RENTON, Wash. -- It was merely a scrimmage against their own team in early August, in front of 2,555 at the VMAC and not the entire world.
But to the Seattle Seahawks defense, it was the closest thing they had had to a game since shutting down the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl Feb. 2.
And before taking the field Saturday, the defensive players talked of using the moment to establish that while it may be a new year with some new faces, it's still the same old Seahawks that led the NFL in fewest points allowed last season.
"We said in the meetings we wanted to come out and we wanted to dominate," said defensive end O'Brien Schofield. "We wanted to start what we want to be this year, who we are. We want to be the best that we can be each day, and I think we did that 1/8Saturday3/8."
Indeed they did as the Seattle offense didn't score a touchdown in 12 possessions, instead held to three field goals (on three attempts) by Steven Hauschka, along with one interception (a Russell Wilson pass tipped in the end zone and picked off by Terrance Parks).
"A really good defensive day today," said coach Pete Carroll, who specifically cited the play of ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. "The pressure up front was really good."
Or as Wilson said "the defense did an extremely good job."
Aside from the fact that the defense is unquestionably one of the best around, it also had the advantage of going against a Seattle offensive line that is a little banged up -- and afterward suffered a pretty significant shake-up.
Seattle entered the day without left tackle Russell Okung and guard James Carpenter, each out with injuries. Okung, recovering from offseason toe surgery is expected back Monday, and Carpenter is out with a calf injury suffered last week.
The Seahawks then ended the day with a totally different look at right tackle. After the scrimmage, Carroll announced that second-year tackle Michael Bowie has been waived with the injured designation after it was determined that his shoulder injury will require surgery and keep him out 4 to 6 months.
The team hopes that Bowie -- who started eight games for the Seahawks last season as a rookie -- will clear waivers and then revert to IR.
Rookie Justin Britt, who entered camp in a battle with Bowie for right tackle, watched most of the scrimmage from the sideline with a sore shoulder of his own.
That had nine-year veteran Eric Winston, a free agent signed last week, working with the starting unit at right tackle. To take the place of Bowie, the team then signed Cory Brandon, a tackle who had just been released by the Cardinals.
Not that Wilson, who operated the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense, didn't have some good moments.
In what might have been the play of the day for the offense, he hit Percy Harvin for 38 yards to convert a third-and-5.
Later, he led a drive from the 15 to the 10, a key play a 31-yard pass to Phil Bates, shortly before the end of the first half. On first down, Wilson tried to sneak a pass to Jermaine Kearse that was instead tipped into the air by Heath Farwell and caught by safety Parks.
Wilson, though, tried his best to prevent it, diving into the pile to try to bat it out of Parks' hands.
"He's competing," Carroll said later when asked what he thought of seeing his quarterback trying to play some defense in a scrimmage. "We'll talk about it later."
Wilson said his main regret is that he maybe should have run the ball, noting that there were only 15 seconds on the clock.
"I had it," Wilson said. "I was going to catch it and then Terrance Parks made a great play. He dove for it so I kind of turned my body so I wouldn't get hit."
The Seahawks will open the preseason Thursday at Denver against the Broncos.
"They're ready to go hit somebody," Carroll said of the Seattle defense. "They just want to play some football finally."
Marshawn Lynch had pads on but didn't play. Said Carroll: "It's going to take a while to get him going. He's missed a lot of time in the offseason and all that. We're going to take our time getting him in shape, but it's nice to have him back."
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