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Monday in Hawkville: 53-man roster features 17 new players

Posted Sep 2, 2013

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 2, when the Seahawks spent their Labor Day getting in a bonus practice for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Panthers in Carolina.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 2, when the Seahawks spent their Labor Day getting in a bonus practice for Sunday's regular-season opener against the Panthers in Carolina:

WORD OF THE DAY: NEW

As in, the official start of a new season. But also the number of new faces on the 53-man roster.

YOU DON'T SAY

"Very difficult. We had a lot of tough decisions, and Mike was one of them. … Mike was a very instrumental guy on this football team."

Pete Carroll, on terminating the contract of veteran fullback Michael Robinson

Coach Pete Carroll had expressed several times during the offseason how difficult it would be for new players to make the already deep squad. But there are 17 players who were not on the 53-man roster last season: defensive end Cliff Avril, tackle Alvin Bailey, defensive end Michael Bennett, tackle Michael Bowie, fullback Derrick Coleman, defensive tackle Jordan Hill, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, linebacker John Lotulelei, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, defensive end Benson Mayowa, running back Christine Michael, tackle Mike Person, defensive end O'Brien Schofield, defensive tackle D'Anthony Smith, fullback Spencer Ware, wide receiver Stephen Williams and tight end Luke Willson.

"It's exciting that we were able to find guys that could upgrade and take spots," Carroll said after the team's "Bonus Monday" practice. "It's more indicative of the guys that aren't here that went to other places to demonstrate how competitive it was."

That group of those released on Saturday who hooked on with other teams includes rookie wide receiver Chris Harper, who was signed by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday; safety Winston Guy, who was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars; defensive tackle Jaye Howard, tight end Sean McGrath and cornerback Ron Parker, who were claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs; and quarterback Brady Quinn, who was signed by the New York Jets on Monday.

"We're all about what we say – competing – and those guys earned their way," Carroll said of the new players on the roster. "They earned their spot and they battled through it. So that makes this tougher and hopefully it makes us a little better."   

INJURY REPORT: SEVERAL PLAYERS DUE BACK ON WEDNESDAY

Eight injured players did not participate in the "Bonus Monday" practice, but Carroll said several are scheduled to return for Wednesday's practice – defensive end Chris Clemons, who won't play in Sunday's opener but will practice for the first time since having knee surgery in January; nose tackle Brandon Mebane (groin), wide receiver Sidney Rice (knee), tackle Michael Bowie (shoulder) and McDaniel (groin) and Williams (concussion).

Bennett was back today after missing time to have a procedure done on a troublesome toe. Avril (hamstring) ran well today, Carroll said, and how the free-agent addition responses from that will determine when he might be able to return to practice.

POSITION WATCH: NICKEL BACK

Walter Thurmond won the job during training camp and the preseason, so convincingly that the club decided to terminate the contract of veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield – who then opted to retire after 14 NFL seasons.

STAT DU JOUR: DIVISION TITLES, PLAYOFF BERTHS

The Seahawks have won five division titles since 2002, which is tied for fourth in the NFL since the league realigned that season. Here's a look at the leaders in division titles, as well as playoff berths during that span, where the Seahawks also are tied for fourth:

TeamDivision Titles
Patriots 9
Colts 7
Packers 6
Seahawks 5
Chargers 5
Eagles 5
Steelers 5

TeamPlayoff Berths
Colts 10
Patriots 9
Packers 8
Seahawks 7
Eagles 7
Steelers 7
Ravens 7

"Antoine battled his tail off and he's a terrific player – still, today," Carroll said. "He ran up against Walter Thurmond, and Walter just had a great camp. He did a fantastic job for us. … We're really excited about him at the nickel spot.

"As much as I love Antoine, I'm really excited for Walter to come through like he did."

We examined Thurmond's long road back from multiple injuries earlier today.

POSITION WATCH, PART II: KICKOFF RETURNER

Carroll already had said that Thurmond and Golden Tate will share the punt return duties. But what about kickoff returns?

"Kearse is going first. He's got a pretty good average," Carroll said of Jermaine Kearse, who broke a 107-yarder on his only return during the preseason.

PLAYER WATCH: D'ANTHONY SMITH

With five of the 10 defensive linemen on the roster sidelined, Smith was working at nose tackle with the No. 1 unit. The rash of injuries at the position was why the club decided to add a player in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars while cutting the roster to 53 on Saturday.

"We were looking for a little depth there and a guy that could battle for us," Carroll said. "We liked his movement. He could understand our system. He looked active enough that he could help."

How was Smith's first day as a Seahawk? "It was easy, with these guys around me to help me out today," he said. "Just talking to me, communicating. That's one of the big things on defense. And those guys did it for me today. It helped me out a lot."

THAT'S P.S., AS IN PRACTICE SQUAD

The Seahawks announced their eight-man practice squad, and all eight where players waived on Saturday's roster cut to 53 players:

DT Michael Brooks
TE Cooper Helfet
DE Ty Powell
OG Ryan Seymour
S DeShawn Shead
DT Sealver Siliga
C Jared Smith
WR Bryan Walters

UP NEXT: BACK TO THE REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE

The players have an off day on Tuesday, as they return to their regular-season schedule.

The team will leave for Charlotte after practice on Friday.

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