Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Jan. 3:
Dave Boling at the News Tribune captures the mood – and scent – in the locker room from Monday, when the players were going through the ritual of cleaning out their cubicles in the wake of Sunday’s season finale: “As has been the case through the course of the season, these guys appear to enjoy spending time together. ‘There’s a good chemistry,’ said Brandon Mebane, veteran defensive tackle. ‘We play together, we play hard to support each other; we’ve got each others’ backs – on and off the field.’ The team’s 7-9 record was no better than last season’s, when they also claimed a quirky division title and then scored an upset playoff win over the Saints. But it had such a different feel this time. Last year, veterans like Matt Hasselbeck, Lawyer Milloy and Lofa Tatupu were packing up for what would be the last time. The entire team, for that matter, was heading off into the unknown environment of labor discord. And that team won only three of its final 10 regular-season games. This year’s bunch was 5-3 in the second half of a season in which they improved to ninth in yards per game (from 27th in 2010) and 7th in scoring defense (from 25th).”
Also at the News Tribune, Eric Williams checks in with Marshawn Lynch and some of the other players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents: “The Seahawks’ top priority in free agency likely will be keeping their free agents, such as running back Marshawn Lynch. The former Cal player finished with a career-high 1,204 yards and 13 total touchdowns this season – the first time a Seattle player rushed for more than 1,000 yards since Shaun Alexander’s MVP season of 2005 (1,880 yards, 28 total TDs). Lynch addressed his pending free agency while talking to reporters Monday. ‘Everything’s going to fall into place,’ Lynch said. ‘There’s not too much I can do about it but just wait.’ ”
Here at Seahawks.com, we take one last trip into the trippy world of Marshawn Lynch for this season as the players were cleaning out their cubicles in the locker room on Monday: “As with most things involving Marshawn Lynch this season, his departure interview with reporters was more than the typical Q&A session. First, the Seahawks’ leading rusher politely declined the request as the players were cleaning out their cubicles in the locker room Monday. When he relented, Lynch answered questions to the accompaniment of music coming from his cubicle, head bobbing with each response. At one point, guard Robert Gallery – all 6 feet 7, 325 pounds of him – leaned over the group, extended one of his long arms as if holding a recorder and asked Lynch how he could get some free Skittles. Without missing a beat – in the conversation, or to the music – Lynch reached into his pocket and pulled out a package of Skittles. The Seahawks’ season might be over, after Sunday’s overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals in their finale, but the Marshawn Lynch show rolls on.”
We’ve also got other notes from the sweet-and-sour experience in “Monday in Hawkville,” as well as look back at some of the significant statistical accomplishments this season in “Monday Metatarsal Musings”: “From the top of Marshawn Lynch’s Skittles-munching head to the tip of Jon Ryan’s punt-crushing foot, the Seahawks’ just-completed 2011 season was memorable for a number of reasons. For example: Lynch finished with 1,204 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, both career highs. Ryan broke his own club records with a 46.6-yard average and a net average of 39.3, and his 95 punts were the second-most in franchise history.”
And Tony Ventrella has a look at Monday’s activities in this video report.
Is it too early for a mock draft? Is it ever too early for a mock draft? Rob Rang at CBSSports.com doesn’t think so. Here’s his just-off-the-keyboard mock, and who he’s got the Seahawks selecting: “Quinton Coples, DT, North Carolina. The Seahawks would love to see one of the elite quarterback prospects fall to them, but with the team improving despite inconsistent play from Tarvaris Jackson, they aren’t likely to reach to fill a need. Another area of concern is along the defensive line. Coples has lined up at defensive end this season, but played better a year ago inside at defensive tackle. His ability to slip gaps could make him a perfect fit as a three-technique next to run-plugging nose guard Brandon Mebane.”
For a better-late-than-never look at the final weekend of the regular season, there’s Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com.