RENTON – All they need is a little respect.
Like Aretha Franklin’s famous song, the Seattle Seahawks are looking for some on the national stage.
But they’re not begging.
Buried in the avalanche of national coverage on Golden Tate’s controversial, game-winning touchdown catch against Green Bay, Seattle players said their effort against one of the top teams in the league, particularly on defense, has not been acknowledged.
“Regardless of the outcome of the game, we’re not going to get the respect that we feel like we deserve,” Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. “But it doesn’t really matter to us because we keep it in-house. We keep it about us.”
Seattle safety Chris Maragos, who grew up in Racine, Wis., about a three-hour drive south from Green Bay, said he had several messages from family and friends back in home state angry with the result after the game.
“My phone was going crazy,” Maragos said. “A lot of people were a little bitter about that. They wanted me to make sure that I thought we couldn’t be happy about the win because we really lost. Everybody was trying to get that point across.”
Seattle’s defense held the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers to 87 yards in the first half, and kept the Green Bay quarterback from throwing a touchdown pass for the first time in 20 games.
Through three games, Seattle’s defense is No. 1 in points allowed (13 a game), No. 2 in rushing defense (58.7 yards per game) and No. 4 in total defense (272.3 yards per game).
“They played one of the best games I’ve ever watched,” Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said. “Going against one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game, to keep them from scoring that many points is just amazing, and all this drama is overshadowing that.”
The center of the firestorm nationally, Tate said he’s received hundreds of messages through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
And many of the comments have not been flattering.
“If I mentioned those words, it’d be bleeps, bleeps bleeps,” Tate said with a smile. “Some nasty stuff – it’s mean. I’ve been called a cheater. I don’t have any dignity. I’m not a Christian – a lot of hurtful things. But I just pray on it and continue to live my life.”
Tate said he felt vindicated by the league supporting the official ruling on the field.
And after receiving national attention in back-to-back weeks – Tate was fined $21,000 for a memorable blindside hit on Dallas linebacker Sean Lee on Sept. 16 – he’s earned some new friends on Twitter.
“The best part is I think I moved up in followers like five or six thousand, so I’m kind of becoming a big deal here,” joked Tate.
With some looking for Seattle players to apologize for the team’s victory over Green Bay and concede defeat, Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill, who’s had his fair share of off-the-field issues, said there’s nothing wrong with embracing the bad-boy image.
“I’ve been the villain for a minute,” said the 30-year-old grizzled veteran, laughing. “So it’s all good. My teammates can come join me.”
Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons is the NFC defensive player of the week.
Clemons finished with four sacks, all in the first half against Green Bay.
The Seahawks had eight sacks in all in the first half, with rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane notching two each.
Clemons’ four sacks in the first half tied a league record established by former Kansas City outside linebacker Derrick Thomas in 1992.
Clemons also tied a franchise record for sacks in a game held by Jacob Green, Michael Sinclair, Michael McCrary and Darryl Tapp.
Clemons won the award last year for his effort against the St. Louis Rams in Week 11. Clemons totaled three sacks in that game.
CARPENTER TO START?
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said James Carpenter, last year’s first round draft pick, will play this week at left guard, which means there could be some juggling again on the offensive line.
Carpenter started at left guard the first game of the 2011 season against San Francisco, and then moved to right tackle when Robert Gallery was available in Week 2.
The Alabama product started eight games at right tackle before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during pass blocking drills in practice that required surgery in December.
Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable has seen Carpenter at both positions, and said he prefers him at guard. At left guard playing next to Russell Okung, the Seahawks have a chance to create a powerful, run-blocking combination they have not had since Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson.
If Carpenter starts on Sunday against the Rams, it will be Seattle’s third different offensive line combination in four weeks.
“We really think the best place for him is to be inside and be a monster in there,” Carroll said. “We saw that last year, and we did both with him if you remember. And he feels most comfortable on the left side, just in his background. “
With Carpenter available at left guard, Paul McQuistan would move to right guard, where second-year pro John Moffitt and rookie J.R. Sweezy have been competing for the starting job.
Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin (shoulder) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) returned to practice after both missed the Green Bay game, and were full participants.
Tackle Breno Giacomini (pectoral), Moffitt (knee) and defensive tackle Gregg Scruggs (wrist) did not practice.
The Seahawks practiced without helmets as Carroll tried to give his players another day to rest their legs.
For St. Louis, defensive tackle Matt Conrath (knee), safety Matt Daniels (hamstring), running back Steven Jackson (groin), defensive end Eugene Sims (illness) and tackle Rodger Saffold (knee) did not practice.
Defensive tackle Michael Brockers (ankle) and tackle Wayne Hunter (ankle) were limited email@example.com 253-597-8437 blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams