the quarterback, of all people — had no idea the Seahawks were planning to sign Michael Bumpus to the active roster Saturday, two...
Matt Hasselbeck — the quarterback, of all people — had no idea the Seahawks were planning to sign Michael Bumpus to the active roster Saturday, two weeks after Bumpus landed on the practice squad when the 53-man roster was announced.
But there was Bumpus, back deep to return punts and pressed into major service Sunday at wide receiver when Seattle lost Seneca Wallace and Logan Payne to injury. Bumpus started the game as the Seahawks opened with three receivers.
The former Washington State star had two catches and three punt returns.
“Other than the loss, it was a good experience,” Bumpus said. “I’m looking forward to just learning more as the weeks go by.”
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Bumpus, for four years a return man at WSU, expected to platoon with Wallace at punt returner.
“It’s nothing new. Just a little more intense than it is in college,” he said.
What’d I do?
Surely some Seahawks were wondering about a few of the defensive penalties called against them Sunday. Seattle had five penalties for pass interference, defensive holding in the secondary or illegal contact.
All of the penalties extended what became scoring drives for the 49ers.
Linebacker Julian Peterson could only shake his head at an unsportsmanlike conduct call against him after a sack in the first quarter. Peterson raised his thumbs and pointed to the back of his jersey, a move he did last year without penalty against the 49ers, and drew a taunting call.
“Next time I get a sack I’ll just move away and walk to the sideline,” Peterson said. “That’s the way it seems like the NFL wants to do it. They don’t want anybody to have a good time out there and show emotion, so I guess I’ll just walk away.”
Punting improvement needed
Jon Ryan’s first game as Seahawks punter didn’t go as well as planned. Ryan heard the boos after his first punt, a 39-yarder, and got his second one blocked.
The longest punt of the day for Ryan, signed last Tuesday when the Seahawks released Ryan Plackemeier, went for 40 yards. His last punt, from deep in Seahawks territory, traveled 38 yards and landed at midfield.
“I felt a little out of rhythm and I wasn’t hitting the ball that clean,” Ryan said. “Really kind of hoping to maybe prove myself again next week.”
Holmgren seemed to give Ryan a reprieve. “It was his first game with us and I think he’s a good punter, and I think that will improve,” he said.
Twangin’ with Terrill
The Seahawks took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter when defensive tackle Craig Terrill emerged from a gaggle of Seahawks with the ball and ran back a Frank Gore fumble 10 yards for a touchdown.
The play was a wild one. Gore got stripped of the ball by defensive tackle Howard Green. Cornerback Marcus Trufant had the ball but lost it, and more Seahawks converged. Terrill came away with the ball, scored and, true to his musical nature, air-guitared in celebration of his first NFL touchdown.
“I thought it was dead,” Terrill said. “It just popped right up into my hands.”
San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis recorded a game-high eight tackles, however, his 86-yard interception return, which tied the score at 20, was the longest play of the day and changed the momentum for the 49ers. It was also his first touchdown since high school.
“It felt wonderful,” he said. “All offseason that is one of the things that I wanted to focus on, was doing things that help this defense and help this team win.”
Hasselbeck tried to squeeze a pass to Billy McMullen, but cornerback Walt Harris deflected the pass and Willis snagged the interception in midair. Hasselbeck, who threw two interceptions, had a chance to stop Willis, but he whiffed on the tackle.
TE or not TE
Turns out the player who stepped into the void left by the rash of injuries at wide receiver wasn’t a wide receiver at all.
It was rookie tight end John Carlson, who caught six passes for 78 yards against San Francisco. Both were team highs for Seattle.
“John Carlson’s definitely a bright spot,” Hasselbeck said. “Our tight ends in general this year have been doing a nice job.”
Carlson caught four passes for 52 yards in the season-opening loss at Buffalo. On Sunday against San Francisco, two of Carlson’s six receptions converted third-down plays for the Seahawks as Seattle’s offense showed improvement from the season-opening loss.
Payne injures knee
Wide receiver Logan Payne was injured on the first play of Seattle’s second possession of the game after he caught a 14-yard pass and was hit by safety Dashon Goldson.
“My heel hadn’t even landed yet,” Payne said of the injury. “Just my foot. So my foot just caught enough of the turf and he hit me real low like right just above my knee.”
Coach Mike Holmgren said it was a significant injury. Payne was on crutches with a large knee brace on his right leg after the game. He said the injury won’t be diagnosed until he undergoes an MRI test Monday morning. Payne was trying to keep positive.
• J.T. O’Sullivan passed for 321 yards in the game, the first time any San Francisco quarterback surpassed 300 yards passing in a game since Tim Rattay in 2004. “He has a knack for making a play despite being rushed or being flushed out of the pocket,” said 49er receiver Bryant Johnson, who caught a team-high six passes. “He’s able to get his feet set and fire that ball.”
• Kicker Joe Nedney may have hooked a 41-yard field-goal attempt wide right at the end of the fourth quarter, but he had no doubts about the 40-yarder he made in overtime. He raised both hands in celebration before the ball reached the uprights.
“When it’s headed right down the middle and there’s no wind in the stadium, I don’t think it’s going to do much,” Nedney said. “Those are the nice feelings when you know you hit it so well that before you even pick your head up you know the ball is going straight. It’s a very, very good feeling.”
• The Seahawks’ eight sacks (by six players) didn’t make it into the top five single-game performances in team history. Eleven in a December 1986 game against the Raiders is the record and the Seahawks have had nine three times.
• Former Seahawks guard Chris Gray raised the 12th Man flag before the game. Gray, who spent 10 of his 15 NFL seasons in Seattle, retired from football last month.
• Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, was suspended in midair above the field for several minutes during pregame activities as the cables that held him above the field got crossed. But he was able to be lowered safely onto the field without falling from the cables.
Times staff reporter Percy Allen contributed to this report.