Is it football season yet?

Red Bryant

Happy Summer Solstice, Seahawks fans.

But wait, hold on. Did you know that while your calendars mark today – Friday, June 21 – as the first official day of summer, those of us on the West Coast actually made the jump from spring to summer late Thursday night? The change of season occurred at 1:04 a.m. ET – that’s 10:04 p.m. PT. So technically, those of us here on the left side of the states were finally able to experience something before our east coast friends. Take that little tidbit to whatever weekend gathering you’ve got on deck.

Now, let’s get to some football – sort of. As defensive end Red Bryant lets you know in our graphic above, there are just 79 days until the Seahawks kickoff the 2013 regular season against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. And to help us cope with life without football, here’s a detailed look at what’s going on next week, June 23-28, with your Seattle Seahawks:

Sunday, June 23:

Monday, June 24:

  • The 16th annual Rookie Symposium starts up in Aurora, Ohio, where all 254 members of the 2013 NFL Draft class will report to learn about life in the NFL prior to training camp starting up in late July. AFC rookies are scheduled to report June 23-26 with NFC rookies following suit June 26-29.
  • Seahawks rookies are scheduled to workout at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
  • Our resident reporter Clare Farnsworth will start up a well-deserved and hard-earned three-week vacation. But the football-content-starved fear not, as Farnsworth has graciously left us with a slew of stories previewing the upcoming season to run in his absence. First up is part one of his nine-part positional series with a look at the club’s quarterbacks – namely, second-year signal caller Russell Wilson.

Tuesday, June 25:

  • Seahawks rookies are scheduled to workout at VMAC.
  • Farnsworth’s positional series continues with a look at the running back group.
  • Wilson’s Passing Academy changes venues, as he hosts day one of his two-day camp in Raleigh, N.C.

Wednesday, June 26:

  • Seahawks rookies are scheduled for their final workout at VMAC before training camp – their pre-training-camp break begins shortly thereafter.
  • Farnsworth will highlight the club’s wide receivers in his positional series.
  • Wilson’s Passing Academy continues in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday, June 27:

  • Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner celebrates his 23rd birthday. Be sure to wish last year’s AP Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up a happy birthday on Twitter @Bwagz54.
  • The first of nine Gatorade Junior Training Camps takes place at Cedar River Park in Renton, Wash.
  • Farnsworth will take a break from the positional series on this “Throwback Thursday” – chronicling cornerback Richard Sherman’s time as a track star at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif.

Friday, June 28:

  • Free safety Earl Thomas kicks off his football camp for kids in Orange, Texas.
  • Second-year cornerback DeShawn Shead salutes his 25th birthday – you can wish Shead happy-quarter-of-a-century on Twitter @dshead24.
  • Farnsworth’s positional series kicks back up with a look at the team’s tight ends.

Saturday, June 29:

  • Thomas’ camp continues 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.

On this date: Seahawks acquire draft choice that became Josh Brown

Josh Brown

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 21:

2002: Cornerback Ike Charlton, a second-round draft choice in 2000, is traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a seventh-round pick in the 2003 draft that the Seahawks used to select Josh Brown. The kicker from Nebraska would score 100-plus points for five seasons before signing with the St. Louis Rams in free agency.


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Friday round-up: Real Rob Report – “The Lost Tapes”

Fullback Michael Robinson brings us some lost footage from this year’s offseason in his latest rendition of “The Real Rob Report”

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Friday, June 21, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon joins the Rich Eisen Podcast to talk about quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ 2013 season. Moon’s segment can be found at the 48-minute mark of the podcast below:

NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com says the Seahawks’ recent scouting department moves reflect a pattern of success and continuity under general manager John Schneider.

Sando also has his daily look around the NFC West.

Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN.com dissects the Seahawks-49ers rivalry.

Here at Seahawks.com we revisit the Seahawks-themed wedding of Ryan and Janna Willmaser, whose ceremony caught the attention of local and national media outlets alike.

Seahawks 2013 season tickets are sold out. The club recorded a renewal rate of 98 percent – the highest in franchise history. A limited number of Blue Pride memberships remain.


Movement in Seahawks scouting department

Tag Ribary

New director of team operations Tag Ribary, pictured right, during the Seahawks’ 2010 NFL Draft

The Seahawks have announced several changes shuffling up their scouting department.

Tag Ribary, in his 16th season with the club, has been promoted to director of team operations and will oversee team security, team video, facility and equipment departments.

Trent Kirchner has been promoted to fill Ribary’s previous role as director of pro personnel. Kirchner, who started as an intern in the team’s communications department (a great place to start, by the way), enters his fourth year with the Seahawks after spending eight seasons (2002-09) as a scout with the Carolina Panthers.

Former Panther’s 2001 first-round draft pick Dan Morgan takes over Kirchner’s former title of assistant director of pro personnel. Morgan spent the last two years with the Seahawks as a pro scout.

Josh Graff, who spent the last two seasons as an intern in the Seahawks scouting department, has been promoted to national scout and will rep the club in the Carolinas Region for National Scouting, Inc.

Jim Nagy has been hired on as the southeast area scout to replace Derrick Jensen, who retires after 22 seasons with the club. Jensen, who is currently battling ALS, made the team’s final two picks in April’s draft on what just so happened to also be his 57th birthday, selecting offensive guard Jared Smith and offensive tackle Michael Bowie via conference call with head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider.


Ryan & Janna Willmaser’s Seahawks-themed wedding goes viral

Remember our friends Ryan and Janna Willmaser? The 12th Man and Woman who joined in Seahawks-themed matrimony last month? Well, since featuring their story here on Seahawks.com, news of their big day has ripped through cyberspace.

The Wllmaser’s wedding was picked up locally by SeattlePI.com and STAR 101.5 FM before springing into the national spotlight on Yahoo! Sports, NFL on ESPN, and Deadspin.

The attention makes sense, with it being wedding season and all. But I was admittedly oblivious to that fact when first coming across photos of the Willmaser’s celebration via JaneG. Photography earlier this month.

The Willmaser’s unintentional media blitz culminated with a visit to Q13 FOX’s morning show (video above) on Monday, June 17, where they shared their story yet again. The pair has gone on a couple of weekend getaways since their May ceremony, but confirmed they’re waiting until February to take their official honeymoon – hoping to catch the Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City.


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Thursday round-up: Future Power Rankings; Seahawks NFL’s best defense?

The Seahawks partnered with the Microsoft Corporation to create a one week job shadowing program where left tackle Russell Okung, defensive end Gregg Scruggs, kicker Steven Hauschka, long snapper Clint Gresham & former Seahawk wide receiver Ben Obomanu were matched with Microsoft Finance & Research Managers

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Thursday, June 20, about your Seattle Seahawks:Cliff Avril

ESPN.com has rolled out their NFL Future Power Rankings, an exercise measuring the confidence their site’s experts (Herm Edwards, Mel Kiper, Mike Sando, Gary Horton, Matt Williamson, Field Yates, and former NFL GM Bill Polian) has in each club as they project three seasons ahead. The ranking takes into account the quality of the team’s roster, the quality of it’s quarterback, the quality of the 2012 draft class, the ability of the team’s front office, and the capability of a team’s coaching staff. It’s an ESPN Insider feature, so a subscription is required to view the full piece, but here’s a sampling of what was said about the Seahawks, who ranked at No. 3 (up from No. 21 in last year’s Future Rankings) behind the Green Bay Packers (No. 2) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 1), “GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have very quickly drafted a contender in Seattle. The emergence of Wilson as a dynamic player and leader has exponentially improved this club. The defense loses coordinator Gus Bradley but in essence Pete’s fingerprints are all over this group anyway. And a good group it is. The addition of Cliff Avril at a low price was one of the best free-agent pickups of the year. Avril and Irvin provide an outstanding tandem of pass-rushers.” – Polian

Several contributors over at NFL.com position the Seahawks as the League’s best defense.

NFL.com Around the League writer Gregg Rosenthal ranks the top 25 edge rushers in the NFL today, and second-year defensive end Bruce Irvin makes the list at No. 12. Rosenthal lists Avril as having “just missed” his top 25.

Russell WilsonNFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a chart breaking down NFL quarterbacks that have produced games with a QBR of 90+ from 2010-12. Perhaps not surprisingly, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tops the list, totaling 14 games with a 90+ QBR in 46 starts from 2010-12, but it’s Wilson who stands out on Sando’s list with five 90+ QBR games last season alone.

Sando also has his daily look around the NFC West and his Wednesday SportsNation chat transcript can be found here.

Dick Fain, on Sports Radio 950 KJR AM’s “Mitch in the Morning” show, chats with Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon about what he saw from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson through the team’s Offseason Program and what to expect from the club in the 2013 season. We have the podcast for you below:

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth talks with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn about backup players stepping up.

Punter Jon Ryan is hosting a charity golf tournament today in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Free safety Chris Maragos, tight end Sean McGrath, kicker Steven Hauschka and long snapper Clint Gresham will also be in attendance.

And by way of NFL Network’s NFL AM, NFL Chief Security Officer Jeff Miller adds some clarity to the League’s new bag rule.


Adding clarity to the NFL’s new bag rule

Last week’s announcement of an improved public safety policy at CenturyLink Field prompted a lot of questions about what type of bags, items, and clothing are and are not OK to bring into the Seahawks’ stadium moving forward. Our FAQ does a good job at addressing some of those primary concerns, but a few visuals might help you gain a better grasp of what to expect in 2013.

On Tuesday, June 18, NFL Chief Security Officer Jeff Miller appeared on NFL Network’s NFL AM to address the change of policy that will affect each of the League’s 32 clubs. In the video above, Miller explains that creating a secure and safe environment is top of the list for the NFL, especially after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that took place back in mid-April.

“The bottom line is that our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” Miller said. “It is the number one priority of our owners and Commissioner [Roger] Goodell.”

It’s important to remember that you will still be allowed to bring all of the same type of items you were permitted to bring before. The change comes in the type of container you carry those items in with – packs may not exceed a size of 12” x 6” x 12″ and must be made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC. The only exception comes with small clutch hand bags, which may still be carried into the stadium.

While public safety is the driving force behind the change, getting fans into the stadium at a faster rate played a role as well. Long lines have slowed gameday entry into some of the League’s stadiums to a crawl, and the NFL hopes see-through bags will help expedite that process.

“We’re going to be able to move fans more quickly through the gates because it’s a lot easier to screen these clear bags that you can see into,” Miller said. “We believe that this step is a minor step to take to provide a much higher level of public safety in and around our stadiums.”

Below are a few examples of stadium-safe pouch, tote, and cinch bags that will become available at the Seahawks Pro Shop around the middle of August.

StadiumSafeBags


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Seahawks to give fans a different kind of voice

Fan Advisory Council

The Seahawks have asked a lot of their fans over the franchise’s first 37 seasons, and it usually had to do with being very, very loud on game days. Now, they’re offering a lot to 12 fans.

Club president Peter McLoughlin has announced the formation of a “President’s Fan Advisory Council,” and the group of season-ticket holders will assist team executives in the evaluation and enhancement of the overall fan experience.

As McLoughlin put it in announcing the plan, “The Fan Advisory Council will play an important role in our efforts to maintain and enhance the Seahawks fan experience. We will hold quarterly meetings to discuss and focus on a variety of fan related issues including: in-stadium fan experience, game preparation and in-stadium technology.”

Applications for the two-year term on the council are due by July 12, and season ticket holders can apply here.


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Jon Ryan to host charity golf tournament & kicking camp north of the border

Jon Ryan

A couple of summer activities that slipped under our radar in last week’s blog post on the Seahawks 12 Tour and related player-driven football camps around the nation come from Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who will host a charity golf tournament and kicking camp north of the border this week in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

For the sixth-year Seahawk Ryan, a native of Regina, SK, his inaugural golf tournament takes place tomorrow, June 20, at Regina’s Wascana Golf & Country Club. The event supports the Bob Ryan Scholarship Foundation – a fund Ryan and his brother Steve set up in their father’s name. The foundation offers financial aid to student athletes playing for the University of Regina Rams Football Club – Ryan’s alma mater – and also helps those in need of cancer care and treatment at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre.

Ryan will be joined at tomorrow’s tournament by fellow Seahawks in free safety Chris Maragos, tight end Sean McGrath, kicker Steven Hauschka, and long snapper Clint Gresham, as well as former Seahawks kicker Jeff Reed and stars from the Canadian Football League (CFL). For Ryan, the golf classic preludes his Saturday kicking camp to be held at the University of Regina’s Rams Field.

So if you’re strolling around the prairie province this week, Ryan encourages you to stop by and say hello to some of your Seahawks, as they enjoy what’s left of their five week break prior to the start of training camp in late July.


Wednesday round-up: Earl Thomas tours NFL Network; Doug Baldwin audio

Free safety Earl Thomas drops by the set of “NFL Total Access” to talk about NFC West rivalries and which club has the best secondary in the League

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Wednesday, June 19, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Free safety Earl Thomas joined NFL.com’s Dave Dameshek Football Program. Dameshek’s segment with Thomas begins at the 22-minute mark of the podcast below:

NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com looks at the percentages of 2012 game snaps remaining on the Seahawks’ 90-man roster. According to Sando, the team’s current roster logged 87.4 percent of offensive and defensive snaps last season – the highest percentage in the division, reflecting a high player-retention rate year-over-year. The team has come a long way since those 284 roster transactions head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made during their first year together in 2010.

Sando also passes along notes from ESPN’s fantasy football comparison of Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Seahawks wideout Percy Harvin.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin joined Sports Radio 950 KJR AM for a conversation with Dave “Softy” Mahler yesterday afternoon, the podcast of which can be found below:

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com discusses the 2013 outlook for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Here at Seahawks.com, team president Peter McLoughlin is seeking 12 season ticket holders to join his new Fan Advisory Council to assist the club in the overall 12th Man experience. If you meet the requirements, feel free to apply here. All applications are due by July 12.

Clare Farnsworth’s Tuesday feature reacquainted us with 2012 fifth-round draft pick Korey Toomer, the uber-athletic linebacker out of the University of Idaho who spent his rookie season on the practice squad before moving to injured reserve after having shoulder surgery early in the year. Toomer has worked at strong-side linebacker with the No. 2 and No. 3 defenses during the team’s nine sessions of Organized Team Activties (OTAs) this spring, as well as during last week’s three-day minicamp, and will look to factor in at the position come training camp in late July.

Wide receiver Golden Tate showed up for the fourth time on NFL AM’s countdown of the Top 100 Plays of 2012, when his 32-yard grab from quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins was highlighted at No. 34 on the list. Of the 67 plays unveiled to this point, the Seahawks are featured in eight of them.

And USA Football will host a Heads Up Football Player Safety Coaches clinic this Saturday at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where master trainer Tom Bainter – head coach at Bothell High School – will educate more than 70 Seattle-area coaches.