Carroll: James Carpenter “back to life” this week

Head Coach Pete Carroll spoke with the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s practice and preparations for their Week 4 road contest against the St. Louis Rams.

Carroll was quick to address the controversial play at the end of Monday night’s win over the Green Bay Packers that saw Golden Tate come down with the game-winning touchdown grab from quarterback Russell Wilson to give the Seahawks a 14-12 victory.

“We’ve been on both sides of the issue,” he said.

Carroll said he understands the importance of these games and knows how hard it can be when you come out on the wrong end of it.

The message that Carroll has relayed to the team in the wake of all the controversy is that they need to be sensitive to the fact that there are different sides of looking at the play, but that the focus now is to remain disciplined and turn their attention toward the Rams.

Carroll was asked about the play of rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, who registered 2.0 sacks of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Monday night.

“Bruce is alive and going,” Carroll said. “Green Bay was an important game for him. He was able to realize that hard work pays off. He’s just getting started.”

Carroll stated the obvious importance that Monday night’s game had on Irvin’s confidence and said that success came because he was finally able to finish his pass rushing efforts, and he was still a factor in the backfield after his initial rush had failed.

On the injury front, tackle Breno Giacomini suffered a chest injury on Monday night and his status will be monitored through the week, and Carroll said defensive end Greg Scruggs had a sprained wrist.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin – last year’s leading receiver, and guard James Carpenter – last year’s first-round draft pick, will be active in practice this week.

On Carpenter, Carroll said he is way ahead of schedule in his return from injury and has suffered no setbacks, appearing “back to life” with a chance to play this week in St. Louis at the left guard spot.

One of Carroll’s final remarks was on the offense, of which he said he has been “keeping a lid” on to this point, emphasizing the importance of taking care of the football. Carroll noted that the offense would not be run any different if Matt Flynn were in at quarterback.

You can watch Carroll’s press conference in full here, and our Insider Clare Farnsworth will be back with more following today’s practice.


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Tuesday cyber surfing: Moore in the mix; Carpenter returns

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 4.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times reports that with the release of tight end Kellen Winslow, and addition of tight end Evan Moore, the Seahawks still feel comfortable with their weapons at the position, “Expect to see more targets for Zach Miller, more time for backup Anthony McCoy and maybe even a chance or two for Moore. ‘We’ll use all the guys with Zach and with Anthony,’ said Darrell Bevell, Seattle’s offensive coordinator. ‘Then we’ll continue throughout this week to find out exactly what Evan can bring for us and then we’ll fit him in accordingly.’ ”

O’Neil also questions the decision to release Winslow, wondering if there are enough offensive weapons for a rookie quarterback to take advantage of, “It’s kind of funny, actually, to think that a team could go from having too many to not enough targets with exactly two roster moves. After all, the Seahawks acquired [Terrell] Owens and [Kellen] Winslow on the premise that they were not risking much. If anything went sideways, they could always cut them. And that’s just what Seattle did, and while the departure of Owens was not all that shocking considering he dropped as many passes as he caught in his two exhibition games, the release of Winslow was an out-of-the-blue shock. At least it was for anyone who has been watching practice. He was very involved with what Seattle was doing on offense. He was the receiving specialist in Seattle’s two tight-end sets, and someone who gave Seattle’s defense fits in practice. He is big enough to give defensive backs problems in coverage, and too precise a receiver to be covered by a linebacker.”

Lastly from O’Neil, he says the Seahawks no longer owe a draft pick to Tampa Bay for Winslow.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his practice report from Monday, which includes a note on guard James Carpenter, 2011’s first-round draft pick who practiced yesterday for the first time since his ACL knee surgery last December, “Carpenter spent all of training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list rehabbing his knee. But Seattle head coach Pete Carroll decided to put him on the active roster to begin the season because the organization thinks he’s close to getting back on the field. Now it’s up to Cable to get Carpenter ready. ‘There’s a process that’s just starting,’ Cable said. ‘So when you talk about playing the game and all of that, first you’ve got to figure out where he’s at. He’s been approved from the medical standpoint, but he hasn’t played any football. So there’s six weeks that the players have had, but he’s had none of that. And so that process has now started for him. So it’s a matter of getting him back in the playbook and back into drills. And getting his confidence to where we know he’s ready to play football again. That’s really what the plan is right now.’ ”

Williams also details tight end Evan Moore’s first practice as a Seahawk, “New tight end Evan Moore made his first appearance at practice, and looked pretty explosive while getting some snaps in with the first unit. Moore is wearing No. 82, the same number Kellen Winslow wore when he was here. Moore said he flew in Sunday morning, and has been working ever since to learn the playbook so he’s ready to play this week against Arizona. ‘I went through camp, just like all of these guys did,’ said Moore, who was released by Cleveland during final roster cuts last week. ‘So I’m ready to go. Considering these guys just went through camp together, I’m kind of a new guy. You almost feel like a rookie. You walk into the building, and everybody’s looking at you like ‘Who’s this guy?’ There is a learning curve. But fortunately there’s a lot of translation between what we did in Cleveland and what we’re doing here – both terminology and schematically in X’s and O’s and all of that. So I’m fortunate that that’s the case.’ ”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has a look at a pair of 2012 seventh-round draft choices – J.R. Sweezy and Greg Scruggs – who are excelling at the NFL level thus far, “J.R. Sweezy and Greg Scruggs watched for three days, and heard more than 200 names announced before they were drafted in the seventh round this past spring. Each day was an insult, every name a thorn they won’t forget. Until finally, they were invited by Seahawks GM John Schneider to come to the Refuge of the Overlooked, where Pete Carroll coaches a Roster of the Perpetually Motivated. ‘I am forever grateful to John Schneider and coach Carroll,’ said Scruggs, a Louisville product and the 10th and final player the Seahawks drafted, who has turned into a promising defensive lineman. ‘Those guys saw something in me, and they allowed me to get my reps and to get evaluated. They gave me a foot in the door, so I don’t want to make them look bad. I want to prove every day that they made the right decision.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald recaps Carpenter’s return to the practice field, “…as expected, Carpenter returned to practice playing left guard, not right tackle, the position he played in college and for eight of his nine games last season. The Seahawks decided Carpenter is a better fit at guard — plus they like what they have in Breno Giacomini at right tackle — and Carpenter agrees with that assessment. ‘I’m going to be happy playing guard,’ he said. ‘I feel like that’s what I should be playing.’ When Carpenter is all the way back, he’ll have to beat out Paul McQuistan to earn a place back in the starting lineup. McQuistan, a versatile lineman who filled in at guard and tackle for injured players last season, did well enough to earn a contract extension with the Seahawks, and won’t be easy to displace.”

Liz Matthews of 710 ESPN Seattle has her take on Carpenter’s return, as well as notes from Monday’s practice.

Curtis Crabtree with 950 KJR AM brings us his notes from Monday’s practice, including this on wide receiver Golden Tate, “Although the team isn’t required to provide an injury report until Wednesday, WR Golden Tate did not participate during Monday’s practice. Tate tweaked a knee when he got rolled up returning a punt during Thursday’s preseason finale against Oakland.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com breaks down where the NFC West stands with their offensive line units, and has a couple of notes on Seattle, “The Seahawks have options, particularly on the interior, after rookie J.R. Sweezy emerged as a surprise candidate at right guard. Incumbent starter John Moffitt can back up the three interior spots if he’s not starting, as can Lemuel Jeanpierre. Former starting right tackle James Carpenter will become a candidate to start at left guard if his knee rehabilitation continues on schedule. He was expected to practice with the backups this week.”

The staff at NFL Insiders answers 20 questions as we head into Week 1 of the regular season, and the majority like the Seattle Seahawks as the team they expect to make “the biggest jump in 2012”, “20. Which team will make the biggest jump in 2012? Seattle Seahawks (6 votes) Carolina Panthers (4)  Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans (2) Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts: Coach Pete Carroll has built an exciting young team in Seattle, and there are a lot of Wilson believers among our panel. With Newton at the helm, the Panthers are fully capable of challenging for a playoff spot in 2012.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Monday in Hawkville, with a focus on newly-signed tight end Evan Moore, and also has a look at Carpenter’s return to practice.

From the video side, we have Moore’s press conference following his first practice as a Seahawk, and in our Seahawks Daily Tony Ventrella catches up with Doug Baldwin, who also returned to practice Monday after resting a hamstring through the majority of the preseason.


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Friday cyber surfing: Camp is wrapped; on to Denver

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 17.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times calls Russell Okung one of the most important players to the Seahawks season, and also one that has gone largely unmentioned through training camp, “Left tackle Russell Okung is fine with that. After the way his past two seasons started, he would actually prefer it. He was injured during Seattle’s first exhibition game each of his first two seasons, so when he made it through the opener Saturday unscathed, it seemed like a good time to ask the big man how he was feeling. He wasn’t interested in answering that question. At least not on the record. It’s a pinch of the old-school approach Okung has taken, choosing to be seen as opposed to heard when it comes to the media. But take it from someone who knows, Okung is a reason to smile so far this year. ‘He has done a fine job,’ offensive line coach Tom Cable said. ‘I’m looking for him to just keep building on it now that he’s kind of accepted the responsibility of playing left tackle and what comes with it.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune relays information from head coach Pete Carroll that wide receiver Terrell Owens will play this weekend at Denver, “Carroll chose to keep Owens out of last week’s exhibition opener against Tennessee because he felt the veteran receiver was not in game condition after only a few practices. However, Owens is in much better shape this week, putting together several highlight plays over the past two days and showing his trademark running ability after the catch. Owens will play on an NFL field for the first time since the 2010 season, and little more than a year after having ACL knee surgery.”

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network has a preseason preview of Saturday night’s matchup with the Denver Broncos.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald catches up with defensive back Roy Lewis, who he says wants to take on a bigger role with the defense, “In preparation for the 2012 season, however, Lewis has been a regular on defense as the team’s No. 1 nickel back, and is playing ahead of veteran Marcus Trufant, who was released in the offseason then re-signed specifically to play nickel. ‘Roy has been playing that position for some time,’ Carroll said. ‘He is ahead of everybody else in the learning and the understanding. If you notice, Roy won’t play very much this week in preparation. We know what he can do and we want to see what other guys can do. … That was a one of the major focuses (this week) — to give guys a chance in the competition to show what they can do.’ ”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press has his story on Terrell Owens’ debut in Denver, “Owens arrived in camp in excellent shape and has looked impressive at times during practice. But if he’s to make the Seahawks’ final roster, Owens will need to show in a game that he’s fully recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the NFL for the entire 2011 season. Saturday against the Broncos will be his first NFL game action since Week 15 of the 2010 season with Cincinnati. Owens went without a catch in that final game against Cleveland. ‘He’s ready to go,’ Carroll said. ‘He had two good weeks of work, and he came in in great shape so he’s ready to go.’ ”

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from the final day of Bing Training Camp yesterday, “Matt Flynn took snaps with the number one offense as he prepares to start the first half at Denver in Saturday night’s second pre-season game. Flynn and that unit had one tough series during 11 on 11 drills. Matt’s first pass intended for Kellen Winslow was swatted away by Richard Sherman. Marshawn Lynch was stuffed on a running play by Leroy Hill. Flynn was sacked on the third down pass play. And Steven Haushka missed a 40 yard field goal try.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice notes from yesterday’s camp finale, including a thought on the receiving corps, “Owens, WR Braylon Edwards, WR Ricardo Lockette and WR Deon Butler appear to be in the thick of competition for the remaining spots with WR Kris Durham, WR Charly Martin, WR Phil Bates, WR Lavasier Tuniei  and WR Jermaine Kearse appearing to be longer shots at this point. If the team elects to keep both Edwards and Owens, they could short themselves on special teams as neither will likely play on that unit. It creates an interesting situation from a roster perspective. The remaining three preseason games should help make the position somewhat clearer.”

The staff at SportsPressNW.com has their report from the final day of camp and says the Seahawks have a lot of questions to answer at the wide receiver position, “The Seahawks have considerable sorting to do at the receiving spots, with only Doug Baldwin, last year’s catch leader with 51, a healthy starter available so far for the season opener. Naturally, Carroll saw the glass half full. ‘We’re still in the midst of this thing,’ he said. ‘I like our group a lot. We’ve become even more competitive and more experienced with the guys that have come in. We don’t have to do anything right now, just keep giving these guys opportunities in practice and games and add it all up at the end. It’s a really good position group for us right now. To have a guy like Doug Baldwin is just a blessing.’ ”

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com details young quarterbacks who are starting to emerge in QB battles around the League, including Russell Wilson, “Wilson’s improvement has been graphic through minicamps and into training camp, but as Seahawks quarterbacks coach Carl Smith recently told Shutdown Corner, it wasn’t always so. ‘Really, he’s working through a lot of things,’ Smith said. ‘Rookie minicamp, he threw eight picks, okay? But he’s whittling away at a huge mountain of little things, and he’s doing it at a terrific pace. Working in the classroom, working on the field, and he keeps chopping [the problems] off. I’m really happy with his work ethic.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com says there is much at stake for wide receiver Terrell Owens in his Seahawks debut at Denver, “Forget about 10 receptions for 220 yards. We should instead watch to see how aggressively Owens plays, whether he’s a willing blocker, whether he catches the ball well, and how much he plays. Owens has always been a competitor. He has responded well in practice after watching Braylon Edwards, his primary competition for a roster spot, score a touchdown and generally play well against Tennessee last week. Owens was not active for that game, but he knows the stakes. He was fortunate to get an opportunity from Seattle, and must capitalize on the chance.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his Camp Carroll wrap-up, ” ‘The camp work that we set out to do, the things that we hoped to accomplish, I think we’ve really knocked it all in,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ve seen a bunch of guys; we’ve gotten a lot of information on our young guys. These next few weeks of games will be very important. But as far as the camp process – understanding how these guys learn, do they fit, kind of starting the process of developing roles for them because you know what they can do – all of that is moving.’ ”

Farnsworth also passes out his camp honors, naming the best rookie of Bing Training Camp as Robert Turbin, “First-round draft choice Bruce Irvin, second-rounder Bobby Wagner and Wilson got – and deserve – mention. But Turbin, the fourth-round pick out of Utah State, was drafted to fill the need for a physical back to spell Lynch. Turbin looks, and runs, the part.”

Lastly from Farnsworth, he has his final ‘Hawkville‘ post of training camp.

Greg Scruggs sits down with Seahawks.com and recaps his camp experience, life in Seattle, and passion for playing the drums, “I didn’t want anything to do with football [in high school]. Drumming was my thing. I had been doing it since I was 10 years old, and I was good at it. I was more popular than the football players because of my drumming.”

Finally, Tony Ventrella wraps up camp in his Seahawks Daily as he catches up with safety Earl Thomas, wide receiver Golden Tate, and cornerback Richard Sherman.


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Monday cyber surfing: ‘Hawks top Titans in preseason opener;

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 13.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says both quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson looked strong in the team’s preseason opener Saturday night vs. Tennessee Titans, and that their performances opened up the QB debate, “Flynn completed 11 of his 13 passes and guided Seattle on its most impressive drive of the game. The drive not only consumed nine minutes of the first quarter, but also came against the Titans’ starters. But Flynn netted only 71 yards passing, and he also was picked off. Wilson’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards was Seattle’s longest play of the game, and he was Seattle’s leading rusher with 59 yards. But Wilson also was playing against the lesser tiers of the Titans’ defense, and he was intercepted in the end zone by Titans linebacker Zac Diles. This game was like catnip for the quarterback debate.”

O’Neil also has his ‘Three things we learned’ and ‘Three things we’re still trying to figure out’ after Saturday’s preseason opener.

Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times breaks down Flynn and Wilson’s performacnes from Saturday, and states that the Seahawks need to give Flynn as many reps as possible, “He [Flynn] doesn’t have the blazing fastball that Brett Favre had. Flynn’s game is cat and mouse, the quarterback against the cornerback. He is a thinking man’s quarterback. Favre was a knockout punch. Flynn is more counterpuncher. It’s an important distinction, because to be the kind of quarterback the Seahawks need him to be, Flynn needs more work with the regulars than the team has been willing to give him. He needs more time, a lot more time, to learn the quirks and quicks of his receivers. Flynn has to excel at the more refined parts of his craft. He has to know his receivers, as well as he knows his family members. He has to understand their routes and the way they run their routes as well as they do.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with left tackle Russell Okung, who started Saturday night’s preseason game against the Titans and seems to be recovered from last year’s pectoral injury that sidelined last season after making 12 starts, ” ‘I’ve really rebounded from the injury last year, and I’m really glad to be back out there,’ Okung said about his play against Tennessee. ‘But as an offensive line we just had one thing in mind, and that was to come out here and start the season off right. … We went out there, we wanted to run the ball and we did a fair job. But we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.’ ”

Williams also recaps Saturday night’s contest.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the effectiveness of the ‘Hawks defense and run game, and says that quarterbacks Flynn and Wilson gave head coach Pete Carroll a lot of information to study after Saturday’s game, “Flynn finished the first half having completed 11 of 13 for 71 yards. And one of his incompletions was a drop by tight end Anthony McCoy. The most important number, though, was the 10-0 score the Seahawks had on the board when Flynn was still operating with the first team. While the competition at quarterback will continue, the efforts of the first-unit defense and running game make the outcome less worrisome.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald provides some light-hearted over-analysis after the Seahawks preseason victory Saturday night.

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com comments on the strong start Saturday night for the Seahawks’ much-hyped starting secondary, “It was a good start for a secondary that has received plenty of attention following a season of breakout performances. [Earl] Thomas was a Pro Bowl starter, while [Brandon] Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor made the NFC squad as injury replacements. [Richard] Sherman had a strong rookie season that included four interceptions in 10 starts. ‘There has been a lot of talk about how good we are, and how we might be overconfident,’ Thomas said. ‘We did great tonight, and I am very proud about the work we have been putting in.’ ”

Henderson also gives his take on the play of wide receiver Braylon Edwards, noting that his performance Saturday night likely helped his case toward earning his place among the crowded Seahawks receiving corps, “Based on last season, you might have forgotten that Braylon Edwards was once a No. 3 overall pick, a bona fide No. 1 receiver and a Pro Bowl selection. One play he made in the Seahawks’ preseason opener against Tennessee served as a reminder. In the third quarter, Russell Wilson lobbed up a deep pass down the left sideline for Edwards, who was running stride-for-stride with the defensive back. The 6-foot-3 receiver timed his jump perfectly, wrestled the ball away as he was falling to the ground and secured it while rolling over in the end zone. ‘That’s just what Braylon’s been doing in practice,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘and so that was cool that he carried that over.’  Said Edwards: ‘I knew it was going to come to me. It was just a matter of me working my technique.’ ”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Saturday’s preseason opener.

The staff at SportsPressNW.com offers a look back at some highlights from the Seahawks 27-17 victory over the Titans.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a detailed look at Seahawks training camp in his ‘Camp Confidential‘. Sando looks at three hot issues surrounding ‘Hawks camp, discusses reasons for optimism and pessimism heading into 2012, and offers several observations from camp and the Seahawks preseason opener vs. Tennessee.

Sando also revisits his ‘Three things‘ after the Seahawks preseason opener, including a look at the quarterbacks – Flynn and Wilson, three rookie draft choices – Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and Robert Turbin, and a look at the Seahawks mix at wide receiver.

Tim Booth of the Associated Press recaps Saturday’s preseason opener, including a look at the play of Titans QBs former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and former University of Washington standout Jake Locker.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Saturday’s preseason opener, “The primary focus leading up to the game was the quarterbacks, and they did not disappoint. Matt Flynn, who was signed in free agency, got the start and completed 11 of 13 passes for 71 yards in the first half. Wilson took over in the second half, completing 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards. Each also threw an interception. ‘I thought that the quarterbacks did a really nice job; nothing but good stuff came out of this game for them,’ Carroll said. ‘They were poised. They handled the offense well. They did the things like we had seen in practice.’ ”

Farnsworth also highlights the play of rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs during Saturday’s game against the Titans, “On the first snap of the final quarter, with the Titans facing a second-and-10 from their own 13-yard line, Scruggs and defensive end Pierre Allen got to QB Rusty Smith for a 5-yard sack. On a third-and-19 play, which followed a false start by Titans tackle Byron Stingily, Scruggs and rookie tackle Jaye Howard dropped running back Jamie Harper for a 3-yard loss. With the Titans pinned at their own 1, Will Batson had to punt with his heels just inside the back edge of the end zone and got off a 29-yarder that wobbled out of bounds at the 30. It set up a 40-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that put the Seahawks back on top – for good – with 11 minutes remaining. ‘I was just trying to go out there and do what I was supposed to do – trying to make plays, make my family proud, make my teammates proud, make my coaches proud,’ Scruggs said.”

Tony Ventrella recaps the Seahawks 27-17 victory over the Titans in this video.


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Thursday cyber surfing: Reaction to Unger’s extension

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 26.

Yesterday the Seahawks announced a contract extension for 2009 second-round draft pick and starting center Max Unger. Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com has the story on Unger, who expressed his excitement to Farnsworth in regards to his new deal, “I am very happy about this new deal,” Unger said. “We have a developing young line that had some success last year that we can build upon this season. It’s a good deal for both of us and I couldn’t be happier to be in Seattle.”

As the NFL’s Hall of Fame class of 2012 prepares for their enshrinement into the NFL Hall of Fame on August 4 in Canton, Ohio, Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com begins a “Countdown to Canton” series for Seahawks inductee Cortez Kennedy. In his first installment, Farnsworth catches up with former Seahawks safety, special teams standout and coach Paul Moyer, who offered his first impression of ‘Tez, “It wasn’t until we got him in camp, where he was going against other people with the same athletic ability or likeness, that you went, ‘Wow. OK, he’s not the same athletic ability. He’s stronger. He’s faster. He’s a better player.’ ”

One day after his contract extension was made official by the team, Farnsworth takes a look inside defensive end Chris Clemons’ 22.0 sacks in his two seasons with the Seahawks. Farnsworth notes that Clemons has made a habit of sacking St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (6.5 sacks in four games), and that Clemons has had more success in the sack department on the road (15.5 sacks) than at CenturyLink Field.

Also here at Seahawks.com we talk with defensive back and former University of Washington standout Roy Lewis in our Seahawks Insider with Tony Ventrella. Lewis talks about his high hopes for the team in 2012 season, how he has found success at the NFL level, and offers some thoughts on the Huskies 2012 football season.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times gives us his take on Unger’s extension, “The timing [of the extension] is important to note, too, coming before Unger starts the final year of a four-year contract he signed after being drafted out of Oregon in 2009. He is the only Seahawks offensive lineman to arrive before Pete Carroll became coach in 2010.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald gives his two cents on the Unger extension, as he writes how the move solidifies the Seahawks projected offensive line for the foreseeable future, “With Unger getting a new contract, every offensive lineman projected to open the season as a starter — Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Unger, John Moffitt and Breno Giacomini — plus tackle James Carpenter, who is likely to open the year on the physically unable to perform list, are under contract through at least the 2013 season.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune asks five questions in advance of the Seahawks 2012 season, including the question of who will replace David Hawthorne – who departed to the New Orleans Saints in free agency – at Seattle’s middle linebacker position. Williams points to second-round draft choice Bobby Wagner as the obvious choice, but also mentions other candidates should Wagner struggle, “They could move second-year pro K.J. Wright to middle linebacker. Wright started the 2011 regular-season opener against San Francisco in the middle when Hawthorne was hobbled with a knee injury, and trained there most of last season’s training camp. Barrett Ruud and Matt McCoy are also veteran options to man the middle.”

John Clayton of ESPN.com comes at us with 10 hot training camp storylines, and it’s no surprise that the Seahawks three-man quarterback competition gets a mention, “Pete Carroll has only 20 practices to resolve a three-way quarterback battle among Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson. Delaying a decision in this competition could prevent the winner from getting enough time to get his offense ready for the early part of the season.”

Also at ESPN.com, Mike Sando reflects upon the Unger extension, “While the Seahawks have been known for making wholesale personnel changes under coach Pete Carroll, this deal affirms their willingness to build around select players inherited from the team’s previous leadership. A long-term deal for defensive end Red Bryant provides another example. The Seahawks probably wouldn’t sign an offensive lineman to a meaningful extension without strong support from assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable. Unger obviously fits the Cable mold.”

Pete Prisco of CBSsports.com gives us his preseason power rankings, and the Seahawks find themselves at No. 20 on his list, noting that Seahawks quarterbacks Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson just don’t get him very excited about the quarterback position. Sitting atop Prisco’s list – like many other lists of this nature – are the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, and the New England Patriots.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com picks the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West in 2012, citing strong defensive play and improvement at the quarterback position as reasons to like the Seahawks over the 49ers in the division, “The Seattle Seahawks will win the NFC West. Their defense can be just as dangerous as the San Francisco 49ers’ vaunted unit. The quarterback play can be better with Matt Flynn. San Francisco, meanwhile, must deal with a much tougher schedule and heightened expectations. Pete Carroll’s boys might not “Win Forever,” but winning nine to 10 games is a doable goal. That should be enough to take the division.”

Seahawks 2012 seventh-round draft pick defensive end Greg Scruggs out of Louisville participated in a Pro Football Camp for youth in Colorado Springs and shared this interview after the camp’s completion. Scruggs discusses the importance of how a man in his position can have a positive impact on area youth.


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Monday cyber surfing: Earl Thomas’ camp for kids

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 9.

From KFDM Channel 6 in Beaumont, Texas, we have this feature on Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who during the downtime before training camp returned to his hometown of Orange, Texas to host a free football camp for Southeast Texas kids. “Growing up here not too many people came back,” said Thomas. “It kind of made me mad, so I said if I ever made it I’d be the first one to come back and help out.”

Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson shares another installment of his video series “The Real Rob Report”, this time catching up with rookie QB Russell Wilson at the end of the Seahawks minicamp in mid-June.

Here at Seahawks.com, we wrapped up our Rookie Spotlight segment over the weekend as GM John Schneider offered his thoughts on fifth round draft pick Korey Toomer, sixth round draft picks Jeremy Lane and Winston Guy, and seventh round draft picks J.R. Sweezy and Greg Scruggs.

At MyNorthwest.com Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of the “Bob and Groz” show follow up on a guest appearance by former NFL QB Kurt Warner, as they discuss the Seahawks three-man quarterback competition and how big of an advantage Tarvaris Jackson’s familiarity with the Seahawks offense and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell can be come training camp.

Andy Behrens over at YahooSports.com takes a look at the Seahawks from a fantasy perspective, as he shares his thoughts on Marshawn Lynch and the running game, the Seahawks quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends, and had this to say about the Seahawks ‘D’, “Seattle’s defense should be a solid option this season, as they finished among the top-10 teams last year in fewest points and yards allowed (19.7, 332.2). This group ranked fourth in the league in interceptions (22) and they scored four defensive TDs, so they were obviously a decent fantasy commodity. The IDPs to target here are DE Chris Clemons (11.0 sacks), plus safeties Earl Thomas (98 tackles) and Kam Chancellor (97 tackles). First-round DE Bruce Irvin and second-round LB Bobby Wagner might just sneak into the IDP discussion, too.”

Lastly, over at NFL.com we have a photo gallery highlighting the Hall of Fame Class of 2012, which includes a 16-photo spread of Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 4.


Monday cyber surfing: Kitna comes home

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 21:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times checks in with Jon Kitna, the former Seahawks quarterback who has retired from the NFL after 16 seasons and is coaching and teaching at his alma mater, Lincoln High School in Tacoma: “You might have heard Kitna retired. Well, that’s not true. He’s just not playing football anymore. The NFL career he never expected is over, and he’s now in his first year teaching math and coaching football, which is exactly what he hoped to do when he left college in 1996. ‘The NFL wasn’t supposed to happen,’ says Kitna, 39. Quarterbacks from Central Washington University don’t usually move on to the NFL. Not even the really good ones, and as great as Kitna was, he graduated with a degree in math education and had every expectation his next gig would be in a classroom and not under center. He applied for his first teaching job before he signed with an NFL team. How did a man who played 16 years of professional football and made millions of dollars wind up – voluntarily – in a classroom at the most impoverished high school in Pierce County? It’s a tough question. One that Kitna himself can’t really answer, not even with one of those equations he throws at his students.”

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post looks at how the 2012 NFL Draft would have been altered if Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore were taller in this piece at YahooSports.com: “They deal with their height deficiencies in different ways. Wilson relies more on his athleticism; Moore relies more on his mind. ‘He is the closest player I’ve done to Drew Brees and Jeff Garcia in terms of sliding, finding lanes and creating for himself,’ Seattle general manager John Schneider said of Wilson. ‘He can slide and he has quick eyes. From an accuracy, anticipation standpoint, he is the closest to Drew Brees.’ ”

Brady Henderson at mynorthwest.com passes along highlights from Doug Baldwin’s interview on the Kevin Calabro show at 710 ESPN, including one game that still sticks out in Baldwin’s rookie season: “ ‘One of the games that really stood out to me which we actually lost – and I actually played pretty decently assignment-wise but there was just something about the defense and the player that I was going against and I just didn’t have a good game statistically – it was against the Cleveland Browns and Dimitri Patterson. I’ll never forget it because I didn’t have a catch that game, and I’ll remember Dimitri Patterson for the rest of my life because of the fact that he held me to zero catches.’ ”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of profiles on the draft choices with a look at Greg Scruggs, the defensive end from Louisville who was the last of the team’s 10 selections: “The Seahawks thought enough of Greg Scruggs’ length and versatility that they dispatched defensive line coach Todd Wash to check out the Louisville lineman. It was on the Tuesday of draft week. ‘I worked him out at his high school (St. Xavier in Cincinnati), and he had a real good workout,’ Wash said Friday, as the players and coaches concluded Phase 2 of the offseason program. The trip proved to be well worth it, as the Seahawks made the 6-foot-3, 284-pound Scruggs the last of their 10 draft choices. In fact, shortly after the conclusion of the three-day NFL Draft, general manager John Schneider was asked whether any of the team’s picks seemed like a bargain at a certain spot. ‘Quite honestly, I would have to say Scruggs,’ he said. ‘When we were taking (safety Winston) Guy, Scruggs was one of our considerations.’ And Guy was selected in the sixth round – 51 picks before the Seahawks eventually drafted Scruggs with the 232nd pick overall.”

We’ve also got a look at how coach Pete Carroll concluded the final practice in Phase 2 of the offseason program: “Near the end of (the) 45-minute, on-field session, rather than going with special teams drills, the Seahawks’ third-year coach had the offensive and defensive linemen square off in a pass-catching competition. It was similar to the drill that is used for receivers at the NFL Scouting Combine, as each player ran the width of the field while trying to catch seven passes. The first lineman up was John Moffitt. And the second-year guard not only caught each of his passes, he one-handed the final throw – as his fellow offensive players partied like it was 1999, all over again. ‘You like that one-hander?’ Moffitt said after him impressive run – and catch. ‘(The passers) were kind of faking us a little, so I had to pedal back a little and go a little extra. But this was fun. This was a good one to end this part of the offseason program with.’ ”

For a look around the rest of the league – and the world, in this installment – there’s Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com: “Love the British papers. Saturday’s edition of The Times featured a long dispatch from Australia focusing on the Southern hairy-nosed wombat being endangered because of the potato weed, a noxious plant that damages the wombats’ livers. Not many other papers covering the decline of the Southern hairy-nosed wombat.”


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Wednesday cyber surfing: A potpourri of past and present

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 16:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com checks in with George Koonce, who spent one of his nine seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks, and he has quite a tale to tell: “I had a wonderful wife, beautiful children, money in the bank and a Super Bowl ring back on that day in 2003 when my post-NFL transition took my Chevy Suburban around a 25-mph corner at three times the posted speed. Whatever happened that day was going to happen. I didn’t really care. By the grace of God, I survived what was, in retrospect, a suicide attempt. But paramedics weren’t going to cart me off. No chance. The football tough guy in me refused to get into that ambulance. My wife, Tunisia, drove me to the hospital and saved my life with words, not medicine. ‘George,’ she said, ‘I don’t understand what you are going through, but I sympathize. We cannot reinvent who you are, but we can redefine who you are.’ ”

Also from Sando, a look at the addition of Alex Barron: “Barron gives the Seahawks seven offensive linemen drafted by other teams. That includes choices from every round but the sixth (and two from the fifth).”

And still more from Sando, a look at the team’s “pressure point”: “Tarvaris Jackson earned the respect of his Seahawks teammates by playing through much of the 2011 with a torn pectoral muscle on his right side. Jackson never complained or made excuses. The injury made it tougher for Jackson to take hold of the starting job for the long term. The Seahawks’ inability to make key plays in critical moments left them with a 7-9 record and kept them in the market for help at the position.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at Tuesday’s addition of Barron: “Barron, a former first-round pick who played at Florida State, hoped that his NFC West tour would come to an end at that Seahawks minicamp, and for now anyway, it has. Barron and three other players who tried out last weekend have agreed to terms on contracts with Seattle. ‘I haven’t gone to Arizona and I don’t plan on going to Arizona,’ Barron said. ‘I’d be fine being home right here.’ A contract in May is hardly a guarantee of a job come September, but it is at least a step in the right direction for Barron, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the crowded situation on the offensive line now that Barron has agreed to contract terms: “At 6-foot-8 and 318 pounds, Barron is long and athletic – he held his own against speedy rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin over the weekend – but has had issues with penalties over his seven-year career. Barron has been flagged 17 times – 14 of them accepted – in his past 17 games started. Barron will compete with Frank Omiyale, Paul Fanaika, Allen Barbre and Mitchell for the backup offensive tackle job behind starters Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini. Last year’s first-round pick, James Carpenter, is still recovering from knee surgery. Seattle now has 15 offensive linemen on the team’s 90-man roster.”

Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling offers his impressions from the weekend minicamp: “Of the other draft picks, running back Robert Turbin shows a nice burst, and linebackers Bobby Wagner and Korey Toomer are both impressive athletes who flow to the play. Defensive linemen Jaye Howard and Greg Scruggs both are big guys who are lean and have pass-rushing potential.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times also looks at Tuesday’s additions, but focuses on Donny Lisowski: “Lisowski graduated from O’Dea High School in 2008. He played quarterback and defensive back, wrestled and ran track. Lisowski’s speed impressed coach Pete Carroll, who singled him out Sunday after the last of the three practices at the minicamp. ‘He was all over the place out here,’ Carroll said.

Elliott Harrison at NFL.com looks at the QB competitions in the league, including the Seahawks: “Unless (Tarvaris) Jackson plays out of his freaking mind, the odds-on favorite appears to be (Matt Flynn) the former Green Bay Packers backup, who has thrown nine touchdowns and compiled a 123.0 passer rating in two career starts. The other possibility would be to keep them both with the expectation that this is a playoff team in need of two vets. It’s just going to cost GM John Schneider a healthy chunk of change. Don’t forget third-round pick Russell Wilson, who the Seahawks reportedly think can compete, too. The smart money says that’s a year away.”

Also at NFL.com, in his latest “Pick Six,” Adam Rank looks at the best defensive nicknames in league history. The Seahawks aren’t included, but it’s worth a read anyway: “It might be hypocritical to list the Fearsome Foursome after the nickname was used to describe other units (don’t act like you knew that). But the Fearsome Foursome is synonymous with the Los Angeles Rams of the 1960s, which featured Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy. Easily the best nickname ever applied to a defensive unit.”

Jason Smith at NFL.com has a photo essay on the best rookie seasons by team, and the Seahawks are included: “Try as I might, I can’t make the argument for Kenny Easley’s 1981 rookie season over Curt Warner’s in 1983. Easley was the defensive rookie of the year, but Warner amassed 1,449 rush yards and 13 touchdowns. He had a pretty good career, with four 1,000-yard seasons, but he goes down as the guy everyone mistakenly called for interviews trying to reach the other Kurt Warner.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we have not only the word that Barron has agreed, but a look at his participation in the offseason program: “ ‘I just wanted to get somewhere,’ Barron said. ‘I’m pretty confident in my play. I’ve made some mistakes in the past, also. But I’ve gotten to the point where after last season, and coming into the offseason as a free agent, all I want to do is come in and just show that I can play. Because it can’t be talked about, it always has to be shown.’ ”

We’ve also got a look at the winding road that led fifth-round draft choice Korey Toomer to the Seahawks: “Korey Toomer has followed a meandering path to the NFL. But now that he’s here, as the Seahawks’ fifth-round draft choice, the rookie linebacker from Idaho is not only making up for lost time, he’s doing it in a blur. At the rookie minicamp over the weekend, and again in the offseason program workouts this week, the one thing that has stood out about Toomer is that he does everything fast. ‘The dude can run, no question about it,’ veteran linebacker Leroy Hill said on Tuesday, shaking his head. Toomer, in fact, ran himself right into being draft by the Seahawks – even though the team already had selected pass-rushing end Bruce Irvin in the first round and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame website has the word on Cortez Kennedy dominating items as his Aug. 4 induction draws closer: “Included in the prized gift were Kennedy’s 1993 Pro Bowl jersey, a pair of well-worn shoulder pads and a pair of cleats from his NFL career that spanned from 1990-2000.”


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Irvin, seven other draft choices agree to terms

No need to worry about a no-show by first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin this summer. The pass-rush specialist from West Virginia agreed to contract terms today.

So did seven of the other nine players who were selected by the Seahawks in the April 26-28 NFL Draft: Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner (second round); Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson (third round); Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer (fifth round); Northwestern State (La.) cornerback Jeremy Lane and Kentucky safety Winston Guy (sixth round); and North Carolina State guard J.R Sweezy and Louisville defensive end Greg Scruggs (seventh round).

That leaves only the two players selected in the fourth round – Utah State running back Robert Turbin and Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard – who have yet to agree as the team prepares for this weekend’s rookie minicamp.


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Pickin’ and grinnin’

Prior to the NFL Draft, John Schneider explained that part of his thinking in trading down is whether the two or three players you wind up getting are a better deal than taking the one player available with the original pick.

Then the Seahawks’ third-year GM traded down in the first round on Thursday night and the second round on Friday, picking up two extra draft choices in each deal – for moving back a combined seven spots.

Here’s a look at what the Seahawks got, and what they could have had:

FIRST ROUND

Original pick: 12

Traded down to: 15

Who they traded with: Eagles

What they got: West Virginia pass rusher Bruce Irvin at No. 15; Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard in the fourth round; Northwestern State (La.) Jeremy Lane in the sixth round.

Who the Eagles took at 12: Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox

SECOND ROUND

Original pick: No. 11 in the round, 43rd overall

Traded down to: 47

Who they traded with: Jets

What they got: Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner at No. 47; Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer in the fifth round, where they did not have a pick because of the 2010 draft-day trade for Marshawn Lynch; Louisville defensive end Greg Scruggs in the seventh round.

Who the Jets took at 43: Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill


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