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Don’t expect to see young skill players much

Paul Richardson and Kevin NorwoodPete Carroll has been complaining about the NFL’s roster rules all season, lamenting the fact that he has had to sit young skill players for most of the year.

Last Sunday, second-round wide receiver Paul Richardson joined fellow rookie receiver Kevin Norwood and second-year running back Christine Michael on the inactive list.

Carroll said he will try to get the league to change the game-day roster rule next offseason, but — as roster choices are being questioned in the wake of the offense’s ongoing struggles — he said he is not going to change his game-day personnel.

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Primarily good news about the secondary

Seahawks medical staffers tend to Byron Maxwell in the second quarter (Getty)The Seahawks’ move to release defensive back Steve Terrell and bring back D-lineman Greg Scruggs on Tuesday appeared to be a sign that the Seahawks feel much better about their secondary this week than they did last week.

And Pete Carroll’s words today seemed to confirm that, as he said cornerback Byron Maxwell might be able to play Sunday in St. Louis.

“He’s made a big jump, and we’ll see,” Carroll said of Maxwell, who suffered a strained calf vs. Dallas last Sunday. “We’re going day to day with him and will see what happens. He’s shocked the guys that he’s back as quick as he is to this point. We don’t know what that means until the weekend.”

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Sherman jinxed Wagner

Bobby Wagner and Richard Sherman after the Super Bowl (Getty)Richard Sherman jinxed Bobby Wagner.

At his media session last week, Sherman stumped for the middle linebacker to be voted into the Pro Bowl — and now it looks like Wagner will have no chance to make it.

Coach Pete Carroll said Wagner is likely to miss several games with a sprained toe suffered in the loss to Dallas on Sunday.

It’s the second straight year Wagner has suffered a significant injury that has cost him games. Last year, he missed two games with a high ankle sprain, which affected him for a couple of games beyond that.

Wagner has played very well ever since he got over the ankle injury, and his 50 tackles this season are 13 more than No. 2 tackler Kam Chancellor and 15 more than K.J. Wright, who will now take over Wagner’s spot in the middle.

Malcolm Smith will start at weakside linebacker, with Bruce Irvin at strongside. Both of them have been off to slow starts after offseason surgeries.

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Now injuries are hitting Hawks hard

Seahawks medical staffers tend to Byron Maxwell in the second quarter (Getty)
Seahawks medical staffers tend to Byron Maxwell in the second quarter (Getty)

For the first month of the season, the Seahawks largely had avoided the big injuries that had hit many other teams.

The Rams, Redskins and Vikings lost their starting quarterbacks; the Eagles and Falcons lost multiple starting linemen; the Chargers lost five key players; the Chiefs lost two starting defenders; the Panthers lost just about all of their running backs; and other stars such as Charles Tillman and Chris Long hit IR.

The worst that had happened to the Hawks was the temporary loss of their third and fourth cornerbacks. But the injury bug has bitten them pretty good the past couple of weeks.

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It’s time to put offense back in Beast Mode

Marshawn Lynch is tackled by Dallas defenders in the fourth quarter. Lynch carried the ball just 10 times, gaining 61 yards. (Getty)The Dallas Cowboys came to Seattle with the 20th-ranked run defense in the league. You would think the Seahawks would have tried to exploit that weakness using their top-ranked rushing offense.

But, the same Seattle offense that ran for 225 yards on 36 attempts against Washington on Monday chose to eschew the run Sunday in a 30-23 loss. Coach Pete Carroll blamed it on losing the third-down battle, but it certainly was more than that.

True, the Hawks won just 12 of 30 third downs on both sides, which led to a 38-22 edge for Dallas in time of possession. And the defense gave up the biggest conversion — on third-and-20 — with five minutes left.

But the Hawks could have run the ball more than 18 times. Marshawn Lynch carried it just 10 — even though he averaged 6.1 yards per tote. Russell Wilson, who ran for a career-best 122 yards on 11 carries last Monday, ran it just twice for 12 yards vs. Dallas.

Continue reading It’s time to put offense back in Beast Mode

Chawk lines 75 pct

Some video previews of the Cowboys-Seahawks game:

Dave Wyman and Aaron Levine preview the game on “Seahawks Saturday Night.”

NFL Films talks about Seattle’s home crowd and top-rated run defense.

“Cowboys Break” offers a preview and predictions.

Other previews:

The Seattle P-I offers six things to watch in the game.

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times says sensitive Seahawks fans should learn from the Cowboys and embrace the hate.

ESPN’s bloggers ask whether the Cowboys are for real.

Bleacher Report says the Cowboys can cement their place among the best teams in the NFL.

Chawk board

Check out the game-day topics in The Seattle Times’ chat.

Field Gulls does its game-day thing.

And the 710 ESPN gang will host a chat starting at 1 p.m. on My Northwest.

Why doesn’t Wilson run more often?

Russell Wilson stiff-arms Bashaud Breeland in the first quarter Monday night. Wilson ran for 122 yards and a TD. (Getty Images)After watching Russell Wilson outrun Denver in overtime and use his feet to beat Washington, plenty of Seahawks fans have to be thinking: He controls the game so much when he runs, why doesn’t he do it more often?

The simple answer is he prefers to hand off to Marshawn Lynch on those read option plays and keep his eyes downfield when passing plays break down.

Most of Wilson’s running last season was out of necessity as Darrell Bevell inexplicably failed to move Wilson around behind Seattle’s battered offensive line. After rushing for 489 yards on 94 carries as a rookie — much of that on the read option in the second half of the season — Wilson ran for 539 yards on 96 carries last season.

As expected (by us anyway), this season he is running more. With 209 yards on 29 carries, he is on pace for 836 yards and 116 rushes.

Until Monday, most of Wilson’s runs had been scrambles off busted pass plays. In the 26-20 overtime win vs. Denver in Week 3, he led the Hawks to the winning touchdown on scrambles.

But against Washington, half of his runs were off zone-read keepers — a rare game in which he chose to run the ball 11 times, netting a career-high 122 yards in the 27-17 win. It was part of the plan against the Redskins.

Continue reading Why doesn’t Wilson run more often?

Chawk lines 75 pct

While the Seahawks are facing their old AFC West foes this season, there now is speculation about them potentially having to move back to that division once the NFL puts teams back in Los Angeles.

Clare Farnsworth of gives a status report and calls out the best players over the first quarter of the season.

It’s really old news, but Don Banks of asks Mike Holmgren and Bill Parcells to relive the infamous Cowboys-Seahawks playoff game from the 2006 season.

Pete Carroll says he and former Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson put their teams together similarly and he would love to pit his Seahawks against Johnson’s Super Bowl teams from the early 1990s.

The big matchup Sunday is the Cowboys’ No. 2 run offense vs. the Seahawks’ No. 1 run defense as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times and USA Today both preview.

‘They come in bunches’: Turnovers have been oddly elusive

Last season, Seattle became the first defense since the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears to pull off the triple crown — first in yards, points and takeaways.

They have a ways to go this year if they are going to repeat that feat.

While they are the No. 1 run defense, fifth in total yards and ninth in points allowed, they are tied for 31st in takeaways.

After four games last season, they had 13 forced turnovers on their way to a league-best 39. After four games this season, they have just three.

Continue reading ‘They come in bunches’: Turnovers have been oddly elusive

Only one Russell is going to get an extension

Russell Okung talks with GM John Schneider during minicamp in June (AP)After this season, the Seahawks figure to give a contract extension to Russell.

Wilson. Not Okung.

While the quarterback has far exceeded expectations over his first two and a quarter seasons, the left tackle has largely been underwhelming since being drafted sixth overall in 2010.

Both are signed through 2015, which means next offseason is the key time for extensions. Wilson will get his, but it’s hard to see Okung getting one — especially if he continues to struggle like he did Monday night.

The left tackle was flagged for three penalties vs. Washington, including a false start on third down that helped stop a first-quarter drive and a holding on a third-quarter drive that also fizzled.

“I’ve got to play better,” he told The Seattle Times. “I can’t afford to have three penalties. Just a lack of focus. I take full responsibility for it. I can’t help out the line making mistakes like that.”

Continue reading Only one Russell is going to get an extension