The national, heck even international, media parachuted into Renton and the Virginia Mason Athletic Center today to find out what's up with the Super Bowl champions being 3-3.
A day after The New York Times and even the Wall Street Journal published what's-wrong-with-the-Seahawks stories, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and TSN of Canada, among others, were here for interviews and to attend coach Pete Carroll's weekly Wednesday press conference before Sunday's game at Carolina (3-3-1).
"You know, we are six games in. That's a lot of time for some people, but there's a lot of football to be played," Carroll said at one point, answering a question about his dormant pass rush but talking about the entire team. "We are hopefully going to make a turn and hopefully feel the same kind of results as we have before."
The most telling quotes of the afternoon came away from the cameras, in the locker room from wide receiver Doug Baldwin. Baldwin was clearing some air about the Seahawks' much-speculated locker-room atmosphere -- and all that happened before the Seahawks stunningly traded Percy Harvin to the Jets on Friday afternoon as the team was leaving for its game at St. Louis.
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Liz Matthews of 710 ESPN Seattle asked Baldwin about this:
"No, Marshawn, he was in shock, too. He went off to ask somebody -- then got back on the bus," Baldwin said. "I know there was a report that he almost didn't get on the bus. Yeah, let me clear that up: That's stupid.
"There was no hesitation about him getting on the bus. He was going to come to St. Louis."
Whether it's the three-year, $13 million contract extension with $8.5 million guaranteed that he signed with Seattle in May to signify he had indeed arrived as a fixture on this team and in the league after being undrafted out of Stanford in 2011, or if its his larger role as the undisputed, No. 1 receiver in the offense with Harvin gone -- as evidenced by his seven catches for 123 yards and one touchdown that were all season highs last weekend against the Rams -- Baldwin is becoming a standout team leader and spokesman for the players on this Harvin trade and all issues Seahawks.
On the wide, long injury front:
--Cornerback Byron Maxwell is not practicing as the team works out inside right now on this rainy Seattle Wednesday. But Carroll said the starter has a chance to play against the Panthers. Maxwell missed last weekend's loss at St. Louis with the strained calf he got in the second quarter of the loss to Dallas two weeks ago.
If Maxwell can't play at Carolina, Tharold Simon may start again for him. Simon sprained his ankle against the Rams in the second quarter then didn't return, but he's back practicing today.
--Center Max Unger was running this morning, Carroll said, but the team still doesn't know if its two-time Pro Bowl selection will be able to play against the Panthers. Unger's missed the last two games with a sprained foot. Stephen Schilling has been starting for him and would again.
--Carroll said Zach Miller is "doing better" but the starting tight end's recovery from last month's ankle surgery is going slower than the team hoped. Miller is going to Charlotte, N.C., with the team Friday so he can see a renowned ankle specialist in that city, Dr. Robert Anderson. Anderson is also the Panthers' team's orthopedist.
The team got a small surprise today: Luke Willson, the fill-in starter for Miller, is practicing a day earlier than the Seahawks thought he would. Willson missed last weekend's game with a groin injury.
"That's a good little boost for us," Carroll said, meaning Willson and Simon returning today.
--As for who will be the fullback Sunday at Carolina, Carroll said "you will have to wait and see. We'll unveil that as we get there."
It may end up being tailback Robert Turbin again. Carroll said they would be fine going that route again, as they did last Sunday against the Rams on almost no notice after starting fullback Derrick Coleman broke his foot in pregame warmups.
Turbin said it was the first time in his life -- pee wee, Pop Warner, high school, wherever -- that he's played fullback. The 5-foot-10, 222-pound Turbin, the usual change-of-pace Plan B behind Marshawn Lynch in the hurry-up offense, said he's played wide receiver, tight end, even defensive lineman at some levels of football. But not football.
"He did admirably, and he's welcome to the challenge of doing that (again)," Carroll said. "That's a positive move for us, because that's another good football player on the field that helps us."
If it's Turbin and Lynch again in the backfield at Carolina, expect more of the split-backs formations that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell used against the Rams. Turbin said today how when they are in split backs it's essentially having two tailbacks with dual responsibilities and versatility. And that would give the Panthers' struggling defense a will-it-be-him-or-him conundrum in the Seahawks' backfield -- for the run and the pass -- on Sunday.
--Defensive tackle Jordan Hill "is still hobbled" by a sprained ankle, so it doesn't sound like he will play against Carolina. That keeps the defensive line thin, and the Seahawks in need to find new ways to get pressure on elusive, running-and-passing quarterback Cam Newton.
Newton, by the way, said this morning on the Panthers' conference call that he isn't 100 percent healthy but "I"m trying to get healthier by the day." Asked to peg a percentage at where he is physically, Newton said "Who knows?"