WORD OF THE DAY: WISH
Yes, as in Make-A-Wish. But in the case of Chase Palmer, it’s also as in Wish granted.
Palmer, a 14-year-old freshman-to-be at Spokane’s East Valley High School, attended the Seahawks’ walkthrough on Thursday, when he also toured VMAC, had lunch in the cafeteria and – most importantly – met All-Pro free safety
“It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Palmer said when asked why his Wish was to come to the Seahawks and meet that trio of players. “This has been a lot better than I expected. I didn’t expect all this stuff.”
Palmer, who has cystic fibrosis, was accompanied by his parents, Michelle and Robert.
As Thomas left the field, he gave Palmer a big hug – too big, as the free safety later explained. Approached in the locker room, Thomas was taking to social media to make amends for the too-hard hug.
“It’s more than pretty cool,” Thomas said. “It kind of gives you a sense of like, you’re not in his shoes but you can feel his excitement and also look in his eyes and feel his pain. So, the great thing about it was just giving him a hug.
“I apologized to him right now on Instagram if I kind of hugged him too tight. You’re already in that type of warrior state out there when you’re playing. Then you look to the sideline and you see a Make-A-Wish kid, and he’s actually there just to see you and he could be anywhere else in the world. First, you’re grateful for your health, but also you’ve got to understand you’re a role model.”
Thomas paused to take a deep breath before adding, “Just to be a light right now for somebody, that’s what God has put us on the earth for. Just to be the best ambassador for him. So this was a great, great experience for me just to see that Chase could have been anywhere but he chose us here in Seattle. This is a very special place.”
It was that, and more, for Palmer on Thursday. And he’s not done yet. Friday night, he’ll deliver the game ball for the Seahawks’ preseason matchup with the Chicago Bears prior to kickoff and then watch the game from a suite at CenturyLink Field.
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Palmer’s visit to VMAC also included standing next to coach Pete Carroll during his post-walkthrough Q&A session with the media. Several times, Carroll leaned over to check with Palmer before answering – or not answering – the question.
“Chase has got all the answers right here,” Carroll said to open the session. “But just like I would, he’s withholding also. He’s not going to tell you. He’s got the whole game plan and he knows everybody on the roster that’s playing. But he wouldn’t tell you either.”
Carroll did provide updates on some of the players who could make their preseason debuts on Friday night, and those who will have to wait until next week or longer to return:
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The Seahawks have played well in their third preseason game the past 15 summers, going 11-4. It might have something to do with the starters playing their longest stints of the preseason in the third game. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the venue, because only five of the games have been played at home – and Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bears will be the Seahawks’ first third-week home game since 2007. And the opponent doesn’t seem to matter that much either, as the Seahawks have played the Chiefs (five times), Chargers (three), 49ers (twice) and Vikings (twice) multiple times, and Broncos, Packers and Cardinals once. Here’s a look at how those games have gone:
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Wide receiver/punt returner
Lynch got two snaps in last week’s game against the Chargers, but no carries. That should change on Friday night.
“It’s time. It’s time for him to get some carries and get involved a little bit,” Carroll said. “Really, I could not be more pleased with the conditioning level that he’s had. The consistency at practice and his preparation has been great. So he’ll be ready to go and I know he’s looking forward to that, too.”
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Michael has run for 61 yards on 15 carries and also caught four passes for 20 yards in the first two preseason games.
“He’s come a long ways in so many ways,” Carroll said. “He just needs to keep playing, and he needs to keep showing, and competing. He’s explosive. His mind is in it. He’s all over it. So we’re anxious to just keep bringing him along.”
UP NEXT: GAME DAY
The Seahawks will close out the home portion of their preseason by hosting the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field on Friday night. The players will be off Saturday and have a walkthrough on Sunday before practicing Monday and Tuesday for their preseason finale next Thursday night in Oakland against the Raiders.