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Friday cyber surfing: Miller emerging as consistent threat in passing game

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 12.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times details Pete Carroll’s dismissal from New England after 1999 and looks at how the coach has reinvented himself since then, “That process started the year he took off from coaching. He read John Wooden’s book, “Pyramid of Success,” and realized the man went from a good basketball coach at UCLA to a great one. Carroll was struck by the thought that once you figured out how to win, you never had to stop. And if there’s a little hubris with Carroll’s reference to Wooden, there’s also something to be said for Carroll’s willingness to point to his improvement as the reason for subsequent success. ‘Getting spanked, and getting knocked out of there was a great chance for me to regroup,’ Carroll said. ‘And I really found the approach and the language, the specifics, because of the necessity and the competitive opportunity. I needed to get my act together or I was never going to get another chance.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune highlights the play of tight end Zach Miller, who has recently emerged in the Seahawks passing game, “Now in his second season in Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system, Miller has re-emerged as a legitimate threat in the passing game. Miller is second on the team in receptions with 12 for 150 yards, an average of 12.5 yards per catch. Before signing with Seattle, Miller averaged 57 catches a year for Oakland during his first four seasons in the league. Part of the struggle for the Seahawks last season was that the offensive line gave up 50 sacks, the fourth most in the league. This season, they have a more mobile quarterback in rookie Russell Wilson, who has been sacked 11 times through five games. ‘Some of it is getting out in the pass game more,’ Miller said of his re-emergence. ‘Some of it is just kind of developing a relationship with Russell and him finding me. And we have another year in the offense, so that’s helped as well, too.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also checks in with Miller, “Miller, one of Seattle’s big-money free agent signings in 2011 along with receiver Sidney Rice (more on him in a moment), had what, on paper anyway, was a very disappointing 2011 season. After catching 56, 66 and 60 passes in his previous three seasons in Oakland, Miller had just 25 last year for 233 yards. This season, Miller hardly has been lighting up opposing defenses, but with three catches in each of his past two games and 59 yards last week — the most he has gained with Seattle — Miller is starting to look more and more like the pass-catching threat the Seahawks were hoping for when they signed the Pro Bowl player last year. ‘It’s good,’ Miller said of his recent success in the receiving game. ‘I’ve always been pretty involved in the passing game, so to finally be more involved in this one has been nice.’ “

Dave Wyman of mynorthwest.com calls Sunday’s matchup the biggest test for the Seahawks defense thus far, “Facing the Patriots’ No. 1 offense, Brady and the evil genius that is head coach Bill Belichick will be the biggest test for the Seahawk defense thus far – if not the biggest test the entire season. Brady and Belichick are the winningest quarterback/coach combo in league history. Love him or hate him, Belichick has been scheming defenses since he was 11 years old and usually finds a way to exploit a team’s weakness. Brady is on a whole different level. He’s the “Neo” (for you Matrix fans) of quarterbacks in that he sees everything. When Brady comes to the sidelines after a series he can recite which player went where, who adjusted their route and what steps every defender took during the play.”

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com cautions against calling the 2012 Seahawks defense the best defense in franchise history, remembering the club’s 1984 defense and team that went 12-4 in this short video.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his predictions for Week 6, and he picks the Seahawks in a close one over the Patriots, “The Seahawks are the team New England plays in between facing Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos and the AFC East-rival New York Jets. The Patriots are a team Seattle can measure itself against. The big question is whether the Seahawks can score enough points. How many is enough? Seattle has allowed 19 total points in two home games despite facing Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers. This is my makeup call after picking against Seattle in Carolina. I am saying there’s a chance. Sando’s best guess: Seahawks 20, Patriots 17″

Sando also notes the Seahawks lead the NFC West in penalties, totaling 51 total penalties through five weeks (in 2011, the Seahawks had 53 through five weeks), “Right tackle Breno Giacomini has six penalties, three short of his total for last season. Six NFL players have more penalties than Giacomini since the start of the 2011 season. Two of them are his teammates (Brandon Browner with 23, a league high, and Russell Okung with 16). Okung has seven penalties this season, two short of his total last season.”

Mike Reiss and Tedy Bruschi of ESPN Botson break down the Patriots’ Week 6 game with the Seahawks. Reiss likes New England in a close one, and Bruschi likes the Patriots in a rout.

The folks at NFL Films preview Sunday’s matchup with the Patriots in this short video.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth catches up with rookie sack-leader Bruce Irvin, who is excelling on the field and off, having recently made a trip to a youth detention center in Chehalis to tell the kids his story, “How does an NFL player end up making the almost 90-mile drive from Virginia Mason Athletic Center on the players off day to speak at a youth detention center? Irvin has a background not unlike a lot of the kids in the medium/maximum security facility, and if not for the grace of being a talented pass-rusher he could have ended up in a similar situation rather than playing at West Virginia and now in the NFL. ‘Like I told the kids, ‘I look at them and I see myself when I was younger,’ ‘ Irvin said. ‘You aren’t going to be able to touch everybody, but I think I touched quite a few of them.’ “

Farnsworth also has his “Thursday in Hawkville” with a focus on quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense, “Are the Seahawks feeling any pressure to ‘keep pace’ with a Patriots offense that is averaging 33 points and 30 first downs? ‘I think more than anything, it’s about what we can control,’ said Wilson, the Seahawks’ rookie QB. ‘How I control our offense and how we can score points and do the great things we can do, and not worry about that. You’ve just got to play one play at a time and the goal is to score one more point that they do.’ “

Yesterday at VMAC was “Turnover Thursday” on the practice field and fittingly Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” with a focus on ball possession.

It was announced that former Seahawks defensive tackle and recent inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Cortez Kennedy will have his No. 96 retired at the game against the Patriots on Sunday.

We also have defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and Wilson‘s full press conferences from yesterday.

And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at the week of practice in photos.


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