Monday cyber surfing: Launching Ben’s Fund

Good morning. Here’s what’s out about the Seahawks for today, April 16:

Steve Kelly at the Seattle Times has the story of Ben Schneider, the 10-year-old son of Seahawks GM John Schneider and his wife, Traci: “Ben was diagnosed with autism, a disease that affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. ‘Once you get the diagnosis, it really kind of rocks your world,’ John said. ‘I didn’t know much about the disease. I thought it was like ‘Rain Man.’ But we had to kind of gather ourselves and figure out how to fix it.’ Thursday, at El Gaucho Bellevue, the Schneiders will be hosting ‘Prime Time,’ a celebrity waiter event that will raise seed money to launch Ben’s Fund, which in partnership with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Washington will provide grants to families to help them cover the cost of medical bills and therapies.”

Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil looks at the Seahawks’ sudden infusion of linebackers: “Of the 10 linebackers currently on Seattle’s roster, four of those are entering their eighth year in the league. Of the six linebackers entering either their second or third season, only K.J. Wright has experience as a starter. I expect Seattle to look to the draft for young legs to improve the speed of the defense. The presence of (Leroy) Hill and (Barrett) Ruud provides veteran insurance so to speak. Seattle doesn’t head into the draft feeling the pressure to draft a player ready to step in as a starter right away, but the fact that Ruud, (Matt) McCoy and Hill are all on one-year deals shows that Seattle isn’t beholden to the idea that they will be long-term starters.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has the word on ex-Seahawks QB and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer tabbing his former team as one of the possible surprises in the NFC this season and links to the video: “Dilfer, Chris Mortensen and Mel Kiper Jr. focused on several other potential surprise teams in the ‘On the clock’ video above. Dilfer explained his thinking on the Seahawks later in the segment. He likes Matt Flynn’s addition and Seattle’s ability to play pass coverage.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our draft series with a look at the running backs – and their diminishing value in the league: “The position has become “devalued,” as Bucky Brooks puts it. Brooks, the former NFL wide receiver and scout for the Seahawks, is an analyst for NFL.com. Part of the he’s-not-worthy predicament is the increase in passing around the league, but it also has to do with the short shelf life for backs. Just how many 300-carry seasons does one back have? Last season, there were two 300-carry backs in the league, and each led his conference in rushing – Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars (343 carries for 1,606 yards) and Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons (301 for 1,340). That’s down from seven 300-carry backs in 2010, which was down from 10 in 2005 – when the Seahawks’ Shaun Alexander led the NFL in carries (370) and rushing yards (1,880).”

There’s also a closer look at this year’s prospects, as well as a Q&A with Oregon’s LaMichael James.

Speaking of the draft, in general, and running  backs, in particular, Peter King touches on Trent Richardson in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com: “Jeff Fisher loves Trent Richardson, and the impact of the Rams ending up with the Alabama running back would be huge. First, the Rams would presumably either trade or release Steve Jackson if this happens. I don’t see them paying Jackson $7 million in 2012 to share the job with a player certain to eclipse him soon. And that big number takes some logical teams (Steelers, Giants) out of the running for Jackson. Now, I view this scenario as unlikely anyway, because the Rams simply have to get receiver help for Sam Bradford. But if Justin Blackmon is gone here and Richardson’s still there, he’s logical for the Rams. Of course, Cleveland likes Richardson a lot, and rookie Tampa coach Greg Schiano does too, so I don’t see Richardson making it to six.”

In this week’s issue of SI, there’s a profile on Leigh Steinberg and the former superagent’s recovery from alcoholism: “When Steinberg appears in front of his new Irvine offices on a sun-drenched afternoon, he grins and spreads his arms wide, joking, ‘Welcome to our luxurious digs!’ Self-deprecation is his preferred approach to his station — he’s standing by a Dumpster in a parking lot — but it lasts only so long. Wearing white sneakers, jeans and a long-sleeve polo shirt that, on inspection, is inside out, Steinberg walks down a dim hall and reminisces about how his old memorabilia-laden practice, on Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, doubled as ‘a museum where people would just come and stare.’ Today, if those same people could locate Steinberg Sports & Entertainment, they would stare for a different reason. SSE is currently just a DBA (‘doing business as’), not yet an official company. Steinberg occupies a small office with Tom Van Voorst, a fellow recovering alcoholic and lawyer who is also his roommate. The two met at a Sober Living facility in 2010 and now share an apartment in Laguna Niguel. Van Voorst runs errands in Steinberg’s maroon Mercury Mountaineer and fields phone calls. ‘I don’t pay him,’ Steinberg says, ‘but he gets use of the car, which you’d be totally screwed in Southern California without. And he does the cooking!’ “


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