A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Club for June 13, when the Seahawks wrapped up their offseason program by concluding their mandatory three-day minicamp:
FOCUS ON: SPRINGING FORWARD
Three minicamp practices. Nine OTA sessions. Almost two dozen non-OTA workouts. And five players who excelled, from almost start to almost finish.
In honor of the offseason program ending today for the veterans, and taking a huge step in that direction for the rookies, we decided to check in with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to get their informed-plus opinions on which players had outstanding springs.
Bevell opted for two new players, who bring elements an already good offense didn’t have – Percy Harvin, who was acquired in a March trade with the Vikings; and Luke Willson, who was selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft.
Harvin is a receiver, but also a runner, and that versatility – not to mention the productivity he provided the past four seasons in Minnesota – will complement the contributions of All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson and wide-outs Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Willson is a 6-foot-5, 252-pound tight end who has more speed than anyone that size should. That speed allows him to exploit matchups with linebacker and strong safeties, and his arrival also softens the loss of incumbent backup Anthony McCoy, who tore an Achilles tendon in the first OTA session.
“With the other guys, we know what you have,” Bevell said. “And they’ve all done a great job. But Luke and Percy are new and it’s been good to see how their talents are going to blend in.”
Harvin missed some time because of injuries, but as Bevell put it, “You could see what he brings whenever he was on the field.”
Quinn, in his first year as the D-coordinator, went with a proven commodity – All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas; and a couple of young linebackers – Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.
“With Earl, it’s the focus he has and his mindset,” Quinn said. “He has completely captured what we’re trying to do. It just leaps out at you and I’ve been totally impressed.”
Right on cue, Thomas forced and recovered a fumble during the scrimmage-like session that ended today’s final minicamp practice.
“Bobby has put the work in,” Quinn said of Wagner, the middle linebacker who led the team in tackles as a rookie last season. “He’s doing the things when no one is watching – studying video, putting in the extra work in the weight room and the meeting room.”
Wright finished second to Wagner in tackles last season while playing on the strong side. This spring, he has been working on the weak strong, and continuing to make strong contributions.
“K.J. just continues to jump out,” Quinn said.
Coach Pete Carroll ended practice with a scrimmage-like drill, and the players appreciated the opportunity to show what they’ve accomplished this spring.
“It’s fun,” Wilson said. “It was a nice way to finish it.”
The second-year QB led the only touchdown drive, capping it with a 3-yard scoring pass to second-year tight end Sean McGrath. They also set up the TD, as McGrath made a falling grab of a 24-yard pass from Wilson against tight coverage from linebacker Korey Toomer. Wilson also directed a nine-play, 42-yard drive, but Steven Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright. Backup QB Brady Quinn led a drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by Carson Wiggs.
But the defense also had its moments, as cornerback Will Blackmon intercepted a Quinn pass that was intended for rookie wide receiver Chris Harper to go with Thomas’ bang-bang play where he forced and then recovered a fumble.
ROOKIE WATCH: JORDAN HILL AND JESSE WILLIAMS
The coaches keep asking more from the defensive linemen that were selected in the third (Hill) and fifth (Williams) rounds of April’s draft, and the rookies just keep on delivering.
“They’re real different,” Carroll said. “Jesse is a 329-pound kid and strong as an ox. We see Jordan as much quicker and shiftier, and a very, very good technique player. He has really good leverage and hand placement. He’s exciting.”
Since joining the team for the rookie minicamp in May, Jordan has worked at both the three-technique and nose tackle spots in the both the base defense and nickel defense; while Williams has played both tackle spots as well as the five-technique end position in the base defense.
Today, Jordan got extensive work with the No. 1 line, while Williams got his turn to work with the starters on Wednesday.
“We have moved them around,” Carroll said. “That versatility helps. Both kids are really smart and they get it, and they have really good work ethic. … It’s very exciting that those guys have come in and we think they can add unique dimensions for each one of them.”
PAUL ALLEN TAKES IN PRACTICE
Owner Paul Allen watched part of today’s practice from the sideline.
“It was good to see the owner out here,” Carroll said. “Mr. Allen came out and saw us work on the last day, and it looked like he was having a good time, too.”
Also on hand were former quarterbacks Jim Zorn, the team’s original QB (1979-84) who also coached the position (2001-07); and Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who played two seasons with the Seahawks (1997-98) and is now the analyst for the team’s radio broadcasts.
MARSHAWN LYNCH HIGHLIGHTED IN TOP 100 OF 2013
NFL Network’s countdown of the Top 100 Players of 2013 continued this evening with the unveiling of players ranked No. 30-21. The Seahawks’ Beast Mode back earned a mention at No. 24 on the list.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think the biggest thing is just to be consistent. Be clutch. And try to dominate. When the game’s on the line, just help our football team win. I think that’s the biggest thing as a quarterback, be a great leader, have attention to detail and have that relentless competitive nature every day. I think that’s the biggest thing I can bring to the table, in terms of practicing and in games.” – Wilson when asked about his goals for the 2013 season
The 16-game regular season in the NFL has been the norm so long that it’s hard to remember when teams played fewer games.
But there was that time, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame shows in this chart to commemorate today’s 36th anniversary of the owners voting to expand the regular season.
The Nordstrom family was the majority owner of the team, which played its home game in the Kingdome. Jack Patera was the coach. Jim Zorn was the quarterback. Steve Largent was the leading receiver. Sherman Smith was the leading rusher. Dave Brown (’76) and Terry Beeson (’77) were the leading tacklers.
That ’76 season was short on victories, but long on long-anticipated excitement.
“We only won two games that first year,” recalls Zorn, who is now a member of the team’s Ring of Honor along with Largent and Brown. “But you would have thought we almost went to the playoffs. That’s how enthusiastic not only we were, but the fans were. Everybody was excited.”
And what a difference that one season made to the expansion Seahawks. As Smith puts it, “As a team, we definitely felt more like a team in ’77. There was just more familiarity, with what the coaches wanted from us and with what the guy next to you would do on any given play. That first year, it was just getting ready to go and coming to training camp with more than 100 guys. So in ’77, it was a totally different feeling.”
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 18:
1997: Rick Mirer, the second pick overall in the 1993 NFL Draft, is traded to the Bears for a first-round draft choice that the club uses to trade up to the third spot in the ’97 Draft to select Shawn Springs. Mirer was 20-31 as a starter for the Seahawks, but his victory total ranks fourth in franchise history behind Dave Krieg (70), Matt Hasselbeck (69) and Jim Zorn (40).
Everyone knows that the NFL is a copycat league. But who knew the Seahawks would become the cool cats when it came to copying?
First, new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin told some of his players to study video of the way the Seahawks play when asked what they could expect. Now, Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is saying he’ll study the Seahawks, among other teams, to devise ways to use the athletic ability of former University of Washington QB Jake Locker in zone-read schemes.
“We’re going to do just like every team in the league and look at clubs like Seattle and Washington. We’re still very early in the process of building this offense, but we’re definitely going look at all that stuff, just like every team in the NFL is going do,” Loggains, who replaced Chris Palmer in November, told Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.
Interesting, because Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained during the season that he examined what the Redskins were doing with rookie QB Robert Griffin III in devising ways to unleash the talents of his own rookie QB – Russell Wilson, who shattered franchise records for the position by running for 489 yards for the season and 92 and 71 yards in December games against the Bills and Bears. The old marks were 343 yards by Rick Mirer in 1993 and 63 yards by Jim Zorn in 1976.
Now, the Titans want to see what Locker might be able to do with the ball in his hands, and on the run.
“We feel like Jake is the face of our franchise going forward,” Loggains said. “He did a nice job last year battling through injuries and showed his toughness and character.”
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 2:
1986: Steve Largent catches a game-high eight passes for 82 yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 28-24. Kenny Easley (two tackles) and Fredd Young (one tackle) also are on the AFC squad.
1992: John L. Williams (four carries for 8 yards, one reception) and Cortez Kennedy represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl, but the NFC wins 21-15.
1996: Owner Ken Behring announces he is relocating the franchise to Southern California, a move that is later blocked by the NFL.
1997: Cortez Kennedy has six tackles to help the AFC take a 26-23 overtime victory in the Pro Bowl. Michael Sinclair (one tackle) also is on the AFC squad.
1998: Jim Zorn, the club’s original quarterback who had been an offensive assistant on Dennis Erickson’s staff, leaves to become the QB coach with the Lions. Zorn would return to be the Seahawks’ QB coach from 2001-07.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 8:
1984: The Seahawks take the field at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the AFC Championship Game against the Raiders to the Pointer Sisters singing the national anthem and a crowd of 88,734 shaking silver-and-black Mylar pom-poms. But this one is over before it’s over, as Dave Krieg (three) and Jim Zorn (two) combine to throw five interceptions and Marcus Allen carries 25 times for 154 yards and also catches seven passes for 62 yards in the Raiders’ 30-14 victory.
1992: Larry Kennan is named offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach on the staff of Tom Flores, who replaces Chuck Knox as head coach. Kennan had been selected coach of the year in the World League of American Football after guiding the London Monarchs to the league title and an 11-1 record.
1999: Mike Holmgren is named executive vice president of football operations/general manager and head coach. Holmgren, who had guided the Packers to two Super Bowls, replaces Dennis Erickson. The Seahawks give up a second-round draft choice to the Packers as compensation for signing Holmgren.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck’s pass on fourth-and-four from the 5-yard line with 27 seconds to play goes off the hands of Bobby Engram in the end zone and the Rams escape with a 27-20 victory in a wild-card playoff game in Seattle. Hasselbeck passes for 341 yards, joining Dan Fouts and the Rams’ Marc Bulger as the only quarterbacks to pass for 300-plus yards in his first two playoff games. Darrell Jackson catches 12 passes for 128 yards and a TD as the Seahawks roll up 413 yards.
2010: Jim Mora is relieved of his duties as head coach after just one season, and a 5-11 record.
2011: The Seahawks stun the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints 41-36 in a very-wild Wild Card playoff game in Seattle, as Matt Hasselbeck passes for four touchdowns and Marshawn Lynch ices the victory with an electrifying 67-yard touchdown with 3½ remaining as he breaks eight tackles, tosses Tracy Porter five-yards with a stiff-arm, and the celebration of his effort triggers seismic activity near the stadium.
A look at some moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 19:
1982: The Patriots intercept four Jim Zorn passes and John Smith kicks three field goals in a 16-0 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome.
1993: Rick Mirer’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left gives the Seahawks the lead, but Greg Davis kicks a 55-yard field as time expires to tie the game and then a 41-yarder in overtime to give the Cardinals a 30-27 victory at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 168 yards, including a 45-yard TD.
1999: Glen Cadrez returns a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown in overtime to give the Broncos a 36-30 overtime victory over the Seahawks at Mile High Stadium. Ricky Watters runs for 115 yards and a touchdown and Jon Kitna passes for 278 yards and two TDs in rallying the Seahawks. But the Broncos compile 430 yards of offense and Ray Crockett has the fumble-forcing sack on Kitna that sets up the game-winning score.
2004: The Jets roll up 482 yards of offense, as Curtis Martin runs for 134 yards and two scores and Chad Pennington passes for three TDs, in rolling over the Seahawks 37-14 in The Meadowlands.
2010: Olindo Mare kicks a 38-yard field goal to tie the score at 10, but the Falcons then outscore the Seahawks 24-8 in taking a 34-18 victory in Seattle. The Babineaux brothers each have a big play, as the Falcons’ Jonathan recovers a fumble in the end zone and the Seahawks’ Jordan intercepts a pass.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 18:
1977: Jim Zorn throws a 15-yard touchdown pass to Steve Largent in the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks a 20-19 victory over the Browns at the Kingdome in their season finale.
1983: The Seahawks clinch their first playoff berth with a 24-6 victory over the Patriots in their regular-season finale at the Kingdome, and all three units contribute as Steve Largent catches seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, Dave Krieg passes for two TDs and Curt Warner runs for 116 yards; Jacob Green has three sacks and Kenny Easley and Dave Brown intercept passes; and Jeff West has five of his six punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
1988: The Seahawks win their first division title with a wild 43-37 victory over the Raiders in Los Angeles on the final Sunday of the regular season. The Seahawks jump to a 30-17 lead and hold on as Dave Krieg passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns, with Brian Blades catching four passes for 123 yards and two TDs and John L. Williams adds seven catches for 180 yards.
1994: Jeff Hostetler passes 77 yards to Tim Brown for a fourth-quarter touchdown as the Raiders take a 17-16 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 122 yards and the Seahawks’ only touchdown, while John Kasay kicks three field goals.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck throws second-half touchdown passes to Joe Jurevicius and Darrell Jackson as the Seahawks rally for a 28-24 victory over the Titans in Tennessee that is win No. 10 in their club-record 11-game winning streak. Shaun Alexander also runs for 172 yards and a TD.
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 17:
1978: Al Hunter runs for 133 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yarder, and Jim Zorn passes 57 yards to Steve Largent for another score as the Seahawks close their third season with a 23-19 victory over the Chiefs at the Kingdome.
1989: John L. Williams catches 12 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown and Norm Johnson kicks three field goals in a 23-17 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome.
1995: Chris Warren rushes for 105 yards and three touchdowns, Joey Galloway catches five passes for 108 yards, including a 43-yard TD, and Michael Sinclair leads the defensive effort with two sacks in a 44-10 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 16:
1979: Sam McCullum catches eight passes for 173 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from Jim Zorn, in a 29-24 victory over the Raiders in Oakland that caps the Seahawks’ second consecutive winning season (9-7).
1990: The Seahawks lose for the only time in their final six games, 24-17 to the Dolphins in Miami, as Dan Marino passes for two touchdowns and the Dolphins intercept Dave Krieg three times.
2000: Jon Kitna throws a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie Darrell Jackson with 28 seconds to play, giving the Seahawks a 27-24 victory over the Raiders in a Saturday game at Husky Stadium. Ricky Watters runs for 168 yards and the defense picks off three Rich Gannon passes.
2001: Ricky Watters runs for 104 yards and a touchdown and Ike Charlton returns an interception 38 yards for a score in a 29-3 victory over the Cowboys at Husky Stadium.
2007: In his first NFL start, Matt Moore completes 19 of 27 passes for 208 yards in leading the Panthers to a 13-10 victory over the Seahawks in Carolina. Bobby Engram and Deion Branch combine to catch 17 passes for 169 yards, but the Seahawks’ only TD comes on Matt Hasselbeck’s 15-yard pass to Branch with 1 second left in the game.