Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 2.
Bucky Brooks of SI.com breaks down the Wild Card matchup between the Seahawks and Redskins, “The Seahawks held Cam Newton and the Panthers to 190 total yards and 12 points in a Week 5 victory, then they stuffed Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco, 42-13 in Week 16 (Seattle lost to the 49ers, 13-6, before the Kaepernick-for-Alex Smith switch at QB). What is Seattle’s trick? Well, in addition to being able to see the pistol, zone-read look from its own offense each day in practice, the Seahawks have a unique blend of defensive talent that makes them a tough matchup for any offense — likely including Washington’s. Does that mean the Redskins are doomed this weekend? Definitely not. But they might have their hands full getting their playmakers into space.”
Jim Trotter of SI.com has a feature on the Seahawks defense, “The Seahawks defense has been outstanding this season, ranking first in fewest points allowed and fourth in fewest yards allowed. But the most impressive thing about the unit could be that Thomas is the only starter drafted in the first round. He was chosen 14th overall in 2010. By way of comparison, the teams ranked directly above the Seahawks in total defense have at least three first-rounders among their starters. Pittsburgh and San Francisco have four each, and Denver has three. ‘That statistic basically sums up the relationship that Pete and I have and the mixture of our philosophies,’ said GM John Schneider, referring to coach Pete Carroll. ‘What I mean is, we were able to meld them together. He’s all about open competition all the time, so that means in terms of managing your roster and bringing people in you have a coaching staff that’s willing to look at young people and work with them. Would you rather play with a veteran who knows what he’s doing and runs 4.75 now, or would you rather play with the young guy that you know you can grow with who runs 4.48?’ “
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look back at the club’s rebuild since head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over in 2010, “The Seahawks spent three years searching everywhere from the league’s recycling bin up to Canada and down to Seattle’s own roster to forge a team that won 11 regular-season games this season, third-most in franchise history. ‘We found kind of the center of what we believe in and what we’re trying to create,’ Carroll said.”
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times highlights rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane, “From the day he arrived at team headquarters for rookie minicamp, Lane made a point of letting the players, the coaches, the observers who lined the practice field, know he was there. ‘He wasn’t scared to mix it up with anybody,’ said starting cornerback Richard Sherman. ‘You’re not about to challenge him and have him back down. He’s not going to back down from anything. First time I saw him, I saw a dog. Some players have the dog in them. Some players don’t. It’s something you can’t teach. You can’t coach. You can’t develop. It’s something that’s either in you, or it’s not. He has a big dog, and if you’ve got a big dog in you, you’ll find a way to make it in this league.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald details the Seahawks’ rise under Carroll, “…Pete Carroll isn’t all that impressed with how far the Seahawks have come in his third year as head coach. It’s not that Carroll doesn’t like the way his team is playing right now, winning seven of eight in the second half to finish the regular season with an 11-5 record, he just wishes he could have figured out a way to make this happen sooner. ‘I don’t feel like that,’ Carroll said when asked if the Seahawks are ahead of schedule. ‘We just wish so much that we had got it done last year. We didn’t capture it quickly enough. It just didn’t come around like we wanted it to. But we’ll take it. We’ll take it where we are. It’s been three terrific years for us in retooling the program and the roster and the staff and getting everything right. We really feel the momentum in the youth and the hopefulness for the future is there.’ “
Tim Booth of the Associated Press looks at the club’s playoff history on the road, “Seemingly unbeatable at home, the road – especially in the postseason – has been a different tale for the Seahawks. It’s been 29 years since Seattle last won a playoff game on the road. They’ve lost eight straight road playoff games since winning at Miami on Dec. 31, 1983, when only nine players on their current 53-man roster were even born. On Sunday, Seattle (11-5) travels to the East Coast to take on another hot team, the Washington Redskins (10-6). The Seahawks have won five in a row, and seven of their last eight; Washington brings a seven-game winning streak into the game. ‘If you want to be a good team you definitely got to be able to win on the road,’ Seattle defensive end Red Bryant said.”
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” make their case for Bobby Wagner as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in this short video.
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has a look at how coach Carroll’s decision to start rookie quarterback Russell Wilson at quarterback got the club to where they are today, “Wilson may not win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he is The Steal of the Playoffs. Ask Rams defensive end William Hayes. ‘Russell really showed me some things today for him being a rookie,’ he said after the game Sunday. ‘He’s a good quarterback. It’s hard to prep for a guy like that who’s so mobile. There’s a new breed of quarterback coming in. They’ve got some true talent.’ “
The staff at ESPN.com has compiled their latest set of power rankings, and the Seahawks come in at the No. 5 spot.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has an updated look at the seasons of rookie quarterbacks Wilson, Griffin III, and Andrew Luck.
Sando has his latest “NFC West Stock Watch“, noting the rise of snubbed Pro Bowlers, ” Snubbed players. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman played at a Pro Bowl level all season, including when he picked off Sam Bradford’s final pass Sunday to secure a 20-13 Seattle victory. He was nonetheless left off the Pro Bowl team this season, settling for first-alternate status. 49ers tackle Anthony Davis and Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane also failed to earn Pro Bowl honors despite playing at a high level during various parts of the season. Both appeared to play well in Week 17.”
Lastly, Sando and NFC East blogger Dan Graziano discuss Sunday’s Wild Card matchup between the Seahawks and Redskins.