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Monday round-up: Richard Sherman puts the “fun” in fundraiser

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, July 8, about your Seattle Seahawks:

A packed-house of about 7,000 fans came out yesterday to Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium for cornerback Richard Sherman’s inaugural celebrity softball game benefiting helpingahero.org, “Blanket Coverage – The Richard Sherman Family Foundation“, and other local charities. Here at Seahawks.com we covered the event extensively through our social media channels and will have photo gallery and video features up on the website later today. Stay tuned.Richard Sherman

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has his recap of yesterday’s celebrity softball game.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details yesterday’s charity event put on by Sherman.

Fresh off of his honeymoon to Thailand, John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his take on Sherman’s inaugural event.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com dissects the Seahawks’ defensive line heading into training camp.

John Breech of CBSSports.com ranks the NFC West as the best division in football.

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com has his Seahawks tranining camp preview.

Wide receiver Golden Tate talks with SiriusXM Blitz in this short audio podcast below:


Mark Schlereth and Cris Carter of ESPN’s NFL Live discuss the club’s biggest weakness heading into 2013, pointing to a lack of a consistent pass rush.

The Seahawks’ current uniforms have made it to round two of Dave Dameshek’s bracket to determine the Greatest Uniform in NFL History, where they are matched up against the current unis of the New York Giants. The Seahawks hold a favorable advantage over the Giants right now, but voting runs through Tuesday, July 9 at 2 p.m. PT, so be sure to keep casting those votes.

In news around the League, six players have been declared eligible for the July 11 supplemental NFL draft.

And Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Austen Lane has taken over Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column for SI.com.


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Thursday round-up: Happy birthday, America

Happy Birthday America

On this date in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, announcing the formation of the United States of America – a new nation of 13 colonies liberated from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Who knew that just 200 years later, in 1976, the Seahawks would open their inaugural NFL season in a Kingdom(e) of their own.

Today, we celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday, and with it some Seahawks links in what are widely considered the dog days of the NFL offseason. But I’m here to make those dog days a little more interesting (hopefully), so here’s a look at what’s “out there” for today, Thursday, July 4, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com breaks down the Seahawks wide receiver position, noting the club has one of the deepest corps in the NFL, with the roster boasting four different players who have caught 45 passes or more in at least one of the past two seasons.

O’Neil also has the chat transcript from his Wednesday afternoon “Hawk Talk” available here.

NFL.com Around the League writer Chris Wesseling profiles wide receiver Golden Tate at No. 31 on their list of the top 40 players they see “Making the Leap” in 2013, citing Tate’s ability to make plays down the field as the reason to expect a big year out of the fourth-year pro.

Dave Dameshek of NFL.com has assembled division-by-division All-Pro squads, and his NFC West team features several Seahawks. Dameshek ranks the West as the strongest of the League’s eight divisions.

In honor of the Fourth of July, the staff at NFL.com tries to pinpoint which 2013 matchup is most deserving of it’s own national holiday.

John Clayton’s “Inside the Huddle” video feature for ESPN.com leads by profiling quarterback Russell Wilson. Clayton says the 5-foot-11 Wilson has the hand size of a 6-foot-7 athlete, noting his 10.25-inch hand-span is the seventh-largest hand-span measured at the NFL Combine since 2006.

It got a little dusty in here with this one, but ESPN.com also has a video feature of several military personnel coming home to reunite with their families. At the 5:37 mark, U.S. Army Sgt. Zach Ames surprises his wife, Bri Ames, and their daughter Emersyn with a reunion at CenturyLink Field before the Seahawks’ contest with the New York Jets last season.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin was involved in yet another football camp for youth, this time down in Pensacola, Florida – just across the bay from his hometown of Gulf Breeze. BLAB TV has video and sound from Baldwin and Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson, who was also in attendance.

Richard Sherman joined 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” show Wednesday afternoon to talk a little bit more about his celebrity softball game for charity taking place this Sunday, July 7, at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. A complete list participants is available here, but some highlights include Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson, who will serve as the team’s head coaches, several Seahawks and members of the Seattle Mist, Seattle SuperSonics legend Shawn Kemp, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, former NFL wideout Terrell Owens, and 2012 NFL replacement referee Lance Easley.

Here at Seahawks.com, we have a look in photos at the spirit of the 12th Man present in several active-duty military members around the globe.

Clare Farnsworth’s positional series continued yesterday, this time highlighting the club’s young, fast, and athletic linebacker corps.

A friendly reminder that our 2013 training camp dates are quickly filling up. All weekend dates are already sold out and weekday availability is not far behind. Be sure to secure your spot and register while you still can at bingtrainingcamp.seahawks.com.

And I leave you with one last link that I like to come back to every Independence Day, and it comes from the movie title of the same name. As a kid who grew up in the mid-90′s engulfed in science-fiction, fantasy, and everything Will Smith (except Big Willie Style, I skipped that one), this speech from President Thomas J. Whitemore (played by Bill Pullman) still gives me goosebumps, and still makes me damn proud to be an American.

Happy birthday, America.


On this date: Scott Fitterer hired as scout

Scott Fitterer

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 28:

2001: Scott Fitterer is named an area scout. He was promoted to director of college scouting in 2010. In his current role, Fitterer has been involved in the NFL Drafts that have reshaped the Seahawks’ roster — beginning with the selections of All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas, Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, split end Golden Tate and strong safety Kam Chancellor in 2010; All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and linebackers K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith in 2011; and quarterback Russell Wilson, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, defensive end Bruce Irvin and guard J.R. Sweezy in 2012.


Wednesday round-up: Earl Thomas tours NFL Network; Doug Baldwin audio

Free safety Earl Thomas drops by the set of “NFL Total Access” to talk about NFC West rivalries and which club has the best secondary in the League

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Wednesday, June 19, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Free safety Earl Thomas joined NFL.com’s Dave Dameshek Football Program. Dameshek’s segment with Thomas begins at the 22-minute mark of the podcast below:


NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com looks at the percentages of 2012 game snaps remaining on the Seahawks’ 90-man roster. According to Sando, the team’s current roster logged 87.4 percent of offensive and defensive snaps last season – the highest percentage in the division, reflecting a high player-retention rate year-over-year. The team has come a long way since those 284 roster transactions head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made during their first year together in 2010.

Sando also passes along notes from ESPN’s fantasy football comparison of Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Seahawks wideout Percy Harvin.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin joined Sports Radio 950 KJR AM for a conversation with Dave “Softy” Mahler yesterday afternoon, the podcast of which can be found below:


Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com discusses the 2013 outlook for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Here at Seahawks.com, team president Peter McLoughlin is seeking 12 season ticket holders to join his new Fan Advisory Council to assist the club in the overall 12th Man experience. If you meet the requirements, feel free to apply here. All applications are due by July 12.

Clare Farnsworth’s Tuesday feature reacquainted us with 2012 fifth-round draft pick Korey Toomer, the uber-athletic linebacker out of the University of Idaho who spent his rookie season on the practice squad before moving to injured reserve after having shoulder surgery early in the year. Toomer has worked at strong-side linebacker with the No. 2 and No. 3 defenses during the team’s nine sessions of Organized Team Activties (OTAs) this spring, as well as during last week’s three-day minicamp, and will look to factor in at the position come training camp in late July.

Wide receiver Golden Tate showed up for the fourth time on NFL AM’s countdown of the Top 100 Plays of 2012, when his 32-yard grab from quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins was highlighted at No. 34 on the list. Of the 67 plays unveiled to this point, the Seahawks are featured in eight of them.

And USA Football will host a Heads Up Football Player Safety Coaches clinic this Saturday at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where master trainer Tom Bainter – head coach at Bothell High School – will educate more than 70 Seattle-area coaches.


Seahawks well represented in Top 100 Plays of 2012

NFL Network’s NFL AM has been unveiling the Top 100 Plays of 2012, and 66 plays into their countdown, the Seahawks are well represented on their list.

We take an updated look at eight of those plays that feature some of Seattle’s very own.

No. 34 – Golden Tate shows up for the fourth time on this list, this time when he hauls in an acrobatic 32-yard grab from quarterback Russell Wilson in the team’s Week 12 game against the Miami Dolphins.

No. 59 – Tate connects with fellow wide receiver Sidney Rice on a 23-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of a Week 10 game against the New York Jets at CenturyLink Field. Quarterback Russell Wilson fakes a hand-off to running back Robert Turbin and then pitches the ball back to Tate, who acts like a runner before winding up his left arm and delivering a strike to Rice in the back of the end zone.

No. 61 – Tight end Zach Miller makes the list for his tremendous one-handed touchdown grab in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Miller hauled in a 16-yard pass from quarterback Russell Wilson for his first touchdown as a Seahawk.

No. 69 – The Legion of Boom makes their presence known as free safety Earl Thomas snags a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass and returns it 57 yards for a touchdown to cap off a 50-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in Toronto. Aided by Thomas’ effort, the Seahawks became the third team in NFL history and first since 1950 to score 50 points or more in back-to-back games, after posting 58 in a shutout of the Arizona Cardinals the week prior.

No. 77 – Wilson checks in at No. 77 on the countdown, but not for one of the many plays he made with his arm last season. It’s Wilson’s feet that get the recognition here, as he practically out-maneuvers the entire New England Patriots defense on a 3rd-and-4 play to pick up nine yards and a first down. No offense to CBS Sports play-by-play man Ian Eagle, but this play gets much more entertaining (and equally more appropriate) when the slapstick comedy “Yakety Sax” tune is played over the top of Wilson’s scramble. Mute the video of the play below and queue up “Yakety Sax” on YouTube, try to start both videos at nearly the same time, and enjoy.

No. 88 - Eighty-eight goes to Tate, whose acrobatics are on display again in this one, as he takes a quick pass from Wilson and dodges defenders for 11 yards before diving into the end zone for a touchdown in Week 9 against the Minnesota Vikings. The play gave the Seahawks a 20-17 lead they would not surrender, as they bested the Vikings 30-20 at CenturyLink Field.

No. 89 – It’s only appropriate that play No. 89 on the countdown goes to the Seahawks’ No. 89 – wide receiver Doug Baldwin. His 43-yard juggling catch against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16 made the cut on the countdown. Baldwin was the club’s leading receiver that day, hauling in four catches for 53 yards and two scores, as Seattle topped the division rival Niners, 42-13, on Sunday Night Football.

No. 96 - Tate’s 14-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a three-point lead with 32 seconds left in the game against the Chicago Bears in Week 13 makes the list at No. 96. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler would connect with wide receiver Brandon Marshall on the ensuing drive to set up a field goal that would tie the game at 17, but Wilson led an 80-yard touchdown drive in the opening possession of overtime to give Seattle a 23-17 victory with a play that we’re sure will show up later on this list.


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12 Tour headlines summer of Seahawks activities & youth football camps

12 Tour

Yesterday, the Seahawks announced a schedule of summer activities dedicated to the 12th Man across the Pacific Northwest.

Showcasing that summer schedule is the Seahawks 12 Tour – when wide receiver Doug Baldwin, defensive end Red Bryant, kicker Steven Hauschka, long snapper Clint Gresham and cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman will make stops across the states Washington and Alaska, as well as Vancouver B.C. In conjunction with Washington Tourism Alliance, the Seahawks players will be joined by members of the Sea Gals, team mascot Blitz, and Seahawks fan development staff as they host fan forums, make community appearances and participate in area football camps for youth at each stop.

The tour’s first stop is in Anchorage, Alaska with Hauschka and Gresham (July 9-14) and from there it’s on to Bellingham, Wash. (July 11-12) and Vancouver, B.C. (July 13-15) with Baldwin and Bryant. The tour will wrap-up with the cornerback-half of the “Legion of Boom” – Browner and Sherman – traveling to Kennewick (July 18-19) and Vancouver, Wash. (July 19-21).

Doug Baldwin“I wanted to be able to do it again because I had so much fun doing it before and meeting all different kinds of people,” said Baldwin, who participated in last year’s 12 Tour. “First and foremost, you get to connect with the fans and get to see that side of the game. It’s always interesting, but it’s also inspiring because you’ve got all of these people that are cheering you on. It kind of builds us up and gives us that extra energy and extra drive.”

Baldwin has never traveled to Bellingham or Vancouver, B.C., so he’s looking forward to connecting with the local community and fans in a setting outside of CenturyLink Field.

“Seeing them outside of the football field will be a great chance to interact with them,” Baldwin said. “It was just fascinating, because as dedicated as we are to our craft, we met tons of people last year who are just as dedicated to cheering us on every Sunday. It’s an awesome experience.”

Minicamp may have wrapped yesterday and training camp is still over a month out, but Baldwin’s football fun at Virginia Mason Athletic Center isn’t over just yet. Tomorrow, he’ll take part in the Seahawks All-Pro Varsity Skills Camp with youth ages 9-14, coaching up kids who eventually hope to play ball at the high school level.

And if you’re a loyal-12 looking for some Seahawks-love outside of the Pacific Northwest, here’s a look at several other Seahawks-player-driven football camps that may be in your area:


Monday in Hawkville: Russell Wilson picks up far beyond where he left off

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 20, as the Seahawks kicked off the OTA portion of their offseason program:

FOCUS ON

Russell Wilson. The Seahawks’ second-year quarterback made it difficult to not watch him, and coach Pete Carroll summed up the situation when asked how much farther along Wilson is this year compared to last year – when he had just been selected in the third round of the NFL Draft and still was competing for the starting job with the since-departed duo of Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson.

“There’s no way of even calculating that,” Carroll said after a crisp, spirited practice on yet another gorgeous day along the shores of Lake Washington. “His awareness and his sense for the finest details, we jumped offside today and he’s working on hard counts on the first play of team (drills).

“He didn’t know what a hard count was last year at this time.”

That might be stretching it just a tad, but saying that Wilson had a very impressive outing in the first of the team’s 10 OTA practices is not.

In that first team segment Carroll mentioned, Wilson completed passes to wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate and also scrambled twice, before throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Wilson remained almost as sharp, and aware, for the rest of the session.

“It’s really hard to equate what it is, because he’s applied himself so much that he’s taken an extraordinary amount of information and he’s processing it,” Carroll said. “He threw a couple of balls today – things that we’ve talked about over the offseason we’d like to take a shot at – and he did it today just to see what would happen. With full awareness of why he was doing it.”

Before the OTA session was over, Wilson had completed passes to 10 receivers – running back Robert Turbin; Baldwin and McCoy; Tate, running back Derrick Coleman, rookie tight end Luke Willson, Percy Harvin, tight end Zach Miller, wide receiver Bryan Walters and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

The pass to Kearse was vintage Wilson – and that’s saying something, as well, that a second-year QB already has established trademark nuances to his game. It came on the final play, as Wilson avoided pressure and got off a pass that caught Kearse as much as Kearse caught the pass.

“Russell is the kind of players that will affect other guys,” Carroll said. “He affects everybody around him and hopefully that will help everybody play better.”


UNIT WATCH

Offensive line. Right tackle Breno Giacomini participated fully, after being limited in Phase 2 of the offseason program following elbow surgery. His returned allowed the No. 1 offense to field the same line that closed last season – Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, left guard Paul McQuistan, All-Pro center Max Unger, right guard J.R. Sweezy and Giacomini.

Comprising the second unit, from left tackle to right: Mike Person, who had been working for Giacomini with the No. 1 line; Rishaw Johnson, Lemuel Jeanpierre, John Moffitt and Michael Bowie. In the third unit: Alvin Bailey, Johnson, Jared Smith, Ryan Seymour and Jordon Roussos.

PLAYER WATCH

Cliff Avril. And that’s what the defensive end who was signed in free agency was doing – watching, because he’s dealing with plantar fascia that he got a month ago.

But with Bruce Irvin facing a four-game suspension to start the regular season and Chris Clemons still recovering from surgery to repair the ligament and meniscus damage in his left knee from the wild-card playoff win over the Redskins in January, Avril is slated to be the starter at the Leo end spot in the Sept. 8 opener against the Panthers in Carolina.

“I like the fact that Cliff is here because he gave us a cushion for Clem,” Carroll said. “That now changes for the first month of the season.”

Today, Irvin continued to work at Leo end in the No. 1 nickel line, with Mike Morgan taking over with the second unit and Ty Powell going with the third unit. In the base defense, Michael Bennett was the Leo end with the No. 1 line.

ROSTER MOVES

Tight end Darren Fells was re-signed this morning, while snapper Adam Steiner was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster.

Fells, a basketball player in college who also played professionally in Belgium, Ireland and Argentina, was released two weeks ago. But he attended the May 10-12 rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. Steiner had been claimed off waivers last week.

Also, running back Christine Michael, who was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft last month, signed his rookie contract.

UP NEXT

The players also have OTA sessions Tuesday and Thursday this week. Next week, they’ll go Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

YOU DON’T SAY, PLAYER EDITION

“We really don’t care. Coach said we’ve got a lot of hype, but he also said let’s make it natural. Everybody around here expects us to win, but we expect ourselves to win, too. We don’t come out here saying we hope to lose. With a good team comes a lot of talk, but we put all that behind us. We’re out here having fun, we’re competing and that’s how it’s going to be.” – Harvin, when asked how the players were handling the heightened expectations that have come from being regarded among the “favorites” in the league this offseason by the national media

YOU DON’T SAY, COACH EDITION

“It was a very, very good first day for us.” – Carroll


Golden Tate takes Zillah by storm

So, how do the Seahawks’ players spent their off days during the team’s offseason condition program?

Wednesday, wide receiver Golden Tate went to Zillah Middle School for an assembly as part of the “Fuel Up to Play 60” fitness and nutrition program.

“The Seahawks have worked long and hard with charity events … and I can relate,” Tate told the Yakima Herald Republic prior to the assembly. “It all starts with what you put in your body. You have to eat healthy and work hard.

“I struggled to eat healthy growing up. Now I can see how it’s helping me on the field.”


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Seahawks sign WR Brett Swain

Brett Swain

Wide receiver Brett Swain was signed to a two-year contract by the Seahawks today after going through a tryout with the team.

Swain, 27, entered the league in 2008, when the Packers drafted the San Diego State wide-out in the seventh round. He caught six passes for the Packers in 2010. Swain also played with the 49ers in 2011, catching two passes, but he was released during last August’s roster cut to 53 players.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Swain joins a receiving corps with the Seahawks that already includes Sidney Rice, who led the team last year with 50 receptions; Percy Harvin, who was acquired last month in a trade with the Vikings; Golden Tate, who caught 45 passes last season while starting opposite Rice; and Doug Baldwin, the team’s leading receiver in 2011.


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Top impact acquisition? Matt Bowen says it’s Percy Harvin

Matt Bowen played safety in the NFL for four teams over seven seasons, so his take on “impact acquisitions” this offseason carries a little more weight than the other opinions circulating in cyberspace.

Bowen, who played for the Rams, Packers, Redskins and Bills from 2000-06, listed his Top 5 Impact Acquisitions as a special contribution at EPSN Insiders. And No. 11 checks in at No. 1 – that’s Percy Harvin, the receiver/returner/runner the Seahawks acquired in a trade with the Vikings last month. The feature at ESPN.com requires registration and a fee, but here’s what Bowen has to say about Harvin:

“Creative ability is what you get from the former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver. Pete Carroll and the Seahawks took a big risk when they made the trade to acquire Harvin and rewarded him with a new contract that paid out $25.5 million guaranteed. That’s big money for a slot receiver who isn’t going to consistently align outside of the numbers. However, Harvin gives the Seahawks multiple options from a play-calling and formation perspective, along with the value he brings to the return game. He’s an explosive player in the open field who can produce after the catch from a variety of alignments.

“In Seattle, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell can get the ball to Harvin out of the slot, aligned in the backfield, or use a pre-snap motion to create favorable matchups. Think of the bubble screen, inside option routes, seam or underneath crossing concepts – the idea is anything to get Harvin the ball in space. With Russell Wilson, the Seahawks will lean on some movement passes (boot, sprint) to get the quarterback outside of the pocket. That plays into Harvin’s skill set from an inside alignment.

“And don’t be surprised to see Harvin used in the read-option scheme to get to the edge of the defense. The Seahawks already have talent with Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate. With the addition of Harvin, this offense becomes much more varied in its game plan approach. Harvin isn’t a conventional talent at the wide receiver position, but that’s why he creates opportunities within the playbook to attack and expose opposing defenses.”

Also on Bowen’s list, in this order: Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace, Falcons running back Steven Jackson, Rams tight end Jared Cook and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.


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