Fr-atur-day in Hawkville: Paul Richardson making the most of his dual-role opportunities

Paul Richardson was drafted in the second round because of his receiving skills. But the rookie also has embraced his role as a blocker in the Seahawks’ run-oriented offense.

A recap of the activities for Jan. 9, when it was "Blue Friday" everywhere else but "Review Saturday" at Virginia Mason Athletic Center because the Seahawks held their day-before walkthrough as they continued to prepare for Saturday night's divisional playoff game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field:

FOCUS ON: PAUL RICHARDSON

After being the team's top pick in May's NFL Draft, it took Richardson a while to start getting the opportunity to make plays – and also to adjust to the way the wide receivers play in the Seahawks' offense.

And how has that worked out?

The answer is in the numbers. Richardson had 15 receptions, including his first NFL touchdown catch, during December after catching 14 passes in the first 12 games.

"Yeah, definitely," Richardson said when asked about the process of becoming a "Seahawks receiver." "We run the ball a lot and we're successful at doing it. We have a dual-threat quarterback (Russell Wilson) and then we have Marshawn Lynch, who's a great running back. So you have to commit to the run game and commit to blocking, and I think I did that early."

Richardson will have to continue that early commitment to blocking in the run game on Saturday night, when the Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers in a divisional playoff game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks led the league with a franchise-record 2,762 rushing yards, but the 119 they put up against the Panthers in Week 8 was their fourth-lowest total of the season.

How well has Richardson blocked? Unprompted, Lynch singled Richardson out for his blocking after the regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams.

Told of that, Richardson smiled before offering, " 'Shawn runs the ball really well. He's exciting to watch. It almost takes away from it when I'm in and I hear the crowd cheering and I'm trying to block. I want to see what he's doing with the ball, as well. But I appreciate that compliment from Marshawn, he's a great running back and he's a great teammate."

As for the other part of Richardson's game, the part that prompted the Seahawks to select him in the second round, he had five receptions in each of the last two regular-season games – on 14 targets.

"You get so few opportunities you have to make the most of them," Richardson said. "And in our offense, our receivers have to do the spectacular and we live up to it."

INJURY REPORT: TONY MOEAKI QUESTIONABLE FOR SATURDAY NIGHT'S GAME

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:

Out

SS Jeron Johnson (elbow)

STAT DU JOUR: NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR THE PLAYOFFS

Playing at home in the playoffs has been very, very good for the Seahawks since they moved into their state-of-the-art stadium that now goes by CenturyLink Field in 2002:

Season W-L
2004 0-1
2005 2-0
2006 1-0
2007 1-0
2010 1-0
2013 2-0
Total 7-1

Questionable

TE Tony Moeaki (calf)

Probable

DL Michael Bennett (not injury related)

DE Demarcus Dobbs (ankle)

TE Cooper Helfet (ribs)

WR Jermaine Kearse (hamstring)

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

CB Byron Maxwell (illness)

CB Tharold Simon (shoulder)

C Max Unger (knee/ankle)

Coach Pete Carroll already had said that Moeaki's status will be a game-day decision, and that Unger, Kearse, Dobbs, Helfet and Simon are ready to go after missing the regular-season finale because of their injuries.

For the Panthers:

Out

The City of Renton hosted a Seahawks rally at City Hall.

DT Star Lotulelei (foot)

Questionable

WR Philly Brown (shoulder)

S Thomas DeCoud (hamstring)

LB A.J. Klein (ankle)

CB Melvin White (ankle)

Klein and White participated in all phases of Friday's practice, while Brown and DeCoud were limited for the second consecutive day.

OPPONENT WATCH: JONATHAN STEWART, RYAN KALIL AND CHARLES JOHNSON

The last time the Panthers played in Seattle was Week 12 in 2010, and Stewart, Kalil and Johnson are the only holdover starters from that game.

YOU DON'T SAY

"This could be the draft class that could really make the difference. We will find out. … It has the potential to be a great class for this franchise for sure."

Coach Pete Carroll on the 2012 Class that included Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, Robert Turbin, Jeremy Lane and J.R. Sweezy


Stewart, the Washington state high school player of the year as a senior at Timberline High School in Lacey, carried 21 times for 92 yards and a touchdown in the 2010 games. Kalil, who played for Carroll at USC, was a Pro Bowl center who helped the Panthers rush for 131 yards that day. Johnson, a defensive end, had a sack among his five tackles.

But the Seahawks won 31-14, in what proved to be a rare and pivotal late-season victory as the Seahawks became the first NFL team to win its division with a losing record (7-9) – something the 7-8-1 Panthers matched this season.

"It should be pretty fun," Stewart said this week of Saturday night's "homecoming" game. "And definitely a good experience, with the playoffs, being able to play back in my home state."  

BRIAN BOSWORTH HEADING TO THE HALL

The former Seahawks' linebacker is among the 15 former players and two former coaches in the 2015 Class for the College Football Hall of Fame that was announced Friday and will be inducted during the National Football Foundation awards dinner next December.

Bosworth was a two-time All-American and also two-time winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker at Oklahoma before the Seahawks acquired him in the 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft.

Also included in the 2015 class is former University of Washington tackle Lincoln Kennedy.

UP NEXT: GAME DAY

The hoopla is about to be replaced by the hysteria. After a week of waiting and wondering who they would play in their divisional playoff game and then another week of preparing for the Carolina Panthers, the Seahawks will be back on the field Saturday night at CenturyLink Field – where they've won 24 of their past 26 games, including playoffs; and seven postseason games in a row.

"We love playing here for the 12s," Carroll said. "They will be pumped up, I know. Hopefully we put together a great matchup for everyone."

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