Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for this game day at Kansas City, August 24.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says head coach Pete Carroll isn’t afraid to play rookies, as evidenced by this year’s starting middle linebacker – Bobby Wagner, “Bobby Wagner is the team’s starting middle linebacker, a player noted for his speed not only on the field, but in understanding the defensive calls. Two weeks ago against Tennessee, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said Wagner was so dialed in with the calls, he was reading the coach’s lips. Rookie J.R. Sweezy is starting at right guard, which might be the biggest surprise of training camp, considering he was a defensive tackle in college and a fullback in high school. Carroll once worked for Bud Grant in Minnesota, one of the league’s old-salt coaches who believed you lost a game for every rookie you played. But during Carroll’s time at USC, he not only began to play his younger players, but he embraced the concept. ‘The kids were so talented and they were so good that to make them sit on the sideline and not play and participate was a mistake,’ Carroll said. ‘We learned that if you engaged guys early and you gave them chances to participate and you chose to give them things that they were good at, they could progress faster.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune tells us that while much of the focus in today’s game will be on the performance of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks can lean on their strong running game, which already seems to be in midseason form, “The Seahawks are averaging 181.5 rushing yards per exhibition game, third-best in the league. And it hasn’t been just Marshawn Lynch transforming into Beast Mode. Seattle’s starting running back has played in only one of the two games, finishing with 37 yards on six carries in limited duty last week against Denver. Instead, it’s been a stable of reserve runners leading the charge, including rookie Robert Turbin, Leon Washington, Kregg Lumpkin and Tyrell Sutton. In fact, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who will start for the first time today, leads the team with 92 rushing yards on eight carries. But no matter which runner is in the backfield, the one thing that has been consistent is the effort and the execution of the offensive line.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks ahead to Russell Wilson’s first start tonight at Kansas City, “If you didn’t believe it before this week, you certainly should now — this competition is real, and the rookie has a real chance of winning it. Now this is just a hunch, but it seems like Carroll would love to see Wilson seize the job. That’s not to say he’ll pick Wilson even if he thinks Flynn is better, but it just seems from watching and listening to Carroll, that he really, really likes Wilson.Do we know Carroll is thinking that way? Goodness no. Nobody knows what’s going on in Carroll’s head, that much has become clear as this battle has played out in very unpredictable fashion. But if Wilson lights it up against Kansas City’s starting defense the same way he has been playing against backups the last two weeks, will Carroll be able to help himself from naming the dynamic rookie the starter?”
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segmentof “The John Clayton” show where former Seahawks receiver Mike Williams joined the show, “Williams thinks he rushed his recovery, hoping to meet a timetable he and the team had set. The injury was still limiting him during offseason workouts, and the Seahawks didn’t want to wait any longer. They released him two weeks before the start of training camp. Williams said he didn’t speak with coach Pete Carroll when he was cut and hasn’t since, but he insists there are no hard feelings. ‘I ain’t got nothing but love for him,’ Williams said of Carroll, who was also his coach at USC, ‘and I wish him the best.’ “
Henderson also recaps a segment of “Bob and Groz”, where Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell joined the program, “Coach Pete Carroll announced Tuesday that Russell Wilson — not Matt Flynn — will be the starting quarterback Friday when the Seahawks travel to Kansas City for their third preseason game. Flynn did not practice on Wednesday, a decision Carroll said was made to give the quarterback’s arm a break. The timing of those two events raised some eyebrows, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell says there’s nothing to it. ‘Matt has a little bit of soreness in his arm, but [the decision to start Wilson on Friday] has nothing to do with his arm, it has nothing to do with the throws or anything,’ Bevell told “Bob and Groz” on Thursday. ‘This is just part of the process that we decided to go through.’ “
The staff at SportsPressNW.com previews tonight’s matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs and says that the Seahawks quarterback competition could go all the way to the opening week of the season.
NFL.com calls the Seattle Seahawks the League’s ‘most fascinating team‘.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at guard J.R. Sweezy, who will make his second preseason start tonight at Kansas City.