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Wednesday cyber surfing: WR competition heats up with signing of Braylon Edwards

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on the first player’s day off of Bing Training Camp, August 1.

The story of the day yesterday was the Seahawks signing of wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times gives his take on the ‘Hawks signing and Seattle’s wide receiver position, “The competition at wide receiver is going to be among the stiffest on the roster, and not just because the starting job is open at split end. Golden Tate appears poised for a breakthrough, Ricardo Lockette has been singularly impressive through the first four days of training camp, and veterans Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu shouldn’t be overlooked. Throw in [Antonio] Bryant, last year’s fourth-round pick Kris Durham and undrafted rookies like Phil Bates, and a roster spot is hardly a given. ‘Right now I’m just competing to be on the team,’ Edwards said. ‘That’s all I really care about. I’m going to go out there every day and let my play speak for itself.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune caught up with ‘Hawks running back Kregg Lumpkin, who signed with the team in the offseason. “What gives Lumpkin an added benefit is that he can play both running back and fullback,” writes Williams. “Also, Lumpkin was a core special teams player in Tampa Bay last season. He finished with 31 carries for 105 yards with the Buccaneers in 2011, and he showed soft hands while making a career-high 41 catches for 291 yards. ‘If you can do more than one position, you have a better chance of making the team, so I’m trying to do as much as I can,’ Lumpkin said. ‘I’ve been raised to compete all my life. So I’m just out here trying to have fun and to continue to learn as well.’ “

Williams also details the ‘Hawks signing of Edwards and has his notes from Tuesday’s practice.

Tim Booth of the Associated Press brings us a piece on second-year cornerback Richard Sherman’s growth he has shown from the start of his rookie season, “Sherman played in all 16 games in his rookie season and started 10, taking over after Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond III went down with injuries. While it was a concern at first to throw such an inexperienced player out there, Sherman finished the year with 46 tackles, four interceptions and a forced fumble. According to STATS LLC, which tracks the number of times defenders are burned by receivers, Sherman was beaten 37 times in 88 targets last season for a rate of 42 percent. By comparison, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was targeted 89 times and burned 36, a rate of 40.4 percent. Of cornerbacks with 80 or more targets against in 2011, Sherman’s rate was fifth-lowest in the NFL, according to STATS.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has his take on the Seahawks’ signing of Edwards, and provides some comments from ‘Hawks general manager John Schneider, who joined the “Bob and Groz” show yesterday, ” ‘With the release of Mike Williams – who’s a bigger, stronger receiver – we felt like there might be a little bit of a gap there, and [we were thinking], ‘Let’s give this guy a shot and bring him in,’ ‘ Schneider said. ‘This isn’t like a reclamation center or anything, but these are guys that are talented players that we’ll take a look at. During training camp you have an opportunity to have kind of extended tryouts, and these guys both deserve it and the club deserves it.’ “

Henderson also summarizes a segment from the “Bob and Groz” show yesterday in which Seahawks tight end Kellen Winslow joined the show. Included in the link is a short video with Bob and Groz’s impressions and expectations for Winslow this season.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM brings us his report from Tuesday’s practice, including a look at the newly signed Edwards and a focus on rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “Second round pick LB Bobby Wagner flashed repeatedly during Tuesday’s practice. Wagner intercepted a pass from QB Russell Wilson by undercutting a short route from TE Zach Miller. Wagner almost picked up another interception stepping in front of a pass from QB Tarvaris Jackson to WR Ben Obomanu but it deflected off three defenders before hitting the turf. Carroll spoke highly of the last two practices by Wagner, ‘He’s really good first impression yesterday and had a really good day today, so we’re off to a great start,’ Carroll said. ‘If Bobby can be that guy at our starting mike-linebacker, we are just adding one new guy to our starting defense and he’s really fast and can play, it can really be a big boost to us.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com gives us his take on the Seahawks’ signing of wide receiver Braylon Edwards, “I do not think Edwards, 29, suddenly forgot how to play football last season,” said Sando on Edwards’ play with the San Francisco 49ers a year ago. “A few factors could help explain his statistical decline from 2010 to 2011. Edwards was playing for a new team in a new offense with very little prep time (the 49ers signed him last Aug. 4). Injuries clearly slowed Edwards during his time with the 49ers. He underwent knee surgery and also had a bad shoulder. Edwards didn’t fit with the 49ers, for whatever reason. Now we’ll find out whether Edwards can bounce back in Seattle.”

Sando also brings us an interesting piece on the average age of starters on both sides of the football throughout the NFL. While rosters and starters have not been named, Sando’s age-chart reflects players who he believes are likely to earn the starting job in Week 1. On the Seahawks, Sando writes, “While Seattle ranks 20th-oldest in overall roster age after adding veterans such as Deuce Lutui, Barrett Ruud, Antonio Bryant and the re-signed Marcus Trufant, the Seahawks have the second-youngest starters in the league. That includes the fourth-youngest defensive starters and eighth-youngest offensive starters (with Matt Flynn penciled in at quarterback and Doug Baldwin at receiver).”

On ESPN’s “NFL Live “Tim Hasselbeck and Cris Carter discussed some of the more intriguing quarterback battles around the League, and the Seahawks battle between incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free agent acquisition Matt Flynn and 2012 third-round draft choice Russell Wilson makes their conversation.

Suzy Kolber and Chris Mortensen discuss the ‘Hawks signing of Braylon Edwards on “NFL 32.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth brings you his notes from Day Four of camp in his latest edition of ‘Hawkville’. Farnsworth focuses on kicker Steven Hauschka, who with the release of rookie kicker Carson Wiggs yesterday to make room for veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards remains the only kicker on the Seahawks roster. “Hauschka has a beyond-smooth, oh-so-fluid motion that doesn’t seem like it could generate enough power to get the ball that far, but he hit from 58 yards during the special teams portion of practice and then converted from 57 yards when a drive stalled during a full-team drill,” said Farnsworth.  ” ‘I’ve found for me, swinging hard doesn’t necessarily make the ball go farther,’ Hauschka said. ‘So I just try to hit the ball on the bone and it takes off for me.’ He also kicked field goals of 39 and 19 yards during a two-minute drill and made three other kicks during the special teams period.”

Farnsworth also details the Seahawks QB competition, which came full-circle on Day Four with Tarvaris Jackson taking the majority of first-team reps once again. “In a two-minute drill, Jackson sustained his drive with a third-down pass to tight end Zach Miller, setting up a field goal by Steven Hauschka,” offers Farnsworth. “Flynn then completed three of five passes, including a 37-yarder to just-signed wide receiver Antonio Bryant and a 17-yarder to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, setting up another field goal by Hauschka. Wilson then displayed nice touch on a 30-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Phil Bates, laying the ball over rookie cornerback Donny Lisowski. But his possession ended when Lisowski intercepted a third-down pass in the end zone. In the final full-team segment, Jackson and wide receiver Doug Baldwin hooked up for an 18-yard gain on a third-and-9 play. The No. 1 unit again settled for a field goal, but it was the only score produced during the defense-dictated drill.”

Lastly from Farnsworth is his piece on the news of the day – Edwards. “Where does Edwards fit?” asks Farnsworth. “That remains to be seen. He joins a group of receivers popping with potential, but also one that comes up short in experience and proven production. There’s Doug Baldwin, who led the team in receiving last season as a rookie free agent. There’s on-the-mend Sidney Rice, another former Pro Bowler who was signed in free agency last summer but then ended the season on injured reserve because of concussions and injuries to both shoulders that required offseason surgery. There’s Golden Tate, a second-round draft choice in 2010 who continues to refine his ample skills. There’s Ben Obomanu, the longest-tenured of the Seahawks wide-outs who caught a career-high 37 passes last season. There’s Ricardo Lockette, who is extremely fast but also extremely raw. There’s Bryant, who like Edwards is hoping Seattle can be his new NFL home.”

In our Seahawks Daily Tony Ventrella provides a run down of Tuesday’s practice, inlcuding a look at newly-signed receiver Braylon Edwards and comments from Head Coach Pete Carroll heading into the team’s day off. Ventrella also talks with defensive lineman Alan Branch on what to expect from the defensive line this year, and speaks with Red Bryant on life as new father.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com discusses the positive talk surrounding wide receiver Golden Tate and connects it to the recent signing of wide receiver Edwards, “Tate was widely viewed as the favorite for the gig [at starting wide receiver]. One report suggested that Tate was ‘toying’ with cornerbacks. He professed a change in attitude. ‘I never had to work for my position; it was always given to me,’ Tate said via The News Tribune. ‘I was always more athletic, so for the first time ever I felt like I had to work. It wasn’t given to me.’ It’s not going to be given to him this year, either. All the positive talk is about Tate, but Seattle’s signing [of Edwards] says more than all the puff pieces combined.”