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Cyber surfing: Wednesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Jan. 4:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the improvement the Seahawks made in their second season under coach Pete Carroll, even if the record was the same as in his first year: “The construction isn’t complete by any means. There’s still the question of a long-term quarterback and the need to improve the pass rush. But this franchise is no longer a fixer-upper. The roster has been retrofitted. The Seahawks have gotten younger, they have gotten faster and over the past two months this team has shown itself to be competitive. That wasn’t always true a year ago. Sure, the Seahawks had one of the most memorable playoff victories in franchise history, but they also lost nine games by 16 or more points. Being the first 7-9 division champion in NFL history isn’t the kind of thing anyone aspires to. It’s different now. Seattle has forged itself an identity.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune came away from Carroll’s season-ender news conference thinking that the Seahawks are thinking quarterback in the NFL Draft: “Carroll stressed from the start that he expects to challenge every player at every position. And that obviously includes quarterback. But how? The question was put to Carroll, as it relates to quarterback, do you have a preference – bringing in a veteran or a young prospect? In essence, the question is whether he’d rather have a soon-to-be free agent such as Matt Flynn of Green Bay, or a draft pick he can shape from the start. He was emphatic: He is intrigued by young guys. And it’s clear he’s given it a great deal of thought while flipping 180 degrees on the issue.”

Also at the News Tribune, Eric Williams has notes from Tuesday’s Q&A session, including Sidney Rice having surgery: “Rice is expected to have a three- to four-month recovery, and Carroll anticipated he’ll be close to being ready to participate in the beginning of the team’s offseason workout program April 16.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald says that while Carroll was disappointed about the way the season ended, he’s excited about the future of this team: “Carroll certainly hoped to be better than 7-9 this season. In all reality, however, the Seahawks appear to be ahead of schedule in what is, whether Carroll wants use the word or not, a rebuild.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com revisits his preseason predictions for the teams in the NFC West, and has this to say about the Seahawks: “Tom Cable is a fantastic offensive line coach, for one. Also, general manager John Schneider and the Seahawks’ personnel people should get the benefit of the doubt on their evaluations. They repeatedly got positive results when turning to young players. They replaced Lawyer Milloy with Kam Chancellor and came out way ahead. They replaced Aaron Curry with rookie K.J. Wright and were correct, again. They continually churned the roster and made themselves deeper. They turned a project from the CFL (Brandon Browner) into a Pro Bowl first-alternate even while rookie fifth-round choice Richard Sherman became their best corner. So, if the Seahawks do not show interest in Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn, we can trust it’s because Schneider, formerly of the Packers, knows better.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at Carroll’s season-ender news conference, where he was grilled about the team’s QB situation: “The bottom-line assessment for any and all questions remains unchanged, no matter how many times Carroll is asked about it: (Tarvaris) Jackson is the starter moving into the offseason because, “He’s our No. 1 guy in the program and that’s all we have right now,” as Carroll put it. But that does not – and will not – preclude the team from looking for a quarterback in free agency or the NFL Draft. ‘But we will compete at all spots,’ Carroll said. ‘I want to very clear to you that there is no misunderstanding that that’s the theme in this program – competing. That means you’re always looking to get better and you’re always pushing in every way, and if we’re not we’re not competing. And that’s wrong for us. That’s not our right mindset. That’s it. I’m not trying to send any mixed messages and you shouldn’t take any out it, because there isn’t. That’s it.’ ”

There also are recaps of the day in “Tuesday in Hawkville” and Tony Ventrella’s video report. And then there’s one last, definitive, look back at Sunday’s season finale in Rod Mar’s photo blog and Ben Malcolmson’s “From the Sidelines”: “The prospects couldn’t be more hopeful for the players and coaches. Now if only they didn’t have to wait eight months to see it come to fruition. Even with a heartbreaking season-ending loss on Sunday, there’s no denying something special welling up among the Seahawks as the 2011 campaign closed out and the future opened up to the brightest of horizons. ‘Here’s a football team that’s going someplace,’ Coach Pete Carroll said during his postgame locker room speech on Sunday following the team’s 23-20 overtime loss in Arizona. ‘You can feel it.’ Indeed, it can be felt from the top of the organization all the way down to the bottom. The Seahawks are a team on the move — and going in the right direction.”

And if you can’t get enough on what should be an entertaining postseason, check out Don Banks’ “Inside the NFL” at SI.com.


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