Wednesday cyber surfing: WR competition heats up with signing of Braylon Edwards

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on the first player’s day off of Bing Training Camp, August 1.

The story of the day yesterday was the Seahawks signing of wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times gives his take on the ‘Hawks signing and Seattle’s wide receiver position, “The competition at wide receiver is going to be among the stiffest on the roster, and not just because the starting job is open at split end. Golden Tate appears poised for a breakthrough, Ricardo Lockette has been singularly impressive through the first four days of training camp, and veterans Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu shouldn’t be overlooked. Throw in [Antonio] Bryant, last year’s fourth-round pick Kris Durham and undrafted rookies like Phil Bates, and a roster spot is hardly a given. ‘Right now I’m just competing to be on the team,’ Edwards said. ‘That’s all I really care about. I’m going to go out there every day and let my play speak for itself.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune caught up with ‘Hawks running back Kregg Lumpkin, who signed with the team in the offseason. “What gives Lumpkin an added benefit is that he can play both running back and fullback,” writes Williams. “Also, Lumpkin was a core special teams player in Tampa Bay last season. He finished with 31 carries for 105 yards with the Buccaneers in 2011, and he showed soft hands while making a career-high 41 catches for 291 yards. ‘If you can do more than one position, you have a better chance of making the team, so I’m trying to do as much as I can,’ Lumpkin said. ‘I’ve been raised to compete all my life. So I’m just out here trying to have fun and to continue to learn as well.’ “

Williams also details the ‘Hawks signing of Edwards and has his notes from Tuesday’s practice.

Tim Booth of the Associated Press brings us a piece on second-year cornerback Richard Sherman’s growth he has shown from the start of his rookie season, “Sherman played in all 16 games in his rookie season and started 10, taking over after Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond III went down with injuries. While it was a concern at first to throw such an inexperienced player out there, Sherman finished the year with 46 tackles, four interceptions and a forced fumble. According to STATS LLC, which tracks the number of times defenders are burned by receivers, Sherman was beaten 37 times in 88 targets last season for a rate of 42 percent. By comparison, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was targeted 89 times and burned 36, a rate of 40.4 percent. Of cornerbacks with 80 or more targets against in 2011, Sherman’s rate was fifth-lowest in the NFL, according to STATS.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has his take on the Seahawks’ signing of Edwards, and provides some comments from ‘Hawks general manager John Schneider, who joined the “Bob and Groz” show yesterday, ” ‘With the release of Mike Williams – who’s a bigger, stronger receiver – we felt like there might be a little bit of a gap there, and [we were thinking], ‘Let’s give this guy a shot and bring him in,’ ‘ Schneider said. ‘This isn’t like a reclamation center or anything, but these are guys that are talented players that we’ll take a look at. During training camp you have an opportunity to have kind of extended tryouts, and these guys both deserve it and the club deserves it.’ “

Henderson also summarizes a segment from the “Bob and Groz” show yesterday in which Seahawks tight end Kellen Winslow joined the show. Included in the link is a short video with Bob and Groz’s impressions and expectations for Winslow this season.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM brings us his report from Tuesday’s practice, including a look at the newly signed Edwards and a focus on rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “Second round pick LB Bobby Wagner flashed repeatedly during Tuesday’s practice. Wagner intercepted a pass from QB Russell Wilson by undercutting a short route from TE Zach Miller. Wagner almost picked up another interception stepping in front of a pass from QB Tarvaris Jackson to WR Ben Obomanu but it deflected off three defenders before hitting the turf. Carroll spoke highly of the last two practices by Wagner, ‘He’s really good first impression yesterday and had a really good day today, so we’re off to a great start,’ Carroll said. ‘If Bobby can be that guy at our starting mike-linebacker, we are just adding one new guy to our starting defense and he’s really fast and can play, it can really be a big boost to us.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com gives us his take on the Seahawks’ signing of wide receiver Braylon Edwards, “I do not think Edwards, 29, suddenly forgot how to play football last season,” said Sando on Edwards’ play with the San Francisco 49ers a year ago. “A few factors could help explain his statistical decline from 2010 to 2011. Edwards was playing for a new team in a new offense with very little prep time (the 49ers signed him last Aug. 4). Injuries clearly slowed Edwards during his time with the 49ers. He underwent knee surgery and also had a bad shoulder. Edwards didn’t fit with the 49ers, for whatever reason. Now we’ll find out whether Edwards can bounce back in Seattle.”

Sando also brings us an interesting piece on the average age of starters on both sides of the football throughout the NFL. While rosters and starters have not been named, Sando’s age-chart reflects players who he believes are likely to earn the starting job in Week 1. On the Seahawks, Sando writes, “While Seattle ranks 20th-oldest in overall roster age after adding veterans such as Deuce Lutui, Barrett Ruud, Antonio Bryant and the re-signed Marcus Trufant, the Seahawks have the second-youngest starters in the league. That includes the fourth-youngest defensive starters and eighth-youngest offensive starters (with Matt Flynn penciled in at quarterback and Doug Baldwin at receiver).”

On ESPN’s “NFL Live “Tim Hasselbeck and Cris Carter discussed some of the more intriguing quarterback battles around the League, and the Seahawks battle between incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free agent acquisition Matt Flynn and 2012 third-round draft choice Russell Wilson makes their conversation.

Suzy Kolber and Chris Mortensen discuss the ‘Hawks signing of Braylon Edwards on “NFL 32.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth brings you his notes from Day Four of camp in his latest edition of ‘Hawkville’. Farnsworth focuses on kicker Steven Hauschka, who with the release of rookie kicker Carson Wiggs yesterday to make room for veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards remains the only kicker on the Seahawks roster. “Hauschka has a beyond-smooth, oh-so-fluid motion that doesn’t seem like it could generate enough power to get the ball that far, but he hit from 58 yards during the special teams portion of practice and then converted from 57 yards when a drive stalled during a full-team drill,” said Farnsworth.  ” ‘I’ve found for me, swinging hard doesn’t necessarily make the ball go farther,’ Hauschka said. ‘So I just try to hit the ball on the bone and it takes off for me.’ He also kicked field goals of 39 and 19 yards during a two-minute drill and made three other kicks during the special teams period.”

Farnsworth also details the Seahawks QB competition, which came full-circle on Day Four with Tarvaris Jackson taking the majority of first-team reps once again. “In a two-minute drill, Jackson sustained his drive with a third-down pass to tight end Zach Miller, setting up a field goal by Steven Hauschka,” offers Farnsworth. “Flynn then completed three of five passes, including a 37-yarder to just-signed wide receiver Antonio Bryant and a 17-yarder to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, setting up another field goal by Hauschka. Wilson then displayed nice touch on a 30-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Phil Bates, laying the ball over rookie cornerback Donny Lisowski. But his possession ended when Lisowski intercepted a third-down pass in the end zone. In the final full-team segment, Jackson and wide receiver Doug Baldwin hooked up for an 18-yard gain on a third-and-9 play. The No. 1 unit again settled for a field goal, but it was the only score produced during the defense-dictated drill.”

Lastly from Farnsworth is his piece on the news of the day – Edwards. “Where does Edwards fit?” asks Farnsworth. “That remains to be seen. He joins a group of receivers popping with potential, but also one that comes up short in experience and proven production. There’s Doug Baldwin, who led the team in receiving last season as a rookie free agent. There’s on-the-mend Sidney Rice, another former Pro Bowler who was signed in free agency last summer but then ended the season on injured reserve because of concussions and injuries to both shoulders that required offseason surgery. There’s Golden Tate, a second-round draft choice in 2010 who continues to refine his ample skills. There’s Ben Obomanu, the longest-tenured of the Seahawks wide-outs who caught a career-high 37 passes last season. There’s Ricardo Lockette, who is extremely fast but also extremely raw. There’s Bryant, who like Edwards is hoping Seattle can be his new NFL home.”

In our Seahawks Daily Tony Ventrella provides a run down of Tuesday’s practice, inlcuding a look at newly-signed receiver Braylon Edwards and comments from Head Coach Pete Carroll heading into the team’s day off. Ventrella also talks with defensive lineman Alan Branch on what to expect from the defensive line this year, and speaks with Red Bryant on life as new father.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com discusses the positive talk surrounding wide receiver Golden Tate and connects it to the recent signing of wide receiver Edwards, “Tate was widely viewed as the favorite for the gig [at starting wide receiver]. One report suggested that Tate was ‘toying’ with cornerbacks. He professed a change in attitude. ‘I never had to work for my position; it was always given to me,’ Tate said via The News Tribune. ‘I was always more athletic, so for the first time ever I felt like I had to work. It wasn’t given to me.’ It’s not going to be given to him this year, either. All the positive talk is about Tate, but Seattle’s signing [of Edwards] says more than all the puff pieces combined.”


Tuesday cyber surfing: First padded practice of 2012 in the books

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 31.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times catches up with wide receiver Golden Tate, who’s expectations are high – just as they were in 2010 and 2011 – as he heads into his third season hoping to finally emerge as a key contributor on offense,  “Saying something is not the same as doing it, though,” said O’Neil. “Tate knows that better than anyone, and after a strong finish last season, he might never get a better chance than this one. The release of Mike Williams created a receiving vacancy on the opposite side from Sidney Rice. With Doug Baldwin entrenched as the slot receiver, Tate is competing with teammates Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette at split end. So, here we go again — another Seahawks season begins with the question of whether the receiver who was such a talented playmaker at Notre Dame is ready to establish himself as an NFL starter.”

Eric Williams at the Tacoma News Tribune talks with 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin, who told Williams that with DE Chris Clemons now at practice, Irvin feels like he can finally start to make strides at the NFL level, ” ‘It’s a big help. I felt like when Clem wasn’t here, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Now that Clem is here and I get can a visual of what he’s doing, it really helps me out a lot.’ “

Dave Boling at the Tacoma News Tribune speaks with Red Bryant on the joys of fatherhood, and on how his family and his new baby-boy, Joseph Brooks Bryant, played a large role in his decision to re-sign with Seattle in the offseason, “Especially with the new addition to the family, Bryant wanted to stay in Seattle because it feels like home,” writes Boling. “His wife, Janelle, was born in Kirkland, and is the daughter of Seahawks Ring of Honor defensive end Jacob Green. ‘I didn’t really want to have to move to a new city and adapt and deal with all the things that go with that,’ Bryant said. ‘We’ve got a great fan base here and my father-in-law played here, so it’s a dream come true.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his notes from Monday’s practice session – the ‘Hawks first padded practice of the season. “Today was the first practice in pads, and apparently this fact excited linebacker K.J. Wright,” said Boyle. “Early in team drills, Wright found his way quickly into the backfield, then delivered a welcome-to-the-NFL pop on Robert Turbin that put the rookie running back on his rear. A little while later, Wright delivered another big hit, this one on veteran receiver Antonio Bryant, who is attempting to break back into the NFL after two years out of the league.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press previews former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy’s Hall of Fame induction, which is set to take place this Saturday, August 4. “What made Kennedy so difficult to stop was his low center of gravity, unexpected quickness and remarkable strength packaged in a 6-foot-1, 300-pound frame,” said Booth. “If he was asked to hold the line on a running play, he would regularly eat up two or three potential blockers. But he could also rush the passer up the middle, a rarity for an interior defensive lineman. While 1992 was his best individual season, Kennedy recorded at least six sacks in six of his 11 seasons.”

Liz Matthews of 710 ESPN Seattle has her practice report from Day Three of camp, where rookie QB Russell Wilson took the majority of the first-team reps, “Wilson took snaps with the first-team offense Monday, the first day the team was in pads. Still working on perfecting the timing and rhythm that comes with the speed of the NFL game, Wilson has made a number of big plays these last few days that haven’t gone unnoticed. He’s shown impressive footwork, the ability to scramble and the maturity to remain calm under pressure not often seen in rookies.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Bob and Groz” in which ‘Hawks cornerback Marcus Trufant joined the show. Henderson details their conversation as the veteran CB begins his transition to the nickel cornerback role, “Trufant, a starting cornerback for nine seasons, is sliding inside to nickelback, a change he seems to be enjoying. ‘I think it’s a good move, man,’ Trufant said. ‘It’s fun. I get to do different stuff. I get to move around a little bit. I get to blitz a little bit. I get to do a little bit of everything. I just take it as a challenge. I’m excited and I’m having fun doing it.’ “

Also from mynorthwest.com Brock Huard gives us two thoughts on the Seahawks quarterback competition in this short video.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth brings us his Hawkville report, with his focus from Monday’s practice centering on defensive lineman Brandon Mebane. “The 311-pound Mebane was dominating in the 9-on-7 run drill, starting with the first play when he put some extra ‘ex’ in explosive by blowing through a gap between the center and guard to get to the running back well behind the line,” said Farnsworth. “Mebane then provided replays of his disruptive quickness on back-to-back plays and also recovered a muffed exchange between the center and quarterback. In another drill, when rookie quarterback Russell Wilson dropped an unexpected shotgun snap – after a defensive player had jumped offside – Mebane was there again to fall on the loose ball.”

Farnsworth feature story from Monday’s session centers on veteran linebacker Barrett Ruud and rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, who are competing with each other for the middle linebacker spot.

Lastly from Farnsworth, he breaks down Day Three of the ‘Hawks QB competition, where Russell Wilson garnered the most first-team reps.

Our Seahawks Daily features a look at the veteran presence along the offensive line.

Wide receiver Rircardo Lockette participated in a Twitter video interview after Monday’s practice, where we took questions from the 12th Man on Twitter to ask the speed-demon Lockette.


Bryant plans to make most of getting another chance

Football was not a part of Antonio Bryant’s life the past two seasons. But the veteran wide receiver is looking to get back into the NFL after signing with the Seahawks on Thursday night.

“I was just looking for an opportunity to come and play; contribute,” Bryant said Friday, before heading into the team meeting that marked the official start of the Seahawks’ Bing training camp. “This is about improving every day and getting better. That’s all.”

Bryant, 31, was one of two wide-outs the Seahawks had in for workouts on Thursday, along with Braylon Edwards. Bryant also participated on a tryout basis at the team’s minicamp in June. He was signed to fill the spot on the 90-man roster that opened when Mike Williams was released two weeks ago. Like Bryant, Williams had been out of the league for two years when the Seahawks gave him a tryout at a spring minicamp in 2010. Williams was signed and led the team in receiving that season with 65 receptions for 751 yards.

“It’s always very encouraging when you do have an opportunity that does present itself,” Bryant said. “I’m going to just make the most of it.”

The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Bryant did just that in 2008, catching 83 passes for 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns with the Buccaneers – including a nine-catch, 200-yard game against the Panthers on “Monday Night Football.” He also caught 69 passes for 1,009 yards in 2005 for the Browns.

Following an All-American career at Pittsburgh, Bryant was selected in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. After two seasons in Dallas, he was traded to the Browns (2004-05) and also played for the 49ers (2006) before joining the Buccaneers (2008-09). He was released by the Bucs in February of 2010. He signed with the Bengals in March, but was released in August.

He’s now one of 13 wide receivers on the Seahawks’ training-camp roster.

“I’ve been in this position before,” Bryant said. “Right now, I’m considered trash. But hey, that’s cool. I’ve been in this position before. But one thing people have to remember, they better go back and watch their film.

“Just know this: I’m something they’re going to have to compete against.”

Bryant will be wearing No. 84 when the Seahawks practice for the first time on Saturday morning.


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Friday cyber surfing: Talking with ‘Tez

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this first official day of 2012 training camp, July 27.

Steve Kelly at the Seattle Times writes an open letter to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, pleading him for a winning season and stating the effect it would have on the city of Seattle that has ached through mediocrity in the city’s sports scene, “So it’s on you, Coach, as well as your assistants and your players, to get this city out of its malaise. More than ever, Seattle needs the Seahawks. And that means it needs something more than 7-and-9 mediocrity. As it should be, the heat is on you. You’ve got to settle on a quarterback quickly. Matt Flynn? Russell Wilson? I don’t care. But one of them has to be the answer sooner rather than later. You have to keep Sidney Rice healthy and make sure Kellen Winslow gets open. You have to make sure the young offensive line continues its improvement. You have to make first-round pick Bruce Irvin into a legitimate pass-rushing threat. Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin have to become the buzz of the league. Training camp is beginning, and the eyes, ears and good wishes are focused on your headquarters at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.”

The Seahawks announced that wide receiver Antonio Bryant was signed to the team’s 90-man roster yesterday, and Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times has the story, “Seattle signed Antonio Bryant, who had 1,248 yards receiving with Tampa Bay in 2008 but hasn’t played the past two years. Bryant, 31, tried out for the Seahawks during the three-day minicamp in June and was admittedly playing himself back into football shape.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune gives his analysis on the signing of Bryant, “If healthy, Bryant (6-1, 211 pounds) could provide a big, physical body on the perimeter for the Seahawks, competing with Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette for reps at split end.”

Yesterday, former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy spoke with reporters on a conference call. Kennedy is set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4 in Canton, Ohio. Williams has a run-down of the conference call, noting that Kennedy expects a crowd of more than 350 supporters to be on hand during his acceptance speech, including one special guest, “Presenting Kennedy will be Dixie Fraley Keller, the widow of [Kennedy's] former agent Robert Fraley, who was killed in a plane crash in 1999 along with professional golfer Payne Stewart. ‘That’s how much Robert meant to me,’ Kennedy said. ‘And I’ll be talking about Robert too – the type of guy he was, and how he helped me off of the football field. He just taught me about life. He taught me how to be a pro off of the football field, and to make sure I treat people the way I want to be treated.’ “

Also at the Tacoma News Tribune, Dave Boling speaks to Kennedy’s gratitude for everyone who surrounded him along his journey through the League and helped him to get where he will be next week – the Hall of Fame, “From his first day in the NFL, Kennedy has called himself blessed and was always quick to show appreciation for those who helped him on his way. He was a humble superstar who truly understood the importance of his family, his teammates and his friends. He will spend a lot of time on that big stage in Canton offering thanks to those people. It will be genuine. From the heart.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth continues his “Cortez: Countdown to Canton” series with Tommy Brasher, who was hired as Seattle’s defensive line coach in 1992 – Kennedy’s best season in his 11-year Hall of Fame career. Farnsworth recounts a time when Kennedy was coming out of the University of Miami and Brasher was scouting Kennedy as a coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ” ‘They sent me down to Miami to scout Cortez,’ said Brasher, who coached with the Seahawks through the 1998 season and then returned to the Philadelphia Eagles until he retired after the 2005 season. ‘I go down there and I start watching this guy (on tape). I went, ‘Damn, I need this guy.’ ‘ ”

Farnsworth also touches on the special relationship that developed between coach Brasher and Kennedy.

Also here at Seahawks.com we visit with Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable, who sits down with Tony Ventrella in our latest ‘Seahawks Insider’. Coach Cable – a graduate of Snohomish High School – talks about his early coaching influences, teaching philosophies, the personalities of his young offensive lineman, and his passion for fishing.

Revisiting a topic from yesterday, Brock Huard and Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com share their thoughts on Seahawks center Max Unger’s contract extension in their Thursday Wrap Up video. Huard believes the extension entrenches Unger as the leader along the team’s offensive line.  Unger – a guest on the Brock and Salk show yesterday – says his new deal means stability for him at the position and within the Seahawks organization. You can listen to the 710ESPN audio here.

Also at mynorthwest.com, Brady Henderson details a visit with ESPN’s John Clayton, who doubts that Seahawks offensive lineman James Carpenter will play in the 2012 season, ” ‘That knee was bad,’ Clayton said. ‘It hasn’t really had a full time to heal. I think he’s slow in healing. If they get four games out of him they’re lucky. I don’t think they’re going to get any games out of him.’ Henderson then comments, “Losing a starting tackle would be a bigger blow to a team with less depth at that position. The Seahawks re-signed Breno Giacomini — who played well enough after replacing Carpenter to earn a new contract — and the versatile Paul McQuistan earlier this offseason. They’ve also signed tackles Frank Omiyale and Alex Barron.”


Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to Williams’ release

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 16.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times gives us his reaction to the Seahawks release of wide receiver Mike Williams, noting  the move did not come as a total surprise, but rather a disappointment given Williams’ career revival with Seattle in 2010. “Williams’ release is disappointing, however,” said O’Neil. “His 2010 comeback was nothing short of remarkable as the former first-round pick — who had been out of the league entirely for two years — caught 65 passes to lead the team. He was never going to be mistaken for a track star, but he had size, great hands and an engaging personality. The man is very likeable. He had an ability to cut to the quick and speak honestly. On the subject of the NFL’s comeback player of the year in 2010, he pointed out that Leon Washington was much more deserving considering the severity of the broken leg Washington had to recover from. All Williams did, he said, was recover from being out of shape and sitting on his couch.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his own take on the release of Williams, as he designates health issues and a lack of production a season ago as factors in the team’s decision, and comments on how the move affects the Seahawks’ competition at wide receiver heading into training camp, “The release of Williams opens up competition for the starting split end spot opposite Sidney Rice, with veterans Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler battling with youngsters Golden Tate, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette for the starting job.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald presents his take on the release of Williams, and also takes a look at how the move affects the Seahawks wideout group heading into camp, “With or without Williams, the battle for roster spots and playing time already figured to be one of the most intriguing position battles aside from Seattle’s three-man quarterback competition. While Sidney Rice is a lock to start, assuming he is healthy, the battle for the other starting job is wide open. Doug Baldwin should remain the Seahawks’ slot receiver, a role in which he thrived as a rookie in 2011. Golden Tate is now likely the front runner to be Seattle’s other starting receiver, but a number of other players could push him for that spot. The Seahawks will have a battle for both playing time and roster spots beyond Rice, Tate and Baldwin, one that will include Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham, Deon Butler, Ricardo Lockette and perhaps a couple of undrafted rookies such as Lavasier Tuinei and Phil Bates.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press gives us this story on the release of Williams, suggesting that the signing of tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. may have played a role in the team’s decision to let Williams go, “With Winslow and Zach Miller, the Seahawks are likely to use more two tight end sets and limit the need for a second taller receiver on the outside.”

Over at MyNorthwest.com Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of the “Bob and Groz” show provide their own assessment of the Seahawks decision to release Williams, and discuss what’s next for the team at the wide receiver position, and for Williams, in this video.

Rounding out the reaction to Williams’ release is Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM, who shares this piece and predicts what the team might do to replace Williams, “The team could look to bring in another veteran receiver or two to help add security to the position. WR Antonio Bryant had a tryout during mini-camp in June, but the team wanted him to get in better shape before making a decision on whether to sign him to the roster. He could be an option entering camp.”

The guys at ProFootballTalk.com are incrementally releasing their preseason power rankings and the Seahawks have landed at No. 22 on their list. Evan Silva breaks down the ranking in this Seahawks preview, analyzing the team’s strengths, weaknesses, changes the team has undergone, upcoming training camp battles and has provided an outlook heading into 2012, “The Seahawks seem to be a team on the rise, but they’ve yet to exceed seven regular-season wins through two years of the Carroll/Schneider regime. In order to instill confidence in the minds of observers, Seattle needs to take a significant step forward in on-the-field performance. Seattle’s 2012 schedule includes a brutal stretch from Weeks Two through Eight. They’ll square off with four returning playoff teams — the Packers, Patriots, 49ers, and Lions. During the seven-game run, the Seahawks also face the explosive offenses of Dallas and Carolina. We’ll have a very good feel for what kind of team the 2012 Seahawks are following that tough run. Ultimately, we ranked Seattle as the second best team in the NFC West. We like them better than the Cardinals and Rams, but much less than the Niners. The Seahawks are a club that certainly could surprise, especially if they emerge from the aforementioned seven-game stretch with four solid wins.”

Eric Edholm of ProFootballWeekly.com picks out three teams that may not necessarily be division favorites heading into 2012, but could have the potential to surprise and challenge for the division. Among Edholm’s short list are the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks. Edholm had this to say on the Seahawks, “The Seahawks are fascinating. They have a young, ballhawking defense, some real talent at receiver and a confident head coach in Pete Carroll with a chip on his shoulder. All they need now is to settle on a quarterback. It should be easy, right? They signed Matt Flynn in the offseason, gave him $10 million guaranteed. That should be our sign he’s the starter. But an interesting thing is happening here, with Tarvaris Jackson getting the first-team reps to start training camp and white-hot (and intriguing) rookie Russell Wilson throwing bolts and determined to win the job from Day One.”

At NFL.com Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp and guest-analyst and former-teammate of Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings each give their two cents on the Seahawks quarterback competition heading into training camp in this short video.

Finally, here at Seahawks.com registration is now open for 2012 Bing Training Camp, which is set to begin at the end of the month. For more information, including how to register, click here.