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Wednesday in Hawkville: Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini return to practice

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini, the Seahawks’ starting tackles, won’t play Sunday against the Falcons. But they participated in Wednesday’s practice, the next step toward their eventual return to the lineup.


A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 6, when the Seahawks began practicing for Sunday’s game against the Falcons in Atlanta:

WORD OF THE DAY: PRACTICE

Yes, we’re talking about practice. And it’s pertinent, because starting tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini were on the practice field Wednesday as the Seahawks began preparing for Sunday’s game in Atlanta.

Neither will play against the Falcons, but their limited efforts on this day were a needed step in them eventually returning to the lineup. For Okung, it was his first action since injuring a toe in the Week 2 game against the San Francisco 49ers. For Giacomini, he was back for the first time since injuring a knee in the Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“It’s good just to have them out there, to kind of boost the spirit of everyone, and their spirits, as well, with the progression that been working on to try to get back to practice,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said after practice. “It’s just fun to see them out there.”

Giacomini was listed as limited on the official injury report, but Okung was not included because he remains on injured reserve with a designation to return and is not yet eligible to be added to the 53-man roster.

Paul McQuistan continued to work for Okung on the left side, while Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey split time on the right side for Giacomini.

INJURY REPORT: MAX UNGER, RED BRYANT STILL OUT WITH CONCUSSIONS

The official report, as issued by the team:

STAT DU JOUR: PICKING UP WHERE EUGENE ROBINSON LEFT OFF?

Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas each have four interceptions to share the NFL lead. If either of them ends up leading the league, or both, they would join former Pro Bowl free safety Eugene Robinson as the only Seahawks to do it. Robinson had nine picks in 1993 to share the lead with the Bills’ Nate Odomes. Here are the top interception seasons in franchise history:

Player, year No.
FS John Harris, 1981 10
SS Kenny Easley, 1984 10
FS Eugene Robinson, 1993 9
CB Dave Brown, 1984 8
FS Darryl Williams, 1997 8
CB Richard Sherman, 2012 8
SS Kenny Easley, 1983 7
FS John Harris, 1985 7
FS Eugene Robinson, 1992  7
CB Shawn Springs, 1998 7
CB Marcus Trufant, 2007 7

Note: Sherman and Harris are the only ones on this list who were not voted to the Pro Bowl in the seasons when they had their interception totals.

Did not practice
DE Red Bryant (concussion)
FB Derrick Coleman (hamstring)
DE Chris Clemons (not injury related)
DT Jordan Hill (biceps)
C Max Unger (concussion)

Limited in practice
OT Breno Giacomini (knee)
RB Marshawn Lynch (knee)

Full participation
S Jeron Johnson (hamstring)

Coach Pete Carroll addressed the status of the injured players – as well as sidelined receiver Percy Harvin – during his midweek Q&A session with the media and Tony Drovetto has the details.

For the Falcons:
Did not practice
DT Corey Peters (knee)

Limited in practice
OT Sam Baker (knee)
DT Peria Jerry (toe)
LB Stephen Nicholas (thigh)
WR Roddy White (hamstring/ankle)

White has missed the past three games, and Falcons coach Mike Smith is not sure that the veteran receiver will return against the Seahawks. “I can’t say that right at this point in time,” White said during a conference-call interview. “I can tell you that … he’s continuing to progress with our athletic-performance people and we need to get him back. He’s a very good football player. So as the week goes on hopefully we’ll be able to get him to put some practice time together where we’ll feel comfortable where he can go out and play in the game. I can’t say that it’s going to happen this week.”

NFC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: GOLDEN TATE

The Seahawks’ fourth-year wide receiver and punt returner was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday after breaking a 71-yard punt return to supply a needed spark in Sunday’s overtime victory against the Buccaneers at CenturyLink Field.

The Seahawks got the ball at the Tampa Bay 25-yard line after Tate’s big return, setting up a field goal. But he also had an 8-yard return to the Seahawks’ 40 in overtime when Steven Hauschka won the game with a 27-yard field goal.

“It’s an honor to be recognized and I’m very appreciative,” Tate said. “But honestly, I couldn’t have done it without coach (Brian) Schneider (the special teams coordinator) making such a great game plan and the guys just have passion and love blocking for me. I just do the easy part – catch and run. These guys are doing the hard work.  So really, this award goes to the special teams coach and the guys blocking for me.” 

Tate is the fifth Seahawks returner to win the weekly special teams honor, joining Leon Washington (Week 12 in 2012 and Week 3 in 2010); Nate Burleson (Week 7 in 2007); Bobby Engram (Week 11 in 2003); and Charlie Rogers (Week 16 in 2001 and Week in 1999). 

FORMER PLAYER WATCH: JOHN MOFFITT

Why would a 27-year-old player who’s in his third NFL season walk away from the game? John Moffitt, the Seahawks’ third-round draft choice in 2011 who was traded to the Denver Broncos in August, did just that on Tuesday when he announced his retirement. And his reasoning is revealing.

“I just really thought about it and decided I’m not happy. I’m not happy at all,” Moffitt told The Associated Press. “And I think it’s really madness to risk your body, risk your well-being and risk your happiness for money.

“Everybody, they just don’t get it and they think it’s crazy. But I think what I was doing is crazy.”

PRACTICE-SQUAD SHUFFLE: PHIL BATES RETURNS

Bates, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound wide receiver who was on the Seahawks’ practice squad last season and with them in training camp this summer, has been re-signed to the eight-man unit. Bates was released Aug. 31 on the roster cut to 53 players.

To clear a spot, wide receiver Josh Lenz was released.

JUST CALL ME COACH: JOHN RANDLE AND KEVIN MAWAE

Randle, who finished his Hall of Fame career with the Seahawks, and Mawae, who began his NFL career in Seattle, will be coaches on the American Team for the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, it was announced Wednesday.

YOU DON'T SAY

“That guy’s spectacular. He’s playing as good as anybody in this league right now.”

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter on Seahawks All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas

Randle, who led the Seahawks in sacks in 2001 and 2002, will coach the defensive tackles on Dennis Green’s staff. Mawae, who started at right guard in 1994-95 and center in 1996-97, is one of the offensive line coaches.

The game will be played Saturday, Jan. 18.

UP NEXT: “TURNOVER THURSDAY”

“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players will continue to practice in preparation for Sunday’s game.

And turnovers loom large this week. The Seahawks have forced 21, which ties for the second-highest total in the NFL. The Falcons have eight, and only five teams have forced fewer turnovers. The Seahawks also are plus-6 in turnover differential, which ties for seventh; while the Falcons are minus-7, which ties for 26th.