Monday in Hawkville: The boys are back in town

Posted Nov 25, 2013

The Seahawks returned from their bye week to take the first step in preparing for next Monday’s nationally televised showdown against the Saints in a matchup of the teams with the best records in the NFC.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 25, when the players returned from their bye week:


That's what All-Pro and Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas calls Virginia Mason Athletic Center, and it's why he was glad to be back at work despite enjoying his downtime during the Seahawks' bye week.

"That's what I call VMAC – my healing place," Thomas said. "This is where we have all our success. This is where we have all our good moments and good memories. So this is a great place to be."

And it took not being around for a week to truly appreciate just how special the place the players call home is, and how much Thomas missed being around his teammates and the game he feels so privileged to be able to play.

"I'm really excited to be back," said Thomas, who returned to his home near Orange, Texas, during the bye. "It's just a rejuvenation feeling. I missed it. You don't know how much you miss something until it's gone. So I took this opportunity to really sit back and prayer and meditate on just the grateful feeling that I have to be playing this game."

While Monday was limited to working out, the players will hit the practice field on Tuesday.

"It was great to see all my teammates," Thomas said. "I gave everybody a high-five and hugged a couple guys. It's just a great appreciation of the fun that we have, and you just miss that. There's nothing like being part of a team, especially when you're having so much success like this and everybody has the same vision."


"It was great being on bye, but that doesn't matter. It's how we respond to it."

Coach Pete Carroll during his weekly Monday appearance on 710 ESPN

Yes, Thomas did watch some football on his bye Sunday. And yes, it caused some anxious moments.

"If somebody catches a pick or you see somebody balling, you feel like they've got an upper hand on you because you can't control that you're not playing this week," Thomas said.

The Seahawks won't play this Sunday, either, because their next game is next Monday against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field. It's the kind of game "Monday Night Football" deserves as the showcase event that it is – the 10-1 Seahawks hosting the 9-2 Saints.

"I love games like this," Thomas said.  "Obviously, everybody's going to get to watch you. And this is where great players show who they are, just by being normal, not trying to go outside the box. But just showing how dominant they are by the way they love the game and play it with heart."     


Despite not playing on Sunday, Marshawn Lynch continues to share the NFL lead in scoring among non-kickers (66 points) with Saints' tight end Jimmy Graham, Lions' wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson. Steven Hauschka slipped into a tie for second among kickers (104 points) with the Packers' Mason Crosby – four points behind the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski. Hauschka also is tied for sixth in touchbacks (37).


In the Saints' 17-13 victory over the Falcons on Nov. 21, Drew Brees moved into fifth place on the NFL's career passing yards list. The QB he replaced? Hall of Famer Warren Moon, now the analyst for radio broadcasts of Seahawks games. Here are Top 6 passing-yardage leaders in league history:

Player, teams Yards
Brett Favre, Falcons, Packers, Jets, Vikings 71,838
Peyton Manning, Colts, Broncos   63,209
Dan Marino, Dolphins 61,361
John Elway, Broncos 51,475
Drew Brees, Chargers, Saints 49,566
Warren Moon, Oilers, Vikings, Seahawks, Chiefs 49,325

Note: Moon spent the first six seasons of his pro career in the CFL, passing for 21,228 yards for the Edmonton Eskimos.

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and Thomas are tied for fourth in interceptions (four). Lynch slipped one spot to No. 3 in rushing yards (925) and is now fourth in first downs (61; first with 53 rushing) and seventh in total yards (1,147). Golden Tate is tied for fourth in punt-return average (12.9). Russell Wilson is No. 6 in passer rating (105.1), No. 10 in fourth-quarter passer rating (93.8) and tied for 10th in third-down passer rating (88.0).

The defense remained second in average yards allowed (293.3) and average passing yards allowed (180.4), and the Seahawks are 15th in rushing defense (112.9). The offense is third in average rushing yards (147.9), 12th overall (358.5) and 24th in average passing yards (210.5). And the Seahawks still are first in takeaways (26), share the league lead in interceptions (16) and are tied for No. 2 in turnover differential (plus-11).


This week not only includes Thanksgiving Day, but a "Monday Night Football" game for the Seahawks. That means most days will be something other than what the calendar might say. Tuesday will actually be Monday, when the players will have a bonus practice. Wednesday will indeed be "Competition Wednesday," but the players are off Thursday. They'll return to practice on Friday and Saturday – which will be "Turnover Thursday" and "No Repeat Friday." Their walkthrough that is usually held on Saturday will be held on Sunday.

The Seahawks will hold their annual Toys for Tots drive at Monday night's game. Fans are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys that will be collected and distributed to children in the Puget Sound area for Christmas. Cash donations also will be accepted.