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Tuesday round-up: Reviewing the read-option

Brock Huard and Danny O’Neil of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” discuss how much the Seahawks will use the read-option in 2013

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Tuesday, July 2, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com writes about the risk and reward associated with running a read-option offense.

It’s never too early to start thinking about fantasy football, and NFL.com has their list of the Top 30 fantasy football players for 2013. Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin comes in at No. 17, while running back Marshawn Lynch appears at No. 3 behind Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (No. 2) and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (No. 1).

Former NFL offensive lineman turned NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger says the NFC West is the best division in the NFC in this short video clip.

NFL Network’s Baldinger and former NFL center Shaun O’Hara have a look at the best available free agents remaining and offers some landing spots on which teams they might fit best with.

With football just 10 Sunday’s away, NFL Network’s NFL Total Access crew takes a stab at some Week 1 headlines around the League.

The NFL announced training camp report dates for all 32 clubs yesterday afternoon, and Seahawks rookies and veterans alike will report to Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Wednesday, July 24. The team’s first practice will be held Thursday, July 25 – you can register to attend that session and more by clicking here.

And here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth continues his 2013 preview series with a look at the offensive line, including comments from assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable on the under-the-radar play the club has received from right tackle Breno Giacomini and guard Paul McQuistan.


Minicamp round-up: Day one

Good morning, and welcome to day one of the Seahawks’ three-day mandatory minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Today’s team workout is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., but before we get there, here’s a look at what’s “out there” as the club heads into the final week of their Offseason Program.

Sean McGrathBob Condotta of the Seattle Times identifies four key issues the Seahawks face as they gather for camp this week, including the battle for the backup tight end spot between 2013 fifth-round draft pick Luke Willson and second-year player Sean McGrath.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com details five players to watch during the team’s three-day workout – offensive guard John Moffitt, wide receiver Chris Harper, cornerback Tharold Simon, defensive tackle Jesse Williams, and the competition for the backup offensive tackle spot between 2013 seventh-round draft pick Michael Bowie and third-year pro Michael Person.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his observations from the team’s nine sessions of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) that finished up last week and has a look at what to expect from this week of camp.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune previewed this week’s minicamp in his Monday Morning QB chat. You can find the transcript of yesterday’s chat here.

DLMike Sando of ESPN.com has a look around the rest of the NFC West, as the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers also hold their mandatory minicamps this week, while the St. Louis Rams continue with OTAs.

Our Clare Farnsworth offers a recap of the club’s offseason to this point and highlights questions and concerns heading into the practice week.

Outside of minicamp news, former Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was released from the Buffalo Bills yesterday and John Boyle of the Everett Herald makes the case for bringing Jackson back to Seattle to backup entrenched starter Russell Wilson.

Lindsay Jones of USA Today has a feature on wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks of NFL.com breaks down who is the better cornerback – the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman or the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson – and Brooks offers the edge to Sherman, calling him “currently far superior.”

Check back later this afternoon for our coverage from day one of Seahawks minicamp.


NFC West day three draft rewind: Arizona Cardinals

Alex Okafor

Former Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was the Cardinals’ first selection on day three of the 2013 NFL Draft

With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, continuing with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals got things started for the West on day three when they used the No. 103 overall pick to select linebacker/defensive lineman Alex Okafor out of the University of Texas. Okafor marked the club’s third consecutive pick on the defensive side of the football after they took offensive guard Jonathan Cooper in round one.

Okafar, who measures 6-foot-4, 264 pounds, was one of the nation’s top pass rushers in 2012 with the Longhorns. He led the Big 12 conference with nearly a full sack per game (0.96), racking up 12.5 on the season to go along with four forced fumbles.

Stepfan Taylor

Former Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor went to the Cardinals with the 140th overall pick

Arizona swung their second fourth-round pick (No. 110) to the New York Giants in exchange for their third and sixth rounders (No. 116 and No. 187). With No. 116 the Cardinals went back to the offensive line when they took the 6-foot-4, 301-pound guard Earl Watford out of James Madison University. He’ll help shore up an offensive line that allowed a League-high 58 sacks last season.

With their lone pick in round five, the Cardinals went with the 5-foot-9, 214-pound Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor. He brings some much needed durability to the Cardinals’ backfield, who has seen current running backs Ryan Williams and Rashard Mendenhall suffer serious injuries in recent years.

The Cardinals added the speedy wideout Ryan Swope (No. 174 overall) and explosive running back Andre Ellington (No. 187 overall) in the draft’s sixth round. Texas A&M’s Swope, who ran a 4.34 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine – the fastest at his position, figures to work as a slot receiver in head coach Bruce Arians’ offense. Clemson’s Ellington adds a runner to the Cardinals stable of backs that can provide a “home run” threat with every touch.

Arizona rounded out their draft with the selection of Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson with the No. 219 overall pick in the seventh round. The 6-foot-6, 262-pound Jefferson red-shirted at quarterback in 2008, but now represents a physical blocker and developing receiver whose size likely intrigued Arizona’s front office.

Arizona Cardinals
A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Round Pick No. Player/School Position Height, Weight
1 7 Jonathan Cooper/North Carolina G 6-2, 311
2 45 Kevin Minter/LSU LB 6-0, 246
3 69 Tyrann Mathieu/LSU CB 5-9, 186
4 103 Alex Okafor/Texas DE 6-4, 264
4 116 Earl Watford/James Madison G 6-3, 301
5 140 Stepfan Taylor/Stanford RB 5-9, 216
6 174 Ryan Swope/Texas A&M WR 6-0, 205
6 187 Andre Ellington/Clemson RB 5-9, 199
7 219 D.C. Jefferson/Rutgers TE 6-6, 262

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NFC West day two draft rewind: Arizona Cardinals

Kevin Minter

With day two of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, starting with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals kicked off day two by trading down. They dealt the No. 38 overall pick to the San Diego Chargers in exchange for picks No. 40 (second-round) and No. 110 (fourth-round).

At No. 40, the Cardinals grabbed 6-foot, 246-pound linebacker Kevin Minter out of LSU. Minter earned All-SEC honors in 2012 and was named the team’s most valuable player, starting 13 games and recording 130 total tackles to go with 4.0 sacks.

Minter’s final season at LSU was his lone season as a full-time starter, but he should compete for a starting job in Arizona, where current starting linebacker Daryl Washington will open up 2013 by serving a four-game suspension.Tyrann Mathieu

After Minter, Arizona wasn’t finished nabbing the defensive talent out of LSU. With their third-round pick (No. 69 overall) they selected Tyrann Mathieu, the 5-foot-9, 186-pound “Honey Badger” of a cornerback. Mathieu earned the nickname at LSU for his small stature and tenacious play out of the defensive backfield.

Mathieu was dismissed from the Tigers back in August of 2012 for violations of team rules and did not play football in 2012. Now, he’ll have the opportunity to compete in the Cardinals’ secondary alongside former LSU product turned Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson.


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Friday cyber surfing: 2013 NFL Draft first-round roundup

Good morning, Seahawks fans, and welcome to day two of the 2013 NFL Draft. After not selecting in yesterday’s first round, the Seahawks hold two picks today (Round 2, No. 56 overall and Round 3, No. 87 overall). The action revs back up at 3:30 p.m. PT.

In the meantime, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks and around the League for Friday, April 26.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks trading their first-round draft pick to acquire wide receiver Percy Harvin was the right move.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps the Seahawks’ quiet first day and offers up some second-round targets for Seattle.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald details the moves made around the active NFC West on the draft’s first day.

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando was hard at work while the rest of us in the Seahawks media room were spectating yesterday’s first round (kidding, kind of), and he shares his thoughts on the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals first-round selections.

Grantland.com’s Bill Barnwell tries to make sense of the draft’s first day, noting surprises, trade winners and losers, and what to watch for on day two.

Former University of Washington Husky standout cornerback Desmond Trufant – the younger brother of longtime Seahawk Marcus Trufant – went to the Atlanta Falcons, who traded up with the Rams to grab him at No. 22.

A 49-year-old NFL Draft streak was snapped yesterday when a running back was not taken in the first round for the first time since 1963.

NFL.com has a round-by-round look at the 2013 NFL Draft order after last night’s picks and draft-day trades.

NFL.com Around the League editor Gregg Rosenthal breaks down what he believes to be the draft’s top 20 remaining players.

Seahawks.com’s live coverage of the draft will continue later this afternoon, but you can read Clare Farnsworth’s recap of day one here.

Stay plugged in to our draft central for all the latest news surrounding your Seahawks and the rest of today’s draft.

We leave you with the reactions from several Seahawks players via Twitter as they followed last night’s first round:


NFC West Free-Agent Tracker

Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett

Defensive linemen Cliff Avril (left) and Michael Bennett (right), who combined for 18.5 sacks in 2012, will join the Seahawks’ pass rush in 2013

Three weeks since the start of the 2013 League year, we take an updated look at who has come and who has gone around the NFC West via trades and free agency.

Arizona Cardinals

Out: S Kerry Rhodes (released); S Adrian Wilson (released, signed by New England Patriots); RB Beanie Wells (released); WR Early Doucet (released); CB William Gay (released, signed by Pittsburgh Steelers); QB Kevin Kolb (released, signed by Buffalo Bills); QB John Skelton (released); CB Greg Toler (free agent, signed by Indianapolis Colts); LB Quentin Groves (free agent, signed by Cleveland Browns); LB Stewart Bradley (released, signed by Denver Broncos); G Rich Ohrnberger (free agent, signed by San Diego Chargers)

In: CB Antoine Cason (free agent, signed from San Diego Chargers); DE Matt Shaughnessy (free agent, signed from Oakland Raiders); RB Rashard Mendenhall (free agent, signed from Pittsburgh Steelers); LB Jasper Brinkley (free agent, signed from Minnesota Vikings); S Yeremiah Bell (free agent, signed from New York Jets); CB Jerraud Powers (free agent, signed from Indianapolis Colts); LB Lorenzo Alexander (free agent, signed from Washington Redskins); QB Drew Stanton (free agent, signed from Indianapolis Colts); DE Frostee Rucker (released from Cleveland Browns); S Jonathan Amaya (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); QB Carson Palmer (trade with Oakland Raiders)

For a full Cardinals free-agent tracker click here.

San Francisco 49ers

Out: S Dashon Goldson (free agent, signed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers); DT Isaac Sopoaga (free agent, signed by Philadelphia Eagles); TE Delanie Walker (free agent, signed by Tennessee Titans); DT Ricky Jean Francois (free agent, signed by Indianapolis Colts); K David Akers (released); WR Tedd Ginn (free agent, signed by Carolina Panthers); QB Alex Smith (trade with Kansas City Chiefs)

In: DL Glenn Dorsey (free agent, signed from Kansas City Chiefs); S Craig Dahl (free agent, signed from St. Louis Rams); LB Dan Skuta (free agent, signed from Cincinnati Bengals); WR Anquan Boldin (trade with Baltimore Ravens); K Phil Dawson (free agent, signed from Cleveland Browns); WR Marlon Moore (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); QB Colt McCoy (trade with Cleveland Browns); CB Nnamdi Asomugha (free agent, signed from Philadelphia Eagles)

For a full 49ers free-agent tracker click here.

Seattle Seahawks

Out: RB/KR Leon Washington (released, signed by New England Patriots); DE Jason Jones (free agent, signed by Detroit Lions); WR Ben Obomanu (released); QB Matt Flynn (trade with Oakland Raiders); DT Alan Branch (free agent, signed by Buffalo Bills)

In: DE Cliff Avril (free agent, signed from Detroit Lions); DE Michael Bennett (free agent, signed from Tampa Bay Buccaneers); WR Percy Harvin (trade with Minnesota Vikings); DT Tony McDaniel (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins)

For a full Seahawks free-agent tracker click here.

St. Louis Rams

Out: RB Steven Jackson (free agent, signed by Atlanta Falcons); WR Danny Amendola (free agent, signed by New England Patriots); S Craig Dahl (free agent, signed by San Francisco 49ers); CB Bradley Fletcher (free agent, signed by Philadelphia Eagles); WR Brandon Gibson (free agent, signed by Miami Dolphins); C Robert Turner (free agent, signed by Tennessee Titans); S Quintin Mikell (released); OT Wayne Hunter (released); TE Matthew Mulligan (released)

In: OT Jake Long (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); TE Jared Cook (free agent, signed from Tennessee Titans)

For a full Rams free-agent tracker click here.


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Seahawks earn “A” in USA Today’s first offseason report card

We’re just over one week into free agency and Nate Davis of USA Today has handed out his first offseason report cards, and Seattle should feel good about the mark they’ve earned. Davis tabbed the Seahawks with an “A” grade after acquiring the likes of wide receiver Percy Harvin and defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The Seahawks were one of just two teams (the Minnesota Vikings being the other) to earn the high mark.

Here’s a look at what Davis had to say about the moves general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have made to this point:

Seattle Seahawks (A): The offense (Harvin) and defense (DEs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett) have been supercharged, and the pay scale really didn’t suffer much even if GM John Schneider had to part with a few picks, including this year’s first rounder, for Harvin. The Niners should be worried.

Yesterday, we tracked the free-agent acquisitions around the rest of the NFC West, and took a look at why the West will be “a bear of a division in 2013.” Davis’ grades and comments on those clubs are below:

Arizona Cardinals (C): At the outset of free agency, they only had about $3 million available. But new GM Steve Keim has made quite a few moves to churn his roster: he signed QB Drew Stanton and parted with Kevin Kolb, picked up RB Rashard Mendenhall after punting Beanie Wells and completely remade the secondary. But should Keim have devoted his newfound money to a worrisome O-line in order to give Stanton (or whomever) a chance? Maybe next month.

St. Louis Rams (B+): If free agency is any indication, St. Louis is very confident its youngsters are ready to supplant Amendola, Gibson and Jackson. New LT Jake Long and TE Jared Cook should make QB Sam Bradford a very happy man. Armed with two first-round picks, the Rams’ drastic improvement over the past year should continue at draft time.

San Francisco 49ers (B): They chose to move on from all-pro FS Dashon Goldson and a few others. But given this team’s return to NFL royalty under GM Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh, who’s going to argue? WR Anquan Boldin and DE Glenn Dorsey look like cost-effective additions, but is Craig Dahl really the man to fill Goldson’s cleats?


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Offering up offensive solutions; Pass rush break down; Cowboys coming in

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 12.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his “Rookie Report” following the Week 1 loss at Arizona, “DE Bruce Irvin – First round, No. 15 overall: Played 35 of Seattle’s 64 defensive snaps. Also on field for 6 special-teams plays. Irvin was credited with no tackles, and he didn’t have a sack, though he did have one quarterback hit. ‘Bruce played solid,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘Didn’t get at the quarterback, but was around it. Played a lot of plays in this game and was a big part of the plan. We’ll see him continue to get better.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says that in addition to scouting the Dallas Cowboys this week, coach Pete Carroll and his staff will be scouting the work of the replacement referees, “The Seattle head coach said his coaching staff traditionally studies every officiating crew in the league to get a sense for how each group calls a game – whether a crew is more likely to call holding or pass interference or will let teams play more physically. The coaching staff then passes that information along to the players as part of the team’s preparation each week.”

Williams also has some quick notes on some practice squad moves from Tuesday.

Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton of “Bob and Groz” discuss the Seahawks pass-rush in this short video on mynorthwest.com.

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com brings us his first edition of “Chalk Talk,” as he rehashes the Seahawks final play from scrimmage in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.

Huard also offers up some potential solutions to aid the Seahawks offense in this short video.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com breaks down Week 1′s “pressure stats” – a look at how often teams brought five or more rushers in their home openers. The Seahawks ranked ninth across the NFL, while their Week 1 opponent – the Cardinals – ranked second. The Seahawks’ Week 2 foe – the Cowboys – came in at 21st in the League.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has a look at the Dallas Cowboys, the Seahawks’ Week 2 opponent, “Burning question: Are the Cowboys as good as they looked in their opener? They not only beat the defending Super Bowl Giants, they went to the Meadowlands to do it. The Cowboys rolled up 433 yards, and limited the Giants to 269. They sacked Eli Manning three times, two by DeMarcus Ware. DeMarco Murray picked up where he left off as a rookie by rushing for 131 yards. Kevin Ogletree exploded onto the scene with eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.”

Farnsworth also has a feature on defensive end Chris Clemons, who had a sack of Cardinals quarterback John Skelton in Week 1, “The relentless Clemons now has 23 sacks in 33 games since being acquired in a 2010 trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to fill the Leo end spot in coach Pete Carroll’s defense. He has produced a dozen while playing the Seahawks’ NFC West rivals – 6.5 against the St. Louis Rams, five against the Cardinals and half a sack against the San Francisco 49ers. ‘Clem really did a nice job, he was very effective,’ Carroll said on Monday, when he also lamented Clemons missing a second sack when he separated QB John Skelton from the ball but the play was ruled an incomplete pass.”

Finally, Farnsworth has his recap of “Tuesday in Hawkville“, with a focus on Seattle’s home-opener this Sunday, “Is there a better get-well venue in the NFL than CenturyLink Field? ‘Here we go with Dallas coming in, that’s going to be a major matchup,’ coach Pete Carroll said on Monday. ‘We’re happy that we’re coming home.’ The team’s success in home openers has been an indication of what they’ve been able to accomplish over the course of the season. The current 8-1 run started in 2003, when the Seahawks began a stretch where they advance to the playoffs five seasons in a row and won four NFC West titles.”

Coach Carroll is scheduled to address the media in his customary Wednesday press conference at noon. Be sure to tune in here for a live look.


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Monday cyber surfing: Reaction to season-opening setback

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks after their 20-16 season-opening loss to the Cardinals in Arizona.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps Sunday’s opener, “Seattle’s defense allowed 10 points in the first half and then held the Cardinals without a first down on their first six possessions of the second half. But with Seattle leading 16-13, the Seahawks allowed the Cardinals to drive 80 yards after quarterback Kevin Kolb came in to replace starter John Skelton, who suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. ‘Bottom line, we’ve just got to finish,’ free safety Earl Thomas said. ‘We had a great game except that last drive.’ But in the end, Seattle showed progress. The Seahawks got to the opponent’s 4-yard line, which was closer than they ever came to pulling off a last-minute comeback a year ago.”

O’Neil also has a look at running back/kick returner Leon Washington, who had a kick return of 83 yards and punt return of 52 yards yesterday, “Special-teams returns played a huge role in Sunday’s game, which wouldn’t be all that shocking because Arizona’s Patrick Peterson set an NFL record last year by scoring on four punt returns. Except it was Seattle’s Leon Washington whose returns proved pivotal. ‘(He) gave us a chance, really,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Washington. ‘He lit it up. That and the plays on defense gave us a real chance to be in the football game.’ “

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times writes that Sunday’s loss was an all too familiar scene for these Seahawks, “And so Pete Carroll’s first year of big expectations starts with a major bugaboo. The Seahawks lost despite knocking the Cardinals’ starting quarterback, John Skelton, out of the game with 8:18 remaining and while holding a 16-13 lead. They lost despite running seven plays inside the red zone in the final 52 seconds. They lost despite having first-and-goal from the 6-yard line, despite a spirited comeback from a 13-3 deficit and despite receiving an extra timeout on the final drive because replacement referee Bruce Hermansen got confused. ‘I thought this was a really indicative game of the league,’ Carroll said. ‘The margin is just so slight.’ For the Seahawks, that slight margin will be the difference between a third straight losing season and a playoff appearance. The NFL is legislated for parity, and every team must win its share of close games to be successful. The Seahawks might be an exaggerated example because the grind-it-out style they employ dictates low-scoring, tight games.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has a look at rookie quarterback Russell Wilson’s first regular season NFL start, “In four exhibition games, he threw for 536 yards and five touchdowns while adding 150 rushing yards and a touchdown. But regular-season games, as it always does, provided a ruder welcome. Against the Cardinals, Wilson was 18-for- 34 passing, throwing for 153 yards. He was intercepted once, but he also connected on his first touchdown pass – a 10-yard throw to wide receiver Sidney Rice to cut Arizona’s lead to 13-10 in the third quarter. ‘I knew they were going to bring pressure,’ Wilson said. ‘I knew they were going to do different things. That’s what NFL teams do, and we changed it up, too, on offense, as well. I think the main thing is just coming out a little bit stronger in the first half, just collectively, and continue to grow and capitalize on opportunities.’ “

Williams details Washington’s big returns, “Though Washington hasn’t scored on a return in 20 games, dating back to an 84-yard punt return against Carolina on December 5, 2010., he still provided two of the most explosive plays for the Seahawks, giving the team a spark. ‘Huge,’ Michael Robinson said about Washington’s returns. ‘It totally sparked our second-half run. That’s what this team’s all about – one phase is down, and the other phase picks them up. It just wasn’t enough today.’ “

Williams also has his game recap from Sunday.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune says don’t give up on Wilson just one game into his NFL career, “While Wilson’s passing stats (18-for-34, for 153 yards and a touchdown with one interception) suggested no upgrade from 2011 starter Tarvaris Jackson, don’t underestimate the Cardinals’ influence in those numbers. ‘They threw everyone hard at us,’ said Carroll. ‘Considering how Russell was under duress, I think it was a great first game for him. It was not easy for him at any time.’ Consider something else, too. Among the five rookie quarterbacks who started Sunday, Wilson’s effort was eclipsed only by Washington’s Robert Griffin III, who completed 19-of-26, for 320 yards and two touchdowns (a passer rating of 139.9), and ran for another 42 yards on 10 carries in the Redskins’ 40-32 win.”

Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com tells us that Sunday’s contest was a prime example of what to expect from Seahawks football in 2012 – a tough, grind-it-out game that Seattle had a chance to win, “The Seahawks are supposed to crush your ability to run, pressure your ability to pass, and then slowly grind out a few scoring drives. They aren’t quick-strike. They don’t meticulously pick you apart. They bulldoze you. With that gameplan in mind, they should play games that come down to a few plays. Make them, and you’ll win. Fail to make them, and you’ll go home disappointed. That script played out for 55 minutes of Seattle’s 20-16 loss to Arizona on Sunday. The Seahawks found themselves within a score, needing just one play to win the game. Unfortunately, that play never came.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com details Sunday’s opener and Wilson’s performance, “Wilson, who finished 18 for 34 for 153 yards, a TD and a pick, knows he’s still opening the college physics book in the middle. This is the NFL, where rookie starters don’t have the luxury of beginning at the beginning. ‘I have to go through my reads quicker, that’s the main thing,’ he said. ‘In the red zone, the windows are a lot shorter, and I have to be smarter. I felt great about the opportunities we had. We just fell short. The defense and special teams did a great job helping us out.’ “

For a bit of injury news, CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Russell Okung’s injury suffered yesterday does not seem to be serious, calling it a bone bruise.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “Rapid Reaction” following Sunday’s opener, “What it means: The quarterback drama and questions that dominated pregame discussion aren’t going away. Kevin Kolb, all but written off in Arizona, came off the bench to throw the go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter after an ankle injury knocked out starter John Skelton. Seahawks rookie Russell Wilson answered by quickly leading Seattle down the field, but his final pass fell incomplete in the end zone on fourth down with 18 seconds left. In the bigger picture, both teams are still looking up at the San Francisco 49ers. The standings show a tie atop the NFC West, but neither Seattle nor Arizona played anywhere near the level San Francisco demonstrated while handling the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Both teams appeared limited offensively. Both have big injury concerns.”

Sando also has a look at Wilson’s day under center.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his game story, Tony Ventrella recaps the 20-16 defeat, and Rod Mar has a look at the day in photos.

We also have coach Carroll and Wilson’s postgame press conferences, as well as some game highlights from the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback.


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Game at a Glance: Seahawks 16, Cardinals 20

GLENDALE, Ariz. – A recap of the Seahawks’ 20-16 loss to the Cardinals in their season opener at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME
Leon Washington. The Seahawks didn’t win the game, but their dynamic returner did everything he could to make it happen. Washington not only produced two big plays; they came when the Seahawks most needed them.

With the Seahawks trailing 13-3 in the third quarter, Washington broke an 83-yard kickoff return that setup Russell Wilson’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice. With the score tied at 13 in the fourth quarter, Washington broke a 52-yard punt return to setup a 39-yard field goal by Steve Hauschka with 9:20 remaining the game.

Did someone say big plays?

“Huge plays. Huge,” said special teams co-captain Michael Robinson. “He totally sparked our second-half run. That’s what this team is about – picking each other up. If one phase is down, another phase picks them up. That’s what Leon did today.”

PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: The game-winner, of course, which was Kevin Kolb’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts with 4:59 left to play.

Defense: On the Cardinals’ first play after Wilson’s TD pass to Rice, Chris Clemons pressured John Skelton into an ill-advised throw and cornerback Richard Sherman then made a sideline interception of that pass to setup a Hauschka field goal that tied the score at 13.

Special teams: Washington’s kickoff return, because it was longer than the punt return and setup a touchdown.

INJURY REPORT
Left tackle Russell Okung injured a knee on the Seahawks’ final possession. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin also had to leave the field after attempting a diving catch in the end zone on the same possession, but coach Pete Carroll said last year’s leading receiver was OK.

WORTH NOTING
Despite not playing since the second preseason game and being limited in practice all week because of back spasms, Marshawn Lynch started the game and carried 21 times for 84 yards.

Second-year linebacker K.J. Wright had a team-high nine tackles.

The Seahawks broke up, batted down, tipped or intercepted eight passes, including two each by Sherman, who had the only interception; nose tackle Brandon Mebane and lineman Jason Jones.

The defense held the Cardinals to 43 yards on 20 rushing attempts.

Clemons had the Seahawks’ only sack.

James Carpenter and John Moffitt, the starters at right tackle and right guard as rookies last season, were named inactive. Each is recovering from a surgical procedure.

YOU DON’T SAY
“I think he handled himself really well. He had a lot of pressure on him. He did what he could do back there. But there’s still room for not only him to get better, but the rest of this team.” – wide receiver Sidney Rice on Wilson


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