Wednesday in Hawkville

Published on September 21, 2011 by     Seahawks.Com News (Feed)

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

Sidney Rice. The wide receiver who has yet to play because of a sore shoulder participated fully in today’s full-pads practice, but his status for Sunday’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field has yet to be determined.

“He looks like he’s ready to go,” coach Pete Carroll said before practice. “His mentality is he’s ready to go. He is not even thinking about anything but that.

“But we’ll have to make a good decision on that when the time comes. We’re day-to-day on this deal with him.”

Rice looked the part in practice, catching several passes from QB Tarvaris Jackson while working opposite Mike Williams with the No. 1 offense.

Coordinator Darrell Bevell, who coached Rice and Jackson in Minnesota the past four seasons, was asked how Rice’s presence could change the offense once he does return.

“One player can have an effect on your offense,” Bevell said. “Sidney brings juice and he brings some excitement. He brings the deep threat that you’re looking for just to back people off. When he’s in there, you always have that threat. So it definitely can help.”

PLAYER WATCH

Paul McQuistan. Another week, another starter at left guard. Rookie James Carpenter moved over from right tackle to start the opener because Robert Gallery was out with a sprained knee. Sunday, Gallery was back – but aggravated a groin injury that will require surgery to repair and sideline him for at least a month.

So McQuistan steps in, and will make his first NFL start since 2007.

“Losing Robert is a big deal, so rather than switch it around again like we did before we’re kind of settled now on the right side,” line coach Tom Cable said of Carpenter and rookie guard John Moffitt. “Both those kids played extremely well (against the Steelers). So rather than make two changes, make one and used the most experienced guy.”

That’s McQuistan, who like Gallery played for Cable in Oakland. How much will that help? “It’s huge,” Cable said.

Offered coordinator Darrell Bevell, “He’s a veteran guy, so we expect him to step in and not miss a beat. Kind of the next-man-up deal, and he’s done fine.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals have a new quarterback, and he’s no stranger to the Seahawks.

Carroll said the team explored the possibility of acquiring Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles the past two offseasons, but opted against it because of “just compensation and amount and all the stuff.” The Cardinals traded a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles to acquire Kolb and then signed him to a five-year contract extension that includes $21 million in guaranteed money.

“It was a big consideration. He’s a very good player,” Carroll said. “We thought that from the start and we were always in the thought that he would be a guy that we would be interested in for the future. But it just didn’t work out right.”

In his first two games as a Cardinal, Kolb has completed 35 of 57 passes for 560 yards, with four TD passes and one interception, for a 110.3 passer rating that ranks fifth in the league.

“He’s shown the ability to make big plays,” Carroll said. “He’s got a little zip to him, in that he’ll take a shot at stuff and he’s been very good at creating.

“They’re benefitting from this acquisition. He looks very good in their program.”

IN AND OUT

Linebacker Malcolm Smith returned to practice after sitting out last week with a sore hamstring, and immediately displayed his explosiveness closing ability on a couple of plays.

Four players remain sidelined: fullback Michael Robinson (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle), tackle Jarriel King (ankle) and Gallery. Defensive end Raheem Brock also did not practice, but his absence was not injury related.

Carroll said that Robinson’s status for Sunday’s game will be determined later in the week, but that Maxwell, Gallery and King will not play.

For the Cardinals, linebacker Daryl Washington (calf) did not practice and four players were limited: tight end Jim Dray (pectoral), wide receiver DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand) and wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring).

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