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Wednesday cyber surfing: Flynn is in; Owens’ impact felt

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 8.

Yesterday Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll provided some clarity on the team’s quarterback competition, as he announced that quarterback Matt Flynn will take first-team reps for the rest of the week and start the team’s preseason opener this Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. Carroll also anticipates rookie Russell Wilson run with the second unit for the rest of the week and to play the majority of the second half vs. the Titans.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times is quick to point out that although Flynn has been named the starter for Saturday, Tarvaris Jackson is not out of the competition just yet, “[It] doesn’t mean Jackson is no longer a consideration to start, but it does indicate that the Seahawks entered the second phase of their training-camp quarterback competition. For the first nine days of training camp, Carroll rotated the No. 1 quarterback by the day. That will change beginning Wednesday. ‘I can make a little bit of a shift,’ Carroll said, ‘and cut down his (Jackson’s) reps so that we can get a really good look at Matt and at Russell.’ Jackson started 14 regular-season games for the team last year, and he has played for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in each of the previous six seasons going back to Minnesota. ‘We feel like we have a good understanding of what he can do and how he plays,’ Carroll said.”

O’Neil also offers thoughts from Carroll on the acquisition of wide receiver Terrell Owens, and notes that giving a new guy a chance is tactic Carroll has successfully utilized in the past, ” ‘Let’s see where he fits,’ Carroll said. ‘I like the look in his eye. He’s dead serious about proving himself and doing something. So, I’m just going to give him a chance to do it. We’re thrilled to get him out here and have him battle.’ It’s an approach Carroll has used before. He gave Williams an opportunity two years ago, and the result was a 65-catch season. Doug Baldwin got a chance last season and he became the first undrafted rookie to lead an NFL team in catches in more than 40 years.”

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times calls the signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens a risk worth taking, “He will be a distraction. Seahawks receivers got a taste of that Tuesday when they fielded dozens of questions about Owens and his personality. ‘He’s a future Hall of Famer and he’s done tremendous things in his career,’ Doug Baldwin said. ‘Just being able to hear his thoughts on different things and watch him practice, to be able to learn from him, will be crucial.’ The Seahawks’ need for a big-play, big-guy receiver who can strike fear in defensive backfields is obvious. If Owens still can play like T.O., defenses won’t be able to stuff eight men on the line of scrimmage. They won’t sneak a safety into the box. Owens could be the best thing that ever happened to Baldwin, tight end Kellen Winslow and running back Marshawn Lynch.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report on Flynn being named the stater vs. Tennessee, “Carroll emphasized that the quarterback rotation was just for this week, and that Jackson remains in the hunt for the regular season starting job. When asked if Jackson will work back into the rotation next week, Carroll said, ‘You’ll have to wait and see. We’ll take it one week at a time.’ “

Williams also catches up with Seattle receivers Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice, and Braylon Edwardson the addition of adding T.O., “Seattle receiver Sidney Rice said his fellow teammates don’t have any concerns that Owens will be a distraction in the locker room. ‘We are welcoming the guy here,’ Rice said. ‘We are not going to talk bad about him. We are going to try to keep him comfortable in the locker room and get him out here on the field as much as possible to make plays for us.’ “

John McGrath, writing for The Olympian, says now that Flynn has been named the starter for this week, he must capitalize and prove he can run the show, “Flynn’s promotion to the first team isn’t permanent. Carroll stressed it’s only for one exhibition game – actually, for one half of one exhibition – and the three practices preceding it. Still, Flynn has earned the next-best thing to a starting job. A starting job to lose. If he manages to run a reasonably adept offense for the first 30 minutes Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans – if he keeps mistakes to a minimum and stays out of harm’s way – Flynn will retain the label of starting quarterback for at least another full week, no matter how dazzling rookie Russell Wilson looks in the second half.”

Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald catches up with Tommy Benizio, the team president of the IFL team that released Owens in May, ” ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he still has what it takes to make it at the NFL level,’ said Benizio, whose Allen (Texas) Wranglers of the IFL paid Owens a modest salary for five months before unceremoniously letting him go in late May. ‘I think he’s grown, and he’ll be a tremendous addition (for the Seattle Seahawks, who signed Owens this week). When someone thinks he’s truly hit rock bottom, and God blesses him with another chance, I think he’s going to embrace it with a greater level of enthusiasm. I think he’s going to perform at a high level.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald tells fans what to expect with the signing of T.O., “Everywhere Owens has gone, he has been the center of attention, whether it has been for his tremendous talent, his memorable touchdown celebrations or his clashes with quarterbacks. But by signing Owens, the Seahawks are taking a gamble that Owens, after a year away from the NFL, is ready to just be a part of the team, not the center of attention. ‘He is extremely hungry and he is humble, and he is determined to finish his career on a good note,’ Carroll said. ‘He wants to be part of a team and he wants to play football. … It was quite clear where he’s coming from and what he’d like to accomplish.’ “

Boyle also has his story on Flynn being named the starter against Tennessee, “Now to be clear, Carroll did not declare Flynn the winner of Seattle’s much-debated three-man quarterback competition, but a week with the starting offense, and a chance to start the first preseason game certainly gives Seattle’s big offseason acquisition a good opportunity to take the reins in the battle.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his story on the addition of Owens, and Flynn stepping in.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com comments on the addition of Owens, “Owens is different from [Lendale] White, Mike Williams and some of the other attempted reclamation projects, however. Owens has always produced on the field. He’s always competed hard. He’s played through injuries. He’s also gotten into locker room fights. He has undermined quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. This time, Owens has to know he’s about out of second chances. He has to make this one work, or he’s likely done. Carroll was asked whether one player could wreck a locker room. ‘That’s not even a topic around here,’ Carroll said. ‘Our team is so strong and our guys are so together and our message and what we stand for and all of that. There’s no one guy that’s going to do that to this football team, not even close.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his take on Flynn starting against the Titans on Saturday, says that wide receiver Braylon Edwards shined in Tuesday’s practice, and details Owens’ impact that was felt yesterday, even though T.O. hadn’t hit the field yet.

Max Unger joins our player blog, and provides a recap of his busy offseason, details camp life to this point, and looks ahead to the team’s preseason opener.

And finally, for a more visual look at the Seahawks’ busy Tuesday, Tony Ventrella has you covered in our Seahawks Daily.


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