The Seahawks won’t fall for it this time, right?

It's a trap

That’s probably what Admiral Ackbar would say about a game that featured the defending Super Bowl champs at home against a winless, rudderless team that already had fired its coach.

But if ever there was a team that should know not to overlook an 0-7 opponent, it’s these Seahawks. As you might recall, they did that last year at exactly this time, falling into a 21-0 hole against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home in Week 9.

Now, here they are again — facing another 0-7 team in Week 9 as the Oakland Raiders come to Seattle.

But these are not the same Seahawks as that overconfident 7-1 bunch last year that had to rally to beat Tampa in overtime.

Continue reading The Seahawks won’t fall for it this time, right?

This year, Hawks have needed the young guys

Luke Willson catches the winning touchdown against the Carolina Panthers (Getty Images)Because the Seahawks won the Super Bowl last season, it is easy to forget that half of their roster is comprised of players with less than three years of experience.

Starters Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, J.R. Sweezy and Jermaine Kearse are only in their third seasons, and 21 more of the 53 players on the roster have not yet played three seasons. Eleven others are in just their fourth seasons.

The Seahawks barely used any of their rookies in 2013, relying largely on veterans — and that’s a loose term, considering some of them had just one or two years of experience.

So, coming into this season, the Hawks in effect had almost two full rookie classes. And the questions were: Would any of the remaining 2013 rookies step up to replace departed free agents and would the 2014 class redshirt as most of the 2013 class did?

Due to injuries and one big trade, the answers are yes and no, as many young players have stepped forward in recent weeks.

Continue reading This year, Hawks have needed the young guys

A look back at Hawks’ most inefficient ‘long’ drive of the season

Cooper vs Carolina
Cooper Helfet can’t quite get back to a pass thrown short of him at the 5-yard line in the third quarter at Carolina.

The Seattle offense was a total tease against Carolina, with two of its most time-consuming drives of the season ending in disappointment.

Bad enough was the 13-play drive at the end of the first half that ended in an interception off the hands of Marshawn Lynch. The 13 plays tied for the most in a Seattle drive this season.

But even worse — and more mindboggling — than that was the bizarre drive to start the third quarter, right after Marcus Burley had intercepted a pass by Cam Newton.

How does a team manage to hold the ball for six minutes and 12 plays and gain just 29 yards? With a very entertaining combination of good and bad plays.

Continue reading A look back at Hawks’ most inefficient ‘long’ drive of the season

Wagner, Miller remain out, but Hawks are getting healthier

Seahawks bandagesThe Seahawks have taken a number of injury hits over the last month, but some of those guys will be returning in the next week or two — with two notable exceptions.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner and tight end Zach Miller “are going to be awhile,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday.

Wagner has missed the past two games with turf toe, and Miller had ankle surgery during the Week 4 bye. Both met doctors on the East Coast while the Hawks were in North Carolina over the weekend, the coach said.

“Both those guys got updated on their progress and where they’re going,” Carroll said. “We were not given a timeline for them. Neither one of those guys are ready to come back this week. So we will have to wait and see what happens with those guys.”

The news is much better for kick returner Bryan Walters, center Max Unger and cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane.

Continue reading Wagner, Miller remain out, but Hawks are getting healthier

Carroll denies reports of rift with Lynch

Pete Carroll and Marshawn before the Carolina game (Getty)Pete Carroll responded directly Monday to reports of a rift between himself and running back Marshawn Lynch, saying, “I don’t know where that came from,” and scoffed at the idea that the Hawks would consider trading Lynch.

Both ESPN and NFL Network reported Sunday morning that the Seahawks had grown tired of Lynch’s attitude and had already decided to move on from him after this season. The ESPN report indicated that the Hawks might have tried to trade him if Derrick Coleman had not broken his foot last week.

“I have no idea where that came from,” Carroll said. “We have nothing to say about that. At this point I don’t think it behooves us to try and respond to all of these kinds of things in the locker room. Our players have told you how they feel, our coaches have told you how we feel about it and we’re in a really good place right now.”

As for the report that Carroll and Lynch do not communicate, Carroll said he talks to Lynch “whenever I need to.”

Continue reading Carroll denies reports of rift with Lynch

Big win, but Hawks still have much to fix

Russell Wilson runs against Carolina on Sunday (Getty)Most of the game Sunday looked so similar to their three losses, but the Seahawks finally managed to overcome their own charity and clumsiness to get their first win in three weeks and a measure of feel-good amid swirling reports of bad team chemistry.

The 13-9 win at Carolina was just as ugly as the Seahawks’ wins the past two years — 16-12 in 2012 and 12-7 last season — but it was picture perfect for a team trying to avoid the first three-game losing streak in the Russell Wilson era and trying to prove it has not lost its mojo.

“It means a lot,” wide receiver Doug Baldwin told reporters. “This is a true character win for us, coming off two losses and all the things the media was saying about us. We showed resiliency.”

Some will say it saved Seattle’s season, which is a bit extreme and premature considering the many issues the Hawks still have.

Continue reading Big win, but Hawks still have much to fix

Lynch & team bosses reportedly at odds, but it’s not a distraction

Marshawn Lynch runs against Carolina on Sunday (Getty)Amid reports that some teammates are jealous of quarterback Russell Wilson and that the Seahawks are ready to part ways with Marshawn Lynch, coach Pete Carroll and Wilson declared Sunday after they beat Carolina that the team is not distracted.

“The things that have been said have been said on the outside. We have no problem. No problem,” Carroll said. “Whatever the conversation is, that’s the job of the media to try to figure stuff out. That’s not what’s going on here. I have no problem. It was not a distraction at all. Our guys don’t care about what’s being said.”

In the wake of the Percy Harvin trade and Mike Freeman’s incendiary report on Wilson, the latest revelation is that the Hawks’ relationship with Lynch has reached a breaking point, with the team finally tired of the running back’s antics and Lynch apparently so upset with the team that he is talking about quitting again.

Seattle might even have tried to trade Lynch by Tuesday’s deadline if fullback Derrick Coleman had not suffered a broken foot last week, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported. With Coleman out, though, the Hawks have to use No. 2 tailback Robert Turbin as their fullback.

Continue reading Lynch & team bosses reportedly at odds, but it’s not a distraction

Seahawks reportedly working trade phones

Vincent Jackson catches a TD pass against Atlanta last month (Getty)A week after sending Percy Harvin to the New York Jets, the Seahawks reportedly are still working the phones ahead of the NFL trade deadline Tuesday.

The Hawks tried to pry tight ends free from Denver and Cleveland in the Harvin deal, but neither Julius Thomas nor Jordan Cameron could be had.

They reportedly are still in the market for a tight end and/or pass rusher, and they also reportedly have checked into what it would take to acquire Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson. The Bucs reportedly want a second-round pick for the 6-foot-5 pass catcher, who would cost $5.3 million this season and $9.8 million in each of the next two years — if he was not let go before.

The Hawks saved $7.1 million this year in the Harvin deal, so they could absorb the rest of Jackson’s salary and still have a little left to roll over to 2015. But they then would have to decide whether to pay Jackson nearly $10 million next season — Harvin was due $10.5 million and will still count $7.2 million — or alter his contract or release him.

This is the second time the Hawks reportedly have checked into trading for Jackson. They called San Diego about him in 2011.

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Carroll & Schneider learned how fragile their team’s psyche is

Pete Carroll, Percy Harvin and John Schneider hold up Harvin's No. 11 jersey as he is introduced in March 2013

The Percy Harvin Debacle was a great lesson for Pete Carroll and John Schneider: They learned just how fragile the psyche of their young Super Bowl team still is.

And they probably learned which other malcontents they are going to need to send packing to make sure their team remains a Super Bowl contender.

This was bound to happen. Carroll and Schneider have flirted with this kind of danger ever since they came to Seattle — bringing in bad apples such as Terrell Owens, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow while courting chuckleheads such as Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson.

Adding those kinds of idiots to a young team is always a huge risk — too many impressionable kids on your team. Harvin apparently swung a few of them his way in his 19 months in Seattle.

Continue reading Carroll & Schneider learned how fragile their team’s psyche is

CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks-Panthers

The Seahawks placed fullback Derrick Coleman (broken foot) on IR and added wide receiver Phil Bates. It’s the latest move in a tumultuous week for special teams.

The Seahawks and Panthers, who were a combined 25-7 last season, are just 6-6-1 this year. Said Carolina coach Ron Rivera: “We’re two good football teams that have lost their footing a little bit.”

Who is more beat up? The Seahawks are without their starting center, fullback, tight end, cornerback, middle linebacker and kick returner. The Panthers are without their two starting guards, two or three running backs, a starting linebacker and their kick returner.

The Seahawks face another good tight end this week in Greg Olsen, who is off to the best start of his career. The Hawks already have given up seven TD passes to tight ends.