Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 18.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times calls Sunday’s victory over the Cowboys “the most complete demonstration of how coach Pete Carroll wants his team to play,” but questions whether or not that style can hold up against the high scoring Green Bay Packers, who visit CenturyLink Field Monday night, “The Packers could test Seattle’s makeup, though. If the Seahawks can’t dictate their style of play, they’ll find it difficult to match Green Bay point for point. ‘We’ll see what happens,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how it goes. That was a pretty high-flying (Dallas) offense this last week, and fortunately we could find a way.’ “
O’Neil also notes that the play of backup tight end Anthony McCoy stood out in Sunday’s win against Dallas, and O’Neil admits he may have been too quick to judge the release of tight end Kellen Winslow the way he did a week ago, “McCoy’s performance Sunday followed up on an impressive August in which he had 106 yards receiving, most on the team. That emergence may have played a factor in Seattle’s decision to release Winslow before it was obligated to pay him $3.3 million for the season.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says that tackle Russell Okung should be able to play Monday against the Packers, according to coach Carroll, “Carroll said that Okung was well enough Sunday that he should be able to play against Green Bay on Sept. 24. ‘He should be able to make it – particularly with the next couple days … we can rest him,’ Carroll said. ‘So he won’t have to practice until Thursday. So that will give him a good break.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the play of backup tackle Frank Omiyale against the Cowboys was “solid” in place of the injured Okung, and says that other than an injury to cornerback Byron Maxwell, the Seahawks came out of Sunday’s game relatively injury-free, “With Okung sidelined, backup Frank Omiyale was solid in relief, helping limit the impact of Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware. ‘He got knocked around a couple of times — he was playing against a great player — but he held his own and had a good credible game and we’re thankful he was able to get that done,’ Carroll said of Omiyale. Okung’s potential return was just one piece of good news on the injury front for Seattle. Other than a hamstring injury to backup cornerback Byron Maxwell, which Carroll described as a “first-degree hamstring kind of thing,” the Seahawks came out of the game healthy.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press comments on the Seahawks’ style of play in Sunday’s win over the Cowboys, “The Seahawks were aggressive, physical, controlled possession and wore down the Cowboys Sunday. Seattle had played that way at times during Carroll’s previous two seasons as head coach, but the Seahawks were arguably never more complete than in taking Dallas apart. ‘We’ve had some fun wins and great games and stuff, but because we’ve been so specific, laid it out there, we told you for what we’re shooting for and how we want it to go. We’ve seen it in preseason and the first time we really got a chance to see it come to life, that is satisfying,’ Carroll said Monday. ‘We know now what we are really working toward and what we want to achieve with our effort with the style of play.’ “
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has a look at McCoy’s career day, “McCoy’s 22-yard touchdown grab came in the third quarter with the Seahawks leading 13-7. Seattle lined up with three tight ends bunched to the right, a formation that screams run. Instead, Russell Wilson dropped back to pass and hit McCoy as he crossed the goal line. ‘Kind of a relief,’ said McCoy, a sixth-round pick in 2010, when asked how it felt to score his first career touchdown. ‘Now it’s like, now you’ve got your first touchdown, you got a couple catches in the game, now you can just relax and just go out and have fun now.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Carroll’s Monday press conference, including a note on guard James Carpenter, “Carroll said G James Carpenter will fully participate in practice this week after being held to 80-percent last week. Carpenter is ahead of schedule in returning from a devastating knee injury last Novemeber. Carroll said it will still likely be a while before he sees the field, however. ‘It’s still probably down the road a little bit from that, but he practice about 80 percent last week and that’s an enormous accomplishment for him,’ Carroll said. ‘So we’re going to see if we can get him a full week here and see what that tells us about him and how he handles it. He’s way ahead of schedule, and we’re thrilled with what he’s doing and the fact that he’s out competing and taking pass rushes and everything.”
The staff at SportsPressNW.com recaps Carroll’s Monday press conference.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com believes that quarterback Russell Wilson’s stock is on the rise after Sunday’s win, “Wilson followed up a so-so debut at Arizona with a far more efficient performance in the absence of the constant pressure the Cardinals generated. Wilson completed 15 of 20 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. He set a franchise rookie record for completion percentage in a single game (min. 20 attempts). Wilson, backed by Marshawn Lynch’s 122-yard rushing performance, completed 8 of 10 passes for 71 yards and five first downs on play-action attempts.”
Wilson is a nominee for rookie of the week on NFL.com, and you can vote for him here.
Also at NFL.com, the Seahawks move up seven spots to No. 16 on their Week 3 power poll.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com moves the Seahawks up 11 spots – to No. 11 – on his weekly power rankings, “I was impressed by what they did on defense against the Cowboys. The special teams came up big, too.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at the Seahawks satisfying win from Sunday, and recaps the activities surrounding Monday in Hawkville, noting that coach Carroll sees the NFC West as a division on the rise, as they have a combined record of 6-2 through Week 2 – the best of the NFL’s eight divisions.
From the video side, we bring you Carroll’s Monday press conference in full here, Tony Ventrella brings you his Seahawks Daily with a look at Sunday’s “blueprint” win, and Ventrella and Farnsworth review the 27-7 victory over the Cowboys here.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps the Seahawks 27-7 win over the Cowboys, “What Seattle demonstrated in the second half is that these are not the same old Seahawks. Seattle’s running game is built to wear down an opponent while its defense won’t wear out. Seattle hadn’t had a scoring drive longer than 52 yards over the first six quarters of the season. The Seahawks drove 90 yards for a touchdown on the second possession of the third quarter, rushing six of the eight plays on the drive that ended with tight end Anthony McCoy’s 22-yard touchdown catch. They drove 88 yards for a touchdown the next time they had the ball, nine of those 12 plays were rushes capped by Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard scoring run. ‘We found our stride a little bit,’ coach Pete Carroll said.”
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times describes Russell Wilson’s performance in his first career win with two words, “Stealthy good. He wasn’t electric. He was just efficient. He complemented a power run game with his accuracy, poise and patience. For a young quarterback who has already earned so much respect and fame, Wilson managed to operate with an offensive lineman’s slyness in the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over Dallas. He was invisibly effective for most of the game. At opportune moments, he flashed his talent and impacted the outcome. He made mostly inconsequential mistakes. And that, folks, is Pete Carroll’s dream situation for a quarterback. ‘I thought he played a really cool game for us,’ said the Seahawks coach, who is always striving to make the quarterback’s difficult job easier.”
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times writes that Sunday’s win is the ideal way this Seahawks team wants to play the game, “This was a win that was all wallops and welts. The Seahawks made Dallas look like Portland State. They were more aggressive, more energetic. ‘This is the way we’d like to do it,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We took care of the football all day. Special teams jumped on it and got something started in beautiful fashion for us. And then we just started pounding away.’ The Seahawks played as if their season depended on it. ‘It was something we had to have,’ Robinson said. ‘I called it before the game. It was a must-win for us.’ “
John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says that Golden Tate’s block of Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in the fourth quarter yesterday is one that will be remembered as part of the wide receiver’s legacy, “Tate is blessed with quick feet and soft hands, two attributes necessary for somebody paid to catch passes. And yet on the longest gain of a pivotal drive that put the Seahawks beyond the reach of the Dallas Cowboys, Tate used neither of them. The receiver wasn’t in a receivership mode when he turned toward Dallas linebacker Sean Lee and impersonated a wrecking ball. Tate stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 202 pounds. Lee is listed at 6-2, 245. But the blocker enjoyed a substantial advantage: he knew where he was going and what he wanted to do when he got there. ‘The first half of the play, I was just trying to get open,’ said Tate, whose cold-blooded collision with the unwitting Lee sprang quarterback Russell Wilson for a 14-yard gain in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory. ‘And when I realized Russell was going to run, I looked for somebody to block, and somebody happened to be right there. Either I’d hit him hard, or he’d hit the quarterback hard. So I hit him.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune points to the success of backup left tackle Frank Omiyale, who started in place of the injured Russell Okung, in dealing with Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, “Omiyale started 14 games at left tackle for Chicago in 2010. The grizzled, eight-year veteran came into the game with 32 career NFL starts. Omiyale said the Sea-hawks didn’t do anything special to contain Ware. ‘I don’t know if it was a big strategy,’ Omiyale said. ‘As far as I know, they called regular plays. We slid to him. We slid away. So I felt like we stayed with our offense pretty well.’ But other teammates noticed Omiyale’s effort. ‘Frank came in without any idea of (Okung) not starting and he did a great job,” Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch said. “That goes to show the depth of those guys and the work they put into it.’ “
Meg Wochnick of the Tacoma News Tribune credits the ‘Hawks defense for setting the tone in the victory, “Nearly a full season after Seattle’s defense allowed 442 yards of total offense in a 23-13 loss to Dallas in Week 6, the Cowboys got a completely different showing from the Seahawks on Sunday. The difference? A second-half defensive adjustment — holding Dallas to eight yards rushing, limiting running back DeMarco Murray to 44 yards on 12 carries, and causing all sorts of problems for a Cowboys team that seemed to have trouble finding an offensive rhythm. ‘They did a great job of neutralizing us and we needed to do some things to make some plays and we just didn’t do it,’ Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says that Wilson showed good progress in the win yesterday, “Russell Wilson was exactly that quarterback Sunday, completing 15 of 20 passes with a touchdown for a passer rating of 112.7 in the Seahawks’ 27-7 upset of the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field. As we urged fans to be patient with premature judgments on Wilson’s long-range potential after his ordinary statistics in a season-opening loss to the Cardinals, it’s fair to again withhold his deification after the win over Dallas. But it certainly looked as if the rookie from Wisconsin grew up – as an NFL quarterback if not in physical stature – in the second half against Dallas. The best thing about his contributions? They were proportional. And they were in the context of what the team needs from him. He took nothing away from Marshawn Lynch’s rushing; he did not put the defense in bad situations because of turnovers. He put the club in position to win.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that the ‘Hawks second-half adjustments made up for a less-than-stellar first half, “In the second half, however, Wilson and the offense found their rhythm. And with the defense locking down the Cowboys — Dallas had just 85 yards in the second half, 51 of which came in garbage time on the last drive of the game — that was a formula for a blowout. ‘Our special teams spotted us 10 points, but we just weren’t clicking offensively,’ said fullback Robinson. ‘Second half, we stayed true to our game plan and it worked in our favor.’ “
Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com says that the Seahawks were dominant in the 27-7 win, “The running game was awesome. The passing game was, in the context of their plan, awesome. The special teams were awesome. And the defense was, in the second half especially, nearly perfect. They lived up to their physical identity.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his take on the win over Dallas, “Wilson had what was nearly a perfect game from Carroll’s perspective: 15 completions in 20 attempts for 151 yards and no turnovers (passer rating 112.7), including a 22-yard pass for a TD to Anthony McCoy. That completed a 90-yard drive in eight plays, only two of which were passes. The next time they had the ball, the Seahawks went 88 yards in 12 plays over nearly eight minutes, a massive example of scrimmage control. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been part of 88- and 90-yard drives back-to-back,’ said center Max Unger. ‘We rotated through seven guys (through the O-line) and kept the communication going, which is something we didn’t do last week.’ “
Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com says that the Seahawks defensive backfield – the “Legion of Boom” – lived up to their name yesterday, “Safety Kam Chancellor, who was bringing the hits all day long, said after the game that the way his defense played against the Cowboys was the idea all along. Like many on Pete Carroll’s young team, the third-year starter had to match his acumen with his athleticism, and it was obvious in this game that Chancellor and his teammates had done just that. The 6-foot-3, 231-pound safety delivered on anything over the middle, and eventually, even tough veterans like tight end Jason Witten appeared unsure of just what they might be in for on slants and drags. ‘That happened a couple of times,’ Chancellor told me after Seattle’s decisive win. ‘Guys remember the same play from earlier — they think you’re about to hit them again, so they’re trying to hurry up and turn around and face up without catching the ball first … Once that ball comes over the middle and somebody catches it, all I’m thinking about is lights out.’ “
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from yesterday’s victory, “Russell Wilson was efficient and completed 15-of-20 passes for 151 yards and a score for the Seahawks (1-1), who dropped their opener to the Arizona Cardinals. ‘We can’t hurt ourselves, that’s what we did last week,’ Wilson said. ‘We had great communication today. We messed up a few times, but that’s going to happen. We really have to focus in and not make any mistakes, that’s our goal. We weren’t quite perfect, but it was way better than last week.’ Tony Romo was 23-of-40 for 251 yards with a touchdown and interception for Dallas (1-1), which defeated the New York Giants last Wednesday. Miles Austin caught five balls for 63 yards and a score, while DeMarco Murray was limited to 44 yards on 12 carries in defeat. The Seahawks, who led 13-7 at halftime, outscored Dallas 14-0 over the final 30 minutes.”
Don Banks of SI.com touches on the physicality Seattle displayed in yesterday’s defeat of the Cowboys, “At its most fundamental and basic, football is about imposing your will on an opponent. You can do that at times schematically or mentally in the course of a game, but it’s always the most fun, players say, when you do it physically. At least for the winning team. Exhibit A on this Sunday was the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field — nicknamed in these parts, and wonderfully so, “The Clink.” The Seahawks didn’t just beat the previously high-riding Cowboys in this one, they beat on them, and beat them down until their will to win broke. And they did it with a style of physicality and aggressive brand of football that has not really been a trademark of Seattle football for quite some time.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his wrap-up from yesterday, “What I liked: Malcolm Smith’s blocked punt and Jeron Johnson’s return bought needed breathing room for Seattle after the Seahawks drove to a field goal on their opening drive. Those are the types of plays that get a home crowd going. They can make the difference for teams with strong defenses. Seattle contained DeMarco Murray (3.7 yards per carry, long run of 9 yards) and Tony Romo. Romo had gone 3-2 in his past five road starts, tossing 12 touchdown passes with only two interceptions during those games. Seattle picked him off early and prevented him from getting comfortable.”
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth says that all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams – excelled in yesterday’s victory, and he names Lynch his player of the game. Tony Ventrella recaps the win, we bring you highlights from yesterday, and a look at the day in photos.
A recap of the Seahawks’ 27-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Marshawn Lynch. There were so many candidates from this impressive performance, but the Seahawks’ Beast Mode-running back remains the metronome by which this team beats.
He finished with 122 yards on 26 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that slapped the exclamation point on this one. As always, it wasn’t so much that Lynch got the yards, but how he got them. He averaged 2.2 yards on 10 first-half carries, then exploded for 100 yards on 16 carries in the second half – including a 16-yard run on the first play of the half and a 36-yarder on the eight-play, 90-yard drive in the third quarter that was capped by rookie QB Russell Wilson throwing a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Anthony McCoy.
“It was very much needed, and I’m glad we got it,” Lynch said of the running game producing 182 yards and the offense getting 315 yards.
Offered Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, “You might get pumped up to hit 24 (Lynch) in the first quarter and he might get three yards. But in that fourth quarter, you really don’t want to hit him. He gets stronger. Our offensive line gets stronger.
“When we’re rocking like that, that’s what we want to do. We want to run the ball, we want to play-action (pass) off that and give our defense a rest so they can go out there and dominate.”
UNSUNG PLAYER OF THE GAME
Frank Omiyale. Russell Okung was expected to start at left tackle, despite bruising his left knee in last week’s opener against the Cardinals. But after working out before the game, the coaches decided he couldn’t go. That put Omiyale in harm’s way – or at least in the line of the fire that Cowboys’ pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware in capable of generating.
Ware’s stat line: no sacks, one tackle for a loss, one QB hit.
“Frank is a guy who’s been around the League for an extended period of time,” Wilson said of Omiyale, who started 31 games the past three seasons for the Bears but was making his first start for the Seahawks.
“He has great knowledge of the game. He works extremely hard. The fact that we thought Russell was going to be able to play, but he couldn’t go today, so Frank stepped up and did a tremendous job. I mean an unbelievable job. He’s been doing that for years, so you kind of expect that out of him. Just the way he goes about his business, the way he approaches the game, approaches the week. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Asked about the game plan against Ware, coach Pete Carroll said, “Our plan was to hope he didn’t kill us.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Wilson’s TD pass to McCoy, which came from a three-tight set on the right side. McCoy was in the middle, between Zach Miller (inside) and Evan Moore (outside). When they broke from the line, the cornerback had to take either McCoy or Moore.
“We kind of put the corner in a big predicament,” said McCoy, who had a team-high five receptions in addition to his first NFL touchdown catch. “He had to cover both me and Evan on the play. He chose one and left me open.”
Yes, the way the play unfolded caught McCoy by surprise.
“I’m like, ‘Man, we’re in the red zone and I’m this open?’ ” McCoy said. “I was kind of expecting someone to be there on the catch, but no one was there. It was a great play call.”
Defense: With the Seahawks holding a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cowboys had driven from their 20-yard line to the Seahawks’ 24. But on a second-and-10 play, Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted Tony Romo’s pass that was intended for tight end Jason Witten.
“I’m kind of mad that I got caught,” said Browner, who returned the pick 35 yards. “I felt like I had a shot to go all the way, but I was a little gassed out there.”
Special teams: The Seahawks forced (Robinson) and recovered (Earl Thomas) a fumble on the opening kickoff to setup a field goal. But the next time the Cowboys got the ball, the Seahawks’ special teams scored. Second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith blocked a punt and second-year safety Jeron Johnson picked up the ball on a hop and ran three yards for a TD.
“Malcolm was inside of me and I was rushing to the outside,” Johnson said after scoring his first TD since he was a senior at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif. – and playing middle linebacker. “Nobody blocked Malcolm and the ball bounced right to me.
“It was a big play. Special teams showed up big today.”
Big hit of the day: Golden Tate, come on down. The 202-pound wide receiver drilled Sean Lee, the Cowboys’ 245-pound linebacker, with a vicious block on Wilson’s 14-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.
“Now I see why Kam (Chancellor, the team’s Pro Bowl strong safety) likes defense,” said Tate, who was making his 2012 debut after sitting out the opener with a knee injury. “It felt great.
“It’s a momentum boost. All of sudden we had momentum and drove the ball all the way down the field.”
Eight plays later, Lynch scored his TD, but only after Tate caught an 8-yard pass on third-and-4 to give the Seahawks a first down at the Cowboys’ 3.
Cornerback Byron Maxwell left the game with a hamstring injury and wide receiver Sidney Rice did not finish the game.
But Carroll said he was unaware that anything was wrong with Rice. “He looked OK in the locker room,” Carroll said. “I didn’t see anything. I don’t have any update on that. He was not on the injury list.”
The Seahawks have won four consecutive home openers, and nine of their past 10.
The defense got their hands on seven of Tony Romo’s passes, including two each by Leo end Chris Clemons and linebacker K.J. Wright.
Chancellor had a team-high nine tackles.
Rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin got his first NFL sack. Or at least half of one, as he shared the team’s only sack with Jason Jones. Those are the two players the Seahawks added during the offseason – Irvin in the first-round of the NFL Draft, Jones in free agency – to improve their pass rush.
On the Seahawks’ 90-yard TD drive in the third quarter, they did not face a third-down situation.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I knew it was going to be electric, and it was more than I could ever imagine. The crowd is a huge, huge advantage for our football team. And when the 12th Man is that loud and that energetic, it really helps our offense, our defense, our special teams and just continues to boost us.” – Wilson, after playing his first regular-season game at CenturyLink FIeld.
Good morning, and happy Labor Day. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks after a busy weekend of roster transactions. You can take a look at the Seahawks’ up-to-date roster here.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times speaks to the roster’s continuity this season from a year ago, “This season, the subtraction of tight end Kellen Winslow was the only real surprise as Evan Moore will be added to take his place. The fact that things are so much more settled this year speaks to the quality of the roster that coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider believe they’ve assembled over the past two and a half years. There’s not nearly as much turnover on this year’s team. Of the 53 players currently on Seattle’s roster, 15 were acquired over the offseason. Compare that to last season, when 24 of Seattle’s 53 players were in their first year with the team. The year before that, the number was 27, more than half the team.”
O’Neil has a look at the somewhat unexpected release of tight end Kellen Winslow, “The release of Winslow came after he declined to take a pay cut from the $3.3 million he was scheduled to earn. That salary may have been a point of discussion for months now. Seattle is expected to replace him with Evan Moore, a tight end who played the past three years in Cleveland. Moore is 6 feet 6 and caught 34 passes in 2011, scoring four touchdowns.”
Lastly from O’Neil, we have his look at Seattle’s cut to 53 players, which occurred Friday afternoon, “Just as significant as who is not on the 53-man roster, though, is one player who is: offensive lineman James Carpenter. He did not practice at all during training camp as he continued his recovery from a knee injury he suffered in practice last October. Carpenter was last year’s first-round pick, and he was on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since training camp began. Had he been placed on that list to begin the season, he would not have counted against the 53-man roster limit, but also would have been ineligible to begin practicing with the team until after its sixth game.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, noting that Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s roster-churning days appear to have slowed down, “Currently, 37 of Seattle’s 53 players on the roster were with the team last season. Only six players on the roster remain from when Carroll took over the team after the 2009 season. And Seattle still has one of the youngest teams in the league, with only six players age 30 or older. Cornerback Marcus Trufant is the oldest at 31 – he turns 32 on Christmas Day. Linebacker Leroy Hill turns 30 on Sept. 14.”
Williams has a feature on rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who moved into the starting role this season with the departure of veteran David Hawthorne in free agency and has been making quick progress, “Bradley said he knew Wagner arrived when the headsets on the sidelines went down during the team’s first preseason game against Tennessee, the defensive coordinator had to signal in the calls. Wagner told Bradley he could read his lips from the sideline and get the calls that way. ‘I think for him the big thing is just getting used to using his hands,’ Bradley said. ‘He’s going to have linemen out on him, and he’s getting better at that, and attacking the line of scrimmage.’ “
Williams also comments on the Seahawks’ highly-touted secondary, who has been given the nickname ‘The Legion of Boom‘, “Seattle boasts one of best young secondaries in the league, with safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, and cornerback Brandon Browner all making the trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season. Seattle finished No. 9 in total defense last season, the first time since 1997 the Seahawks finished in the top 10. While Seattle’s defensive front seven anchors the unit with its stout play against the run, the Legion of Boom creates turnovers, and plays with a ferocity befitting the name. ‘We all got that boom,’ safety Kam Chancellor said. ‘Whether it’s getting interceptions, talking trash, being a ballhawk or just knocking somebody out – it’s everything.’ “
John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune admires quarterback Russell Wilson’s attitude and drive to be “great”, but says that average will be just fine for Wilson in this offense, as he advises the rookie to not try to do too much, “Average will work on this offense. Good will be just fine. An average-to-good quarterback who avoids turnovers is a better fit for Pete Carroll’s system than a great quarterback prone to the occasional, inevitable mistake. Take last season’s road upset of the New York Giants. The Hawks beat the eventual Super Bowl champions because Charlie Whitehurst, relieving the injured Tarvaris Jackson in the third quarter, didn’t try to out-Eli Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Whitehurst completed only 11 passes in the second half, for 149 yards and a touchdown, but none of his 19 attempts ended up in the hands of the defense. Manning, meanwhile, finished the day with gaudy stats – 24-of-39 for 420 yards and three touchdowns – but undermined by three interceptions. On the best day of Whitehurst’s life – and helping the Seahawks to that 39-26 victory qualifies for the short list – he is not half the quarterback that Manning is. But again, sometimes less can be preferable to more.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald recaps the Seahawks’ roster reduction, and says wide receiver Braylon Edwards is out to prove critics wrong after a down season a year ago, “That guy you saw wearing Edwards’ jersey last year? That wasn’t him, he’ll tell you. But saying it is one thing, proving it while playing on your fourth team in the last five seasons? Well, let’s just say Edwards knows a strong training camp and a few nice catches in preseason games don’t mean he’s back to being the player who caught 53 passes for 904 yards as recently as two seasons ago. But just getting a chance to show what he can do is a pretty good start. ‘I feel great,’ Edwards said. ‘I feel like I’m full speed, I feel like I can jump however high I need to make plays and get around. I just feel like my athletic ability is there again. Last year I just wasn’t able really to jump, move, make certain cuts, so I’m a much different player this year than last year.’ “
Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews the Seahawks 2012 season, “Even before Wilson’s unexpected rise to the starting lineup and Carroll’s latest examples of unconventional wisdom, the Seahawks were being touted as a team potentially on the rise. Seattle went 5-3 over the second half of last year’s campaign, with the surge fueled by a string of productive games from running back Marshawn Lynch and a defense filled with relative unknowns gelling into one of the NFL’s better crews. And if preseason results can be used as an accurate measuring stick, the Seahawks may indeed be ready to take off in 2012. With Wilson leading the way, Seattle prevailed in all four of its warm-up contests and outscored the opposition by a convincing 122-44 margin.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his analysis of the Seahawks’ cut to 53 players, “Most significant move: The Seattle Seahawks emerged from last season with high hopes for Josh Portis as a developmental quarterback. The arrival of Matt Flynn in free agency and new starter Russell Wilson through the draft left Portis on the outside. The Seahawks released him, leaving Wilson and Flynn as the only quarterbacks on the initial 53-man roster. Some teams with rookie starters brace themselves for what they know will be a long season. The Seahawks think Wilson upgrades the position immediately. They appear unworried by rookie walls and all the other ominous metaphors that typically pop up with inexperienced players behind center. The team could always consider adding a third quarterback in the future, but the value wasn’t there given what Seattle thinks about its top two quarterbacks.”
Sando also has a breakdown of the Seahawks’ roster and practice available for download.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a position-by-position look at the newly-crafted 53-man roster.
Farnsworth also details what’s left at the tight end position after the release of Winslow, “Now what? The Seahawks still have Miller, and the coaches have been pleased with the more-consistent performance of third-year Anthony McCoy during training camp and the preseason. McCoy, a sixth-round draft choice in 2010, had six catches for a team-high 106 receiving yards during the just-concluded preseason. ‘Anthony has been a really good prospect,’ coach Pete Carroll said recently of the tight end he also coached at USC. ‘This was a great pick for us a couple years back. He’s really grown into a versatile tight end for us. He’s one of our best blockers. He’s not quite to Zach’s level, but he really does a great job on all the in-line blocking. He moves around well. He’s a great target to throw the ball to.’ “
And finally, to round things out this morning, Farnsworth looks at the seven familiar faces that make up the Seahawks practice squad, “The release-and-return move with [quarterback Josh] Portis is shrewd. Waiving him opened a roster spot for an extra position player, but he’ll still be around to continue developing his raw, but obvious, skills by getting some reps quarterbacking the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense in practice. Last year, Portis made the 53-man roster as a rookie free agent, but was inactive for 15 games.”
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 23:
Captains. The players will vote on the captains for the regular season. But it’s up to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to determine the captains for each preseason game.
“Those are kind of randomly selected at the last second, when I remember to do it,” Carroll said.
But the honor still means a lot to those randomly selected, last-minute selections.
Against the Titans in the preseason opener, former Titans defensive lineman Jason Jones was a co-captain, along with veteran linebacker Leroy Hill, Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson and Heath Farwell, who led the league in special teams tackles last season.
“It meant a lot. Actually, it was my first time being a captain,” said Jones, who played the previous four seasons with the Titans. “I told coach Carroll after the game and before the game that I appreciate that. Going up against my old team, that meant a lot to me. It was cool.”
Against the Broncos last week, former Broncos kicker Steven Hauschka joined center Max Unger and nose tackle Brandon Mebane at midfield for the pre-game coin toss.
“It’s always nice to go out there and do the coin toss,” said Unger, who won it by calling tails which allowed the Seahawks to defer taking the kickoff until the second half. “Tails never fails.
“It was awesome.”
The captains for Friday night’s third preseason game against the Chiefs in Kansas City? Stay tuned, for those last-second selections.
“We could go on Twitter and have a little campaign here: Who will the next captain be?” Carroll said. “We’ll probably get eight or 10 responses on that one.”
Anthony McCoy. With the addition of Kellen Winslow in a trade with the Buccaneers and the return of Zach Miller, who was signed in free agency last year, there are four other tight ends competing for what likely will be one other spot on the 53-man roster. McCoy is doing his part to make sure it’s him.
“Anthony has been a really good prospect,” Carroll said of the former USC tight end who was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. “This was a great pick for us a couple years back. He’s really grown into a versatile tight end for us.
“He’s one of our best blockers. He’s not quite to Zach’s level, but he really does a great job on all the in-line blocking. He moves around well. He’s a great target to throw the ball to.”
McCoy is averaging 13 yards on his three preseason receptions, and he caught 13 passes last season. But drops have been an issue for him.
“He does have really good hands,” Carroll said. “There’s been times when he’s coming up, getting ready to play NFL football, that he hasn’t been able to keep his concentration that’s needed to catch the football.
“But he’s on it now. His attitude that he brings and his effort every day is just really, really positive. I’ve never seen him so full of spirit and the kind of mentality that he has. It’s infectious. He’s been a real good factor for us. I’m really excited for him.”
ON THE FIELD
Quarterback Matt Flynn took part in this morning’s walkthrough after sitting out Wednesday’s practice to rest his arm. Also back was fullback Michael Robinson, who had been sidelined with a sore toe.
With Alan Branch (knee) and Jones (knee) watching, rookie Greg Scruggs got some work as the three-technique tackle with the No. 1 defensive line.
Also sidelined: running back Marshawn Lynch (back), wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), tight ends Cameron Morrah (toe) and Winslow (knee), offensive linemen John Moffitt (elbow) and James Carpenter (knee), defensive lineman Pep Levingston (knee), linebackers Matt McCoy (knee), Allen Bradford (hip) and Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and defensive backs Roy Lewis (knee), Ron Parker (knee) and Walter Thurmond (leg).
The team flew to Kansas City after the walkthrough for Friday night’s preseason game against the Chiefs.
The players will be off Saturday and have a review walkthrough on Sunday. The 89-man roster must be trimmed to 75 players by Monday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“We’re really happy with Bobby Wagner. That was a big issue for us, to see if he could step in. He’s done a great job and we’re looking forward to him playing.” – Carroll on the team’s second-round draft choice winning the starting middle linebacker job
Nothing changed today as far as the three-man rotation in the competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job in the first practice of training camp, and none of the QBs did anything to alter the situation.
As he did all spring, incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson took the first reps on this first day, followed by free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and then rookie Russell Wilson. If coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and QB coach Carl Smith follow the same schedule they used in the spring OTA and minicamp practices, Flynn will be up first in Sunday’s practice and Wilson will get his turn to run the No. 1 offense on Monday.
When will all this sort itself out? As soon as one of the quarterbacks makes an obvious move at securing the job. And as Flynn said after practice, that was not the case today.
“There were some good points and some low points,” Flynn said. “It was just the first day, just getting some of the kinks out trying to get on the same page.”
Flynn got no argument on that assessment from his head coach.
“There was a little bit of everything today,” Carroll said. “We’re started. We’re underway. We’ve got a big-time formula that we’re unveiling as we go with the reps and how we do it and the timing and the patience it’s going to take to make really good decisions here. This is just the first step of it.
“There’s no reason to evaluate today.”
Pushed for more info on the how, the why and especially the when, Carroll dated himself by using a line from Johnny Carson’s Karnak sketch on the old “Tonight Show.”
“It’s on Funk and Wagnall’s porch, hermitically sealed (in a mayonnaise jar),” Carroll cracked, cracking himself up with the time-machine reference. “None of you guys have heard of hermitically sealed even.”
Cracking the hermitic seal as far as the practice-field performances of the three QBs involved, Jackson hooked up with wide receivers Ricardo Lockette and Golden Tate for long touchdown passes, but also had a pass intercepted and returned for a TD by cornerback Richard Sherman and another dropped by Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas that would have been an interception; Flynn used play-action fakes to setup a couple of nice throws, but also had two passes batted incomplete at the line; and Wilson converted a third-and-15 situation with a pass to tight end Anthony McCoy, but also had another throw go off a receiver that was intercepted by linebacker Mike Morgan.
The Seahawks not only wrapped up the second week of their OTA practices today, Doug Baldwin wrapped a bow around the drizzle-drenched session with a one-handed catch that had to be seen to really appreciate.
Since that can’t happen, an explanation will have to suffice.
“It was a regular corner route,” said Baldwin, the team’s leading receiver as a rookie last season. “The nickel corner that was playing me (rookie Jeremy Lane) kind of leaned to the outside, so I had to go over the top of him and Matt (Flynn) put the ball in a place where only I could get it.”
Even more impressive was why Baldwin made the one-handed grab for a 35-yard gain.
“You use these practices like a project, so sometimes you do things you wouldn’t normally do to try and make yourself better,” he said. “So I’m working on my ability to go up in different ways to catch the ball.”
The QB rotation system continued, with rookie Russell Wilson up first in the two-hour practice, followed by Flynn and then incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson.
Wilson kicked off one of the team drills with a nice throw that followed an even better read on a play that produced an up-the-seam touchdown pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Wilson later completed six of seven passes and also scrambled for a couple of first downs in a drive that started at the 12-yard line to get the offense in a first-and-goal situation at the 8. But the drive stalled when free safety Chris Maragos and linebacker K.J. Wright made impressive plays on a pair of 1-yard gains and tight end Kellen Winslow couldn’t get both feet down on a third-and-6 pass into the end zone.
Other highlights included rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie safety Winston Guy intercepting passes and Steve Hauschka drilling a 47-yard field goal.
The players are off until Monday, when they return for the final four OTA practices next week.
Good morning on NFL Draft Eve. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 25:
Stop the presses (oops, showing my ink-stained-wretch roots). But Chad Reuter at NFL.com offers a mock draft of all 253 selections. Really. Here are his picks for the Seahawks:
First round: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina. “Improving the team’s pass rush is a priority, and Pete Carroll might momentarily suspend his penchant for long defenders to bring in a playmaker like Ingram.”
Second round: Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State. “A versatile player for a team in need of talent throughout the linebacker corps.”
Third round: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia. “Charles might not be the biggest TE, but Pete Carroll would love his competitiveness.”
Fourth round: George Iloka, S, Boise State. “Iloka meets the Seahawks’ size/speed requirements and would be a valued reserve/special teamer.”
Sixth round: Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College
Seventh round: Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
Also at NFL.com, Ian Rapoport says John Schneider and the Seahawks might be sitting in the catbird seat entering Thursday night’s first round of the draft: “As far as John Schneider is concerned, he stands on the precipice. The Seahawks general manager views this year’s crop of players as having several tiers. “Little cut-offs or ledges,” he calls them. Based on the evaluations of the Seahawks staff, Schneider believes one ledge comes around the 12th or 13th selection, a separation between the elite and the really good. That’s why, with the 12th pick, Schneider thinks of himself as a man with his toes on the edge, ready to grab a big-time player or leap at a big-time trade. This is where he sees the draft turning. Teams could be scrambling to get up to 10, 11 or 12 to nab the slippers and sliders. Schneider is expecting activity either way. ‘We have to be prepared for other people to come to us,’ Schneider told NFL.com. ‘Either we have to be strong and just sit there and take a really cool player or be able to negotiate in a fast manner with a team trying to get up and just decide whether – say they give you two picks – if those two players would be worth the guy we’d be giving up.’ “
Eric Williams at the New Tribune looks at the safety position in the draft, even though the Seahawks have Pro Bowl tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, who are entering their third seasons: “Although safety certainly isn’t a need position for Seattle, coach Pete Carroll said the team has considered every possible scenario for a player worthy of drafting at No. 12, which includes the availability of (Mark) Barron. ‘We’ve discussed every option and opportunity at great length, so we’ve already cleared our way through that decision,’ Carroll said. ‘You obviously can do it for the first 12 picks, and as you get farther down along, things change. At this position early in the draft and in the first round here, we’re going to get through every one of them, and we won’t be surprised by the opportunity that is presented.’ ”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the pass rushers, a position the Seahawks have yet to upgrade this offseason: “Quarterback is called the toughest job in football. Finding someone to tackle that quarterback is just as troublesome, though. In fact, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he thinks that specific talent might be even harder to locate. ‘The most difficult talent to find is pass rushers,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s why people try so hard and so often with guys early in the draft, trying to nail a pass rusher because they’re just so special.’ The Seahawks had better pack a lunch when they go to work this week because you know what they’re looking for in the NFL draft this Thursday? A pass rusher.”
Also from O’Neil, a look at the USC pipeline that has not exactly flowed from Carroll’s former team to his current team: “Seattle has selected two players Carroll recruited to USC, both in the final two rounds of the draft. The Seahawks chose tight end Anthony McCoy in the sixth round in 2010 and then linebacker Malcolm Smith in the seventh round last year. It’s not a lack of top-shelf talent that explains the lack of interest in other USC prospects. Over the past two years, the Trojans had seven players taken in the first three rounds of the draft. It’s just that none of them were chosen by the coach who recruited them to college. ‘It doesn’t always work to our advantage as you might think,’ Carroll said. ‘So often I’m tougher on those guys because I know them so well and I have their backgrounds.’ “
John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at the Seahawks’ search for a pass rusher: “The Seahawks did a lot of things well on defense in 2011 as, over the course of the season, they went from being a young, promising defense to one that was just plain good. But for everything that the Seahawks did do well defensively — finishing seventh in scoring defense and ninth in total defense — there is one area in particular that needs to get better, coach Pete Carroll said. ‘You never have enough pass rush, so it’s always important,’ Carroll said. ‘… We’re always looking. Certainly in this draft it’s one of the issues that we’d like to attend to.’ “
Sportspress northwest examines whether the Seahawks should draft a quarterback at No. 12, complete with a poll where you can offer your opinion: “Regardless of where (Ryan) Tannehill, (Kellen) Moore and (Russell) Wilson rank on pre-draft boards, the question is, Why would the Seahawks consider taking a quarterback when they already have (Matt) Flynn and (Tarvaris) Jackson in the house? Carroll answered that himself when the Seahawks awarded career two-game starter Flynn a three-year, $26 million deal: ‘We are always looking for a quarterback,’ he said.
Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers a scout’s take on where the Seahawks stand in the draft. Says Steve Muench of Scouts Inc.: “The Seahawks are in good shape, yes. The interesting thing about this draft is that Quinton Coles is going to drop. I think Coples or Chandler Jones would make sense for Seattle. The Seahawks are going to get an edge rusher and those guys are two of the bigger defensive ends/edge rushers in this class.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles previewing the draft with a look at the linebackers: “(Melvin) Ingram is just one of the mysteries in this year’s linebacker class, a group that includes ‘a number of attractive linebackers,’ as Seahawks general manager John Schneider put it. After Ingram, who is generally rated as the top player in this linebacker class, there’s Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who plays a position where the Seahawks just lost leading tackler David Hawthorne in free agency; Boise State’s Shea McClellin, who like Ingram is an outside ’backer or rush-end depending who you ask; Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, who also falls into that ’backer-or-end category; and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower, a 265-pound thumper of a middle linebacker. When it comes time for linebacker-needy teams to make their picks, it will depend on which player is available and also which best fits their scheme.”
The Seahawks, fresh off of an impressive upset of the Baltimore Ravens, headed to St. Louis to face their familiar division foe at the Edward Jones Dome.
For a 13-10 victory, the Seahawks’ home opener on Sunday was a game where there were so many pivotal plays that it was easy to overlook one.
Unless you’re Pete Carroll. The Seahawks’ coach was not asked about a fumble recovery by tight end Anthony McCoy in the three-point win over the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, but it didn’t matter.
“Nobody brought it up, but the play of the game was Anthony McCoy’s fumble recovery,” Carroll said. “That was a fantastic play right there.”
But the play of the game? Well, it definitely was a decisive play. On the Seahawks’ first possession of the fourth quarter, and with the score 13-10, the shotgun snap from center Max Unger on a third-and-5 play from the Cardinals’ 48-yard line squirted through the raised hands of QB Tarvaris Jackson.
If the Cardinals had recovered, they would have been in instant field-goal range – or close to it. But they didn’t because the 6-foot-5 McCoy recovered at the Seahawks’ 28-yard line.
“If that doesn’t happen, then everything is different,” said Carroll, who also coached McCoy at USC. “He’s been doing it for years, making fumble recoveries like that. That was huge plays for us, and you don’t realize that. That was a high snap. You don’t want that to go unnoticed.”
Offered McCoy: “Well, my first reaction, I heard the crowd. I heard a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ and then when I turned around I finally saw the ball and just jumped on it.
“It was an exciting moment. I was happy to be in protection and next thing I know, I turn around and I see the ball on the ground and I know it’s third down so I just reacted, cradled it and just prayed the defense would come through for us and they did.”