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Monday in Hawkville: Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith returns to practice

Posted Aug 18, 2014

After spending training camp as a spectator following offseason ankle surgery, linebacker Malcolm Smith was back at practice on a limited basis for the Seahawks on Monday.


A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 18, when the Seahawks held their “Competition Wednesday” practice as they begin preparing for Friday night’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: BACKERS

Not as in boosters or fans. The practices open to the public ended last week, along with training camp. These ’backers were Malcolm Smith and Korey Toomer, who practiced for the first time since camp opened on July 24.

Smith, the Super Bowl MVP from the Seahawks’ 43-8 romp over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, had offseason ankle surgery. Toomer, a promising third-year player who has been injured the past two seasons, had been on the physically unable to perform list because a hamstring injury.

Each was limited, but their participation in individual drills was the needed next step in them getting back into full action before the preseason ends.

“It’s a great deal to get him back,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice when asked about Smith, who also played for him at USC. “It’s been a long offseason for him – a highlighted offseason – but it’s still been hard on him getting right.

“He’s got great versatility. We totally trust him. He’s been with us forever – since like fourth grade, it seems. So he’s a real fixture in our defense. We love his flexibility and he’s such a great playmaker.”

Two of the biggest plays Smith made last season came in the biggest games of the season. He intercepted Richard Sherman’s “Immaculate Deflection” in the end zone to ice the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers and then returned an interception for a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Still out is middle linebacker and two-time leading tackler Bobby Wagner, also because of a hamstring injury, but Carroll said he could return to practice next week.

Rookie free agent Brock Coyle continues to fill in for Wagner. Monday, rookie free agent Jackson Jeffcoat got some work at strong-side linebacker with the No. 1 defense.

YOU DON'T SAY

“They've got a formula. Pete Carroll, John Schneider and their whole staff up there have a formula for the type of player they want. … They put a very talented roster together with a lot of depth and a lot of speed. And it fits their system in all three phases.”

– Chargers coach Mike McCoy following his Saturday video review of Friday night’s game

“He’s working real hard and trying to figure it out,” Carroll said of Jeffcoat, who has been primarily a rush-end since signing with the Seahawks in May after the NFL Draft. “He’s still in transition mode from where he was a down rusher all the time. It’s taken some time, but we’ll continue to give him shots and let him show us what he can do.”

INJURY REPORT: O’BRIEN SCHOFIELD, BRYAN WALTERS SIT OUT TO REST

Defensive end O’Brien Schofield did not practice to rest a knee, while wide receiver/returner Bryan Walters also sat out with what Carroll called “bumps and bruises” from the Friday night’s preseason home opener against the San Diego Chargers.

“He’s not hurt,” Carroll said of Schofield, who had a sack and four QB hits against the Chargers. “We just thought it would be good for him to rest his knee so he took a day off.”

Walters had a 22-yard punt return and a 29-yard kickoff return against the Chargers.

“He was awesome,” Carroll said. “Everybody is fired up about what he brought. He was really a valuable player in that game. You could tell the way he was jumping around and making things happen. His great decisions on short balls that save us yardage and make something out of it just shows his savvy and his experience.”

PLAYER WATCH: J.R. SWEEZY

Right guard J.R. Sweezy played the first half against the Chargers and drew praise from Carroll for his efforts.

“Sweezy played a fantastic half,” Carroll said. “If you look at Sweezy’s plays, he had a bunch of knockdowns and really aggressive blocks that we were really excited about.”

So excited, Carroll said, that he showed a mini-Sweezy highlight video during the team meeting.

POSITION WATCH: LEFT TACKLE

Alvin Bailey has been subbing for on-the-mend Russell Okung at left tackle with the No. 1 line, but Monday veteran Eric Winston got some work there as well. Winston had been playing right tackle with the No. 2 line, but Bailey got those reps on the right side.

“We’re just doing it for versatility,” Carroll said of the double switch. “We moved Alvin to right, just to make these guys have to go on the other sides to get them some time there for the future.”

OFFICIALLY SPEAKING: PENALTY ON THAROLD SIMON WASN’T

When asked after the game about Tharold Simon’s 105-yard interception return for a touchdown that was nullified because the second-year cornerback was penalized for pass interference, Carroll offered, “I thought it was a perfectly executed two-hand jam.”

The league office agrees.

“They said as they observed it that that shouldn’t have been called,” Carroll said.

STAT DU JOUR: WHAT A RUSH

One of the most-asked questions after the Seahawks’ 41-14 victory over the Chargers on Friday was: Have you ever seen a game where quarterbacks rushed for four touchdowns? On the rare occasions when the answer was “Yes,” it was a college game. But Friday night, Russell Wilson (two), Terrelle Pryor (44 yards) and B.J. Daniels had four of the Seahawks’ five rushing TDs. The regular-season club record for most rushing TDs in a game is five, and running back Shaun Alexander had four of them. Here’s a look at the games in franchise history with the most rushing TDs, and who scored them:

  • Texans (Oct. 16, 2005) – 5: Shaun Alexander 4; Maurice Morris 1
  • Bills (Dec. 16, 2012) – 4: Russell Wilson 3; Marshawn Lynch 1
  • Cardinals (Sept. 25, 2005) – 4: Shaun Alexander 4
  • Vikings (Sept. 29, 2002) – 4: Shaun Alexander 4
  • Jaguars (Nov. 12, 1995) – 4: Chris Warren, Joey Galloway, Mack Strong, Tracy Johnson
  • Broncos (Dec. 11, 1988) – 4: Curt Warner 4
  • 49ers (Oct. 7, 1979) – 4: Dan Doornink 2, Sherman Smith, Jim Zorn
  • Browns (Dec. 3, 1978) – 4: David Sims 4
  • Bills (Oct. 30, 1977) – 4: Sherman Smith, David Sims, Al Hunter, Jim Zorn

UP NEXT: “TURNOVER THURSDAY”

Because this week’s preseason game is again on Friday, the players will hold their “Turnover Thursday” practice on Tuesday.

Following the game against the Bears at CenturyLink Field, the first mandatory roster cut to 75 players must be made by next Tuesday.