Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 27:
Let’s start with a “thank you” to Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times for adding the needed disclaimer to all the talk at some national media outlets about Tarvaris Jackson being the “starting quarterback” heading into training camp. That’s not what coach Pete Carroll said, as O’Neil explains: “Ever played the game of telephone? You start with a dozen or so people, and arrange them in a line. The person at one end is given a word or a phrase and told to whisper it to the next person in line. That person, in turn, whispers those same word(s) to the next person. Everyone can whisper it only once, and the last person in line is asked to say it aloud to see just how far it has deviated from the original message. That’s the best explanation I can come up with to explain the headline that has appeared on CNNSI.com stating, ‘Report: Tarvaris Jackson named Seahawks starter.’ ”
Sack-master and ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando expands on his already expansive look at the ability of the four teams in the division to get to the opposing quarterback: “NFC West teams averaged 3.0 sacks per game against each other and 2.1 sacks per game against everyone else. The Eagles, Giants, Ravens and Bengals averaged 4.2 sacks per game against the NFC West and 2.6 per game against everyone else. From this standpoint, then, defenses did fatten up on the division’s offenses in 2011. Some of those defenses belonged to NFC West teams. The bottom line: Every NFC West team needs to improve its pass protection significantly, especially with the division’s defenses on the rise.”
And if that doesn’t get you even more ready for the start of training camp at the end of July, Sando also looks at the production of receivers in the division last season on third down by distance: “Seattle’s Doug Baldwin made 23 first downs on 42 targets for a 54.8 percent conversion rate. Each of those figures led the division. NFC West teams ranked 24th (Seattle), 29th (Arizona), 31st (San Francisco) and 32nd (St. Louis) in overall third-down conversion rate.”
Doug Farrar at Shutdown Corner looks at the best third-day picks in the 2011 NFL Draft for this feature at YahooSports.com. The Seahawks’ K.J. Wright is at No. 1, with Richard Sherman at No. 5.
Farrar on Wright (fourth round): “Wright, who tested off the map at the scouting combine out of Mississippi State, started his NFL career by replacing former fourth-overall pick Aaron Curry in the Seahawks’ starting defense. His ability to pick up the defensive playbook allowed him to perform at a preternatural level, and Pete Carroll sees him as a potential inside linebacker in the future. Wright could develop into that rarest of linebackers – capable of playing inside and outside in multiple fronts, and doing so at a very high level all around.”
Farrar on Sherman (fifth round): “Sherman came to Stanford as a receiver, but former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio saw him as a cornerback, and that’s where he spent his 2009 and 2010 seasons. Sherman fit the Seahawks’ profile when it comes to defensive backs – big, physical, and aggressive – but few expected the rookie season he had. Replacing injured cornerback Walter Thurmond, Sherman showed early flashes when he did a fine job against Cincinnati’s A.J. Green in late October, and he finished his initial campaign with four interceptions – including three in his last six games.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with Rishaw Johnson, the rookie free agent guard who wasted no time catching the eye of coach Pete Carroll: “ ‘I was pretty excited when I heard that (Carroll’s positive comments),’ Johnson said. But he couldn’t let excitement morph into a premature sense of security. ‘I can’t get too excited,’ Johnson said. ‘I’ve still got to bust it and do everything I’ve got to do to make the team. But it was still good to hear that coach Carroll said that.’ It wasn’t the first time Johnson had heard good things about himself, and he’s hoping it won’t be the last. In July of 2010, the school website at Cal U called Johnson, ‘easily the most talented of the team’s interior linemen.’ Pre-draft reports this offseason described Johnson as ‘light on his feet’ and ‘fluid’ and as having ‘outstanding pulling ability.’ Johnson doesn’t just play big, he is big – with 11-inch hands, 35-inch arms, an 81-inch wingspan and, of course, those 313 pounds.”