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Thursday in Hawkville: Seahawks thinking Giants, not Super Bowl site

Posted Dec 12, 2013

The Seahawks travel to New Jersey this week to face the Giants at MetLife Stadium, which just happened to be where Super Bowl XLVIII will be played. But the players’ focus is on the present, not the possibilities.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for 12/12, when the Seahawks continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants:

WORDS OF THE DAY: 100-PERCENT FOCUS

That’s words and numbers, but it’s also how the Seahawks are approaching their matchup with the Giants at MetLife Stadium. That just happens to be the site of Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, so you just knew someone was going to ask the obvious question:

With the Seahawks holding the best record in the NFC (11-2), are they allowing those test-run thoughts to creep into their preparation this week?

“Nah. Not at all. Not at all,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said before practice. “We’ll go there and we’ll fight hard with them and try to get a win out it. But that’s all you’re thinking about right now. You can’t think that far down the line. You can’t think to the next week right now with the kind of season and the kind of guys that are out there.

“You’d be doing disrespect to the New York Giants, and their organization and their good players. That’s why you don’t ever overlook them and try to look towards the Super Bowl. They have great players and we’re totally preparing for them right now, and that’s our 100-percent focus.”

INJURY REPORT: FIVE STARTERS RETURN TO PRACTICE

The official report, as issued by the team:

STAT DU JOUR: DIFFERENTIAL DISPARITY

On “Turnover Thursday,” it’s a good day to look at the respective strengths (Seahawks) and weaknesses (Giants) when it comes to turning the ball over this season. The 11-2 Seahawks rank among the league leaders in turnover differential, while the 5-8 Giants are on the other end of that spectrum:

Turnover differential: Top 5
Team (record)  Net
Chiefs (10-3) plus-15
Buccaneers (4-9) plus-13
Seahawks (11-2) plus-12
Cowboys (7-6) plus-12
Panthers (9-4)  plus-10

Turnover differential: Bottom 5
Team (record)  Net
Jets (6-7) minus-18
Texans (2-11) minus-14
Giants (5-8) minus-13
Falcons (3-10) minus-11
Lions (7-6)  minus-10

Out
LB K.J. Wright (foot)

Limited in practice
C Max Unger (pec)

Full participation
WR Doug Baldwin (neck)
DE Chris Clemons (not injury related)
RB Marshawn Lynch (shoulder)
LB Mike Morgan (knee)
CB Richard Sherman (foot)

Unger, Baldwin, Clemons, Lynch and Sherman were back after sitting out Wednesday’s practice. Unger was limited, but it was his first on-field work since being injured in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.

For the Giants:
Did not practice
DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder)
S Cooper Taylor (hamstring)
CB Corey Webster (ankle)

Limited in practice
DT Cullen Jenkins (shin, quad)
CB Terrell Thomas (knee)

POSITION WATCH: LEFT GUARD

James Carpenter will get the start at left guard again this week, but he’ll also rotate with Paul McQuistan – just as they have done for the past few games. What’s changed is that Carpenter is now the starter, with McQuistan in the rotational role.

“I think it’s good,” line coach Tom Cable said after practice. “I think what it’s doing it’s keeping our best group playing all the time. And then as the competition, at some point it will clear itself up. When that happens, we’ll say, ‘OK, you’re the guy.’ And we move forward.”

YOU DON'T SAY

“I think they got a good pick up. I think it’s awesome. It’s a good deal for him. It’s fantastic publicity for their ball club.”

All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman on the Texas Rangers selecting QB Russell Wilson in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft

McQuistan started the first two games at left guard, but then moved to left tackle the next eight games when Russell Okung was out with a toe injury. That’s when Carpenter stepped in to start at left guard. When Okung returned, McQuistan moved back to left guard for two starts. Carpenter started last week.

UP NEXT: JERSEY SHORES

The team will fly to Newark on Friday following a midday practice at VMAC. It’s the final road trip of the regular season, and the last chance for the Seahawks to set a franchise record with their sixth road win. At 5-2, they’re tied with the 1984 and 2005 teams for the most road wins.

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