’T GET BETTER SEATTLE, OR MORE SEATTLE

Starbucks is teaming up with the Seahawks to benefit Carroll’s A Better Seattle program. Starting Tuesday and running through Sept. 21, Starbucks will donate 25 cents to A Better Seattle when you pay with a special Seahawks Starbucks card.

“We’re really excited about this season joining again with Starbucks,” Carroll said. “The opportunity to every time somebody goes to Starbucks and shows their Seahawks Starbucks card and there’s a 25 cent donation that goes to A Better Seattle is really exciting for us. Starbucks has been a great partner and we’re thrilled that that’s happening.

“Anything you buy, whether it’s a cookie or a cup of coffee, you’re helping out the kids on the streets here in our local area. So it should be a great connection for us.”

UP NEXT: “NO REPEAT FRIDAY” ON TUESDAY

The Seahawks will hold their final full practice of the week Tuesday, on what will be “No Repeat Friday” because their game against the Packers will be played on Thursday night.