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Tuesday cyber surfing: Sweezy stands out; Flynn, Wilson make strides

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 14.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at 2012 seventh round draft pick J.R. Sweezy as he relates to Seattle’s recent success under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll when it comes to late round draft picks, “There is more upside with a pick simply because there is greater room for improvement. It’s the same philosophy that led the Boston Red Sox to draft Shaq Thompson, the California safety now at Washington. Yes, everyone had a laugh about his uncomfortably brutal batting record in minor-league baseball last season. But the Red Sox knew that possibility when they picked him given his skill level. Their belief was that the upside of an athlete his caliber — if he developed in baseball — was worth the risk of a late-round pick and some money. Seattle has taken a similar approach with players who have made or will make a position switch. The possibility that guy might really take off in a new spot or make a breakthrough is worth the possibility that he won’t. Look at Sherman a year ago. Here’s a 6-foot-3 player who’s still learning cornerback, which makes it possible that he’ll experience a breakthrough or make a quantum leap. That’s unlikely to happen with someone who has spent eight years at a specific position. For better or worse, you know what you’re getting.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Sweezy, and catches up with Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable on the converted D-lineman’s transition to the offensive side of the football, ” ‘I’m shocked, really,’ Cable said about Sweezy’s quick development. ‘I think he’s doing a fine job in terms of his learning. Every day it’s new for him, in terms of whatever he’s experiencing he’s never experienced before. He’s not the typical defensive lineman who played offensive and defensive line in high school. He was a linebacker and fullback kid in high school. So he’s never been an offensive lineman and never put his hand on the ground that way. So this has been his first time, and his transition so far, I would say he’s ahead of schedule. Now let’s see how far we can take it.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the quality performances of quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson in Saturday night’s preseason opener, “That Carroll kept from painting rainbows all over the place Saturday night was a good approach. It was only the first exhibition game, and Wilson, specifically, was playing against backups. But this game created more interest and sense of upward trajectory relating to the quarterback position than the Seahawks have seen in years. If this 60 minutes of quarterbacking in August is not an aberration, then it appears that either Flynn or Wilson will be an upgrade over Jackson. And on a team with a defense and rushing attack already in place, that factor should mean divisional contention.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Brock and Salk” from Monday in which head coach Pete Carroll joined the show, “Pete Carroll thought Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson each had strong performances in Saturday’s preseason opener save some obvious mistakes, but the Seahawks’ coach didn’t see enough to make any decisions about the three-way quarterback competition – at least not yet. ‘Like I said right after the game, they did everything they could have done to help themselves,’ Carroll told “Brock and Salk” on Monday. ‘I think they both played really well. We’re not calling it right yet. We don’t have to.’ “

Also at mynorthwest.com, Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman give their impressions of what they saw from 2012 first round draft pick Bruce Irvin and 2012 second round draft pick Bobby Wagner in Saturday night’s preseason opener in this short video.

Kevin Dowd of the SeattlePI.com writes that after Saturday night’s preseason opener, Flynn and Wilson appear to be pulling ahead in the team’s three-man quarterback competition, “Quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson shined in their Seattle debuts Saturday night, combining to complete 23 of their 29 passes for 186 yards, with Wilson adding another 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Now, rather than not having one viable starting quarterback in their three-man race for the job, the Seahawks just might have two.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his update on the Seahawks quarterback battle, as he revisits his opinion on the race from back in July, “Flynn and Wilson are getting the meaningful reps as the team works to determine which one, if either, represents an upgrade over Jackson. Both players helped their cause with their performances against Tennessee in the exhibition opener Saturday night. Flynn was efficient working against the Titans’ starting defense. Wilson was dynamic working with — and against — backups. The Seahawks will presumably want to see Wilson work with the starters in a game situation before making their decision. I have a hard time envisioning Seattle going into a season with a rookie third-round choice behind center. But if any coach would embrace such an opportunity, the unconventional Pete Carroll might be the one to do it — especially since Wilson demonstrates more poise than many veterans. If the competition remains close, going with Flynn as the starter heading into the season would be the easiest move.”

Jim Trotter of SI.com has his Seahawks-related “Postcard from camp“, including an observation about the Seahawks defense, “The defense is going to be fun to watch. It’s not only big and strong, but fast and athletic. The unit was working on its blitz drill the day I was there, and more times than not the period resembled a jail break. Defenders consistently came free in the offensive backfield, forcing quarterbacks to look for safety valves instead of a receiver. Ideally, Seattle wants to generate pressure with its front four, and the addition of first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin should help it do that. He’s long and incredibly quick, which will be even more noticeable at home, where the crowd noise will give him an advantage over offensive tackles at the snap of the ball. Irvin still needs to develop a second rush move to maximize his potential, but that will come in time. For now his quickness and length, combined with the Seahawks’ other talent up front, will give offensive lines headaches.”

Writing for the Marin Independent Journal, I caught up with Cooper Helfet, the Seahawks rookie tight end out of Duke University and Redwood High School who got his first taste of NFL action Saturday night.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Saturday’s preseason opener and calls quarterback Russell Wilson starting against the Denver Broncos this Saturday night as the next logical step for the rookie out of Wisconsin, “While he did complete 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards, including a 39-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards; and run for another 59 yards, with 32 coming on his scoring play; it was against the Titans’ second- and third-defensive units. So why not see how the rookie from Wisconsin fares against the Denver defense that features the pass-rush tandem of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil and a secondary that features 11-time Pro Bowl selection Champ Bailey? The pressure of the start? That will be totally internal, because of the Mile High-presence of Manning, who signed with the Broncos in March after being released by the Indianapolis Colts and wooed by other teams, including the Seahawks. So the visiting Seahawks and whoever starts at QB will be an all-but-undetectable blip in this situation.”

Farnsworth also has a look at the (limited) activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center yesterday in his ‘Monday in Hawkville’, “Teaching points. The players had meetings and a short walkthrough today, with the focal point of each being the things they did well – and not as well – in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field. But the most important aspect of the preseason is correcting mistakes and learning from them, as the Seahawks start preparing for Saturday night’s game against the Broncos in Denver. ‘I thought the tackling was terrible,’ coach Pete Carroll said after the game. ‘We didn’t tackle anybody. Particularly in the second half, we were just falling off the guys and that’s a first-game situation. We just have to get a lot better. That was really the area that jumped out at me. We could have had a ton of plays in the backfield for losses that we didn’t make. We just have to improve a lot there.’ “

Lastly, second-year linebacker K.J. Wright shows us what it’s like to run out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field on game day in this short video.