Friday cyber surfing: Wilson’s rise is no surprise

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 7.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times brings us inside the Seahawks defense, a pseudo follow-up to yesterday’s piece on defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, “Thomas is just as excited about this defense as some of you are. ‘This defense has a certain feel about it,’ Thomas said. ‘This is how it’s supposed to be. All the pieces are here. The chemistry is great. We’re so close off the field, and that makes you want to work harder on the field because you’re playing for more than you.’ ”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that quarterback Russell Wilson’s rise to earning the starting job in Seattle comes as no surprise to those who know Wilson best, “Confidence. Charisma. Poise. Wilson embodies all of those high-minded concepts that get tossed around to describe the essence of a successful quarterback. In terms of intangibles, Wilson holds a full house, and someone who’s known Wilson since grade school just chuckles a little bit when asked about this quarterback who has turned Seattle on its ear. ‘He’s kind of done that everywhere he’s gone,’ said Charlie McFall, Wilson’s football coach at the Collegiate School in Richmond, Va.”

O’Neil also has his notes from Thursday’s practice.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times delves into Wilson’s former life as a professional baseball player, “The Rockies drafted Wilson in the fourth round in 2010 when he was still at North Carolina State — 140th overall, eight picks after the Mariners took left-handed pitcher James Paxton, one of their vaunted “Big Three” hurlers. John Manuel, editor-in-chief at Baseball America, remembers being ‘completely floored’ that Wilson was taken so high, because he had played only sporadically in college. Wilson was mainly a platoon player for the Wolfpack, starting almost exclusively against left-handers, mostly in the outfield, and even dabbling on the mound in 10 appearances his junior year (starting one game and earning a save in another). ‘Our people looked at Russell as a prospect, but we weren’t going to know until 1,500 at-bats,’ said Bill Schmidt, Colorado’s vice president of scouting. ‘It would probably be three years. I told Russell that. There were no guarantees, but he had a tremendous work ethic. He always told me his objective was to play in the NFL and major leagues.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps Thursday’s media and practice sessions, “Wilson said that he benefitted from facing Kansas City’s 3-4 defensive front in Week 3 of the preseason in preparation for Arizona this weekend. ‘It helped a lot,’ Wilson said. ‘A 3-4 defense is a little different than just your normal four down lineman that most teams run. So you have to be able to adjust, and understand what we’re trying to do. The offensive line is doing a great job of understanding what we need to do in terms of protection, and in terms of running the football. So I think that more than anything, just being on the same page throughout the game.’ ”

Williams also details the Cardinals decision to go with John Skelton over Kevin Kolb as their starting quarterback for Week 1, “So even though Kevin Kolb will make $8 million in total compensation this season, John Skelton will start the season opener for the Cardinals against NFC West division-rival Seattle on Sunday in the desert. ‘Ultimately, in evaluating all of the factors and all of the different things that we looked at, we felt at this time that John gave us the best chance to win going forward, and that’s the decision that we made,’ [Arizona head coach Ken] Whisenhunt said during a conference call with Seattle-area reporters this week. ‘It was definitely a tough decision.’ ”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has a look at three key players who saw little preseason action, but could return this Sunday at Arizona – running back Marshawn Lynch, defensive tackle Jason Jones, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin.

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s opener against the Cardinals, “Both 2011 encounters between these teams were decided by three points, and with each expected to play things rather close to the vest with quarterbacks that are either unproven or erratic, another narrow margin on the scoreboard seems like a good bet.”

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has a look inside fullback Michael Robinson’s “The Real Rob Report”, “Robinson, the former Penn State quarterback, started doing what he called “The Rookie Report” after the San Francisco 49ers selected him in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL draft, and things really took off after he signed with the Seahawks in September 2010. Not only did he find a more defined football role in Seattle, but his interviewing skills flourished in Pete Carroll’s media-friendly world. ‘The fans, they don’t get to see our personalities,’ Robinson recently told 750 The Game in Portland. ‘And we wear helmets — it’s not like the NBA or baseball. I just want to give the fans a behind-the-scenes of what guys are doing. I think the mainstream media seems to always look for the negative — it seems like only the negative things are made into stories. I’m more interested in how they work  in the community, what they’re doing during the week, and how they get ready for games. I’ve noticed that most fans really aren’t concerned with the X’s-and-O’s part of the game — they want to see their favorite athletes, just talking in their natural settings. The Real Rob Report is giving you that, and it’s definitely been successful.’ ”

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has a look back at Thursday’s practice, “There was a new name on the injury report. Back up quarterback Matt Flynn was limited with right elbow soreness. Flynn missed the third preseason game with the same ailment. Offensive lineman James Carpenter was also limited in practice as he continues to make his way back from a knee injury. Defensive end Greg Scruggs (hamstring), receiver Golden Tate (knee) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (shoulder) did not participate in practice. Coach Pete Carroll had hoped Tate would be able to do some running in practice this week.”

Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman, contributing to mynorthwest.com, writes that Head Coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider have built a contender with a band of misfits, calling the team that will take the field Sunday a, “…sort of Billy Bean-like ‘Money Ball’ experiment”, and points to oversized corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, the massive Red Bryant at defensive end, and defensive tackle turned right guard J.R. Sweezy as just a few examples of the team that Carroll and Schneider have unconventionally built.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Thursday, including a note from offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell that the playbook actually shrinks on gameday with a specific plan of attack for that week’s opponent, a move that is likely to aid rookie quarterback Russell Wilson’s first regular season NFL start, “Wilson is already considered to have an outstanding work ethic in the amount of time he puts in on the job. Now he has time to specifically study the opponent he’ll see on the field Sunday and try to figure out the best ways to attack them. ‘It’s always good to have a game plan and have an understanding of what the defense is trying to do where you really have a set amount of plays that your focused on and trying to run,’ Wilson said. ‘It definitely helps you focus and stay on task with what you need to do.’ ”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com depicts Wilson’s ascension to the starting quarterback job, “From deep in the depth, he started as a freshman for North Carolina State and held the job for three years. After leaving to play minor league baseball, he returned cold to college football, transferring to Wisconsin, where he started every game his senior year. Now he’s a starter on his first NFL team by his first game. When the NASA rover Curiosity bumps into the Martian Football League, Wilson likely will be the first to start there.”

Here at Seahawks.com we bring you Russell Wilson’s full press conference from yesterday, as well as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s.

Clare Farnsworth has a recap of the day’s activities surrounding Thursday in Hawkville, with a focus on running back Marshawn Lynch, who was limited in practice, sort of, “Lynch took part in today’s two-hour practice, on a limited basis. But there was nothing limited about his efforts on the few touches he got before giving way to rookie Robert Turbin. Lynch displayed the explosive one-step-and-go style in getting through the line that is required to run in line coach Tom Cable’s system. There also were the multiple changes of direction, with accompanying dips and ducks, that were such a part of Lynch putting up career-high totals in rushing yards (1,204) and touchdowns (14) last season.”

Farnsworth also points to the historical significance that will come with Wilson’s start at quarterback against the Cardinals this Sunday, “Jim Zorn. Rick Mirer. And now Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ third-round pick in April’s NFL Draft is about to go where only two other rookie quarterbacks in franchise history have gone when he starts Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona. ‘I don’t get caught up in it,’ Wilson said Thursday when presented with what’s about to transpire. ‘I’m excited about the opportunity. It’s another football game in a place I’ve never played before. But it’s the same distance on the field. The good thing is just to be able to get on the football field with these guys again and to have the opportunity is very, very big in my life.’ ”

Tony Ventrella has his Seahawks Daily, as he touches on the rapport that has developed between Wilson and Seattle’s receiving corps.

NFL Films previews the Seahawks matchup with the Cardinals in this short video.

And finally, if you are wondering where to watch, listen to, or otherwise follow Sunday’s season opener, we have a breakdown for you here.


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Lynch’s status questioned; 2012 previews & predictions

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 5.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that running back Marshawn Lynch’s status for the season opener at Arizona this Sunday is a is a little unclear, and that we should know more after Pete Carroll addresses the media later today, “He suffered back spasms following the Seahawks’ second exhibition game at Denver. He hasn’t practiced with the team since, just watching workouts, and didn’t appear in the final two exhibition games. Lynch was absent from the practice field entirely on Aug. 27, while getting treatment. Carroll was asked afterward if Lynch’s back was a long-term concern. ‘We’ll have rested him a couple of weeks to make sure that he’s OK,’ Carroll said. ‘So we’re taking care with this one. He has had back conditions kind of in the past. We’re just making sure we do the right thing and are taking all the time that’s available.’ Two days later, Carroll’s assessment was more certain. ‘He took a real good turn this week,’ Carroll said last Wednesday, the day before Seattle’s exhibition finale. ‘The rehab that he has been doing has really been effective, so we think he’s going to be fine.’ ”

O’Neil points to rookie running back Robert Turbin as a more than capable backup plan should Lynch not be able to go on Sunday, “We bring this up now not just because Lynch’s status became a national question mark on Tuesday, but to point out that Turbin gives Seattle something it didn’t have last year: Namely, someone running with comparable size to Lynch. Turbin is listed at 222 pounds with a massive upper body, but more burst than expected from a guy whose biceps are that big. Turbin gave a glimpse of what he can do in the third exhibition game when he rushed 14 times for 93 yards. More than have those yards were gained in the first series of the third quarter when Turbin carried three times, gaining 8 then 17 and then 25 yards at a time when a good chunk of Kansas City’s starters were still in the game.”

O’Neil also makes an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” show, subbing for Dave Grosby. In this short video, O’Neil and Bob Stelton discuss Lynch’s injury and what it could mean for the Seahawks if he does not play this Sunday.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that versatility helped wide receiver Charly Martin win a spot on the 53-man roster over several other receivers gunning for the job in camp, “Martin, a native of Walla Walla who competed at the NCAA Division II level (West Texas A&M), landed on this roster by doing everything right in four exhibition games and in dozens of practices during the offseason and training camp. His margin for error was that slim. ‘He did the right thing and was always in the right place,’ Brown said. ‘Not only on offense, but on special teams, too. When he had the occasion to make a play, he made it. He stayed healthy, which was big, and he just never did anything to hurt himself. You could say he took advantage of his opportunities.’ ”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com details the significance of Lynch’s injury heading into the weekend at Arizona, “Lynch has dealt with back spasms for much of his career. He was sidelined shortly before kickoff of the Seahawks’ 6-3 loss to the Browns last season. Smaller running backs Leon Washington and Justin Forsett combined for just 62 yards in his absence, underscoring how important Lynch and his physical running style are to Seattle’s offense. The Seahawks spent a fourth-round pick on Robert Turbin with the hope that the similar-sized running back could replicate that style when Lynch came off the field. With Lynch on the sideline for all but one preseason game, Turbin rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com takes a look at what it could mean if Lynch misses the season opener, “Even with the 222-pound Turbin running well, the Seahawks likely would not be the same without their starting back. Lynch rushed for a career-high 1,204 yards last season. His physical running style gave Seattle a welcome and needed identity on offense. Heading into the Arizona game with rookies at quarterback (Russell Wilson), right guard (J.R. Sweezy) and running back (Turbin) probably wouldn’t faze the Seahawks as much as one might expect. Wilson and Sweezy beat out more experienced competitors. Inexperienced backs can struggle in pass protection initially, however. Seattle might feel more comfortable leaning on Washington in passing situations if Lynch could not play.”

Andy Benoit of the New York Times ‘Fifth Down’ NFL blog has their 2012 Seahawks preview, “Want a breakout team for 2012? Turn your attention to the upper left corner of our country’s map. The Seahawks are returning a solid, aggressive young defense that quietly ranked in the top 10 last season. It’s a defense that plays a fairly straightforward style, relying on talent more than gimmicks. Offensively, the Seahawks finally discovered a run game in 2011, which is largely why they went 5-3 in the second half of the season.”

Pete King of Sports Illustrated has his 2012 NFL predictions, and he picks the Seahawks to finish 9-7. You can watch his one minute video preview on the ‘Hawks here.

The APPro32 has their comments and ranks on the Seahawks for 2012, ranking them as high as No. 17, “Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com) — Maybe surprise team of 2012. Russell Wilson sparks offense and receiving group coming together. Defense is physical and secondary is biggest in NFL.” and as low as No. 26, “Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio) — Russell Wilson doesn’t have a ton of juice at WR … very average group.


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Up next: Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald finished 2011 with 80 catches for 1,411 yards and eight scores, with 14 of those catches going for 213 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Seahawks.

When: Sunday, 1:25 p.m., University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

Record: Cardinals were 1-4 in the preseason; 8-8 last season, when they won seven of their last nine games

Where they rank: 18th on offense (14th rushing, 18th passing); 14th on defense (21st rushing, 13th passing) during the preseason

Series: Cardinals lead 14-12; including a 23-20 overtime victory in last year’s season finale that snapped the Seahawks’ three-game winning streak in the series

Star power: Larry Fitzgerald. Everything you need to know about the Cardinals’ six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver played out in last year’s season finale. The Seahawks’ Pro Bowl-laden secondary punished Fitzgerald every time he even got close to catching a pass, as evidenced by the fact that he was coughing up blood on the sideline. But with the game on the line, Fitzgerald was just fine. After catching one pass for 1 yard in the first half, he had three catches for 44 yards in an 80-yard drive to a go-ahead TD in the third quarter; a 41-yard reception in a field-goal drive that gave the Cardinals a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter; and three catches for 46 yards in the 71-yard drive to the game-winning field goal in overtime. Fitzgerald finished the game with nine catches for 149 yards, and the season with 80 receptions for 1,411 yards, a 17.6-yard average and eight touchdowns last season.

Unsung heroes: Dan Williams and David Carter. The Cardinals’ nose tackle tandem – the 327-pound Williams and the 300-pound Carter – performed well during the preseason, and in the opener will test center Max Unger, who would qualify in this category for the Seahawks after his solid efforts all summer. Opponents rushed for an average of 120.4 yards in five preseason games against the Cardinals, while the Seahawks averaged a league-high 178.3 yards – and 5.1 yards per carry.

On the spot: D’Anthony Batiste and Bobby Massie. With Levi Brown and Jeremy Bridges lost to season-ending injuries, Batiste and Massie with start at tackle for the Cardinals – and against the Seahawks’ new-look nickel line that features sack-leader Chris Clemons and first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin coming off the edges. Massie, a rookie, will be on the right side. Batiste, who has started four games in his career but none since 2007, will be on the left side.

Burning question: Think the Cardinals would like to have Matt Flynn? Last year, the Cardinals overpaid in free agency for quarterback Kevin Kolb, who lost the starting job to John Skelton this preseason. Flynn, who signed with the Seahawks in free agency this year, was good enough during the spring and summer to be the Seahawks’ starter. It’s just that rookie Russell Wilson was even better.

Familiar faces: Defensive coordinator Ray Horton and rookie guard Senio Kelemete played at the University of Washington. Scout Chris Culmer worked for the Seahawks from 2000-08 and scouting assistant Josh Scobey played for the Seahawks in 2005-06.

The last word: “We put a lot of time and effort in making the decision, and we feel like it’s the right decision.” – Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt on going with Skelton – who was 5-2 as the starter last season – over Kolb


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Tuesday cyber surfing: Training camp dates, battles and schedule analysis

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 3.

Last night the  Seahawks announced 13 Bing Training Camp dates that will be open to the general public. Practices that are open to the public will begin on July 28 and end on August 15. Those interested in attending must register through Seahawks.com beginning on July 13 and registration is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Also here at Seahawks.com, Tony Ventrella chats with Seahawks General Manager John Schneider about the Seahawks 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin. According to Schneider, the Seahawks rated Irvin in their top-three among all defensive players on draft day.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times dissects the regular season schedule for NFC West teams. On the Seahawks, O’Neil notes that in 2012 they will face five opponents coming off playoff appearances, five opponents coming off 10 or more wins and six opponents coming off of losing seasons.

Additionally, O’Neil breaks down the Seahawks 2012 strength of schedule, noting that the Seahawks face opponents who went a combined 129-127 last season, a collective winning percentage of .504 that is tied for the 11th-highest among the NFL’s 32 teams. There’s a catch, however, as O’Neil is quick to point out, “That doesn’t mean the Seahawks will be playing the 11th-toughest schedule in the league, though. That depends entirely upon what those teams on the docket do this year. For example, a year ago, the Seahawks were seen to have one of the easiest schedules in the league. Their 16 opponents in 2011 had a combined record of 125-131 the year before, which ranked No. 23. The schedule turned out to be much more difficult in large part because of the improvement of San Francisco and Arizona in the NFC West.”

Last week, ESPN Insider KC Joyner named Brandon Browner one of his seven most overrated players in the NFC, which prompted this discussion from Brock Huard and Mike Salk at mynorthwest.com. In a follow up video today, Huard talks about cornerback Richard Sherman and gives his opinion as to why the cornerback who saw success when he entered the starting lineup as a rookie in Week 8 last season may be one of the Seahawks most underrated players.

Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at four NFC West training camp battles, and it is little surprise that the battle Sando touches on for the Seahawks is quarterback-themed, as he writes, “The Seahawks face a dilemma. [Matt] Flynn, [Russell] Wilson and Josh Portis are the quarterbacks they would ideally keep for the long term, but [Tarvaris] Jackson is the only one with meaningful experience. Jackson is the only one they know for sure they could trust to keep the team competitive right now. Flynn and Wilson will earn roster spots. Jackson could win one, too. He could even start, but so could Flynn or Wilson.” After adding some additional analysis of Wilson and Flynn, Sando closes with, “This should be a fascinating battle once training camp begins.” I think the rest of us would agree.


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Monday cyber surfing: Seahawks offensive analysis, Hutchinson honored

Good morning, and welcome to what is traditionally the NFL’s slowest news month. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 2.

Mike Sando at ESPN.com gives us a pre-camp analysis of the Seahawks offense, breaking down who he feels are the safest bets, leading contenders and those who face longer odds to earn roster spots come the end of training camp. On the Seahawks wide receivers, Sando has this to say, “[Doug] Baldwin appears to be the receiver Seattle can count on the most. That is good and bad. The team needs [Sidney] Rice to hold up physically after undergoing surgeries on both shoulders this offseason. Concussions were another problem for Rice last season. [Golden] Tate was ascending when last season ended. The broken hand he suffered this offseason prevented Tate from participating fully in minicamps. He needs to avoid additional setbacks to build on last season. [Kris] Durham could make [Mike] Williams expendable.[Ricardo] Lockette’s speed separates him from the other receivers on the roster. He’s raw, but two long receptions late last season showed big-play potential.”

Sando also responds to a reader who says the Seahawks have the Arizona Cardinals to thank for the acquisition of Matt Flynn. The reader’s reasoning is that if the Cardinals had not beat the 49ers late last season, then the Niners would have been within one game of the Green Bay Packers No. 1 playoff seed, which would have meant Aaron Rodgers would have likely played in Week 17 against the Detroit Lions – a game where Matt Flynn passed for 480 yards and six touchdowns, likely raising his stock among teams with needs at QB. Sando downplays the effect of Flynn’s performance in Week 17, and points to Seahawks general manager John Schneider’s relationship with Flynn as a bigger reason for his acquisition, “Seahawks general manager John Schneider had ties to Flynn. There weren’t any other viable quarterbacks for the Seahawks to pursue once it became clear Peyton Manning wasn’t coming their way. I don’t think San Francisco would have let Alex Smith get away to a division rival. And at that point, there were no assurances the Seahawks would land Russell Wilson or another quarterback they liked in the draft. Adding Flynn was going to make sense either way. Flynn’s asking price might have been lower without that Week 17 showing. But to hear the Seahawks tell it, Flynn won them over during a workout at their facility and in classroom work with the coaching staff. Those factors would have been even more important in the absence of Flynn’s six-touchdown game against the Lions.”

And speaking of QB’s, over at mynorthwest.com Brock Huard and Mike Salk share their thoughts and offer some advice in this video on how the three Seahawks quarterbacks competing for the starting job – Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson –  can best utilize their time in preparation for the start of training camp at the end of the month.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth revisits last year’s Seahawks 35th Anniversary team as he talks with three-time Seahawks Pro Bowler (2002-05) and two-time All-Pro (2003, 2005) guard Steve Hutchinson, who was the unanimous decision among fans who voted. Hutch secured 1,411 fan votes – almost twice as many as the other guard on the reader-selected team, Bryan Millard.  Known as a man of few words, on his selection to the team Hutchinson fittingly offered to Farnsworth, “‘To be remembered like that definitely is an honor, and I appreciate the fans remembering me.'”

Finally, for a look around the League we have Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback over at SI.com. With King on vacation he has recruited the first tight end selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts’ Coby Fleener, as his guest-author. Fleener, a Stanford alum who earned his Master’s in Communication with an emphasis in Media Studies, shares his experience at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium and going to camp, “After spending a few hours delayed in the Indianapolis airport, I made it to the hotel with the other Colts rookies just in time for dinner and a little catching up with other teams’ rookies. After that, we made our way to the main ballroom. The NFL’s desire to make the environment player-friendly and exciting was evident. Loud pop music blared through speakers and colored lights flashed on a stage, flanked by two large high definition televisions. Giant banners of NFL legends like Walter Payton and Brett Favre covered each wall. I expected to have to suffer on uncomfortable, easily stackable hotel chairs, but instead found rows of comfortable, leather swivel desk chairs.”


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Friday cyber surfing: Schedule changes, role changes and Banks re-visited

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 29.

The NFL announced a scheduling change yesterday, pushing the start time of the second game of its Sunday doubleheaders on FOX and CBS back by 10 minutes to ensure fewer fans miss game-action. How might that affect the Seahawks schedule? Clare Farnsworth has that answer here at Seahawks.com, as he writes, “The move could affect four Seahawks games – their Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona; the Dec. 9 rematch with the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field; their Dec. 23 game against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field; and their Dec. 30 regular-season finale against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.”

Farnsworth also catches up with new Director of Football Health & Performance Sam Ramsden, as Ramsden and Seahawks General Manager John Schneider share their thoughts on the exciting responsibilities and challenges that come with this new role, “’Just like the coaches self-scout at all times, and we do it from a personnel standpoint, we feel like we need to be doing that in all areas of our football operation,’ Schneider said. ‘This was an area that stood out, so we probably could be a little further ahead or we could kind of be cutting edge. It’s a player-driven league, so why wouldn’t we do everything possible to be able to make sure that not only are we bringing the right people into the building, but that we’re treating them in the right manner particular to their needs?’”

Over at YahooSports.com, Les Carpenter shares his thoughts on Brian Banks, who received a mini-camp tryout with the Seahawks earlier this month. At that time Carpenter spoke with Seahawks General Manager John Schneider, who offered his thoughts on Banks, “‘He didn’t fall flat on his face,’ Seahawks general manager John Schneider said before adding that Banks ‘is a consideration for sure,’ for a training camp invite. Then Schneider was asked if he could see Banks working in a team’s front office, guiding players. ‘There’s no question,’ Schneider replied. ‘He’s a phenomenal kid and twice the man I was when I was that age.'”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com gives us four quick fantasy notes from KC Joyner’s newly published 2012 fantasy guide. Sando points to Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch posting impressive numbers late in the season, but Joyner see’s room for significant improvement along the offensive line, “‘The Seahawks posted terrible numbers in the good blocking rate (38.9 percent, tied for 30th) and offensive good blocking production metrics.'” According to Sando, Joyner’s guide spans 444 pages and includes multiple charts and text categories for potential fantasy contributors for each team.

Joyner, who on Tuesday included Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner on his list of the seven most overrated players in the NFC, prompted this discussion from Brock Huard and Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com, as they talk about whether or not that designation fits a Pro Bowler who intercepted six passes, returned two for touchdowns and finished first on the team, and NFL, with 23 passes defensed.


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Later kickoffs for four Seahawks games

The kickoff times of the late games for Sunday doubleheaders on FOX and CBS are being pushed back, the NFL announced today.

The move could affect four Seahawks games – their Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Cardinals in Arizona; the Dec. 9 rematch with the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field; their Dec. 23 game against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field; and their Dec. 30 regular-season finale against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.

Those games are scheduled to be telecast on FOX, and had 1:15 p.m. kickoffs. The new later kickoff will be 1:25.

The later start will reduce instances where the end of the early game overlapped with the start of the later game in the doubleheader format. League research determined that from the 2009-11 seasons, 44 games required part of the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. With the later kickoff, that number is expected to impact 15 games – a 66-percent reduction.


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Photoblog: Overtime and Out.

The Seahawks traveled to the Valley of the Sun for the season finale against the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams sought a victory to finish the season with an 8-8 record, but the Cardinals prevailed in overtime, 23-20.

The roster says he's a rookie but receiver Ricardo Lockette looked All-Pro in a three-piece suit as he boarded the team charter.

Upon arrival in Phoenix, Tarvaris Jackson walks from the plane to the buses in the warm sunshine.

On game day, injured left tackle Russell Okung talks with general manager John Schneider during the early warmup period.

Rookie receiver Doug Baldwin listens to music as they players make final preparations to take the field.

Players including Chris Maragos gather for their traditional team prayer shortly before leaving the locker room prior to kickoff.

Chris Clemons takes a moment to himself on the sidelines as the Seahawks wait for the Cardinals to be introduced.

Leon Washington is brought down after a gain in the first quarter.

Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson stiff-arms Arizona's Daryl Washington in the backfield.

Arizona's dangerous receiver Larry Fitzgerald is brought down by Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne, who led Seattle's defense with nine tackles.

Seahawks defensive tackle Alan Branch breaks through to sack Arizona quarterback John Skelton.

Running back Leon Washington dives for the corner of the end zone to score Seattle's first touchdown on a 48-yard run in the third quarter.

Cornerback Brandon Browner (39) and safety Earl Thomas (29) both leap high to prevent a completion to Arizona's intended receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

David Hawthorne's hard hit on Arizona's Andre Roberts sent the Cardinal receiver's helmet flying.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman races down the left sideline after intercepting a pass that set up a Seattle field goal.

Atari Bigby put a big hit on Arizona's kickoff returner A.J. Jefferson with the help of Earl Thomas.

Seattle's biggest offensive highlight came when rookie receiver Ricardo Lockette made a juggling one-handed catch for a 61-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was pumped after Lockette's touchdown tied the game at 20-20 in the fourth quarter.

Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald showed why he's one of the best in the game, hauling in three catches on the final drive of overtime.

Seattle's Red Bryant had blocked three field goals already this season, but couldn't get his big hands on the final kick in overtime.

In the quiet locker room after the game, players brought their hands together for the final time of the 2011 season.

Head coach Pete Carroll spoke on the phone as the team boarded the charter bound for Seattle after the game.

Each member of the team's traveling party has a name plate above their seat, and the Seahawks Director of Video Thom Fermstad's was waiting for him on his final road trip. Fermstad is retiring after the season and has been with the club since Day One of its existence.