Wednesday cyber surfing: NFC West no longer considered “NFC Worst”

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 19.

We start with a few roster moves that were announced by the team yesterday – the Seahawks released running back Kregg Lumpkin from the active roster and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and linebacker Allen Bradford from the practice squad. In their places, the team announced the signing of cornerback Danny Gorrer to the active roster, and the signing of linebacker Korey Toomer and offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson to the practice squad.

Coach Pete Carroll has an addition to his blog at WinForever.com, as he emphasizes the importance of moving on from the week before, “So now the challenge this week is the same as last week, even though we’re coming off of a win instead of a loss. We’ve got to leave last Sunday behind and turn our entire focus to performing how we know how to perform come Monday night at home. After all, it’s what we do now that counts.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that one should not judge rookie quarterback Russell Wilson by his lack of height,“Wilson’s height is just one part of his makeup, and not necessarily the most important part. He is a short quarterback, but he’s also a fast quarterback. He’s a smart quarterback. He’s a strong-armed quarterback. He also has really big hands (for whatever that’s worth). Four inches are about all that separates him from being the ideal NFL quarterback prospect. Those four inches are significant, but they might not turn out be the kind of dealbreaker that some have assumed.”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says that this Seahawks defense might be the best that they’ve ever had, “The statistics fail to measure the physically intimidating play of this unit, which is its dominant characteristic. And in games at home, it inflames the fans, which, in turn, further energizes the players. ‘The way we want to play is really tough, hard-nosed football,’ Carroll said. ‘And we brought in guys to do that … guys who run fast and hit.’ They certainly do … perhaps to a historic degree.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald notes the improvement of the NFC West division, “…it’s looking more and more likely that the 49ers won’t be the only playoff contender in their division. Arizona was largely dismissed coming into the season thanks to uncertainty at quarterback, but the Cardinals are 2-0 and coming off of shocking win in New England. Going back to last season, the Cardinals are 9-2 since starting the year with a 1-6 record. Seattle also finished last season strong, and after a close loss in Arizona, the Seahawks thumped Dallas on Sunday, physically dominating a Cowboys squad that many had pegged as one of the top teams in the NFC after they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Week 1. Throw in St. Louis, which after going 2-14 last year opened this season with a close loss at Detroit and a comeback win over Washington, and it is looking more and more like the NFC West is a division of teams ready to push back rather than be pushovers.”

Don Banks of SI.com shares a similar sentiment to Boyle, citing the NFC West as the division with the best combined record through Week 2, “It’s the only one of the NFL’s eight divisions with a pair of 2-0 teams (San Francisco, Arizona), and the division’s cumulative 6-2 record is the best in the league. With one of the West’s two losses coming in head-to-head play (Arizona over Seattle in Week 1), its only defeat outside the division was St. Louis’ last-minute, opening-week loss at Detroit. The West’s 5-1 record outside the division is tops in the NFL, and the division’s 4-0 record in Week 2 was only its second such perfect mark since realignment in 2002.”

Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com has an extensive look at quarterback Russell Wilson, “Wilson has been called a test study in a league that hinges on centimeters and is steadfast on black-and-white metrics. A wide receiver is supposed to run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, an offensive lineman is supposed to weigh 300 pounds and a quarterback is supposed to stand at least 6-foot-2. ‘He’s what you call an outlier,’ said former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, whose grading system would’ve subtracted 15 points for Wilson’s height. ‘You go broke looking for those guys. For every guy that you draft that’s three inches and four inches below the accepted minimum, 99 of 100 are going to fail. He’s a real exception. Have you ever talked to him personally? He’s the most dynamic guy you’ll ever be around. He has such an unusual flair. I mean, this guy wins you over with two minutes’ talk. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a quarterback that’s undersized like he is that has been so dynamic.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a closer look at backup left tackle Frank Omiyale’s day against the Dallas Cowboys, “Frank Omiyale, Seahawks: Omiyale started against Dallas while Russell Okung was recovering from a bruised knee. Okung is expected back to face Clay Matthews and the Green Bay Packers’ defense on “Monday Night Football” in Week 3. The Seahawks helped Omiyale some of the time. Omiyale held up without assistance when protecting Russell Wilson’s blind side during a 22-yard scoring pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Dallas’ Demarcus Ware finished the game with no sacks. Seattle rushed for 182 yards while allowing only two sacks, one of which resulted from an unblocked rusher coming free on Wilson’s front side, away from Omiyale. Seattle got through this game as well as could be expected. The team has averaged 3.5 yards per rush with Okung and 4.4 yards without him. The per-carry average was slightly higher without Okung last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. There are other variables, however. Okung is easily the most talented option at tackle.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth says that the Seahawks special teams unit met all 12 goals set by special teams coordinator Brian Schneider for the very first time, and catches up with Omiyale about his game against the Cowboys.

On the video side, we bring you a look at the SeaHawkers Booster Club’s King St. Kickoff event last week before the first home game, and we recap the Sea Gals performance at the Puyallup Fair.


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