Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 11:
The Seahawks’ rookies have reported and will practice today for the first of three times in their weekend minicamp. Eric Williams at the News Tribune takes a look at how coach Pete Carroll relishes this look at the rookies: “ ‘It’s going to be really cool to see these guys come together,’ Carroll said. ‘There are so many highlight players in this group of kids. We can’t wait to get them on the field with us.’ Most eyes will be on (Bruce) Irvin, a speed pass rusher, and quarterback (Russell) Wilson, two players who were considered surprise selections by national NFL observers – particularly where they were taken in the draft. For Irvin, the focus will be on how long it takes for him to develop into a consistent pass rusher and an every-down player in order to live up to his draft status. In Wilson’s case, his 5-foot-11 stature and ability to deliver accurate passes from inside the pocket will be a constant measuring stick of his success in the NFL.”
Chris Burke at SI.com takes a look at the undrafted free agents who could turn into finds for the teams that signed them, including the Seahawks: “Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington. We’re kind of on a run of guys catching on with their local teams. Seattle fans ought to be well-aware of Kearse after a strong career at Washington. He has good size and will go over the middle — valuable traits for a team searching for WR help. Others to watch: Rishaw Johnson, G, California (Pa.); DeShawn Shead, DE, Portland State”
During a chat at ESPN.com, NFC West blogger Mike Sando fielded a question about the Seahawks’ creativity in player acquisition: “The 49ers converted Bruce Miller from college defensive end to fullback and got good play from him last season. Miller had not played offense since high school. (J.R.) Sweezy, like Miller, was a later-round pick. Teams have greater freedom to experiment with later-round choices. The key is to be creative without over-thinking things. More broadly, the concern in building around specialized or somewhat unique players – think Red Bryant for Seattle – is that specialized players can be tough to replace if injured. However, that is where staff flexibility can make up the difference. The Seahawks seem to have a good defensive staff and approach. Another potential concern relative to Sweezy is what the move represents: a clear push by an assistant coach to get a player he liked. Tom Cable also drove the selection of James Carpenter a year ago. Drafting players to fit the staff is important, but we should also watch to see if assistants have too much sway.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at the selection of linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round, which follows a productive trend for the team: “There’s not just a precedent, it’s a productive precedent. In 2005, Lofa Tatupu – who played for Carroll at USC – was the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice. He not only started as a rookie, he was the leading tackler on the franchise’s first Super Bowl team – the first of a club-record four consecutive seasons that the too-small, too-slow Tatupu would lead the Seahawks in tackles. In 1977, Terry Beeson was a second-round draft choice, and he also led the team in tackles as a rookie – the first of three consecutive seasons Beeson would do it, including a still-franchise record 153 tackles in 1978. In 1978, Keith Butler was selected in the second round of the draft, and he became the franchise’s all-time leading tackler by the time he left after the 1987 season (a total since surpassed by Eugene Robinson). In 1987, Dave Wyman was the team’s second-round draft choice, and he finished second on the team in tackles in 1988 and 1989. In 1990, Terry Wooden was selected in the second round, and he led the team in tackles in 1991 and 1995 and finished second in 1993 and 1994 – although it was as an outside ’backer. But you get the picture; second-round linebackers have been very, very good for the Seahawks.”
Remember free agency? It’s still going on, and Jason La Canfora at NFL.com has a look at the best remaining players, and where they might fit best.