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Thursday round-up: Unveiling Seahawks all-time underrated, overrated players

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Thursday, July 11, about your Seattle Seahawks:

NFL.com’s Zach Schwartz unveils his list of all-time underrated and overrated players in Seahawks franchise history. Former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, guard Steve Hutchinson, wide receiver Joey Galloway, kick returner Leon Washington and current strong safety Kam Chancellor make up his all-time underrated list.

We’re about two weeks away from the start of Seahawks training camp, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has started a 15 days, 15 questions feature – counting down one question each day until the start of camp. In his first entry, Condotta clarifies 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin’s reported position switch from defensive end to strongside linebacker with comments from head coach Pete Carroll.

In the podcast below, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” chat with Seahawks 2013 second-round draft pick running back Christine Michael about his draft process and acclimation to life in the NFL:


Tom Pelissero of USA Today outlines the NFL’s new padding requirements, which mandates all players wear thigh and knee pads. Several wide receivers, cornerbacks and more have chosen not to wear these pads in the past, but choosing to do so this season will not only result in a fine for the player, but NFL referees could also pull that player from the game.

The Seahawks have advanced to Round 3 in NFL.com personality Dave Dameshek’s bracket to determine the greatest uniform in League history. You can cast your vote for the Seahawks’ current digs here, as they square off against the current unis of the New Orleans Saints. Voting for Round 3 ends on Sunday, July 14 at 3 p.m. PT.

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando has his daily look around the NFC West and will hold a SportsNation chat at 10 a.m. PT.

Sando also notes that quarterback Russell Wilson landed at No. 12 (there’s that number again…) on ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski’s rankings of the League’s 32 signal callers.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth delves into the connection between new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and his hand-picked defensive line coach Travis Jones.

Running back Marshawn Lynch’s Bay Area charity weekend kicks off today.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin joined KPUG AM 1170 to talk about the 12 Tour Belingham in the podcast below:


Andy Prest of Vancouver, B.C.’s North Shore News also talks with Baldwin, as he previews his 12 Tour visit with our neighbors to the north. Baldwin lands in B.C. with defensive end Red Bryant and cornerback Richard Sherman on Saturday, July 13 for a full weekend of Seahawks-themed activities.

And Australia’s Queensland Maroons rugby squad recently hosted Seahawks 2013 fifth-round draft pick defensive tackle Jesse Williams – an Australia native – at a team scrimmage.


Monday round-up: Russell Wilson in Wisconsin; ESPN lays out bright future

Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy made it’s stop in Madison, Wis. over the weekend, as the Seahawks Pro Bowl quarterback instructed hundreds of youth players looking to improve both on and off the field

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, July 1, about your Seattle Seahawks, as well as a look back at what you may have missed last week, June 25-28, when I was a little under the weather:

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune notes offensive guard James Carpenter’s health is a key component for the ‘Hawks in 2013, and offers a detailed look at the competition along the O-line.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com delves into the uncertainty – and upside – present along the interior of the Seahawks’ offensive line.

Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com highlights rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams in his Finding the Fits series, which identifies one unheralded player per team who appears to be a good fit schematically, and in turn could be a surprise contributor early on.

We have the podcast from Dave “Softy” Mahler’s Friday conversation with cornerback Richard Sherman, who spent the weekend down in Orange, Texas at free safety Earl Thomas’ football camp for youth. Sherman previews his Celebrity Softball Game next weekend at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium:


Avi Zaleon of the Beaumont Enterprise recaps Thomas’ aforementioned weekend youth camp.

Matt Williamson of ESPN.com says Thomas is the player the Seahawks can least afford to lose.

Tom Mulhern of SportsMadison.com recaps quarterback Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy in Madison, Wis.

Adam Rank of NFL.com has his list of 12 must-see stadiums throughout the League, and Seattle’s CenturyLink Field pops up at No.2.

In a bit of obscure off-the-field news, wide receiver Sidney Rice has signed on with Wingstop to open five new franchises in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

In case you missed it last week over at ESPN.com, a slew of their NFL Insiders projected the Top 10 players at each position group for the 2016 season. We already told you where Russell Wilson projects among 2016 quarterbacks last week, courtesy of NFC West blogger Mike Sando. As a refresher, the site’s positional projections were exercises that followed their Future Power Rankings, which evaluated the core of each franchise as they project in 2016 -  the Seahawks ranked at No. 3.

Each positional piece is an ESPN Insider feature, but I’ve pulled the Seahawks mentions and what ESPN’s panel of experts had to say about each player in several snippets below:

Top 10 running backs in 2016No. 5, Christine Michael – ESPN’s Matt Williamson writes: “The selection of Michael seemed like an odd one, but Marshawn Lynch, with his extremely violent running style, probably isn’t going to last long in this league. Michael is a first-round caliber talent, but has a lot of questions off the field. Expect Pete Carroll and company to harness Michael’s great talent by bringing him along slowly. By 2016, he will be a total stud and a true every-down running back. Ignoring their extenuating circumstances, Lattimore and Michael are the most talented all-around running backs from this latest draft class.”

Top 10 wide receivers in 2016 - No. 6, Percy Harvin – ESPN’s Field Yates writes: “There have been some injury and attitude concerns for Harvin during his first four seasons in Minnesota, but a change of scenery has him ready to explode in Seattle in 2013. His rare open-field elusiveness, coupled with great strength for a player of his stature, makes him a rare breed. He can take carries from the backfield, too, and he’ll now play with a quarterback who can deliver the ball on a rope; that will only help the electric Harvin.”

Top 10 safeties in 2016No. 1, Earl Thomas – Williamson writes: “Thomas is an essential member of the league’s best secondary and what I expect to be an elite defense overall. He has outstanding range and is best as a center fielder, but he truly excels in all facets of safety play. Thomas will only be 27 years old when the 2016 season begins, which could be the peak of an outstanding career.”

Top 10 safeties in 2016 – No. 9, Kam Chancellor - Williamson writes: “Chancellor recently turned 25 and his best football should be ahead of him. A punishing hitter, his career might not be as long as some of the others on this list. But Chancellor already has established himself as one of the best safeties in the league, and he paired with Thomas to be a foundational unit for the Seahawks to build around.”

Top 10 cornerbacks in 2016No. 2, Richard Sherman – ESPN’s Herm Edwards writes: “Another corner with very good length, it’s really hard to beat Sherman deep. Seattle’s system is perfect for him, because he can press receivers and disrupt them at the line of scrimmage — which plays right into his confidence. With eight interceptions last season, he’s only going to improve moving forward.” (And because I know you’re dying to know, the Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson is the only player that ranks ahead of Sherman on this list).

Top 10 linebackers in 2016No. 3, Bobby Wagner – Yates writes: “Kuechly took home NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last year, but you wouldn’t have heard any complaints from me if Wagner was the recipient instead. Relatively unknown out of Utah State, all Wagner did was lead one of the NFL’s best defenses in tackles with 147, while also recording a pair of sacks and picking off three passes. The 22-year old has already shown he can do it all.”


On this date: Scott Fitterer hired as scout

Scott Fitterer

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

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


Is it football season yet?

Zach Miller Days until Kickoff

Don’t worry, Jeron. So was I.

With rookie minicamp, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and the club’s mandatory minicamp officially in the books, most of the team’s veteran players have dispersed until the start of training camp in late July. Rookies will be around for workouts over the next week-and-a-half and the coaches will take their break one week from today.

The next month is likely to be the slowest of the offseason, but if it’s any consolation we’re now just 86 days away from the Seahawks’ regular season opener against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Like Kam Chancellor, we’re all itching for some football right now, so here’s a look at what’s going on next week, June 16-22, with your Seattle Seahawks:

Sunday, June 16:

  • Holiday: Father’s Day. Consider this your final reminder to go out and grab a little something for your pops.

Monday, June 17:

  • Seahawks rookies will report for workouts at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
  • Wide receiver Charly Martin will participate in the NFL’s three-day broadcasting boot camp at the NFL Films office in Mt. Laurel, N.J. He’ll be joined by former Seahawks Chad Brown, Ricky Watters, and Jeff Feagles. We’ll have some reaction from Martin next week on the blog.

Tuesday, June 18:

  • Seahawks rookies will report for workouts at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Wednesday, June 19:

  • No team activities are scheduled

Thursday, June 20:

  • Seahawks rookies will report for workouts at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Friday, June 21:

  • Seahawks rookies will report for workouts at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
  • A summer break for Seahawks coaches begins

Saturday, June 22:

  • No team activities are scheduled

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Seahawks react to official end of Offseason Program

Thursday’s final minicamp session marked the end of the club’s official Offseason Program. Break for team veterans begins tomorrow, but the rookies will report for workouts next week, with the coaches break beginning shortly after that.

At the end of today’s camp, several Seahawks players took to Twitter to voice the success they’ve enjoyed throughout spring workouts:


Wednesday in Hawkville: The continuing evolution of Richard Sherman

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 12, when the Seahawks held the second practice in the mandatory three-day minicamp that concludes the offseason program:

FOCUS ON: RICHARD SHERMAN

Richard ShermanWelcome to the continuing evolution of an on-his-game cornerback who was forced into the Seahawks’ starting lineup in 2011 because of injuries to two other players and last season developed into an All-Pro performer.

Sherman is the first cornerback in franchise history to be voted first team All-Pro, as the late Dave Brown was a second-team selection in 1984. But this offseason, Sherman has looked even better and is playing with even more confidence – if that’s possible – than the corner who intercepted eight passes and led the NFL with 24 passes defensed last season.

No one can remember Sherman giving up a completion during the team’s OTA sessions or first two practices of this week’s three-day minicamp. At least not in man-to-man coverage.

What gives? Certainly not Sherman.

“It’s just a part of the evolution,” defensive backs coach Kris Richard said after today’s practice, when Sherman had near interceptions on back-to-back plays and then recovered on another play to break up a pass.

“He’s growing and continuing to learn what he’s going to be able to get away with when he’s out there. Just trying to figure out what his limitations are, if there are any. Really, that’s what this time is for. So it’s really good to see him continue to grow and develop.”

Sherman, a fifth-round draft choice in 2011 after playing cornerback for only one season at Stanford, credits this evolutionary improvement to studying video and the fact that he’s entering his third season as a member of the Legion of Boom – which also includes All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner, who played in the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season.

“It’s just confidence and a lot of film study,” Sherman said. “You go down to the nitty-gritty. If you watch film enough, if you see things enough, it’s ‘You fool me once, shame on me. If you fool me twice, you can’t fool me twice.’ ”

As for that still-developing rapport and chemistry with the other defensive backs, Sherman offered, “Sometimes we’ll be out there mid-play and Kam will tell me to jump this. I’ll jump it, because it’s just trust. I know he’s going to where he’s supposed to be if he tells me to jump this.

“We’ll call plays out halfway through the play and be moving pieces. If you saw it on film you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell what coverage we were in because it’s probably not the most technical way to run it. But it works. We’re effective and the chemistry is there.”

Whatever works, and things obviously are working extremely well for Sherman.

In addition to Sherman’s plays, the defense-dominated practice also included cornerback Jeremy Lane’s leaping deflection of Brady Quinn a pass that was intended for Stephen Williams at the goal line; rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams deflecting a third-down pass by Jerrod Johnson; Thomas recovering a fumble; another breakup by Browner and a tipped pass by middle linebacker Bobby Wagner; and an interception by cornerback Will Blackmon.

Doug Baldwin

PLAYER WATCH: DOUG BALDWIN

The day was tinted Cardinal, as Baldwin had almost as good a day on offense as Sherman had on defense. They played together at Stanford and came to the Seahawks in the same year – Baldwin as a rookie free agent.

Today, when quarterback Russell Wilson found himself running out of time he looked for Baldwin. They hooked up for a 20-yard completion on a third-and-10 play and a 12-yard gain on second-and-10.

Like Sherman, Baldwin’s efforts today mirrored the type of spring he has had.

“Doug has done really well,” coach Pete Carroll said after Tuesday’s practice. “At this time last year, Doug was pressing a little bit. And he was coming off his great first season (when Baldwin was the team’s leading receiver). I think he came in just wanting to do so much.”

Instead, injuries limited Baldwin’s reps during training camp, he had his front teeth knocked out in the season opener and then played through a shoulder injury for much of the regular season.

Now? “You can just see how relaxed he is,” Carroll said. “He’s playing like a vet. He knows our system. He’s working great with the quarterback. And he does so many intricate things.”

RUGBY INVASION

USA Rugby SevensTeam USA’s Sevens National Team watched today’s practice. The players are in town to prepare for the World Cup in Moscow in two weeks.

The connection to the Seahawks? It’s Carroll and Waisale Serevi, the former Fijian rugby union footballer who did for his sport what Pele was able to do for soccer. Serevi is based in Seattle and Carroll has gotten to know him.

UP NEXT

The final practice in the three-day minicamp starts at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. Friday, the veterans begin their break until reporting for training camp on July 24. The rookies will continue to work out through June 26.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’ve learned that he’s probably one of the most tenacious players in the NFL. He’s a rugged, hardworking, hardnosed football player.” – Sherman on Browner


Kam Chancellor ready to wing it

Kam Chancellor passed for more than 2,000 yards as a senior at Maury High School in Norfolk, Va. He also worked at quarterback as a freshman at Virginia Tech before being moved to cornerback, then rover and eventually safety.

Now, the Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety is lobbying to air out his right arm for the Seahawks.

“I think I’m fourth string right now. I’m just trying to work my way up the depth chart,” Chancellor said through a smile on Tuesday after the team kicked off the second week of its OTA sessions.

That would be fourth string behind the three players wearing the red QB jerseys – starter Russell Wilson, backup Brady Quinn and Jerrod Johnson. But Chancellor also might have to get past fullback Michael Robinson if it ever came to that, because Robinson not only played quarterback at Penn State he was Big 10 offensive player of the year as a senior.

But Chancellor just wants it known that he’s available, if needed.

“I had like five plays last year in the playbook,” he said. “So I’m trying to get up to six or seven this year. I’ve still got the arm.”

For now, the Seahawks need Chancellor to continue using both arms – and his 6-foot-4½ wingspan – to break up passes and wrap up ball carriers in his physical and intimidating style.

In the past two seasons, since he moved into the starting lineup, no one on the defense has more tackles than Chancellor (185). Rounding out the Top 5 are linebacker K.J. Wright (157), All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas (153), middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (140, all last season) and linebacker Leroy Hill (136). When it comes to defending passes, Chancellor has 17 to rank third behind All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (41) and cornerback Brandon Browner (19), and just ahead of Thomas (15).


Tuesday in Hawkville: A very happy, and also productive, birthday for Percy Harvin

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 28, when the Seahawks had an OTA session that was open to the media:

FOCUS ON

Percy Harvin. So, what do you get a player who seemingly has everything for his 25th birthday?

Percy HarvinHow about a 57-yard touchdown reception? That’s what quarterback Russell Wilson came up with during today’s OTA session, and it was just one of four receptions for Harvin during the final team period that slapped an exclamation point on the workout.

Harvin was acquired in a trade with the Vikings in March because he was proficient and productive as a receiver, returner and runner the past four seasons with the Vikings. But today, on his birthday, the spotlight was on Harvin’s receiving skills.

On the second play of the team period, Harvin got behind Brandon Browner, a 6-foot-4 cornerback who is as physical as he is tall, to take Wilson’s pass along the sideline and run it into the end zone. A few snaps later, it was Wilson to Harvin on a crossing pattern. Then, Harvin made a nice grab of a pass from backup QB Brady Quinn as he was racing across the field toward the sideline. Finally, it was Quinn to Harvin to round out the day.

Four routes, four receptions; one big reason why the Seahawks deemed Harvin worth the three draft choices they gave up to acquire him.

None of this should come as a surprise, because last year Harvin tied for first in the NFL with no dropped passes on 82 targets before being sidelined for the final seven games with a torn ligament in his ankle. In fact, according to the statistics provided by ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando, the Seahawks have three players who ranked among the top 20 in that category last season: Harvin at No. 1; wide receiver Sidney Rice, another ex-Viking, who had one drop on 78 targets to rank No. 9; and tight end Zach Miller, who had one drop on 49 targets to rank No. 16.

Marshawn LynchPLAYER WATCH

Marshawn Lynch. The team’s leading rusher the past three seasons was back after missing last week’s OTAs. Today, Lynch didn’t miss a beat – or an assignment, or a hole – while displaying the explosive quickness and power that helped him rush for a career-high 1,590 yards last season.

POSITION WATCH

Linebackers. It was difficult not to watch assistant coach Ken Norton’s crew during the session was featured rain, wind and even a sun break or two along the shores of Lake Washington.

Outside linebackers K.J. Wright and Kyle Knox intercepted passes in the 7-on-7 drill, when cornerback Byron Maxwell added a third. During the final team period, middle linebacker Bobby Wagner slapped away a pass that was intended for Miller, while outside linebacker Malcolm Smith made a last-second tip of a pass that was almost in the hands of rookie tight end Luke Willson.

ANTHONY McCOY WAIVED/INJURED; JAKE BSCHERER SIGNED

In a procedural move, tight end Anthony McCoy was waived/injured today. When he clears waivers, McCoy will revert back to injured reserve. McCoy tore his right Achilles tendon during an OTA session last Monday and had surgery on Thursday.

Jake Bscherer, one of three dozen players who attended the May 10-12 rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, was signed. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound tackle played at Minnesota-Duluth.

UP NEXT

The players also have OTA sessions on Wednesday and Friday, which are not open to the media. Next week, they have OTAs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“They’re very serious. And I think they’re hungry. They’re very hungry. The way these guys work in the weight room or running inside. You can see them compete in practice. Yeah, they’re ready to go.” – Antoine Winfield, the team’s new nickel back, when asked about the other starters in the secondary: cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Browner and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor


The Real Rob Report: Offseason Workouts

“The best way to kick off my appearance for the season is without a shirt on. I’m in a little bit better shape, right?”

If you’re a fan of Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson’s “The Real Rob Report” then it should be a pretty easy guess as to who’s behind that lighthearted quote that helps kick off his newest episode.

If you’re not yet a fan of the show, it’s about time you get in on all of the behind-the-scenes Seahawks goodness.

Robinson’s latest chapter features a look in at Phase 2 of the Seahawks’ offseason program at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The familiar faces of Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Winston Guy, John Moffitt, Max Unger, Josh Portis, Jermaine Kearse, and Phil Bates are all included, as well as the first “Real Rob Report” introductions with newcomers Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett.

Remember, you can stay up to date on everything from the Real Mike Rob by following his show on Twitter and subscribing to his channel on YouTube. And be sure to check out Moffitt’s venture into the apparel business at moffittmerch.com, where like he said in the video above – he’s not “lining his pockets” with the proceeds – they help feed the homeless at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.


Marcus Trufant visiting Jaguars today

Marcus Trufant

Marcus Trufant played the past four seasons under Gus Bradley when Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. Today, Trufant, an unrestricted free agent, is visiting Bradley in his new role and location – head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Trufant’s visit was reported by the Jaguars’ website.

The Jaguars rebuilt their secondary during the NFL Draft by selecting strong safety Jonathan Cyprien with the first pick in the second round and then adding cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz (third round) and Demetrius McCray (seventh) and safety Josh Evans (sixth). But Trufant, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2003, could mentor the young secondary – just as he did for the Seahawks the past few seasons with the All-Pro tandem of free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman as well as Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner.

The Seahawks released Trufant last offseason, only to re-sign him for a 10th season. But this year, a similar move is unlikely because the team signed nickel back Antoine Winfield in free agency, drafted cornerback Tharold Simon and also has incumbent backups Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell.

UPDATE – At 11:54 a.m. the Jaguars officially announced they had signed Trufant: