The Seahawks face a talented and familiar foe when they travel to San Francisco in an NFC West division showdown with the 49ers on Thursday.
Hard-charging running back Frank Gore.
The eight-year pro out of the University of Miami has the most rushing yards against Seattle than any other team in the league – 1,079 in 12 games, with a 5.19 yards-per-carry average.
Gore has twice rushed for more than 200 yards against Seattle. This season, he’s the No. 10 rusher in the league heading into Week 7, with 470 yards on 87 carries for a 5.4 yards-per-carry average.
Gore has four touchdowns and leads a San Francisco rushing attack that’s tops in the NFL at 176.8 yards a game.
While Gore has played well against Seattle over the years, the Seahawks have done better against him of late. Seattle held Gore to an average of 71 yards a game in two contests last year.
So what’s the best way to slow down Gore?
“You got to hit him hard and hit him early,” Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright said. “Let him know that it’s not going to be your day to get a bunch of running yards. We’re going to come out and set the tone, and make sure he doesn’t get rolling.”
Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said it’s important that his unit remains disciplined by making sure the players fill all of the run gaps up front.
“He hits the hole right where he needs to hit it every time, and he’s going 100 miles per hour every time,” Bradley said. “And if you’re not in your gap … he has the ability to break a big one at any time.
“They do so many things offensively, and you’re trying to jockey some guys around so you’re in the right leverage and the right position, but you always have that in the back of your mind. If you try to do that too much, are you giving him enough of a space to where he can break a big one?”
Seattle linebacker Leroy Hill, who has played against Gore since his college days at Clemson, said an added twist that Seattle will face this week is San Francisco’s ability to use extra tight ends and bigger personnel to move the Seahawks off the ball.
“Now they’re bringing in extra tackles,” Hill said. “They have defensive tackles at fullback. So they’re letting you know, ‘We’re going to run the ball; you’ve got to stop us.’
“They put their big men in and just come straight at you.”
SHERMAN: NO REGRETS ON BRADY COMMENTS
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spoke for the first time since creating a stir nationally with his comments on New England quarterback Tom Brady.
Sherman said that Brady initiated the conversation during the game, basically telling Seattle’s defense “scoreboard” with his team up 23-10 in the fourth quarter, and for Sherman to talk to him after the game.
“That’s how the situation ensued,” Sherman said. “There was a conversation on the field at one point, and that’s how this whole deal got rolling.”
Of course, Sherman followed Brady up on his offer after Seattle’s come-from-behind victory.
Sherman said after Sunday’s game that the Patriots ran a gimmick, hurry-up offense, and that he told Brady to keep throwing it his way because he was going to intercept him.
Sherman even sent out a photo via Twitter of him talking to Brady after the game, with the words “U mad bro” edited onto the picture. The photo has since been deleted from Sherman’s Twitter account.
“I was asked to, so I do what I’m asked,” Sherman said about deleting the photo. “But I don’t regret anything about the situation. It is what it is.”
Sherman said he’s not seeking the limelight. But he wanted to bring more attention to how well his team’s defense is playing, with wins over some of the top quarterbacks in the league – including Brady, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Carolina’s Cam Newton and Dallas’ Tony Romo.
Romo is the only one of the four who did not make the Pro Bowl last year.
“It was definitely more about us than about him,” Sherman said. “I’m talking about our back end and the great Pro Bowl players that we have back there. How great our D-line is playing, and how awesome our linebacker play is.”
THURMOND READY, REMAINS ON PUP LIST
Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond said he’s healthy and ready to play but because of the short week will not be added to the active roster for Thursday’s game at San Francisco.
“I feel good,” Thurmond said. “I’m ready to get back out here. It’s been a year, so I’m ready to go.
“It’s been hard. You never like watching from the sidelines, especially when you’re injured. So I’ve just been patiently waiting, and my time is about to come.”
Thurmond broke his leg against Cleveland last October, cutting short his 2011 season. He started this season on the physically unable to perform list because he was still rehabbing.
But Thurmond said he expects to be ready to play next week at Detroit. The Seahawks have three weeks to place Thurmond on the active roster.
Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor was limited in Tuesday’s practice because of an ankle injury. He did not participate in Seattle’s walk-through on Monday.
Coach Pete Carroll said Chancellor suffered an elbow injury in Sunday’s game against New England, but the elbow does not appear to be an injury that would keep the Virginia Tech product out this week.
Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (groin) was a full participant Tuesday and appears on track to return to the field after sitting out last week’s game.
However, cornerback Byron Maxwell (hamstring) did not participate in practice for a second straight day.
Offensive guard John Moffitt (knee) has been ruled out for a fourth straight game, but Carroll said he’s hopeful the former University of Wisconsin lineman will be available when Seattle travels to Detroit to take on the Lions on Oct. 28.
BRING ON THE SEAHAWKS
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore has gained more yards rushing and receiving against the Seahawks than any other team in his career. A closer look:
Cardinals 13 3519.24127.0
Rams111978.95017.9Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com @eric_d_williams blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks