Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 16:
Dave Boling of the News Tribune catches up with Brandon Coutu, who was with the Seahawks during the 2008 season but never kicked in a game and has been out of the league the past two seasons. He’s back to challenge Jeff Reed for the spot that opened when Olindo Mare signed with the Panthers in free agency. Says Boling: “Brief history: Coutu, in possession of an impressive college resume at Georgia, was drafted in the seventh round in 2008. The Seahawks also signed the veteran Mare, who had struggled with a groin injury with New Orleans the previous season. Coutu made all seven of his exhibition field-goal attempts that summer, while Mare proved he was back to health and was also powerful with kickoffs. Since roster spots on NFL teams are precious, it’s rare for teams to keep two placekickers. The situation appeared to make Coutu a pawn in a power play between general manager Tim Ruskell and coach Mike Holmgren. Having made him a draft choice, Ruskell had equity in Coutu. But Holmgren liked the veteran. Ruskell asserted that other teams wanted Coutu and the only way he could protect him for the future was to keep him on the roster. All the while, Holmgren saw his team crushed by injuries and in need of manpower at other positions on its way to a 4-12 season. But both Mare and Coutu were kept on the roster. Coutu remained employed but inactive. Mare responded with a season of 24-of-27 accuracy and eventually set a franchise record by making 30 in a row into the next season.”
Also at the News Tribune, Eric Williams recaps Marshawn Lynch’s first interview session of training camp. Says Williams: “Lynch said he still gets comments from people on his electrifying 67-yard run in the NFC wild card game against New Orleans, which sealed a 41-36 win. ‘I’ve watched it several times,’ he said. ‘People might email it to me. I might look over at somebody’s phone if somebody recognizes me, and they’re looking at it to make sure that’s really me. And so I’ve seen it quite a few times.’ ”
Jerry Brewer at the Seattle Times talked with free safety Earl Thomas after Monday’s walk-thru. Says Brewer: “For a player with Earl Thomas’ talent, the football field must seem like an open highway without a speed limit. He can do anything out there. He puts the “elect” in electric; thrills are always on his ballot. It’s his greatest gift. And it’s his biggest flaw.”
Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil looks at new offensive line coach Tom Cable. Says O’Neil: “He demands everything be done on the hop, and that includes a trip to the water cooler during a break. ‘We go very fast,’ center Max Unger said. That’s because Seattle has a long way to go, and a short time to get there. The Seahawks are three weeks deep into training camp, and Cable wants Seattle’s ground game to improve at the same pace he runs his practice: fast.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we also take a look at Lynch, but from a different angle – the alarming stiff-arm that is fast becoming his calling card. And the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” could have been coined to describe the photo Rod Mar has to go with these words: “But others who have seen it – and especially those who have tasted it – know just how effective it can be in helping Lynch relocate would-be tacklers. The Seahawks have not had a back with a stiff-arm as sudden and powerful as Lynch’s since fullback John L. Williams was pushing his way into the Pro Bowl in the early 1990s. Ricky Watters could dish out a good one, but it didn’t pack the explosive wallop that Lynch delivers. The origin of Lynch’s stiff-arm is as unclear as when and why he uses it. ‘I don’t know where it comes from. It just kind of happens,’ Lynch said Monday after a walk-thru at the team’s training camp. ‘It’s not anything planned, like, ‘OK, on this run I’m going to throw a stiff-arm or I’m going to run someone over.’ I don’t plan any moves. I just react to what I’m faced with.’ ”
We also have a recap of the walk-thru in words and video, including the promising development that was left tackle Russell Okung getting on the field for a few early snaps just four days after being carted off the field in the preseason opener with a sprained ankle.
Mike Sando at ESPN.com examines the growth of bigger wide-outs in the division. Notes Sando: “The NFC West now has more receivers listed at 6-5 than it has listed at 5-10.” The Seahawks are leaders in this pack with 6-5 Mike Williams and 6-4 Sidney Rice as their starters.