Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks buck up vs. run; Russell Wilson advocates against domestic violence; police investigate Marshawn Lynch's false accuser

The Seahawks are practicing this afternoon in Renton. Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas will make their weekly appearances in front of the press before practice. I intend to learn more from Wilson on his new role as senior editor of Derek Jeter's new athletes' website The Players' Tribune -- and on what prompted the usually conservatively speaking, middle-of-the-road messaged quarterback to take a strong stance against domestic violence in his first column for The Players' Tribune yesterday.

--In today's News Tribune I detailed our conversation yesterday with first-year Washington head coach Jay Gruden. It was the best mid-week teleconference I've had from an opposing NFL coach in a while. Usually, those are mostly bland, almost-pointless, check-the-block exercises in which the coach opposing the Seahawks that week says the bare minimum to get his 10-minute-or-so obligation out of the way for another week. I almost never can quote anything from such calls. Yesterday, though, Gruden was glib and insightful and funny and worthy of an entire story. Hopefully the former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator and younger brother of Jon Gruden doesn't get dulled into the norm the later he gets in his head-coaching career.

Gruden made a good point: Seattle's top-ranked overall and top-ranked pass defense of a year ago has added a shut-down run defense so far this season. Green Bay, San Diego and Denver have combined to average just 2.8 yards per rush against the Seahawks. That's the best rush average against for a defense in the NFL. Last season Seattle allowed 3.9 yards per running play, tied for 10th-best in the league.

Some of this is attributable to the Packers and Broncos all but abandoning the run after falling behind in the first half against the Seahawks. But a lot of it is because Michael Bennett is proving he's worth much of the $28.5 million, four-year contract extension with $16 million guaranteed the Seahawks gave him this spring. Bennett has been all over offenses this season, blowing through blocks to stop runs inside and outside, and beating tackles and guards to pressure the quarterback on pass plays. He's now an every-down defensive end who can slide inside as part of Seattle's speedy third-down pass rush. Bennett's been one of the Seahawks' best players through four games.

Monday night, he gets to face Washington tackles Trent Williams and former Seahawk Tyler Polumbus. Williams didn't practice fully yesterday following a knee injury he got last week in a 45-14 loss to the New York Giants. Polumbus is, as Gruden put it in rather tepid, unflattering way yesterday, "is doing the best he can."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Washington may provide the sternest test yet to Seattle's run defense. Alfred Morris gained almost 2,900 yards rushing in the previous two seasons and is sixth in the NFL at 79 yards rushing per game this season.

--The Seahawks Notebook in today's paper led with Wilson as an author and advocate against domestic violence, as noted above.

Also in there is the team's practice-participation report it submits to the league during each game week. It had running back Marshawn Lynch on it for not participating, "NIR" -- not injury related. Before you sound alarms, that's the Seahawks way to stating Lynch did not practice because he was simply getting his usual, mid-week break. When you have the most carries in the league since 2011 and continue to produce as he has, you get such perks.

--Columnist Dave Boling applauds Wilson for taking his stance on such an important issue in our society.

--Bellevue Police invesitgators have completed its investigation into a woman's charge against Lynch in August that alleged assault and property damage, and the department released this statement Thursday night:

"The Bellevue Police Department has concluded its investigation into alleged assault and property damage allegations made against Marshawn T. Lynch. The investigation revealed that Mr. Lynch had no involvement in this case. As a result of the investigation, the Bellevue Police Department has developed probable cause to believe that the suspect, a 31 year old female, violated RCW 9A.76.175, making a false or misleading statement to a public servant. The Bellevue Police department has forwarded a criminal summons to the Bellevue city attorney’s office for charging. The ultimate decision to charge the suspect rests with the Bellevue city attorney’s office.

"Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a $5,000 fine."

The Seahawks had immediately denounced the charge as "bogus" -- unusually pointed language from a team on a criminal charge -- because it had proof Lynch was inside the team's training-camp hotel in Bellevue at the time of the alleged incident.

The nature of charges against high-profile athletes and personalities in our society seems to dictate that this development won't get near the attention nationally that the initial, now-proven to be false charges against Lynch got. After all, "a false or misleading statement to a public servant" by a relatively unknown is not quite as salacious as the initial story.

--Richard Sherman had his weekly availability with the media yesterday. Nothing too newsworthy, especially by the All-Pro cornerback's standards -- though later he was asked about his commercial with a llama and now Lynch's with a raccoon.

"These are the animals you don't think of," Sherman joked, dismissing humans mingling with dogs and cats as too common. "Who knows, we might have possum next."

--Here are my game picks for the NFL's Week 5. The first games listed, with comments, are the TV games in the Seattle area this weekend.

I'll save the Seahawks game for Monday:

Houston at Dallas, 10 a.m. Sunday, Channel 7

J.J. Watt and Texans’ D giving up a lot of yards but not many points. Dallas’ D gives up both (and a lot of everything else), but its recently balanced offense is better.

Cowboys 28, Texans 27             


Arizona at Denver, 1:05 p.m. Sunday, Channel 13

Peyton Manning shows the unbeaten Cardinals they may not be exactly all that just yet.

Broncos 31, Cardinals 21

Kansas City at San Francisco, 1:25 p.m. Sunday, Channel 7

Team Drama hosts Team Just Destroyed Brady. If the same Chiefs from Monday show up, look out Niners.

49ers 23, Chiefs 20

Cincinnati at New England, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5

Bengals off to best start in eight years. Their rugged defense isn’t what Tom Brady and his porous offensive line need right now. This could be a NE last stand.

Patriots 27, Bengals 23


Chicago at Carolina

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Panthers 31, Panthers 26


Cleveland at Tennessee

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Titans 20, Browns 17


St. Louis at Philadelphia

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Eagles 30, Rams 20

Atlanta at New York Giants

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Falcons 35, Giants 31

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Saints 37, Buccaneers 17

Buffalo at Detroit

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Lions 28, Bills 16

Baltimore at Indianapolis

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Colts 27, Ravens 23

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville

10 a.m. Sunday

Pick: Steelers 31, Jaguars 10

New York Jets at San Diego

1:25 p.m. Sunday

Pick: Chargers 34, Jets 16