Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 17:
The Seahawks used to travel to Eastern Washington University for training camp. This summer they’ve brought a slice of Cheney to their camp in Renton: Jesse Hoffman. Eric Williams at the News Tribune profiles Hoffman. Says Williams: “A running back at heart, Jesse Hoffman has made a smooth transition to the physically demanding position of cornerback. And the rookie out of Eastern Washington University is in a fierce competition to earn a spot on the 53-man final roster or the practice squad on his home-state team, the Seattle Seahawks. Hoffman impressed Seahawks’ brass enough during his college pro day in April that they signed him to their 90-man roster as an undrafted free agent.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times examines the sprained ankles that have sidelined left tackle Russell Okung, including the one he got last Thursday in the preseason opener. Offers O’Neil: “Let us interrupt the hand-wringing over Okung’s health to interject some actual expertise on the injury. ‘No one’s prone to this,’ said Dr. Erik C. Nilssen of The Andrews Institute of Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Florida.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at why the Seahawks would opt for ex-Packer Atari Bigby over Lawyer Milloy to add some needed experience to their young secondary. Says Sando: “Why not just bring back Milloy, one of the toughest players of his generation? There’s a tradeoff in re-signing such a durable, competitive player amid a youth movement. Milloy returned to the Seahawks last season only after coach Pete Carroll promised to restore him as the starter. Milloy had not been happy as a backup in 2009. Any leadership he might have provided would have been muted from the bench in 2011.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the need-meets-desire scenario that is Brandon Browner getting a second shot at playing in the NFL because the Seahawks are looking to get bigger at cornerback. Browner not only is big (6-4), he can cover. Says DB coach Kris Richard: “Yes, he can cover,” said Kris Richard, the former Seahawks cornerback who is now coaching the defensive backs. “He has attributes that are uncommon. Typically a guy that size, you would think he’d have trouble getting in and out of breaks. But Brandon has shown the ability to get in and out of breaks. So the attributes that you look for in a corner, you’re finding. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”
We also check in with some of the fans who have been attending the training camp practices, with the last one that will be open to the public this afternoon.
At NFL.com, Elliott Harrison examines whether this could be the year of the tight end. It’s pertinent in Seattle, because the Seahawks acquired Zach Miller, a Pro Bowl tight end with the Raiders last season, to pair with John Carlson. Says Harrison: “Is it OK to call 2011 the ‘Year of the Tight End’? Sounds cheesy, but I’m afraid it might be true. Take a look around the league. If there is one position that’s loaded with young and old talent, it’s tight end.”
At FoxSports.com, Peter Schrager offers reasons why each of the 32 teams can win the Super Bowl. Here’s what he says about the Seahawks: “More than a few folks scratched their heads over some of the Seahawks’ offseason free-agent acquisitions this season, most notably — one Tarvaris Jackson. But Jackson’s in Seattle for a reason: Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, his coordinator in Minnesota, still has confidence in the sixth-year quarterback. Sidney Rice, Bevell’s No. 1 wideout in Minny, has come along for the ride. Meanwhile, Tom Cable — the new offensive line coach — got old Raiders Zach Miller and Robert Gallery to make the trip to the Pacific Northwest, too. There’s a lot of familiarity and positivity in that Seattle locker room this season. Who cares what everyone is saying outside of it?”
The Seahawks have added depth and experience to their secondary by signing former Green Bay Packers safety Atari Bigby.
To clear a spot on the 90-man roster, former University of Washington fullback Dorson Boyce was released.
Bigby (5-11, 213) played for the Packers the past six seasons, starting 16 games in 2007 and 11 in 2009 – collecting nine of his 10 career interceptions in those two seasons. Two of his interceptions came in a 2009 games against the Seahawks, and he also had seven tackles against them in a 2007 playoff game.
He was born in Jamaica and played at Central Florida before being signed by the Miami Dolphins in 2005. After the Dolphins released him, Bigby signed with the Jets, who also released him. He then signed with the Packers.
Bigby joins a young secondary, where second-year players Earl Thomas (free safety) and Kam Chancellor (strong safety) are the starters; rookie Mark LeGree and second-year man Josh Pinkard have been the safeties with the No. 2 unit; and rookie free agents Jeron Johnson and Rickey Thenarse have comprised the third tandem.
Bigby was limited to four games with the Packers last year, when he began the season on the physically unable to perform list after having ankle surgery.