Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 6.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times has an in depth profile on the ever-chipper defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who joined Carroll’s staff in 2010 as a holdover following Jim Mora’s one season in Seattle, “It was easy to expect Carroll, a great defensive mind with particular tastes, to clean house. But Bradley was a disciple of former Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, Carroll’s closest confidant. After learning of Bradley’s virtue from Kiffin, Carroll decided to get to know the defensive coordinator he had inherited before making a final decision. In Tampa, Bradley learned the intricacies of Kiffin’s often-emulated variation of the Cover-2 scheme. Carroll had learned under Kiffin as a young coach at Arkansas in 1978, and over the past 34 years, they’ve become like family. But Carroll has his own defensive philosophies, and with the help of Bradley and the entire Seahawks defensive staff, he has been able to combine a lifetime of concepts with some fresh wrinkles to develop what amounts to a career capstone defensive project.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times looks back on Seattle and Arizona’s unsuccessful searches for a long-term quarterback in recent years, “There is something appropriate about the fact that these two teams were the last in the league to declare a starting quarterback. Seattle went with rookie Russell Wilson ahead of Matt Flynn, while Arizona will start its second-year quarterback John Skelton instead of Kevin Kolb. Those choices were more than just the results of training-camp competition, but the culmination of years of decision-making regarding the one position universally described as the most important in football. ‘It’s never easy to find a quarterback in this league,’ Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said.”
O’Neil also reports that Lynch’s status for Week 1 still remains unclear, “Lynch suffered the spasms after playing in Seattle’s second exhibition game, Aug. 18 in Denver. He played a quarter. He has not practiced since. Lynch was asked before practice Wednesday if he thought he would be able to play in Sunday’s regular-season opener at Arizona. ‘The goal is to,’ Lynch said. ‘But I’ll stay ready. If I do, I do, and if I don’t, I don’t.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says that should Lynch not be able to play Sunday, Head Coach Pete Carroll feels more comfortable now knowing that rookie running back Robert Turbin is in the mix, “If Lynch can’t go, Carroll feels more confident than he did last year with rookie Robert Turbin in the fold. The Utah State product finished the preseason with 165 yards on 38 carries and a 25-yard run for a score, for a 4.3 per-carry average. ‘Right now, (Robert) Turbin will take all of the first-team snaps and get us ready,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ll be prepared to rotate our guys just like we always do. And Lump (Kregg Lumpkin) will be ready to go if we need him, too. But you can’t cancel Marshawn out right now. It’s too early to know that. He looked fine today.’ “
Williams also rehashes a conversation with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who spoke with the media after practice yesterday, “Bevell addressed the fact that seventh-round pick J.R. Sweezy will be his starting right guard to open the season. ‘If you would have said it at the start of training camp, I would have thought there might have been a chance,’ Bevell said. ‘If you would have said it at the beginning of OTAs, I would have said there wasn’t a chance. But that’s a credit to Coach (Tom) Cable, and then our personnel staff being able to find him, and Coach Cable being able to coach him up and get him right.’ “
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who is out to prove critics wrong after a down-year at San Francisco a season ago, “Edwards thinks that other teams in the league were torpedoing his chances with harsh evaluations. ‘I think it was perception,’ he said. ‘You get bad-mouthed a couple times and people don’t necessarily go out and find out things for themselves. That’s what was great about (coach) Pete Carroll and the Seahawks; they were going to find out for themselves if I was still hurt or if I wasn’t a team guy or if I was a distraction, and so far that hasn’t happened.’ The Seahawks have seen the opposite, in fact. ‘He’s been very, very good,’ Carroll said. ‘He started it on the practice field making plays and he carried it into the games. He’s picked everything up. He’s competed with great consistency. … We’re fortunate to have him.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald points out several reasons to be optimistic about the Seahawks playoff chances in 2012, “Seattle’s defense has the potential to be one of the very best in the NFL; not in the future, but right now, particularly if rookie Bruce Irvin and free agent signing Jason Jones help upgrade the pass rush. The running game, which improved tremendously as last season progressed, is good enough to keep Russell Wilson from having to do too much. So even if (or rather when) Wilson goes through a few inevitable rookie ups and downs, the Seahawks should be capable of being at least competent on offense. And again, with this defense, competent might just be enough. So, while the Seahawks are far from being a sure thing, and while you could certainly end up disappointed if a few things go wrong — just ask the St. Louis Rams, the 2011 preseason favorites in the division who finished 2-14 — there is good reason for optimism.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com writes that quarterback Russell Wilson must be successful on third-down if the Seahawks are to improve on offense this year, “The single biggest metric that will determine whether Wilson will stay as starting QB is improvement on third downs. Obviously, the task isn’t solely his responsibility, but he’s the cowboy in the saddle in charge of getting the herd to market and staying off the barbed wire. And he’s a rookie. The Cardinals defenders are not.”
Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com recaps Wednesday’s practice and media sessions, “[Arizona quarterback John] Skelton is most concerned about Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and the multiple ways Seattle will use him against the Cardinals.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday, “WR Golden Tate suffered a sprained knee on a punt return against the Oakland Raiders in the preseason finale. He is expected to run tomorrow and is also considered to be day-to-day by Carroll.”
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth looks at the amazing story that is rookie J.R. Sweezy, who was named the starter at right guard for Sunday’s season opener at Arizona, “Sweezy continues to take it all in stride. The praise. The media attention. The rapid ascension up the depth chart. That’s because he’s too busy doing what he’s doing to get caught up in all the excitement about how impressive it is that he’s doing it. In his wildest dreams, could he have imaged this: Starting an NFL season opener at right guard, less than nine months after starting his last game at North Carolina State as a defensive tackle? ‘In my wildest dreams, yes,’ he said though the slightest of smiles. ‘I’ve just been blessed with this opportunity and I’m trying to make the best out of it. So I just continue to work every day to get better.’ “
Farnsworth also has a recap of Wednesday in Hawkville, with a focus on the status of Lynch, “Lynch is confident that the Seahawks can continue to run the ball even if he’s not the one carrying it. ‘I think with any back we put in there, that we’re going to be able to be successful, regardless,’ Lynch said. ‘That’s a big accomplishment for our offensive linemen.’ “
From the video side, we bring you coach Carroll and coach Bevell’s press conferences, as well as Tony Ventrella’s Seahawks Daily, who catches up with Turbin, linebacker Bobby Wagner, and wide receiver Sidney Rice as they begin game week preparations for Sunday at Arizona.
And finally, because everybody loves to have a look at power rankings, here’s a couple that rank the ‘Hawks fairly high: Elliot Harrison of NFL.com ranks the Seahawks No. 15, stating simply, “Here’s all you need to know about rookie QB Russell Wilson: Of the 19 offensive possessions he led in the preseason, Seattle scored on 13. Solid.” And Don Banks of SI.com ranks Seattle No. 12, offering, “Preseason results can be entirely meaningless, but I don’t think that’s the case with Seattle’s 4-0 August. The Seahawks created some good mojo in their favor last month and there will be a carryover effect. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson makes the offense much more explosive, and Seattle’s talented young defense is ready to emerge as one of the best in the league at taking the ball away. 2012 Bottom Line:Seattle will push San Francisco all year in the NFC West, then punch a ticket to the playoffs with a wild-card berth.”