Cliff Avril had officially been a member of the Seahawks for only a few hours, but he already had a message for the 12th Man: Bring it.
As a defensive end, Avril is well aware of the impact home-field noise crowd can have on the opposing offense. As a member of the Lions, he played in Seattle in 2009. So he knows just how discombobulating the din generated by the 12th Man can be.
“The crowd noise is insane here,” Avril said today after signing his contract with the Seahawks. “So as a defensive player, let alone a D-lineman, that’s what you want. You want that crowd noise. You want the O-linemen not to be able to hear the snap count so you can get that jump on them.
“So that’s definitely huge for a defensive lineman, a pass-rusher. So that played a big part in why I chose here as well.”
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 15.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks have a lot to look forward to with Russell Wilson at quarterback, “From now until he decides he’s done, Wilson is here to captivate, inspire and — most important — lead. Despite the difficulty of the NFL, despite the understanding there are few assurances in this sport, despite the Seahawks’ limited history of sustained excellence, Wilson provides extreme confidence that it’s safe for this franchise to dream the biggest dreams. He’s that special, and he’s a star that illuminates all the other special things the Seahawks are doing to become a championship-caliber team. The Seahawks have so much going for them, from general manager John Schneider’s deft talent-evaluation to a young core of stars to a coach who complements and directs them perfectly. You keep looking for the trap door, for the way the Seahawks will end up as heartbroken as they were in their last-minute, season-ending loss to Atlanta on Sunday. But the more you look for fatal flaws, the more you come back to Wilson and the level of trust he demands. ‘He’s a baller,’ Carroll said. ‘A real football player.’ “
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after the Seahawks’ season-ending loss at Atlanta, “Zach Miller is one tough hombre. The guy tore his plantar fascia on Seattle’s third play of the game. He went to the locker room, took a pain-killing shot on the bottom of his foot and returned to have the most prolific receiving day in not only his two-year tenure with the Seahawks, but his six-year NFL career. We’ve made a big deal out of how seldom he has been targeted in the passing game since coming to Seattle. He caught 50 or more passes in three successive seasons with the Raiders only to come to the Seahawks and catch a career-low 25 passes in 2011. He had 38 receptions in 2012, but had not had more than 59 yards receiving in any game for the Seahawks. Until Sunday. He showed exactly what he can do if the opponent neglects to account for him. Miller caught eight passes for 142 yards, most of any player in a game that also featured Atlanta’s Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.”
Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times writes that while the Seahawks may have been hurting after Sunday’s loss, plenty are looking forward to what’s in store for the team next season, “Wilson, who wore a sweatshirt Monday that read ‘No Time 2 Sleep,’ was living out that message already. The morning after the season ended, he was reviewing game tape. ‘There are so many areas where I could get better, and that’s the thing that I’ll have to do this offseason is continue to watch the film, continue to look at all the cut-ups of this past season and what I’ve done well and what I could have done better. The goal for me is … ‘How can I get 10 times better?’ ‘ A shared motivation, it seems, for a team that has the look of a perennial contender. ‘If you didn’t know who the Seahawks were before the season, I’ll guarantee you know who they are now,’ said defensive end Bruce Irvin. ‘There are a lot of positive things coming for the organization, and I can’t wait to get it started again in a couple months.’ “
Mayers also passes along comments from several players on their thanks for the support of the 12th Man, ” ‘It’s amazing to have the fan base that we have. They make the game fun. They make it easier to play your heart out and leave it all on the field, because you know you’re playing for such fantastic fans, and they deserve it.’ — Richard Sherman, cornerback”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about their future, “At this point, nothing Wilson does, whether it’s leading a fourth-quarter comeback or working non-stop off the field, will really surprise anyone in Seattle’s locker room. And that’s one of the biggest reasons why the Seahawks are so excited about their future even as they struggle to accept that their season just ended. ‘After the Chicago game, you had a team full of believers that he could do anything,’ said cornerback Richard Sherman, speaking about the touchdown drives Wilson led in the fourth quarter and overtime as Seattle defeated the Bears on Dec. 2. ‘We’d be surprised if he walked on water and fell in. He’s a great quarterback, he’s a great person, and he deserves the success he has. He works hard for it, he does everything you could ask of a quarterback and more.’ And to be fair, the Seahawks have plenty of reasons for optimism beyond the play of their young quarterback. The Seahawks are young, which means a lot of these players have room to grow. And only two starters — linebacker Leroy Hill and defensive tackle Alan Branch — are free agents. Also, the good health that helped Seattle finish the season so strong will also lead to a more productive offseason.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press comments on the play of Wilson and what it means for the Seahawks going forward, “While some franchises continue to search for a solid foundation at quarterback, the Seahawks go into next season knowing that the position is all but locked up for the foreseeable future. That’s why Wilson spent some of Monday morning watching film rather than packing up his locker. ‘Obviously, there are very high expectations for our football team now, and that’s great to have,’ Wilson said. ‘That means that we’ve got to work that much harder in practice, we’ve got to work that much harder in the offseason, and we’ve got to play that much better come game time. I look forward to those challenges and that’s what I wait for.’ “
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com revisits what went wrong for the Seahawks in the last 25 seconds of Sunday’s game, “The Seahawks had been bringing extra pressure all game, a necessity given the lack of pass rush they were getting from their defensive line. That pressure was a factor on Ryan’s first-quarter interception, when he threw an errant pass to Wagner as Trufant was bearing down on him. Trufant and Guy both had blitzed from the left side on that play. It was those two coming off the left side again on second down of the final drive. This time, though, the Falcons picked it up. Ryan hit Gonzalez at Seattle’s 36, and Gonzalez shed linebacker Bobby Wagner’s tackle before picking up an extra five yards. ‘They made two great plays and that’s all it took,’ Carroll said.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday’s end-of-season media availability, “DT Alan Branch will be an unrestricted free agent after spending his last two seasons in Seattle. Branch expressed a sincere desire to be back with the Seahawks next season. ‘I love the team here. I would love to be back here. I have developed great friendships with the guys, especially in the D-line room, but throughout the team. I didn’t really have as many friends as I do on this team on any team I had in Arizona. I think it’s a special group,’ Branch said. ‘Hopefully they want me here and the whole money situation gets settled. But if not there won’t be a better group of guys than this, I’m sure.’ “
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 26.
The NFL notes that 2013 Pro Bowl rosters will be announced today at 7 p.m. ET on a special edition of “NFL Total Access.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at the improvement of quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense, “Wilson’s yards per attempt — a metric that helps gauge how aggressively a team looks downfield — is up nearly 2 yards over the past three games, a significant bump. What has really exploded is Wilson’s rushing numbers, the game plan becoming focused upon accentuating Wilson’s talents. It’s not just running beyond the line of scrimmage, but moving in the pocket. He’s got license to scramble, evading defenders with maneuvers that are at times almost comical. Earlier in the season, Seattle was trying to grind out victories while grooming a rookie quarterback. Now, the Seahawks are trusting that same rookie to see how far he will take them. ‘We have a front-line, first-rate quarterback going out there in these games and you’re seeing it,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s balling. We trust him in his decision-making because he’s proven worthy of that.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune rehashes the race for offensive rookie of the year, making a case for Wilson, “Since Week 5, Wilson has thrown for 2,274 yards, completing 65 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. During that same stretch Wilson has a 106.9 passer rating, the second best in the league over that span behind only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (110.8). In the red zone, Wilson has completed 56 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.6 passer rating, which is fourth-best in the league.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes about how Carroll and the Seahawks are handling their recent success, “No longer are the Seahawks, the team playing in the NFL’s most remote outpost, the plucky little team that could. They’re quickly turning into bullies. Apparently, three wins by a combined margin of 150-30 tends to make people take notice. So is there any concern the Seahawks could lose their edge now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth and are being called the NFL’s hottest team? ‘Yeah, sure, there is always concern for that,’ Carroll said. ‘That’s what my job is, to not let that happen, so I better be concerned about that. I’m very confident about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and the language that we use and the way we talk, the way they’re talking. I love to hear their comments at this point and how they’ve dealt with the last few weeks. They’re right on point.’ “
Boyle also notes a roster move from Monday, December 24, as the club released wide receiver Deon Butler from the 53-man roster to make room for the addition of rookie strong safety Winston Guy, who had been serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Jim Litke of the Associated Press tries to make sense of the sound level exhibited by the 12th Man at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, “[Sunday Night Football producer Fred] Gaudelli and his crew hatched a plan to demonstrate that by having sideline reporter Michele Tafoya speak into a microphone as the sound reverberated, then take a step back and try again. When they ran through it before the game, he had a stadium staffer simulate the crowd noise over the PA system. At the point Tafoya’s words were drowned out the system was cranked to 50 percent of volume. ‘So I asked the guy, is it really going to be that loud? He looked at me,’ Gaudelli chuckled into the phone, ‘and said, ‘Double it.’ The guy was right. That much was apparent at the start of the broadcast, when Tafoya interviewed Carroll – remember, the game hadn’t even begun – and didn’t dare stand anywhere but uncomfortably close. Uncomfortable might be the right word to describe the 49ers as well, at least in the early going, when they had to burn timeouts as relatively inexperienced quarterback Colin Kaepernick was having trouble getting the play calls from his sideline. Right about then, he probably wished the 49ers had devoted more time to mastering their silent snap counts. ‘The crowd’s explosive, it really is,’ Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. ‘They love us so much, and it brings so much energy to our football team. They keep us in the game, obviously, and they keep us alert.’ “
Tim Booth of the Associated Press has reaction from Carroll on the club’s hope to continue to play with an edge, “The blowout of the 49ers grabbed the kind of attention the Seahawks have wanted. ‘The chip on the shoulder? That’s not something we just manufactured for the sake of getting fired up. The guys in this room feel that. Almost every one of these guys has their reasons. I feel like that myself. We just kind of share in that chip and we don’t even have to pass it around,’ Carroll said. ‘We all have one. That’s just kind of how it’s been. Just look, we’re up here in the Northwest and they like talking about us after they talk about everybody else. And that’s OK. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t amount to much but sometimes it does fuel you a little to keep you going. It works for us so we’ll stay with it.’ “
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com says last Sunday’s victory over the 49ers was “extra special” for wide receiver Doug Baldwin, “As if beating his college coach in lopsided fashion wasn’t sweet enough, Baldwin had his finest game of the season in the win. He had receiving touchdowns of 4 and 6 yards, making difficult catches on each. He made a bobbling catch on a 46-yard gain that set up the Seahawks’ second touchdown. Baldwin finished with four catches for 53 yards. It was the first multi-touchdown game of his career. Then again, big games against the 49ers are nothing new for Baldwin. Four of his seven career touchdowns have come against San Francisco.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has updates from Carroll’s Monday presser, “Carroll said they emerged from the game fairly healthy with only a few issues. He said LB Leroy Hill has a hamstring injury that needs to be looked at. He also said Hill’s backup, LB Malcolm Smith, might have a groin issue as well. It’s something they need to check out. If neither would be available to play, LB Mike Morgan would be the backup at the weakside linebacker spot. Carroll said WR Sidney Rice and DE Red Bryant came out of the game feeling better. Rice had been dealing with a foot bruise and a knee injury heading into last week’s game. Bryant has been dealing with a plantar fascia injury in his foot. CB Marcus Trufant is expected to return to practice on Wednesday from a hamstring strain that has kept him out the last four games. Carroll said they still weren’t sure if CB Walter Thurmond would be able to practice Wednesday. He has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain as well.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his latest “MVP Watch” where Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch show up on his list, “Wilson now ranks seventh in NFL passer rating (98.0) and eighth in Total QBR (70.0) for the season. He ranks third in both categories — 101.5 rating, 75.6 QBR — from Week 2 to present. Much gets made of Wilson’s success at home. He ranks among the NFL’s top five in road QBR after Week 1 (78.8). Only Ryan (85.4), Brady (81.5) and Manning (80.2) rank higher among quarterbacks with more than four road starts during that time. Ben Roethlisberger (72.8), Drew Brees (69.9), Rodgers (69.8) and Robert Griffin III (69.6) are next. Wilson needs one touchdown pass against St. Louis in Week 17 to tie Manning’s rookie record of 26, set in 1998. Manning also had 28 interceptions that season. Wilson has 10, including one on a dropped pass.”
Sando has his most recent “Stock Watch” item as well, and the Seahawks’ coach and GM – Carroll and John Schneider – along with the Seahawks’ receiver and strong safety Kam Chancellor represent three of his four units that are on the rise, “Seahawks’ receivers. Dropped passes doomed Seattle’s offense during a 13-6 defeat at San Francisco in Week 7. Outstanding catches played an important role in Seattle sprinting to a big lead against the 49ers in the rematch Sunday night. Baldwin’s juggling catch in the rain for a 43-yard gain was the longest play for either team. Baldwin added two scoring receptions. Rice made a leaping grab along the sideline. Seattle converted 11 of 12 times on third down while Wilson was in the game.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth catches up with wide receiver Doug Baldwin, cornerback Richard Sherman, and special teams co-captain Heath Farwell on some of their favorite Christmas memories growing up.
We also have coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday available here.
Good morning, and happy Fourth of July. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this holiday.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com explores how travel disparity may affect NFL teams. He specifically references the Seahawks and the NFC West division, noting that their distance traveled each season outpaces the rest, “The Steelers played 15 of their 16 games in the Eastern time zone, with a lone trip to the Central time zone waiting for them against the Titans in Week 16. Part of that is a lucky out-of-division schedule, but the Steelers also benefit by playing in a division with three opponents who each reside within 260 miles or so of Pittsburgh. Seattle, meanwhile, plays in a ‘West’ division that places its teams in three different time zones. Pittsburgh accrues about 1,122 miles in traveling to and from its divisional rivals, while Seattle’s round-trips to their NFC West brethren clock in at a whopping 7,024 miles.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at some recent stadium rule changes that should ensure home teams enjoy a more formidable advantage. The Wall Street Journal reported, “Stadiums will now be free to rile up crowds with video displays, and public-address announcers will no longer be restrained from inciting racket when the opposing offense faces a crucial third down.” Sando points out how these changes might benefit Seattle’s already boisterous 12th Man crowd, “It’s unclear how much louder CenturyLink Field can become, but a few well-timed highlights featuring knockout hits from Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor should help us find out. Likewise, shots of Tony Romo’s infamous botched hold against Seattle in the playoffs years ago should come in handy when Romo is breaking the huddle at CenturyLink for the Seahawks’ home opener this year.”
Sando also continues with his pre-camp analysis – this time with the Seahawks defense and special teams – breaking down who he feels are the safest bets, leading contenders and those who face longer odds to earn roster spots come the end of training camp. On the Seahawks secondary, Sando had this to say, “Three of the four starters went to the Pro Bowl last season; [Richard] Sherman arguably should have gone. [Marcus] Trufant’s conversion to a nickel role has the potential to upgrade Seattle’s coverage. Injuries sidelined Trufant and [Walter] Thurmond last season. Both can contribute at a reasonably high level if healthy. It’s tough to bank on either one, however. Don’t forget about [Byron] Maxwell. He impressed in camp as a rookie, only to fade from the picture after suffering an ankle injury. Seattle likes its depth at corner. [Jeron] Johnson should be ready to take a step forward at safety. The Seahawks like what they’ve seen from [Winston] Guy as well.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment as Seahawks General Manager John Schneider takes a couple of minutes to talk with Tony Ventrella about Seahawks second round draft pick LB Bobby Wagner out of Utah State.
Finally, in the spirit of the holiday, NFL.com asked their staff the question, ‘Which 2012 NFL game should become a national holiday?’ The question sparked some interesting responses, but the unanimous choice was the New England Patriots October 7 game with the Denver Broncos, or as many will see it – Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. “This is an easy one,” said NFL Network’s Ian Rapport. “On Oct. 7, the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in a game the entire country should be forced to sit down and watch. The NFL was robbed last year of the its 13th meeting of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, but not this year. Sure, sure, Manning is playing for Denver now, but the key elements of the NFL’s best quarterback rivalry are still there. Brady and Manning will still be matching right arms in a battle to reach 40 points, with this contest taking place at Gillette Stadium. If history is any indicator, it’ll go down to the wire.”
Monday Night Football returned to Seattle for the first time since 2007, and the Seahawks did not disappoint as they defeated the St. Louis Rams, 30-13 at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks returned to CenturyLink Field after only a four day break to face the visiting Philadelphia Eagles in front of a national television audience in prime time. Seattle did not disappoint, thumping the Eagles 31-14 to improve their record to 5-7.
The Seahawks hoped to stretch their winning streak to three games against the visiting Washington Redskins, who traveled to Seattle losers of six games in a row. Seattle survived a rough first quarter to take a 10-point lead in the second half, only to see it snatched away in the fourth quarter.
So who belongs on the cover of the Madden 2012?
Michael Vick? Aaron Rodgers? Matt Ryan? Enough with the quarterbacks, already. How about the 12th Man?
The crowd that generates all that excitement – not to mention ear-ringing and even earth-shaking noise – at Qwest Field is in the field to make the cover of the beyond-popular video game. The 12th Man is a 10th seed and has a first-round matchup with 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis in a bracket-style competition on ESPN’s SportsNation.
You can cast your vote here.
Voting for the first-round matchups started Monday and ends Sunday.
The Seahawks entered Sunday’s wild-card playoff game as vast underdogs to the visiting Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, but Matt Hasselbeck, Marshawn Lynch and the 12th Man led the way to a victory and a trip to Chicago.
In honor of “Blue Friday”, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, left and Keith Colburn, captain of the Wizard on television’s “Deadliest Catch” were on hand to raise the 12th MAN flag atop Seattle’s legendary landmark, the Space Needle.