Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 13:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the significance of Leroy Hill agreeing to re-sign with the team on Thursday: “Leroy Hill is back with the Seahawks. Then again, he has never actually left, which is nothing short of shocking considering all that has happened the past four years. He has been injured, he has been arrested and he has entered the open market as an unrestricted free agent in three of the previous four offseasons and returned to the Seahawks every time.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com says even with Hill and Matt McCoy agreeing to one-year contracts on Thursday, the Seahawks still need to address linebacker in the NFL Draft: “Veteran Barrett Ruud, signed from Tennessee in free agency last week, provides insurance at middle linebacker after starter David Hawthorne left for New Orleans. It’s an upset, however, if the Seahawks do not seek a starting linebacker at some point in the draft.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how Hill’s continuing presence on the roster is somewhat of a surprise to him: “For Leroy Hill, the 2010 NFL season was a mix of second chances and double takes.The Seahawks’ veteran linebacker did not re-sign with the team that selected him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft until July 29 and he then watched in amazement – and amusement – as middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu was released two days later and fellow outside linebacker Aaron Curry was traded in October. ‘It’s crazy. It’s unreal,’ Hill said at the time, with a smile and then a laugh, as he tried to figure out how he was still around while Tatupu and Curry were gone. ‘But it is what it is. It’s a crazy business – and I think me still being here and Lofa being gone proves it.’ ”
Also at Seahawks.com, we continue our draft series with a look at the quarterbacks, through the eyes of Jon Gruden: “Gruden is now in his fourth year as an analyst for ESPN, and doing his “Gruden’s QB Camp” where he sits down annually with the top passers in the draft class. So, who better to discuss the position as teams prepare for the April 26-28 NFL Draft? And that’s exactly what Gruden did during a conference-call interview on Wednesday. ‘There are criteria, I think, that most general managers, most head coaches, most quarterback coaches have always looked for,’ Gruden said. ‘Winning is No. 1. At No. 2, you look at durability. No. 3 is playing experience. Those are very important things to study, and you want a quarterback that has won, that’s been durable and productive. Those are the things everybody is looking for. … This class of quarterbacks, every one of these young men has unique traits.”
One thing the Seahawks have not addressed in free agency is coach Pete Carroll’s desire for a pass-rusher. Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com has his risers and fallers in the draft class at CBSSports.com and lists USC defensive end Nick Perry among the risers: “After Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram, the next pass rusher off the board is anyone’s guess, but a name to keep an eye on in the top-20 is Southern Cal’s Nick Perry. His wasn’t a name usually found in most first round mock drafts after he declared early for the 2012 NFL Draft, but he has been rising in draft circles since the Combine. In Indianapolis Perry turned heads with 4.58 40-yard dash, 38.5″ vertical, 10’4″ broad jump and 35 reps of 225-pounds. He is a tad tightly wound, but has an excellent blend of speed and strength to beat blockers and disrupt the pocket off the edge. Perry, who led the Pac-12 in sacks last season with 9.5, was recruited to play for the Trojans by Pete Carroll and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Seahawks take him as high as the 12th overall selection.”
The do-over draft series at NFL.com has reached 2010, and Bucky Brooks gives the Seahawks center Maurkice Pouncey with the No. 6 pick rather than tackle Russell Okung: “Interior blockers are not traditionally selected within the top 10, but Pouncey has emerged as a top talent at the position (with the Steelers). He is a unique athlete with exceptional strength, quickness and movement skills, and his ability to control the middle sets the tone for the offense. While the Seahawks would love to have a premier blocker on the edge, Pete Carroll would embrace an elite talent at the pivot.”
Also at NFL.com, Jason La Canfora continues to track the activity in free agency.
Joe Vitt, an assistant coach with the Seahawks from 1982-91, will take over for suspended Saints coach Sean Payton. The Associated Press has the story: “ ‘It is important that we keep Sean Payton’s philosophy front and center during this season,’ Saints GM Mickey Loomis said Thursday. ‘Sean has been the driving force behind the tremendous success our team has enjoyed during the past six years, his leadership will be missed. But we need to set a course of action that gives us the best chance to win this season without our head coach. … We considered a number of great options to handle Payton’s duties both internally and externally, but believe this will provide the most seamless transition for our players and our coaching staff, allowing our offensive and defensive staffs to remain intact with the fewest changes.’ ” Loomis worked in the Seahawks’ front office before going to the Saints.