Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 31, after finishing the preseason with a record of 4-0 following their 21-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders Thursday night.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps last night’s victory, and speaks to the team’s depth that was continually on display through four preseason games,”The Seahawks outscored opponents 67-21 in the second half of exhibition games this season, which speaks to the team’s improved depth. Seattle must trim its roster to 53 players on Friday, and will open the regular season Sept. 9 in Arizona. ‘We did a great job this preseason,’ [Russell] Wilson said. ‘But now it’s time to look forward on to what’s next, and that’s the season. Obviously, we have to take one step at a time.’”
O’Neil also highlights rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin in his game notebook, who tallied his first NFL sack last night, “It took Bruce Irvin 3 ½ games before he finally got to the opponent’s quarterback. Once he registered his first half a sack in the third quarter against Oakland, Irvin couldn’t wait to get back there. He had another sack in the fourth quarter, a tackle for loss and nearly another sack, turning Seattle’s exhibition finale into a coming-out party for the Seahawks’ first-round pick. ‘I mean, I wanted to get a sack,’ Irvin said. ‘I came so close last week. I wanted to get my feet wet.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune digests Thursday night’s win, with a couple notes on running back Vai Taua, “Running back Vai Taua is one of those players who stood out Thursday. The University of Nevada product served as a tackling dummy most of 2011, working as the scout squad running back for Seattle while spending most of the season on the practice squad. But Taua finally got a chance to dish out some punishment Thursday. Taua finished with 49 yards on nine carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run. Taua also had five catches for 39 yards as he attempts to lock up a spot on Seattle’s 53-man roster. Taua offers some versatility because he can play both tailback and fullback, along with playing on special teams.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune takes a look at Seattle’s ball-hawking defense, who has scored points in three of the team’s four games this preseason, “Particularly relevant with the first turnover was that it was first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin who forced a fumble on a punt to set up the Seahawks’ first score. Irvin tackled Raiders returner Roscoe Parrish, forcing a fumble that was recovered by fellow rookie Bobby Wagner. The turnover set up a 25-yard field goal by Steven Haushka. In the second quarter, another rookie, cornerback Jeremy Lane, picked off a Matt Leinart pass intended for Brandon Carswell to set up another Haushka field goal (29 yards). The Seahawks led the NFC in turnover differential through the first three exhibition games at plus-five, having forced eight turnovers. The turnovers helped the Hawks power to the league’s best scoring differential of plus-60 (101-41).”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his game report from Thursday night, “Seahawks coach Pete Carroll likes a lot of what he has seen from his team coming out of his third preseason in Seattle. ‘We’re so much tighter with what we’re doing,’ Carroll said. ‘The messaging and philosophy is embedded. Our style is clear. Now I don’t know if we’re going to bring it to life in the regular season, I don’t know that, but we’re going to try. … This is the style of play that we’ve been looking for’ “
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com sums up Thursday night’s performance from rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, “It was the type of performance the Seahawks had in mind when they made Irvin the 15th overall pick. And it was just what he needed after a quiet preseason, even if it came in a meaningless game. ‘It feels good to finally have a little success,’ a smiling Irvin said afterward before putting his night in the proper perspective. ‘But it don’t count. The stat sheet starts over next week. That’s why I wasn’t really concerned when people was worried. It don’t count, so I’ve just got to keep working and get ready for the season next week.’ “
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com wraps Thursday’s victory and Seattle’s preseason, “For whatever it’s worth in dominating the Titans, Broncos, Chiefs and Raiders in the preseason, the Seahawks allowed averages of 248 yards of total offense and 15 first downs in a combined 122-44 domination of the scoreboard. Leading the NFC in takeaways before the game with seven, the defense recovered another fumble and added an interception. ‘It’s exciting, but you have to take it with a grain of salt,’ said cornerback Richard Sherman. ‘Every (offense) is vanilla, they’re not doing much different. No schemes. But we have extremely high expectations for ourselves.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM takes a crack at predicting the Seahawks 53-man roster.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com revisits three nuggets from Thursday’s matchup with the Raiders, including a comment on Bruce Irvin’s impact, “First-round draft choice Bruce Irvin played deep into the game as the Seahawks tried to get their rookie defensive end into a rhythm. They were going to leave him in the game until Irvin produced, and once he did, they weren’t going to take him out. Irvin feasted on the Raiders’ backups in the second half. He finished with 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits after failing to register on the defensive stat sheet in the first three preseason games. Irvin also forced a fumble while working on the punt-coverage team. Irvin can now emerge from the preseason with something to build upon.”
Sando also rehashes a conversation he had with Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc., who believes naming rookie quarterback Russell Wilson the starter was the move that could put Seattle over the top, ” ‘I very much believe Russell Wilson will have the best year of any quarterback in the division,’ Williamson said. ‘Sam Bradford has a chance to be a very good one, but he looks terrible and his supporting cast is a mess. Arizona is a mess. I’m not a huge Smith believer.’ In Wilson, Williamson see the potential for Cam Newton-type production. He thought Wilson, a third-round choice, should have gone a round earlier. ‘One thing about him, his college history shows he doesn’t turn the ball over,’ Williamson said. ‘He’ll do more at this level, but he is not going to hurt the team the way rookie quarterbacks usually do. He’s very smart, really knows where to go with the ball.’ Williamson went with Pete Carroll as his projected coach of the year. ‘We’ll look back in 16 games and say, ‘Wow, naming Wilson the starter over Matt Flynn was a gutsy move by Coach Carroll and that is why they won the West,’ ‘ Williamson said.”
Scott Pianowski of YahooSports.com lists the Seattle Seahawks as one of his “Five NFL teams that are better than you think“. Pianowski says, “Seattle just completed a dominant 4-0 preseason, outscoring opponents by 78 points, and while that doesn’t guarantee a thing going forward, a strong August has correlated to a strong season over the last couple of decades (mind you, it didn’t help Seattle in 2009, when a 4-0 preseason led to a 5-11 mark). I’m expecting the Seahawks to post a winning record in 2012, and they should challenge San Francisco for the division title.”
From our fullback Michael Robinson, we have the much-anticipated next installment of his “Real Rob Report“, which features appearances by quarterback Russell Wilson, cornerback Richard Sherman, guard John Moffitt, center Max Unger, defensive end Greg Scruggs, and punter Jon Ryan.
Finally, Tony Ventrella gives us a video recap of Thursday’s events.