Fourth-year tight end Anthony McCoy underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn Achilles tendon, an injury he suffered Monday of this week during the team’s first OTA session. The surgery was performed by Dr. Ed Khalfayan at Seattle Surgery Center.
Drafted by the Seahawks in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of USC, McCoy saw action in all 18 games last season, often working out of double tight end sets with No. 1 tight end Zach Miller. He caught 18 balls for 291 yards and three touchdowns last year and was the team’s first player to top 100 yards receiving that season, when he made three catches for 105 yards in the club’s 58-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14.
The injury to McCoy leaves second-year players Sean McGrath and Cooper Helfet, 2013 fifth-round draft pick Luke Willson, and rookie minicamp signees Victor Marshall and the former professional basketball playing Darren Fells as the five players rounding out the position behind Miller.
Quarterback Russell Wilson joined Max Unger (No. 95), Percy Harvin (No. 90), and Earl Thomas (No. 66) as the fourth Seahawk to be represented on NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 players of 2013, appearing at No. 51 on tonight’s unveil of players ranked 51-60.
He’s also the fourth quarterback to crack the Top 100, as his peers voted him higher than fellow signal callers Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers (No. 81), Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions (No. 76), and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 61).
It was what Wilson did a season ago for the Seahawks that landed him on this list.
After being selected with the 75th overall pick (third round) of the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson beat out incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson and free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn to claim the starting job in preseason. He led Seattle on an 11-5 campaign where he tied Peyton Manning’s 1998 record for the most touchdown passes by a rookie (26), became the first rookie in NFL history to lead his team to an undefeated home record, set a club record with a 100.0 passer rating – the second-best ever by a rookie, and quarterbacked a 24-14 come-from-behind victory in the Wild Card round over the Washington Redskins to give the club their first road playoff win since 1983.
And all of those rookie accolades landed Wilson in the Pro Bowl, where he went 8-of-10 passing for 98 yards, tossing three touchdowns in the process.
He is the first of last season’s trio of first-year quarterbacks who were in the running for rookie of the year honors to be unveiled on the Top 100 list. But you can bet that last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck and 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III will show up on the list in the coming weeks.
The Top 100 countdown picks up again next Thursday with players ranked 41-50.
Justin Veltung, one of the three-dozen players who participated in the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, signed with the team this morning.
The 5-foot-10, 183-pound receiver/returner from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School was singled out by coach Pete Carroll when he was asked if there had been any surprises during the May 10-12 minicamp.
“Veltung did a nice job,” Carroll said.
Nice enough to get another chance, but Veltung joins a crowded group of receivers that features incumbent starters Sidney Rice and Golden Tate and free-agent addition Percy Harvin; and also includes slot receiver Doug Baldwin and fourth-round draft choice Chris Harper.
But Veltung showed enough to get this second opportunity.
“He’s a smart guy,” receivers coach Kippy Brown said after the rookie camp. “He knows what to do. He doesn’t make very many mistakes, and so far he’s been real reliable catching the football.”
That continued today in the team’s third OTA session, when Veltung went down to get a low throw over the middle and displayed good separation – and got both feet in – while making a catch along the sideline.
Among Veltung’s pluses are his speed (4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day workout); athleticism (41½-inch vertical leap); and ability to return kicks (two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns at Idaho).
Last week in this space we threw it back to Marcus Trufant’s time – or should we say “French Dip’s” time – as a senior football player at Tacoma’s Wilson High School.
Today, courtesy of the NFL on FOX, we throw it back to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s time at Collegiate High School in Richmond, Virgina.
Wilson played both football and baseball for the Cougars, leading them to three state championships on the gridiron. He earned all-state, all-region, and all-district honors, and was named the 2005 Richmond-Times-Dispatch Player of the Year as a junior.
In the high school highlight reel above you’ll notice many of the defining characteristics that Wilson flashed for the 2012 Seahawks. The skill to escape pressure and would-be tacklers, the quick release, strong arm and ability to make accurate throws from any different angle – rolling right, rolling left – while remaining poised in the pocket are all on display.
Charlie McFall, Collegiate High School’s head football coach relayed to FOXSports.com a game of Wilson’s that stood out the most:
“I think Russell saved it all for the last game [against Fork Union Military Academy]. I think he rushed for over 200 yards and threw for over 200 yards and really had a nice game. That’s the one that really stands out to me because he was just a one-man wrecking crew.
“The other thing is, he was playing just about every down at cornerback. We weren’t pulling him out to save him. He was on the field, all the time. He’d even punt it for us.”
You may want to hold off on solidifying your viewing party plans for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Yesterday, at the NFL Spring Meeting in Boston, Mass., NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that next year’s draft will be held in May as opposed to the end of April, due to a scheduling conflict with New York City’s Radio City Music Hall – where the draft itself is held.
“If we want to move the draft back into the April period, we’re going to have to look at other alternatives. Other cities, other venues,” Goodell said at the spring meeting.
That’s because Radio City Music Hall has plans for a spring show that could conflict with the timing of the draft for several years to come.
“We haven’t found the location in New York that meets our requirements and where we think we can continue to grow the event,” Goodell said. “If we do, that will be one of the alternatives. I think one of the things we have to do at some point is start looking at other cities.”
Proposed dates for the 2014 NFL Draft could be May 8-10, or May 15-17 – a full 2-3 weeks after the draft has traditionally fallen in the past.
Moving the draft back could affect several other NFL offseason dates, surely moving each team’s rookie minicamp deeper into the month of May, and likely altering when team’s start their period of Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on May 22:
2001: The Seahawks move from the AFC West to the NFC West as the NFL realigns into eight four-team divisions. Instead of annual home-and-home games against the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers, the Seahawks are now matched twice a season against the 49ers, Cardinals and Rams. The Seahawks had been a member of the NFC West in their inaugural season in 1976, but moved to the AFC West in 1977. The Seahawks won the AFC West title in 1988 and 1999, and captured the NFC West championship from 2004-07 and also in 2010.
Move over Max Unger. Make way Percy Harvin. Take a deep breath Earl Thomas.
A fourth Seahawk will be added to the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2013 when those ranked 51-60 are unveiled in the series’ fifth episode that airs Thursday night.
As was the case with Unger, the All-Pro center who was ranked No. 95; Harvin, the receiver/runner/returner who checked in at No. 90; and Thomas, the All-Pro free safety who was slotted at No. 66, we know who the fourth Seahawks is, but we can’t say.
You’ll have to tune in at 5 p.m. PT on Thursday to find out. But the candidates include All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson and Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung.
Since being released by the Bears on March 20, the question has been: Where will Brian Urlacher play next?
Today, Urlacher supplied the answer by tweeting and issuing a statement that he was retiring after 13 of the most-productive seasons by any middle linebacker in NFL history.
“Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards,” Urlacher said in the statement.
And what standards the Pasco-born Urlacher set, as we recalled in this item from the day he was released:
There’s not much to not like about the way Urlacher plays the game, other than the fact that he’s played against the Seahawks on a far-too-regular basis in recent seasons.
For the just-how-does-he-play-the-game follow to that statement, I’ll defer to Michael Robinson, the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl-caliber fullback and lead blocker for Marshawn Lynch – a job that has forced Robinson’s path to veer directly into Urlacher on many occasions the past three seasons. Robinson joined the Seahawks in 2010, so he played against Urlacher twice that season (regular season and postseason, both in Chicago); again in 2011 (regular season, again in Chicago); and last season (regular season, and yet again in Chicago).
“He’s a very, very difficult guy to block,” Robinson said before the Week 15 game against the Bears in 2011, with Urlacher’s then 1,556 career tackles as proof – a total that has since grown to 1,779. “He’s very, very smart. He knows where the ball carrier wants to go and he’s all about the ball. He doesn’t like dealing with lead blockers, and the guys in front of him make it difficult for you to get on him, too.”
Before there was Robinson, there was Matt Hasselbeck – the former Seahawks QB who used to engage in some memorable pre-snap games of cat and mouse with the Bears’ middle linebacker.
“Urlacher does a great job of audibling as a middle linebacker,” Hasselbeck said before that regular season game against Urlacher in 2010. “He’s a great player and he’s well-coached. He’s been playing in this scheme a long time and you’ll see when an offense checks – a quarterback checks – he’ll check. Or, if he gets the sense that you’re pretending to check, then he’ll call it off.
“It’s one of those things where you make eye contact with him, you’re making a check, and he’s like, ‘No. No. No. Let’s just leave this one on.’ Or other times, he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, let’s check.’ And so he’s a great player.”
Urlacher, who was raised in New Mexico, has been NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2000) as well as NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2005). He also was voted to eight Pro Bowls.
In eight games against the Seahawks – two in the postseason, six in the regular season – Urlacher had 56 tackles, or an average of seven. And his consistency was uncanny, as he never had more than eight or fewer than six.
Urlacher missed the final four games last season with a hamstring injury, so his final NFL game was played against the Seahawks on Dec. 2, when he had eight tackles and forced a fumble.
That was then, when it seemed Urlacher would play somewhere in 2013. This is now, when it ultimately came down to this for Urlacher: “After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” he said in his statement.
The game, and definitely the Seahawks’ rivalry with the Bears, won’t be quite the same without him.
Quarterback Josh Portis has been released, the team announced today.
Portis signed with the Seahawks as rookie free agent in 2011, when he made the 53-man roster as the No. 3 QB. He was inactive for 15 games and the backup in one because then-starter Tarvaris Jackson was injured. Portis was released from the practice squad last November and re-signed with Seattle on April 3.
Portis had been competing for a backup spot behind starter Russell Wilson with Brady Quinn, a former first-round draft choice by the Browns who was signed in free agency last month; and Jerrod Johnson, who also was signed last month.
The NFL has made its decisions, and the 50th and 51st Super Bowls will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area and Houston.
Team owners voted in Boston today for the championship games that will be played in 2016 and 2017.
The 2016 game, or Super Bowl L, will be played at the 49ers’ new stadium in Santa Clara that is schedule to open in time for the 2014 season.
“We’re just excited that the owners voted for the Bay Area to host Super Bowl L,” 49ers CEO Jed York told the NFL Network. “It’s an awesome, awesome thing that they’ve allowed us to host one of the biggest games; the golden anniversary in the Golden State. We’re just really, really excited.”
Houston, meanwhile, was awarded the 2017 title game, or Super Bowl LI. Houston also hosted the Super Bowl in 2004.
“We had a wonderful time in 2004,” Texans founder, chairman and CEO Robert McNair told the NFL Network. “We love having the NFL in Houston and celebrating the Super Bowl. I think we are even better prepared this time. It is just going to be a wonderful celebration. We just look forward to having people from all over the world come to Houston.”
The Super Bowl will be played in East Rutherford, N.J., in the stadium shared by the Giants and Jets, in 2014. The 2015 game will be played at the home stadium of the Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.