Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 17.
Yesterday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center members of the UEFA champions squad Chelsea FC met with Seahawks players following the European futbol powerhouse’s training session. Chelsea FC is in town to face off in a friendly match with Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field. Mike Morgan, Cameron Morrah, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith and Winston Guy were on hand to exchange jerseys – and soccer skills – with Chelsea. On the experience Wright offered, “It’s cool to finally meet the guys I’ve been playing with on the video games.” You can watch video of the jersey exchange here and view photos from the gathering here.
Following up on the weekend reaction to the Seahawks release of wide receiver Mike Williams we have Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times who points out the risk versus reward of relying on reclamation projects and finding talent and contributors in unlikely places. “That Earn Everything motto?” said Brewer. “It’s real. And because of this, the Seahawks have been able to transform their roster quickly and impressively. But Williams is gone now. The Seahawks released him Friday after a lackluster, injury-burdened season in which he caught only 18 passes and couldn’t get into a rhythm with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Just as his rebirth sent a message, so, too, does his departure. The Seahawks should walk carefully as they rebuild with a good number of underdogs and reclamation projects. Williams is a cautionary tale. It can be difficult to establish — not to mention sustain — success when meandering too much among the discarded, overlooked and waived. While we’d like to think [Pete] Carroll and general manager John Schneider have a knack for discovering unpolished gems, success in that area can be fleeting.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune gives us his first “Offseason Rewind” piece of 2012. Williams goes back and takes a look at Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, noting that Jackson went 7-7 as the Seahawks; starter in his first year, played through injury, but failed to lead a game-winning score on final efforts against Atlanta, Washington, San Francisco and Arizona. Williams discusses whether or not late-game performance is an area where a quarterback can improve, “The prevailing opinion in Jackson’s case would be no. Detractors would point to Jackson’s six years spent in offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense and the fact that Jackson still holds onto the ball too long, a sure sign that it takes him too long to read defenses and find the open man. They will point to the fact that a player who’s supposed to have good athletic ability took 42 sacks last year, that Seattle has a young, inexperienced receiving unit led by a No. 1 receiver in Sidney Rice who has struggled to stay healthy, and protected by an inexperienced offensive line also plagued by injuries. But there’s also room for hope if you believe that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll is being honest when he says that money will not factor into the decision on who earns the starting quarterback job Week 1. For one, Jackson still fits the mold as the type of quarterback Carroll would like to lead his team — a tough, gritty leader with a rifle arm who doesn’t turn the ball over, can move outside the pocket and push the ball down the field. Despite his struggles in late-game situations and on third downs (65.6 passer rating, No. 27 overall), Jackson was efficient in the red zone, throwing for nine touchdowns and just one interception, and posting a 90.1 passer rating.”
Kevin Dowd over at the SeattlePI.com gives us a photo gallery of 10 Seahawks to watch during training camp. His list includes some likely candidates from Bruce Irvin and Russell Okung to Bobby Wagner and the Seahawks three-man competition at quarterback, but Dowd also suggests punter Jon Ryan as one to watch come training camp, “No position in football takes more flak than the punter, but the Seahawks have found one of the best in the business in Canadian redhead Jon Ryan. Ryan led the NFL in punts downed inside the 20-yard line last season, making him the perfect weapon to complement Seattle’s stingy defense. A punter’s value has an inverse relationship to the ability of his team’s offense, which helped make Ryan — who punted more than all but two NFL punters last season — one of the Seahawks’ most valuable players a year ago. Seattle fans can only hope the team won’t need his services as often this season.”
Eric Davis and Brian Webber of “NFL AM” reveal three rookies who they believe could be stars for their teams in 2012. Who is the first rookie on their list? None other than Seahawks first-round draft pick DE Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia. You can catch the short video segment right here.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth continues his positional evaluation heading into the 2012 season, as he gives us his take on the Seahawks’ highly-anticipated, three-man quarterback competition. “Regardless of who wins the starting job, the position is stronger than it was last season – when there was no offseason for first-year coordinator Darrell Bevell to install his offense and [Tarvaris] Jackson was named the starter before ever practicing because he also played under Bevell with the Minnesota Vikings,” said Farnsworth. “Incumbent backup Charlie Whitehurst has re-signed with the San Diego Chargers, the team that traded him to the Seahawks in 2010. He will be replaced by the second-place finisher in the QB competition. Do not read anything into the amount of money the team paid to sign [Matt] Flynn in free agency or the fact that [Russell] Wilson is a rookie. As Jackson has said, ‘He’s not like a regular rookie.’ Coach Pete Carroll will go with the quarterback who wins the on-going competition, and gives the Seahawks their best chance to win.”