Monday round-up: Russell Wilson in Wisconsin; ESPN lays out bright future

Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy made it’s stop in Madison, Wis. over the weekend, as the Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback instructed hundreds of youth players looking to improve both on and off the field

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, July 1, about your Seattle Seahawks, as well as a look back at what you may have missed last week, June 25-28, when I was a little under the weather:

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune notes offensive guard James Carpenter’s health is a key component for the ‘Hawks in 2013, and offers a detailed look at the competition along the O-line.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com delves into the uncertainty – and upside – present along the interior of the Seahawks’ offensive line.

Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com highlights rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams in his Finding the Fits series, which identifies one unheralded player per team who appears to be a good fit schematically, and in turn could be a surprise contributor early on.

We have the podcast from Dave “Softy” Mahler’s Friday conversation with cornerback Richard Sherman, who spent the weekend down in Orange, Texas at free safety Earl Thomas’ football camp for youth. Sherman previews his Celebrity Softball Game next weekend at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium:

Avi Zaleon of the Beaumont Enterprise recaps Thomas’ aforementioned weekend youth camp.

Matt Williamson of ESPN.com says Thomas is the player the Seahawks can least afford to lose.

Tom Mulhern of SportsMadison.com recaps quarterback Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy in Madison, Wis.

Adam Rank of NFL.com has his list of 12 must-see stadiums throughout the League, and Seattle’s CenturyLink Field pops up at No.2.

In a bit of obscure off-the-field news, wide receiver Sidney Rice has signed on with Wingstop to open five new franchises in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

In case you missed it last week over at ESPN.com, a slew of their NFL Insiders projected the Top 10 players at each position group for the 2016 season. We already told you where Russell Wilson projects among 2016 quarterbacks last week, courtesy of NFC West blogger Mike Sando. As a refresher, the site’s positional projections were exercises that followed their Future Power Rankings, which evaluated the core of each franchise as they project in 2016 -  the Seahawks ranked at No. 3.

Each positional piece is an ESPN Insider feature, but I’ve pulled the Seahawks mentions and what ESPN’s panel of experts had to say about each player in several snippets below:

Top 10 running backs in 2016No. 5, Christine Michael – ESPN’s Matt Williamson writes: “The selection of Michael seemed like an odd one, but Marshawn Lynch, with his extremely violent running style, probably isn’t going to last long in this league. Michael is a first-round caliber talent, but has a lot of questions off the field. Expect Pete Carroll and company to harness Michael’s great talent by bringing him along slowly. By 2016, he will be a total stud and a true every-down running back. Ignoring their extenuating circumstances, Lattimore and Michael are the most talented all-around running backs from this latest draft class.”

Top 10 wide receivers in 2016 - No. 6, Percy Harvin – ESPN’s Field Yates writes: “There have been some injury and attitude concerns for Harvin during his first four seasons in Minnesota, but a change of scenery has him ready to explode in Seattle in 2013. His rare open-field elusiveness, coupled with great strength for a player of his stature, makes him a rare breed. He can take carries from the backfield, too, and he’ll now play with a quarterback who can deliver the ball on a rope; that will only help the electric Harvin.”

Top 10 safeties in 2016No. 1, Earl Thomas – Williamson writes: “Thomas is an essential member of the league’s best secondary and what I expect to be an elite defense overall. He has outstanding range and is best as a center fielder, but he truly excels in all facets of safety play. Thomas will only be 27 years old when the 2016 season begins, which could be the peak of an outstanding career.”

Top 10 safeties in 2016 – No. 9, Kam Chancellor - Williamson writes: “Chancellor recently turned 25 and his best football should be ahead of him. A punishing hitter, his career might not be as long as some of the others on this list. But Chancellor already has established himself as one of the best safeties in the league, and he paired with Thomas to be a foundational unit for the Seahawks to build around.”

Top 10 cornerbacks in 2016No. 2, Richard Sherman – ESPN’s Herm Edwards writes: “Another corner with very good length, it’s really hard to beat Sherman deep. Seattle’s system is perfect for him, because he can press receivers and disrupt them at the line of scrimmage — which plays right into his confidence. With eight interceptions last season, he’s only going to improve moving forward.” (And because I know you’re dying to know, the Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson is the only player that ranks ahead of Sherman on this list).

Top 10 linebackers in 2016No. 3, Bobby Wagner – Yates writes: “Kuechly took home NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last year, but you wouldn’t have heard any complaints from me if Wagner was the recipient instead. Relatively unknown out of Utah State, all Wagner did was lead one of the NFL’s best defenses in tackles with 147, while also recording a pair of sacks and picking off three passes. The 22-year old has already shown he can do it all.”


On this date: Paul Allen’s purchase of team completed

Paul Allen

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 30:

1997: Bob Whitsitt, president of Football Northwest, signs the paperwork to complete Paul Allen’s purchase of the Seahawks. Under Allen’s ownership, the Seahawks have won the only conference championship in franchise history, played in the Super Bowl, won six division titles and advanced to the playoffs eight times.


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Is it football season yet?

Michael Bennett

Happy Seahawks Blue Friday, 12s!

Our normal writer for this segment is under the weather this week with a severe case of football withdrawals. We here at Seahawks.com hope he gets well soon (for my sake especially). You can send him your well-wishes and get-wells at @tonydrovetto.

Anyway, back to the lecture at hand, it feels like forever since we last stepped foot on CenturyLink Field but the days are slowly counting down to the start of 2013.  Michael Bennett days until the Seahawks kickoff the 2013 regular season against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. That’s 72 days for those of you who may be unfamiliar with our not-so-unfamiliar free agent defensive end signed from Tampa Bay. Fortunately, it’s not 96 days until kickoff as was the number Bennett wore the first time he was with us as an rookie free agent out of Texas A&M.

But even with 72 days remaining until kickoff, there’s less than a month’s wait until players report back to VMAC for Seahawks Training Camp presented by Bing on July 25. To help us cope in these final days without football, here’s a detailed look at what’s going on this week, June 28 – July 5, with your Seattle Seahawks:

Friday, June 28:

  • Voting for The ESPYS started yesterday and will continue through the start of the show on July 17 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN. Russell Wilson is up for Breakthrough Athlete of the Year.
  • Free safety Earl Thomas kicks off his football camp for kids in Orange, Texas along with other members of the Legion.

  • Second-year cornerback DeShawn Shead celebrates his 25th birthday – you can wish Shead #HappyBirthday on Twitter @dshead24.

Saturday, June 29:

  • Thomas’ camp finishes in Texas, Wilson’s Passing Academy makes it way to Madison, Wis. and defensive end Cliff Avril hosts his inaugural youth football camp in Green Cove Springs, Fla.
  • Kicker Steven Hauschka celebrates his 28th birthday.
  • The 16th annual Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio comes to a close. All 254 members of the 2013 NFL Draft class reported to the symposium to learn about life in the NFL prior to training camp starting up in late July.

Sunday, June 30:

Monday, July 1:

  • Farnsworth continues his positional previews with a look at the big uglies up front who will be tasked for making holes and keeping Russell Wilson off his back – a look at the 2013 offensive line.

Tuesday, July 2:

  • Positional preview series focus turns to the defensive line and how Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant will look given all the new additions along the line.

Wednesday, July 3:

  • On the eve of our nation’s 237th birthday, Farnsworth examines the position with the biggest question mark but with the biggest upside. Young Bobby Wagner who just celebrated his 23rd birthday leads an equally young linebacking corps.

Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day:

  • #HappyBirthdayAmerica!
  • Drovetto returns with a feature on America, football, and the Seahawks. It may bring a tear to your eye and a fire to your cracker.
  • Be safe. Be loud. Have a great 4th of July, America!

Friday, July 5:

  • Linebacker Malcolm Smith is the other veteran on our defensive midfield and today, at 24, he is officially a year older than counterpart Bobby Wagner who celebrated 23 on June 27. Wish him a #HappyBirthday at @MalcSmitty.
  • On a throwback Friday, Farnsworth catches up with former Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney who went back to school to get his MBA. What is he doing now?
  • Drovetto will be back this Friday to help you countdown the week of Jake Bscherer days until the Seahawks 2013 season kicks off!

On this date: Scott Fitterer hired as scout

Scott Fitterer

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 28:

2001: Scott Fitterer is named an area scout. He was promoted to director of college scouting in 2010. In his current role, Fitterer has been involved in the NFL Drafts that have reshaped the Seahawks’ roster — beginning with the selections of All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas, Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, split end Golden Tate and strong safety Kam Chancellor in 2010; All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and linebackers K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith in 2011; and quarterback Russell Wilson, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, defensive end Bruce Irvin and guard J.R. Sweezy in 2012.


Russell Wilson up for ESPY

ESPYs

The nominees are in, and Russell Wilson is up for the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year after taking the Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs as a rookie. He goes up against San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, Johnny “Football” Manziel of Texas A&M who was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, as well as two Los Angeles Major League Baseball players in Yaseil Puig of the Dodgers and Mike Trout of the Angels.

Voting ends at the start of The ESPYS  awards show on July 17 at 6 p.m. PT from Los Angeles.

Wilson led the Seahawks to the third-best record (11-5) in club history during the regular season and the franchise’s first road playoff victory since 1983. Individually, Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s 15-year-old NFL rookie record with 26 touchdown passes and then added three more in two playoff games. He also ran for more yards (489) than any QB in franchise history during the regular season and had another 127 rushing yards in the wild-card win over the Redskins and the two-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional playoff game. He finished third in voting for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year behind the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, the quarterbacks who were the first two picks overall in last year’s draft.

The best aspect of Wilson’s game? He only seemed to get better as the season progressed – with the proof being provided by his four-TD pass game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16; the fourth-quarter and overtime drives of 97 and 80 yards that he led in a Week 13 win over the Bears in Chicago; his 92-yard, three-TD rushing effort against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15; and his season-best 136.3 passer rating in the regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams.

In the playoffs, Wilson rallied the Seahawks from a 14-0 deficit to beat the Redskins, 24-14, and then directed three fourth-quarter TD drives – running for one score and passing for another – against the Falcons to give the Seahawks a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds to play.

And Wilson accomplished all this after sharing reps with Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn through training camp and the preseason.


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A Happy Bobby Birthday

Bobby Wagner

The way Bobby Wagner played last season, it was hard to believe the Seahawks’ middle linebacker was only a rookie.

He not only led the team with 140 tackles, Wagner’s total was the fifth-highest in franchise history behind Terry Beeson (153 in 1978), Chad Brown (150 in 1998), Anthony Simmons (147 in 2000) and Michael Jackson (141 in 1981). Wagner also finished second in voting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The way Wagner approached this offseason – with a lead-by-example commitment to getting better – it’s hard to believe he’s only 23. And just barely, as today is Wagner’s 23rd birthday.

“Bobby has put the work in,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. “He’s doing the things when no one is watching – studying video, putting in the extra work in the weight room and the meeting room.”

So on Wagner’s birthday it turns out that he might be the gift of a second-round draft choice who just keeps on giving.

Speaking of gifts …

https://twitter.com/Bwagz54/status/350301029927104513


Monroe Bearcats to represent Seahawks at NFLHSPD 7-on-7 Nationals

monroe bearcats

RENTON, WASH. - High schools from all over the northwest, Idaho and Montana converged on the Seahawks Headquarters at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash., this past weekend for the NFL High School Player Development  Seahawks Regional 7-on-7 Tournament. The Bearcats of Monroe High School (Monroe, Wash.) outlasted all other teams in the region and will represent the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL’s National 7-on-7 Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, this July.

To participate in the non-contact 7-on-7 competition, all high school football players must first complete the HSPD character development program. As an extension of the HSPD program, the all-expense paid National tournament will include character development sessions as well.

For the second-consecutive time in the national tournament’s history, which began in 2007, all 32 teams will have a regional representative. The Seattle Seahawks won the national title in 2008 when  Skyline High School (Bellevue, Wash.) finished the tournament with a perfect 11-0 record.

Tournament History

  • 2007:   9 NFL Teams were represented in the tournament held in Houston, TX
  • 2008:  16 NFL Teams were represented in the tournament held in New Orleans, LA
  • 2009:  16 NFL Teams were represented in the tournament held in Minneapolis, MN
  • 2010:  22 NFL Teams were represented in the tournament held in Tampa, FL
  • 2011:  22 NFL Teams were represented in the tournament held in Cleveland, OH
  • 2012:  All 32 NFL Teams were represented in the tournament held in Indianapolis, IN.  The inaugural Lineman Leadership Program took place, in which 6 NFL teams were represented.
  • 2013: All 32 NFL Teams will be represented in the tournament held in Cleveland, OH

More information can be found at: http://www.nflhspd.com/7-on-7/overview


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Monday round-up: All about the O-line

Danny O’Neil and Brock Huard of 710Sports.com discuss just how far the Seahawks’ offensive line has come over the last few years

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, June 24, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com takes a close look at the club’s linebacker position.

We have the podcast from quarterback Russell Wilson’s Saturday conversation with John Clayton on 710Sports.com’s John Clayton Show embedded for you below:

NFL.com Around the League writer Gregg Rosenthal ranks wide receiver Percy Harvin as the best slot wideout in the League.

NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com checks in on the defensive secondary of each team in the division, calling the Seahawks foursome of Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor arguably the best in the NFL.

Sando also has his list projecting the top 10 quarterbacks for 2016 and three of the four quarterbacks in the division made the cut. Seahawks signal caller Russell Wilson landed at No. 3 on his list, the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick at No. 5, and the St. Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford at No. 10. It’s an ESPN Insider feature, but here is Sando’s snippet on Wilson, “Wilson has shown he can succeed from within the pocket as a shorter quarterback. He finished his rookie season with a 21-8 ratio of TDs to INTs from inside the pocket and a 5-2 ratio outside it. Wilson led the NFL in both passer rating (120.3) and Total QBR (83.9) over the final eight games of the 2012 season. More scrambler than pure runner, Wilson avoided big hits even though he held the ball longer than any quarterback (4.1 seconds before the throw on average). He will be tougher to defend with Percy Harvin drawing attention from opposing defenses.”

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth chats up some of the Seahawks rookies on the team’s offseason program, which finally came to a close for the first-year players last week.

And we also have photos from the weekend’s Family Football Fest get together at CenturyLink Field.


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On this date: Seahawks’ home field becomes CenturyLink Field

CenturyLink Field

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on June 23:

1997: Metropolitan King County Council votes 9-3 to approve a new stadium for the Seahawks, a move necessary for Paul Allen to complete his purchase of the team from Ken Behring.

2011: The Seahawks’ home stadium is renamed CenturyLink Field. The facility had been called Qwest Field since 2004.


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On this date: Scot McCloughan rejoins Seahawks

Scot McCloughan

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 22:

2010: Scot McCloughan rejoins the Seahawks as senior personnel executive. McCloughan originally came to the club in 2000, as director of college scouting, but left in 2005 to join the San Francisco 49ers – first as vice president of football operations (2005-07) and then as general manager (2008-09).


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