Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 11.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times previews the Seahawks’ Week 6 matchup with the New England Patriots’ up-tempo, no-huddle offense, “What makes the Patriots’ offense go is their quarterback, who will be playing in Seattle for the first time as a professional. This is Brady’s 13th NFL season. He has three Super Bowl wins, two Super Bowl MVP awards and one supermodel marriage. But Seattle is one of two NFL cities where he has never played. He was out with a knee injury in 2008, the last time the Patriots came to town. ‘I’m actually excited to get out there and play in a place I’ve never played,’ Brady said Wednesday during his weekly news conference. ‘I think what makes it loud is that they’re very good. So, when they make plays, the crowd is into it and they get a lot of support.’ “
O’Neil also recaps a Wednesday conversation with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who says the Seahawks need to do a better job at converting in the red zone, particularly against a high-scoring team like the Patriots, “The red zone has been Seattle’s Bermuda Triangle this season, the offense missing the end zone repeatedly once the Seahawks are in scoring position. Of Seattle’s 14 possessions inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, Seattle has scored a touchdown on four of them, the lowest percentage of any team in the league. And with Seattle preparing to face the league’s top-scoring offense on Sunday, it can’t afford to settle for three points when it gets close, which means the emphasis this week is on improving the offense’s short game. ‘We’re doing a pretty decent job of moving the ball down the field and getting to the red zone,’ said Darrell Bevell, Seattle’s offensive coordinator. ‘Now we’re not finishing those with touchdowns, and we’ve got to do that at a better rate.’ “
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times comments on the Seahawks’ innovative defense, “Defense always carries the burden of reaction. You hear more about offensive ingenuity than cutting-edge defense because offense is supposed to be more imaginative. Before a defense can stop a team, it must know what to defend. Offenses create. Defenses stifle. But on occasion, there are special defenses that start to do as much dictating as reacting. You see glimpses of that with the Seahawks, but they’re young, and they’ve only been together since last season. They need more time and polish to achieve such a lofty status. Nevertheless, the potential is there. ‘Two or three years from now, we’ll see,’ Carroll said. ‘I know people in the league don’t think two or three years down the road very well. They think two or three weeks. But you’re going to have guys playing in their third and fourth and fifth years together by then. That’s not old guys. That’s just guys who have really grown up together. And that’s when you really benefit.’ “
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says New England’s hurry up offense will test the Seattle defense, “New England has the top-rated offense through five games this season, averaging 33 points and 439 yards a game. The Patriots have a league-leading 151 first downs, and are averaging 165 yards rushing a contest, No. 3 in the league. But it’s New England’s ability to get off a play every 15 to 17 seconds that has the league’s defenses on their heels. Carroll said the Patriots are the one NFL team that has come closest to mirroring the type of speed Oregon plays with in college football. Of course, Carroll can use his experience at USC in facing the Ducks’ high-powered offense annually when his defense takes on the Patriots this weekend. ‘We know what it is,’ Carroll said. ‘We know what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to do it when they speed it up. And we’ll see if we can match it, and if we can, then we’ll have a chance to play pretty good. The point is that we can’t let their tempo dictate our play.’ “
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune revisits Carroll’s firing from New England and how it re-invented him as a coach, “It not only turned out to be one of those rare occasions that worked well for all principals, but it also is suddenly relevant again, 12 years later, as Carroll and his Seattle Seahawks on Sunday entertain the Patriots and the coach who so successfully replaced him – Bill Belichick. Belichick has led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in five appearances. Carroll regrouped, rebuilt the USC program into a national powerhouse, and has been with the Seahawks since 2010. ‘It really is classically one of those deals when you get kicked in the tail and you come out better,’ Carroll said.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that Carroll is excited to take on the challenge of going up against the League’s No. 1-ranked offense, “With all the weapons Brady has at his disposal, the Patriots would be a challenge for a talented Seahawks defense regardless of tempo, but now they’ve upped the degree of difficulty. ‘Preparing for that is most challenging,’ Carroll said. ‘I think the fact that they studied with Chip and he’s helped — I’m still kind of pissed at that — you have to experience what this is like to adapt well. They’re doing some really cool things on offense, and Tom Brady is as good as you can get. It’s an exciting opportunity for us. … They have really featured the no-huddle offense, and kind of tailored it after the speed of the college game, and it’s been very, very effective.’ The reason Carroll calls this an exciting opportunity as opposed to, say, a terrifying one, is that he and his defense might just be as well-equipped as any team in the league to handle an offense like New England’s. Through five games this season, the Patriots have scored more points and gained more yards than any team in the NFL. Perhaps most impressively, the Patriots have just three three-and-outs this season in 60 possessions, the fewest in the league.”
Boyle passes along some comments from Belichick, Brady, and Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who offer their impressions of the Seahawks’ defense, and also has an injury update after Carroll’s Wednesday press conference and the team’s practice session, noting that guard John Moffitt has been ruled out for Sunday.
Tim Booth of the Associated Press also revisits Carroll’s past with the Patriots, “While it was an embarrassing moment in Carroll’s coaching career, his firing in New England more than a decade ago was the catalyst for the philosophy and system Carroll brought to USC with so much success and that helped land him another chance in the NFL in Seattle. ‘What I learned from the situation is to be a really successful head coach you have to have control. Otherwise it’s somebody else’s job that you’re dealing with. That’s why everything that came out of that experience changed me and I haven’t been the same ever since,’ Carroll said Wednesday. ‘It took me 10, 11 months before I got going on the next job, but from that time, everything that is the philosophy, the approach, the mentality, everything, the language, everything came out of that experience. It’s classically one of those deals where you get kicked in the tail and you come out better. I hate to learn the hard way.’ “
Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com catches up with cornerback Richard Sherman on how the Seahawks are preparing for the Patriots’ no-huddle attack, “The lightning-quick tempo is something the Pats borrowed from college football’s most prolific offense, that of the Oregon Ducks. A few Seattle defenders like cornerback Richard Sherman have faced the Ducks and other no-huddle teams in the Pac-12. ‘What New England does is similar with the pace,’ said Sherman, who played collegiately at Stanford. ‘I think it’s different because Oregon had guys running here, and motioning there. They would run two or three reads and you didn’t know where the ball was. The Patriots will line up quick, but then they’ll run power.’ “
Steve Sandmeyer of mynorthwest.com says it’s time for the Seahawks to open up the playbook on offense for quarterback Russell Wilson, “Coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, try as they might, cannot escape the following three realities: • For Wilson to truly succeed, he has to be given the chance in the first place – the full playbook. • This includes giving him the chance to fail as well. • If Wilson is the guy they all think he is, he can handle it – including some failures along the way. That’s what taking a risk is about. This is the NFL. The Hawks need to be ahead of the curve – proactive instead of reactive. Don’t wait for the game that the defense can’t win by itself (perish the thought) and then address the passing game afterward.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com also recaps Carroll’s departure from New England in 1999, “Naturally, Carroll now looks upon the his sour departure from Boston as a chance for re-invention, which he exploited. ‘Getting spanked and getting knocked out of there was a great chance for me to regroup,’ he said. ‘I needed to get my act together or I was never going to get another chance. That gave me real insight to create what is so important to me now as a coach and deal with the position. I was embarrassed to get fired. I was ready for the next (job). Fortunately, I lucked out and got an opportunity at USC.’ Now he’s on to another new opportunity in Seattle. He has no empire yet, but what he has is control — he was hired before his nominal boss, general manager John Schneider, so there’s no doubt about where the final call rests. Just as was the case at USC — for better or worse. ‘What I learned from that (New England) situation is that to be a really successful head coach you need to have control,’ he said. ‘Otherwise it’s somebody else’s job that you’re dealing with.’ “
Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com writes that the Seahawks believe they are ready for the Patriots’ offense, “Under the radar until recently, the Seahawks have assembled one of the NFL’s best defenses during the three-year tenure of head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. The ultimate test for that young defense stands to be an equivalent exam for an offense that is blowing opponents off the ball in some interesting ways. By the traditional NFL metric of yards per game, which is how these things are measured in a conventional sense, the Patriots have the league’s #1 offense, and the Seahawks have the league’s top defensive unit. More advanced numbers support the hypothesis that this is a battle between two highly-charged units. Football Outsiders’ opponent-adjusted efficiency metrics has New England first in offense and Seattle third, behind the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. No matter which stats you care to use, every occurrence of New England’s offense against Seattle’s defense looks to be a proverbial clash of the titans.”
John McMullen of The Sports Network previews the Seahawks’ Week 6 matchup with the Patriots, and offers a final score prediction, “The Seahawks defense, which is allowing a league-low 258.6 yards per game and is second in points allowed (14.0), will keep them in most games and this one should be no different, although Ridley’s emergence and New England’s balance will provide a very stiff test. ‘I think it will be a great challenge for us this week against a defense that’s really, really playing well,’ [Patriots offensive coordinator Josh] McDaniels said. Seattle, of course, is especially tough at notoriously noisy CenturyLink Field. This season the Seahawks have stymied Dallas 27-7 at home on Sept. 16 and topped Green Bay, 14-12, just over a week later, albeit with the help of a controversial touchdown call by the replacement referees on the last play of that one. ‘I think it might be the loudest stadium that we’ve been in and we’re in a lot of loud ones,’ Belichick said. ‘It’s a huge home field advantage for them.’ All that said, it’s hard to imagine Wilson keeping up and this game will put Carroll’s decision to go with the rookie under an even brighter microscope again. ‘I use it as fire,’ Wilson told the Seahawks’ website when asked about his critics. ‘I ignore the noise all the time, but at the same time I know that I have to get better.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Patriots 24, Seahawks 23″
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at NFC West injury situations, “Seattle Seahawks: Center Max Unger will join the injury report for Seattle this week with a hip injury that was expected to keep him from practicing Wednesday. Former starting guard John Moffitt, a contingency at center when healthy, was also among those missing practice. A knee injury will keep him inactive this week. Eight players have started on the offensive line for Seattle this season, tied with Jacksonville for most in the league. Seattle does have options at center. Lemuel Jeanpierre has started there. Defensive linemen Clinton McDonald (groin) and Jaye Howard (foot) did not practice. The team continues to list running back Marshawn Lynch as limited with a back injury. He has 121 touches this season, second-most in the NFL behind Arian Foster (142). Lynch had 313 touches last season.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth notes the challenge that Brady and the Patritos’ offense present, and focuses on Carroll’s past with New England in his “Wednesday in Hawkville.”
Tony Ventrella recaps Wednesday’s activities in his Seahawks Daily, saying the Seahawks look forward to Sunday’s opportunity to face the League’s No.1-ranked offense.
Team photographer Rod Mar has a look at Wednesday’s practice in photos.
Good morning, and happy Fourth of July. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this holiday.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com explores how travel disparity may affect NFL teams. He specifically references the Seahawks and the NFC West division, noting that their distance traveled each season outpaces the rest, “The Steelers played 15 of their 16 games in the Eastern time zone, with a lone trip to the Central time zone waiting for them against the Titans in Week 16. Part of that is a lucky out-of-division schedule, but the Steelers also benefit by playing in a division with three opponents who each reside within 260 miles or so of Pittsburgh. Seattle, meanwhile, plays in a ‘West’ division that places its teams in three different time zones. Pittsburgh accrues about 1,122 miles in traveling to and from its divisional rivals, while Seattle’s round-trips to their NFC West brethren clock in at a whopping 7,024 miles.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at some recent stadium rule changes that should ensure home teams enjoy a more formidable advantage. The Wall Street Journal reported, “Stadiums will now be free to rile up crowds with video displays, and public-address announcers will no longer be restrained from inciting racket when the opposing offense faces a crucial third down.” Sando points out how these changes might benefit Seattle’s already boisterous 12th Man crowd, “It’s unclear how much louder CenturyLink Field can become, but a few well-timed highlights featuring knockout hits from Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor should help us find out. Likewise, shots of Tony Romo’s infamous botched hold against Seattle in the playoffs years ago should come in handy when Romo is breaking the huddle at CenturyLink for the Seahawks’ home opener this year.”
Sando also continues with his pre-camp analysis – this time with the Seahawks defense and special teams – 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 secondary, Sando had this to say, “Three of the four starters went to the Pro Bowl last season; [Richard] Sherman arguably should have gone. [Marcus] Trufant’s conversion to a nickel role has the potential to upgrade Seattle’s coverage. Injuries sidelined Trufant and [Walter] Thurmond last season. Both can contribute at a reasonably high level if healthy. It’s tough to bank on either one, however. Don’t forget about [Byron] Maxwell. He impressed in camp as a rookie, only to fade from the picture after suffering an ankle injury. Seattle likes its depth at corner. [Jeron] Johnson should be ready to take a step forward at safety. The Seahawks like what they’ve seen from [Winston] Guy as well.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment as Seahawks General Manager John Schneider takes a couple of minutes to talk with Tony Ventrella about Seahawks second round draft pick LB Bobby Wagner out of Utah State.
Finally, in the spirit of the holiday, NFL.com asked their staff the question, ‘Which 2012 NFL game should become a national holiday?’ The question sparked some interesting responses, but the unanimous choice was the New England Patriots October 7 game with the Denver Broncos, or as many will see it – Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. “This is an easy one,” said NFL Network’s Ian Rapport. “On Oct. 7, the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in a game the entire country should be forced to sit down and watch. The NFL was robbed last year of the its 13th meeting of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, but not this year. Sure, sure, Manning is playing for Denver now, but the key elements of the NFL’s best quarterback rivalry are still there. Brady and Manning will still be matching right arms in a battle to reach 40 points, with this contest taking place at Gillette Stadium. If history is any indicator, it’ll go down to the wire.”
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.
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.
Here’s a look back at ten of the most memorable meaningful action photos of the season.
Marshawn Lynch Flips into the End Zone (Seahawks vs. Atlanta, October 2, 2011).
Seahawks defense forces Eli Manning to fumble (Seahawks at NY Giants, October 9, 2011)
Doug Baldwin’s Crowd Silencing Touchdown (Seahawks at NY Giants, October 9, 2011)
Brandon Browner’s Pick-Six Seals the Win (Seahawks at NY Giants, October 9, 2011)
Chris Clemons Smiling and Sacking (Seahawks at Chicago, December 18, 2012)
Big Red Heads to the House (Seahawks at Chicago, December 18, 2011)
“Feetball” (Seahawks vs. San Francisco, December 24, 2011)
Heath Farwell’s Blocked Punt (Seahawks vs. San Francisco, December 24, 2011).
D-Backs Double-Team (Seahawks at Arizona, January 1, 2012)
Rocket Launches (Seahawks at Arizona, January 1, 2012)
The Seahawks returned home to CenturyLink Field for the first time in nearly a month to face the resurgent Cincinnati Bengals.