On this date: Alexander runs wild

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Sept. 29:

1991 – Chris Warren scores on a 59-yard punt return – the first by a Seahawk since 1986 – and QB Dan McGwire makes his first NFL start in a 31-3 victory over the Colts at the Kingdome. The Seahawks also rush for 168 yards, as Derrick Fenner and John L. Williams each run a TD. McGwire is replaced in the second half by Jeff Kemp, who throws a TD pass to Tommy Kane. Cortez Kennedy and Rufus Porter collect two sacks each to pace the defensive effort.

2002 – Shaun Alexander sets an NFL record by scoring five times in the first half of a 48-23 win over the Vikings at Seahawks Stadium. Alexander scores on an 80-yard screen pass as well as runs of 2, 20, 3 and 14 yards. Reggie Tongue also returns an interception 46 yards for a TD, as the Seahawks score four times in a 1-minute, 47-second blur at the end of the first half.

(AP Photo/Jim Bryant)


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On this date: Warner returns in style

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks’ history that occurred on Sept. 8:

1985 – Curt Warner returns from the season-ending knee injury he got in the 1984 opener to score the game-winning touchdown and Dave Krieg passes for three TDs in a 28-24 victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati.

1991 – In his first start since Sept. 25, 1988, Jeff Kemp passes for two touchdowns in a 20-13 win over the Jets at the Kingdome. Dwayne Harper intercepts two passes and Cortez Kennedy has two sacks to pace the defense.


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Baldwin earns mention as NFL’s top prospect

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 18.

At ESPN.com, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders gives us his list of the 25 top prospects in the NFL – noting that to be included the player must fit the following criteria:

• Drafted in the third round or later, or signed as an undrafted free agent
• Entered the NFL between 2009 and 2011
• Fewer than five career games started
• Still on their initial contract
• Age 26 or younger in 2012

And who do you think sits atop Schatz’s list? Well, that’s none other than Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin. Also on Schatz’s list are fellow Seahawks receivers Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham. You can read what Schatz had to say about Baldwin right here, but the full piece requires an ESPN Insider subscription.

Pete Prisco, Pat Kirwan and Rob Rang of CBSsports.com provide a three-part Seahawks piece, as they make predictions for the team in 2012, break down the team’s X’s and O’s and recap Seattle’s 2012 NFL Draft. In his prediction for the Seahawks in 2012, Prisco calls wide receiver Sidney Rice the team’s ‘X-Factor’, “The Seahawks signed him last year to a big contract with the idea he would become their go-to guy in the passing game. He played in only nine games last season and caught just 32 passes because of shoulder issues. He had screws inserted into both shoulders during the offseason and said the doctors told him it was like having two new shoulders. We’ll see. Rice has to become more of a threat in the passing game and if he stays on the field, I think he can.”

Also at CBSsports.com Prisco gives us a list of his Top-100 NFL players, and the lone Seahawk to make his list is safety Earl Thomas, who checks in at No. 97. On Thomas, Prisco provides, “This rangy player has all the tools to be a dominant safety in a passing league. His cover skills are impressive.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth continues with his 2012 Seahawks positional outlook, this time turning his attention toward the defensive line. For all of the success the Seahawks enjoyed at the position last season – a position that was a big part of the Seahawks turning in the ninth-ranked defense in the league – Farnsworth notes that one area that could use a boost is the line’s ability to get to the quarterback, “The Seahawks generated just 33 sacks in 2011, their second-lowest total in the past nine seasons. A closer look, however, really shows just what was missing. While Leo end Chris Clemons led the team with 11 sacks – for the second time in his two seasons with the Seahawks – the rest of the linemen combined for 10. What’s a coach to do? Sign pass-rushing tackle Jason Jones in free agency and then select pass-rushing end Bruce Irvin in the first round of the NFL Draft. ‘We just see the increase in athletic ability upfront with the addition of those two,’ said Todd Wash, who is in his second season as coach of the D-line. ‘So you add them to what Clem already brings and we’re going to be not only big but also fast, to hopefully increase our ability to get to the quarterback.’ “

Also here at Seahawks.com former Seahawks quarterback Jeff Kemp provides this heartfelt piece honoring his center in Seattle, Grant Feasel, who passed away over the weekend. Kemp remembers, “Grant was the quintessential sacrificial warrior. He wrapped himself up in the duty to clear the way for and protect his teammates. He took his job so seriously. Our families grew up together and Grant deeply loved his family. He had a great sense of humor but never during the heat of battle.”

Brock Huard of MyNorthwest.com breaks down the strengths, weaknesses and expectations for the Seahawks wide receiver group heading into 2012, and also provides a thought on each Seahawks wideout and how they can improve going forward. On Golden Tate, Huard offers, “It’s a make-or-break season for the former second rounder. The light bulb appeared to go on at the end of last season, and Tate must avoid the injury and inconsistency in route-running that has slowed his development. He should be able to play all three wideout spots in spurts, and he has the breakaway speed to be a difference maker.”

Finally, sticking with the wide-receiver theme, Ian Furness and Hugh Millen at 950 KJR AM analyze the Seahawks wideout group in this nearly 18-minute audio link. Furness and Millen explain the differences between the ‘X’, ‘Z’ and ‘slot’ receivers and they discuss how the Seahawks current wide receiver personnel fits into each of those designations.


Former Seahawks QB Jeff Kemp Remembers and Honors Grant Feasel

Former NFL QB Jeff Kemp, who played for the Seahawks from 1987-91, remembers and honors teammate Grant Feasel, the former Seahawks center who passed away over the weekend.

By Jeff Kemp

Grant Feasel was our center and my roommate on road trips for most of my years on the Seahawks in the late 80′s and early 90′s.  I am so saddened at his loss and our prayers go out to all his family, especially Cyndy, Sean, Sarah and Spencer.

Grant was the quintessential sacrificial warrior. He wrapped himself up in the duty to clear the way for and protect his teammates. He took his job so seriously. Our families grew up together and Grant deeply loved his family. He had a great sense of humor but never during the heat of battle.

Grant was deeply conscientious and took his job incredibly seriously. As a holder for field goals, I would always ask him to snap hard-to-handle snaps to me after practice so I could prepare for the toughest situations, but Grant would never allow himself to snap anything but perfect snaps. Part of that was his desire to never allow coaches to see him at less than his dependable best.

I had dinner with Grant in Dallas about two years ago and we laughed uproariously at our joint misfortune of having had been a part of a classic NFL blooper which nearly gave Coach Chuck Knox a heart attack. One game against Denver in the noisy Kingdome, Grant and I crossed signals on when to snap the ball. The ball blasted me in the earhole of my helmet while I was looking at kicker Norm Johnson to see if he was ready. The ball bounced around the field and a pile of Broncos dove on me as I scrambled to cover the ball. Grant reminded me at that dinner that he could never forget Chuck Knox’s opening line of his next week’s talk to our team. Chuck told us that in his last days when he’d be confined to a nursing bed, connected to an “iron lung,” his last thoughts on this Earth would be, “Why in the heck did Grant Feasel snap that ball into Jeff Kemp’s head in our game against Denver?”

Grant Feasel was a consummate football player, a trustworthy teammate, and a good man… a man who loved his family.


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And the best fifth-round pick is …

The fifth round of the NFL Draft has been special for the Seahawks.

Special in that they have used those picks to select a couple of Pro Bowl special teams players – return man Bobby Joe Edmonds, who was drafted in 1986 and voted to the AFC all-star team as a rookie; and coverage man Alex Bannister, who was drafted in 2001 and voted to the NFC all-star team in 2003. The fifth round also delivered kick returner Charlie Rogers in 1999.

There also have been a couple of standout defensive players who came to the Seahawks in the fifth round – tackle Rocky Bernard, who was selected 2002 and started 55 games in seven seasons; and strong safety Kam Chancellor, who was selected in 2010 and went to the Pro Bowl last season.

But the best of the fifth-round bunch played on offense – left guard Edwin Bailey, who was drafted in 1981, stepped into the lineup as a rookie and started 120 games through the 1991 season.

Bailey’s run with the team began under coach Jack Patera and spanned the tenure of coach Chuck Knox (1983-91). He opened holes for Sherman Smith, Curt Warner, John L. Williams and Derrick Fenner, and provided pass protection for Jim Zorn, Dave Krieg, Kelly Stouffer and Jeff Kemp. Bailey was a key component in the Seahawks’ advancing to the AFC title game in 1983, posting a 12-win season in 1984 and winning their first division title in 1988.

Until Steve Hutchinson was selected in the first round of the 2001 draft, Bailey was the best left guard in franchise history – as evidenced by his selection to the Seahawks’ 25th Anniversary team.

We caught up with Bailey recently, and you can find out what the player his teammates called “Pearl” has been up to here.


On this date

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Sept. 8:

1985 – Curt Warner returns from the season-ending knee injury he got in the 1984 opener to score the game-winning TD in a 28-24 victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati.

1991 – In his first start since Sept. 25, 1988, Jeff Kemp passes for two TDs in a 20-13 win over the Jets.


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