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Wednesday in Hawkville: Legion of Boom dips into its depth

Posted Nov 13, 2013

With Brandon Browner out with a groin injury, Walter Thurmond steps in at right cornerback – where he was expected to be the starter in 2011 before being sidelined by an injury and replaced by Browner.


A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 13, when the Seahawks began practicing for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: SECONDARY

As in, what will the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom secondary do now that right cornerback Brandon Browner is out indefinitely with the groin injury he got in Sunday’s game against the Falcons in Atlanta?

The same thing this team has done all season while playing for stretches without three of its starting offensive linemen; having middle linebacker and then-leading tackler Bobby Wagner and tight end Zach Miller each miss two games; and losing wide receiver Sidney Rice after eight games because of a knee injury.

Next man up. And in this case, as the team prepares for this week’s game against the Vikings, that’s Walter Thurmond stepping in for Browner – and also having Byron Maxwell play on the right side in the nickel, when Thurmond slides inside to cover the slot receiver.

It’s not like the defense hasn’t been here before. When Browner was serving a four-game suspension last December, Thurmond and Jeremy Lane started games for him.

“I think our second-stringers are the best in the league, also. Just because we all elevate our game so much, just because we’re always around each other,” All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas said. “Our practice is like game tempo. I don’t think anybody practices harder than us in the league.

“Those young guys, they’ve seen that for two or three years now. They’re ready. They’re seasoned. Every chance they get to get into a game, they always have a positive impact.”

Just as Thurmond did against the Falcons, when he had seven solo tackles, two for losses; and forced and recovered a fumble after chasing down a receiver who did catch a pass against him.

“I have 100 percent faith in whoever steps out there, especially Walt,” Thomas said. “You see him? I saw him, too. Great.”

Thomas then offered something that a lot of people have forgotten: Thurmond was the starter on the right side when training camp opened in 2011, only to be replaced by Browner when he got injured; and he also was the next man up on the left side when Marcus Trufant was lost to a season-ending injury at midseason, before Richard Sherman stepped in when Thurmond was injured.

“I’m happy for Walt, because we came in together (in the 2010 NFL Draft),” Thomas said. “He was starting before Browner, or even Sherm. So he’s a starting cornerback in this league. It’s crazy how much depth we have there.”

Maxwell also got work on the left side in practice because Sherman sat out to rest a sore hip.  

INJURY REPORT: MAX UNGER, RUSSELL OKUNG, BRENO GIACOMINI RETURN TO PRACTICE

The official report, as issued by the team:

STAT DU JOUR:  SAY GOOD BYE

The Seahawks have been very, very good in games the week before their bye. So good, that their 18-6 record in pre-bye games gives them the second-best percentage in the league. Here’s a look at the Top 5:

Team Record Pct.
Giants 19-6 .760
Seahawks 18-6 .750
Cowboys 18-7 .720
Vikings 17-8 .680
49ers 17-8 .680

Did not practice
CB Brandon Browner (groin)
DE Chris Clemons (not injury related)
DT Tony McDaniel (hamstring)
CB Richard Sherman (hip)

Limited in practice
DE Red Bryant (concussion)
SS Kam Chancellor (hip)
FB Derrick Coleman (hamstring)
LB Heath Farwell (knee)
WR Percy Harvin (hip)
DT Jordan Hill (biceps)
RB Marshawn Lynch (knee)
C Max Unger (concussion)

Full participation
OT Breno Giacomini (knee)
LB Bruce Irvin (shoulder)
SS Jeron Johnson (hamstring)

Coach Pete Carroll addressed the injury situation and number of players returning during his pre-practice session with the media, and Tony Drovetto provides the details.

YOU DON'T SAY

“I’m just trying to tell our guys around here, ‘Let’s not let Beast Mode get all Beast Mode.’ ”

Vikings DE Jared Allen on Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 124 yards and a TD in the Seahawks’ 30-20 victory over Minnesota in Week 9 last season

For the Vikings:
Did not practice
DT Fred Evans (knee)
LB Erin Henderson (illness)
TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)

Limited in practice
RB Matt Asiata (shoulder)
TE Rhett Ellison (ankle)
RB Jerome Felton (back)
QB Christian Ponder (left shoulder)

Full participation
CB Chris Cook (hamstring)
LB Chad Greenway (wrist)
DT Letroy Guion (chest)
OG Charlie Johnson (elbow, toe)
OT Phil Loadholt (concussion)
S Jamarca Sanford (groin)

PRACTICE-SQUAD SHUFFLE: BRYAN WALTERS RETURNS

Walters had been on the 53-man roster for four games until he was released Saturday. He’s back. And back on the practice squad, where he spent the first five weeks of the season.

To clear a spot on the eight-man unit, wide receiver Arceto Clark was released.

Also back is defensive tackle Michael Brooks. He was signed off the practice squad on Saturday, prompting Walters’ release. But Brooks was released from the 53-man roster Monday when Harvin was activated from the physically unable to perform list. Brooks fills the spot that opened when he was signed to the 53-man roster.

UP NEXT: “TURNOVER THURSDAY”

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

And turnovers have loomed large for the Seahawks during their franchise-best 9-1 start. They have 13 interceptions, including four each by the All-Pro duo of Thomas and Sherman, to share the league lead with the Panthers, Bill and Broncos. They have 22 takeaways, which ties them for second with the Cowboys – one behind the Chiefs. They are plus-7 in turnover differential, which ranks sixth in the league. And, they are 23-3 under Carroll when winning the turnover battle.

Game Rewind: Seattle Seahawks