Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Nov. 4:
Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the relationship between coach Pete Carroll and QB Tarvaris Jackson. Says Williams: “Pete Carroll has done his best to provide support for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, including a major confidence boost by anointing him the starter before he even took a practice snap with his new team. So it’s no surprise that when asked if Jackson could be Seattle’s quarterback of the future, the Seahawks coach agreed. ‘I’m looking at it that way, yeah,’ Carroll said. ‘I think I’m probably more appreciative than (reporters) at this time because we haven’t won enough games to make you excited about it. But I’m seeing the things that he’s able to do that gives us a chance to run an offense like we like to run it and he’s added to what we thought we could do by growing with him and learning about it.’
Percy Allen of the Seattle Times looks at Jackson looking at himself. Says Allen, and Jackson: “Despite twice throwing for career highs in yardage, Tarvaris Jackson considers his short stint in Seattle so far a failure. ‘We’re a 2-5 team, and a quarterback’s (job) is to help the team win as much as possible,’ he said. ‘We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but 2-5 is failing. So I guess I got an F right now.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks at the other QB in Sunday’s game: Tony Romo. Says Boyle: “The Cowboys are hoping to get right starting this weekend. To do so, they’ll need the good Tony Romo to show up, because, while every team’s fate is determined in part by quarterback play, few teams experience ups and downs at that position more than Dallas. When Romo’s on his game, he can look like one of the elite quarterbacks in the game. When he’s off, boy can it get ugly in a hurry.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes stock of the rookies in the NFC West, including this item: “Mid-round linebackers ascending. Seattle’s K.J. Wright and Arizona’s Sam Acho are dissimilar as linebackers. Wright plays the middle after entering the draft as a strongside type. Acho is converting from college defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker. There are similarities as well. Both have replaced big names in their starting lineups. Wright replaced Aaron Curry. Acho replaced Joey Porter. Both players have impressed their teams with their smarts. Acho has one sack in each of the Cardinals’ last two games.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at the entire rookie class, as the Seahawks are starting as many rookies as any team in the league: “The Seahawks are starting their rookies by design, as James Carpenter and John Moffitt were acquired with their first two draft picks in the April NFL Draft to comprise the right side of a very-young line. They’re also starting a rookie by necessity, as Richard Sherman is the third option on the left side after Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond went down with season-ending injuries. K.J. Wright, meanwhile, is starting because they just couldn’t keep the fourth-round draft choice off the field. His emergence also allowed the club to trade linebacker Aaron Curry to the Oakland Raiders for a pair of draft choices that could turn into other eventual starters.”
As for the rest of the league, Dan Banks at SI.com has his midseason look, including this observation on Romo: “Nobody had a first month of the season like Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who single-handedly was the reason the Cowboys won dramatically in Weeks 2 and 3 of the season, at San Francisco and home against Washington, and lost dramatically in Weeks 1 and 4, at the Jets and home against Detroit. Romo is a difference maker all right. But the pendulum swings are doozies.”
For the second year in a row, the Seahawks opened the regular season against division-rival San Francisco 49ers. While the 2010 opener was at home, this year’s contest was played on the road at Candlestick Park.
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Captains. The players voted on the captains for the season today, and coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have agreed more with the selections of cornerback Marcus Trufant (defense), quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (offense) and kick returner Leon Washington and fullback Michael Robinson (special teams).
“I’m real proud of those guys for taking a leadership position for us,” Carroll said after the team’s bonus Labor Day practice to start preparing for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
“Those are great guys to put out front. It’s been obvious to why these guys would choose those guys.”
Trufant, Washington and Robinson were with the team last season, but Jackson was signed in free agency and didn’t even start practicing with team until Aug. 4. So his selection was especially pleasing to Carroll.
“It’s obvious that that’s who they wanted to be their leader,” Carroll said. “I’m pleased with all the choices, of course.”
The survivors. What else would you call the remaining 10 players from the roster that Carroll inherited 19 months ago? And when you look at just who they are, it’s understandable why they’re still around.
Trufant – The longest tenured Seahawk was a first-round draft choice in 2003 and has started 119 games the past eight seasons. He started all 16 games last season for the fifth time in his career and finished fourth on the team with 80 tackles.
Middle linebacker David Hawthorne – He made the team as a rookie free agent in 2008 and has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, last year while playing on the weak side and in 2009 while playing in the middle. This season, he’s back in the middle – replacing Lofa Tatupu, who was released in late July.
Punter Jon Ryan – Signed as a free agent one game into the 2008 season, Ryan already has set the franchise single-season record for average (46.2 yards in 2009) and tied the mark for net average (38.7 in ’09).
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane – A third-round draft in 2007, Mebane has started since his rookie season – registering career highs in tackles (49) in 2009 and sacks (5½) in 2008. But this year he moves to nose tackle.
Linebacker Aaron Curry – The fourth pick overall in 2009 draft, Curry has found his niche on the strong side after the previous coaching staff tried him as a pass-rusher. He had career highs in tackles (70) and sacks (3½) last season.
Linebacker Leroy Hill – A third-round pick in 2005, Hill returns after missing just about all of last season and nine games in 2008 and 2009. He is starting on the weak side, and looking like the player who collected 7½ sacks as a rookie and a career-high 92 tackles in 2006.
Defensive end Red Bryant – A fourth-round pick in 2008, the little-used D-tackle was moved to the five-technique end spot in Carroll’s defense last season. Bryant was a force against the run before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Week 8 loss to the Raiders.
Center Max Unger – A second-round draft choice in 2009, Unger missed almost all of last season with a toe injury that required surgery and he started 13 games at right guard as a rookie. But he’s back at center, the position he played at Oregon, on the Seahawks’ new-look line.
Running back Justin Forsett – A seventh-round draft choice in 2008, Forsett went to the Colts briefly as a rookie when the Seahawks released him with the plan to sign him to the practice squad. But the jack-of-all-skills back is back and figures prominently in the back-by-committee approach to the running game. He averaged 4.4 yards on 118 carries last season.
Wide receiver Ben Obomanu – A seventh-round draft choice in 2006, Obomanu has developed from perennial bubble player to one of glue performers on offense as well as special teams. He started six games last season and had a career-high 30 receptions for a 16.5-yard average and four touchdowns. He also had a dozen special teams tackles in 2009.
IN AND OUT
Four starters did not practice – running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), left guard Robert Gallery (knee) and Hawthorne (knee). Carroll said Lynch and Hawthorne will practice on Wednesday, but he labeled Gallery day-to-day because of the knee he sprained in Friday’s game against the Raiders and said the decision on whether Rice plays on Sunday will be made later in the week.
Rookie James Carpenter got some work at left guard for Gallery, with Breno Giacomini working at right tackle with the No. 1 line. Carroll said the move of Carpenter to guard was “developing all the flexibility you can.”
Forsett got the first-team reps for Lynch; Obomanu worked in Rice’s spot; and rookie K.J. Wright continued to sub for Hawthorne. Wright was the team’s leading tackler in the preseason with 16.
Left tackle Russell Okung participated in every phase of practice and will play against the 49ers for the first time since spraining an ankle in the preseason opener.
Three of newest Seahawks also practiced – kicker Steven Hauschka and defensive tackles Al Woods and Landon Cohen. Offensive tackle Jarriel King (ankle) sat out. All four were claimed off waivers on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, who was placed on injured reserve on the cut to 53, will have surgery to repair the knee he damaged against the Raiders, Carroll said. Also, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback, who also was placed on IR, no longer is with the team.
The final two spots on the eight-man practice squad were filled by running back Vai Taua and cornerback Ron Parker. Both players had been with the team in camp.
The players are off Tuesday and then return Wednesday for the start of the first week of the regular season in preparation for Sunday’s opener. The Seahawks opened their 2010 season at home with a 31-6 victory over the 49ers.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I don’t feel like we’re selling anymore. I feel like we’re in agreement and we’re putting it to the test. The conversation today talking about the upcoming season with the players, it’s a familiar conversation for these guys now. They know kind of what I’m going to say and where I’m coming from. I just solidify and reinforce the message. They come out and work really hard every time we go, and that’s the testament to whether they’re in or not.” – Carroll, who spent much of his first season as coach “selling” his philosophy
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 5:
Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times has the story on Brandon Browner, who spent the past four seasons in the CFL but likely will be the starting right cornerback when the Seahawks open their regular season against the 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday. Says Kelley: “As he slowly unspooled the tape from his hands after Friday’s final exhibition game, Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner barely allowed himself a slight, satisfied smile. After all he’s been through, all of the disappointments – after four seasons in the Canadian Football League; after tryouts with a half-dozen NFL teams, including an earlier trial with the Seahawks; after being told he was too tall or too slow to play cornerback in the National Football League, Browner had made it. He would start this season on the Hawks’ 53-man roster and probably start at corner in the season opener Sunday in San Francisco. He could have allowed himself a minute to scream at the top of his lungs and celebrate the culmination of a journey. He could have cried or roared. But Browner, 27, has been around too long and heard too much bad news to allow this one shining moment to consume him. He knows that in the NFL, especially the Pete Carroll NFL, the starting position you earn on opening day could be gone by Week 2.”
Also at the Times, Danny O’Neil has the round down on the latest roster moves from Sunday. Offers O’Neil: “The Seahawks claimed four players off waivers on Sunday, changing kickers, swapping out both backup defensive tackles and acquiring a fifth offensive tackle. So much for things being settled, huh?”
Eric Williams of the New Tribune has a Q&A with coach Pete Carroll. Here’s his response when asked about leadership on the team after the departures co-captains Matt Hasselbeck and Lofa Tatupu: “Here’s the deal. If you don’t have anybody who can carry the message for you, then the coach has to do it. And the assistant coaches have to do it. And I’ve always said that. I don’t want to be a coach that says, “Well, we would have had a really good year if we had better leadership. There’s so many guys on this team that are great character guys that care so much about this game, it’s just a matter of just working the message and getting to the side and letting them go. So I’m not worried about it one bit.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald also has a recap of Sunday’s moves. Says Boyle: “Saturday was the NFL’s cut day. Sunday its league-wide swap meet. And for the second straight season, the Seattle Seahawks used the day after cut day to peruse the list of newly available players and make a few changes to their roster. Seattle claimed off waivers defensive tackle Landon Cohen, defensive tackle Al Woods, kicker Steven Hauschka and tackle Jarriel King, all of whom were cut-day casualties a day earlier.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got – what else – a look at the roster moves made on Sunday: “If (Steven) Hauschka’s name sounds familiar, he kicked a game-winning 52-yarder for the Broncos in their third preseason game against the Seahawks. He signed with the Vikings as an undrafted rookie in 2008, but was waived and spent two seasons in Baltimore, hitting 10 of 15 field goals – including 54-yarder on his first NFL attempt. After spending from late December of 2009 to mid-August of 2010 with the Falcons, Hauschka (6-4, 210) was on the Lions’ practice squad for two games in 2010, when he also kicked for the Las Vegas Locomotives of the Arena League. He signed with the Broncos last December, hitting 6 of 7 field goals attempts, but was waived on Saturday.”
Also, Matt Gaschk of Sounders.com has the story on running back Justin Forsett working out with Mexico’s Club America. And what was that like? “I was out of my element,” laughed the jovial Seahawks running back.
Peter King at SI.com has a rundown on what each team did Sunday, including this note about the Seahawks: “… Kicker Jeff Reed goes. Quarterback Josh Portis, of California (Pa.), stays. Did you see Portis at all this camp? Once he learns the playbook, he’s going to be an interesting prospect for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to work with. Good arm, good runner, seems fearless.”
Hardly. Not when it comes to the Seahawks’ 2011 schedule the Scouts Inc.’s ranking of the Top 20 running backs in the NFL.
The Seahawks will face – or have faced, in the case of the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson – 12 of the backs in that Top 20 group.
It’s a long-running list that started with the top-ranked Peterson on Saturday night, continues with the Raiders’ Darren McFadden (No. 7) in the Sept. 2 preseason finale, and won’t conclude until Dec. 24 when they host No. 10 Frank Gore and the 49ers.
In between, here are the other Top 20 backs who are on a collision course with the Seahawks defense:
Gore, also in the Sept. 11 regular-season opener in San Francisco.
No. 8 Rashard Mendenhall in the Week 2 game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
No. 16 Michael Turner in the Week 4 game against the Falcons at CenturyLink Field.
No. 14 Ahmad Bradshaw the following week against the Giants in the Meadowlands.
No. 15 Payton Hillis is the Week 7 game against the Browns in Cleveland.
No. 17 Felix Jones in the Week 9 game against the Cowboys in Arlington.
No. 5 Ray Rice the following week against the Ravens at CenturyLink Field.
No. 12 Steven Jackson in the Week 11 game against the Rams in St. Louis, and again in the Week 14 game against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.
No. 9 LeSean McCoy in the Week 13 game against the Eagles at CenturyLink Field.
No. 13 Matt Forte in the Week 15 game against the Bears in Chicago.
Whew. Are the Seahawks up to the task? They were last year, until Red Bryant (for the season) and Colin Cole (for five games) went down in the Week 8 game against the Raiders in Oakland that Brandon Mebane also missed. The Seahawks entered that game ranked No. 2 in rushing defense. But McFadden ran for 111 of the Raiders’ 239 rushing yards. By the end of the season, the Seahawks had slipped to No. 21 in rushing defense.
Bryant is back at the five-technique end spot, and looking like he’s ready to pick up where he left off. Mebane has move to nose tackle and been replaced at the three-technique tackle by 6-6, 325-pound Alan Branch. Leroy Hill has returned at the weakside linebacker spot, with leading tackler David Hawthorne moving back into the middle. Aaron Curry has turned into a run-stuffing presence on the strongside and the secondary has gotten bigger with 6-3, 232-pound Kam Chancellor stepping in at strong safety and 6-4, 221-pound Brandon Browner playing his way into the picture at the right cornerback spot.
The Seahawks’ backs? They rank No. 24 (Leon Washington), No. 45 (Justin Forsett), No. 55 (Marshawn Lynch) and No. 88 (fullback Michael Robinson). Chris Henry is listed at No. 115, the final spot, but he left the team early in training camp.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 15:
Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett ranked 2-6 in the league last season in broken tackles per touch, according to the formula used by Football Outsiders and presented by ESPN.com blogger Mike Sando. Not all that surprising when you look at their rushing totals (a combined 1,096 yards) while running behind a line that used 10 different starting combinations in 2010. Says Sando: “The Seahawks’ run blocking wasn’t very good on the whole last season. The stats for Lynch and Forsett suffered as a result, but the numbers for broken tackles suggest both men maximized their opportunities. Lynch is a physical runner. He even took out the 49ers’Patrick Willis in one memorable encounter last season. Stats for broken tackles were for the regular season only. Lynch broke eight tackles during a single run against New Orleans in the playoffs. Forsett is shiftier and makes defenders miss.”
The best left tackle in the NFC West? For years, it was Walter Jones. No argument. Now, it’s his replacement: Russell Okung. Says who? Sando, for one. And the readers of his blog, who have Okung in the lead in the poll Sando is conducting. In balloting for the best left tackle in the league, Sando was the only one of the ESPN bloggers to cast a vote for Okung (at No. 10). Offered Sando: “I ranked Okung 10th as a projection for 2011 even though the St. Louis Rams’ Rodger Saffold was arguably the best left tackle in the NFC West last season. My thinking on Okung: There are not 10 complete, elite left tackles in the NFL. Okung belongs on a very short list of players with the talent and makeup to be elite at that position. He hasn’t played enough to this point, but I think he’ll join that group. Listing someone with less ability was the alternative.”
And still more from Sando, who provides comments from coach Pete Carroll on Golden Tate and Aaron Curry, and then offers his thoughts. Sando on Tate, a second-year wide receiver: “Young players such as Tate are going to get longer looks, most likely. Some of the older players will not be back.” Sando on Curry, a third-year linebacker: “Carroll inherited Curry. He did not draft Curry. But the coach would still like to have more than a traditional strong-side linebacker in return for the millions Curry is getting as the fourth player chosen in the 2009 draft.”
The Seahawks are scheduled to play the Giants at their year-old stadium this season, on Oct. 9. Sporting News Daily offers this offseason look at the Giants. The bottom-line assessment: “There are enough quality players for the Giants to contend for the playoffs. If they clean up the turnover sloppiness (a league-high 42 last season), the offense should have little problem moving up and down the field.” Of greater concern to the Seahawks is the fact that this is one of five games on their schedule with a 10 a.m. start – West Coast and body time.
Ed Viesturs is up to his motivational tricks again, only this time it’s for the Vancouver Canucks in their quest to win the Stanly Cup (Game 7 is tonight in Vancouver). The legendry mountain climber used the same carabineer tactics that are mentioned in this story from the Globe and News with the Seahawks during their run to the Super Bowl in 2005. The Seahawks players had the growing chain of connected carabineers hanging in their lockers. Said Canucks defenseman (or defenceman, if you’re reading this north of the border) Kevin Bieksa: “He spoke to us at the beginning of the season and spoke to us before the playoffs. So he’s been our guy.”
As for the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com quotes a source as saying the talks between the owners and players are “80-85 percent complete.” Adds Freeman: “They’ve made such fast progress, I’m told, it’s catching many of the principals by surprise. Some are now canceling vacations, believing an agreement will be reached within a matter of days.” We can only hope.
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the players voted to the 35th Anniversary team with a look at Shaun Alexander, whose 2005 season not only was one for the ages but one readers also voted the best single-season performance in franchise history.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 7:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com catches up with running back Justin Forsett, who was instrumental in setting up the players’ lockout workouts last week at the University of Washington. Said Forsett: “It started a couple weeks ago. I just had a feeling that we need to get the guys together and get some chemistry so it would be an easier transition to whenever we go back to football. I called Matt (Hasselbeck) first to see what he thought. He was for it. I knew if I had him on board, a lot of guys would want to work out. He is the only one who really knows the playbook, having been under (new coordinator) Darrell Bevell before. We get a chance to listen to some of the terminology and get a jump start on that. After that, I sent out some emails. I got in touch with agents for rookies. I went through Twitter and Facebook. The response was really good. Guys flew in from all over.”
Sando also checks in with wide receiver Mike Williams, who had 22 of his team-leading 65 receptions last season against the NFC West rival Cardinals.
In his weekly mailbag for ESPN.com, John Clayton handles another question about the Seahawks’ quarterback situation. But he sticks to the same thought he’s had all offseason: “(Kyle) Orton would be a good fit, but it would serve the Seahawks better to re-sign Hasselbeck and not give up the second- or third-round choice it would cost to acquire Orton.”
Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly has a “Lockout limbo” rundown on the Seahawks. Arkush gives the Seahawks a “7” on the “Lockout fallout” index, offering: “On a scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the most significantly impacted), the Seahawks rate a 7. It’s going to take some time to adjust to the latest new offensive system in Seattle. A lack of clarity at quarterback and a dramatically revamped offensive line with at least two rookies and one second-year pro (2010 first-round OLT Russell Okung) won’t help matters. What should help is an increased comfort level in Pete Carroll’s second season in Seattle after an often-chaotic maiden voyage.”
Willie Gault never played for the Seahawks, but he did play against them 14 times – twice with the Bears (1984 and 1987) and 12 times with the Raiders (1988-93). He caught 30 passes for 509 yards against the Seahawks, including TD catches of 51 and 36 yards. That tenuous connection is enough to link to this story from the Daily Herald. Gault, who also was an Olympic qualifier for the Summer and Winter Games, recently ran the 100-meter dash in 10.88 seconds and the 200 in 22.44. At the age of 50.
As for the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update offering, the Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson has scheduled a hearing on the owners’ motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit from a group of players for Sept. 12. That’s four days after the regular season is set to open in Green Bay, and one day after the first Sunday of games for the 2011 season.
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue to recap the first 35 seasons in franchise history with a look at 1997. During that season, Warren Moon had a 409-yard, five-TD pass performance against the Raiders at the Kingdome. Was it the best single-game passing effort in club history? You can vote on that here.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 1:
Think Russell Okung has the potential to someday be a Top 10 non-QB offensive player in the league? Then put your vote where your opinion is in this poll offered by ESPN.com’s Mike Sando. Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald already is there. But who might join him? Okung? 49ers wide-out Michael Crabtree? Cardinals running back Ryan Williams? Rams tight end Lance Kendricks? Sando is allowing you to make the call.
Pat Kirwan of NFL.com ranks the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch at No. 19 and backup Justin Forsett at No. 36 among NFL running backs. Kirwan on Lynch: “Just look at the epic run he had in the playoffs last year and ask yourself how many players could duplicate that effort.” If nothing else, this is an excuse to watch Lynch’s earth-shaking effort one more time. Kirwan on Forsett: “A situational player who is shifty. Coaches tell me is underrated.” But then we already knew that.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com examines the role of “nursemaid” for veteran quarterbacks with the latest group of rookies waiting to enter the league. Wonders Wyche: “For argument’s sake, though, what if (Donovan) McNabb, (Matt) Hasselbeck, (Jake) Delhomme, (Kerry) Collins, (Marc) Bulger – all quarterbacks in their twilight – decided they’d lost their passion and it was time to check out. Or, maybe the lockout takes away part or all of the 2011 season, letting rust accumulate on their aging bodies and giving them pause to realize how nice the time on the golf course feels as opposed to running gassers or getting blindsided by James Harrison.”
Something called Arrowhead Pride takes a look at Jim Zorn’s coaching career, as the Seahawks’ original QB is now coaching the position with the Chiefs. Offers the author: “Jim Zorn is considered, in many circles, to be a phenomenal QB coach. A lot of people that know a lot more than I do have credited him with the development of Matt Hasselbeck.”
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times checks in with former Washington Huskies Nate Williams and Victor Aiyewa, who weren’t selected in the April NFL Draft and remain in limbo because of the lockout. Said Aiyewa: “It’s pretty tough. It’s kind of hard to understand and anticipate when it’s going to end. But I think for me, the most important part is to stay in shape.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles examining the team’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1996 – when the season was overshadowed by the events of the offseason.
Seahawks players and coaches took three charter buses to Northwestern University, where they held their usual Saturday walkthru in an indoor practice facility before heading to Soldier Field for a brief stop to reacquaint themselves with the stadium where they defeated the Bears back in Week 6.
The Seahawks entered Sunday’s wild-card playoff game as vast underdogs to the visiting Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, but Matt Hasselbeck, Marshawn Lynch and the 12th Man led the way to a victory and a trip to Chicago.