Monday in Hawkville: Who’s on first? No, who’s at left guard?

Posted Jan 20, 2014

James Carpenter and Michael Bowie have gone from starting at left guard to being inactive the past two games. And their competition for the spot will continue as the Seahawks prepare for the Super Bowl.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 20, which was “Tell The Truth Monday” as the players and coaches reviewed Sunday’s victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship game and were still trying to come to grips with the fact that they are heading to Super Bowl XLVIII to play the Broncos on Feb. 2:


How did James Carpenter go from starting at left guard to being inactive for the Seahawks’ divisional playoff game against the Saints? And how did rookie Michael Bowie go from starting there against the Saints to being inactive in Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the 49ers?

It’s all about competition, coach Pete Carroll explained.

“We’ve been real impressed with Michael Bowie,” he said during his weekly day-after Q&A session with the media. “During the two-week period (between the regular-season finale and the divisional playoff game), we felt we’d give him a shot and see if he could perform well enough and give him an opportunity to compete to play. And he did a really good job, so we we’re exciting about it.”

But in practice last week, Bowie went from working with the starters on Wednesday and Thursday to getting his reps with the No. 2 line and also the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense – while Carpenter and Paul McQuistan rotating at left guard, as they had been doing during the second half of the regular season.

“As we prepared for (last) week, we had intended to keep the competition open,” Carroll said. “As we looked at just the way things were coming together, we made a coaches’ decision that we thought it might be better in this instance to go with the guys who had been playing a little more and keep the rotation. And it worked out fine for us.”


“Seahawks were built in the images of Pete Carroll and John Schneider: play very fast, recklessly and calculating on defense, and physically and with the ability to strike deep when needed on offense.”

Peter King, in keeping the Seahawks at No. 1 in the Fine Fifteen section on his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at

What happens as the Seahawks prepare for their Super Bowl matchup with the Broncos? Stay tuned.

“It’s one of those deals where it’s so close, the competition is so keen, that it could go either way,” Carroll said. “Michael is going to be very competitive as we move forward. And here goes, in another couple weeks we’ll see what happens.”


Wide receiver Percy Harvin did not play against the 49ers because of the concussion he got against the Saints. But Carroll said, “I think he has a very good chance to practice (Wednesday) based on how he was on the weekend. … We’re kind of counting on him to be ready. That’s kind of what I’m hoping.”

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin got a hip pointer in Sunday’s game, but returned. He might be limited in Wednesday’s practice, Carroll said, but should be fine to play against the Broncos. Nose tackle Brandon Mebane also could be limited because of a sore ankle and foot, and running back Marshawn Lynch will be given his weekly day of rest.


The Seahawks had six players voted to the Pro Bowl – free safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor, quarterback Russell Wilson, center Max Unger and Lynch.


Bobby Wagner picked a good time to have a career day. His 15 tackles in Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the 49ers were a single-game high for the second-year middle linebacker. Wagner’s 15 tackles also tied for the second-most in franchise playoff history, and were the most in a non-overtime game. Here’s the group Wagner joined:

Player (opponent, date)  No.
ILB Brian Bosworth (Oilers, Jan. 3, 1988) 17
FS Eugene Robinson (Oilers, Jan. 3, 1988) 15
MLB Bobby Wagner (49ers, Jan. 19, 2014)  15
SS Kam Chancellor (Saints, Jan. 11, 2014) 14

Note: The Seahawks lost that 1987 wild-card game to the Oilers 23-20 in overtime.

But they obviously won’t be able to play in Sunday’s game in Honolulu, because the Seahawks are flying to New Jersey that day for a week of preparation before their Super Bowl matchup against the Broncos.


Apparently the Seahawks and 49ers vying for the NFC Championship was the matchup everyone wanted to see. Their game at CenturyLink Field on Sunday averaged 55.9 million views, the league announced, making it the fifth most-watched conference championship game ever.

The only conference championship matchups that drew more viewers were: the Cowboys at the 49ers on Jan. 10, 1982 (68.7 million); Vikings at Saints on Jan. 24, 2010 (57.9 million); Giants at 49ers on Jan. 22, 2012 (57.6 million); and Cowboys at 49ers on Jan. 15, 1995 (56.8 million).


The players will have their “off” day on Tuesday, while the coaches are compiling the game plan for the Broncos.

The team will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and the players will then have Saturday “off.”